Kate Augustus: Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
Over the course of the past six years, Kate has enjoyed working with young children in a variety of educational settings ranging from schools in North Carolina, Denmark and most recently Brooklyn, New York. Kate is particularly excited to be working in a classroom with kindergarten teachers and students and to see how the children grow and develop over the course of the year. As a child one of her favorite authors was Roald Dahl, “I loved the way he played with words and language, and the way he invented new words to share his ideas.” Kate is excited to learn about all areas of the curriculum and is of course, excited about being part of the Dwight-Englewood community. We are excited to add her to the kindergarten teaching team.
Alexa Danoff (D-E ’11): Teaching and Learning Intern
We excitedly welcome Alexa into our Lower School community. Alexa is a graduate of Dwight-Englewood School and is excited to working as an intern while she prepares for graduate work in school psychology. She is looking forward to meeting the children, learning along with them and being part of the Lower School community. Alexa is particularly interested in the Responsive Classroom approach and the social/emotional component of children’s lives. As she prepares for upcoming graduate work in school psychology, Alexa brings to the Lower School a belief that “with a little bit of guidance children can learn how to resolve conflicts on their own and learn how to be part of a learning community. I really want to learn how to help children develop these skills.” Alexa will be working throughout the school both in the classrooms and in our play spaces with children of all ages, and we welcome her back to Dwight-Englewood!
Sophia Dorner: Learning Specialists Grades K through 2
As an established reading specialist for over 20 years, Sophia brings a breadth of literacy strategies to the Lower School community. Having worked in a schools in New Jersey and in New York, Sophia is poised to not only provide wonderful reading strategies in our early elementary grades, but also to support the lower school faculty.
Sophia will be working with early childhood through second grade students and teachers, and she is particularly excited to work with our early childhood teachers and students as they build the foundation for their reading and writing lives: “The way I teach reading to this age is through song and movement, and I think that’s such a good fit for a school that emphasizes play in early childhood.” As a child her favorite author was Ezra Jack Keats, and as a parting gift our former reading specialist Mary Jean Alleva left her a poster of all of his books which now hangs in her office. We welcome Sophia and look forward to learning from and with her!
Lisa Dove: Early Childhood Music and 5th Grade Opera Instructor:
Lisa Dove, a Brooklyn resident, has both a music and acting background. While raising her children she was a teaching artist at the Metropolitan Teaching Guild and worked with the Creating Original Opera program and is thus well equipped with our fifth-grade students as they participate in this program and create their own original opera. Lisa will also work with our students enrolled in the early child program. She is excited to work with these children at this magical age. “Their exuberance and their willingness to jump into music with both feet is awesome! The children are discovering sound and listening with fresh ears. They always come up with something I did not think of and therefore are always teaching me.” This year Lisa looks forward to working with and exploring musical stories with both our youngest students and our oldest students. And as she joins our community she notices a profound respect for both adults and children, and is thrilled to be part of our faculty.
Doran Muus: First Grade Teaching Assistant
Our new first grade teaching assistant Doran Muus brings a wealth of experience working with young children, particularly in literacy. Doran was most recently a second-grade teacher at The Cathedral School in New York City, where she also taught Spanish and French. Doran is looking forward to getting to know our students and watching what they gravitate towards: “Learning what makes them tick helps me understand how they think and and learn, and will help me work with them most effectively.” Doran is particularly excited to be part of our community because as a parent of two Dwight-Englewood graduates she has a deep and abiding appreciation for Dwight-Englewood and it’s mission, “Having been a parent, I understand that perspective and will bring that perspective to all my work at the Lower School.”
Michele Wright: D-E 360 Programs Director
Michele Wright is Director of Summer & Enrichment Programs for DE 360°. Prior to joining D-E in August 2015, Michele worked as the director of music programs and new initiatives at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Arts Education Department. Before taking on her role at NJPAC, Michele was the partnership coordinator for the Thurnauer School of Music at the Tenafly JCC.
She understands and embraces the D-E culture as her son, is a current D-E Upper School student. “I am looking forward to meeting all of the Lower School students and families this year. My goal is to provide engaging extended day activities in the D-E 360: AfterCare and Enrichment program.”
Increasing our Numbers – Lower School Math Department
Cecily Gottling and Rachel DiGiovanni are working together this year to provide additional math programming for our lower school students in grades K through 5. This programming will be delivered over the course of the school year in a variety of formats such as support in the classroom, support in the technology courses, and math teams.