Welcome Back!

By Joe Perry — It seems as though the change in the weather today (from 90-degree to 70-degree temperatures) is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us that summer vacation is soon coming to a close. To paraphrase an old sentiment, “when one thing closes something new and wonderful opens.” I see this week as the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter in all of our lives — the start of the 2015–2016 school year. We are all so excited to hear children laughing and see students smiling again on campus. The anticipation of the new school year, new friendships, new interests and new faces will be palpable in all of our homes this week.As we all know, this nervousness will soon turn to a sense of comfort and confidence at Derby. The Derby community welcomes all of you “Back to School.”

Please also join me in welcoming the following people to our community.

JEAN BOYCE will join our Kindergarten team this year, assisting with some of our youngest students. Jean received her B.A. at MacMurray College, and earned her M.Ed. at Boston University. She is an experienced reading specialist, and most recently worked locally at the East School and South Shore Conservatory.

Head Librarian KELLY DEPIN joins us from the Ezra Baker Innovation School, where she managed a library program for more than 400 students. In addition to her independent and charter school library experience, Kelly has worked in public libraries, and earned her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Rhode Island.

Assisting with second grade is SARAH KORNACKI. A graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall, Bates College and Lesley University (M.Ed.). She has most recently worked at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in the first and third grades.

MARTIN LYNCH will be joining us as technical theater manager and shop teacher. Marty brings a number of years of experience both as technical director and theater teacher. He has had significant experience in carpentry, theater electrics and production design. He has worked at Beaver Country Day School and Vermont Academy as well as the American Repertory Theater. Marty holds an M.A. in Theater Education from Emerson College.

MARCUS MILLER will be managing our communications department. Marcus comes to us from St. Sebastian’s School, and is well-versed in multimedia presentations and social media strategies. He earned his B.A. in Writing from Drake University, and completed his Master’s at Emerson College in Writing, Literature and Publishing.

LAURIE POTTER will join Kelly Depin in the Terry Library as our Assistant Librarian. Laurie is a past parent of two Derby students, and after earning her B.A. from Brown University, completed her M.B.A. at Boston University. Laurie’s most recent experience includes development work at the Winsor School. She also worked in corporate giving for the Gillette Company.

Also joining the arts department is EMILY SHEPARD. Emily will be our Lower School art teacher as well as work on set design and teach art electives for Grades 7 & 8. She is a graduate of Ithaca College with a B.A. in Visual Arts Education and a minor in Art History. Emily also has an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. She has most recently been the lead K-1 teacher at the Conservatory Lab Charter School.

Our new second grade teacher will be LANI WRIGHT. A graduate of St. Mark’s School, Lani has a B.A. from Middlebury College in Psychology/SociologyAnthropology. She also has a M.Ed. from Harvard University in Learning and Teaching. Lani’s experience includes a year of teaching English to students between 11 and 20 years of age at a small village in Tanzania. Closer to home, she has worked at Greenwich Academy, Kent School and Wolfeboro: The Summer Boarding School.

Familiar faces in new positions:

DERELYN KAHLER will continue to be our Musical Director this year and will also be taking on the role of After School Program Assistant.

KATHLEEN MALONE who assisted in the math department last year will the Math Enrichment Coordinator as well as teaching both 6th grade engineering design and the 5th grade projects class.

CAITLYN MCDONNELL will continue to be an Assistant Teacher in the Lower School. She is moving down the hall from second grade to first grade.

JULIE MCOSKER, formerly the After School Programs Assistant, will now be joining the Admission Team as the new Admission Coordinator.

RUTH ROTHMAN, who worked part-time for Derby last year, will now be full-time assisting in our Pre-K class this year and teaching in our morning and afternoon enrichment programs.

I would also like to send a Derby CONGRATULATIONS and GOOD LUCK to Julie Rizzo, former Director of Advancement, as she begins a new chapter. We wish her all the best in her new role as the Development Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester (MA).

Read more from Joe Perry at Derby Academy’s Head of School Blog >>

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Welcome from the Derby PA

By the Derby PA — On behalf of the Derby Academy Parents Association, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome new and returning families to Derby Academy. We hope that, like us, you will find that your parent experience at Derby is greatly enriched through opportunities offered by the PA to get involved and make meaningful connections with parents beyond those in your own child’s grade level.

Led by parents, the Derby PA is dedicated to fostering greater communication, offering opportunities for parents to come together, and supporting the efforts of faculty, staff and administration to enrich the positive learning environment for our children. We encourage you to join us in our efforts and find a couple hours of your time this year to volunteer and support our Derby community. Our hope is that every parent has an opportunity to participate regardless of schedule constraints and interests!

Please plan to attend our first meeting on Tuesday, September 15, at 8:20 a.m. in the dining hall. We are excited about our agenda: in addition to PA business, we will also hear from Trustee President, Maureen Pace, and Head of School, Joe Perry, as well as many Faculty Heads to discuss their school year plans. All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend—hope to see you all there!

Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any questions. We are happy to meet with any parent to discuss opportunities to get engaged and we are also constantly trying to think ‘outside the box’ for new programming and community events so we would love to hear from you. In the meantime, check out our online form for current volunteer opportunities. Joining a committee or offering support for an event is a great way to meet other parents and interact with our talented faculty. It is often these volunteer activities that serve as a foundation for a new friendship or a source of inspiration and renewed enthusiasm for all that Derby offers.

Lori Cashman, President
Deb Hayes, Vice President
Gia Ramza, Treasurer
Bette Ferris, Secretary

Read more from the Parents Association at Derby Academy’s PA Blog >>

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Greetings from the Head of School

By Joe Perry — As we all enjoy these last couple of weeks of summer, I wanted to let you know that our campus is becoming busier every day. We are seeing facility projects wrap up nicely, faculty working through webinars and testing new technology, students stopping in for class gatherings, and classrooms getting reorganized and ready for September 10. Every year I get excited as the first day of school begins to become a reality, and this year I am especially happy to be a “new student” here at Derby Academy.

We all remember the excitement, anticipation and sometimes longing that accompanied the transition from summer to a new school year. You are all giving your children the special gift of the Derby experience as their foundation of schooling and childhood memories. Derby’s facilities, faculty, culture and community support all aspects of childhood and adolescence; I look forward to being a part of this unique school community for years to come. It is an honor and my pleasure to send this, my first official “August Letter” announcing the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

Starting this afternoon you can log in to our website and find all the pertinent information needed for the start of school. John Houghton and Polly Rizzotto have posted their “start of school” letters and class lists. Please go to the “Resource Boards” page and click on the “Back to School 2015” page to view this information (or use the log in link below).

Be safe, stay healthy (perhaps remind your MS/US students about summer readings and IXL work) and soak in these remaining days of summer with family and friends. I look forward to seeing you on campus shortly and hope to get to know you throughout the year.

Read more from Joe Perry at Derby Academy’s Head of School Blog >> 

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