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Loomis Welcomes New Faculty for 2017-2018

Loomis Chaffee's new faculty members have recently arrived on the Island in anticipation of the start of the 2017–2018 school year. The group began orientation programs and new faculty training on Monday, August 21.

This year's new faculty include:

Reem Aweida-Parsons joins Loomis from Upper Canada College (UCC) in Toronto, Canada, where she taught American, Canadian, Middle Eastern, and European histories in the International Baccalaureate program for the past 10 years. Reem previously taught history at the Lycée International of St. Germain en Laye in Paris and at the John Fraser Secondary School in Toronto, where she also served as head coach for the girl's varsity basketball and soccer teams. Reem co-implemented the Syrian Refugee Sponsor program at UCC, mentored new teachers, and represented UCC in the United Arab Emirates to help develop international partnerships and exchange opportunities. Fluent in Arabic and proficient in French, Reem is pursuing a master's degree in global diplomacy at the University of London. At Loomis, she will teach European History, World History, and U.S. History. Reem lives in Simsbury with her husband, and daughter.

Maribel Blas-Rangel, a Penn Fellow, will teach Spanish and French. She earned her bachelor's degree in French and psychology from Kalamazoo College. As a graduate of the Cranbook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, she is familiar with the independent school world. Maribel also brings experience as an English language tutor and as an assistant to the academic dean and a residential advisor for Horizons Upward Bound, a rigorous academic summer program. Maribel will live on campus, serve as a dorm affiliate in Ammidon Hall, and work with the Peer Support Network.

Sebastiaan Blickman, a 2017 graduate of Bucknell University with a bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish, joins Loomis to teach World History and help coach varsity boys soccer and Advanced Weight-Training. An alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall, Sebastiaan knows Loomis well. He is particularly familiar with the Meadows, where he frustrated many a Pelican when he played center back for the Wild Boars. A captain of the Bucknell Bison men's soccer team, Sebastiaan played professional soccer after college for B.K. Frem in Denmark. He will reside in Windsor

John Cunningham joins our team as Loomis' sports information director. John is a 2017 graduate of Connecticut College with a double major in history and government. While at Conn College, John worked for three years as a sports information assistant, writing athletics news stories, maintaining and updating the athletics website, and working with local news outlets to promote sports at the school. John also captained his college's men's lacrosse team for two years. A graduate of Pomfret School, John is looking forward to returning to the boarding school world. In addition to his sports information responsibilities, John will live in Warham Hall and coach three seasons.

Timothy Jeon '06 returns to the Island after 10 years in other educational settings. Tim attended Colby College, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics and administrative science and played lacrosse and squash. He comes to Loomis from Kent School, where he wore many hats. He worked in admissions and financial aid and served as the head coach of the girl's squash team and assistant coach of the boys varsity lacrosse team. Before his time at Kent, Tim worked in finance for KPMG and John Hancock. Tim will be living on campus and working as an associate director of admissions as well as assisting with financial aid.

Laura Milligan '99 proves yet again that the pull of the Island is strong. After graduating from Loomis, Laura earned a bachelor's degree in American studies at Smith College. She began her teaching career at the Millbrook School, where she taught English and history, coached field hockey and lacrosse, and served as a dorm advisor. Returning to Loomis as an English teacher in 2008, Laura continued to coach and live in the dorms for the next five years before she and her young family moved to Madison, Connecticut and Laura worked at Choate as an English teacher and the director of day students. Laura also is a co-host of the teaching and learning podcast "Podagogy." Laura returns to Loomis this fall to teach sophomore and junior English. She and her husband and their two children will continue to live in Madison.

Alexander Ozdemir, a 2017 graduate of Harvey Mudd College with a bachelor's degree in computational, mathematical & physical theory, will teach computer science and mathematics this year at Loomis. While still in college, Alex designed and taught a course on memory safety in the Rust programming language. In addition, Alex served as a member of the Academic Excellence tutoring team for Harvey Mudd in both math and physics. During his summers, he worked as a teaching assistant in web programming and instructed a full course on calculus-based physics to high school students. Alex has a passion for teaching and has chosen to spend a year in the classroom before continuing his studies in the computer science Ph.D. program at Stanford University in the fall of 2018. Alex will reside in Batchelder Hall and will assistant coach robotics and ultimate frisbee.

Ethan Percy joins Loomis after spending the past seven years as the director of college advising at Baltimore City College, an International Baccalaureate school in Baltimore, Maryland. He also was head coach of the boy's varsity soccer program and taught business. He previously worked in recruitment for the University of Arizona and as an admissions counselor for his alma mater, Elms College. Ethan holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Elms and a master's degree in education from Johns Hopkins University.

Christian Ryan joins the Visual Arts Department at Loomis, where he will teach digital photo, film, and animation. He comes to the Island from North Carolina, where he taught courses in 2D and 3D design foundations, video, and digital photography at Rowan-Cabarrus College and previously taught and developed courses on design, video animation, and sound art at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. An exhibited artist himself, Christian also has taught workshops in experimental musical instrument construction and co-founded Hackerspace Charlotte, "a non-profit organization dedicated to education and creative research in art and technology." Christian earned a bachelor of fine art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master of fine art from UNC Greensboro. In addition to teaching in the Richmond Art Center, he will coach cardio and JV basketball and work with Framed-In Theater. Christian will reside in Harman Hall with his wife, two dogs, and cat.

Jennine Solomon will be the first associate director of innovation at Loomis and will teach biology and physics. A graduate of Bucknell University with a bachelor's degree in biology, Jen taught biology and anatomy and physiology for the past two years at the Drew School in San Francisco, California, where she also helped design the school's makerspace and became a co-director of the makerspace. Jen also held an Ignited Fellowship at Genentech, where she completed a research fellowship in the Analytical Operations Department and developed and published an Educational Transfer Plan to bring biotechnology applications to classrooms across the country. Jen began her teaching career at the Peddie School in Highstown, New Jersey, as a residential faculty member instructing all levels of biology. Jen, her husband, and their son will live in Richmond Hall.

David Samuels moved to Windsor last year to join his wife, faculty member Erica Gerace. This fall Dave joins the Science Department to teach biology and chemistry. A graduate of Cornell with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, Dave pursued graduate work at the University of Georgia, where he earned a Ph.D. in microbiology. While pursuing his graduate studies, Dave served as a teaching assistant and graduate research assistant in microbiology at Georgia, Cornell, and Georgetown universities. At Georgetown, Dave was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biology. Dave and Erica live in Howe Hall, where Dave will serve as an affiliate, and he will coach III volleyball, cardio, and badminton.

Manya Steinfeld is making the move away from the Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing and into the classroom. Manya will now work on the Island as a psychology teacher, as part of the History, Philosophy, Religious Studies & Social Science department, and continue as the varsity field hockey coach and assistant JV girl's lacrosse coach. She will be living on Beckwith Circle and serve as an affiliate in Longman.