Welcome New Faculty 2018-2019

Sturgis welcomes 26 new faculty members for 2018-19.  California, Cape Cod, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Morocco, New York, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington DC!

Chris Adams

Chris Adams, Latin – West

Originally from New York, I studied Ancient Greek at Vassar College before moving across the country to pursue graduate studies in classical philology at the University of California at Berkeley. In my time at Berkeley, I’ve taught classes in Latin language and literature, Roman history, and writing composition. I am thrilled to be joining the faculty at Sturgis West this year. The IB Latin program is a great and dynamic curriculum, and teaching Latin to beginning students alongside a modern language offers an exciting opportunity to reflect with students on Latin’s place in history and its relationship not only to the past but to our present. This will be my first year teaching high school students, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Jen Agel

Jen Agel, History – East

I graduated from Sturgis in 2013 and went on to study history at Smith College. I’ve been working in museum education since graduating and will now be teaching 10th Grade History at Sturgis East. When I’m not being a teacher, I am a folklorist, an avid mountain biker, and love gardening, cooking and my dog, Harper!

Nicole Barrell, English – East & West

Nicole Barrell

I’m excited to join the English department at Sturgis for both East and West. Teaching is a second career for me; after earning a Bachelor’s in Journalism from UMass Amherst and then a Master’s in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, I worked for a decade in marketing/tech for various companies around Boston, all while writing on the side. I’ve worked in corporate events marketing, which allowed me to travel around the country and abroad, and then most recently in digital marketing, managing websites for various institutions and companies. My tech experience will come in handy at Sturgis; part of my role this first year will be to help revamp the school website!  

I’m so thrilled to embark on this new path—to enter an already welcoming and lively school environment (bye, cubicle!) and meet fellow faculty and students. I’m especially thrilled to be working back on the Cape. (I grew up in Harwich and attended Harwich Public Schools.)  You’ll find me at the beach on the South Shore, where I live now with my husband, or walking/running with our beloved yellow lab, Lily. And when writer’s block isn’t rearing its ugly head, I’ll be finishing the sequel to my first novel, a thriller set on Cape Cod! I feel honored to be a part of the Sturgis community and can’t wait to see what this first year brings.

Tim Brannelly, Latin – East

Tim Brannelly

Although I grew up in Dover, MA., I have spent my summers on Cape Cod for as long as I can remember. After I graduated from Cornell with a degree in Classics I took a job teaching Latin at Barnstable High School. Although I enjoyed my time there, I soon realized that I wanted to pursue graduate study. I received my M.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a thesis that examines the poet Ovid’s use of legal language in his work the Amores, a collection of poems on the theme of love. Currently, I am in the final stages of completing my doctoral dissertation (also at UVA), which analyzes Ovid’s manipulation of the divine figures Jupiter and Juno in his work on the Roman Calendar known as the Fasti.

I have traveled several times to Rome – perhaps my favorite city – where I initially spent a semester studying at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies. More recently, I was in Rome last summer for a month conducting research at the American Academy. Last summer I also traveled to Shanghai, China where I presented a paper at an international conference called “Globalizing Ovid,” which coincided with the bi-millennium of Ovid’s death. I also spent a year in Athens, Greece as a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies. During that time, I had the good fortune of visiting a plethora of ancient sites and temples throughout mainland Greece and the Peloponnese. I am excited to join the Sturgis community and to return to the Cape. When I am not working on my dissertation I spend my free time on the golf course, on the tennis court, or boating around Pleasant Bay in Chatham where I cast the occasional rod in the vain hope of catching a fish.

Victoria Diamond, Special Education – West

Victoria Diamond

I am absolutely thrilled to join the Sturgis community for the 2018-2019 school year! For my first year at Sturgis, I will be part of the Inclusion Support team at Sturgis West. Cape Cod has been my home for my entire life. I went through the Barnstabe School system up until my third year of highschool where I left to go to boarding school in Natick, MA at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Following boarding school, I attended Dean College in Franklin, MA where I graduated with my AA as a dance major. In search of something more, I decided to take a gap year where I moved on to pursue yoga. I have taken two yoga trainings and am now a 500 Hour Certified Yoga Instructor. Studying yoga allowed me opportunities to travel to places including Costa Rica and Italy where I took part in yoga retreats. Yoga inspired me to return to school to deepen my understanding of mankind and the human mind. I earned my BA from Curry College in Plymouth, MA as a psychology major in 2017. I am so grateful to be welcomed here at Sturgis and I am beyond excited to help our students become the absolute best versions of themselves!

Laurie Gatchell

Laurie Gatchell, Math – West

I was born and raised on Cape Cod, but I have lived all over the east coast for the past 6 years and am finally moving back. I graduated from Falmouth High School and then attended UMass Dartmouth where I graduated with my bachelors degree in Mathematics in 2012 and masters in Math Education in 2013. After finishing my degrees I moved with my husband to South Carolina. He is a Nuclear Machinist Mate in the US Navy. In South Carolina I completed my first year of teaching at Timberland High School. After only 18 months my husband and I were relocated to Groton, CT. There I taught at the Math and Science Magnet school of Southeastern Connecticut.  In the fall of 2015 my husband and I welcomed our first little girl, Grace and she was closely followed by her sister Claire in the fall of 2016. I took a few years off to raise them and I taught adult education at night. All of this finally brings us to this big move back to cape cod. My husband has completed his time in the Navy and I am very excited to be teaching at Sturgis. I will be teaching algebra 2 and math studies 1 at Sturgis West.


Heather Glenny, English – West

Heather Glenny

I am so excited to be back in the Sturgis community once again! After graduating from Sturgis East in 2012, I studied Art History and Education at Stanford. While out in California, I loved adventuring out for hikes, embarking on quests for the best pizza on the West Coast, and playing drums in band. After graduation, I accepted a fellowship in Tra Vinh, Vietnam teaching college courses in English Speaking and Listening as well as running a soccer and leadership program for girls in Cambodia and Vietnam. I returned to the Cape to caretake for a family member, wrapped in the fiercely generous and warm communities I had taken for granted growing up. This past year, I received my Master’s in Art and Museum Studies with a concentration in Museum Education at Georgetown University. I was stoked to get to work at the Smithsonian American History Museum and National Museum of Air and Space, developing educational programs and eating burritos with astronauts (!!!).

I’m excited to continue learning from Sturgis educators and students, and to share my love of art and literature and the threads that bind them. I’m thankful to be back on the Cape surrounded by nature and the rumbling meows of my 19 pound cat/king, Gilbert. I can’t wait to hike, run, and be a part of the supportive and quirky community at Sturgis!

Caley Henderson

Caley Henderson, English – West

I grew up in a house full to the brim with books in West Hartford, Connecticut. Maybe because I was homeschooled until ninth grade, it felt like my entire childhood was spent reading, traveling and being outside. All of these activities are still deeply important to my life. After a summer full of reading and road tripping, I’m thrilled to be coming to Cape Cod as a member of the Sturgis West English department this fall. 
Teaching has long been a passion of mine: I’ve been tutoring students in writing for over nine years and leading classes for homeschooled students in literature and writing for around six years. While attending Middlebury College I studied education. During college I continued to travel—practicing my Chinese for a semester in Kunming and traveling to Thessaloniki, Mexico City, Montego Bay, and The Hague for debate competitions. When I wasn’t studying or debating, I spent time outside: backpacking, running, meditating, reading and making deep friendships. 
I’m excited to do all of these things on the Cape in the coming year, but mostly I can’t wait to join the vibrant and welcoming Sturgis community.

Kelly Houston

Kelly Houston, Science – West

I am thrilled to be joining the Sturgis West community as a Biology teacher. For the past twelve years I have taught science to high school students and coached teachers in Brooklyn, NY. During my time in NY I earned two masters degrees and have worked for the Museum of Natural History and Sci Ed Innovators. Prior to that I taught in Malawi, Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer where I met my husband who is also joining Sturgis this year! I love to travel, kayak and make cakes, but most of all I love being a mom to our two children, Josh 7 and Emily 5. I am excited to be back in Massachusetts where I have a lot of family and where I attended  the University of MA, Amherst and and earned my bachelors in Biology. I am excited to explore Cape Cod with my students and to dig into the IB curriculum!

Thomas Houston

Thomas Houston, History – West

I will be joining the Sturgis West faculty as a History teacher this August.  I am excited to work with students to discuss the most fascinating hot topics in the IB curriculum. I started teaching in the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa 15 years ago, where I met my wife and new Sturgis teacher, Kelly Houston.  I then taught Global Studies, US History, and Constitutional Law for over a decade at the School for Law and Justice in Brooklyn, NY.  I love to teach using simulations, trials, and in-depth student centered projects. I have been coming to the Cape for years, but am now a permanent resident with my wife and two children: Joshua and Emily.  I love all outside activities including running, kayaking, and riding my fat bike.  I am also a Reservist in the US Coast Guard and will be working in the port of Boston for marine safety during school breaks. I am looking forward to working with all the students and faculty at this fantastic school!


Chelsea Hunt, Math – West

Chelsea Hunt

I am very excited to be joining the Sturgis team this year and to be a part of such a welcoming community! I will be teaching Math at Sturgis West for the 2018-2019 year. Originally, I am from Rochester, New York and my visit to Sturgis earlier this year was actually the first time I had ever been to Cape Cod. After graduating from the State University of New York at Oswego with a B.A. in Math and a B.S. in Adolescent Education in Math, and receiving my math teaching certification through New York State, I moved to South Korea to teach English at a Korean public school. Living and teaching abroad exposed me to the opportunities that the IB program offers students, and I look forward to being part of a school that supports the IB program for all of its students. Most of my hobbies allow me to stay active, preferably outdoors. I also enjoy playing a wide variety of sports, particularly ice hockey, soccer, and a newly acquired sport, Gaelic football. I am always looking for book recommendations, am a huge Boston Bruins fan, and enjoy traveling to new places and exploring the world around us.

Mary Lincoln

Mary Lincoln, Admin Assistant – East & West

I am excited to be joining the Sturgis community as CAS Co-Coordinator- East & Administrative Assistant- East & West! I received a Masters in Education for School Counseling and Psychology at UMass Boston and have enjoyed working within the Freshman Dean’s Office at Harvard over the past fourteen years. Part of what I enjoyed most within my roles was assisting incoming freshmen as they became acclimated to their new college community. I recently relocated back to the Cape from the Boston area and enjoy paddle boarding, beach hopping, and exploring all the outdoors has to offer with my dog, Mya and friends. I recently became a certified Kind Yoga teacher, and find great satisfaction spreading random acts of kindness when the opportunity presents itself.

Jocelyn McCree

Jocelyn McCree, Special Education – West

I am honored to join the Sturgis community as an Inclusion Support Specialist at the west campus.  I am appreciative to be a part of the kind and inclusive community.  I live in Mashpee and have 3 children- a 6th grader, 8th grader, and a 9th grader.  In my free time I enjoy riding go-karts and playing UNO with my kids.  Prior to this, I served in a similar role for a public school off Cape.

Zoe McInerney

Zoe McInerney, Admin Assistant – West

I am so excited to join the Sturgis team. I grew up on Cape Cod, graduating from Harwich High School. I earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology at Clark University and an MA in I/O Psychology from the University of Connecticut. I have done various things over the years, almost entirely at non-profit organizations.  I have worked as research staff at several places in Boston and on the Cape. My favorite job (so far) was the seven years I spent as the youth services librarian at the Dennis Public Library. Most recently, I have been working at Healthy Children, a maternal-child health focused non-profit in Sandwich.  I live in Dennis Port with my husband, Tim, our three children – Connor, Xander (twins and current 10th graders at Sturgis East) and my daughter Aoife (who is entering 6th grade at Lighthouse Charter this year and is a future member of Sturgis class of 2025), a standard poodle named Fiona and a hedgehog. I read and knit constantly (often at the same time – thank you audio books!) and I am always happy to chat about books or recruit a new knitter.

Scott McNair

Scott McNair, Business – West

 “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”  –Winston Churchill

This quote is very true of my career in Business.  I have achieved success with organizations such as the YMCA, Crabtree and Evelyn, Foot Locker and Work N’ Gear.  Along the way, there were times of failure as well. It was the courage to continue beyond both success and failure that ultimately prepared me for the amazing opportunity to teach IB Business at Sturgis West!

I hold a degree in Business Management from Plattsburgh State University.  My wife, three children and I moved to the Cape from New York in 2011 and have not looked back since.  My eldest daughter just graduated college this spring and is an RN. My son will be a sophomore at Framingham State University in the fall and my youngest daughter will be a 10th grader at Cape Cod Academy this upcoming school year.  I have a vast array of experience and a passion for coaching and playing sports. You can often find me cycling through the local towns and villages or at the national seashore body surfing some of our famous Cape Cod waves.  I am both excited and grateful to be joining the Sturgis community!

Megan McPherson

Megan McPherson, Special Education – West

Hi! My name is Megan McPherson. My family is originally from Boston but I grew up in Wisconsin. I attended the University of Minnesota (go gophers!) where I studied art, art history, and social justice. I worked as a special education para for two years before deciding to move back to the east coast with my sister. I’ll be working in special education inclusion at Sturgis West and my sister will be teaching math right down the road at JPII. We’ve spent the summer remodeling our condo, hitting the hiking trails all over the Cape, and trying very hard to not to lose our cool in all this traffic!

Shayna Meisel

Shayna Meisel, English – East

I am so excited to be joining the Sturgis East community as part of the English department! I’m originally from a small town in northern New Jersey called Sparta (and yes, I’ve heard all the Sparta jokes). I’ve spent the past 6 years in Baltimore, MD—first for undergrad where I studied English literature and Russian at Goucher College, and then as a Teach for America corps member while simultaneously earning my Masters from Johns Hopkins University. In my free time, I love to travel—so far I’ve been able to live in the UK, Russia and Israel as well as visit France and Scotland. You can almost always find me with a book in hand—I’m a Jane Austen junky—and I’m working on a novel of my own. I am so thrilled to become a part of the close-knit Cape and Sturgis communities!

Ari Mendez

Ari Mendez, Spanish – East

My name is Aristides Mendez, but everybody calls me Ari. I will be teaching Spanish 2 this year at the East campus. My first experience with Sturgis students was last Spring coaching sailing which was an amazing experience! I am from Colombia, where I taught different areas related to one of my passions: the ocean. I studied marine biology, I am also a scuba diving, technical diving, scientific diving and Emergency First Response instructor, and a rebreather diver, amongst other things. I have also been a commercial diver for more that 10 years.

Teaching has been a passion of mine and I was able to teach in my own diving school, in several schools and universities in Colombia,  and the Colombian Navy. I have had the opportunity to travel to many diverse hispanic countries which has allowed me to gain a unique cultural understanding of each place I visited. I believe this is something I will be able to translate into my Spanish classes, by giving students a range of hispanic cultural examples that will enrich their language acquisition and show the importance of learning a second language in today’s world. I am very excited about this year at Sturgis!

Joe Nystrom

Joe Nystrom, Science & Math – East

Greetings Sturgis Friends and Families! I was born and raised in Worcester, MA (pronounced WISTAH), and have been living on the Cape for six years. I studied Civil and Environmental Engineering as an undergrad at UMass and Math Education as a graduate student at Framingham State. I was halfway through my doctoral studies at UMass Lowell when I had to decide between working at the university level in central Massachusetts, or continuing to teach at the high school level near the ocean. I made the right decision; I love Cape Cod and I consider my classroom my laboratory.


Tara Ponce

Tara Ponce, Special Education – East

I am so grateful to be part of the wonderful team here at Sturgis. The culture here is unsurpassed and I truly feel as though I am in the right place! I was raised on Cape Cod and happy to be back on the Cape after traveling around the country in the U.S. Coast Guard. I just finished my BS in Health Management from Northeastern University and I look forward to extending my knowledge every day in the classroom with students. I enjoy beach days, clamming, stand up paddle boarding, and spending as much time as possible with my husband and two children.

Aliza Ray

Aliza Ray, Science – East

I am thrilled to begin teaching at Sturgis this Fall! After graduating from Bard College with my BA in Biology, I began working as an NOAA fisheries observer on various commercial fishing boats around New England. I then moved on to the Marine Biological Labs, where I worked in various environmental science labs. Inspired to go back to school, I enrolled in the University of New Hampshire, where I earned an MS in Marine Biology, studying the impacts of ocean acidification on winter flounder.  While at UNH, I discovered my enthusiasm for teaching. I am really looking forward to helping students realize their excitement for biology, whether it be from the lab bench or beyond to the amazing natural environment of Cape Cod! I spend as much of my time outside and on the water as possible, and always have a knitting project within arm’s reach.

Tyler Sheldon

Tyler Sheldon, Special Education – West

I was born in Manhattan and spent the first years of my life there, in the orbit of various community gardens, West Side playgrounds, and my especial favorite, the Museum of Natural History. After seven years, my family moved west to Bainbridge, an island of a similar size (though with fewer people) off the coast of Seattle. To bridge some of that distance, we continued to visit the East Coast regularly, staying with aunts and uncles in Falmouth and Nauset.
I lived on the island until I graduated from the local high school in 2013. The next year, I painted a great many houses and was thus able to visit a great many countries with two good friends, hiking and working our way through parts of Oceania and Southeast Asia. I returned to school the next year at Middlebury College in Vermont. There I spent two years taking the most eclectic courses I could find, hoping to discover an all-consuming passion. I trapped and banded birds, read the Arabian Nights, and lived a semester in southern Chile. I spent a pair of summers working at camps in Washington and Colorado. Eventually I ended up studying Computer Science with a particular focus on computing with distance and space – the work felt like an intricate puzzle. As a department tutor, I spent my evenings puzzling with others, working through complex concepts together.
I graduated from Middlebury this year, and spent the summer hiking in Vermont, Washington, and Colorado. This fall, I am grateful to be back on the Cape and back to sharing puzzles.


Sarah Stair

Sarah Stair, Science – East

My husband (Michael), Boxer (Guinness), and I are very happy to have made the Cape our new home!  Our daughter is a senior at the University of Vermont majoring in animal science.  I grew up in Iowa and attended college, medical school, and completed my residency and fellowship there. I moved from Iowa City to McLean, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC, where I joined a private practice as a pediatric eye surgeon. I took care of infants and children with all kinds of eye disease and adults with misaligned eyes. After 11 years I took some time off to be more available for my family and we all decided that it was nice not having both parents on call.  Because I had always loved training residents and medical students I decided to try my hand at teaching full time. I took classes at GW University and was hired at Frost MS where I have been teaching physical science for the last 8 1/2 years and loving every minute of it. I am very excited to teach at Sturgis and cannot wait to make the Cape my new home!

Emily Stanford, Math – East

Emily Stanford

I grew up in Michigan and got my BA in Mathematics and MA in Educational Techonology there.  I have taught in three different midwest states (MI, IL, MN) and overseas in the Philippines, New Zealand and Morocco.  My husband and I are relocating to the Cape from Casablanca, Morocco and are excited about having regular internet service!  We are also bringing the two cats we rescued in Morocco.  I have been an IB Examiner since 2009 and prefer teaching in IB schools.  I will be teaching Math at Sturgis East. My biggest interest is travelling and I am looking forward to exploring the Cape and New England.

Andy Swetz, English – East

Andy Swetz

I’ve been teaching English for four years and absolutely love what I do.  I am originally from Connecticut where I graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in English literature. Next, I ventured to Boston where I earned my Master’s in Teaching from Northeastern University.

For the last two years I taught 9th grade English at Excel Academy in East Boston. Before that I taught at a school in south Brooklyn in New York City. I started my teaching career right here on the cape at Cape Tech. This year I am thrilled to be teaching 9th grade English and English SL1 at the East campus.  

In my free time I love to be outdoors! I enjoy hiking with my Australian Shepherd, biking, and kayaking. I am an avid reader and love to devour both non-fiction works and classic fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Herman Melville, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Wendell Berry, and Charles Frazier. I also love staying informed on current events and politics through podcasts, radio, and newspapers. I think it’s our responsibility as people to stay informed, constantly ask questions, and engage in discussions with people from all walks of life to enrich ourselves and our communities.


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