We are excited to introduce our new faculty members for the 2023-2024 academic year. This group of new employees will bring new perspectives from a wide variety of experiences, and we look forward to the contributions they will make to the VMS community. Please join me in welcoming them to VMS.
In the language department, we will be welcoming Angela Alonso. Angela will be transitioning from ECCA where she taught last year after moving here from Hackley School with her husband Steve Bileca. She will be teaching Upper School Spanish while Andrew Behrendt takes a one year professional development leave of absence. Along with being a native Spanish speaker, Angela has a wealth of experience teaching languages in all age and grade levels as well as serving as the Modern Languages Department Chair at Hackley.
We are welcoming Carolyn VanderWerf into the performing arts department from Red Sandstone Elementary and the Vail Recreation District. Carolyn is a graduate of CU Boulder where she has also been working with their summer middle school music camp program. She will be leading our band program as Christi Howell transitions over to our full-time theater director position.
Along with Christi Howell, we have had some internal movement with our Dean roles in both Upper and Middle School. Lizzy Reed will become a full-time member of the Upper School, teaching History and taking on the 9th and 10th grade dean role. Brian Sweeney will return to the classroom full-time as an Upper School History Teacher. Additionally, Kate Zook-Gibbs (6th), Collins Canada-Kelly (7th), and Quinn Pinaire (8th) will be serving as Deans in their respective grade levels in the Middle School. Kate, Collins, and Quinn will work as a team with Middle School Director Trevor Adams to provide support for middle school students.
The kindergarten team is also excited for Jessie Bevan to join the Vail Mountain School faculty as a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. Jessie has been working at Children’s Garden of Learning and will transition to helping in both Ms. Schmierer and Mrs. Adams’ classrooms this school year. The kindergarteners will be lucky to have an extra set of hands and warm welcome in the morning!
Kimmy Shikverg will be joining our Visual Arts Department next year, teaching art in all three divisions. Kimmy is long-time Vail local as well as a former parent (Annika Shikverg, Class of 2023). Kimmy brings experience in visual art, architecture, design, and archaeology. Peter Barclay will also be joining us in the athletics department as a Middle School Physical Education Teacher and Athletics Coordinator. Peter has many years of experience working with programs such as the Cycle Effect, YouthPower365, and Eagle County Schools as a physical education teacher and curriculum designer to showcase at Vail Mountain School!
Caroline Joyce will be joining our 2nd and 3rd grade team in the lower school with a focus on reading. Caroline is coming over the pass from Summit County and bringing with her an MA in Elementary Education and Orton-Gillingham training. We are also welcoming Rebecca Mondre to our 2nd and 3rd grade team to teach math! Rebecca is coming to us from Manhattan (Columbia Preparatory and Grammar School). She’s been teaching for many years, focusing on lower school and mathematics. We are excited for Caroline and Rebecca to jump into our 2/3 team!
We have also hired Maddie Rhodes into a full-time English Teacher role in the Upper School. Maddie was a long-term substitute with us last year and we are thrilled to add her to our full-time staff. Megan Oxler will also be joining our team as a long-term substitute during the first semester for Upper School English. Megan was previously teaching English Language Arts at Homestead Peak School and has a background in teaching and counseling. She is excited to work with both ninth and twelfth grades this year.
Delaney Hartmann will also be joining us after teaching for a few years in China before taking a year off to explore the United States with her husband, Daniel. Delaney will be teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies in the Middle School and we are excited for her to bring a global perspective. Daniel Hartmann will also be joining us as a long-term substitute teaching AP Environmental Science and Upper School History. Daniel is a historian who has taught Upper School History in China. We are excited to have both Hartmann’s with us for the 23/24 school year.
We are excited for this new group of educators to bring life experience, new perspectives, and new passions to our students as we enter into the 2023-2024 school year. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the building again in August.