Trinity Welcomes New Class of Teachers and Staff

L to R: Jenny Witman, US math, physics, and robotics; Fred Brooks, US Advanced Physics; Matt Waldvogel, MS History; Jim Moore, Financial Services Manager; Nancy Brooks (back to camera), Strings; Adrian Mack, Director of Trinity Fund; Mike Soderberg, US math
Left to Right: Carrie Engsberg (back to camera), Strings; Amy Beth Miller, Middle School math; Robbie Helms, US Math; Warren Gould, Director of US

L to R: Mike Soderberg, US Math; Nancy Brooks, Strings; Jenny Witman, US math and physics and robotics; Fred Brooks, US Advanced Physics; Matt Waldvogel, MS History and Bible;

L to R: Rebecca Caudle, Libraria; Melissa Bissett, Admissions; Kara Farrell, School and College Counselor

L to R: Sara Kelly, TK Aide; Sara Larson, MS Math; Jenny Bodnar, MS Latin and PE; Taylor Ray, MS Art
Last week we welcomed over twenty new employees to Trinity.  Some of them were around last year and didn't go through our new employee orientation, so we brought them through with the genuinely new.  It's a great group, and we had a lot of fun together.

I've listed the new faculty below.

We take seriously the responsibility of every employee, whatever they are doing, for the delivery of the mission of Trinity.  Teachers have a special responsibility for the care and guidance of students, but our administrative and support staff also embody the mission.  So we all gathered on Monday, August 13, to learn together, to hear a panel of old-timers talk about the history of the school, and to cover the essentials of the mission of Trinity.  It was a full morning, but we always have a good time.

New teachers read Elaine Cooper's When Children Love to Learn, a good distillation of Charlotte Mason's philosophy and pedagogy by various esteemed Mason educators, like Jack Beckman, who visited Trinity last year.

On Tuesday, August 14, Desiree and I enjoyed lunch with the new teachers at our home.  The pictures above are from that day.

Introducing New Faculty and Staff

The following list includes staff who began working in the middle of the 2011-2012 school year, as well as staff who begin their Trinity tenure in the summer of 2012.

Melinda Bissett became Trinity’s Assistant Director of Admission in the spring semester of 2012.  She had previously served as Director of Admission and Alumni Coordinator at Cary Academy, as well as an admissions officer at both Fuqua Business School at Duke and N.C. State.  She has a B.A. in economics from Wake Forest University and a M.Ed. in Counseling from NCSU.  Melinda comes to Trinity with a wealth of experience in both admission and advancement, and we have already benefitted greatly from her talents.   

Jenny Denton Bodnar taught one seventh grade Latin section last year but is assuming a larger role this year, teaching two Latin classes and one Physical Education class in the Middle School.  She is a 2012 graduate of Duke University, earning a B.A. in English.  She also helped to coach the Trinity track team last year, has tutored students in Latin, participated in a Middle School girls’ literacy program through Duke Engage, and was an Augustine tutor.  Jenny is the daughter of our Headmaster, attended Trinity School through eighth grade, graduated from Durham Academy, and was married just this summer.

Andrea Bojanski will be the teaching assistant in our new section of second grade next year.  Andrea and her family have been homeschooling friends of Trinity for many years now; they come every year in their Revolutionary War costumes to re-enact history for our second graders.  Andrea graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in psychology and is working now on an M.A. in Counseling at Southeastern Seminary. 

Fred Brooks is familiar to many at Trinity School, having just completed a long tenure as a Trustee on the Trinity Board.  Formerly the manager of the IBM System/360 project, he became the founding Chair of the Department of Computer Science at UNC and has been awarded numerous awards through his long service to the university, including the prestigious Turing Award.  His book The Mythical Man Month is a classic on software project management.  With degrees from Duke and Harvard Universities and a long and distinguished career, Fred is wonderfully over-qualified to teach the advanced physics class in our Upper School.  And in his typically generous way, Fred is volunteering his time for this important work. 

Nancy Brooks will serve as strings instructor, serving both our Lower-Middle School Strings group and our Upper School ensemble.  She will be assisted by a new strings teacher to be announced later.   Nancy is well known at Trinity, having served as a founding board member and having long been involved in the music program at Trinity.  Most recently, she and Mary Fran Boyce have developed the strings program through volunteer teaching.  We are pleased this year to be establishing the strings program in a more permanent and sustainable way.  Nancy has a physics degree from Harvard and a music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and she brings many decades of music instruction to Trinity, as well as a deep and abiding love for Trinity’s mission. 

Evan Cate began his Trinity teaching last year when he picked up the second semester of New Testament Greek in the Upper School.  This year Evan assumes a full-time position, teaching humanities, Model United Nations, 1960s elective, and assisting the Headmaster in teaching the Senior Theology class.  Evan hails from Washington state and comes from a family of educators.  He received his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth University in Spokane and his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.  Evan has considerable experience in camp counseling and ministry in the church.

Banks Clark assumes the Upper School Art instruction.  Banks grew up here in Durham and attended Lafayette College, where he studied Art and the Philosophy of Religion.  From there he came to Duke Divinity School, where he received a Master’s degree in Theology and the Arts.  Banks brings a deep and insightful theological sensitivity to his production and interpretation of the arts.  

Rebecca Caudle has begun her work as our first Director of Library Services.  She comes to us from Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA, where she served as the E-Learning Librarian.  Before that she worked at libraries at UNC Chapel Hill, where she received her Master of Science in Library Science.  She also earned a B.A. in Hispanic Studies Education from East Carolina University and taught Spanish for a year at Southeast High School in Greensboro.  She will teach one section of Spanish for us in the Upper School.  Rebecca is fully engaged in creating a culture of learning where students read for enjoyment and for information.

Morgan Doherty will be known to many of you, especially Lower School parents, as our “Friday School Nurse.”  She began her work in the middle of last school year, assisting Cheryl Blake in her work.  Megan has a degree in elementary education from Liberty University and earned her R.N. degree from Bon Secours School of Nursing in Richmond, VA.  She and her husband live in Durham.  Megan will continue her part-time work with us this year. 

Carrie Engsberg will be assisting Nancy Brooks in the Trinity strings program.  Carrie is a graduate of Wheaton College, with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance.  She played in the Wheaton Symphony Orchestra and with the Apollo Choir in the Chicago Symphony Hall.  A certified Suzuki instructor, Carrie has moved to this area to begin private violin lessons.  She will be teaching our youngest strings students and sharing the teaching of our Lower School/Middle School Advanced Group and the Upper School Strings Group. 

Kara Farrell is our new School and College Counselor.  She hails from Iowa and  comes to us most recently from South Dakota, where she earned a bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters in School Counseling from the University of South Dakota.  She completed an internship in school counseling this past spring at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill.  She also has experience as a Life Skills Counselor and a Youth Specialist with Lutheran Family services.  Kara is glad to be taking on the college counseling work at Trinity.

Noela Frost began teaching Spanish for us last winter and will assume a full-time position this fall.  She is originally from Uruguay, where she attended St. Catherine’s School and earned a B.A. in Bilingual Studies.  She has also earned a postgraduate diploma in teaching young learners from the International House in Uruguay and a Spanish teaching degree from the Training Institute in Uruguay.  She is trained also in teaching English as a second language.  After her initial teaching stint in Uruguay, Noela taught upper level high school Spanish at two schools in California and then most recently taught younger students at the Montessori School of Raleigh.  Noela is a lifelong learner with vast experience in the development of Spanish curriculum. 

Robert Helms will be teaching math in the Upper School.  He comes to us from Duke University, where he graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Math.  Robert has also taken courses at NC State and Stanford University, and he worked at the Duke Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics during his tenure at Duke.  He served as a Peer-to-Peer Tutor as an undergrad.  Robert’s high school experience at St. David’s in Raleigh and his significant involvement with Bible Studies and mission trips with Cru (a campus ministry) at Duke make him a strong fit for Trinity’s mission.  Robert was married this summer.

Sara Kelly will serve as our TK Teaching Aide this year.  Sara is a Trinity parent and has experience with teaching young children through her involvement at Westminster Preschool here in Durham.  She has served on the Advisory Board of that school and also as a substitute teacher.  She earned an Associate Arts degree from Peace College and a B.A. in sociology from North Carolina State University. 

Sara Larson, Trinity parent and alumna Trinity teacher and coach, will teach Middle School math part-time this coming year.  Sara taught Middle School math, science, Bible, and PE at Trinity School from 1999-2002.  She also coached basketball, track, and cross-country.  She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Physical Education.  Sara and her husband Tom have been leaders for Young Life in this area for some time. 

Adrian Mack will serve as our Director of the Trinity Fund in the Advancement office.  Adrian has helped coach track at Trinity this past year, and we are glad to welcome him on board as a staff member.  He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in history and then attended Duke Divinity School, where he earned an M.Div.  Adrian’s vocational story is a moving and fascinating one, and the opportunity to work at a school and support the mission of Trinity through leading our annual fund is one he welcomes. 

Meredith Martindale will be our new fifth grade teacher (working in partnership with Angela Ruffing).  Meredith grew up in Durham and graduated from Durham Academy.  She earned a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in Hispanic Studies from UNC Chapel Hill and then went on to serve in the admissions office at the Fletcher School in Charlotte, NC.  She then earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Queens College and cut her teeth in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg system.  Meredith is excited to join the Trinity staff, where she can blend her Christian commitment with excellent teaching.

Amy Beth Miller will join the Middle School faculty as a math instructor.  She will also help with some coaching and will lead (with Laura McLean assisting) the Lower School Children’s Chorus.  Amy Beth is a graduate of Brentwood Academy in Tennessee and a recent graduate of The University of Tennessee, with a degree in Music Education.  She is excited to be able to put her extensive math skills to work alongside her training in music in a school whose mission fits her own passions and commitments.

Jim Moore began his work in our Business office this summer.  He is our new Financial Service Manager, handling accounts receivable and payable, tuition, and other important financial responsibilities.  Jim has long experience in school finances, having served as the Business Administrator in the Leptondale Christian Academy in Newburgh, NY for fourteen years.  More recently, he served as bookkeeper and office manager at Farrell’s Self Storage in Chapel Hill. 

Amy Paul has moved from full-time Director of Financial Services to a part-time role in the Business office.  She has helped Jim Moore with his transition into his new job and helped us to complete our clean audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.  Now she will be working on special projects for the business and finance office.  Amy’s strong financial background, her high standards, her personal relationships with many parents, and her deep love for Trinity will be a great asset to Trinity.

Taylor Ray will be teaching Middle School Art classes this year.  Taylor attended Trinity through the eighth grade (before we had an Upper School) and went on to play soccer at both High Point University and the University of Kentucky.  More recently, she has taught the Young Rembrandts art class after school in the Lower School, and we are glad to have this talented alum as part of our faculty team.  Taylor is the daughter of our music teacher, Janet Ray.

Andy Schneider will be teaching Middle School physical education, ninth grade health, and assisting in the athletic department.  He will likely also do some coaching for us.  Andy attended Drexel University for a year, where he played Division I soccer; he then transferred to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, where he earned a B.A. in Psychology of Spirituality.  He also spent considerable time in Costa Rica, where he took many classes in Spanish and became fluent.  He has extensive experience as a camp counselor at Camp Ponderosa.  He has done full-time tutoring, worked on a ski patrol in PA, and taught bilingual classes in Costa Rica.  Andy and his wife have recently moved to this area and he was excited to find a school that matched his own philosophy of education. 

Mike Soderberg comes to Trinity from East Chapel Hill High School, where he has taught math for many years.  With thirty-eight years of experience in math teaching,   Mike brings vast resources and much wisdom to Trinity’s math department, including experience as department chair and as instructor in advanced pre-calculus and AP Calculus AB and BC.  Mike will be teaching upper level math in the Upper School.  Originally from south Florida, where he received his formal training, Mike taught in Miami and Omaha before moving to Chapel Hill.  Mike is particularly excited to match his personal philosophy of teaching with Trinity’s commitment to unhurried education. 

John Utz joins our Upper School faculty as ninth grade Humanities teacher.  A graduate of SMU (B.A. in English), Yale Divinity School (M.A.R.), and Yale University (Ph.D. in American Studies), John brings strong academic training as well as experience in literature, history, and theology to this important class at Trinity.  John has taught at Durham Technical Community College in Humanities and English; he also taught fifth grade at Club Boulevard Magnet Elementary in Durham, earning a lateral entry certification.  His experience as Director of the Duke Center for Theological Writing will be another great resource for Trinity’s integrated humanities program.

Matt Waldvogel joins the Trinity staff, having spent the last year at New Horizons Academy in Durham.  He will teach Middle School history.  Before that, he taught history, government, economics, and journalism at Richmond Hill High School in New York for eight years; for three of those years he served as the Dean of Students.  Matt earned his B.A. in political science with a minor in history from City University of NY in Queens; he earned an M.A. in secondary education from Adelphi University in NY.  He moved to this area a year ago when he was married.

Jenny Witman taught math to our Middle School students last Spring semester.  This year she moves upstairs to teach math, physics, and Robotics to our Upper Schoolers.  She earned two B.S. degrees from Purdue, in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; and she earned both a M.S. and a Ph.D. from Cal Tech in Chemical Engineering.  She attained her teacher’s certification in California in both Physics and Chemistry, and she taught both physics and chemistry at two high schools in California before moving with her husband here to the Triangle.  Jenny also worked with the Robotics program at her school in California and brings great passion and experience to that work here at Trinity. 


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