Sibylle Brenner, Science, had her postdoc research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science Advances. The paper is named “Force production of human cytoplasmic dynein is limited by its processivity.”
Brian Platzer ’95, English, was on Live From Here with Chris Thile (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) on NPR with guests Paul Simon, Janeane Garofalo and Mavis Staples. His new book, “The Body Politic,” was released on March 3, 2020 by Atria Books.
Philip Robinson, Visual Arts, won the Conception Award for Excellence, an award for best of show, at the Conceptions Art Exhibition in New York, a traveling art show in which artists exhibit their work to fellow creatives, collectors and galleries. Mr. Robinson was then interviewed by the Director and Co-founder, Rachel Wilkinsbiz, for a series that included all of the winners. Students and members of the GCS community tuned in. Mr. Robinson’s work was also recently featured in New York Magazine’s Curbed, an American real estate and urban design website.
Gabriela Salazar, Visual Arts, gave a talk at an event entitled “Because it’s 68 Degrees in December,” as a part of Cooper Union X Climate Week in September 2019. She discussed why the climate crisis presides in her artistic practices.
Augie Sherman, Advancement, performed her dance work, Rhea, alongside her company at Movement Research, Gallim Dance, Arts On Site, and Green Space in 2019, and a new solo, you were saying, as part of Current Showcase in 2020.
Morika Tsujimura, Math and Science, served on the judging committee for the 2020 and 2021 Walter Dean Myers Award presented by We Need Diverse Books. Tsujimura-sensei presented multiple times for NYSAIS and NAIS, including her 2020 presentation “Building a Better Bookshelf: choosing children’s literature with an anti-racist lens.” She also led a breakout session at BookFest @ Bank Street in 2020 (and has done so annually since joining Grace in 2018).
Photo credit: LoveFramed
Sabrina Washburn, Drama, married Greg Washburn in July 2019.
Steven Zaretsky, Technology Integrator, had his essay, “What is a Mitzvah?” published in Healing the Unknown, a storytelling platform for multifaith individuals, on May 6, 2020.
Mischa Antonio, French: Ophelia Rose Antonio, March 26, 2020.
Gareth Lee, Curriculum Coordinator & HS Literature: Emory Gillespie Lee (Lǐ Zàixù (李在旭)), July 15, 2020.
Maura K. Dansker, School Counselor, JK-4: Elizabeth Maryann Dansker, August 24, 2020.
Leslie Peña-Racli, Spanish: Marcello Paolo, August 20, 2019.
Philip Robinson, Visual Arts: Vivienne James Robinson, January 5, 2020.
Pamela Vlach, Dance: Pascal Sebastian Vlach was born on 10/6, weighing 6 lbs, 8 oz.
Sonia von Gutfeld, Mathematics: Soren, August 8, 2019.
Director of Advancement
Courtney Archer-Buckmire joins Grace as the Director of Advancement. She was previously the Director of Major Gifts at Poly Prep Country Day School, where she is also an alumna. Before returning to Poly, she was Director of Annual Giving at Chapin and Associate Director of Annual Giving at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. This puts her in the unique position of being a student then a colleague and now a colleague again of Hugo Mahabir, Grace’s Head of High School. She has a B.A. in Writing and Rhetoric from William Smith College.
Susan D. Austin
Chief Financial Officer
The new Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Austin, comes to us from Brock Capital Group, where she was a Senior Managing Director. Previously, she spent ten years at Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. She serves on the board of many for- and not-for-profit institutions. Prior experience includes tenures at Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Salomon Brothers. She holds a B.A. from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Interim Head of the Lower School
Randall Flinn was appointed the Interim Head of Lower School at Grace for the 2020-21 school year. Randall comes to us from the Convent of the Sacred Heart School on East 91st Street where she was Assistant Head of Lower School since 2011. While at Sacred Heart, she was a co-founder of their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and came to visit us on several occasions. She also provided crucial leadership in curriculum development at CHS and was a part of their admissions team. She worked in the NYC Public Schools and has an M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Organization and Leadership, an M.Ed in early childhood and elementary education from NYU and a B.A. from Pitzer College.
Head of the Middle School
Elsa Hepner has been appointed Head of Middle School. Ms. Hepner has been a member of the faculty at Grace since 2012 as a Latin teacher in both the Middle and High School Divisions. Before Grace, she taught Latin at Staten Island Academy and at a public middle school in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She has a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford and an M.A. from St. Joseph’s.
Senior Admissions Associate, JK–8
Linda Talton is the new Senior Admissions Associate for junior kindergarten through eighth grade. Prior to coming to Grace, she was an admissions consultant, helping families navigate the independent school application process. She also served as Admissions Director at the Corlears School and San Francisco Day. She was a kindergarten teacher before moving into admissions. She holds a B.S. and M.Ed from Howard University.
Admissions/College Office Assistant at the High School
Georgia Warner-Haakmat is the new Admissions/College Office Assistant at the High School. Georgia, who recently graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A., attended Packer. Her aunt, Jennifer Haakmat, taught at Grace two decades ago, and she comes from a family of independent school teachers and administrators.
Kallan K. Wood
Dean of the Class of 2023
Kallan K. Wood has been appointed the Dean of the Class of 2023. She began working at Grace in the College Counseling Office in 2014, and throughout the past six years has taught full time in the Literature Department, teaching the ninth grade World Literature class, developing new courses for 11th and 12th graders and serving as an advisor for the classes of 2017 and 2021. She holds a B.A. in English and History from Williams College and an M.A. in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
You can read more about our newest administrators here.
New 2020–21 Faculty
Associate Teacher, Grade 2
Sam Ashmore joins Grace as an Associate Teacher in the second grade. Prior to this he taught for two years at the charter schools KIPP and Achievement First. He holds a degree in media from University of Southern California.
Milo Calvo-Platero ’07
Middle School Science Associate
Milo Calvo-Platero ’07 is the new Science Associate in the Middle School. He was previously a substitute teacher at Grace and is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College.
Ms. Coster is the new fourth grade Head Teacher. A 2019 graduate of Bowdoin, she originally came to Grace as an Associate Teacher. Prior to this, she was a teacher in residence at Achievement First and spent her college summers working at Breakthrough New York.
Ms. Cucco joins the science team in the High School to teach biology. She worked at Grace as an instructor in the summer bio-tech class sponsored in partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Lab, where she serves as a genetics educator. She has also served as adjunct professor of biology at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. She has a B.S. and an M.S. from Fordham University in Biological Science.
Associate Teacher, Grade 1
Xueyao Cui is a first grade Associate Teacher this year. Previously, she was an Associate Teacher at the Cathedral School. She has an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia and a B.A. from Beijing Normal University.
Associate Teacher, Grade 1
Ms. Frohman joins the first grade team as an Associate Teacher. She recently graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. in Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology.
Junior Kindergarten Head Teacher
Ms. Lasfargeas returns to Grace as a Head Teacher in the junior kindergarten. She was an Associate Teacher from 2014 to 2016 in the kindergarten and junior kindergarten before moving to Little Red Elizabeth Irwin, where she was an Associate and then a second grade Head Teacher leave replacement. She has an M.S. from Bank Street College in Early Childhood and Special Education and a B.S. from Northeastern.
Ms. Leung joins the Middle School Math Department to teach fifth and seventh grades. She comes to us from The School at Columbia, where she was a leave replacement teaching seventh grade math. Before that she lived and taught in the Boston area. She has a B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. in Teaching Secondary Mathematics and Moderate Disabilities from Simmons College.
Associate Teacher, Grade 2
Maya Levy is working as an Associate Teacher in the second grade. She was previously an Assistant Teacher at a school on Long Island. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Katharine Maheras ’07
Counselor, Grades JK–4
Ms. Maheras returns to Grace as the leave replacement for Maura Dansker, the junior kindergarten-Grade 4 School Counselor. Katharine, an alumna of Grace, served as an Associate Teacher for two years before matriculating at NYU to gain her degree in school counseling. She also has a B.A. from Notre Dame.
Tilden Marbit ’01
Associate Teacher, Grade 3
Mr. Marbit joins the third grade team as an associate teacher, having been a substitute teacher here for the previous two years. An accomplished professional bassoonist, he is currently transitioning to a career in teaching. He is a graduate of McGill University.
Elena Dolores Petricevic
Associate Teacher, Grade 4
Elena Dolores Petricevic joins the fourth grade team as an Associate Teacher. She is a graduate of Colgate University and Horace Mann School. She spent several summers as a camp counselor and served as a mentor for students in Hamilton, NY, where Colgate is located.
Nina Alvarado Silverman
Associate Teacher, Grade 3
Nina Alvarado Silverman is an Associate Teacher in the third grade. She recently graduated from Bowdoin College and spent last summer working as an Assistant Teacher at the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Associate Teacher, Junior Kindergarten
Nicholas Teixeira, previously a substitute teacher at Grace, joins the junior kindergarten team as an Associate Teacher. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The City College of New York and a B.A. from San Francisco State University.
New 2019–20 Faculty
Counselor, Grades 5–8
Ms. Abrams is the new School Counselor for Grades 5-8. She previously worked in similar positions at Promise Academy and Kings Elementary. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.A. in School Counseling from NYU.
Admissions Associate, Grades 9-12
Ms. Ahmed is the newest member of the High School Admissions team. She previously worked for the NYC Department of Education as a Community Outreach Coordinator, where she helped to enroll students in Universal Pre-K programs. She has a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Kindergarten Head Teacher
Ms. Alonso joins as a Head Teacher in the kindergarten. She previously worked as a fourth grade math teacher at Great Lakes Academy in Chicago and as a research assistant at the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. She has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently pursuing her master's degree in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia University.
Grade 2 Head Teacher
Mr. Buckingham is the new Head Teacher in the second grade. He has worked at Grace both as an Associate Teacher and a coach. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Early Childhood - Special Education from Columbia University. He also holds a B.A. in Business and Hospitality Administration from Boston University and a degree from the Culinary Institute of America.
Ms. Chien is the new Mandarin teacher in the High School. She comes to us from The Dalton School. Before that she taught at Avenues and Packer Collegiate. She has a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in education from NYU.
Counselor, Grades JK–4
Ms. Dansker is the new School Counselor for Grades JK-4. She comes to us from The Harlem Children’s Zone, where she served as a school social worker. Before that she worked as a therapist at the Foundling Hospital. She has a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University and an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan.
Grade 1 Head Teacher
Ms. Flores returns to Grace as the new Head Teacher in the first grade. She was an Associate Teacher at Grace for two years before teaching at Collegiate for one year. She has a B.A. and M.A. from NYU.
Ms. Harvey is the leave replacement Spanish teacher in the Middle School. She previously taught at Riverdale and in the Greenwich, CT public school system. She has a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.S. in Education from Hunter College.
Mr. Kim joins Grace as the IT Operations and Helpdesk Supervisor. He comes to us from Medallion Retail, where he was the IT manager. He has also worked directly with young people as the Director of Programs at Youth and Family Focus, which works with at-risk youth. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School, he has both a B.S. in Organizational Management and a Master of Divinity.
Ms. Malik joined us as an Associate Teacher in the kindergarten in 2019-20 before becoming an Associate Teacher in the junior kindergarten this year. She graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.S. in Early Childhood/Childhood Education with a concentration in mathematics and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College.
Kindergarten Head Teacher
Ms. Moller joined the kindergarten team as an Associate Teacher in 2019-20 before assuming a Co-Head Teacher role in kindergarten this year. Prior to Grace, she was a teacher at Little Missionary’s Day School and an assistant teacher for the GO Project. She has a B.A. from Grinnell College and an M.S. from Bank Street College. She is also the sister of Grace graduate Willie Moller ’97
Mr. Raposo joins the Middle School Music Department. He holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music and a master's degree in Woodwind Performance from NYU.
Ms. Segre-Lawrence joins Grace as the new Communications Assistant. She previously worked at Myriad Destination Marketing, where she was an account executive. She holds a B.A. in Global Communications, with a minor in anthropology, from the American University in Paris.
Ms. Sherman joins Grace as the new Development Assistant. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in Dance and minors in English and Sociology. She most recently served as the Press Coordinator for the Havana Film Festival New York and as Development and Press Associate at David Dorfman Dance.
Simon Thomas Train
Mr. Thomas Train came to Grace as the leave replacement dance teacher taking over for Pam Vlach. He was previously a “guest teaching artist” at Grace, Dalton, and several colleges and universities. Simon, who also boasts a substantial résumé as a professional dancer, currently divides his time at Grace between Middle School Admissions, High School Dance and a supervisory role at the newly formed “Broadway.” He has a B.A. in Dance from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from the Presidio Graduate School.