Faculty & Staff Directory
Advancement Associate. Julia received her bachelor’s in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Management, concentrating in environmental sustainability, ecotourism, and sociology from Johnson & Wales University. She went on to obtain her master’s in Nonprofit Management, also from Johnson & Wales.
Director of Library Services. Jan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University. She served as head of the Lawrence Branch, Mercer County Library System, prior to joining the Prep faculty in 1979.
“It is a unique place that expects the very best from its students and teachers, and at the same time, provides a community that serves as an envelope of care—Prep is just that place. In so many ways, we are encouraging our students to be serious risk-takers while knowing that the outcome may or may not be as exactly planned. I am also so grateful that as a community of learners, we have chosen to express our commitment to the quest of knowledge with an awe-inspiring school library — certainly one of the best in the city for providing guidance and resources.”
Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. Becky received her bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado College and pursued postgraduate studies at Colorado State University in Public Communication and Technology with an emphasis on strategic visual communication. As a graduate student, Becky was an instructor in the Journalism and Media Communication Department and taught computer-mediated visual communications classes.
Becky has extensive experience in fundraising, communication management, and public information campaign development and evaluation. She also has a keen interest in design, and studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design and the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. Prior to joining the Prep Advancement team, Becky managed communications and fundraising at a social enterprise focused on poverty alleviation and college-readiness.
Becky and her husband Chris are native New Mexicans and are happy to be raising their daughters, Sylvie and Romy, in Santa Fe and at their family farm in Cundiyo, New Mexico.
School Counselor. Mikahla also teaches health and co-facilitates the peer mentor program. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Colorado College and her master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in youth at risk from The College of Santa Fe. She is a licensed mental health counselor. Previously she worked in school and clinical settings doing crisis intervention and family therapy.
11th/12th Grade Dean of Students, U.S. History Teacher, Director of Strength and Conditioning. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Masters of Arts in liberal arts from St. John’s College. Mark co-owned a gym for eight years and wrote on strength, fitness and movement for Breaking Muscle and The Wirecutter. Mark teaches the 11th grade U.S. History course that covers the colonial period through WWII. The class offers a wide variety of instructional materials including a traditional text, primary and secondary source scholarship as well as fiction, essays, podcasts, etc. As the students are kids of the Southwest, the class also includes a great deal of regional history and current events discussion to further connect them to the problems and possibilities of their home region.
Breakthrough Associate Director. Originally from Albuquerque, Jordan graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in International & Intercultural Studies and Spanish. After graduating, she taught English in Puebla, Mexico as a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Grantee. Jordan worked for three summers as a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow, and she is happy to be back working full-time in the Prep community.
Assistant Athletic Director, Middle School Athletics Director, Varsity Swim Coach and Middle School PE teacher. Dave received his Bachelor of Art degree in History from James Madison University. Currently, he is working on his Masters of Science Degree in Sports Management. His professional background is in coaching. Dave has coached for over 30 years at the club, high school and college level in multiple sports. Dave enjoys his free time biking and spending time with his family.
“I believe a teacher helps students to understand how they learn; what works, and what doesn’t. The most important aspect of this process is to work with students within a structure that each student builds; they are self-reliant, and can direct themselves to achieve.”
Davis New Mexico Scholarship Assistant. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College. She also teaches Latin at Fayette Street Academy. Sarah rowed on a crew team in college and coached for two years after graduating. She has lived in Japan, Texas, Washington State, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, but plans to stay in New Mexico for as long as possible. Though Santa Fe will never have enough water for a rowing team, the mountains and gorgeous weather are hard to beat.
Head of Middle School, MS Pre-Algebra. A 1994 graduate of Prep, Chris holds a BS in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and an MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. He was a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore, MD, teaching 4th grade for two years. Since returning to Prep in 2003, Chris has taught in the science, math, history and P.E. departments at Prep and has coached over 25 teams. Away from school, Chris loves basketball, travel, and spending time outdoors with his wife Sheena and son Aris.
“The early adolescent years are as critical as ever. At Prep, we strive to engage, challenge, support, nurture, and inspire our middle school students to be budding scholars and compassionate and responsible community members–and win their attention over screens, soundbites, and playing it safe.”
Upper School Spanish Sheena earned her BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida and spent a semester abroad in Granada, Spain. Sheena’s passion for travel and culture continued after university, when she spent a year traversing ruins and volunteering in Central and South America, led two trips to Costa Rica with high school students from her previous school in Florida, and worked as an Academic Dean for Oxbridge in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently working toward her M.A. in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Spanish Linguistics and Indigenous Studies. Sheena maintains an active lifestyle and enjoys hiking, yoga, and snowboarding.
Latin. Marissa graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Spanish from the University of Colorado with an emphasis on language acquisition, cultural studies, and educational methods and theories. She has worked in both private and public schools in California and Colorado. Marissa is passionate about traveling and has studied abroad in the Dominican Republic, Spain, Italy, and Costa Rica. She has also led several student international trips. Apart from teaching, Marissa enjoys Salsa dancing, yoga, and spending time with her family. As she enters into her 12th year of teaching, she is excited to be part of the Prep and Santa Fe community.
Upper School Science. Jocelyne has been teaching middle and high school science for 19 years. She received her Bachelors in Natural Sciences, with a minor in Earth and Space from the University of Hawaii at Hilo; a secondary science teaching certificate from University of Hawaii at Hilo; and a Masters in Earth Science from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Jocelyne has a Level II secondary science teaching license with the state of New Mexico and previously held a professional teaching license in Colorado. Prior to teaching, Jocelyne was in involved in retail operational management.
Breakthrough Santa Fe Executive Director. Allie Cooper graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in global development studies and Spanish. She taught at Breakthrough Santa Fe as a teaching fellow in 2010 and 2012, and she is happy to be back at Prep overseeing Breakthrough’s high school programming.
Director of Advancement. Pamela received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Pomona College in French Language and Literature and her Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado Law School. After graduating from Pomona College, Pamela worked at The Walt Disney Company in Paris, France for four years and then as an editor at White Heat, Ltd., a publishing company. She later attended law school in Colorado and practiced family law for over 15 years prior to joining Prep. Pamela grew up in Colorado and loves visiting her family all over the globe including Colorado, England, Switzerland, Italy, California, and Georgia. Pamela enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Dale Lyons a native of Santa Fe, and their two children.
Performing Arts Department Chair, Acting. Brad holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston College and a master’s degree in education from City College of New York. He also graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, a two-year acting conservatory in New York City. Brad has also worked as a college counselor at Northeastern University, an actor in New York, and has been teaching since 2000.
“The best thing about teaching at Prep is the enthusiasm of our students. Classes are filled with students open and willing to participate in activities, and who respect each other’s work.” -Brad Fairbanks
Associate Director of Technology, Computer Science, Fencing, Speech and Debate. A native New Mexican born in Placitas, Ambrose graduated from Prep in 1993, and earned a BFA in graphic design from Colorado State University. He has worked professionally in the industry for over 15 years as a production artist, designer, art director, web developer, video editor, web standards guru, and copy writer, and he is a stickler for clean, semantic code. In addition to art, design, and code, Ambrose is an accomplished stage actor and working stunt performer.
Director of Studies. Kendel provides guidance and oversees the curriculum in both the upper and middle schools. Kendel has a bachelor’s degree in comparative religion and anthropology from Dartmouth College, and an MTS in comparative religion from Harvard Divinity School. She holds secondary level social studies certification through the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2001 – 2002, she was awarded a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
“Prep students are without a doubt tremendously well-prepared. But what really astounds me is their ability to make things happen! Of course, our students believe in themselves, but what sets Prep students apart is truly knowing they can have an impact and doing so with absolute determination.” -Kendel Fesenmyer
9th/10th Grade Dean of Students, English, M.A. Healy Chair for Teaching Excellence. Liz received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and her master’s degree from the Bread Loaf School of English. Before coming to Prep, she taught at schools in Boston and San Francisco. She is a native of Western Massachusetts.
“During a recent student-led Honors English discussions, I listened to 18 juniors/seniors who I hadn’t taught since 9th grade. Their depth of analysis and quality of articulation deeply impressed me. It was a great testimony to the teaching going on at Prep.” -Liz Friary
Assistant to the Head of School. A California native, Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from California State University Fullerton. Her professional background is in art and education, and she has worked for public and independent schools in California and New Mexico. Outside of work she enjoys exploring photography, travel and the fine art of cooking.
Registrar. Darlene received her bachelor’s degree in nursing science from Texas Christian University. She practiced nursing in multiple fields, including neonatal intensive care and medical surgical nursing education. She is co-owner of a home design-build company. Her passions include design, reading and gardening. Darlene’s son, Nash, graduated from Prep in 2006.
Operations Manager, Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor. Mel has been at Prep since 1997. Previously he spent seven years at the Pecos River Learning Center as maintenance supervisor. He has been a member of the Carpenters Union since 1997, and enjoys wood working and working on old cars in his spare time.
Science, Summer Camp Director. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the United States Military Academy, and a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Outside the education field, Jim has served as an army officer and production supervisor for General Motors. When not teaching, Jim enjoys being a private pilot, paragliding, paramotoring, and playing the guitar. His two sons graduated with Prep’s class of 2010 and 2013.
Spanish. Olga is a native of Barcelona, Spain. She received her bachelor’s degree in English philology with a minor in French studies from the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. While in college, Olga received an Erasmus Grant to study at Roehampton University in London where she lived for three years. Olga also holds a master’s degree in audiovisual translation by the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. Olga is passionate about traveling and languages. She is fluent in five languages and has studied a total of nine languages, including Russian and Basque.
Music, Chorus, Jazz Band, Chamber Music, Music Theory. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in jazz piano from the University of Miami. Chris has worked as a professional pianist/keyboard player for many jazz, pop, and rock bands, and he performs regularly in Sante Fe with his trio.
Maintenance Department. Mauricio grew up in a large family on a farm in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He has three children.
Assistant to Upper and Middle School Heads. Dina received her bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Indiana University and a graduate degree from St. John’s College. She was a classroom teacher for 25 years. Dina is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family, olympic-style weightlifting, and playing banjo.
English. Breshaun is currently a doctoral candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies department at the University of New Mexico. Her passion for teaching is matched only by her desire to continually learn how to be a better educator. Her current research explores how students make meaning from Shakespeare’s plays and how her teaching informs or infirms that process. She has taught for nearly twenty years in traditional and non-traditional learning environments from Shakespeare performance summer camps to college classrooms. Breshaun’s personal teaching philosophy is that a person learns best when exposed to new concepts and ideas and is then engaged in enjoyable and critical thinking activities. Ultimately, this leads to enlightenment.
English, Anthropology. Kristin received her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and her Master of Arts degree in cultural anthropology from California State University. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in language, literacy and sociocultural studies. Kristin is a native Santa Fean who enjoys raising her son and daughter here.
Life Science, Biology. Having grown up on a boarding school campus in Colorado, Robin’s teaching career has included experiences in day and boarding schools in England, and most recently, on the north shore of Boston. A graduate of Bowdoin College with an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, Robin received a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Ohio State University. Robin’s passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken her on a variety of student trips, including cultural experiences in Italy and Russia, sea-kayaking in Belize, and rock-climbing in Moab. When not at school, Robin enjoys photography, hiking, yoga, and watching her two sons play college soccer.
Head of School. Jim is entering his 20th year as Head of School at Prep; he also teaches a senior English elective in the spring semester. Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Williams College and a master’s in English literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Jim taught English and coached soccer and squash at Pomfret School in Connecticut; he taught English, learned to use a chainsaw, and served as Assistant Director at The Mountain School of Milton Academy in Vershire, Vermont. He and his wife Story have three daughters: Kelsey ’11 now living in New York; Molly ’12 now living in Boston; and Campbell ’20 entering 11th grade at Prep this year.
“Prep challenges all of us to bring our best selves to school each day. I hope the practice of aspiring and achieving here at Prep carries our students forward as they move into college and the wider world.” -Jim Leonard
Director of College Counseling. Story holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a Master of Arts degree from Dartmouth. Her 20-year teaching career has taken her from the Pomfret School in Connecticut, where she taught history and coordinated all counseling, to the Mountain School in Vermont, where she served as director of admissions and head of advising and counseling. She has taught history at Prep and currently coaches the girls lacrosse team. Story enjoys all sports and has dedicated herself to establishing and building the sport of lacrosse in New Mexico. She has three daughters, two of whom graduated from Prep.
Associate Director of Admissions, Director of Marketing. Mary received her Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from Denison University. Her professional background is in art and business administration. Prior to joining Prep, she owned and operated Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works with her husband Kent. In her spare time, she loves to run, bike, ski and share time with her family.
Upper School Science. Jeff has been teaching high school science and math for 8 years. He received his Bachelors in Chemistry from the University of Montana in Missoula, and a PhD in Chemistry from CU Boulder. Before becoming a teacher, Jeff did research and worked in several science and technology fields, including basic biochemical research on cancer pathways, database design for storage of genetic information, agent-based modeling of large industry supply chains, and quantitative finance. Jeff also received a Masters in Education specializing in teaching remedial math to middle school at-risk students from the College of Santa Fe, and has state educator licenses for teaching secondary Science and Math in New Mexico and Colorado.
Assistant Head of School, Head of Upper School. Suzie received a BA in mathematics and music from Drew University, and an MA and EdM from Columbia University. Before Prep, Suzie worked at schools in Washington, DC and New York. If she is not on campus, she is probably singing, trying new recipes, hiking, or solving a puzzle.
“The Prep community is built on thoughtfulness and trust: we assume the best in each other; we take the time to see and to know each other deeply; we listen with care and respect; we appreciate what each person brings to our community.” -Suzie Matthews
Algebra I, Precalculus. Born and raised in Santa Fe, Kaila received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of New Mexico. Kaila began teaching at UNM and worked in biomedical research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before returning to Santa Fe to pursue a career in secondary education. Kaila is excited to join the Math Department after tutoring, substituting, assistant-coaching the Speech and Debate team, and planning Prom 2017 at Santa Fe Prep. In addition to math, Kaila loves books, hiking with her dog, baking cakes, and science jokes.
Associate Director of the Library, Instructional Technology. Catherine has bachelor’s degree in geography from San Francisco State University and an MLS from Indiana University. Prior to coming to Prep, Catherine integrated library and technology services at schools in St. Louis and Washington, DC. She has also worked in software development and at independent bookstores from coast to coast. In her free time, Catherine enjoys reading, tennis, and being outside.
Front Office Manager. Anna is a Native of Nambé Pueblo. She was trained in Food & Beverage and Restaurant Management, and is also certified in Culinary Arts. She was a professional chef for several years and Assistant Manager of a 5-star restaurant in Princeville, Kauai. Prior to joining the front office at Prep in 2007, she served as the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Nambé Pueblo. Anna has a work history of office management, and has held several executive assistant positions. She loves to spend time making jewelry, beading, cardmaking and cake decorating. Her son is a graduate from Prep’s class of 2012.
Maintenance Department. John is a native Santa Fean whose family owns Cordelia’s Restaurant. An avid bowler, he is also a devoted dad to two daughters and a son.
3-D art. Photography. Matt earned his Masters in Fine Arts from UC Berkeley, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with Department Distinctions. While at UC Berkeley, he received the prestigious Eisner Prize for Visual Art and was named as a Fellow with the Arts Research Center. After graduation, he taught at UC Berkeley before deciding to listen to his intuition and move to the quiet and rugged desert near Abiquiu, NM. He quickly fell in love with the mountains, clean air, and 100 mile views offered by the area, and decided to settle in Santa Fe. Matt is a practicing artist and is represented by several contemporary art galleries, including Form & Concept in Santa Fe. He has shown his work across the country, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Berkeley Art Museum. Matt’s artwork has been collected internationally and has been published in New American Paintings, The Wall Street Journal and several other publications. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and training for ultra marathons.
Director of Admissions. Michael graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in education and social science and earned his master’s degree from St. John’s College. He helped launch Breakthrough Santa Fe on the Prep campus and served as the program’s founding director for eight years. Prior to Prep, Michael spent 10 years teaching in northern New Mexico.
History, Global Studies. Dan has been teaching at Prep for 13 years. His primary class is 8th grade Global Studies and he has also taught multiple history courses in the upper shool. Dan received his bachelor’s degree with a double major in communications and theater arts from Metropolitan State College in Denver. Prior to becoming a teacher, he was a theatrical lighting designer and worked at such places as the Santa Fe Opera and the Denver Center Theater Company. His passion is traveling and he has been fortunate to have traveled and lived extensively throughout the world.
“Some of the best things about teaching at Prep are the creative, compassionate colleagues, working in a beautiful environment, and teaching students who are engaged, creative and fun.” -Dan Murray
Spanish, Breakthrough Student Support Coordinator. Marvin graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in foreign language education and Spanish literature. He has assumed various roles in the field of education with particular emphasis in access to opportunity. A jack-of-all-trades, Marvin delves into a variety of hobbies including dancing, acting, running, traveling, and writing.
7th Grade New Mexico History, Service & Environmental Learning Assistant. Lisa graduated from The Colorado College with a degree in Southwest Studies, earned her NM K-12 teaching certification at the University of New Mexico, and has completed many graduate level courses in a variety of Southwestern topics. A native Santa Fean from a family of educators, Lisa has taught and tutored in public and private schools locally. Lisa has worked in the museum world as well: as a field researcher in northern New Mexico with the School for Advanced Research; as an educator at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; and in the development of educational programs for the New Mexico History Museum. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, especially exploring the outdoors.
“The cool thing about Prep is that we give students tools that they will go on to use for a lifetime. Importance is placed not only on the content of classes, but on mastering the skills necessary to be a lifelong learner. In doing so, our students learn how to be active and engaged participants in the wide world around them.”
Math, Director of EE Ford Summer Teachers’ Colloquium. Drew earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire, and his master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College. He is also a CPA. Prior to joining Prep, he taught at the Academy for Technology and the Classics and at Waynflete School in Portland, Maine. When not in the classroom, Drew enjoys gardening, hiking, cooking and time with his wife.
“Prep is a positive community of passionate learners where all are given the tools they need to succeed and the space to do so.” -Drew Nucci
English. Lily teaches 8th and 12th grade English at Santa Fe Prep. Lily grew up in Manhattan, Iowa, and North Carolina, and has worked and studied many other places; she came to Santa Fe in 2017 to write her PhD dissertation on nature and religion in southwestern literature. In her English classes, Lily approaches the study of language and story as a practice of building ethical and ecological consciousness, cultivating compassion and attention, and nurturing each voice in community. Along with books and the people who read them, Lily loves dance parties, the earth and its creatures, and movies about space.
Davis New Mexico Scholarship Student Support Intern, Alejandra graduated from St. Edwards University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. Alejandra had the opportunity to be part of Breakthrough Santa Fe and the first generation of Davis New Mexico Scholars. She is excited to be back in Santa Fe and still be part of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship community here at Prep!
Fine Arts Department Chair. MS 2-D Art, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Yearbook, Art History. Alex is from southwestern Oklahoma. He received his BFA with specializations in Drawing and Printmaking from Cameron University. Alex received his M.A. in Studio Arts and Art History, and a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was an Advanced Opportunity Fellow.
Alex has taught at several college institutions including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Institute of American Indian Arts before coming to Prep. He is also a Master Printmaker. Alex maintains an active studio art practice working across media. He regularly shows his work locally, nationally, and internationally. Alex’s work is held in many private and public collections such as MoCNA, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, School for Advanced Research, and museums in Europe.
Alex’s work along with writings about it, have been included in several publications. He is an occasional contributor and exhibition critic for First American Art, a periodical devoted to the arts of North and South America.
Math Department Chair, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Precalculus, Statistics. Aiyana received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education from the College of Santa Fe. Aiyana has taught at Santa Fe Prep for 11 years. In addition to teaching mathematics, Aiyana has co-led trips to Nepal and Mongolia for Prep students. In addition, she has taught at the Rio Grande School, The Institute of American Indian Arts, Ortiz Middle School, and Santa Fe High.
Russell Spinney, PhDrspinney@sfprep.org
World History. Russell is the tenth grade world history instructor and the head of the history department at Santa Fe Prep. Russell graduated from Colgate University with a bachelor’s degree in history, German and Japanese studies. He earned his master’s degree from Middlebury College in German studies and his PhD in modern German history from Pennsylvania State University with additional academic work at the Humboldt University in Berlin, a research fellowship at the USC Shoah Foundation and teaching fellowships at the US Holocaust Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Russell started teaching history and English at the Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. He has lectured at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, taught in the Berlin German public school system, and worked with at-risk youth in the Baltimore public school and juvenile justice system to help them advocate for themselves in the legal system and in their communities, particularly through urban farming. Russell also co-founded the Emotion Studies Network for the German Studies Association, and is currently finishing a new co-authored book on the history of emotions in German studies from 1500 to the present. At Prep, Russell has been the faculty advisor for the Model UN, writing, and a capella clubs, and he facilitates the Convergence TAP, which brings together students from all over Santa Fe to help create more opportunities for youth in the city, especially for young writers, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. When he is not teaching, Russell loves spending time with his family, gardening, cooking, singing, hiking, camping, yoga, and coaching T-ball and youth soccer.
Maintenance Department. Alfredo was born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico and has two children. Alfredo enjoys working at Santa Fe Prep and making it a great and clean environment.
AP Environmental Science, Biology. Lindsey received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College and is currently a doctoral candidate in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at the University of Utah. Lindsey partnered with K-12 classes in the Salt Lake City area as part of an NSF funded grant to make graduate students better communicators of science. Her favorite stint was AP Environmental Science, and she is looking forward to adding a personal and scientific touch to APES and to 9th grade biology.
Lindsey has experience in scientific filmmaking and crowdfunding. In her spare time, she trains horses and teaches riding to people of all ages and abilities.
Mathematics, Chess Coach. After earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brandeis University, Joey embarked on a career as a professional artist and glassblower. He studied glass art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Pilchuck Glass School, before following his future wife out to New Mexico in 2003. After building and operating a glass shop and gallery in Pojoaque, Joey returned to his first love of philosophy and academia, teaching math and chess at Pojoaque Valley Middle School. Joey is an amateur scientist, proud nerd, voracious reader, gardening enthusiast, and chess fanatic who enjoys backpacking and skiing the mountains of New Mexico.
Biology. Marc is a native of Connecticut and began his career as an educator/mentor while working as an aide in the Philadelphia public schools while completing his undergraduate studies. Marc went on to learn and teach at a wilderness skills program in Connecticut before turning to Environmental Outdoor Education for Nature’s Classroom at various locations in New England. After completing a master’s degree in environmental ecology and working with endangered species of amphibians, Marc worked at independent schools in Connecticut and Virginia, where he taught science, coached lacrosse, and started wilderness mentoring programs. When he is not connecting to students, Marc enjoys working on wilderness skills, fermenting anything, and wandering to new places.
Davis New Mexico Scholarship Director, History. Sam graduated from Carleton College with a degree in history and religion before moving to Santa Fe, where he worked for the organization Citizen Schools at De Vargas Middle School while receiving his Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University. In 2012, Sam began working at Breakthrough Santa Fe at Santa Fe Prep, where he eventually served as Co-Director of that program. In 2017, Sam became the Director of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship, the largest private scholarship program designated solely for New Mexican students in the state’s history. Throughout his tenure at Prep, he has taught various upper school classes in the history department. When not at work, Sam likes to play music and explore the great outdoors.
Learning Specialist, Director of Multicultural Life. Claire earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in learning disabilities from the University of New Mexico. Claire has participated in extensive training in neurodevelopment and learning differences and completed an internship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She has worked as a trainer in teacher education programs in Central and South America, and is a former national faculty member of Schools Attuned. A lifetime resident of New Mexico, Claire has worked in public, pueblo, and private school settings as a teacher and as an administrator. Claire is the mother of Sofia Bomse ’18.
P.E. Department Chair, School Health Coordinator. Rennae has a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and has taught PE at Prep since the fall of 1990. Over the course of her career at Prep, Rennae has been a soccer and dance coach, and has seen teams through 3 State Soccer Championships and 2 State Dance Championships. Rennae is a certified official for the NMOA in the sports of spirit, swimming, and track and field, and spends many weekends officiating high school athletics. Rennae is also a long-time member of the Ilfeld Volunteer Fire Department.
Director of Service and Environmental Learning. Eric has more than 25 years experience working with children in academic and outdoor education programs. He has taught at Rowland Hall St. Marks School in Utah and Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. He has also led Outward Bound programs in the US and Australia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences from Cornell University and his master’s degree in humanities from St. John’s College.
Spanish. Jessica Ryan has been teaching high school Spanish for over ten years. She earned her B.A. at Plymouth State University, where she double majored in Spanish and secondary teacher certification and earned a minor in French. She earned her M.A. in Spanish linguistics at Middlebury College. In addition to working with her students, Jessica is very involved in animal rescue. She has completed extensive research in feline ethology and has begun an online course in canine behavior and psychology. In her free time, Jessica travels, studies Mandarin and Italian, dances Argentine tango, is active in yoga, and is working through an online course to become certified in TESOL/TEFL.
Director of Finance. Bruce holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from American University in Washington, DC, and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He has been in accounting and finance for over twenty years with a wide range of companies.
Ceramics, Experimental Media, 3D Studio and New Media. Laura is a visual artist who has been based in Santa Fe for over twenty years. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally, and her work is included in numerous private and public collections, including the New Mexico Museum of Art. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College and her Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Art in New York City. She teaches from the perspective that process matters as much as result and believes that through art, students develop confidence, personal expressiveness and technical skills which aid them throughout their many future pursuits.
Middle School P.E., Health, Head Track and Field Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Assistant Cross Country Coach, Assistant Swim Coach. Tove has been a coach and personal trainer in the private sector since 1994. She has also been a member of eight US triathlon/duathlon teams and is a 3-time All American in these disciplines. She joined the coaching staff of SFP in 1998 and has a BA in physical education.
English Department Chair. Leslie started her higher education at the conventional age, majoring in English with concentrations in French and German literature at Wellesley College. She then received an MA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe. In what might most easily be described as a mid-life crisis, she returned to St. John’s at the age of 40 to receive an undergraduate degree in the Great Books program as well, before earning her master’s in English literature at CU Boulder. At Colorado, Leslie co-taught courses in Early American Literature, American Literature and Shakespeare. She is delighted to be back in the Prep community where her two children Griffin (’08) and Hillary (’10) matriculated. Outside of class, you might find her skiing in Taos, hiking with her dog Dexter, or cheering on the Blue Griffins at any sporting event.
Library Assistant. Jen received a Bachelor’s of Arts in psychology from North Central University, Minneapolis, MN. Her professional background is in Property Casualty Underwriting Insurance and clothing tech design. Jenn spends her free time with family and friends enjoying the beautiful outdoor life in New Mexico.
English. A Native of central Texas, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Service from Baylor University and a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. She worked in the field of international security before transitioning to fiction-writing. She has taught literature and fiction at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) since 2006. Her novel, Out There, won the 2015 Indiefab Editor’s Choice Award for Fiction. Sarah is the mother of four wonderful children: Caroline, Helen, Liza and Jack. When she is not writing or reading or playing legos, you may find her in her garden. Sarah is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the historic El Zaguán. She is completing a new novel entitled Finding Michael Finnegan.
Business Office Manager. Christella is originally from Velarde, New Mexico. She has 15+ years accounting experience, primarily from working at large-scale construction companies in the Santa Fe and Los Alamos areas. She has two daughters.
Pre-Calculus, AB Calculus, Advanced Math Topics. Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching from Rice University. Before joining Prep, she taught at St. John’s School in Houston, TX, as well as for the School Year Abroad program in Viterbo, Italy.
Algebra II, Assistant Learning Specialist. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Wyoming. Her studies were primarily focused on abstract algebra and Hilbert Space analysis. Sarah worked for several years as a tutor and teaching assistant at the University of Wyoming. She has also worked in children’s musical theatre and volunteered as a coach for children’s running and nordic skiing programs. She is a CRLA certified professional tutor and a NOLS certified wilderness first responder. Sarah is very excited to be living in New Mexico and teaching at Prep!
Language Department Chair, Spanish. Anna has an undergraduate degree from Brown University in comparative literature and a graduate degree from St. John’s College. She spent two semesters as a student at Prep when her family was on sabbatical here in Santa Fe. Anna also studied for a year abroad in Barcelona.
Alternative Languages Coordinator, Latin, Blue Griffin Chair for Teaching Excellence. Carla received her Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies from Wesleyan University and her Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, where she was a University Fellow.
English. Rob is the author of a novel, NICKEL (Leaf Storm Press), and two critically acclaimed essay collections, Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge and Daddy Needs A Drink, both published by Delacorte Press.
A teacher for twenty-five years, Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.
“Change happens in the classroom.” -Rob Wilder
Kathryn Wasserman Davis Chair for U.S. History
Modern U.S. History and Middle Eastern Studies. Nick graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and North American affairs from Colorado College. He received licensor training at the College of Santa Fe. Nick has enjoyed teaching in both public and private institutions over the last 20 years. He grew up in Santa Fe and is an avid outdoorsman.
“Today’s students, tomorrow’s leaders.”
Mandarin Teacher. Born and raised in Santa Fe, Julianne began her Mandarin study in 1992 at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. She later transferred to Shanghai Foreign Language University to study Mandarin and Chinese history. In Shanghai, she worked as a translator and cultural liaison for several transnational businesses, but found her true passion in language teaching and cultural exchange when invited to help establish an English-Chinese bilingual program at Peigen School Kindergarten, in Dalian, China. Julianne has taught Mandarin to students in Santa Fe since 2001 while raising her two beloved boys.
Associate Director of College Counseling. Matt is from the notable, no-stoplight town of Altamont, Kansas, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in comparative studies in race and ethnicity. During college, he studied abroad in Switzerland, Russia and Germany, interned at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, coordinated a scholarship competition and helped run the Stanford Powwow. Following graduation, Matt worked as a college admission counselor at Stanford and Caltech, often supplementing his experience by collaborating with College Horizons, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Questbridge, and other programs supporting college access and retention for students from low-income, first-generation and minority backgrounds. In addition to working with Story Leonard in College Counseling, he also coaches baseball.