#KnowYourPelicans: Jonathan Farmer
Fourth Grade Teacher
What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum?
As a 4th Grade teacher, I love being able to teach everything — reading, writing, math, social studies, the whole megillah! One subject that never ceases to surprise me is word study. For example, last year I realized that words that begin with "wr" often have something to do with twisting or turning. This year I learned that the word "neighbor" literally means "nearby dwelling" (nigh bower)! And just yesterday, I learned that the word "explore" was originally a hunter's term for "setting up a loud cry" to roust animals, and it's related to "implore" and "deplore"! My students know that a sure-fire way to distract me is to ask where a word comes from!
Besides your subject, what's something you hope to teach your students?
We learn a lot in Fourth Grade, but one of the most important things I hope my students come away with as they go off to Middle School is that with a growth mindset, the impossible becomes possible. As a kid, when I saw other kids reading "harder" books or zooming through math problems, it was sometimes really hard to keep trying. It took some great teachers to help me realize that the more effort I put into my work, the more fun the learning becomes! I want to be that teacher to the students in my class.
Tell us about a time you learned something from our students.
Packer students know so many cool things! This year there's been a dance craze sweeping the grade. I started noticing that, as they were waiting in line or hanging out during choice time, a bunch of kids were swinging their arms across their bodies, alternating back and front. One of my students said, "Hey Mr. Farmer, can you do this?" I said, "Sure, kid, that looks easy — out of my way!"
I was... mistaken. Turns out this dance was not as easy as they had led me to believe. But once my students had granted me a lesson in humility, they kindly taught me "the Floss."
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Easy—I'd fly! The reason should be obvious —it would be awesome. Actually, I have a recurring dream that I can fly by flapping my arms really, really hard and cutting through the air as if it were water. So, if you see me in the hallways flapping wildly, I'm either doing the Floss or putting my "growth mindset" to good use and hoping that one day I might finally catch some air!
Kindergarten Teacher Anne Montero
Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain
World Languages Teacher Su-Ling Huang
Upper School Art Teacher Eric Baylin
Preschool Teacher Lynnette Arthur
Middle School English Teacher Todd Johnson
Physical Education Teacher and Coach Rich Domanico
Food Services Member Ann Martinez
Lower School Librarian Chris Rush
Upper School Computer Science Teacher Louis Minsky '09
Upper School History Teacher Monika Johnston
First Grade Teacher Irene Turner
Interim Chair of the Arts Department Ali Boag
Middle School Dean of Student Life and Health Teacher Bessie Oster
Fourth Grade Teacher Tim Jensen
Middle School Math Teacher Ashley Greene
Upper School Choral Director Esther Liu Harris
Upper School English Teacher Eric Weisberg
Facilities Staff Member Luciean Seaforth
Director of Global Outreach, Service, and Sustainability Tené Adero Howard '91
Administrative Assistant for Student Services, College Counseling Lydia Monzio
Lower School Associate Teacher Annabelle Baylin
Middle School Administrative Assistant César AyalaInstrumental Music Coordinator Paul Riggio
Second Grade Teacher Sara Baumrin
The Development Office
Pre and Lower School Music Teacher Fran Onne-Fong
Physical Education and Health Teacher Dorothy Gurreri
Latin Teacher Tim Flannery
Hallmaster Louis Rios
Security Team Member Nick Griffith
Third Grade Head Teacher Joanna Stern
Middle School Math Teacher Colin Levitt
Upper School Science Teacher Lutz Holzinger
Pre and Lower School Admissions Coordinator Yvonne Menard
Upper School History Teacher George Snook
Dance Teacher Alicia White
Middle School Science Teacher Stephanie Rapciak
Library Department Chair Andrew Parson
Pre and Lower School Assistant Head Joe McCauley
Spanish Teacher Dallas Rico
Permanent Substitute Teacher Rita Pavia
Instrumental Music Teacher Jeremy Udden
Food Services Team Member Shanique Hollis
Middle School History Teacher Vidya Misra
Head of School Dr. Bruce L. Dennis
Dance Teacher Mandy Stallings
Physical Education Department Head Pippa Mayell
Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions & Financial Aid Sheila Bogan
Directory of Diversity and Equity Semeka Smith-Williams
Upper School History Teacher Sandra Fahy
Director of Alumni Dona Laughlin
Accounts Payable and Purchasing Manager Akeem Layne '05
Middle School History Teacher Kate Meyer
Maintenance Team Member Patrick Sandiford