Saint Mary's welcomes new faculty and staff
Posted August 23, 2012
Each school year brings the excitement of new changes, new challenges and new faces. At Saint Mary's, the anticipation of welcoming our new Head of School Dr. Monica Gillespie has heightened that excitement even more than usual. As we settle in to the 2012-13 school year, help us in welcoming Dr. Gillespie and the many other new faces that have joined our community this year.
Chris Avanthey, Instructor of Mathematics and Science/Residential Hall Faculty: An instructor in the mathematics and science departments, Chris is also a residential faculty member in Cruikshank dormitory. Chris has a B.S. and a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta and comes to Saint Mary’s from the Edmonton Public School Board in Alberta, Canada. He is fluent in French and has taught mathematics classes in both English and French at all high school grade levels, including the International Baccalaureate Program.
Mike Bianca, Technology Support and Technical Theater Specialist: Mike comes to Saint Mary’s from IBM’s End User Services division after supporting government contracts for two and a half years. Self-taught in several information technology areas, Mike is a jack of many trades and is working to master as many as possible. He keeps active in theater as a stagehand through IATSE Local 417 working at the DPAC, PNC Arena, UNC’s Memorial Hall and other venues. Mike has a B.F.A. in theatre audio design and technology from the University of Illinois and calls the Chicago area home.
Chris Coker, Groundskeeper: Chris brings his passion to “enhance and maintain the inherent beauty of nature” to his role as groundskeeper at Saint Mary’s. He has managed his own business, Sonscapes Landscaping & Irrigation and has been an installation manager with Cape Fear Water Gardens in Wilmington and, most recently, with Landscapes Nouveau. Chris earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Mount Olive College in Wilmington and has done program work on turf grass management and horticulture technology.
Victoria Ewing, Receptionist and Administrative Assistant: Victoria joins Saint Mary’s as receptionist and administrative assistant. In addition to her receptionist duties, she serves as an assistant to all staff departments. Victoria previously served as a program assistant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction before coming to Saint Mary’s. She earned her B.F.A.in dance education at East Carolina University and has experience in schools as both a substitute teacher and dance educator.
Monica Gillespie, Head of School: Monica comes to Saint Mary’s from St. Paul’s School for Girls (SPSG), an Episcopal all-girls school outside Baltimore. Working with her SPSG leadership team, she carefully navigated the difficult recession years; oversaw the expansion of a sister school program to now include seven schools around the world; expanded the arts and world language curricula; and made strides in efficiency and program to establish SPSG as a Maryland Green School. Monica also focused her energy on girls’ leadership development and increased philanthropic support. Monica earned her B.A., M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia, with her doctoral dissertation focused on independent school leadership. As an undergraduate she played varsity soccer, lettering all four years. She serves on the board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) and the board of Goucher College.
Sarah Hanawald, Director of Technology/Residential Hall Faculty: Sarah has worked in independent school education for 18 years. Most recently, she served as the academic dean for Cannon School in Concord, N.C. Her past experiences include initiating and directing a 1:1 laptop program and teaching reading, special education and middle and high school English. An active social media participant, Sarah is one of the administrators of the Independent School Educators Ning and an enthusiastic #isedchat Tweeter. She began live-blogging NAIS conference sessions in 2009. A graduate of Duke University with a degree in English literature and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from UNC-Greensboro, Sarah is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and northern Virginia.
Tara Hart, Residential Hall Faculty: Tara joins our residential community as a member of the Cruikshank team and returns as varsity lacrosse coach. Originally from Baltimore, Tara attended the Garrison Forest School, an all-girls boarding and day school. She received her B.A. from Washington College and is now working as a head counselor at Camp Seafarer. At school, Tara was a member of the varsity lacrosse team and served as captain in the spring of 2010. She was also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Tara loves to play lacrosse and sail. She also likes to sing, laugh and have a good time.
Diane Jensen, Cataloging and Circulation Coordinator: Diane joins the Kenan Library team as a part-time cataloging and circulation coordinator. She continues in her full-time role as managing librarian at William Peace University. Diane has a B.A. from Towson State University, an M.A. from the University of Maryland and an M.L.S. from North Carolina Central University. She was also a part-time cataloger in Kenan Library in the 1990s.
Angela Renee Martin, RN Substitute Nurse: Angela, a.k.a. Renee, comes to Saint Mary’s from Duke University Health Center where she is a neonatal nurse. She has experience as a camp nurse for Camp Oak Hill in Oxford, N.C. and a flu clinic nurse for Maxim Healthcare Services in Raleigh. Renee is a licensed registered nurse with an associate’s degree in nursing from Edgecombe Community College where she received her Associate Nursing degree. Renee appeared on campus a few times last year to lend a hand, and we’re happy to have her join us this year.
Dean Monroe, Director of Athletics/Residential Faculty: Dean began his career in 1984 at Raleigh’s Friendship Christian School. He spent the past 22 years at Cardinal Gibbons High School as a teacher, coach and athletic director. He has overseen as many as 800 student athletes a year, 41 teams, and a staff of dozens of talented coaches. His program earned the North Carolina Wachovia Cup 10 of the last 11 years. He was a two-time PACIS Basketball Coach of the Year, was the 2004 NCSCA Athletic Director of the Year, was awarded the 2008 NCHSAA Regional Award, and been inducted into the Carolina Copperheads Youth Football League Hall of Fame. In addition to his role as director of athletics, Mr. Monroe will supervise the athletic component of Saint Mary’s summer programs and will coach Saint Mary’s varsity basketball team. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, with a B.S. in secondary education and minors in Health, Physical Education and Biblical Studies. He earned an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Indiana. He is an NIAAA Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA).
Laura Novia, Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications: Laura comes to Saint Mary’s from northern California, by way of Cornelius, N.C., where she spent the last year as a part-time contractor for Presidio Hill School and Davidson Day School. She has been a communications professional in independent school education for 10 years, beginning her career as an assistant director of alumnae at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls preK-12 school in Princeton, N.J. In more recent years she has been the director of communications at Blue Oak School in Napa, Calif., and the director of admissions and communications at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco. Laura also enjoyed her work as an associate producer and public relations manager for NJN Public Television and Radio. Hailing originally from the Pennsylvania-New Jersey area, Laura earned her B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio.
Virginia Pierce, Instructor of English/Residential Faculty: Virginia joins the Saint Mary’s English department with a B.S. and an M.A. from East Carolina University. With both of her degrees concentrated in English, Virginia has developed differentiated lessons in the classroom as she taught in the Rocky Mount, N.C., school system.
Ainsley Powell, Assistant Librarian/Residential Hall Faculty: Ainsley comes to Saint Mary’s from Oxford, Miss., where she was a library specialist in archives and special collections at the University of Mississippi. She has a B.A. from UNC-Charlotte and is working on an M.A. in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma. Ainsley joins the Kenan Library team as assistant librarian and is residential faculty in Penick Dormitory.
Mary Silver, Instructor of Visual and Performing Arts: Mary will be utilizing her knowledge and abilities in graphic design and fine arts as a member of the visual and performing arts department. She holds a B.F.A. in graphic design/illustration from Pratt Institute. She has taught locally and in New York City. Mary has advocated the arts through membership on the boards of the Contemporary Art Museum and Triangle Artworks, both in Raleigh.
Jeanette Van Vickle, Instructor of Mathematics/Residential Hall Faculty: Jeanette, a.k.a. Jj, joins the mathematics faculty and the residential community. Holding a B.S. from the University of Missouri and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Jj has 10 years of experience in information technology and classroom teaching. Additionally, she brings experience in the areas of marketing education and vocational business education to Saint Mary’s.
Updates on Familiar Faces
Ami Cammarota, Director of Residential Life/Residential Faculty: Ami takes over leadership of the residential life program this year. She has been a residential faculty member for several years, serving as the dorm head in Cruikshank Hall, international student orientation coordinator, and field hockey and lacrosse coach.
Shana Filter, Assistant Director of Development: With the successful completion of Saint Mary’s recent capital campaign, Shana has moved into a new role as assistant director of development.
Sean Hunt, Systems Support Specialist: Sean is swapping his hat as Help Desk specialist for a new and exciting role as the technology department’s systems support specialist.
Michelle Iorio, Assistant Athletic Director, Athletic Trainer and Instructor of Science: Michelle is adding the role of assistant athletic director to her continuing work as Saint Mary’s athletic trainer and instructor of science.
Kellee Lewis, Administrative Assistant to the CFO and the Director of Athletics: Kellee has moved into a dual role as administrative assistant to both the chief financial officer and the director of athletics. You can find Kellee in Bacon Gym in the mornings and at the front desk in the afternoons.
Vickie Posey, Instructor of English/Chair of English Department/Residential Faculty: Vickie continues in her roles at Saint Mary’s but will be increasing her commitment to that of a ¾-time employee.
Anna Root, Director of Annual Fund/Residential Faculty: Ms. Root is moving on campus with her family to join the Cruikshank team.
Leigh Wheeler, Donor Relations Coordinator: Leigh will be moving from her ¾-time position with the now-completed capital campaign, to a ½-time position as donor relations coordinator.
SMS Management Team has adopted a new name−Institutional Leadership Team (ILT).