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Know Your Pelicans

We regularly feature new faculty or staff Pelicans here and on our social media channels. 

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Portrait of Zoe Hillman
Head of Preschool and Lower School

I have a tendency to want to move quickly and it is important to cherish small moments and take time reflect, look deeply, uncover complexity, and enjoy the here and now. Particularly working with such little children, we are sometimes eager to look ahead and want time to pass to reach the next age and stage, but truly each developmental step has its own joys that should be savoured.

Read More about Meet Zoë Hillman (she/her)
Portrait of Annie Wedekind
English and History Teacher

I find particularly sharp joy in supporting a student grappling with something personally challenging — whether it's digging into sources for an essay on Ancient Egypt, nerving themselves to perform in a Greek play, or pushing through doubt to finally see themselves as a poet — and then applauding when they've conquered that mountain.

Read More about Meet Annie Wedekind
Portrait of David Allard
Communications Specialist

My favorite part of my job is when I get to sit down with students and listen to them talk about their experience at Packer. Our new Student Team for Diversity and Equity in Communications (S-DEC) is the Communications Office's opportunity to discuss what equity looks like through the lens of Packer students.

Read More about Meet Liana Frasca
Portrait of David Allard
Science Teacher

On day one of class, I had several students thank me for the day’s lesson as they exited the classroom. The simple gesture completely caught me off-guard. In my 8 years teaching, I had never been thanked by students for teaching them. It is honestly something I will always remember and a great way to start day one at Packer. 

Read More about Meet Mario Garcia
Portrait of Miya Yamada
Music Teacher

Packer is a community that has allowed me to learn more about myself as I interact with my students and coworkers. This is my first year of teaching which is known to be a really challenging one, so I've been able to see Packer as a really precious life chapter in which I get to grow a lot as a person and educator.

Read More about Meet Katie Cooke
Portrait of Miya Yamada
English Teacher

I try to teach students how to approach and manage their workload in way that works for them. I routinely give students options about the content they explore and the order in which they explore it. The big lesson there is that, once we are out of school, we have a lot of control about how we explore our passions, and I want my students to be prepared for life long learning.

Read More about Meet Shane Cappuccio

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Portrait of Liz Ann Doherty
Head Nurse

Early in my career I was a hospital nurse and  worked in the pharmaceutical industry after getting an MBA. My children were students at Packer when the Nurse encouraged me to return to nursing. I had never considered it as a career choice. Much to my surprise, it has been the career in which I spent the most time and has been the most rewarding. 

Read More about Meet Liz Ann Doherty
Meet Sabrina Hellman
School Nurse

Working in the healthcare industry can be extremely demanding, and I took the position of school nurse at Packer as an act of selfcare. I am an alum of Packer, and I loved the idea of returning to this nurturing school. I never would have imagined that I would make new best friends, and even after 9 years, I am still learning new things from students and teachers every single day.

Read More about Meet Sabrina Hellman
Meet Nick Morton
Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions and Financial Aid

My favorite moment I’ve had thus far is the open house we held last Fall where over 500 families explored Packer. It was incredible because we had students, faculty, staff, and current families all welcoming new faces and putting the spirit of the school on display! Every prospective family left raving about how amazing our community was, and it was so memorable because it took many different people in our community to put on such a successful event.

Read More about Meet Nick Morton
Meet Robert Sapienza
Front Desk Security Guard

During my time in school, no teacher really had the impact on my life that many of the teachers at Packer have on students now. My wife, however, is a teacher, and she has undoubtedly been the greatest influence on my life. Over the years, she has shared many stories about her experiences as a pre-school teacher, and these stories have translated into my work at Packer in my interactions with students and their families. 

Read More about Meet Robert Sapienza
Meet Kate Gilfillan
Upper School Dean, Class of 2024

Working at an alternative high school in Boston early in my career and hearing about the experiences of my students really opened my eyes to the importance of equity in education. They taught me that I didn’t always need to know what to say, but listening to them and allowing for their voices to be heard was what they needed and deserved. I learned to be myself, be present, and develop authentic relationships because students can sense if adults aren't being real.

Read More about Meet Kate Gilfillan
Meet Kareem Varlack
Upper School Counselor

As a counselor I am constantly learning how unique each students perspective is, no matter how common the issue. The more understanding I have about each student's outlook, the better I can help them along a path to success.

Read More about Meet Kareem Varlack
Meet Jocelyn Bibi
Middle School Counselor

Whenever I'm asked about influential teachers, I think of my 5th Grade teacher Ms. Capuano. I remember my friends and I were having some classic 5th grade drama, and she kept us in from recess and made us sit in a circle and talk it out. It's the first time I can remember a teacher focusing solely on our emotions as kids––not because it was affecting us in the classroom, but because she truly cared how everyone was doing. I believe that in order for a kid to be successful in school, they need to feel supported emotionally, and she demonstrated how to do it!

Read More about Meet Jocelyn Bibi
Meet Stacey Pierre-Louis
Dean of Student Life & Leadership

I was born in Trinidad, and although I moved here when I was three years old, I grew up listening to soca music. Soca music is my happy place. When I am stressed or frustrated I can play soca and immediately smile. My mind becomes flooded with the best memories of dancing in the street during Trinidad Carnival, celebrating at my wedding, Saturday mornings with my family, and dancing with my beloved granny (who is no longer with us but knew how to move when soca was playing). As someone who has moved around quite a bit in life, soca has always provided me the comfort of home no matter how far away I am from my loved ones.

Read More about Meet Stacey Pierre-Louis

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