Thirteen new faculty join the MBS community this fall. With diverse talents and viewpoints among them, these audacious educators have brought a new electricity to campus so far this year.
Ms. Philicia Levinson who joined the MBS community last year as a math teacher, will be assuming a new position this year as the school’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She will continue to be a member of the math department teaching Quantitative Business Analysis in both the fall and spring semesters. She enjoys teaching the class “because of the connections it makes between math and the real world.” As a teacher, Levinson is driven by her love of “sharing knowledge and public speaking.” Prior to coming to MBS, she already had experience as a CFO for a publicly-traded staffing company, as well as teaching business math courses at Kean University. Levinson believes that her past experience will be invaluable, stating that, “my new role is a combination of all the things I have done before so I can now combine my passion for teaching and education with my finance experience.” In her free time, she enjoys baking, music, and football. She particularly enjoys “rap and hip-hop,” music which she acknowledges “always surprises people.” Levinson said that she views “the faculty, staff and the students as my customers and I am here to help however I can.”
Ms. Joanne Goldberg is returning to MBS after a three-year absence. In her past time at the school, she served as both a Grade Dean for the class of 2012 and 2016, as well as a teacher in the History department. Previously, she enjoyed teaching AP US History, stating that, “I loved the challenge of combining the rigorous AP curriculum, and its daunting voluminous content, with our more progressive MBS curricular philosophy.” This year, she will be working in College Counseling for the first time. She said that “I will be able to draw on my past experiences in the classroom and as a dean, but learn some new things about higher education.” In addition to her work in College Counseling, she plans to continue teaching in the History department with an elective in the spring of next school year. This, in part, stems from her “interest in the founding of our nation and the development of democracy and its future.” Ms. Goldberg has a diverse set of experiences in her time outside of MBS. She has worked as a “labor and employment lawyer at a New Jersey law firm,” as well as “a law clerk for a Federal judge and a fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Labor and Education.” She is also a mother of two, including a daughter who graduated from MBS in 2017. Above all else though, Ms. Goldberg takes to heart a student-centered philosophy. She feels that “If the students feel that you are in their corner and they can trust you to have their best interests at heart, the rest will flow from there.”
Design Arts & Sciences
Mr. Matt Martino, already familiar with the MBS community from his experiences redesigning Wilkie Hall and designing both the Math-Science Center and the Center for Innovation and Design, will now be teaching at MBS full time. Teaching in both the Middle and Upper Schools, Martino says identifying what draws him to MBS “is easy. It is all about the positive energy … Everyone is truly happy to be here and I am proud to be a part of it.” Graduating from architecture school with the “feeling that a great design can change the world,” Martino hopes to inspire “students to pursue an education and possibly a career in a design field.” He also plans “to work with faculty to help integrate new technology and equipment, like our new laser cutter, to create custom teaching aids.” Surely at home at MBS, Martino and the rest of the MBS community await the opening of the Center for Innovation and Design and all that it will bring!
Ms. Mairead Forrest will be joining MBS full-time in the English Department this year after working as a maternity subsitute last year. She will also be serving as the Head Coach of the Girls Varsity Soccer team. She believes that her time playing Division 1 soccer at the College of the Holy Cross has prepared her to balance her intense schedule as a teacher and coach. This year, she will be teaching Humanities English 11; Writing Our Lives, a class dedicated to personal essays and memoirs; and Intro to Creative Writing. In these courses, she’s excited “to see the result of my hard work validated in real-time.” In high school, she enjoyed taking classes like English and History, and surprisingly Psychology. She said that “Psychology really highlighted the differences between people and I guess that made me feel less weird.” Despite this, it was in college where she would discover her true passion. In her junior year of college, she took an English seminar centered on the work of Geoffrey Chaucer. Her teacher inspired her, and made her realize that she wants “a job where I can learn every day.” As to why she decided to return after teaching interim last year, she said, “I kind of stumbled into MBS and really bonded with the kids” and that she, “fell in love with the atmosphere and it was a tough idea to not be here for their senior year.”
Ms. Rebecca Van Horn will be joining two areas of MBS this year as a member of the English and History Department. From Humanities History 9 with Freshmen to an Advanced Study in Modernist Literature with Seniors, she will be utilizing her wide-ranging background in many parts of the school. She previously taught and facilitated international education in London for Northeastern University while she pursued her Ph.D. at Drew University. She said about her experience that “In international education, our mission is to care for the whole student by serving their intellectual, emotional, and social needs,” and that, “Those skills directly translate to what we do here at MBS on a daily basis.” Her interests being rooted in the humanities, it’s only natural that her favorite subject in high school was Art History, “followed closely by British Literature.” In her free time, she enjoys traveling, which she said is a good way for her to put her “foreign language skills to the test.” In addition, she enjoys going to high-quality bakeries, going flea marketing, and fixing vintage motorcycles. Ms. Van Horn wants “the community to know that I feel privileged to join such a dedicated, talented, and enthusiastic group of learners and educators.”
Dr. Jordan Reed was “sitting in my advisor’s office trying to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated. He said something to the effect of ‘why are you anxious about what’s next? You’re going to be a teacher. That’s what your passions are leading you to.’ I realized he was right.” His research for his Ph.D. focused on the authorship of American history textbooks. After completing his PhD at Drew University, he led the Graduate Student Association and worked in the Office of Graduate Admissions. He also taught college-level courses at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before that, he worked in political opposition research and in marketing at a background screening company.
This year, Dr. Reed looks forward to challenging the history textbooks. He explained, “textbooks are the first exposure many (if not most) students have to history. This makes them especially potent. What your textbook says about history will likely shape your worldview for the rest of your life as a student…I also find this a very good reason to look beyond textbooks.”
In his Humanities History 11 class, “Students will have textbook readings, but the primary purpose of this is to give them a shared starting point rather than a definitive understanding of the past.” In doing so, students are employed with “the analytical skills to create our own understanding of our collective past.” Outside teaching history, he “come[s] from a family of excellent bakers, so naturally I like baking. I make an excellent cobbler, pumpkin cheesecake, and coffee cake. Outside of baking, I love the NFL season, especially Sunday afternoons.” Dr. Reed is thrilled to be at MBS because of its commitment to 21st century education. He said, “The last few years I’ve been interested in innovative teaching that meet the needs of the present. Cathy Davidson’s book The New Education has been particularly inspiring. In it, she argues that the model of education common in the 20th century no longer is effective in the 21st. So, with this in mind, I find it ideal to teach at a place like MBS, which is squarely moving in the right direction with its eyes on the future.”
Mr. Liam McNamara joins the math department this fall. Teaching Integrated Math 1, Integrated Math 3, and Calculus, McNamara is especially excited for his Calculus classes, “because Calculus allows me and the students to think a little differently about how math is done and how it relates to the world around us.” Previously teaching both mathematics and chemistry at a Charter School in Newark, McNamara is excited to “seek an integrated approach [to teaching] that is cross-discipline. He looks “forward to being able to discuss scientific topics in the math classroom to show the importance and the underlying connections between math and other subjects.” In addition to teaching, McNamara is a vocal member and member of the Board of Directors in a community choir in Manhattan, the West Village Chorale. He is “absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work at MBS, and to teach with such an amazing student body and awesome colleagues.”
A recent graduate from Hamilton College who “adores riddles and puzzles of any kind,” Mr. Ryan Tamburrino is also joining the math department this year. Similar to his fellow new colleague, McNamara, Tamburrino is very excited to teach calculus, where “we get to explore some beautiful mathematical concepts.” A believer in collaborative learning, Tamburrino “plans to have students work together as much as possible,” and says, “I love seeing students work together and help each other. The best way to learn is to teach, and I try to incorporate that into class as often as possible.” Outside of the classroom, Tamburrino designs and folds origami in his free time. Additionally, Tamburrino hosts a radio program that focuses on typography and fonts, his love of which was “sparked by a Chinese art class in college. I was spellbound by the intense contrast of life-like ink on paper.” Tamburrino looks forward to the “tremendous challenge” of his first year of teaching that lies ahead!
Ms. Rose Costanzo joins the math department this year after previously working as an executive assistant of technology training at a flooring company, Costanzo now teaches Integrated Math 2 and Integrated Math 3. A believer that “the skills gained while studying mathematics are transferable to all areas of life,” Costanzo wants her “students to be able to approach a new topic, in math or in life, with the skills to persevere until a greater understanding is achieved.” Costanzo credits many of her high school teachers and elective classes, such as Public Speaking, 3D Design, Photography, and Wood Shop, for developing her critical thinking and skills. She too hopes to “help her students grow into outstanding members of society.” Outside of teaching, Costanzo is a hiker and enjoys road trips. She also “loves being involved in the community and interacting with people. Everyone is welcome to come by to work on math or just say hello!”
Mr. Nick Corley loves to garden in his free time. It makes sense, given his adept ability to grow a vibrant production from the pages of a script. This year, he directed the MBS fall play The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project. He had “a great time rehearsing with the student cast and exploring this material. It is so important to continue to examine the causes of hate and “otherness” in our society. It is a beautiful piece of theater and I feel lucky to be here working on this.” Prior to MBS, Corley was a part of numerous Broadway productions, sharing that “Getting the chance to be part of a Broadway show is a huge honor and it is great fun getting to work with everyone who is at the top of their field.” In the past, he has “worked with many talented young performers including Paul Dano, Jessie Eisenberg, Jason Fuchs, and Nick Jonas.” A professional actor and director, Corley is “currently playing Touchstone in New Jersey Shakespeare Festiva’ls production of As You Like It.” When he was in high school, he “was active in the arts with Band, Orchestra, choir, and all the school shows.” As fall play rehearsal progress, Corley said he loved “watching the depth of each person’s performance grow. I love seeing their humanity and compassion.”
Dr. Angela Hahn was looking to leave NYC and now calls MBS her home. She is teaching two sections of Chemistry and two sections of Biology this year. After completing her graduate studies at Stanford School of Medicine, she did a postdoctoral fellowship in myelin repair at UCSF, taught Microbiology and Genetics at a University in northern Minnesota for 2 years, and then taught Chemistry, Biology, Evolution, and Human Disease classes at schools in NYC for 5 years. Outside the classroom, Dr. Hahn loves to “create things – – quilts, clothes, sculpture, paintings, garden beds, cards… and I have a new interest in playing pickleball.” She explains that “Though my favorite subject in high school was studio art, the most challenging one was chemistry, so I went off to college to be a chemistry/art double major.” Her love for biological research stems from “the mix of logic, creativity, methodical organization, and serendipity that all need to happen in order for an experiment to work.” In her postdoctoral fellowship, she worked with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which “gave our research a very concrete purpose.” She was later drawn to teaching because “As a teacher, the topics I share with my students are much more connected to my everyday life and I constantly feel that knowledge enriches my experiences outside of the classroom.”
Mrs. Bridget Marcato has been a part of MBS for the past five years, assisting Mrs. Joyce Kramer three days a week. as well as working “t the Academy of St. Elizabeth part-time. This year, however, she will be taking on the role of full-time nurse. She stated that she is “thankful” for her time working with Kramer, who she valued as “a mentor who was so committed to MBS!” Besides her nine years of experience as a school nurse, her academic pursuits in high school foreshadowed her interest in healthcare. She liked Biology and Psychology in school, which are obviously “important subjects to know and be good at being a nurse.” These subject areas are reflective of her how she holistically approaches her work, wanting “all students to not only be physically healthy but to feel good mentally and social.” Her personal life is equally as diverse. Mrs. Marcato lives in Morristown with her husband, four children, and dog Charlie. She enjoys many outdoor activities such as “walking, hiking, and going to the beach especially. I also love to cook, garden and paint.” As for joining the school full-time, she said that she loves “MBS and am here to help. I hope the students will feel comfortable stopping by the South Wing and seeing me in the health office whenever they need anything.
Ms. Adriana Arroyave has a deep interest in human rights, which “has shaped my modern views by helping me challenge my own biases and judgments, while trying to understand the underlying issues that affect us all.” After studying human rights at the University of Antioquia, she “had the opportunity to work with different groups of women exploring topics related to violence, poverty, and gender inequality that are still pervasive. After returning, I continued to work with a grassroots organization called Witness for Peace, assisting groups of women based in Colombia. All of these experiences have shaped my views, understanding, and desire to continue contributing to society in positive ways.” After teaching at other schools in the state for almost a decade, she is thrilled to join the MBS community, an environment which “fosters an environment for growth and learning.” She employs her passion for human rights to all areas of her life as it is part of who she is: “Coming from a family of immigrants, where we had to overcome cultural, language, and economic barriers, I have first-hand experience of the challenges that come with starting over in a different country. In my case, education has been my point of reference and the best opportunity to climb the ladder of success.”