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New Faculty Announcement
Posted 09/05/2018 12:51PM

The fall is always an exciting time at St. Luke's School. As our youngest students arrive for orientation and all students returned to school (and a new playground!), we look forward to the many milestones that are ahead of us in the next few months. Our newest professional staff members will certainly make their mark at St. Luke's School this year.

Brad Braxton will join us as our new Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Church School Initiatives. Brad is currently the Director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life and the Supervisory Curator of Religion at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. He is a seasoned educator who has held professorships at Southern Methodist University, Vanderbilt University, and Wake Forest University, as well as lectureships at Georgetown University, Harvard Divinity School, and McCormick Theological Seminary. He is the perfect leader and thought partner to build upon the work we are doing in our classrooms and to continue reflection we have begun about our community.

Woody Granger joined us as our new Grade 5 and 8 social studies teacher. Woody has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia with a double major in history and music. He has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in learning and curriculum design. He spent a year teaching in Africa and then four years teaching at Gunston Preparatory School in Maryland.

Lucy Lobban-Bean joined us as our new Grade 2 teacher. Lucy will be familiar to many of you, since she was a beloved Grade 2 associate teacher at St. Luke’s School. She has also worked at VCS, LREI, and the Gateway School, and has experience from Kindergarten through Grade 5. Lucy has an undergraduate degree from Barnard College and a master’s degree from Hunter College with an emphasis in Childhood General and Special Education.

Laurie Maher joined us as our incoming Director of Learning Services. Laurie has been the Lower School Learning Specialist at Poly Prep Country Day School for the last nine years. Prior to that, she was a learning specialist for middle school students at Berkeley Carroll School for four years, elementary students at Ethical Culture/Fieldston School for three years and taught Grade 5 at Trinity for five years. She has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and a master’s in education from Lesley College and a master’s in learning disabilities from Hunter College.

Lauren Miner joined us as the incoming Grade 1 Associate. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s from Fordham University. She has worked as a preschool teacher at Reade Street Prep. Prior to that, she was an assistant or student teacher at various preschools and independent schools. 

Karina Otoya-Knapp joined us as our incoming Head of Lower School. Formerly the Assistant Head of Lower School and Director of Curriculum Coordination and Professional Learning at the Spence School in New York City, Karina has a lifetime of experience with children and adults in the areas of teaching and learning, instruction, and advancing issues of equity, justice, and inclusion. Karina earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in education from the University of California.

Isabel Walton joined David Recht as an associate teacher in Grade 2. Isabel graduated from Tulane University with a major in psychology and early childhood education. She has worked as a teaching assistant at preschools in New Orleans and is a graduate of the Pingry School in New Jersey.  

Breffni Ward joined Jack Woodhull in Grade 3 as the associate teacher. She has an undergraduate degree from Hunter College and is currently enrolled in a master’s program at Hunter. Breffni has been an associate teacher for third grade at PS 6. She also has experience as a student teacher and extensive experience as a drama instructor.  

Mike Yarbrough joined us as our associate science teacher. He has an undergraduate degree from St. John’s University with a major in biological anthropology and a master’s degree in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has previously taught at The Bronx Leadership Academy II, The Episcopal School of Los Angeles, and Avenues: The World School.

We are excited by the quality of the teachers who joined our program this fall and the vitality change can bring. We are indeed fortunate to be able to honor the legacy of the dedicated teachers in our community and build on the strength of our current faculty by welcoming these gifted educators to our school.

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