I am pleased to announce the addition of Michael Masterson to the Upper School Science department. A veteran teacher with experience in both independent schools and colleges, Michael will teach physics and AP Computer Science, a course being added for next year. Michael has taught and developed advanced courses in both subject areas in his previous schools. He has also taught math in a variety of settings and brings significant department leadership experience with him as well. He is currently teaching physics at the Hangzhou Foreign Language School, an independent school in China. Michael received his B.A. in mathematics and physics from Michigan State University and went on to complete his M.S. in physics at the University of Chicago. We are very excited to welcome such a diversely talented educator to our community.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Travis Stevens will be joining Newman in June as the Technical Director. Travis comes to us with a wealth of experience. During the past 17 years, Travis’s experiences in the arts have included technical director, stage manager, company manager, shop foreman, scenic designer lighting designer, sound engineer, painter, carpenter, welder, and rigger.
Travis is currently Assistant Technical Director and Head Carpenter at the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Missoula, Montana. Previous positions have included Technical Director and Scenic Designer of the Virginia City Opera, MT, and Technical Director of the Perseverance Theatre and Thunder Mountain Theatre – both in Juneau, Alaska.
He has designed lights for such shows as The Producers, Into the Woods, and See How They Run. Travis has also worked in film and media, creating the video design for the University of Montana’s Department of Drama and Dance for Uncle Vayna. He has also worked for Blackbelt TV as the lead editor.
Travis is both a fan of ice hockey and the works of Stephen Sondheim. A Little Night Music is Travis’s favorite Sondheim musical. A well-read theater educator, he enjoys musicals, the classics and modern day dramas. One of his references wrote, “Travis works well under pressure while maintaining integrity and a demanding eye for perfection. He is a serious and dedicated practitioner; moreover, he is an intuitive listener who deftly interprets his director’s vision.” He has both a BA in Technical Theater and an MFA in Media Arts from the University of Montana. I am happy to welcome Travis to our Newman family.
Some of you may have seen our recent edition of the alumni news, but for those of you who are not alumni, it is worth taking a look.
I am so impressed by our alumni, and I often share their stories with students and parents because the Newman experience does indeed last a lifetime. It is a great benefit for our seniors to be able to talk with the Ambassador to Finland or a renowned artist, but I am also amazed at the networking power that our graduates have. I was recently at lunch with some former Newman parents whose son was about to graduate college, and Sabrina Pilant in our Advancement office was able to give them several leads of Newman grads in their son’s specific field of interest.
Hardworking people sometimes just need someone to give their resume a little extra glance or spend a little time with them on the phone. It is great when it is a fellow Greenie on the other end! The investment of a Newman educations pays off, and every time I talk with alumni, I am further convinced this is true.
At the lower school service learning day, our students created a United States map. Take a look at this cute video of its creation!
Thanks to everyone who took part in making this happen!!!
I am excited to announce that Sarah Clifford will join our faculty for next year as a learning specialist. She and Ana Kurt will work together to serve the lower school. I asked Penny Evins to share a description of Sarah:
Ebullient, engaging, enthusiastic, and student-centered, Sarah blew us away with her content knowledge and style. She has worked tirelessly in our city with area charter schools and is committed to seeing her students through the end of this year. Sarah is trained in many of our programs and looks forward to becoming a part of our learning community and adding her own special niche to our culture. She is a thespian and when she met Mr. Tines, I knew she would be a part of his future projects. Learning will come alive with each interaction Ms. Clifford has with our students, faculty, and parents. The group of students who worked with her during her interview were engaged and found her to be helpful, fun, and “awesome.”
When I hire new teachers, I look for three qualities. First, they need to absolutely love children. I want teachers who are in education for the right reason, and we all can agree we are here for the kids. I also look for teachers who are intelligent and have the desire to improve. We just hired two new third grade teachers who embody these qualities.
Mary Rodgers will receive her Master of Education from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, next month. Originally from Mobile, Mary graduated from Sewanee with an English degree and has now been teaching at the Brookwood School in Manchester, MA. She is absolutely delightful and extremely sharp. I know our students will love her.
Joining Mary in the third grade is Michelle Icahn. Michelle is no stranger to Newman having spent the second semester of last year observing and volunteering in our classrooms. This year she has been teaching 2nd grade in the John Dilbert Community Charter School and looks forward to bringing her enthusiasm and love for children to Newman. Michelle graduated from Tulane with a degree in Media Arts and then enrolled in their Teacher Preparation and Certification program. She is an avid writer and photographer, and she has an engaging personality.
I am so impressed with our new teachers, and I know you join me in welcoming them to Newman!
Chase Crowell, Ryan Brenner, and Wes Fischer were honored at the All State Sugar Bowl Scholar Athlete Luncheon. They were selected as three of the top prep football scholar athletes in the metro area. Read the story here. It must have made former Newman parent, Archie Manning, proud to hand these awards to three Newman scholar-athletes. Great job guys!