Packer Faculty Transition to Leadership Roles
Bill McCarthy is Packer's new of Head of Pre and Lower School, after serving for a year as Director of Learning Support.
"The Pre and Lower School offers a warm, nurturing environment that encourages children to become confident, motivated, and curious learners," he said. "I am excited to expand the work we do to allow children to engage in practical and collaborative learning experiences throughout the day."
Dr. Bruce L. Dennis said he is confident that Bill will use "his talents and expertise to build upon the many strengths of our Pre and Lower School."
Semeka Smith-Williams is the new Director of Diversity and Equity, transitioning from a ten-year role as a Kindergarten Head Teacher. She was also the Lower School Diversity Coordinator and co-led the faculty mentoring program.
"We want our students to gain a healthy identity development . . . and to be allies and advocates for others in our city and beyond. As a community we are ready to reflect, explore, and take action," said Ms. Smith-Williams.
Dr. Dennis spoke to her rich classroom experience: "Semeka will approach her diversity work from the perspective of a teacher who lives with the daily challenges of how to develop curriculum, address students' sense of wellbeing, and communicate effectively with parents."
Ali Iberraken has been named the Dean of the Class of 2020. Joining the Middle School science faculty in 2012, Ali transitioned to Upper School physics in 2015. Before Packer, she taught at the Skinners' School in England and in a rural community school in Malawi. "I can't wait to be part of such an important time in students' lives," said Ms. Iberraken. "I hope to celebrate their accomplishments with them and the community."
Bessie Oster will assume the role of Middle School Dean of Student Life. Entering her sixth year at Packer, she was formerly an 8th Grade Head Teacher, the Middle School advising coordinator, and a health educator in the Middle and Upper Schools. In her new role, Bessie is most excited about curating "precious moments outside of the classroom with care, consideration, and intentionality."
Upper School theater teacher Ali Boag was named the Interim Chair of the Arts Department for 2016-17. He most recently managed the Stahl Theatre, a school and public venue attached to the senior independent Oundle School in the UK.