2021-2022 New Professional Staff Announcement

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Welcome to the St. Luke's Team
Rebecca Swanberg

We are looking forward to welcoming our beloved student body back onto campus in the coming weeks. As we prepare for the new school year, we're excited to welcome some talented new professional staff to our team.

Lower School

Kelly Rachlin will join Sujean Park as an associate teacher in Grade 1. She is currently an assistant teacher in pre-Kindergarten, and has student-taught in second and fourth grades. Her undergraduate degree is in elementary and special education from Syracuse University, and she has a master’s in education as a literacy specialist from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Kyalik Clark will join David Recht as an associate teacher in Grade 2. Most recently, Kyalik has been an associate teacher at Bank Street School for Children. He has also been a substitute teacher and an afterschool counselor. He received an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Virginia State University and a Master of Education from Bank Street College focusing on general childhood and special education.

Katie Muniz, who was David Recht’s dynamic and most effective Associate Teacher last year, will now join him as the second lead teacher for Grade 2. Katie became an associate teacher so she might work at St. Luke’s School. Prior to joining us, she was a Pre-Kindergarten lead teacher at St. Gabriel School and a Grade 2 lead teacher at the Mohegan School, both in the Bronx. She received her undergraduate degree from SUNY at Oneonta and her master’s from Bank Street Graduate School, both in education. She was an effective and dynamic teacher and a wonderful partner with faculty. Her care and compassion helped children feel safe and encouraged them to take appropriate risks. Her professionalism and expertise fueled her collaboration with faculty and parents. We are thrilled to be able to welcome her to this position.

Jordan DeSanto will join us as a Grade 3 Associate Teacher with Jack Woodhull. Most recently, Jordan was associate teacher at the Little School in Bellevue, Washington, prior to which he spent some time working as an assistant teacher in Peru for the Montessori International College. Jordan received an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree from Yale University Divinity School, where he focused on social ethics and Black religion in the African diaspora. Jordan is collaborative, dynamic, dedicated to serving children, and passionate about helping them better understand their own cultures as well as the cultures and religions of others. 

 

Specialists

Rolando Rodriguez will teach Spanish to students in Grades JK - 4. A native Spanish speaker, Rolando also speaks Italian and English fluently. He has more than 15 years experience teaching students from pre-Kindergarten through tenth grade. He has worked at UNIS, Aquinas High School, Trinity, and most recently Lawrence Woodmere Academy. He is a guitarist who incorporates music into much of his instruction and is trained in Total Physical Response, a method of world language instruction that encourages children to use movement to connect to sounds and vocabulary. Rolando has a BA from the Universidad de Cordoba and a master’s in elementary education from Universidad Nacional de Distancia, both in Spain.

A native Spanish speaker, Andrea Casal joins us as our Spanish teacher for Grades 5 - 8. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of A Coruña in Spain, and a master’s in TESOL from City College of New York. She also participated in the prestigious New York City Teaching Fellows Program and most recently has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language to Grades 6 - 8 at a New York City charter school. She is a dynamic instructor and passionate citizen of the world who will bring great skill and a powerful perspective to our students.
 

Mary Divers will join Ron Nahass as one of our music instructors. Mary will teach Grades 7 and 8 and Ron will teach Grades JK - 6. Mary has extensive experience in vocal and orchestral music, having received her undergraduate degree in music education and her master’s in clarinet performance, both from Syracuse University. Mary is a teaching artist with LEAP, as well as Music Director at GaragePod. She has been an instructor and site leader for the Empire State Youth Orchestra for many years. She has also been an adjunct music instructor at the collegiate level. Her joy in music, deep experience with children of all ages, and belief that every child is a musician will complement our program.

 

We are truly grateful for the gifts of all of our faculty and staff, and excited to welcome these new faces to our team. 

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