This school year, Sequoyah hired seven new teachers. Two staff members switched roles this year, too. 30% of the lead teachers were replaced this year.
One of the school’s new specific-classroom hires is the Treehouse’s new lead teacher, Lily Howard, replacing Emily Singer in the Treehouse. Another new hire this year is Peter Romano, lead teacher of the Egrets’ Perch. Romano replaced Lauren Obregon, who worked at the school for two years, then moved to San Diego. Cynthia Lee took over as lead in the Over There from Susanna Barkataki. Assisting Renee Brody in the Backyard is Christophe Boullonnois, the new Backyard associate.
As for specialists, Nils-Erik Hilliard was hired this year as camping support teacher. He has experience camping with the Junior High for the past two years. Ronnie Bryan, who will teach math next year at the Sequoyah high school, is teaching geometry two days a week to seven advanced math students in the Junior High.
Singer took the position of director of curriculum and student support, formerly held by High School Director Marc Alongi. Patricia Han, parent of Oscar Yum of the Out Back and Miles Yum of the Treehouse, joined the high school team as admissions associate.
With so many lead teachers being replaced this year, Sequoyah director Josh Brody explained that teaching at Sequoyah is somewhat harder than at other schools, but also easier. “It probably depends on the other school…but I think it’s similar in that you’re working with young people…trying to help them learn subject matter. [But] it’s different because we have a very unique culture. One thing that’s interesting here is the expectations that students and parents have of teachers and their colleagues.”
Brody also remarked that at Sequoyah, “teachers have to be interested in having a close relationship with the students and collaborate with [other] teachers. [Teachers] also have be willing to join and work with the Sequoyah community.”
Brody remarked that he is “really excited about the new teachers we got.”
The new teachers seem to be adjusting well to the school. The Over There’s new lead teacher, Cynthia Lee, said of adjusting to the Sequoyah way, “There were a lot of things that everybody at Sequoyah knows that I had no idea about. They did a really nice job showing the new teachers everything, but I think that there [are] things you just don’t know until you find out. Everyone was talking about Gaga Ball, and I was like, what is Gaga Ball? But now I get it.”