Meet the New Faculty

Meet the New Faculty


From around the world and with expertise as vast, Brooks School’s 13 new teachers are an impressive bunch.

Photo of Brooks School's 13 new faculty members.

Get to know each with our primer on their backgrounds — and some prying personal questions. Which one was a ballroom dancer? Who is expert in celestial navigation? And why did one of them live with howler monkeys in the jungles of Ecuador?! Read on and discover our inspiring and intriguing new faculty members.  

Photo of Shanel Antunes.

Shanel Antunes
Learning Center, Sustainability Coordinator

Prior to joining the Brooks community, Shanel Antunes worked as the academic support program manager for the Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) Program at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. She lives in West Medford, Mass., with her wife Dacia and their two children, Remi and Reece. Antunes and her family love to travel around North America in their camper van in the summer. When traveling, they enjoy hiking and exploring National Parks and cities. She also loves basketball, soccer, music and poetry. Her favorite poet is Nikki Giovanni.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“My goal for this upcoming school year in the Learning Center is to create a fun and welcoming environment for students to take educational risks and for me to learn more about the Brooks community.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“Students should expect to be in a space with someone who listens and cares about them as individuals.”

Favorite TV show or movie?“
“Two of my favorite movies are Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Where the Crawdads Sing.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I had a search and rescue dog named Arrow. He was a Malinois.”

Best advice you've received?
“Be where your feet are and sleep on it.” 

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“I would bring a knife, a tarp and a fire starter.”

Photo of Michele Becker

Michele Becker
Latin Teacher

A Chicago native, Michele Becker fell in love with Boston in 2012 and moved out east to pursue her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in classics and secondary education from Boston College. Previously, she taught Latin and comparative mythology for six years at Saint Joseph Prep Boston, where she also coached cross country and track. Becker is passionate about all things Rome and Italian culture and has been lucky enough to spend many summers living there, learning through experience. Her academic passions include studying ancient propaganda through art and architecture, Roman history and Greco-Roman mythology. Becker lives in Boston, where she spends her free time cooking, dreaming up her next trip to Italy and teaching spin classes.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I am so excited to get to know the Brooks community this school year and am most looking forward to getting to know the students both in and out of the classroom.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“Students should expect for the ancient Roman world to come alive! Latin is so wonderfully multifaceted and important to the world today and I hope students will come to see that it’s not the ‘dead language’ that most people think it is.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“Recently I’ve been loving Only Murders in the Building, but New Girl and Friends are my go-to shows. I also love watching cooking shows because I love to cook!”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I am a spin instructor and know the words to every single Taylor Swift song.”

Best advice you've received?
“To rely on others and let people help you. You can do anything, but you shouldn’t do everything.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“A good book, for entertainment. My golden retriever, Wyatt, for comfort and companionship. And a comfy beach chair because if I’m going to be stranded on an island, I might as well relax at the beach!”

Photo of John Cunningham

John Cunningham
Assistant Director of Athletics, Self in Community Teacher

John Cunningham graduated from Connecticut College in the spring of 2017 and began working at The Loomis Chaffee School that fall as the sports information director. He also served as the assistant coach of the boys varsity ice hockey team, associate head coach of the boys varsity lacrosse team and as a dorm head in a boys dorm on campus. He lives off campus with his wife Jordan, their son Benjamin, and dog Finnegan. When he isn’t teaching Self in Community or coaching, he is on walks with his family or trying to find time to get to the golf course.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I hope to develop strong connections with both students and faculty members in the classroom and on the field in my first year. Success in the classroom and on the field usually follows.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“To participate often and listen even more. Be thoughtful and willing to open up to new experiences and perspectives.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“The Last of Us on HBO is currently my favorite, but I also have the DVD box set of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I loved and still love that show.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I love video games! I still play with the same group of buddies that I grew up with and we play all different types of games.”

Best advice you've received?
“Never take yourself too seriously!”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“My golf clubs — hopefully there is a nice beach so I can work on my sand game! My dog — he’d keep me company and in good spirits. He’d probably enjoy it! And a grill. If I managed to catch to anything to eat (which feels highly unlikely considering what I chose for my first two items), I’d love a coal-fired grill so I could have a good cookout.”

Photo of Kyle Evans

Kyle Evans
Mathematics Teacher

Kyle Evans grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York, attended Sacred Heart University and later received his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2018 researching mathematics education. He spent five years as a professor at Trinity College, where he taught a range of courses, including creating two new ones: “Mathematics and Redistricting,” and “Introduction to Sports Analytics.” Evans is the co-founder of the Math Teachers' Circle 4 Social Justice, which offers regular online workshops for secondary teachers in the intersection of mathematics and social justice. He strongly believes in humanizing education and making mathematics meaningful and accessible to all students.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“My goal is for all students to see themselves as doers of mathematics and embrace productive struggle.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“My students can expect a space where they feel valued as human beings first.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“The TV show Survivor is my favorite.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I recently competed in my first speed (jigsaw) puzzling competition!”

Best advice you've received?
“Being a leader isn't always about taking the initiative or having the strongest voice. If people follow you, then you're a leader.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“I would take a comfortable blanket, a cooking device and a good book.”

Photo of Craig Gorton

Craig Gorton
Director of Computer Science

Craig Gorton began teaching computer science and robotics in 2018 after careers in the software industry and naval architecture/marine engineering. He earned his Bachelor’s in government and economics from Dartmouth College, a Master's degree in computer information systems from Boston University and studied yacht design at the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology. Gorton loves being creative with technology and has a passion for continuous learning. He holds a USCG captain’s license and once crossed the Atlantic using celestial navigation. Several attempts to design, build and operate his own transoceanic semi-autonomous sailing drone have been unsuccessful, but he’s not done trying! He is also an avid kiteboarder, road cyclist, skier, chess player and loves being able to teach the subjects he would be exploring for fun anyway.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“One goal I have is to impress upon students that a computer is just a tool that can magnify one's brain power. An analogy is a bicycle. You can spend lots of energy running but with a bike that same energy can get you farther. Similarly, a computer can give your ideas serious wings.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“They should expect to think. My mantra is ‘learning is a consequence of thinking’ and so I design lessons to minimize lecturing and maximize thinking.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I've read the books numerous times and can quote the movies far too well. But for any Tolkien geeks, let's talk!”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“Although I got really into computer science in high school, I did not major in it during college. Also, if it's windy, I will drop everything to go kiteboarding.”

Best advice you've received?
“I'm not sure where it came from but I've been told and I believe that almost everything in life involves balance. There are very few things that don't. And so, I try to practice that in my life, which has been mostly successful.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“A boat, a sextant and a watch. I used to teach celestial navigation and so with those three things, I think I could navigate my way to wherever I wanted to be. But then again, maybe I'd like to just stay on the island. In that case, I'd change my answer to shoes, a pillow and a hammock. Then I could explore the island fully and rest in the hammock.”

Photo of Juan Hurtado

Juan Hurtado
Davis Fellow, Mathematics Teacher, Learning Center

A class of 2023 Connecticut College graduate, and squash coach at Brooks, he majored in mathematics with a minor in Jewish Studies. When Hurtado isn’t in the classroom, Learning Center or on the squash courts, he is most likely reading, writing his ideas down or wanting to play chess. Born in New Haven, Conn., he has always been excited to try new pizza places wherever he goes!

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I hope to raise my squash rating to a 5.0. I hope to train with as many people as I can, practice my boast (my favorite shot) and motivate everyone on court.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“Students should expect a very intense, textbook oriented, exam heavy course relating to mathematical formulas. Just kidding! Students should expect a conversation that happens to revolve around math. In order to learn something like math in a deeper manner and not make it boring, we can think of it as a language with numbers.” 

Favorite TV show or movie?
“The Flash (a CW Show) and my favorite movie is The Flash. I am a big superhero fan, and you can probably guess my favorite superhero.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I play video games in my spare time. I usually go for Nintendo Switch games, such as Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. I am always up for a challenge, let’s see who is the better player!”

Best advice you've received?
“Ask for help. One thing that friends, family, teachers and coaches have taught me is to try and ask for help. It is a great skill to learn because it allows you to learn more about your boundaries, but it also gives everyone around you an idea as to how you are, which creates healthy relationships.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“At first, I really wanted to bring something to listen to music with. But, most of those things use power, which will take up two items. Instead, I will bring clean drinking water, a fishing rod, as well as a yoyo with an incredibly premium piece of string. That way, I can make sure that I will have drinking water, something to attempt to eat with, and time to learn a new skill I have no idea how to do.”

Photo of Erik Krahn

Erik Krahn
Assistant Director of Student Affairs

Erik Krahn received his Bachelor’s from Hobart College, double majoring in European Studies and Studio Art. Since graduating from college, he has worked in Germany, Switzerland and all across the United States. Prior to joining Brooks, he was substitute teaching in Marblehead, Mass. Krahn has coaching experience in soccer and cross-country skiing, including leading his former high school's cross-country ski team to a combined state title. He lives off-campus in Wenham, Mass. with his wife Laura and dog Augie. In his free time, he enjoys running, mountain biking, skiing and cooking.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“My goal is to learn from the vast experience of the faculty around me and create an engaging experience for students in my own class.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“They should expect to question preconceived notions and be prepared to make new connections.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“The Princess Bride.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I once spent several weeks in the Ecuadorian jungle surveying howler monkeys and avoiding venomous snakes.”

Best advice you've received?
“Learn how to listen more than you talk.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“Blueberries, because I'm from Maine and they're tasty and nutritious. Floss, because oral hygiene doesn't take breaks and Sherlock Holmes Vol.1, because these stories are fun and clever and I could read them over and over again.”

Photo of Cora MacKenzie

Cora MacKenzie
Associate Director of Student Affairs

A Millbrook, New York native, Cora MacKenzie is quite familiar with the boarding school lifestyle, having grown up on the Millbrook School campus. She later went on to study athletic training at the University of Vermont. After graduating, she returned to Millbrook School to join the faculty as head athletic trainer and later served as the assistant director for athletics. MacKenzie's greater involvement in the community motivated her to transition to the student life office, where she served as assistant dean of students and dean of residential life, before coming to Brooks. During her time at Millbrook, she also served as an advisor, coach, human development instructor, and dormitory head. She lives on campus and enjoys spending time outside with her yellow lab Piper, watching sports, and exploring new places.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I really want to listen, learn and take in much as I can about all aspects of life at Brooks. Ultimately, one of my goals is to be a resource to all students as they navigate their own experience at Brooks, and I realize that in order to do that effectively, I first need to have a strong understanding of the student culture, programs, available resources, etc., so I can support them appropriately.” 

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“I'd like to think that they should expect a balanced approach regarding ‘these are the things we need to get done’ and ‘XYZ is going on in the community, or outside of the Brooks community, and let's create time and space to talk about it.’” 

Favorite TV show or movie?
“My favorite show would have to be either New Girl, which makes me cry laughing, or any sports docu-series. I used to love HBO's 24/7 leading up to the Winter Classic, and the Full Swing series on Netflix was pretty good!”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“People are often surprised to learn that, until this upcoming year, I spent my entire life with the exception of my undergraduate studies at the same school. I transitioned from faculty child, to student, to faculty member and loved every minute.”

Best advice you've received?
“Some of the best advice I ever received was to treat everyone as if they are wearing an invisible backpack filled with bricks. Some bricks are really heavy and made of lead, signifying challenging life moments, and some bricks are light and airy, signifying joyful life moments. The point is, we never really know what each person carries with them every day and to always be kind.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“Sunscreen, because I can get a mean sunburn. Snacks, the reason why feels obvious. And can I bring an entire survival kit?” 

Photo of Kate Moran

Kate Moran
Director of Communications and Marketing

Kate Moran previously worked at The Pike School in Andover, Mass., as the assistant head of school for strategic outreach and impact. She lives in Andover with her husband, John, and their three children, Jack, Xavier and George. Moran loves the Boston Red Sox and Celtics, spending summer evenings at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Mass., skiing and traveling.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I want to cultivate meaningful connections with students and colleagues. Strong relationships are a source of support and happiness in any community.”

What should students expect from you this fall? 
“I'll be a dorm parent in Hett West and endeavor to bring the best snacks!”

Favorite TV show or movie? 
“Game of Thrones.”

What's something about you that might surprise students? 
“I was a White House intern for President Clinton.”

Best advice you've received?  
“Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you offer to others.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island? 
“My Kindle, a sunhat and coffee with half & half!”

Photo of Megan Murray

Megan Murray
Assistant Athletic Trainer

Megan Murray earned her Bachelor's of Science in education for athletic training from the University of Georgia. While there, she worked with the UGA gymnastics team as well as the UGA football team. Once leaving UGA, Murray began working at Fay School as the athletics coordinator, athletic trainer, wellness teacher and dorm parent. Since starting at Brooks, she has moved to Somerville, Mass., where she spends her free time working on new recipes and training as a ballroom dancer.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“My goal for this upcoming year is to help as many students feel confident in themselves on the athletic field. I hope I am able to support all the students so they feel their best and learn how to implement health strategies to stay healthy and perform to the best of their abilities.” 

What should students expect from you this fall?
“Students should expect the athletic training room to be a positive and inviting space where they can feel comfortable coming to see us for all of their needs.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“My favorite movie is Bend it Like Beckham!”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“The students might be surprised to know that I used to be a ballroom dancer.” 

Best advice you've received?
“The best advice I have ever received is from my mom, who would always tell me to ‘Act as if until.’ For example, if I show up and I act confident then over time I will have true self confidence.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would bring a large stack of books to read, SPF 100, and a speaker for my music.”

Photo of Michael Porrazzo

Michael Porrazzo 
Mathematics Department Chair

Michael Porrazzo earned his Bachelor's degree in finance and international management from Georgetown and his Master's degree in education from Johns Hopkins University. A career educator, he has taught all levels of high school math and has also served schools in a variety of academic, athletic and residential roles. Athletically, he rowed competitively into early adulthood and has managed to run a few marathons since then. Porrazzo and his wife, Julie, raised three daughters and travel with, or to, them whenever possible. While he lives off-campus outside of Boston during the school year, he and his family, which includes a Labrador Retriever affectionately known as TukTuk, spend as much time as possible in northern Vermont. In addition to travel, his interests include reading and noodling on current events.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I would like my students to grow in their appreciation of math. I want them to see the math in the world around them, to grow their skills and to ultimately apply those skills to the problems before them.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“Students should expect a safe environment in which they will be actively engaged, articulating their understandings and conjectures and working with others for the benefit of both the group and the individuals within the group.” 

Favorite TV show or movie?
“My favorite TV show is Ted Lasso. Ted reminds us how better the world is when we tirelessly exhibit grace and have a positive attitude. I have two favorite movies: Rocky and Good Will Hunting.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I love music, and one might be surprised by the music I listen to…”

Best advice you've received?
“I have three: ‘Listen twice as much as you speak,’ ‘Keep perspective’ and ‘First, win their hearts.’”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“If my wife, Julie, can count as an ‘item,’ then I would definitely want her with me. She's pretty resourceful and I imagine my chances of survival are greater with her there. I know that there are lists out there advising taking a knife, matches, etc., but if I only have two more things I can take with me, it would be a fully-functioning sailboat — (Is that cheating? No one said there was a size limit on what I could bring) so that Julie and I could leave the uninhabited island to sail back to someplace that is inhabited — and sunblock, if the island was tropical, or a warm coat if the island was close to one of the poles.”

Photo of Tyler Read

Tyler Read
Spanish Teacher

A Massachusetts native, Tyler Read attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he double-majored in history and Spanish and participated in study abroad programs in both Mexico and Spain. His final year of university was spent at the Universidad de Guanajuato, where he took classes focusing on the Spanish language and the methodology and theory behind foreign language acquisition and instruction. After college, Read returned to Spain, where he lived for two years working as a language assistant in rural schools in Galicia and Aragón. He joined Brooks after working as a Spanish teacher at Lawrence Family Development Charter School in Lawrence, Mass., near where he resides in North Andover.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“I want to my engage my students in ways that make them excited and motivated to learn the Spanish language beyond the classroom.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“Students should expect lots of energy, engagement and systematic knowledge building. The energy will flow in all directions from teacher to student, student to teacher and peer to peer.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“I don't watch a lot of TV or movies compared to most people. Overall, I would say I enjoy shows and movies with fantastical elements.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“When I started learning Spanish, I was almost 14 years old.”

Best advice you've received?
“When something resonates with you, you know it.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“I would bring a salt water distiller, the most advanced yet simple coordinate system in existence and an item that would allow me to easily communicate with the outside world. All of these objects would of course facilitate survival and my eventual rescue from the island. I was very pragmatic on this question.”

Photo of Claire Trustey

Claire Trustey '19
Science Teacher

Claire Trustey '19 returned to Brooks to teach Honors and AP Biology this fall. Trustey earned her Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame. A huge Notre Dame football fan, during her undergraduate years she worked as a student athletic trainer for the Notre Dame football team and spent most Saturdays on the sidelines in Notre Dame Stadium. She also worked as a research assistant in the Sleep, Stress, and Memory Lab on campus at Notre Dame, where she was also very involved in tutoring. Trustey spends much of her free time running, enjoying time with family, and playing with her family’s yellow lab, Hutch.

Goal for this upcoming school year?
“My biggest goal for this upcoming year in my classroom is to share my passion for science with my students and help them to foster a love for biology.”

What should students expect in your classes this fall?
“My students should expect lots of interactive labs and collaborative activities in my class. I believe that students learn best when they engage in hands-on learning, and I hope that by varying classroom activities, students will be able to determine which learning and studying styles suit their needs.”

Favorite TV show or movie?
“My favorite tv show is How I Met Your Mother. It’s the show I always seem to go back to when I need something to watch.”

What's something about you that might surprise students?
“I spent 20+ hours each week during my years at Notre Dame working as a student athletic trainer for the football team. From guiding athletes through their physical therapy plans to taping wrists on the sidelines of games, this experience was one of my favorite parts of college!”

Best advice you've received?
“The best advice I’ve ever received is that it’s okay to not know. Ask questions, be curious, and be okay learning as you go.”

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“I’d bring a photo album of my friends and family to remember the friendly faces that cheer me up when I need it, a flashlight to help me get around in the dark, and some bug spray because nothing irritates me more than mosquito bites!”

 

Photo of Boston Marathon bombing survivors on campus.

Boston Marathon bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky spoke with students about their experiences navigating physical disabilities — and working with Kensky’s service dog, Rescue — during the couple’s April 25 visit to campus shortly after the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack.

Read More about Boston Strong — at Brooks