Two Kent School employees announced that they would retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. After 24 years of service Karen Bennett is leaving her position as Second Grade Teacher. Karen will be enjoying her retirement near family and friends at her beloved New Jersey Shore. Karen was honored for her service on Class Day with a framed photo of the students and school. Each student signed the matte surrounding the photo. Presented by Lisa Butler, President of the Kent School Parents, Teachers and Friends (PTF) group, it was a moving tribute to her years of teaching. Karen was also recognized formally on graduation and presented with a Kent School chair. Some of Karen’s former Kent School colleagues offered a few thoughts.
Pam Deringer, former Lower School Science & Technology teacher said, “Karen has been an integral part of my teaching career as a valued colleague and both Kindergarten and 2nd Grade teacher to my youngest daughter, Samantha. Her kind, quiet and structured classroom environment has always made her students feel valued and capable of reaching a higher standard.
Former Lower School Head, Anne Vansant wrote “I especially appreciate your dedication to upholding the values of Kent School.”
Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics also announced her retirement. Michelle is leaving her post after two productive and fulfilling years. At Graduation, Nancy Mugele, Head of School said, “I would like to extend my deep appreciation to Michelle for her two years of service to the School. An experienced educator, she has been instrumental in mentoring teachers, developing our new schedule, finding a spiraling K-Grade 6 math curriculum, spearheading our professional learning with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning and Neuroteach Global, and promoting our Making Caring Common initiative, to name a few. We are deeply grateful for her newfound love of Kent School and hope to see Michelle on campus in the future.”
Kent School is pleased to announce several new employees:
Jenny Cernak will assume the role of Assistant Head of School for Academics. Jenny joins Kent School from St. Andrew’s UM Day School in Annapolis. Jenny brings over ten years of educational experience to Kent School. Jenny is both a teacher and a school administrator, with her most recent role being the Director of Programs and Teacher Development at St. Andrew’s UM Day School. Jenny offered this thought on her new role at Kent School, “A strong educational leader understands the intricate and delicate nature of forming meaningful relationships within a school community. The ability to foster those relationships through open and transparent communication is vital. I firmly believe that education is a shared responsibility. Students need to be held accountable for hard work and pushed to continuously improve their learning.” Jenny is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.
Joan Rybas will be joining Kent School as Second Grade teacher. Joan comes to Kent School from Radcliffe Creek School where in addition to teaching reading math and language arts, Joan conducted professional development sessions, volunteered and developed and contributed to a variety of teaching teams. Joan earned a BA and M.ED from Loyola University in Baltimore.
Returning to Middle School and teaching Language Arts is Amanda Eichler. Kent School had the privilege to host Amanda as an Education Intern in 2017. Amanda has since earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Secondary Education from Washington College. Amanda spent her first year in education at St. Martin’s In-the-Field Episcopal School but longed to return to Chestertown. Amanda brings a love of literature and teaching to Middle School along with experience as an academic advisor and a yearbook advisor.
Todd Mignosa is also returning to Kent School in the coming school year. Todd stepped in last year as a long-term substitute for Middle School Science. He immediately proved himself to be an excellent teacher and a wonderful addition to the Kent School community. Todd returns in 2019-2020 in the full time position of Seventh and Eighth Grade Math teacher.
Nancy Mugule, commented on these staffing changes saying, “It is always hard to say goodbye to long-time, excellent educators and I truly appreciate the passion and professionalism both Karen and Michelle devoted to Kent School. However, I also believe that change fuels opportunity. I am excited to welcome, Jenny, Joan and Amanda to the Kent School community. I look forward to seeing their passion and professionalism in action on behalf of our students.”
For more information about Kent School visit www.kentschool.org. Kent School, located in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.