Purnell School Welcomes Six New Faculty and Staff
Purnell School, the only college preparatory boarding and day school for motivated girls in grades 9-12 who learn differently, announced six appointments to its faculty and staff. The additions officially joined Purnell at the start of its in-person fall 2020 semester.
“We are ready and excited for a healthy and safe start to the new school year,” said Anne M. Glass, Ed.M., head of school, Purnell School. “Joining our returning faculty, our newest team of dedicated professional educators will help us take Purnell’s proprietary Learning and Wellness approach to the next level, ensuring each student has access to rigorous academics and support with social emotional wellness.”
Purnell recently announced that Tracy Haswell, academic dean, will lead the school’s curriculum and teaching program in partnership with Dr. Martha Torres, director of Learning and Wellness. Haswell brings decades of STEM expertise, coding instruction, passion for maker labs, and individualized programming. Haswell’s educational philosophy is grounded in the importance of empowering young women to use their individual voices and their unique ways of expressing it.
Tim Coughlan joins Purnell’s humanities department, teaching world history and English literature to 10th- and 12th-graders. Erin Smith joins the STEM department, teaching coding, web development, chemistry, and geometry. Purnell also welcomes Debra Davis, English language arts learning specialist, and Kate Bendrick, Ph.D., math learning specialist. Bill Castell is Purnell’s new educational technology coordinator. Jenn Panetta and her therapy dog Preston Christopher have been welcomed in her role as school counselor.
Coughlan is a veteran English and history teacher with experience from both day and boarding schools. He earned his undergraduate degree in history at Northern Illinois University, graduating summa cum laude, and his master’s degree in teaching and learning at Illinois State University.
Smith earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and psychology from University of Washington and Washington State University respectively. She also earned a master’s degree in higher education from Loyola University Chicago. Smith is an accomplished curriculum designer and classroom teacher with over 10 years of experience. She is teaching algebra II, geometry, and computer science, in which her students are learning to build their own websites. Previously, Smith served as a youth development worker in the United States Peace Corps, Ukraine.
Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in English, non-fiction writing program, from the University in Iowa. She has extensive experience as a learning specialist supporting students with reading comprehension, writing and executive function challenges. She has also taught history, English, sociology, psychology, and public speaking to secondary students.
Dr. Bendrick holds a doctorate in finance and economics from the University of Konstanz, a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in economics, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and French. She most recently taught math at the Beekman School in Manhattan.
Castell is supporting the assistive technology program, among other responsibilities, such as assisting with student and faculty technology needs and teaching a design-thinking inspired computer programming class. He recently served at Millbrook School as director of academic technology and previously at Buckingham Browne & Nicols School as a middle and upper school academic technology leader. He holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Panetta, a licensed school counselor, earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at Montclair State University and a master’s degree in clinical counseling from Centenary College. She comes to Purnell with her therapy dog Preston Christopher. The girls have already taken to him and Panetta.
“Our academic and supporting faculty have never been stronger,” said Glass. “We are looking forward to continuing our mission to help each girl discover her authentic and best self.”
To learn more about Purnell, or for admissions and enrollment information, visit https://www.purnell.org/fall-2020.
Purnell is located at 51 Pottersville Road in Pottersville.