It was the first day of classes today at Brooks for a slew of new teachers, as well as students. This fall, Brooks School welcomes 17 fresh faculty, from administrators to educators in the classroom. Get to know them below!
New teachers were joined by new Brooks School administrators on campus this summer.
ROBERT BAUER, SCIENCE TEACHER
Born in Lima, Peru, Bauer started his teaching career after spending 20-plus years in the high-tech industry. He began his career at Stratus Computers as a hardware engineer and worked in numerous startups, designing and building communications devices for the early years of WEB 2.0. Bauer now teaches physics and engineering at Brooks, where his daughter is in the class of 2026.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "Brooks' reputation and history appealed to me and I am so happy that I have been given this opportunity to be here at the Brooks community."
- Goals for the year? "I want to get to know the Brooks community and pass along my passion for physics and engineering. I want to simplify physics in the classroom. I want all my students to enjoy understanding the world around us and how it works."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I can 'ollie' on a skateboard, still working on my kickflip. I can still stick the landing on a 360 on my snowboard. Still prefer a method AIR as my favorite old school jump. I climbed and hiked the Inca Trail with my kids."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "Lately it has been Ted Lasso. Not only is he funny, there's something special about the way he 'cares' for players. They are human beings first, then soccer players."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Work hard, play hard!"
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "If I do it right, it will not be easy but it sure will be fun and interesting. We will 'work hard and play hard!'"
JACQUELINE "BEAN" CLARK, SELF IN COMMUNITY TEACHER & LEARNING CENTER SPECIALIST
Clark joined Brooks after working at Brewster Academy as a college counselor and coach. Before starting her career in independent schools, she graduated from New England College, where she majored in business and psychology and was a member of the women's ice hockey and lacrosse teams. In 2020, she completed her master of education degree from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, where she also worked as a learning specialist in the disability services office.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I love the mission of Brooks and the more I enjoy getting to know each faculty and staff member, the more I realize how passionate this community is about living out this mission of creating a meaningful education experience for each student. Brooks truly understands that each student is unique and deserves to experience our best work so that we can help them grow in and out of the classroom."
- Goals for the year? "This year, my goal is to immerse myself as much into this new community as I possibly can, and expand my comfort zone in the areas of classroom teaching, athletic coaching and overall student advising."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I've spent most of my life involved in athletics and coaching but I actually also love the performing arts and used to be involved in many theater productions growing up."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "Grey's Anatomy, because it never seems to end!"
- Best advice you've ever received? "'Figure out what you love to do, and do it so well that someone is forced to pay you to do it,' from my big sister."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "I am so excited to join the Learning Center team, and students should expect to get the support they need when coming to the LC! I want them to continue feeling comfortable, supported, and relaxed when in the center. It's a place where they can strengthen their skills and discover new learning strategies. You don't have to be struggling to come visit the LC!"
DANIELLE CORIALE, ENGLISH TEACHER
An English teacher whose academic interests include nineteenth-century British literature and the history of science and medicine, Coriale has spent more than a decade teaching English as a university professor, completed a Ph.D. at Brandeis University and has published essays in a variety of scholarly journals. When she is not teaching or writing, she enjoys hiking, gardening and being outdoors — especially in the Adirondacks.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "Long before I applied for the position at Brooks, I knew it was a special place. The campus is extraordinarily beautiful and the school's commitment to providing the most meaningful educational experience for its students really spoke to me. I have devoted my life to helping my students to see literature as an enriching part of their lives and a source of profound meaning, so I'm excited to join a community that shares the same mission."
- Goals for the year? "I would like to learn everything I can about my students, my colleagues and the school, and to find my place at Brooks. I'd like to get to know the campus, especially the trails, explore the library and immerse myself in everything the school has to offer!"
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I know how to build a raging campfire. I'm a good ice skater. I've lived in Italy and speak the language fluently. I've hiked lots of mountains in the Adirondacks. I played the flute, and while I love all dogs I am especially enchanted by Boston Terriers. Their antics are hilarious. They are intelligent, funny, and super active and they love to climb mountains."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "There are dozens of film adaptations of some of my favorite novels — Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, etc. — and I love them all. My favorite is Autumn de Wilde's 2020 adaptation of Emma because it is well cast and captures the novel's humor."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Try everything and then try it again. You might be surprised by what you like if you give it a chance — and if you don't like something at first, try it again in the future. It might take on new meaning later in life."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "My students should expect to be part of a community where everyone's ideas have value and where they can talk openly and ask bold questions. They'll have guidance as we explore challenging pieces of literature but they'll also have freedom to find their own meanings in the works we study and learn from one another. Lastly, students can expect to practice critical reading and thinking, learn to write with confidence about subjects that matter to them and most importantly, have some fun."
EMILY DIANGELO, MUSIC TEACHER
Dr. DiAngelo is a professional oboist, dedicated educator and arts advocate. She graduated with her doctor of musical arts and master of music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and her bachelor of music degree from Ithaca College. An avid performer, she collaborates with musicians from all over the world and has performed throughout the East Coast, including multiple performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. DiAngelo has taught music at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Hamilton College and the Luzerne Music Center.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I applied to the music teacher position at Brooks because the school seems to value the arts as a core subject. Once I visited the campus and met the community, I was incredibly impressed with the faculty, new arts facilities and the students who were so excited about their projects in the arts department. It felt like home when I was on campus and I just knew it would be a great fit."
- Goals for the year? "My goals for the year are to show Brooks students how much fun singing in choir and playing in chamber ensemble can be. I believe that everyone has a hidden musical talent and can't wait to help the students discover their own!"
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I was a figure skater growing up and decided to get back into skating last year. When I saw that Brooks has its own ice rink, I was thrilled! I'm going to try to get some of my skating skills back this year, for sure."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "The Office. My close friends in grad school and I watched it every week like clockwork. It makes me think of them when I watch it, but it's also a brilliant show. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I put on an episode of The Office and all is right with the world."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Trust that the universe will lead you on the path that is meant for you."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "Students will expect lots of energy surrounding the love of making music together. Collaboration and creation is one of the most important things for a successful music class, so we will be working together to find music that we love to perform and also develop skills with repertoire that challenges and inspires."
MICHAEL DIXON, SCIENCE TEACHER
Rev. Michael Dixon, Ph.D., is returning to teach at Brooks after 25 years at schools in the Boston area. He holds a B.A. in physics from MIT, M.Div. from Gordon Conwell T. S., Ph.D. in education from Boston College and has received the Siemens/College Board AP teacher of the year award. Dixon's heart for STEM education that's accessible to all has reached students from Brooks to inner city Boston. He's taught physics, calculus, theology, engineering, robotics and fabrication, among others; coached basketball and football; run community service and the Science Olympiad; started Brooks' gospel choir and is a proud parent of a son in the class of 2026.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks — again? "When I first came, essentially right out of college, I felt it was an opportunity to grow and learn how to teach. When I got the call to apply to return this year, I felt it was a fitting thing to do, come full circle with my career and apply what I have learned during my time away to be impacted by and impact Brooks again and to also look more globally on how to impact STEM for all."
- Goals for the year? "To get reacclimated to the Brooks environment, to serve my students and to apply and share what I have learned over the past 25 years."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "Things that surprise some of my students is how I reconcile my faith and my love for science. They also are surprised that I minored in poetry and love to hike."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "This is hard to say because there are so many... two of my current favorites include Community and Star Trek — Strange New Worlds. Both are nerdy and deal with science and choices. Beware the Darkest timeline-Roxanne!"
- Best advice you've ever received? "Your life is a product of your choices. Choose wisely."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "Students should expect to be in charge of their learning, from helping each other as captains to DJ'ing tunes and supporting other students. One mantra I take with me is that we never say 'I can't,' but instead, 'I do,' because doing is what helps us to truly learn."
RYAN JOHNSON, LATIN TEACHER
Having worked on his Ph.D. in ancient history at the University of British Columbia, and completed an M.A. in ancient Greek and Roman studies at Brandeis University, Johnson joins Brooks as a Latin teacher. He taught Greek and Roman mythology as a Ph.D. student at U.B.C. while also teaching Latin and Greek privately. He has participated in archaeological studies/excavations in Italy, Greece and Israel and uses this knowledge of ancient sites in his teaching. Johnson enjoys learning and teaching about all aspects of life and culture in the ancient Mediterranean and is particularly interested in how the cultures of Greece and Rome interacted with those of the Near East, Egypt and North Africa.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I wanted to work at Brooks since, more than anything else, I love teaching. In particular, I knew that Brooks was a great fit for me after visiting and seeing the passion and love for learning among the faculty and students for myself."
- Goals for the year? "Since it is my first year at Brooks, my goal is to be the best teacher to my students that I can possibly be. I also want to grow as an educator and learn from my colleagues."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I actually have a lot of experience with ancient languages. In addition to Greek and Latin, I can also read and work with Sumerian and Akkadian (the languages of ancient Mesopotamia), as well as Egyptian."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "Seinfeld is my favorite TV show of all time. I love its sense of humor and I can still laugh every time I watch it."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Some of the best advice I have ever received is from one of my old college advisors who told me to always be patient with my degree and my career. Successes may come slowly at first but given time and determination they will happen more and more."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "I think my students are going to have a lot of fun. The Latin language is the key to enjoying captivating works of Roman literature and Roman culture itself is fascinating as well. They'll also find that I'm a teacher who expects the best out of my students but who is always available to help them reach that potential. Besides that, I'm pretty laid back and flexible as a person, so I don't think I'll be too scary."
SUSAN LUDI, HISTORY TEACHER
With experience teaching at the secondary schools and universities, Ludi arrived at Brooks from Dexter Southfield, where she taught history and functioned in a variety of advisory roles, including leading community service for the upper school and serving as an inaugural head of house in their new house system. Previously, she was a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the art history department at Washington University in St. Louis and the resident art historian and academic coordinator at the University of Georgia studies abroad program in Cortona, Italy. Before completing her doctorate in art history and archaeology, Ludi, whose son is in the class of 2025, was a lawyer specializing in corporate and finance transactions.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I was initially drawn to Brooks by the fantastic reputation, innovative curriculum and beautiful campus. After I met the welcoming and enthusiastic faculty and staff I was hooked."
- Goals for the year? "In my first year at Brooks I hope to hit the ground running, but also to listen carefully and learn as much as possible from the students, as well as fellow faculty and staff."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I completed my first sprint-triathlon last fall. I finished it and came in absolutely last, which is kind of impressive in a way. I am determined to do another one this fall and improve my standing — truly nowhere to go but up."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "I know that it is a cop out, but I have tried and I cannot possibly answer this question: I love movies and TV! I suppose I could narrow to genre, but it also depends on my mood. I tend to gravitate to historical fiction — not surprisingly, the more elaborate the better, mysteries, biopics, and comedies and I love to watch movies in old movie theaters."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Focus on progress not perfection. I have to remind myself of this every day or else many goals and tasks, whether professional or personal, seem insurmountable."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "I hope that students come to class with lots of questions and the willingness to listen carefully and thoughtfully to their peers."
LAILA MCCAIN, HISTORY TEACHER, DAVIS FELLOW & ADMISSION COUNSELOR
McCain grew up in Boston and attended Bowdoin College, where she studied government and legal studies as well as education, with a minor in Africana studies. While at Bowdoin, she was involved in mock trial, public service, admissions and residential life. Post-college, McCain spent a year living Germany, working at the International School of Stuttgart in their English department and in learning support. While abroad she was also able to travel around Europe and learn about different cultures.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I was initially very eager about Brooks because of the commitment to educating the entire student through academic rigor, a strong athletic program and a commitment to service and community. I was lucky to benefit from the same things at Bowdoin, so I am excited to be a part of and contribute to a similar community at the high-school level. Brooks' commitment to social justice and antiracism is also really important and exciting to me since these are ideals I am passionate about."
- Goals for the year? "I am hoping to really immerse myself in the Brooks community and to foster a fun and inclusive environment both in my classroom and with my residents in Merriman dorm! I'm looking forward to growing professionally and learning from the experienced faculty around me."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "One thing that might surprise students is that three weeks after graduating college, I immediately moved to Stuttgart, Germany to work at the International School. During this year, I also had the opportunity to travel to sixteen countries in Europe and learn more about different cultures and cuisines. The year was really eye opening for me to think about race, culture and ethnicity on a more global scale."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "My favorite movie is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I really enjoy feel-good movies and this one reminds me of the importance of friendship."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Some of the most valuable advice I've gotten is that learning happens in many different ways. Of course, there is classroom learning but what you learn and experience outside of school is equally important. Some of my best life lessons have come out of social and emotional experiences in life."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "My students should be prepared to think outside the box and be pushed to think critically about different historical events and trends. We will learn in many different styles and have a lot of fun with material. Students should also be open to giving me feedback and sharing what they want to get out of our class."
GWENDOLYN REESE, LATIN TEACHER & DIRECTOR OF LIBRARY SERVICES
Raised in Southern California, Reese thought herself destined to be a church history professor, until she got a chance to wander the vaults of the Huntington Library during her dissertation research. From there, she headed straight to library school and then held various positions, including at the Morgan Library & Museum, the University of Idaho and Washington University in St. Louis. Most recently, she worked as a rare bookseller with the William Reese Company in New Haven, Conn.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I was really attracted to the emphasis Brooks places on developing the whole person. I also love that there are so many opportunities to participate in the campus community."
- Goals for the year? "To make the library a relevant, useful, and fun place for the entire Brooks community."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I almost became a forest ranger instead of an educator. I've backpacked extensively throughout the Sierras, the Scottish Highlands and New England. I can also spot a valuable book at 50 paces and am developing my skills as a handpress printer and bookbinder."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because it continues to inspire."
- Best advice you've ever received? "There's no such thing as a bibliographic emergency."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "Hopefully we'll have some fun and with any luck, we'll learn some Latin while we're at it!"
ASHLEY SCIRE, SELF IN COMMUNITY TEACHER
The former associate director of athletics at Wentworth Institute of Technology Scire begins the fall as Brooks' assistant director of athletics and a teacher in the Self in Community program. Before joining the Wentworth staff, she spent three seasons as an assistant women's ice hockey coach at Princeton University, where her Tigers team reached the semifinals of the ECAC Hockey Tournament twice and earned a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2019. She graduated from Union College in 2008, and earned an M.S. from Albany Law in 2009.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I wanted to work at Brooks because of the community, history and the commitment that the school has to developing their students."
- Goals for the year? "To be as engaged in the school community as possible, help in any way I can, and help students reach their definition of success."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I can juggle! It's been a minute, though, so I'm a bit rusty."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "I'd call it more of guilty pleasure: Below Deck."
- Best advice you've ever received? "Everything in perspective.
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "I'm just excited to help foster an environment of open dialogue!"
CHRIS SLABY, HISTORY TEACHER
Originally from New Jersey Slaby has also lived in western, upstate New York, rural Japan, coastal Conn., suburban Boston, Madison, Wis., and most recently in Williamsburg, Va. He did his undergraduate work at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Slaby also has an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently finishing his Ph.D. from William & Mary.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "I have many reasons for wanting to work at Brooks but perhaps the top three are the people, the sense of community and the commitment to teaching the complex truths of the past."
- Goals for the year? "To get my bearings while helping my students get the most of their year, as well."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "After graduating college, I taught high school English in the second-least populated state in Japan."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "I'm a huge fan of TV so there are just too many shows to pick from but for movies, which I also love, two of my favorites are Gosford Park — for its perfect execution (ha!) of the British murder mystery, and The Birdcage — for the splendid character acting and the overall exuberance, energy, and (spoiler) eventual happy ending."
- Best advice you've ever received? "It's not the falling down that counts; it's the getting up."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "Students should expect to be engaged — which is a two-way street, active and just ever-so-slightly overwhelmed by all of the fascinating details and disagreements about the past and the importance of our attempts to understand them."
IAN SPELIOTIS '14, ENGLISH TEACHER
Ian Speliotis graduated from Brooks in 2014 and went on to St. Michael's College to pursue a bachelor's degree in English literature. Post-college, he completed a two-year fellowship at Culver Academies, where he was a member of the athletics department and coached ice hockey and lacrosse. Following his time at Culver, Speliotis joined the English department at The Frederick Gunn School and continued his endeavors at the rink and on the field.
- Why did you want to work at Brooks? "Because it is an opportunity to return to a community that did so much for me as a student. Now, I get to make an impact as a faculty member in a place that has noticeably transformed into something much greater."
- Goals for the year? "My main goal for the year is to bring a lot of positive energy on a consistent level to the many different activities that take place on campus. I think students respond to passion and energy, so hopefully being able to spark that within them, as well."
- What is something about you that might surprise students? "I think my interests in music and film come as a surprise to people. I have sort of a strange and unassuming taste that I think will catch students off guard. I won't go on to say I am a talented writer, but my interest in the subject has brought me to a pretty wide variety of options that all lend themselves well to conversation."
- Favorite movie or TV show? "Lately, it has been Stranger Things. It's a great mix of sci-fi, horror and humor. I'm totally immersed every time they drop a new season."
- Best advice you've ever received? "The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement."
- What should students expect in your classes this fall? "To talk to each other! I love collaboration and communication so we'll go heavy on discussions."
OTHER RECENT STORIES
Exciting Opening Days
A weekend of orientations and events kicked off the 2022-2023 school year.
Our Fab New Five!
Get the background on and hear from the administrators starting at Brooks this fall.
"Artists Inspiring Artists Inspiring Artists!"
With the exciting news that one of her artworks was recently selected for an international exhibition, Art Department Chair Babs Wheelden is living her motto.