Welcome New Faculty 2015 – 2016

New FAC BEST

Sturgis welcomes 17 new faculty members for 2015-16. They join us from Austria, California, Cape Cod, China, Maryland, Massachusetts, Morocco and New York. Some of you may recognize six teachers who are not new to Sturgis but are in new positions this year.

Martha Armenti, English – East and Robert Armenti, Mathematics – East

Bob and Martha Armenti

Bob and Martha Armenti

Originally from Akron, Ohio, I (Bob) have a BA in philosophy and an MA in teaching secondary mathematics.  My wife, Martha, was born and raised in western Pennsylvania and has a BA is in English and MAs in education and administrative science. Our interests include tennis, bridge, music, the outdoors, and reading. 

Our two children, graduates of the University of Maryland, are married and pursuing their own careers, so the time is right for us to indulge our urge to teach in an international school. Newly retired from rewarding careers teaching in the public schools of Baltimore, Maryland, we feel very fortunate to have been hired by Sturgis and look forward to joining the community and to exploring the Cape.  

Aimee Baker, Special Education – East

Aimee Baker

Aimee Baker

My family and I have recently moved here from California; we are washashores for sure. We are a Coast Guard family, and this is our 9th move. I have an undergrad degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Child Development from Cal State Monterey Bay. I have a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix. I have taught in various capacities in all but two of the states that we have lived in. I love to play, watch, and participate in most sports. I will be the new JV Girls Volleyball Coach for Sturgis East. I came to Sturgis last year as a substitute teacher and was really intrigued with the culture and environment of the school. I am excited for this new adventure as a full time Inclusion Specialist.

Chris Beard, History and Special Education – East

Chris Beard

Chris Beard

I am thrilled to be returning to Sturgis Charter School with a slightly new role and am looking forward to a great school year. This year I will be teaching a section of US History and continuing to work with the Special Education Department.

Sturgis Sailing Club

Sturgis Sailing Club

I also had the opportunity to coach the Sturgis Sailing Team last spring and will be continuing on in that position. I began teaching sailing as a junior in high school and it was this early experience and passion for teaching which led me to pursue a career in education. I attended the University of Maine, earning both a B.S. and M.Ed. in Education. I am from Bar Harbor, Maine, home to Acadia National Park. Growing up in Maine I developed a love for the ocean and the outdoors. I was living in Portland before moving to Cape Cod a year and a half ago with my girlfriend.

Marie Bonilla, Spanish – West

Marie Bonilla - Ireland 2009

Marie Bonilla – Ireland 2009

Hola Sturgis!  New to Massachusetts, I am looking forward to teaching Spanish at Sturgis West.  I was born in Puerto Rico but left at an early age.  I developed a love for different cultures and in particular for the English language. As a little girl, I had pen pals from all over the world and was always mesmerized by the National Geographic’s maps and its photographs.

I attended Catholic University in Ponce, PR, Georgia Southwestern College and the University of West Georgia for my Masters.  I spent most of my teaching career teaching ESL/ESOL in Georgia before I moved to Buffalo, NY.  In Buffalo, I taught both in the public school system and at SUNY Buffalo State College.   At BSC I taught Spanish, ESL, ESL methods, and special summer programs for Professor Scholars from China.   I am excited and proud about this awesome new job at Sturgis.  I am so impressed by the caliber of the Sturgis staff!  I want to thank everyone who has already reached out to welcome me even before meeting in person.  

My favorite activity is traveling.  I have traveled for various purposes such as volunteer work, studying, and pleasure.  I enjoy learning new languages and making jewelry.  My students also provide great enjoyment in my life because I learn from them as well.   I am looking forward to a new life on the Cape!!

Truc Bui, Mathematics – West

Truc Bui

Truc Bui

Born in Vietnam, I immigrated to the U.S. with my family when I was twelve years-old.  After graduating from high school, I studied electrical engineering in college, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t cut out to be an engineer for the rest of my life; so, much to the chagrin of my parents, I returned to school to obtain my teaching certificate in secondary math education and have not looked back once.

After six years teaching in Montgomery County, Maryland, I decided to venture overseas where I taught at various American and international schools, first in Bolivia and Colombia, then Taiwan and Jordan, and finally Austria. Coming back to the States after so many years of traveling and wandering around the world, I very much look forward to discovering yet another unknown territory – Cape Cod, working at Sturgis West, meeting new people and learning all about the New England culture.

Aaron Crowell, Biology – East

Aaron Crowell

Aaron Crowell

I arrived at a career in education via a circuitous path through Colby College in Maine, training marine mammals as a professional animal behaviorist, and finally as a pre-vet student and lab technician at the University of Georgia.  A funny thing happened on my way to vet school when I realized that my work as a teaching assistant for the veterinary schools aquatic health maintenance class and for the short course for professionals in the field was more rewarding than either my work with animals or in the lab.  I switched to an education track and left the university as a science teacher.  My first real job after student teaching was at a small private school at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine where I taught biology and coached the mountain biking team.  Since then, I have spent the last seventeen years at Cape Cod Academy and have taught a full range of classes from sixth grade science to AP Biology.  I have also coached soccer, lacrosse, and a winter physical conditioning program.

It is a privilege to be included in the Sturgis community teaching biology on the East campus.  I have admired the work the school has done over the years and the impact it has had on the larger community.  I look forward to working with such accomplished colleagues and an enthusiastic and engaged student body.

Steve DeTora, IB Business – East

steve detora

Steve DeTora

I was born and raised on Cape Cod and attended Barnstable High School before graduating from UMass Dartmouth in 2011 with a degree in Marketing. I worked for several years in the business field before being hired at Sturgis in December as an Assistant to the Director of Operations and Finance. This will be my first time teaching IB Business and I hope to pass along some of my real-world experiences that will relate to our curriculum. I currently live in Sandwich and enjoy going to the beach in the summer, working out and playing sports with friends. I am a huge Boston sports fan and would love to get into coaching someday. I am excited to begin teaching while continuing my administrative role and am looking forward to a great school year.

Amanda Hulse, Special Education – East

Creighton and Amanda Hulse

Creighton and Amanda Hulse

I grew up in Texas and always knew I wanted to be a teacher (or an author…or a Broadway star). My mom was a teacher for over 35 years and it was such a natural fit for me. I have a BS from the University of North Texas in Early Childhood Elementary Education and ESL, but I’m really looking forward to a new challenge at Sturgis East as a part of the inclusion support team. This summer, my husband Creighton (Spanish at East) and I found out that we’re expecting our first child in January, so it’s sure to be an exciting year all around!

Mike Jeghers, Special Education – West

Mike Jeghers

Mike Jeghers

I am very pleased to be embarking on my first full year here at Sturgis as Inclusion Support after starting my position last December of 2014. After graduating Sturgis in 2010 and pursuing the full IB Diploma Programme, I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Psychology and Political Science. I became heavily involved with Fire-Rescue and served the town of Amherst as a Firefighter/EMT for two years. I have loved my experience at Sturgis and plan on pursuing my Master’s degree in counseling this spring.

At the end of my college career I had known that I wanted to pursue adolescent education due to the positive motivation and inspiration I received from my college professor in Social Psychology. I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to join the outstanding Sturgis community once again as a faculty member and help our students on their journey to conquering the IB. I could not be more proud of our students for what they do!

Diane Kovanda, Wellness – East

Diane Kovanda and Tara

Diane Kovanda and Tara

I am so happy to be joining Sturgis East and look forward to meeting everyone and working on wellness – creating fitness, stress resilience and mindfulness with every student at East! I am originally from Prague, Czech Republic and speak fluent Czech and English. I’ve lived on Cape Cod for most of my life. I have worked in the field of Wellness, Fitness, and Stress Management for years – teaching people strategies to be more effective, healthy and less stressed in life. I have been working with local businesses to implement ways to make work less conflicted and more productive.

I have a Master’s degree in Education with a specialty in Stress Management. I also have an extensive background in body/mind approaches to wellness including training in mind/body medicine with Herbert Benson, MD at Mind Body Medical Institute, and also training in mindfulness. I will bring a healthy dose of wellness and stress reduction to our wellness class to balance out all your hard work and studies.

Katie McIntosh, Counselor – East and West

Katie McIntosh and Duke

Katie McIntosh and Duke

I grew up on Martha’s Vineyard but have called Cape Cod home since I was 18. I have a background in work with adolescents and teens going back to 2005 when I began working as a case manager in a social service agency. This work inspired me to pursue  an MSW which I received from Boston University School of Social Work in 2011. I completed my final internship in the Falmouth School system where I worked counseling students from elementary through high school and assisting the out-of-district coordinator. I had the good fortune of coming on board at Sturgis shortly after graduating and working part time with the Special Education Department providing counseling to students with IEPs on and off for the last 4 years . You may have seen me on campus in the past with my trusty social work companion, Duke, a golden retriever who has been helping me with my work for the last 7 years.

I am very excited for the opportunity to formally join the Sturgis Team. (Duke is also very excited). I will be present at both campuses. I maintain LICSW licensure as well as Massachusetts licensure for school adjustment counseling. I am leaving a clinical social work position at The Duffy Health Center in Hyannis where I have been working for the last 4 years providing counseling focused on mental health and substance abuse issues. I look forward to returning to work with youth and contributing to the success of students and educators by offering support, guidance, and interventions that address social and adjustment issues and barriers to learning. My personal interests include equestrian sports, literature, travel, social justice, and spending quality time with my husband and one-year-old daughter.

Kristin Nissen, Guidance – West

Kristen Nissen

Kristen Nissen

Hi again Sturgis–I can’t seem to stay away! I am thrilled to be returning to the Sturgis family, reconnecting with friends, and working with the community as a counselo​r at West​. Having just earned my Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus in school counseling, I am excited to take the next step in my career. I am wholly dedicated to supporting students’ social and emotional well-being and development, as well as helping students navigate their present and future academic and career interests.

After bouncing around New York City and Boston for the last three years, I am looking forward to living by the water again and having the freedom to escape to the mountains and some of my favorite places in Maine on the weekends. I love listening to good music, dogs (maybe this year’s the year I get a lab puppy?!), and have rediscovered the joys of coloring!

Alyssa Pohlman

Alyssa Pohlman

Alyssa Pohlman, Math and Special Education – East

After a wonderful first year as a Math Inclusion Specialist with the Special Education Department at Sturgis East, I am very excited to be returning with an additional role in the Math Department teaching Integrated Math 9.  Prior to my first year at Sturgis, I enjoyed 15 years in my first career as an environmental engineer and consultant. Originally from the Midwest, I received a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois.  I then moved to Washington, D.C., where I earned a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, met my husband, and began our family of three children. We moved to Falmouth eight years ago and quickly grew to love Cape Cod living.  During the summers you’ll find me at the beach, exploring salt marshes with my kids, kayaking in ponds and harbors, and mountain biking in the Crane Wildlife Area. I look forward to continuing to work with the dynamic faculty and students of Sturgis.

Lisa Sears, Latin – West

Lisa Sears in Tirano, Italy - July 2015

Lisa Sears in Tirano, Italy – July 2015

My name is Lisa Sears. I live in South Dennis with my husband and three daughters and will be teaching Latin this year.

Last year, I taught Wellness at Sturgis East while I finished my graduation requirements at the University of Massachusetts- Boston, where I studied History and Classical Languages.

I graduated from UMass Boston last May and spent the summer visiting Greece and Italy. I am passionate about the Classical World and the Latin language, so to visit the museums and archaeological sites of Greece and Italy was a dream come true for me.  I even participated in an archaeological excavation on Mt. Vesuvius!

I am so proud and excited to be joining the Sturgis West community and I am looking forward to a wonderful school year.

Nadia Selim, History  East

Nadia Salim

Nadia Salim

Born in San Francisco, California into a multi-cultural family, I spent my childhood living and learning all over the United States and abroad in Kuwait. I moved to Montana when I was 16 and graduated from high school and college there.  At the University of Montana, Missoula, I majored in History and minored in Central and Southwest Asian Studies. After undergrad, I spent two years working in Washington, D.C. for an NGO that assists refugees in the Middle East through humanitarian and education projects. While I loved the organization and its mission, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, so I went back to school and earned an M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, I applied for and received a Fulbright teaching grant, and spent the year after graduation teaching at a public university in Tetouan, Morocco. I then moved to Casablanca, Morocco to teach high school history at an international school. Now I am in Massachusetts, so I clearly like states and countries that start with the letter “M”!

I am excited to be joining the Sturgis community this year! I will be at Sturgis East teaching 10th grade U.S. History II and 11th grade IB History SL.

Natalie Sheeler,  Music –  East

Natalie Sheeler

Natalie Sheeler

Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, I grew up playing every musical instrument I could get my hands on, swimming on a team or in the creek, and making art out of whatever I could find. My interests brought me to study Music Education and the Fine Arts at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. There, a geography course introduced me to the wonderful land of Asia, which left me itching to go back. So, after meeting my talented (chef) fiancé while I was working on my Master’s degree in Comparative Education from the University of Pittsburgh, I found myself teaching music and art in Shanghai, China.

Though I’ve had a blast exploring and learning about Asian cultures for the last five years, I am excited to join the team of excellent Sturgis East educators and to breathe the Cape’s fresh air! I look forward to sharing my hobbies and travel experiences with you all!

Catherine Yates, Counselor – West

Catherine Yates

Catherine Yates

I am excited to join Sturgis West this year as a school counselor.   I have been in the field of counseling and advising students for the past fifteen years and love this work.  For the past six years, I worked as a College Counselor at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA, a school in the Coalition of Essential Schools.  I look forward to my work at Sturgis with its mission of IB for All.  I earned my undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and my Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.

My husband and I recently relocated near the Cape and are excited to experience coastal living!

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