Meet the Faculty, Part 2

Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

In this installment of our “meet the new faculty and specialists” series, you will get to know the new head teachers in the Lower School. Ms. Kolenda’s looking for restaurant recommendations, Ms. Schaefer is up for Disney karaoke any day, and Ms. Scanlon likes to play softball and quote Aristotle. See what else you can learn about our new faculty members!

Kathlyn Kolenda, Head Teacher, Silver Cluster

Tell us about yourself:
Originally from Upstate New York, I moved down to the city to attend graduate school at CUNY Hunter. There I earned my Master’s in Learning Disabilities. For the past seven years, I have been working in the charter school system with children from the South Bronx, East New York, and Harlem. Most recently, I was the Director of Special Education in a K-8 school, working closely with the CSE and the DOE to advocate for students with special needs. I am so fortunate to be back in the classroom and with such a great group of kids in Room 505!

Favorites?
Food – Cheese
Restaurant – Still deciding 🙂
Thing to do in NYC – Taking walks around Central Park
Book – My Lobotomy by Howard Dully
Hobby – Watercolor painting

What was your favorite subject in school?
Graphic Arts and Photography

What is your secret talent?
I speak Thai fluently.

Yearbook Quote?
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

 

Audrey Schaefer, Head Teacher, Silver Cluster

Tell us about yourself:
I joined Gaynor as Head Teacher in Silver Cluster in August of 2017. Before Gaynor, I taught in East Harlem for three years. I am thrilled to join the wonderful teachers here! I graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in English and from Long Island University with a MS in Special Education. In between getting those degrees, I worked in both book and magazine publishing, taking a winding path that led me to the career of my dreams: teaching. The smiles, beautiful art projects, and amazing students make the early wake-up calls beyond worth it!

Favorites?
Food – Anything with lots of vegetables (followed by lots of chocolate)
Restaurant – La Esquina in SoHo
Thing to do in NYC – long bike rides along the Hudson
Book – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Hobby – Cooking

What was your favorite subject in school?
English

What is your secret talent?
I can sing any and all Disney songs upon request.

Yearbook Quote?
“The truth is, most of us discover where we are heading when we arrive.” Bill Watterson

 

Megan Scanlon, Co-Teacher, Red Cluster

Tell us about yourself:
I am so happy to be here at Stephen Gaynor School as a Co-Teacher in the Red Cluster! This is my first year at Gaynor, as I have been a Head Teacher in a Catholic school setting for the last three years. I graduated from Boston College with a BA in Elementary Education, Special Education and Human Development & Applied Psychology, while playing softball for my four years there. Recently, I graduated from Fordham University with my certification and Master’s in Childhood Education and Special Education.

Favorites?
Food – My Mother’s chicken cutlets!
Restaurant – Bricco in Boston, MA
Thing to do in NYC – Shopping!
Book – As a kid, the Lemony Snicket Series
Hobby – watching movies with my family

What was your favorite subject in school?
When I was young, my favorite subject was English. In college, my favorite subject was Teaching ELA!

What is your secret talent?
My secret talent is I can play the piano.

Yearbook Quote? 
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle