With the new 2021-22 school year, we are delighted to welcome our newest teachers and staff to the MICDS Rams family!
Thomas Buffington – Lower School Librarian
Thomas is joining the Lower School team in the role of Librarian. He is already a familiar face at MICDS as he previously served as a Library Assistant, Lower School Classroom Associate, and the Assistant Director of Extended Day. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts in education, history from St. Louis University and a Master of Science in information science, learning technologies and design from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Thomas enjoys SLU basketball and is looking forward to his December wedding to his fiance Nicole. Welcome to the Library, Thomas!
Nicole Liebman – Library Associate
Nicole joins MICDS in the new role of Lower School Library Associate. She taught most recently at St. Charles Community College, where she served as the Adjunct Professor of Developmental Reading. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, a certification as a reading specialist, and a Master of Arts in teaching in communication arts. She looks forward to sharing her love of reading with our students. A fun fact about Nicole is that she and her husband are empty-nesters for the first time. Her advice: don’t blink; it goes fast. Welcome, Nicole!
Susie McGaughey – Lower & Middle School Counselor
Susie McGaughey joins MICDS in the new role of Lower and Middle School Counselor. Before MICDS, she worked for 14 years as an art therapist with Great Circle Academy. Susie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Webster University and a Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and will work directly with students and faculty in third through fifth grades. Before switching gears to become a therapist, Susie was an actor. She looks forward to partnering with faculty to bring fun, creative, and therapeutic opportunities to MICDS students. Welcome to MICDS, Susie!
Laura Miller – 1st Grade Teaching Associate
Laura joins MICDS as a Lower School Teaching Associate in 1st grade. Susie got acquainted with MICDS when she served as a part-time Substitute Teacher and member of the Extended Day team in 2020-2021. Before MICDS, Laura taught at the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, and for seven years in schools in the United Kingdom. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history of art, a Post Graduate Certificate of education in elementary education, and a Master’s Certificate of education. Laura is looking forward to supporting MICDS students in developing their love of learning. Welcome, Laura!
Katy Nichols – Lower School Music Teacher
Katy joins MICDS as the Lower School Music Teacher. She most recently taught at Chesterfield Day School and has worked with aspiring teachers through St. Louis University’s Billiken Teacher Corps Master of Arts program. Katy has extensive training and certification in both Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk’s music philosophies that have been an essential part of the foundation of the music program in the Lower School. She holds advanced degrees in curriculum and instruction, music education, and Spanish from Mercer University, the University of St. Thomas, and Valdosta State University. A fun fact about Katy is that she has hiked almost every trail in Yosemite National Park due to working there for a summer during college. Welcome to the music world of Beasley, Katy!
William Bander – Middle School Science Teacher
William joins MICDS as a Middle School Science Teacher. Prior to MICDS, he was a middle and high school science teacher at Saint Louis Priory School. William holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Missouri State University and a Master of Arts in secondary education from Maryville University. An interesting fact about William is that he was a guest on WCAT radio with the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST), where he discussed teaching science in a Catholic school and the misconception that science and faith are incompatible. Welcome, William!
Megan Caulfield – Middle School Humanities Teacher
Megan joins MICDS as a Middle School Humanities teacher. Prior to MICDS, she taught 1st, 5th, and 6th grade students in Texas and Colorado, and most recently, Megan extended her expertise to a 1st grade homeschool pod. Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Illinois and a Master of Arts in literacy from Missouri State University. She looks forward to building new relationships at MICDS. Welcome, Megan!
Everett Goldberg – Middle School P.E. and Upper School Strength & Conditioning Coach
Everett joins MICDS as a Middle School P.E. Teacher and Strength and Conditioning Coach. Everett recently taught and coached in South Lake Tahoe High School and, prior to that, worked as a performance coach at San Jose State University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in exercise science from Norfolk State and a Master of Arts in exercise physiology from San Jose State University. A fun fact about Everett is that his grandmother was in the 1948 Olympics, which has always inspired him towards sports and movement. Welcome, Everett!
Kristina Jones – Middle School Math Teacher
Kristina joins the MICDS 5th grade team as a Math Teacher. She has spent time teaching various grades from SK to 8th and bravely spent the last year homeschooling her three children during the pandemic. She holds a Master of Arts in education. Kristina was born and raised in northern Minnesota, and one summer worked in an iron ore mine laying railroads, pounding spikes, and other labor jobs. She drove a train and a giant production truck and beat all her friends at arm wrestling that summer. Welcome, Kristina!
Jean-Jacques Poucel – Middle School French Teacher
Jean-Jacques joins the MICDS World Languages department, teaching both Middle and Upper School French. Jean-Jacques spent much of his professional years teaching French literature at the university level, including ten years at Yale University. He enjoys translating and writing about contemporary poetry. More recently, Jean-Jacques taught reading in a French-dual-language elementary program in the Urbana, Illinois school district. A fun fact about Jean-Jacques is that he lived in Italy, Egypt, France, and Switzerland, all before the age of 10. Bienvenu, Jean-Jacques!
Scott Smith – Middle School English Teacher
Scott joins the Middle School teaching team as an English Teacher to 7th and 8th grade students. Prior to MICDS, Scott lived on an active volcano and taught and served in various roles, including head debate coach, humanities department chair, and middle school head at the Parker School in Hawaii. Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University in English and communication and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. A fun fact is that he has been a radio DJ, novelist, and skydiver! Welcome to MICDS, Scott!
Erin Sutherlin – Middle School Counselor
Erin joins MICDS as the Middle School Counselor for 6th and 8th grades. She holds a Master of Arts in clinical social work with a certificate in child and adolescent trauma. Prior to MICDS, Erin was a school counselor for the St. Louis Language Immersion School through BJC-Behavioral Health. In her free time, Erin is a talented family photographer. She is looking forward to working in the student-focused environment at MICDS. Welcome to the Middle School, Erin!
Cameron Youngman – Middle School Math Teacher
Cameron joins MICDS as a Middle School Math Teacher and Upper School football coach. Prior to MICDS, he taught 8th grade math at Alton Middle School in Alton, Illinois. He also served as an AVID instructor, which helps underachieving students with high academic potential prepare for entrance to colleges and universities. Cameron holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with middle school math and science endorsements. An interesting fact about Cameron is that despite living in the St. Louis Metro area all his life, he has never been to the Gateway Arch. Welcome, Cameron!
Jason Asher – Upper School History Teacher
Jason joins MICDS as an Upper School History Teacher and Mock Trial co-coach. Prior to MICDS, he taught history and social science, coordinated the YMCA Youth and Government program, sponsored Model United Nations, and served as the Mock Trial coach at St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon, Missouri, and taught history at Assumption Middle School. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in education – social science comprehensive and a Master of Arts in history. He was also the recipient of an art scholarship to Washington University’s Institute of Art. Welcome, Jason!
Paula Evans – Upper School Math Teacher
Paula joins MICDS as an Upper School Math Teacher. She most recently served as the lead for STEM education, effective teaching practices, and computer science curriculum development for the state of California at the California Department of Education. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics from Missouri University of Science and Technology and a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of Florida. A fun fact about Paula is that she enjoys mining crystals in northern Arkansas. Welcome, Paula!
Angie Keller – Upper School World Languages Teacher
Angie joins MICDS as an Upper School World Languages Teacher, and her roles will include teaching Spanish and photography. Prior to MICDS, she served as a Spanish teacher at St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. Angie holds a Master of Arts Degree in Spanish from Texas A&M University and is an accomplished documentary photographer. A couple of fun facts about Angie: she is a handball player, and she, her coach, and her team were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame; and the Library of Congress recently acquired her latest collection of photographs, Retablos of Lima, for their permanent collection. Welcome to MICDS, Angie!
Nicole Kovaluk – Middle and Upper School Strings Instructor
Nicole joins MICDS as the Middle and Upper School Strings Director. Prior to MICDS, she taught in Parkway and Rockwood school districts and managed a private lessons studio. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in music – instrumental emphasis; a Master of Arts in education – instrumental music; and a Master of Arts in music – performance emphasis. In her free time, Nicole has run 11 marathons and a 50k race, and she has been running a virtual race since September 2020 with a goal to finish in November. Welcome, Nicole!
Christine Pickett – Upper School Science Teacher
Christine joins MICDS as an Upper School Science Teacher. Prior to joining MICDS, she served as a Science Teacher and Project Lead the Way Instructor at Rockwood Summit High School. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology and environmental science, a Master of Science in marine biology, a Graduate Certification in fisheries management, and a Master of Arts in secondary science education. In addition to baking and biking for fun, Christine is a certified rescue diver and cold water diver. Welcome to MICDS, Christine!
Alex Rolnick – Upper School History Teacher
Alex joins MICDS as an Upper School History Teacher. He comes to MICDS from the Chicago Public Schools, where he served as a history and social studies teacher. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and an Interdisciplinary Concentration in law, diversity, and justice from Western Washington University, and a Master of Science in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A fun fact about Alex is that he lived and taught in Tanzania and Somaliland in East Africa for three years. Welcome, Alex!
Sally Maxwell – Assistant Head of School
Dr. Sally Maxwell joined MICDS in July as Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. Prior to MICDS, Sally served as the Acting Middle School Director and Academic Dean at The Bush School in Seattle, Washington. Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Tulane University, a Master of Arts in education and social policy with a concentration in secondary English from Northwestern University, and a doctorate in teaching, learning, and curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania. Coming from a JK-12 community, Sally appreciates spending time with students of all ages for nearly their entire childhoods and looks forward to continuing that work here at MICDS. Welcome, Sally!
Stewart Crais – Chief Information Officer
Stewart Crais joined MICDS in July as Chief Information Officer. Prior to MICDS, he served as Director of Technology and Director of Operations at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee. Stewart has worked in education for over 25 years after earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology from Rhodes College. He began his career as a middle school English and literature teacher before finding his way to technology. Stewart’s familiarity with teaching and learning in an independent school setting makes him keenly aware of the role of technology in supporting the mission, strategic plan, and academic experience at MICDS. Welcome, Stewart!
Harry Miles – Director of Human Resources
Harry joined MICDS in July as Director of Human Resources. Prior to joining MICDS, he served as Director of Human Resources at the chemical manufacturing company Chemline, Inc. Harry holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration – industrial relations and an MBA in business management. Harry and his wife Natalie enjoy following their kids’ sports and activities, and they are looking forward to spending time on the MICDS campus. A fun fact about Harry is that his favorite sport is ice hockey as a player, coach, and passionate St. Louis Blues fan. Welcome to MICDS, Harry!
Amy Storey – Administrative Assistant to the Head of School Office
Amy Storey joined MICDS in May as the Administrative Assistant to the Head of School Office. Prior to MICDS, Amy served as an administrative assistant in the communications office of the Parkway School District, as a medical secretary in two departments at Washington University School of Medicine, and as a teacher and assistant teacher in two local preschools. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fontbonne University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University. A fun fact about Amy is that she is a huge sports fan and was lucky enough to ride in the Opening Day Parade at Busch Stadium and even attended the Superbowl when the St. Louis Rams won. Welcome, Amy!
Paul Colletti – Multimedia Specialist
Paul joined the MICDS Marketing and Communications team last May as a Multimedia Specialist. He serves as the resident MICDS photographer, videographer, and graphic designer. Paul brings a wealth of visual storytelling experience through his work with the Steward Family Foundation and at the Moline Dispatch and Sterling Gazette newspapers. A fun fact about Paul is that he also expresses his creativity through home renovations and furniture building. Welcome, Paul!