King’s Academy, October 1, 2006 – As King’s Academy embarks on its final stage of preparation before the school’s opening in August 2007, it is getting help from a very special group of people: The King’s Academy Fellows. Gathered from internationally recognized secondary schools and universities, these 10 recent graduates will spend the year bringing their varied experiences, background and interests to support the implementation of King’s Academy’s academic and extracurricular program.
The idea behind the Fellows’ program is that the founding of King’s Academy would benefit from the presence of a group of young graduates hailing from the very best US independent boarding schools and universities. With their experiences still fresh in their minds, they are working with the school’s headmaster, chairman and administrative staff in making those necessary decisions on the organization and presentation of the school’s curriculum and its co-curricular life.
For many of the Fellows, King’s Academy is their first stop after obtaining college and graduate degrees, and it is far from the typical job. The average day often starts with a meeting to discuss issues such as scheduling, grading and extracurricular activities. Afternoon activities so far have ranged from trash can placement with the school’s engineer to touring to plotting the school’s academic and residential buildings. As with most of the school’s foreign staff and faculty, the fellows are also studying Arabic.
“Our Fellows are quite an extraordinary group,” notes Headmaster Eric Widmer. “They bring to King’s Academy the benefit of their elite educational experience and their impressive brain power.”
What the Fellows bring to the school, they also bring to the lunch and dinner table—some of the bolder ideas considered thus far have been raised during the meals they share with Dr. Widmer each day, at the headmaster’s home or at the round tables of the dining hall.
Who they are:
David Alexandre, who graduated from Deerfield Academy in 2006, is taking a gap year before matriculating at the University of North Carolina to serve as a Junior Fellow at King’s Academy. David will assist in the development of the curricula of the English and History Departments.
Alena Bartoli, Deerfield Class of 1997, graduated from Yale University in 2001 with a major in geology and in 2006 received a Masters in international relations at Uppsala University in Sweden. After her year as a Fellow, Alena will stay on to teach science and organize the college counseling program at King’s Academy.
Anna Dechert,graduated from Deerfield in 2004 and will leave Yale University in 2008 with a major in Middle Eastern studies. She is taking a semester abroad to serve as a Junior Fellow and will continue to advise and contribute to the school’s rhetoric and publications.
Lacey Gray, who graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 2002 and received her undergraduate degree and Masters degree in the archaeology of the Ancient World from Brown University in 2006. Lacey is working to establish the King’s Academy program in archaeology and will coach tennis and fencing.
Jessica Gorman, Deerfield Class of 2002, graduated from Hamilton College in 2006 with a major in Spanish and government. In addition to teaching, Jessica will help develop the athletic program at King’s Academy.
Natalie Howe, a Choate high school alumna, studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale, class of 2001, and environmental studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Natalie is contributing to the development of the King’s Academy science curriculum.
Salwa Manaja, who attended Wadi Musa Girls’ High School and the University of Jordan where she studied finance, will work with the department of Admissions and Financial Aid. As the only native Jordanian among the Fellows, she has been involved in advising on the Jordanian education system.
Tiffany Norman, is an alumna of the Peddie School and graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a major in art history. A seasoned teacher, Tiffany has been working to establish quality and regulations for student residential life, and will serve as the King’s Academy soccer coach.
Rebecca O’Brien, attended St. Ann’s School and graduated from Harvard University in 2006. In addition to curricular planning, Rebecca is working with the Academy’s department of communications, and will ultimately teach English and start up the school newspaper.
Huoi Trieu, a graduate of Deerfield and Georgetown University, class of 2006, is helping establish the school’s community service program and will serve as a representative for alumni and public relations.