- Instrumental Music Faculty
Did you know we have a recording artist on our faculty? Look no further than our new music instructor, Tony Bonjorno. Derryfield is thrilled he has chosen to join this community; he also plays the violin and other string instruments, and worked on three musicals this summer alone. When asked why he felt Derryfield was the place he needed to be, Tony responded, “The moment I walked through the door, it felt like home. I loved it. I so appreciate the welcome I've received upon joining the Derryfield family.” Tony, who received a B.A. in English Language Arts & Education from the University of Washington, has taught voice, violin, and songwriting. He comes to us from Surry Village Charter School, where he was their k-8 music teacher. He will be teaching instrumental music at Derryfield, and has already made his mark on the program by adding a ukulele section to the sixth grade creative arts curriculum. We can hardly wait to hear what they produce!
Pierce Ellinwood - English Faculty
One thing most people notice about Derryfield is the sense of community, and new teacher Pierce echos that saying, “When I first got to Derryfield, I felt a sense of community among the faculty and students that resonated with me coming from a boarding school. When I taught a sample lesson, the students were engaged and thoughtful in their participation, and everyone was eager to be involved.” This family feel was part of what enticed our new English teacher to join Derryfield, where he is excited to get involved in all aspects of the school. This New Hampshire native will also help coach Alpine skiing and lacrosse. He says, “skiing is a huge passion of mine and I grew up ski racing for Pat's Peak and Waterville Valley. After spending four years in Indiana for college, I've loved being back in New England to make use of the winter.” We are glad he is back, too, as one of our upper school English teachers. Pierce received a B.A. in English Writing and Media Studies from DePauw University and comes to us from The Hyde School in Bath, ME, where he has taught English since 2014.
Brandon Gauthier - History Faculty
From New York City to Concord, NH, is a big change. What would compel Brandon, his wife, and nine-month-old daughter to make that change? When asked, Brandon says, “throughout my first visit, I was impressed not only by the faculty, students, and curriculum, but the kindness and happiness of the community as a whole. It was infectious. I caught a glimpse of a school in which there was so clearly a shared commitment to caring and character.” As someone who is “deeply in love with history,” Brandon hopes to foster that love of learning in the classroom and impart a greater appreciation and empathy among students for the humanity of individuals in the past and present. As a new upper school history teacher, he will certainly have that opportunity. Brandon received a B.A. in Political Science from Elon University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern History from Fordham University. He comes to us from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, where he had been an adjunct history professor since 2011. He is excited to engage with students in discussions about how our study of history matters for the here and now at Derryfield.
Reina Koistinen - Spanish Faculty
Serendipity brought Reina back to Derryfield. She had not been looking to change her job, but says, “When I heard there was an opening for a Spanish teacher, I knew it was the right time and place for me to return. I feel so fortunate to be here for so many reasons - the students, welcoming culture, excellent curriculum, and wonderful faculty and staff are only a few reasons. My own kids went to Derryfield, and I also loved the school as a parent.” When Reina teaches, she tries to imagine how she can engage all students all of the time. She wants to give her best to her students and advisees, trying to create a highly interactive and comfortable environment so students can learn and risk. “If I am doing my job well, I usually end up leaving pretty tired!” We are glad to have Reina back.
Tracy Rusch - Math Faculty
With varied experience in teaching, from secondary school to university, Tracy brings a wide assortment of skills and enthusiasm to her new role as an upper school math teacher. When asked why she felt Derryfield was the place for her, Tracy responded, “My conversations with Peter Brandt about mathematics teaching philosophies. They were so energizing; it's a dream come true to teach in a place that actually embraces the type of math teaching that research says is most effective. Derryfield walks the walk, and you can readily see the results in the students -- magnificent!” Tracy received a B.S in Education from Boston University, a B.A. in Mathematics from University of Texas, Austin, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Sacramento, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from University of Texas, Austin. She has served as an independent consultant for mathematics and assessment since 2007. When not teaching and talking about mathematics, Tracy enjoys knitting, playing the Celtic harp, and sailing. Her most notable trip was in 2010, when she and friends crossed the Atlantic from Harpswell, ME, to The Isle of Wight on the southeast side of England via the Azores.
Peter Talpey - Math Faculty
When asked what drew Peter across the country (he had been living in Wyoming, working on a dude ranch no less) to Derryfield, he responded, “I immediately noticed a difference in the students from any other school that I had visited. They were so much more willing to engage with me during my guest class, and even in interactions walking around campus.” As a member of the upper school math department, Peter hopes to bring “some fresh energy and new approaches in math education.” Peter received a B.S. in Mathematics from Hamilton College and comes to us from The High Mountain Institute, where he served as a math apprentice. An avid outdoorsman, he backpacked around Colorado with middle schoolers this summer. He says after living in Wyoming, he has gotten into hunting and is excited for the opportunity to hunt deer in New Hampshire, and therefore provide myself with meat for the winter. He really enjoys eating meat that he has hunted and processed himself because he knows exactly where it came from.
Steven Young - Math Faculty
From big city to small. This was the choice of new math faculty Steve Young who, after seventeen years in the same apartment, moved from Brooklyn, NY, to Concord, NH, to join our community. You may wonder what enticed this mathematician out of the Big Apple, where he was teaching at Hunter High School in New York City. When asked, Steve says, “When I interviewed at Derryfield, it became clear that this is a wonderful, supportive community. Speaking with administrators and teachers, I felt that people here really care about students, about learning, and about making Derryfield a great school. Then I met some students and I knew this was where I wanted to teach.” Another new addition to the upper school math department, Steve received a B.S. in Mathematics from Union College, an M.A. in Mathematics from University of Wisconsin, and an M.S. in Computer Science from New York University. He comes to us from Hunter College High School in New York, where he taught math since 2007. Steve says, “As a teacher, the greatest reward is when a former student writes to tell you that your class was the place where they fell in love with the subject you teach. I hope that my classroom at Derryfield will become that kind of place.” We hope so too.