Derby Academy is pleased to welcome a number of new faculty members who are joining the Derby community at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Our new team members offer a multitude of experiences to share with students, parents, and colleagues, and we look forward to their involvement and continuing our mission to “Improve Both Mind and Heart.”
Ashley joins Derby as the Middle and Upper School Sewing and STEAM teacher. She received a degree in film and television from the College of Communication at Boston University, attended culinary school at Johnson and Wales, and has spent many years creating commissioned costumes for the stage, flower girl dresses, American Girl doll clothing, bags, and home decor projects. This past year, Ashley worked with the Derby Arts Department to develop costumes for musical productions. In addition to sewing, Ashley loves knitting, crocheting dolls, embroidery, working on illustrations in both traditional mediums, as well as on digital platforms and photography. She is excited to be able to share what she knows about sewing and help provide a new artistic tool for the students to use in their own creative pursuits.
Zach Clayton will be joining the Upper School as a Grade 6 and & teacher. Zach attended and graduated from both Derby Academy and Thayer Academy before heading to St. Lawrence University. After graduating from St. Lawrence, he immediately began his teaching career at the Nativity Preparatory School before moving over to Dexter Southfield School. For the past seven years, Zach has gained experience in several areas, focusing primarily on history and English, though he has dabbled in Latin and science, as well, and coached cross-country, football, basketball, and lacrosse. He continues to pursue his Master’s in Education at Lesley College and is excited to return to the Derby community as a faculty member this year.
Tom will be joining the Upper School as the Grade 8 History teacher. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard University and his Master of Education in Middle/Secondary History from the University of Massachusetts. He has taught US and World History at New Mission High School and Muriel Snowden International School, taking pride in incorporating a collaborative approach in his classroom. He is excited to join the Derby community.
Brian joins Derby as the Middle/Upper School Band instructor. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa and his master's degree in jazz composition and arranging from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has taught at the elementary, secondary, and university levels, focusing on band, music theory, jazz band, marching band, and chamber ensembles. In addition to teaching, Brian has extensive experience in both presenting and performing, and he is excited to join the Derby community.
Molly Riordan will be joining Libby as a Grade 1 Lead Teacher. Coming to us from Pike School in Andover, Molly completed her Masters in Elementary Education from Lesley University. A graduate of Villanova, Molly has experience teaching the Lucy Calkins Units of Study in writing and reading and administering Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments in reading. She has also taught FUNdations, the phonics program Derby uses in the PS/LS. Molly volunteers with the Special Olympics and has worked for the Scottish Parliament.
Dave Ruggiano has worked at Summer Arts for the last 20 years and will be teaching Music and Movement to the Pre-K through Grade 1 students. Dave is a gifted composer with extensive experience working with younger children running the Juniors program in the summer. He also plays in the “pit orchestra” during the winter concerts and for the Upper School musical productions.
Lillie Simourian will be joining us as a Grade 3 Lead Teacher. Lillie comes from the Greenwich Country Day School where she worked for the past two years in their third-grade program. She attended Dexter Southfield and Milton Academy before entering Hamilton College. Lillie is completing her master’s from Teachers College at Columbia University and has experience with Reader's and Writer’s Workshop, math workshop model and Responsive Classroom. Lillie also taught at the Steppingstone Foundation in Boston and is excited to help with coaching Derby’s athletic teams.
To all our new faculty, welcome to Derby!