The Dean of Faculty’s Office is responsible for all matters relating to the Academy’s faculty, including the recruitment, retention, and development of faculty.
Deerfield Academy is proud to announce our newest faculty joining us for the 2020-2021 school year. From an acclaimed artist and educator whose work can be seen at MoMA, to experts on Afrofuturist writings and the oeuvre of Stephen King, an abstract algebraist, and Japanese cinema—these individuals will inspire students in their myriad studies.
Angel Abreu ’92 is thrilled to return to Deerfield as the Wallace Wilson Fellow. Angel is an artist, writer, and educator who studied philosophy, art history, and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. Angel’s work resides in over 120 permanent museum collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Tate Modern. While still a student at Deerfield, and in collaboration with the art collective Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Angel became the youngest individual to have a work acquired by and be listed on the artists’ roster of MoMA. The collective has reinvented itself and become Studio K.O.S. under Angel’s leadership. In 2019, Studio K.O.S. had its first commercial exhibition since Rollins’ passing at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in NYC. They have continued to conduct socially engaged workshops with youth and educators around the country. Angel and Studio K.O.S. are the 2020 honorees of Art Resources Transfer (A.R.T.). In addition to his work with Studio K.O.S., Angel continues his own painting practice based on literature, music, and social practice in his Hoboken, NJ studio. Angel is on faculty in both the BFA Fine Arts and MFA Art Practice departments of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He also serves on the Education Committee of The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Shastri Akella earned a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he previously earned a MFA in Creative Writing. In 2016, he received the student-nominated Distinguished Teaching Award, which is conferred to only two of the nearly 900 teaching assistants working on the Amherst campus. His teaching expertise includes climate fiction, creative writing, horror, Anglophone literature, and migration studies. His fiction and essays have been published in Guernica, Electric Literature, World Literature Today, The Rumpus, The Common, PANK, and Danse Macabre. His academic writing includes essays in Childhren and Childhood in the Works of Stephen King, the Journal of Supernatural Studies, and Making Strangers: Outsiders, Aliens, and Foreigners. He previously worked as a manager at the India, Dublin, and San Francisco offices of Google. He was part of a street theater troupe in India, and at the university he led a group of students in the study of shows at the Fringe theater festival.
Yoel Castillo Botello holds a PhD/MS in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies from Georgetown University. Previous teaching appointments include Grinnell College, Wabash College, the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá, and Georgetown University, where he also served as the Assistant Director for the School of Foreign Service Spanish Program. Yoel’s research interests in performance, book studies, and the digital humanities have been a great source of inspiration for his teaching practice. He believes that students tend to learn better in environments where they can make use of their unique interests, nurture their talents, and fully express themselves. Besides his primary passion of teaching Spanish language and literature, Yoel enjoys the performing arts and, in previous years, has been a member of a classical Spanish theater troupe and danced with flamenco ensembles in Spain, Colombia, and the United States. He is a native of Eastern Cuba.
Jordan is excited to join Deerfield’s faculty after having lived in the Freshman Village on campus with his wife Heather for the past three years. He grew up in North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State with a BS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Program Management. Throughout his career, Jordan has designed, developed, and managed a variety of student programs, including traditional camps, adventure recreation, and educational travel programs. Most recently he has served as the Caribbean Director for Broadreach’s live-aboard sailing and scuba trips, and helped to develop Explorica’s outside sales initiative for New England teachers looking to travel abroad with their students. Jordan is a volunteer firefighter for Deerfield, enjoys hanging out with his dog Hatch, riding motorcycles, and traveling.
After growing up in NC, Aidan attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN. While there, he studied computer science and Japanese. He was involved in the Carleton athletics program, captaining the men’s volleyball club, assisting with the women’s varsity volleyball team, and working as an assistant athletic trainer. He spent the fall of his junior year studying abroad in Japan, where he studied Japanese language and culture at Nanzan University in Nagoya. He graduated with a BA in Computer Science. After graduation, he worked as a systems and business analyst at TransEnterix, a medical robotics company. While so employed, he also coached boys and girls volleyball at North Carolina Volleyball Academy. In his spare time, Aidan enjoys playing computer and board games, rock climbing, and playing Frisbee golf.
Lara Du fell in love with the beautiful, magical subject of mathematics during her high school years. Because she initially struggled in her math classes, she sought out math puzzles for extra practice. By the summer of her junior year, she was completely hooked. Lara went on to major in math at University College London before coming to the US to do her PhD in Number Theory at the University of Michigan. She has been teaching math to a variety of teenage audiences since 2014, creating and implementing her own curriculums since 2017. Inside her interactive classroom, Lara works on developing students’ confidence in tandem with their mathematical knowledge. She strongly believes that math is for everyone, and a part of her work that she enjoys the most is mentoring non-stereotypical young mathematicians. Outside the classroom, Lara enjoys cooking, singing karaoke, and playing board games with her students, as well as solitary meditation, crossword puzzles, and long walks.
Arianne Evans ’16 is a recent Class of 2020 graduate from Bucknell University’s Freeman College of Management with a BSBA in Managing for Sustainability. While at Bucknell, Arianne played on the University’s Division 1 women’s water polo team, led excursions with the Outdoor Education and Leadership program, served as a Teaching Assistant and Freeman Fellow for the College of Management, and worked as a residential advisor in the senior apartments. In her most recent position as Senior Class President, Arianne collaborated with the Facilities department, the Bucknell Farm, and Outdoor Education to design and implement their senior class tribute project, building a fire pit constructed out of recycled materials at the campus farm. One of her favorite projects at Bucknell was starting a residential community for women’s leadership and empowerment called “Sunnyside,” which is now an official housing option. In her free time, you can find her jumping in any and all bodies of water, watching documentaries, or laughing on the phone with her mom and two sisters. Arianne is thrilled to return to the Valley as a Teaching Assistant and all-around campus support system for the Big Green!
After spending the last seven years in the Mississippi Delta working as the town planner for Wilson, AR, serving as founding trustee and interim head of the Delta School, as well as overseeing the construction of the new Hampson Museum for Native American art, John returns to his teaching roots in New England. As a visual arts instructor at Andover and Choate Rosemary Hall, he lived in a dorm and coached ice hockey and cycling. John has a BA in fine arts with a minor in art history from Stetson University and a MAE from Rhode Island School of Design, with a focus in photography (pardon the pun). Aside from teaching, John is passionate about mechanical design, including building and flying airplanes, and restoring vintage German automobiles. John recently facilitated the design and construction of a solar array to power the Delta School. He will be the sabbatical replacement for Tim Trelease during the 2020-2021 school year.
Hardy is very excited to join Deerfield’s faculty. He has been teaching in boarding schools for sixteen years, first at St. Andrew’s School, then Lawrenceville School, and most recently at Western Reserve Academy, where he was the chair of the Math Department. He chose a life in boarding schools, and Deerfield in particular, because he enjoys immersing himself among his students, empowering them to lead their communities, and helping them face all manner of challenges in their lives. A graduate of Duke University with majors in English and Mathematics, Mr. Gieske also holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and took a gap year aboard a sailboat. He lives on campus with his wife (Vanessa), two children (Dash and Junie), dog (Fergus), and cat (Peggy Sue).
Bill joined Deerfield Academy in the fall of 2020. Prior to Deerfield, he taught at a private college preparatory school in Kansas City, MS for seventeen years. His affinity for teaching fills him with gratitude for the time he shares with his students. In his career, Bill has experience teaching a wide range of courses in mathematics, coaching football and basketball, and mentoring students. He believes abstract thought is the key to personal enlightenment and a path to becoming a better person, and he considers learning mathematics one of the best ways to develop critical and abstract reasoning skills. He admires the subtleties and beauty contained in mathematics and strives to engage his students to develop their own appreciation for the subject. Bill and his wife Charlotte grew up outside of Chicago. They like to spend their free time traveling, seeking out new experiences, and exploring culture through food, arts, and entertainment. Bill also enjoys working with his hands, playing board games with friends, and engaging in philosophical discussions. Bill and Charlotte are excited to explore their new home in Massachusetts and become engaged members in the community.
Emma graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2009 with a dual Bachelor’s degree in French and English Literature. To continue following her passion for both of these subjects, immediately after graduation she moved to Bordeaux, France, where she stayed for four years. During this time, she taught English at the Université Montaigne, the institution from which she also earned her master’s degree in literature. Before moving to Deerfield, Emma taught English at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, MO. Emma coaches cross country and basketball, and is thrilled to be in New England, which reminds her an awful lot of where she grew up in old England.
Since his teenage years, much of Bowen’s educational and professional trajectory (as well as travel) has centered on the African Continent. Following his graduation from Choate Rosemary Hall and UNC-Chapel Hill (majoring in African Studies and French), Bowen worked for a study abroad program in Cape Town and a college access organization in his home state of North Carolina before earning a Fellowship at African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. After serving in a college counseling capacity for one year, Bowen transitioned into a teaching role at ALA, and for five years actively contributed to the Academy’s signature African Studies Department. During his tenure as Humanities faculty at ALA, Bowen developed electives entitled “The African Diaspora” and “Africa Through the Lens,” created mini-units with titles as diverse as “Who is an African?” and “Afrofuturism and the African Renaissance,” facilitated a series of PD workshops for international educators seeking to ethically incorporate African Studies content into secondary school curricula, and conducted curriculum-building research in the American South and Senegal. At Deerfield, Bowen is excited to learn from his colleagues in the History & Social Science department, to explore African and Latin American history comparatively, and to facilitate immersive discussion and media-heavy learning experiences for his students.
Mara is excited to join the Deerfield community this year as a Teaching Assistant. Her key responsibilities will be to assist students, faculty, and staff as we all adjust to our new COVID-19 environment. Her career spans more than twenty years doing alumni relations work at both Virginia Tech and most recently at Carnegie Mellon University, where she served as the Sr. Director of Engagement Strategies. In that role, she oversaw the regional and identity networks, volunteer management, and alumni partnership opportunities with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and the Tony Awards. Mara earned both her BA (music education/flute performance) and MFA (arts administration) degrees from Virginia Tech, and is an avid Hokie. Mara grew up in northeast Texas, and the “y’all” migrated to Deerfield with her. She is married to Jim Perry who has joined the Physics faculty, and they have five children between them, all finding their own unique paths.
Kiyo comes to Deerfield after completing his Fulbright grant in South Korea, where he taught English to middle and high school students for a year. A product of a boarding school education himself, Kiyo is excited to join the Deerfield faculty and re-immerse himself into the rigor of boarding school life. He earned a BA in History and Education at Brown University, and he wrote a senior thesis that explored the intricacies of postwar memory, as seen through recent Japanese films on the special-attack pilots. Born in Japan and raised in Japan and the United States, Kiyo created a document that facilitates Japanese immigrants’ transition to the Rhode Island education system. In his free time, Kiyo enjoys watching baseball and listening to various genres of music. As a Penn Fellow, Kiyo is working toward earning a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Monica grew up in Beirut and Cairo, and attended French and Arabic schools before moving to the US her junior year of high school. She earned her MA and Masters of Philosophy from Columbia University in Comparative Literature, as well as a MA in English from Middlebury’s Breadloaf School of English Literature. For sixteen years, Monica taught French and English at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, where she also served as Academic Dean. She then moved to King’s Academy in Jordan for ten years before coming to Deerfield. She teaches English and lives in the Manse with her husband John Austin, their dog Olive, and two cats, Zeitoun and Zaatar.
Leah received a BS from Cornell University in Human Development with minors in English and Inequality Studies. While attending Cornell, Leah was a Cornell Tradition Fellow, a student employee of the Cornell Commitment Office, and was very active in community engagement work. Leah served as co-president of the Community Partnership Funding Board, a grant funding board that supports the development of community action projects all over the country. Leah was also the vice-president of Compass: The Cornell & George Junior Republic Partnership, an organization that works to develop and manage after-school programming at a local school. Through this partnership, Leah principally led “Poetic Justice,” a club dedicated toward exploring poetry and other forms of creative expression. In addition to this community work, Leah served as a teaching assistant for various classes in Cornell’s Human Development department, and conducted research on moral-decision making in a lab studying the intersection of psychology and the law. Leah loves listening to music, watching movies, reading, writing, and exploring mountains. She is very excited to join the Deerfield community as a Penn Fellow in the English Department.
Tim comes to Deerfield after teaching history at Medford High School and coaching tight ends for the Tufts University varsity football team. Tim is a graduate of Williams College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and leadership studies. At Williams, Tim was a four-year varsity football player and starter on the 2010 undefeated NESCAC championship team. Upon graduating, he spent one year as a teaching intern at Phillips Exeter Academy and, subsequently, five years on active duty as a United States Marine Corps officer. Tim’s desire to teach continued to grow as he served alongside young Marines all over the world, including in Africa and the Middle East. Following active duty, he completed a Master of Arts in Teaching at Tufts University. In addition to teaching history, Tim has coached football, wrestling, and track and field in the past, and looks forward to supporting Big Green athletics in any way that he can. He and his partner Nancy can often be found trail running, practicing yoga, and enjoying the outdoors and are excited to join the Deerfield community.
Caleb Owens ’16 was born and raised in New Bedford, MA, and recently graduated from Columbia University in May of 2020 with a BA in Economics. He is excited to be back on Deerfield’s campus as a faculty member. During his time at Columbia, Caleb was constantly engaged in serving his community. He volunteered as a one-on-one mentor with Mentoring Youth New York City (MyNYC), where he met once a week with his mentee from a New York City public high school. Together, they completed a college readiness curriculum and discussed challenges both in and out of the classroom. Most recently, Caleb has taken the role as a mentor for the Wall Street Finance and Scholastic Training (FAST) Track Program, which promotes financial literacy for female and minority high school students, and exposes them to the financial services industry. Lastly, as a student-employee in the Social Justice Initiatives Office at Columbia Law School, he helped administer career services for law school students interested in pro bono projects, government, and legal volunteer work. All of these relationships solidified Caleb’s long-standing passion for education and public service.
Jim Perry joins the Deerfield Community this year after eleven years at the Kiski School in Saltsburg, PA. While at Kiski, Jim taught both freshman and Advanced Physics, as well as Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Calculus. Jim also served five years as the Associate Dean of Students, five years in the College Counseling Office, seven years as the Chair of The Honor and Discipline Counsel, and almost a decade as the Head Football Coach. Jim lived on campus during his time at Kiski, and served in the role of Dorm Head on two separate occasions. Jim brings with him twenty years of experience working at Independent Boarding Schools in both Western Pennsylvania and in New England. Jim has previously served as an Independent School Admissions Officer at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT, and Director of Senior School Admissions at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. Jim earned his Masters in Taxation from Robert Morris University, and his Juris Doctorate from The University of Pittsburgh. Jim, and his partner Mara Kohl’s, have 5 children between them; Lacey (26), Justice (24), Morgan (22), Harriss (19) and Xavier (17).
Sarah has focused the majority of her career on working with children, adolescents and families, first in the Boston area and now in Western Massachusetts. She is thrilled to be joining Deerfield Academy on a full-time basis. Sarah grew up in upstate New York and graduated from Barnard College with a BA in English Literature. She received her Master’s in Social Work at Smith College School for Social Work. She has worked in a variety of academic and healthcare settings in the Boston area and the Pioneer Valley. Her clinical approach incorporates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Narrative Therapy as well as tools and techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and mindfulness practices with the goal of helping students decrease stress levels and improving overall wellbeing.
Outside of work, she can often be found exploring the outdoors with her husband, two daughters and delightfully unpredictable dog, Nemo.
Originally from the North Shore of Massachusetts, Rowena graduated from Amherst College with a BA in Biochemistry and Biophysics. While at Amherst she played for the varsity lacrosse team, captaining the team her senior year, and worked as a chemistry and geology TA. After graduating, she received a Fulbright Study/Research Award and moved to Dunedin, New Zealand to pursue a MSc in Marine Science at the University of Otago. In New Zealand, Rowena studied the paleoclimate and paleoenvironment of Port Pegasus, Stewart Island and in her free time explored NZ while hiking, skiing, and surfing. Along with her passion for exploring the outdoors, Rowena enjoys baking, gardening, and yoga. She is currently pursuing graduate degree in education through the University of Pennsylvania Independent School Teaching Residency, and is thrilled to return to the Pioneer Valley and join the Deerfield community.
R.J. Shamberger ’16 is excited to join Deerfield’s faculty this fall. He is a recent graduate of Williams College with a BA in Economics. R.J. grew up in Charlotte, NC, and is an avid Duke Basketball fan. In his time at Williams, R.J. led the Society of the Griffins, an affinity group dedicated to improving experience of Black men both on campus and the surrounding Berkshires. He also devoted much of his time to supporting other minorities communities on-campus, such as Black feminists and undocumented students. In his free time, R.J. enjoys reading financial literature and studying personal finance habits. At Deerfield, R.J. enjoyed his roles as a Senior Proctor, captain of the Track & Field Team, Student Council Class Representative, and contributing to the community however possible. He can’t wait to begin the year with you all.