Ranney School Head of School Dr. John Griffith has announced several impressive new educators that will be joining the dedicated Ranney faculty this year. The newest educators join an already passionate faculty, bringing with them a wealth of global experience and perspectives. The connection between students and faculty is one of the hallmarks of a Ranney education, as all of the Panther faculty, staff, and administrators are committed to knowing and valuing every student at Ranney School.
Ms. Arielle Pocock will be teaching third grade. Ms. Pocock joins Ranney School from another NJAIS member, Stevens Cooperative School in Jersey City, where she taught kindergarten and second grade. At P.S. 396 and P.S. 7 Samuel Stern, she taught first grade. Ms. Pocock has also served as Camp Director, Accreditation Chair and a member of the Service Learning Committee at Stevens. She graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and earned her Master of Arts degree in the Literacy Specialist program at Teachers College at Columbia University.
There are two new fifth grade teachers joining the Lower School – Mrs. Sara Diaz and Ms. Annie Errickson.
Ms. Sara Diaz graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Languages, majoring in Japanese and minoring in French. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and did additional graduate work in language and education at George Mason University, University of Virginia, New York University, and Indiana University. Ms. Diaz taught for 17 years at Rumson Country Day School, earning Teacher of the Year accolades in 2019. She served on several committees there, including the STEAM, Technology, Diversity, and Curriculum Mapping Committees.
Mrs. Annie Errickson graduated from Caldwell University with a BA in Elementary education as well as a BA in Social Studies. Most recently, Ms. Errickson was a kindergarten teacher at Germantown Friends School. Prior to that, she was a fourth grade language arts teacher and lower school technology facilitator at San Domenico School in San Anselmo, CA. Ms. Errickson also taught Kindergarten and First Grade at Aspire Berkley Maynard Academy in Oakland, CA. At Emma Havens Young Elementary School, she served as a first and fifth grade teacher, as well as a kindergarten bilingual program teacher.
Lower School also welcomes a new Library Media Specialist, Mr. Mike Steele. Mr. Steele was the Associate School Librarian at The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY, where he maintained two library spaces and incorporated technology and digital resources in instruction across elementary grades. Mr. Steele has also taught fourth grade at Hannah Senesh Community Day School, as well as fifth grade at PS 133. He also has experience teaching drama and is a published playwright. Mr. Steele graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Sociology and earned his Master of Education in Library Media from East Central University.
Mr. Steven Fong, the newest Lower School Science Faculty member, has experience teaching first, second, and fourth grade science at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT. Prior to that, he taught in Greenwich Public Schools, as well as Glenville School, Horizons at Brunswick School, and Brunswick School. He also developed education programs at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center. Mr. Fong graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College, and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University.
Ms. Caroline Terrasson Honeysett will teach Lower and Middle School French at Ranney after working with French students for over 10 years. Madame Terrasson previously worked at Lyceum Kennedy in New York City. She has taught at French American Academy in Morris Plains and served as a tutor. She graduated from Universite D’Amiens with degrees in Psychology and English Literature, and earned her Master Degree in Education from Universite de Brest.
Mrs. Natalie Minichino will continue as the Middle School Learning Specialist. Her role in the division will now expand to include the Middle School Dean of Students. Mrs. Minichino had similar administrative experience prior to joining the Ranney community, and will easily expand her connections with students, faculty, and families in this regard.
Ms. Kathryn Maslak will be the new Upper and Middle School Theatre Director. Ms. Maslak was a theater major at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. She earned her Master in Education from Harvard University. She has directed 19 shows between her work at Friends Seminary in New York City, Fay School in Southborough, MA, Camp Wekeela in Hartford, Maine, Stage Right in Ridgewood, NJ and Brooklyn Children’s Theater in Brooklyn, NY. She has served as a Middle School Drama Teacher as well as Upper School Drama, English and History teacher.
Dr. Samuel Brannon will be taking over the reins of the computer science program and help coach the US robotics team. Dr. Brannon comes to Ranney from The Walker School in Marietta, GA, where he taught Computer Science. Prior to that he was the Upper School Technology Facilitator for The Steward School in Richmond, VA. He also served as an Instructional Designer and Lecturer at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Brannon has a Bachelor Degree from Johns Hopkins, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. from University of North Carolina.
Mr. Peter Reynolds-Wright will be joining the English and history faculty. Mr. Reynolds-Wright earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Lancaster as well as a Masters of Arts in History (Asia and Africa) from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He earned his Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Secondary History from the University of Oxford. Mr. Reynolds-Wright has taught at the International School of Siena in Italy, Aiglon College in Switzerland, and The Oxford Academy and Cheney School in the UK.
Dr. Mark Fitzsimmons will be joining the World Language faculty in the US. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Magna cum laude, in Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College before earning his Master of Arts in International Development Studies at The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He has a Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy in Hispanic Literatures from Indiana University. Dr. Fitzsimmons taught at Indiana University and has several published works, as well as speaking presentations and guest lectures. He also spent three summers in Leon, Spain with a full-immersion abroad program for advanced high school students, designing and teaching a seven-week intensive introductory survey of Spanish literature.
Mr. Russell Smith will be teaching in the science department and assisting with STEAM efforts and programming. Mr. Smith attended St. Anthony’s High School and earned his Bachelor of Science from Penn State, as well as a Master in Environmental Engineering. He was Senior Environmental Engineer and Environmental Compliance and Risk Assessment Specialist at Clarity Water Technologies. Prior to that, he taught High School Science and Engineering at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY, The Salisbury School in Canaan, CT, and Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY. Mr. Smith has also been an Educational Software Consultant for CORE ECS in Princeton.
Mrs. Leslie Patient, after serving as the Interim Dean of Student Life this past year, will become the permanent Dean of Student Life. Dr. Brad Holden, going into his fifth year as a member of the Upper School Faculty, will be taking over as English Chair.
Lauren Alizio has joined Ranney School as our Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and College Counseling. Ms. Alizio attended Notre Dame High School in nearby Mercer County and graduated Cum Laude from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Organization and Management Studies. Prior to joining our community, Lauren served as Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at her alma mater where she oversaw the campus visit, tour guide, and senior intern programs. Having served as the NJ territory manager for Gettysburg College, Lauren enjoyed meeting with students from Ranney School during her fall and spring visits each year.
Ms. Isabella Fleetwood, the new Business Office Associate, graduated from Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Prior to joining Ranney, she worked at Freedom Mortgage Corporation and interned at Move For Hunger and Department of Defense, Air Force.
Ms. Simone Henry will be joining Ranney School as the new Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and will also serve as the Lower School counselor. Ms. Henry attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, before earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and her Master of Education, with a specialization in Diversity and Inclusion/Child Development and Psychology at Columbia University, and Harvard University, respectively. Ms. Henry has taught at Brookland Educational Campus at Bunker Hill and Petits Poussins. She has served as a College and Career Readiness Advisor at New York Edge, and is the founder as well as consultant and coach at Cradle to Career Consulting.
EJ Mitchell will be the new Director of International Student Programs. Mr. Mitchell attended Cincinnati Country Day School, and graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Asian Languages and Civilizations, with a China concentration. Since 2014, Mr. Mitchell has served as Senior Educational Consultant at Elite Scholars of China, an organization that helps to counsel and place talented Chinese students at some of the most competitive colleges and universities in the United States. Prior to that, he taught at Cincinnati Country Day School and has also acted as Head Resident Advisor for IES Abroad Beijing.
Mrs. Camille Sinkhorn is the new Alumni Relations and Advancement Associate. Mrs. Sinkhorn graduated from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Arts. Mrs. Sinkhorn has a career focused on cultivating relationships through fundraising, events planning, and marketing at companies including Two River Theater, Firefighter One, and Soul Focus Wellness Center.
“Our passionate and caring faculty members are what make Ranney such a special place for the students, and we are grateful to be adding teachers and roles that can further our mission and culture in all the right ways,” said Head of School Dr. John Griffith.
Ranney School had six exceptional teachers retire this year after lengthy tenures on Hope Road. It is with gratitude that the entire community wishes fifth grade teacher Doreen Fowlkes, Lower School Librarian Holly Hovis, fourth grade teacher Jeri Robinson, Lower School French teacher Nancy Rosenthal, Lower School science teacher Judy Salisbury, and Upper School College Counselor (and former science teacher) Val Schwake all the best in this new chapter.