Full-Year Program 2017 Cohort

2017 PSL Cohort Group


Since 2012, Shelby Bartlett has served as a grade dean and psychology teacher at the Pingry School, a K-12 coed day school, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. In addition to teaching, Shelby coaches basketball and lacrosse, and has served as a faculty leader on school-sponsored hikes and backpacking trips. Shelby holds a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she was a four-year member of the women’s varsity lacrosse team and director of the school’s Women’s Center. 

Emily Carton has taught and served as academic dean since 2013 at Olney Friends School, a co-ed boarding 9-12 in Barnesville, Ohio. Before that, she worked for a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm that operates two charter schools. Emily graduated with honors from Haverford College, where she studied ethics and the formation of intentional ethical communities. Emily was able to further explore these interests at Olney, where she conceived and implemented a self-paced, mastery-based curriculum that places greater responsibility in the hands of students. 

Leo Connally has taught English since 2012 at The Field School of Charlottesville, a grade five to eight boys’ day school in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to his teaching, Leo developed curricula and directed the culminating eighth grade community service projects. He also established swimming and cycling teams for The Field School. Leo recently completed his master’s in English at Middlebury College. 

Dan Dixon is an MA/MBA dual degree student who will join the cohort in January after completing his studies at Columbia Business School.  Dan taught from 2010-2012 at St. John Vianney Catholic School, a co-ed, day, PK-8 school in Goodyear, Arizona. In 2012, he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), where he is currently in formation to become a Catholic priest. He has taught GED courses to men and women on probation in St. Paul, Minnesota and English language learners at St. Rita’s Immigration Center in the Bronx. Dan completed the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program in 2012, where he earned his master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame. 

Michael Hardiman has taught IB language and literature since 2012 in the upper school at Windermere Preparatory School, a co-ed day and boarding K-12 in Windermere, Florida.  He has also taught English at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts and worked for two years as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Michael is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and an alumnus of Holderness School.

Zhen Liu has served as head of the Department of English Teaching since May 2015 at Xiaoma International Education, a language school in Wuhan, China. Zhen received her B.A. in English Literature from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China in 2008 and began her career as an English Language teacher in Wuhan New Oriental School, China. For the following five years, Zhen focused her teaching on reading and writing in standardized English tests, such as SAT, ACT and TEOFL in private education schools in China. From 2013, Zhen shifted from a teacher to an instructional coaching role and then to a department head.  

Erin McHale has served as assistant principal since 2011 at Annunciation School, a PreK-8 co-ed school in Crestwood, New York. Previously she taught various levels from kindergarten through eighth grade in both private and public schools, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer. She also acquired business experience through the management of her family’s commercial real estate company. Erin holds a B.A. from Georgetown University in Theology and Government, as well as an M.A. from Teachers College in Curriculum and Teaching.

Tom Merrick
has taught calculus and statistics and currently serves as the director of prep school admissions at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, a PK-12 co-ed day school in New York City.  He did his undergraduate work at Cornell University in operations research and information engineering and spent 9 years working in management consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM with for various multi-national clients with a focus on systems design and implementation.  

Ted Ogden is an MA/MBA dual degree student who will join the cohort in January after completing his studies at Columbia Business School. Before coming to the Klingenstein Center, Ted taught English and American studies from 2007-2015 at Landon School, an all-boys 3-12 day school in Bethesda, MD.  From 2000-2006, he taught English and history and served as sixth-grade dean at his alma mater, Brunswick School, an all-boys day school in Greenwich, CT.  Ted earned his B.A. from Middlebury College in 1999 and A.M. from The University of Chicago in 2007.  He’s also currently studying at the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English.  

Louisa Polos
has taught sixth grade English and humanities since 2013 at Rippowam Cisqua School, a co-ed K-12 day school in Bedford, New York. In addition to teaching, Louisa has served as the Service Learning Coordinator, Diversity Representative, varsity field hockey coach and varsity lacrosse coach.  Prior to teaching at Rippowam Cisqua School, she taught middle school English at Sacred Heart in Greenwich for two years. A member of the 2013 Klingenstein Summer Institute cohort, Louisa earned her B.A. in political science from Gettysburg College and her M.S.E. in curriculum and teaching from Fordham University. 

Andrew Prince
has taught, advised and coached since 2011 at Montclair Kimberley Academy, a co-ed PK-12 School in Montclair, New Jersey.  Prior to teaching at MKA, Andrew was the Jerry Davis Government and Economics Fellow and interim athletic director at Chinquapin Preparatory School in Highlands, Texas.  Andrew graduated from Harvard in 2010 with his BA in government and minor in moral and political philosophy.  

Michael Schub taught IB Literature and Language & Literature between 2012 and 2014 at Gyeonggi Academy of Foreign Languages, a coed boarding school 10-12 in Uiwang, South Korea. Following that experience, he wrote assessments for an Ed Tech startup and tutored ESL students in New York and worked in communications in Washington, D.C. Michael graduated Brown University with a double concentration in English and International Relations. 

Amy Shen has taught since 2014 at Berkshire School, a co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts. Amy held various teaching and administrative positions in the independent school arena, most notably serving as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy and founding a model Mandarin program at Head-Royce School in CA. She also authored the teacher’s annotations for Encounters Chinese textbook series with Yale University Press. As a global citizen who has taken residence in China, the US, Japan, Italy, France and Germany, Amy wants to launch into International Schools focusing her work on curriculum design and teacher education.

Sarah Shepherd has taught history and geography since 2014 at the senior campus of Geelong Grammar School, a co-ed boarding school in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. She is especially enthusiastic about her work as the Senior School Positive Education Coordinator. She has a diploma in education from the University of New South Wales and a master of international relations completed through the University of Melbourne and Harvard University. Sarah previously studied floristry, and worked both for World Vision Australia and as a tertiary academic tutor. 

Olivia Tandon has taught biology, advanced geology and science research at Poly Prep Country Day School since 2012. Poly Prep is a co-ed nursery-12 day school in Brooklyn, New York.  Prior to joining the Poly Prep faculty, Olivia taught for two years at a public school and one year at a charter school, serving high-need populations as part of the NYC Teaching Fellows. 

Michael Tapscott has taught math and science since 2007 at De La Salle Academy, a co-ed independent school for grades 6 - 8 in New York City.  Michael attended De La Salle Academy and later graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York.  He received a B.A. at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In addition to teaching, Michael is a co-founder of the Young Mens’ Social and Cultural Studies Workshop at De La Salle Academy.  The workshop provides a space for eighth grade young men to explore and challenge the expectations and perceptions of masculinity in our society.   

Matt Troutman has taught and held various roles since 2011 at Thomas Jefferson School, a co-ed day and boarding grades seven to twelve school in Saint Louis, Missouri. Previously, he worked in astrophysical research at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, specifically studying the formation of planets. This past year he taught AP physics C, AP calculus and earth & environmental science. 

Naheema Walji
is an MA/MBA dual degree candidate who will join the PSL 2017 cohort in January after completing her studies at INSEAD. Prior to coming to the Klingenstein Center, she was a member of the senior management team at Newton Prep, a co-ed prep day school for children aged 3-13 founded by her father in London, England. As a volunteer, Naheema taught for two years a weekly program to Grade 12 students to evoke faith, intellectual curiosity, humility, fortitude and a passion for discovery and learning in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Naheema holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in law and by profession is an international finance lawyer. Since 2005, Naheema has worked in private practice in London, Bangkok and Calgary and has several years’ experience in mentoring.

Ryuji Yamaguchi has served as the founding dance program director, dean of residential life and international student coordinator since 2007 at King’s Academy, a co-ed boarding-day school in Jordan.  Born in Japan, Ryuji spent much of his early life between Japan and the US.  After graduating from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in East Asian Studies, Ryuji moved to New York to work as an independent dancer and choreographer.  Since relocating to Jordan in 2007, Ryuji has expanded his scope of dance exploration to include another form of perpetual, dynamic, collaborative, and primarily non-verbal improvisation: residential life.  

Zifan Yang has taught math and English through K&B Schools (aka Kaplan China) since 2013 at #7 Yucai Middle School (public school for grades 7-9), #7 High School Gaoxin Campus (public school for grades 10-12), and Chengdu Foreign Languages School (K-12 private boarding school) all in Chengdu, the Southwest Chinese city renowned for being home to the pandas. Educated as an engineer and economist during undergrad, he also taught magnet school classes on Saturdays for half of his college years.

After eight years working in financial industry, specializing in educating new professionals in the field, Shai Zacaraev sought to expand his educational reach by joining the faculty at the Packer Collegiate Institute. Holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer and information science from Brooklyn College, Shai contributed in both creating and teaching computer science for all three divisions. In addition to teaching, Shai was the technology coordinator for five years. During that time, he also served in administrative capacities in various roles that spanned all grades in three divisions for grades K-12, including chairing the computer science committee for the NYSAIS Self-Study, coordinating mobile devices and serving on the faculty and staff advisory committee and mentoring new faculty. 

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