The Frederick Gunn Student Newspaper

New Faculty for the 2020-21 Year

Photo by Katherine Cortese ’21

By Clara Prander ’22

Every year when the school starts again, we welcome new students and faculty to our campus. This year there are six new faculty members, and we are thrilled to have them here. 

The Highlander interviewed them all and asked them to tell us about them, why they decided to come to FGS, why they wanted to become a teacher, and, the most important question, a fun fact about themselves. 

Ms. Brush is from Baltimore County, Maryland. Last May she graduated (virtually) from Hamilton College where she double majored in Music and Mathematics as well as minored in Hispanic Studies. At FGS, she’s a dorm parent in Teddy House, teaches Pre-Calculus and Algebra 2 as well as being an assistant coach of Outdoor Adventures. Some of her hobbies are singing, hiking, and yoga. 

When asked about why she decided to come to FGS, she said: “It seemed like a wonderful, tight-knit community and I loved the small size of the school. I also love that the school emphasizes a well-rounded, holistic approach to education and encourages students to pursue all of their passions in and out of the classroom while encouraging them to be engaged citizens in their community. The campus is so beautiful and I love the surrounding rural area which has so many opportunities for hiking, but is not too far from bigger cities. I have also never really spent time in Connecticut so I was excited to explore a new place.”

Ms. Brush wanted to become a teacher because she loves academics and has loved working with students through her experiences tutoring and serving as a teaching assistant at Hamilton. She has also been a counselor at summer camps and pre-college programs. 

A fun fact about her is that during her freshman year of college she sang in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. 

Mrs. Noe came here from Marvelwood School in Kent, Ct where she worked as Accounts Payable for 7 years and then the Admissions Administrative Assistant and Data Manager/Equestrian Program Coordinator for 2 years. 

A fun fact about her is that shortly after she started working here, she found out that her cousin is an alum and her great grandfather was a student here in the 1920s.

Ms. Hoins grew up in California in a town called Santa Rosa. In high school, she played soccer, volleyball, basketball, and badminton. Later on, Ms. Hoins went on to play NCAA soccer and badminton at the University of California, Davis and majored in Sociology and Psychology. During her college, she spent a lot of time in St. Croix, Virgin Islands where her mom lived. There she also studied to become a diver. She moved here from Colorado where she lived with her two sons, Emmet and Johno. At FGS she’s the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, a dorm parent in Van Sinderen as well as an assistant coach of the girl’s varsity soccer team.

She came to The Frederick Gunn School because she’s a lifelong learner, dedicated to growing each and every day and also because she absolutely loves the woods and the school mission. She said she’s always looking to understand more deeply, people, and the world. 

When asked about why she wanted to become a teacher she said, “I became a teacher because I love to learn, and I love to create learning experiences. My passion is in inquiry and project-based learning. I love to find out what piques learners’ interests and find ways to build purposeful action-based projects.”

A fun fact about Ms. Hoins is that she lived in Niger, West Africa for two years in a small village named N’Yelwa. There she worked at a health clinic and taught child and maternal health. In order to do this work as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she learned how to speak Hausa. Living in a bush village, she also learned how to ride a dirtbike. 

Ms. Gies was drawn to the Frederick Gunn School’s commitment to academic excellence and intimate community. She saw this as a great opportunity to work with educators that share a commitment to holistic, progressive education. Although she’s working remotely from Somerville, Massachusetts for the school year, she says she’s been so pleased with the warm welcome from the entire community and honored to join this special group of people.

When asked why she wanted to become a teacher she answered, “I come from a long line of passionate educators. As a child, books, magazines, and newspapers were strewn in piles all over my home, always within arm’s reach. Having a love for the written word inspired me to share this appreciation for language and literacy with my students. I believe that unlocking literacy is the key to lifelong learning. It is my mission to instill in my students the power of language and to become effective communicators in the spoken and written word.”

A fun fact about her is that when she graduated from university, she moved to Beijing, China. Her very first job opportunity was to be in a Chinese shoe commercial! She was only a featured extra with the only qualification “being American.” The commercial became really famous and to this day, you can still find it on Yoku, China’s version of YouTube.

Mr. and Mrs. LeBlanc met each other when they were both working at Hebron Academy. They have two sons Dougie and Gordie. They are both very active and one can often spot them running around campus. At FGS, they live in Teddy house.

Concerning their decision to come to FGS, they shared,  “When the opportunity came up for us, we decided to apply, both to live closer to Mrs. Leblanc’s family since we have lived in Maine for the past 12 years, but also for our sons since education is important. Once we interviewed and spent a day at campus, we were very impressed. We immediately felt welcomed and at home.” 

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