2020-2021 New Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Lisa Babinec

5th Grade: Humanities, 5th Grade Advisor
Email: lbabinec@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., English Literature, Miami University
M.A., Creative Writing, Miami University
EdS, Special Education and Teaching, Seattle University

 

 

Kara Duval-Fowler

7th-8th Grade: Mathematics, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1810
Email: kduval-fowler@sgs-wa.org

B.M. Voice Performance, Indiana University

Kara taught high school mathematics in Indiana before coming to SGS in 2020. She loves deeply engaging students and fostering an intuitive understanding of mathematics. In addition to math, Kara has taught courses on environmental racism, history of US immigration, and other social justice issues. Outside of teaching, Kara trains as a classical singer, having graduated from the Jacobs’ School of Music. For fun, she loves hiking, cooking, baking, and playing board games.

Why I love middle school: Middle school math is a pivotal time in academic development. What children learn in these years can be passed by or can be delved into, a new world explored, connections made between seemingly different areas. Growing up through middle school is the same journey. New emotions and roadblocks can be ignored and fester in the face of novelty and challenge, or they can be unpacked. Students needn’t be afraid of mental math, or of Algebra, or even of themselves and their emotions. I want to help students love themselves and the mathematical world they live in.

 

Liz Fenstermaker

7th-8th Grade: Language Arts, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1725
Email: lfenstermaker@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A. Theatre, Smith College
M.A. Self-Designed, Lesley University

Liz grew up in Pennsylvania, a quick bus ride away from New York City, where she first woke up to the life-giving force of literature and the arts. In her college and early teaching years, she was inspired by the work of Maxine Greene and the “wideawakeness” arts and humanities can spark in every person, and this has become a touchstone during her 20 years of classroom teaching. Most recently, she taught English and theatre at Dana Hall School in Massachusetts and was a director, costume designer, educator, and writer in the Boston theatre scene. Liz believes in the strength of young people and in a strong cup of coffee. She loves the outdoors, animals, local food, singing, and listening to music and podcasts.

Why I love middle school: These threshold years of self-discovery and growth are a true privilege to witness. I love seeing students learn how to be both a good friend and a good collaborator in the classroom, and I enjoy being there for the many “Aha!” moments that occur in these years. These years are made easier with a healthy sense of humor, and I enjoy cultivating a classroom where laughter is welcome and figurative scraped knees are a badge of honor.

Ariel Lantz

5th Grade: Humanities + Mathematics, 5th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1510
Email:alantz@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A.,  International Relations and Education, Mount Holyoke College
M.Ed., Montessori Education, Loyola University, Maryland

Ariel brings a passion for supporting the development of children and adolescents through being creative in her teaching and working in partnership with her students. Ariel earned a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Morocco and then spent two years teaching second grade in an international school. After pursuing her Montessori Elementary training and Masters in Education, Ariel spent three years teaching a class of Upper Elementary students here in Seattle. Ariel enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with her students by leading hiking and camping trips. She has also enjoyed being involved in the performing arts. In her spare time, Ariel dances ballet, skis, practices yoga, and explores the hiking trails around Seattle.

Why I love middle school: Middle school is a transformative time in a young person’s development. Middle schoolers learn so much about themselves, as well as begin to think about their role in the wider world and what they want their impact to be. I feel privileged to be a guide for young people as they transition into adolescence; to support their growth and ideas, to push them beyond their comfort zones, and to be an ally who encourages confidence in the power of their voice.

Stephanie Poole

7th-8th Grade: Science, 8th Grade Advisor
Phone: 206.709.2228 ext. 1635
Email: spoole@sgs-wa.org

B.A., Education, Western Washington University
M.A., Education, Lesley University

Prior to SGS, Steph worked as a middle and elementary school science teacher in the Seattle and Highline school districts. She also worked as the K-5 Science Curriculum Specialist for Seattle, and was a leader at the district level around race and equity education and curriculum development.  Steph also spent seven summers in the San Juan Islands teaching middle school students marine mammalogy, oceanography, and kayaking. She also is a certified yoga instructor. Steph has three adopted children and spends her time reading, doing art in her backyard art shed, exploring, snowboarding/skiing and doing as many activities as she can in salt water.

Why I love middle school: I love teaching middle school because it can be a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is a time of exploring self, relationships, interests and what possibilities lie presently and in the future. I am passionate about guiding and supporting young people during their journey of developing their voice, advocacy for self and the others and resiliency.

Staff

Director of Enrollment Management

Asha Dean

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1220
Email: adean@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Journalism, University of Arizona
Certificate Leadership in Enrollment Management, USC Rossier School of Education

Asha is a native Seattleite who most recently worked at University Prep as the Associate Director of Upper School Admission and Community Engagement. She has a natural ability to build relationships and create connections; it is because of this she was drawn to the field of enrollment management. Asha is an avid sports fan and has coached youth track and cross country for the last 18 years. It was her time as a college coach in both Arizona and Montana, she unknowingly began learning the ropes of admission as she recruited athletes. She is excited to be joining the SGS team and continue growing in the profession of enrollment management. Asha lives in Seattle with her husband Patrick and three school-aged children

Why I love middle school: I believe middle school is a sweet spot developmentally; students are learning to manage increased independence in addition to a whole new array of choices available. The backdrop of this time of growth is at best awkward, I feel fortunate to be an adult member at SGS to support our students during this time.

Dean of Student Life

Miryam Harvey

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1015
Email: mharvey@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., English Literature and History, University of Toronto
B.Ed., York University

Miryam brings 14 years of teaching and administration experience to SGS, working in a range of schools in the Toronto and Philadelphia areas, where she taught Spanish and English language and literature courses. Miryam’s teaching interests extend to community service, where she has taught semester-long GED classes and Catechism classes in Spanish to local residents. She also has a three year old daughter and enjoys exploring and learning through her eyes. Miryam relocated to Seattle with her family in 2019, and she has a true passion for building relationships with our students and families. She is thrilled to join our community as our Dean of Student Life this Fall.

Why I love middle school: In middle school, students have an infectious curiosity about the world around them and a true joy of learning. Their questions help me further develop as an educator and they push me to reflect more about the world we live in. Middle school is filled with moments of beautiful messiness, student passion, and excitement, which make my heart smile.

Technology Coordinator

Amanda Lawrie-Hall

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1300
Email: alawrie-hall@seattlegirlsschool.org

Amanda coordinates technology initiatives and provides day-to-day support for all technology systems at SGS. A native of New Zealand, Amanda began her technology career there as a Systems Engineer working in small to medium businesses. More recently, she segued into running a martial arts school, parlaying a beloved hobby into a successful business opportunity; during her tenure there, she created a monthly self-defense course designed for women and taught exclusively by women. Passionate about empowering women and helping them realize their capability, Amanda is excited to return to her technology roots to help advance SGS’s mission.

Why I love middle school: This period sets a person up for how they see themselves and the world: middle schoolers have untapped potential, and are so smart and insightful. I love an environment where I can learn and grow from their ideas while also sharing my skills and experiences.

Capital Campaign Associate

Co Alvarez

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1230
Email: calvarez@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Co works on the Rise Up campaign, SGS’s effort to build a permanent school home. She supports the Board of Trustees and Campaign Cabinet through donor strategy, cultivation, and solicitation. Four years ago, Co moved to the PNW. She previously worked at Wayfinding Academy, and now serves as a board member for the alternative college. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, discussing popular culture, and tending to her plants.

Why I love middle school: Middle school is a special time when students begin digging deeper into who they are and what it takes to build a community. Middle schoolers are also great role models when it comes to unapologetically liking something, whether it’s a book series or a particular artist.

Communications Specialist

Colin Murray

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1240
Email: cmurray@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Government & Legal Studies, Bowdoin College
M.A., Fundraising & Grantmaking, New York University

Colin manages all things communication at SGS, from the website, newsletters, digital and print materials, and social media. Prior to SGS, Colin held a similar position at The Cathedral School, a K-8 independent school in New York City. He is excited to be a part of such a warm and nurturing community with a strong equity and social justice mission.

Why I love middle school: I love working with middle schoolers. They are inquisitive, silly, unapologetic, and just trying to figure out who they want to be. It’s amazing to witness the growth and development of the next generation.