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Making an Impact: Packer's Faculty and Staff - Spring 2022 News

The 2021-22 academic year kicked off with an outdoor professional development session for all faculty (pictured above) on creating true belonging for every student. Visiting consultants Rachel Henes and Blessing Uchendu addressed this objective in the context of so-called “high-achieving school culture” that can fuel perfectionism. Jeremy Hawkins, Dean of the Class of 2023 and health educator, explains: “Because we work with students at an institution with an aura of privilege, it’s easy to assume that ‘the kids are going to be fine’ — and, by extension, ourselves. Rachel and Blessing gave us the permission and vocabulary [needed to support each student] in an environment of deliberate positivity and acceptance.”

Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions and Financial Aid Sheila Bogan received the Enrollment Management Association’s 2021 William B. Bretnall Award, given to “outstanding professionals [who] have made tremendous contributions to their schools and to the field.”

Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain received the 2021 Henry Hudson Award from Hudson River Community Sailing. The honor recognized her “instrumental” role in guiding and building the FairLead mentorship program, designed to create opportunities for women to become skippers and leaders. Alice is currently on a one-year leave to serve Hudson River Community Sailing.

“On Walking into a Basketball Gym,” a poem written by Upper School English Teacher Dana Lotito-Jones, was published in the Winter 2022 issue of The Under Review.

Literacy Coordinators Jamie Lilly and Hardeep Juttla co-presented “Manageable Systems for Differentiating Teacher and Student Goals: Reading and Writing Workshop” at the Simply Coaching Summit in summer 2021. Their presentation equipped instructional coaches and classroom teachers with best practices and tools to increase student achievement. Jamie is currently on a one-year leave while living abroad.

Visual Art Teachers Liz Titone and Elizabeth Eagle published the 13th volume in their visual literacy workshop and book series, This Is Ours: Cambodia, which showcases the work of Packer’s digital storytelling partners in Siem Reap. View that book, and Packer’s title This Is Ours: Brooklyn Heights.

Alfred Music Publications published Instrumental Music Coordinator Paul Riggio’s strings arrangement for the Chanukah song “Hanerot Halalu” (These Candles), which was later selected as a 2021 Editors’ Choice by distribution firm J.W. Pepper.

First Grade Associate Teacher Maria-Lian Glander, Learning Specialist Farrah Khan, Middle School History Teacher and Diversity and Equity Coordinator Vidya Misra, Fourth Grade Associate Teacher Heather Mohamed, Associate Teacher Genevieve Rana, Director of Diversity and Equity Semeka Smith-Williams, and Upper School Counselor Kareem Varlack joined over 4000 other school professionals at the 2021 virtual NAIS People of Color Conference. This year’s program, “Reckoning with Impacts, Rolling With Just Intent,” called upon schools to embrace “the movement for accountability taking place across the nation.”

Upper School Soccer Coach and Middle School Basketball Coach Bradley Eckerson received the advanced national diploma and the urban soccer diploma for excellence in coaching at the 2021 United Soccer Coaches Conference in Kansas City. He was also appointed club director for the Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club, where he will work to expand soccer access to families throughout Brooklyn and to develop professional local talent in partnership with Major League Soccer team the New York Red Bulls.

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