A Bumper Crop of New Faculty

The end of Pomfret’s pandemic hiring freeze leads to an abundant harvest.


 

This fall has brought a bumper crop of new faculty to the Hilltop. After the hiring freeze implemented during the pandemic was lifted more than fifteen individuals were hired as part of the largest new faculty class in recent history.  There are some familiar faces in the bunch with Jackson Lyon ’17 and former science teacher Annie O’Sullivan returning to the campus. Two senior administrators and two admission professionals as well as five science teachers, three math teachers, two history teachers, a Spanish teacher, an English teacher, two learning specialists, and a school counselor make up the newest members of the Griffin family. 

Be sure to say “hello” and introduce yourself as you see them in the hallways, on the field, and in the dorms.

 

Peter Anderson | Director of Admissions Operations

A graduate of boarding school, Peter’s favorite part of the job is helping families understand the impact of a great high school experience on college, career, and life. With a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Peter has worked as director of admission at Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia and Lancaster Country Day School, director of financial aid at Loomis Chaffee School, and associate director of admission and instructor in history at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island. In addition to his years in education, Peter served as a derivatives broker at Gottex Brokers in Lausanne, Switzerland, and loves to ski, mountain bike, and hike.
 


 

Christopher Chuckran | Science Teacher

Chris came to Pomfret while completing his PhD dissertation in microbiology and immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research focused on understanding how regulatory T cells impede protective immunity in cancer patients. Prior to earning his PhD, Chris attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he received his BSE in bioengineering in 2015. He is also a boarding school graduate himself, having attended the Lawrenceville School from 2008-2011. Outside of academics, Chris is an avid runner (former NCAA D1 athlete), amateur photographer, entrepreneur, and coffee shop regular. He lives on campus with his wife Rachel, who works in the Advancement Office, and son Cole. 
 


 

Cazzie English | Learning Specialist

Cazzie is a learning specialist in the Collaborative Learning Center. She is a native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, where she spent most of her life. She graduated from Tabor Academy in 2009 and furthered her education at Holy Cross, where she graduated in 2013. She was a member of the Holy Cross women’s varsity ice hockey team and was the team captain for her junior and senior seasons. At Holy Cross, Cazzie majored in sociology, with a focus in education. Upon graduation, she worked as a student support member for the Boston Scholar Athlete Program, where she provided academic and athletic support to student-athletes in the Boston Public Schools. After two years, she began working as a teacher assistant and guidance counselor assistant at Another Course to College, a Boston public high school. For the past three years, Cazzie has been working as the physical education teacher and restorative justice counselor at the Irving Middle School in Boston. She graduated from Boston University - Wheelock School of Education and Human Development with a master’s in applied human development. In addition to teaching, Cazzie coaches soccer, ice hockey, and softball. She is a certified personal trainer and a sports performance coach. Most importantly, she loves to spend her summers on Cape Cod. 
 


 

Paul Gray  | History Teacher

A native of Pomfret, Paul came to Pomfret School after working three years at Brewster Academy as an English teacher. At Brewster, Paul was a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and advisor. Before Brewster, he worked as an admissions associate at Rectory. He earned a degree in political science from Wheaton College (MA), where he was a four-year member of the lacrosse team. At Pomfret, Paul is a Mount Holyoke Fellow, teaches two Humanities II classes, and coaches the boys varsity lacrosse team. He is excited to explore with his students what America was, what it is today, and how it has evolved over the last few years. Paul has been a student and a teacher at boarding school for his whole life and loves getting to work with students in the classroom, on the fields, and in the dorm. He resides on Pomfret's campus with girlfriend and fellow Pomfret faculty member, Kelsey Mumford (math, learning specialist).
 


 

Jeremy Irzyk | History Intern

Jeremy is intimately familiar with boarding school communities, having grown up on the campus of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. He graduated from Williams College, receiving a BA in history and political science while playing on the varsity baseball team for four years. As a history intern, Jeremy teaches two sections of Humanities I: Global Studies and participates in the athletic and residential programs.

 

 

 


 

Jackson Lyon ’17 | Science Teacher

Originally from Tolland, Connecticut, Jackson attended Pomfret as a day student from 2013 to 2017. Following his graduation, he pursued a BS in natural resources at the University of Connecticut, also achieving a minor in animal science. While at UConn, Jackson was engaged with opportunities inside and outside of the classroom — working as a teaching assistant, peer mentor, cattle husbandry assistant, and field assistant with one of UConn's many research labs. He was similarly involved in all aspects of Pomfret life — playing as a staple member of the boys thirds soccer team, helping out both on and off the stage in theater, and serving as a prefect during his senior year. He enjoys working with students to foster their love for learning and encourage them to never stop asking questions about the world we all live in. Jackson currently teaches Engineering: Science by Design, as well as physics. Outside of the classroom, Jackson is the assistant coach of the boys thirds soccer and boys recreational squash teams. His own interests include hiking, skiing, golfing, and reading. He resides on Pomfret's campus with his dog, Wallace.
 


 

Susan Mantilla-Goin | Dean of Enrollment Management

Susan brings a wealth of experience in enrollment management; financial aid; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and student support at college through elementary schools. Before coming to the Hilltop, Susan spent seven years working at Fay School, a junior boarding school in Southborough, Massachusetts. In her twenty years in admissions and enrollment management, she has held leadership positions at Tufts University, Phillips Academy Andover, and National Cathedral School. Susan grew up in northern New Jersey and enjoys traveling domestically and internationally. She earned her BA in communication and English from Denison University (OH) in 1999 and her MA in intercultural relations from Lesley University (MA) in 2016. She serves as an advisor and enjoys participating in the community service offerings through the School. She can often be found cheering on students in theatre performances and Griffin athletics; Susan is the proud parent of a member of the Class of '25. 
 


 

Coretta McCarter | Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Coretta McCarter is an educational leader who has held various education positions, including general and special education teacher, district administrator, consultant, and education specialist for the Massachusetts’ Department of Education. She was a director of grants where she successfully managed over $40 million in local, state, and federal funding while promoting equity for diverse populations. Dr. McCarter’s commitment to public service, whether in practice or policy, includes the following foundational pillars: (1) leading with integrity, (2) encouraging and building capacity in others, (3) student-centered learning aligned to goals and expectations, and (4) solution-focused approaches to addressing issues or problems. Today, she works to elevate the voices of historically excluded and misrepresented students while collaborating with administrators and decision makers to commit to the investment of inclusive practices of equity and diversity. She promotes the importance of integrating the perspective of others in order to improve best practices in education. She enjoys reading, game nights, traveling, and scenic car rides. She resides with her partner, Chareese; teenager, Ming Li; and mini goldendoodle, Zuri.
 


 

Kelsey Mumford | Mathematics Teacher, Learning Specialist

Originally from New Hampshire, Kelsey came to Pomfret after working for three years at her alma mater, Bow High School in New Hampshire. She completed both her undergraduate and master's degree at Quinnipiac University, earning her bachelor's in mathematics (2017) and master's in secondary education (2018). She played for the women's lacrosse team all four years during her undergraduate time at QU, where she now follows that passion and has been coaching lacrosse for the past four years. Kelsey is driven by forming strong relationships in the classroom and in athletics to help students reach their high potential as students but also as people. Kelsey currently teaches in the Mathematics department and is a teacher in the Collaborative Learning Center. Outside of the classroom, Kelsey serves as head coach for the girls varsity lacrosse team and the assistant coach for girls varsity basketball. When not working, Kelsey enjoys being outside hiking, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She resides on Pomfret's campus with her boyfriend and fellow Pomfret faculty member, Paul Gray (history).
 


 

Tanya Nongera-Nickerson | Mathematics Teacher

Tanya Nongera-Nickerson is a Zimbabwean native. She graduated from Trinity in 2014 with a BA in interdisciplinary computer science with Chinese. Before attending Trinity, Tanya represented her country’s junior national field hockey team for three years, then she joined the Bantams as a member of both the field hockey and track and field teams. She went on to work at The Frederick Gunn School, where she served as a Mandarin teacher, assistant athletic director, interim world languages chair, and head field hockey coach until 2021. Tanya is passionate about athletics and the role sports play in the educational development of youth. True to this passion, she obtained a MA in sports leadership from Northeastern University and has coached in various capacities in her career. She is also a camp manager for The LineUp, a new field hockey talent identification program. When she is not in the classroom, Tanya enjoys working out, cooking, traveling, and sailing. At Pomfret, she will be teaching math, advising, and coaching field hockey and track and field. She lives in Eastford with her husband, Henry, and fur baby, Titus.
 


 

Annie O’Sullivan | Science Teacher

A Connecticut native, Annie returned to Pomfret after two years of teaching at the Sun Valley Community School in Idaho. She attended Williams College, where she earned a BA in biology. She spent a year at Emma Willard as a biology teacher before heading to the Yale School of Forestry to earn her master’s in environmental management. Annie is the Director of Sustainability, teaches environmental science, and coaches JV ice hockey and varsity tennis. 

 

 

 


 

Sebastian Salvo | Mathematics Teacher

Sebastian “Seb” Salvo is a math instructor, primarily working with students in Integrated Math III. Outside of the classroom, Seb serves as the head coach for varsity baseball. Prior to Pomfret, he worked at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, where he served as an assistant baseball coach responsible for hitting and catchers. He previously held positions as a math instructor at New Bedford High School (MA) and Durfee High School in his hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts. Seb’s educational journey led him down the boarding school route to Tabor Academy, followed by Fairfield University, where he graduated with a BA, double majoring in American studies and politics. He was a four-year starter for the Stags baseball team. In addition to his academic and athletic responsibilities, Seb is the co-founder & CEO of Bizze LLC, a tech start-up whose mission is to integrate the business card into a more sustainable digital product through their mobile application Stay Bizze. He is an eager and highly driven individual with a passion for developing and motivating teenagers in the classroom and on the field of play. 
 


 

Brittney Stanley | School Counselor

Brittney holds a BS in psychology and an MA in counseling psychology. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) with over eight years of clinical experience treating mental health and co-occurring disorders in adults, children, and adolescents. She has completed specialty trainings in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), systemic family therapy, and trauma-recovery. In 2018, Brittney earned an Executive MA in healthcare leadership at Brown University. She is currently working on a PhD in marriage and family therapy at Northcentral University. 

 


 

Amy VanHoesen | Science Teacher

A 2013 graduate of Taft School, Amy is familiar with the boarding school life. She studied education, psychology, and biology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, graduating in 2017. She was a four-year member of the William Smith Field Hockey team as a goalkeeper. She remained at HWS to earn her MA in teaching in 2018 and completed her New York State Teaching Certificate in General and Special Education, grades 1-6. Prior to Pomfret, she spent three years teaching science at Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cross stitch, and continuing to play field hockey. She is excited to join the Pomfret community with her husband, Stephen VanHoesen (science), and their one-eyed dog, Wilma.
 


 

Stephen VanHoesen | Science Teacher

Stephen began teaching science at Pomfret in 2021. He previously taught math and science at the Perkiomen School for three years. He coaches football and basketball at Pomfret and has experience coaching both track and lacrosse. He has fifteen years of football playing experience, having played through college. He attended Hobart College, where he earned a BS in geoscience with a minor in chemistry and participated on the varsity football team. He was a three-time member of the Liberty League All-Academic Team, earned CoSIDA Academic All-District, and membership in the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society. He earned his MS in chemistry from Ohio University. Throughout college, he worked as a student contractor for the United States Geological Survey (USGS), where he spent many hours doing field work and environmental research. He is passionate about geochemistry — specifically plastic pollution, pollutant remediation, and water chemistry and is excited to share that knowledge. He is married to Amy VanHoesen, who is also a Pomfret science teacher.
 


 

Sara Villalba | Spanish Teacher 

Sara was born and raised in Zaragoza, Spain, where she completed her bachelor's in English Philology and her master's in teaching. Sara finished a linguistics course at Edge Hill University (England) as well as a psychology course at Harvard University. She also completed a course on teaching Spanish as a second language by Instituto Cervantes. Sara has traveled to thirty-three countries and lived in the US for the last four years. She taught at Colegio Almozara and in several language academies in Zaragoza, Spain. 


 

 


 

Alyssa Walker | English Teacher

An alumna of Deerfield Academy, Alyssa traces her passion for learning back to her English teachers at boarding school. She finds great joy in cultivating this passion in her own students and helping them express ideas with confidence and purpose. Alyssa holds a BA in English from Yale University, an MA in English from Columbia University, an MA in creative writing from University of Missouri, and a PhD in American Studies from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies and has published scholarly articles on the contributions of women writers to 19th-century social movements. Before coming to Pomfret, she taught literature, writing, and American studies in colleges and independent schools across the East Coast and Midwest. Beyond the classroom, she has served as a form advisor, literary magazine advisor, and coach. A three-sport varsity athlete in prep school, Alyssa earned All-Ivy, Academic All-Ivy, and GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in lacrosse at Yale and coached varsity girls’ lacrosse at Riverdale Country School and Pingry School. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, ice skating, and watching sports, especially when her two children, Halliway and Northup, are playing. The Walkers live a stone’s throw from campus in Pomfret.


 

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