We are thrilled to welcome new faculty and staff to IMS beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. 

Eleanor Bradley is our new full-time counselor. Most recently, she was a counselor at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, CT in their eating disorder transitional living program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Trinity College and a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Smith College. During her graduate studies, Ms. Bradley worked at Williams College in the Counseling and Psychological Services Department, as well as at the Mann Residential Treatment Center for Adolescents at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Prior to graduate school, Eleanor worked for Advanced Behavioral Health in Connecticut as a Lead Recovery Specialist, supporting families during the reunification process.

Caroline Daifotis began at IMS this summer as our new registrar. A San Francisco native, Caroline graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California with a degree in International Relations. She began her career in advertising in New York, working with clients like Procter and Gamble, AT&T, and Gillette. Mrs. Daifotis especially enjoyed the work with the international divisions of her accounts and the chance to develop valuable client service skills. After moving to Connecticut, she was an active volunteer in her three daughters’ schools: Pear Tree Point School in Darien and Hopkins School in New Haven, where she served as a Trustee. Later, Mrs. Daifotis returned to work and joined the staff of Pear Tree Point School as Website and Outreach Coordinator.

Heidi Halsted will be the new fifth and sixth grade associate teacher. Before heading east in 2011 to attend Connecticut College, Heidi was raised in Mill Valley, California. She majored in Psychology, minored in Human Development, and completed the Education Certificate program, earning a B.A. in 2015. While at Connecticut College, she played varsity field hockey, lacrosse, and studied abroad in Perugia, Italy. After graduating, Heidi managed a swim school for children for a year and a half. Realizing she missed being in the classroom, she completed an internship year teaching third and fourth grade at The Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts from 2017-2018.

Shantel Hanniford will be a new history teacher for Grades 8 and 9. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica and migrated to the United States in 2000. She grew up on the small island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. Ms. Hanniford was an active member of the community where she played three sports, was a member of the National Honors Society, and a leader in her church. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Education from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Since graduating, Ms. Hanniford has maintained roots in Hartford, teaching at two different schools over the span of four years—Grace Academy, where she taught History for three years and later served as the Athletic Director, and the Achievement First Summit.

Jonathan Howe joins IMS as our new science department chair a seventh and ninth grade science teacher. Mr. Howe began his career in the environmental non-profit world before teaching high school science at the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia where he taught biology and environmental electives for 10 years and became the school’s first sustainability coordinator. After that, Mr. Howe taught lower school science at Germantown Friends School for a year before he and his family moved to the Hudson Valley. Most recently, he taught high school chemistry, biology, anatomy, and environmental studies at Poughkeepsie Day School. Mr. Howe earned his B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Fred Lam joins the global languages department as our new Mandarin teacher. He grew up in Hong Kong where, upon graduation from high school, he pursued his B.A. in economics overseas in Buffalo, New York. Mr. Lam worked extensively in southern China in the commercial printing industry where he eventually moved to Lakeville with his wife Meiling and worked at Hotchkiss. Fred has an acute sense of international education systems with an emphasis on comparative education systems, student development, cross cultural communication, evaluation, and assessment. Through these areas, Fred has specialized knowledge in selected areas of operational management which entails competencies in international student governance and administration, budgeting and finance, risk assessment and management, program development, and a global vision of education. Fred looks forward to not only to providing students with new language skills, but also to broadening their understanding of Chinese culture and societal norms.

Clare Rashkoff re-joins IMS this fall as a school nurse. Mrs. Rashkoff was an Indian Mountain School nurse from 2005-2011 before leaving to attend Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing R.N. Refresher Program and work in the labor and delivery units at Charlotte Hungerford and Sharon Hospitals. She earned her B.S.N. at The College of New Rochelle and worked in the neonatal ICU at New York Hospital before moving to Fairfield County, Connecticut to work at Norwalk Hospital. Mrs. Rashkoffs’ two youngest children are Indian Mountain School alumni: Noah ’09 and Rebecca ’12.

Karuna Saucy will be our new Lower School science and Spanish teacher. Ms. Saucy comes to IMS from a multicultural background with extensive knowledge in language acquisition and more than 20 years of teaching experience in international schools in Costa Rica. Ms. Karuna graduated with a M.Ed. for teachers in international schools from Framingham State, is well-versed in bilingual education (English/Spanish), and is particularly attuned to the challenges students face when learning a new language or living in a foreign culture. Her last home was in the tropical dry forest on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Living in such a laboratory of nature, science became her most favorite subject to teach. She brings with her a profound respect for and commitment to planetary ecology and desires to inspire in her students a wonder for all life and to motivate them to become caring stewards of the Earth.

Lisa Schmitt has joined IMS as our new Director of Secondary School Advising. Mrs. Schmitt started her career at Northfield Mount Hermon School as a member of the Arts Department and Director of the Nada-Mason Gallery. After a decade at NMH, she entered the admissions world as an Admissions Officer at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, CA. Most recently, Lisa served a number of different roles at the Cape Eleuthera Island School in The Bahamas, including teacher, faculty mentor, and Director of Arts. As Assistant Principal at the Deep Creek Middle School, Lisa expanded partnerships with the marine research program at the Cape Eleuthera Institute and applied her background in admissions to help guide local families through the application process to U.S. boarding schools. She is the illustrator of the recently published book, Wild Bahamas:An Illustrated Ecology of The Bahamas. Her daughter Ingrid will join IMS as a fifth grader this fall.

Wayne Schoonmaker has also started this summer as a new member of the buildings and grounds department. Mr. Schoonmaker has been a local business owner of a landscaping company. His sons will be joining IMS this year; Luke will be entering first grade and Daniel will be entering seventh grade.

Daniel Tieger (brother of fourth grade teacher, Kelly Tieger) will also be working part-time at IMS this year in various capacities, mostly teaching theater and music and helping out at the Lower School with the after school program. Mr. Tieger grew up in Hartford, CT and spent many of his summers in the Berkshires. He graduated from Skidmore College in 2008 and spent the first part of his career writing and performing comedy in Los Angeles. He has toured nationally with theater productions such as Matilda the Musical. Danny is a prolific songwriter, writing music for NASA, DreamworksTV, and over a hundred films and television shows with his band, Peter Panic. A published author, Danny’s two books teach young people to express their creativity through filmmaking and songwriting respectively. Danny enjoys running, fast-moving winter sports, and exploring with his son, William.

Kelly Tieger joins the Lower School team as our new fourth grade teacher. A Connecticut native born and raised in the Hartford area, Kelly comes to the IMS community from New York City, where she has been teaching since 2011 in varied settings. These include a charter school in Harlem, the New-York Historical Society, and, most recently, Corlears School, an independent school in the Chelsea neighborhood. At Corlears, Kelly spent two years teaching in a combined 3rd-4th grade classroom, and another year specializing in fourth and fifth grade math. She is passionate about fostering critical reasoning skills and a global consciousness in her students. Kelly holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied history and literature, and a M.S. in Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. She lives on campus with her husband Chris and their rescue dog, Tuck—named for her favorite children’s book, Tuck Everlasting.

Please join us in welcoming our new faculty and staff!