We are pleased to welcome a group of talented new faculty and staff to both campuses this year! Whether they will be teaching, coaching, working in the dorms, or supporting daily school operations, they look forward to beginning the 2021-2022 school year.
Jonathan Arnold will join our Upper Campus Math Department full time this fall after serving as a long-term math substitute last year. This year, in addition to teaching math, Mr. Arnold will be a coach and an advisor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College, and an MBA in Finance and Real Estate from the Wharton School at UPenn. After a long career in the business world, Mr. Arnold is stepping full time into the classroom.
Emily Benson has already joined us as our new Director of Communications. For the past four years, Ms. Benson was a senior administrator at the International Academy of New York where she worked in admission, marketing, and communications roles. Prior to joining the independent school world, Ms. Benson worked for more than 20 years in the TV industry as a director, producer, and writer, for networks like CNN, The History Channel, and Food Network. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from Augustana College and received her M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College. Ms. Benson just made the full-time move from Manhattan to her home in Egremont, MA and her twins, Penelope and Philip, will be in 1st grade at IMS.
Lucia Benzoni joins IMS as our new School Physician. Dr. Lucia Benzoni, DO is a pediatric specialist at Litchfield Hills Pediatrics which is now part of the Hartford Health Care Group. Before that, she was a pediatrician for 15 years with the Torrington Winsted Pediatric Group. Dr. Benzoni graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine-New York Medical School and has over 30 years experience in the field.
Robin Buttacavoli will be joining IMS as a new additional 3rd grade teacher; we recently expanded our 3rd grade to include two sections. Mrs. Buttacavoli is mother to three current IMS students. Mrs. Buttacavoli has an extensive background in teaching at the lower elementary level, including many years as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher at Loretta Park Elementary School in Brentwood, NY. She earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College and her master’s degree as a reading specialist from Long Island University.
Kate Chechak joins IMS as the new Director of Academic Support. Ms. Chechak comes to us most recently from the Dalton School in NYC where she served as the math coordinator, focusing on curriculum coordination and instructional support. Prior to working at Dalton, Ms. Chechak was also a math coordinator at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in NYC. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she later earned her Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Chechak is relocating full time to her home in Goshen, CT with her family, including her two children, new IMS students Bass (6th) and Stella (3rd) Levin.
Brian Hess will be working on the Upper Campus as a new member of the English department. Mr. Hess is a 2014 graduate of Kenyon College, and is currently one year away from completing his Master’s degree from the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English. Mr. Hess worked this past year as a 7th grade English and art teacher at the Dawson School in Lafayette, CO. Prior to being at Dawson, he taught English for four years at University School in Hunting Valley, OH. He will also be a coach and advisor.
Eva Hodosy, who we already know as a member of the IMS community, will be stepping into a new role, joining the counseling team as a part-time counselor. Mrs. Hodosy will also continue to work as a tutor. Eva Hodosy earned her bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and completed her master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut in 2017. She is also certified in the Orton-Gillingham approach to literacy instruction.
Erika Hollander will be joining the Lower Campus as a full time faculty member. Ms. Hollander was most recently a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Berkshire Country Day School. Prior to being at BCD, Ms. Hollander worked at Kildonan School where she was an elementary school teacher, literacy tutor, and elementary coordinator. Ms. Hollander earned her bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and a master’s degree from Smith College. She is also Orton-Gillingham trained and has experience teaching all grades from Pre-K through 5th.
Cameron Johnson will teach Spanish, advise, coach, and live in campus housing as a member of the IMS residential life team. A recent graduate from Bates College, Ms. Johnson majored in psychology with minors in both Spanish and Educational Studies. She has experience working with students as a camp counselor and also as a teaching assistant as part of her undergraduate work in the Lewiston, ME public schools.
Greyson Schopp will join the English department on the Upper Campus. Ms. Schopp has just graduated from Kenyon College, where she was an English and Philosophy double major. Ms. Schopp is also a graduate of Hotchkiss School. She will also advise, coach, and live in campus housing as a member of the residential life team.
Ashaad Tillman will join the Math department on the Upper Campus. Mr. Tillman recently graduated from Lasell University, where he majored in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in applied math. While earning his undergraduate degree, he spent time as a Resident Assistant and student teacher. He has also served as a 9th grade mentor with Breakthrough Providence. Mr. Tillman will also coach, advise and live on campus as a member of the residential life team.
Caitlin von Graf will join our Health Center team this fall as a part-time nurse. Ms. von Graf has nearly two decades of experience in healthcare, and also currently works as a nurse at The Salisbury School. Ms. von Graf earned her bachelor’s degree from Bard Rock College at Simon’s Rock and her degree in nursing from Arizona State University. Ms. von Graf is also a parent at IMS.
Mike Wilson will be joining IMS to teach our English Language Learning (ELL) courses. Mr. Wilson has several years experience teaching ELL courses in Delaware and abroad, having taught English in Germany and Peru. Mr. Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and his Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Delaware. He will also coach, advise, and live on campus as a member of the residential life team.
John Zahner joins the Lower School as our new 4th grade teacher. Mr. Zahner is an experienced educator at the elementary level with more than 20 years of classroom experience, mostly in 4th through 6th grade. Most recently, Mr. Zahner worked at the Wooster School in Danbury, CT, where he has served in a number of classroom positions since 2003, including lead 4th and 5th grade teacher for almost two decades. He received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Olaf College in Political Science and Norwegian Studies and his Master’s of Education from Lesley University.v