We are excited to welcome our new faculty and staff to GFS. Learn about some of the new members of our community below. We will continue to add bios over the next few weeks, so check back in!
Andrea Barrows joins GFS as a Modern Language Teacher. Most recently, she was a teaching fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, earning her master's degree in education. She has taught at the Hotchkiss School and the Académie de Strasbourg. Andrea will be teaching French in Middle and Upper Schools.
Dr. Brian Bersh is GFS’ new Music Department Chair. Brian comes to us from Arlington Public Schools in Virginia, where he served as a mentor teacher and the County Lead Teacher for Instrumental Instruction at the secondary and elementary levels. He taught and conducted a range of ensembles, advised the music honor society, and initiated a music peer mentorship program for students with disabilities. Prior, Brian served as the Yorktown High School's Music Department Chair, where the department was named a GRAMMY Signature Schools semi-finalist. He holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership, an M.M.E. in general music K-12, a B.M.E, and a minor in jazz studies.
Ben Brust has been teaching Latin since 2012 in various school districts in New York and Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree and his master's degree from the University of Scranton where he studied curriculum and instruction. Ben will be teaching Latin in the Middle and Upper Schools.
Eliza Davison will continue to serve as a consultant in the Health Department this year. Eliza is also a curriculum coordinator at the Transgender Training Institute, and has received their certificate in sexual health from the University of Michigan. Eliza will co-teach various courses within the GFS health curriculum.
Lindsay Dussing returns to GFS as Director of College Counseling for Internal Operations. Lindsay has an extensive background in college admissions, both at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, where she launched the admissions visitor center and created many important innovations to Penn’s alumni interview program, as well as other initiatives. Most recently, Lindsay has served as the Director of Lower School Admissions at GFS. We are so grateful that Lindsay’s knowledge of college admissions and her understanding of our school culture will support and help realize the goals of the College Counseling Office.
Rob Goldberg brings over 17 years of experience as History Department Head this fall. Rob is a teacher, learner, and historian of American culture, with a special interest in race, gender, and childhood. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the American Journal of Play. His upcoming book Radical Play: Revolutionizing Children’s Toys in 1960s America will be published in 2023 by Duke University Press. Rob has a doctorate and a master’s in history from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a B.A. in history from Vassar College, with a minor in Jewish studies.
Sarah Gordin comes to GFS as a Dance and Movement Teacher for the Early Childhood and Lower School divisions. She received a B.A. in theatre with a concentration in directing and acting from Muhlenberg College. She spent a year with AmeriCorps as an Artist Year Fellow working at Logan Elementary School in North Philadelphia. Sarah has extensive experience in dance; teaching; and directing at schools, theaters, and camps in the U.S. and abroad.
Lily Greene begins as an Academic Writing Support Teacher this fall. Previously, she was an Assistant Girls Soccer and Assistant Track & Field Coach at GFS, as well as a substitute teacher. In her prior role, Lily led, designed, and assisted in sports practice sessions, supported student-athletes through track meets, created P.E. lessons and assisted Lower School classrooms, and in 2017, she served as GFS camp instructor. She holds a B.A. in global literary theory from Davidson College.
Michael Heeter will serve as the Director of College Counseling for External Affairs. Michael has been involved in college admissions for more than 20 years. He has worked in admissions offices at Vanderbilt University and New York University, and has led college counseling offices at Ransom Everglades School, Hawken School, Marlborough School, and most recently, Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys High School. Michael brings considerable knowledge of the college admissions process to this role and looks forward to working on new ways to position GFS within the admissions landscape.
Rachel Hodas returns to GFS in the new role of Director of Students Services & School Psychologist. Rachel brings a decade of experience as a practitioner working with children and families, including serving as the founding school psychologist at Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia. She joined the Student Services team last year, and we are thrilled that she is taking on this new role. Rachel majored in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to earn her master’s in education and Ph.D. in psychology at Temple University.
Dr. Mark Levenstien joins the Upper School Science Department this year, bringing an extensive background in the sciences and education. Previously, he served as a research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering and at CHOP. Most recently, he taught at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in New Jersey. Mark has a PhD in biological sciences from Rockefeller University and an ScB in biomedical engineering from Brown University.
Andrew Malkasian comes to GFS as a new Middle School History and Upper School Film II Teacher this fall. Most recently, Andrew taught in the Kennett School District. Andrew earned his M.S. in transformational education from West Chester University.
Rachel Marcus returns to GFS as a Lower School Assistant Teacher this fall. She previously served as an Early Childhood Flower Teacher for the 2020-21 school year. She has also worked as a student assistant at Oberlin College and a research assistant for Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. in Comparative American Studies and History from Oberlin College.
Madeleine Perlmutter comes to GFS as a third grade Lower School Assistant Teacher. She has taught in many schools and programs throughout the country, including Penn Charter School, The Fulbright Program in Spain, The Service Learning Project in New York, and City Year in California. Throughout her career, she has built engaging Spanish language curricula for students in Pre-K through 4th grade and has improved English-speaking abilities of students in bilingual classrooms. Madeleine has a B.A. in individualized study with a focus on education studies, and child and adolescent development from New York University.
Jessica Perper Goodman joins the GFS Advancement Office as the Special Events Manager. She has more than ten years of marketing and event experience, and most recently served as the Director of Meetings at The American Society of Transplantation in New Jersey. Jessica also worked in London at Reed Travel Exhibitions, and as the Marketing & Events Director at Fisherzucker LLC & Franchise Unconference LLC in Philadelphia. She holds a B.S.B.A. from the Fox School of Business at Temple University, where she majored in marketing.
Ike Pickett joins GFS as a Lower School Assistant Teacher this fall. Prior, they worked at Historic Fair Hill as a service fellow, where they assisted teachers and librarians to support student literacy and academics in North Philadelphia public schools and worked with K-8 students to promote engagement in literature. Ike was a Quaker voluntary service fellow, where they focused their work on community, service, and spirituality. They have a B.A. in English literature and creative writing from Purdue University.
Lindsey Reinhard joins the Music Department at GFS as our newest Middle and Upper School music teacher. She has extensive experience in teaching and performing as both a conductor and a singer, and contributed to a chapter on pedagogy and lesson planning in Aligning Music to STEM: Theory and Practice for Middle School General Music. Lindsey recently received her M.Mus. in choral conducting from Georgia State University.
Vandita Sinha comes to GFS as a Middle and Upper School Science Teacher this fall. Vandita taught science at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina for eight years, and prior, was a part-time research assistant at University of North Carolina. Vandita holds a M.Sc. in food science and applied nutrition from Allahabad University, India, and a B.Sc in home science from Lucknow University, India.
Joe Stanzione joins GFS as the Director of Lower School. Prior, he served as the Elementary Principal and Head of Campus at The American School Foundation of Monterrey (ASFM) in Mexico—a role he held since 2012. He has held teaching positions in Mexico and New Jersey since 1993. Reflecting on joining the GFS community, Joe shared,“GFS focuses on nurturing the whole child, encouraging individuals to seek out truth, and building relationships that value uniqueness.” He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from The College of New Jersey and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elizabethtown College.
Monique Streety comes to GFS as a Middle School Theatre and Movement teacher. Monique completed the certificate program at the Ailey School and served as the Dance Director/Choreographer for the Riverdale Children’s Theatre in New York.
Liz Szot joins GFS as Senior Executive Assistant to the Head of School. Liz comes from a varied background in restaurant management, design, and more. Her wide-ranging background has prepared her with the communication skills, flexibility, and organization for her new role. Liz studied education at Millersville University.
Hannah Winkelman returns to GFS as a fifth-grade Lower School Assistant Teacher. During the 2020-21 school year, Hannah worked with a group of fourth and fifth grade GFS students who were learning remotely. Prior, she ran a reading program in Toronto for elementary-aged newcomers to Canada to help them learn English, and worked in Israel teaching English as a foreign language to over 240 high school students. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Education, as well as a certification in elementary learning at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jess Zeldes joins the GFS community as a new Upper School Math Teacher. They hold a B.S in astrophysics and mathematics from Haverford College. While at Haverford, Jess was a teaching assistant for Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Analysis I, and also acted as a math tutor. Their interests are wide-ranging and include soft-matter physics, ultimate frisbee, and sketch comedy.