Williston Northampton Welcomes New Teachers for Academic Year


Amid the hustle and bustle of Welcome Days, the Williston Northampton campus has welcomed 12 new faculty members this fall. The group, which includes a mix of seasoned educators, early-career educators, and recent Williston alums, will help bolster our teaching ranks, while also filling in vital roles in dorms and athletic programs.

“This group includes a new constituency of early-career educators,” said Dean of Faculty Corie Fogg ’99. “It’s exciting to have people who are just launching their time in education, along with very seasoned educators, joining Williston and complementing our already talented faculty.”

Head of School Robert W. Hill III echoed Fogg’s thoughts on the range of educators joining the school’s ranks. “We want to look at every new position as an opportunity for fresh experiences and perspectives from different backgrounds,” Hill said. “I think we did that really successfully this year.”

Our newest faculty members are:

Jon Bianchi, Assistant Dean of Student for Community Life

For the last four years, Jon has served as an inclusion specialist at Birchland Park Middle School (East Longmeadow, Massachusetts). While at Birchland Park, Jon provided differentiated instruction to students at various levels, and worked as a member of the Anti-Bias Anti-Racism (ABAR) Committee. Jon has also worked as a Dorm Parent and Coach at Williston over the last four years. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Springfield College (Springfield, Massachusetts).

Kirsten Blaesing, Science Teacher

For the past six years, Kirsten has taught biology at Chatham Hall (Chatham, Virginia), including serving as Department Chair for the final two years. Throughout her time at Chatham Hall, Kirsten lived in a dorm, developed different student programs, and coached volleyball. She has also had the pleasure of speaking at multiple national and state conferences about the different student programs she has developed. She has also taught biology at Altavista Combined School (Altavista, Virginia) and was a preschool teacher at Pacific Northern Academy (Anchorage, Alaska). Kirsten holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s from Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, Virginia).

Brandon Borges ’15, Athletics Intern

Brandon graduated from Salve Regina University (Newport, Rhode Island) in 2022, earning a bachelor’s in business administration. Brandon was a four-time academic All-American during his college tenure. During 2022–2023, Brandon served as the skills director for Providence Hockey Club (Smithfield, Rhode Island) while also serving as a head coach for two teams within the organization. Brandon was a student-athlete at Williston Northampton from 2012-14. Most recently, Brandon ran and developed the summer player development model for Providence Hockey Club.

Sydney Brady, Counseling Intern

Sydney is currently in the second year of her master’s program at Springfield College (Springfield, Massachusetts). She is pursuing a master’s in social work while concurrently serving as Williston’s counseling intern at the Health and Wellness Center. Sydney was previously a counselor with the Center for Women and Community at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts). She also currently serves as the supervisor of Call2Talk, the suicide prevention line for Massachusetts (Springfield, Massachusetts). Sydney holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Lasell University (Newton, Massachusetts).

Caroline Channell ’18, History and Global Studies Intern

Caroline previously worked for Maximus, a government contracting firm that supports federal and state programs across the country. In addition, she served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Haverford College field hockey program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania), where she also earned minors in economics and health studies. While there, Caroline wrote her thesis The Uptick in Gun Violence in Philadelphia Following the COVID-19 Pandemic, which was a policy analysis investigating a solution to the increased rates of firearm related injuries and fatalities in the city. She is also a proud 2018 alumna of Williston

Philip Cooper, Physics Teacher

For the last 25 years, Phil has taught multiple levels of math and physics at high schools on three continents. Most recently, Phil taught at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, and before that he taught in Bahrain, Korea, England, and locally in the Pioneer Valley. Phil has taught AP and IB Physics and Math, and he has coached cross-country, wrestling, and track & field. Prior to teaching, he worked in the oil industry and the entertainment industry. Philip holds bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and Spanish from Youngstown State University (Youngstown, Ohio) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts).

Jonathan Curtis-Resnick, Science Teacher

Jonathan comes to Williston from La Jolla Country Day School (La Jolla, California). While there, Jonathan taught various chemistry and biology courses, including electives such as biochemistry and organic chemistry. Jonathan wrote and implemented the organic chemistry course at LJCDS, and also coached the Science Olympiad team to regional success. Before LJCDS, Jonathan was at Greenwich Country Day School (Greenwich, Connecticut) in their educator mentorship program. In addition to teaching, Jonathan co-directs Driftwood Ranch Camp (Northfield, New Hampshire), a leadership and horsemanship summer camp; and helped write Community Core, a curriculum used to teach social and emotional literacy in charter schools and businesses across the country. Jonathan holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and English from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut).

Jessica Johnson, Math Intern

Jessi is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts) where she earned a dual bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics. Throughout her time in school, Jessi worked as a teaching assistant for multiple computer science courses and served as a course registration assistant for incoming students in the department. She was also awarded the Dean’s Appreciation Award for Anti-Racism Leadership for her work as a part of the Manning College of Information and Computer Science’s Committee Against Racism and For Equity. Jessi worked in the UMass Office of Undergraduate Admissions for all four years of college, and most recently has been serving as operations manager for a local company that focuses on consulting for affordable housing nonprofits.

Joseph Manley, Math Teacher

Joe has been teaching or tutoring for over 35 years. He spent 10 years teaching at a private tutoring center, teaching every program offered, from reading and writing to calculus. He has also spent the last 13 years volunteering as a youth baseball coach. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts).

Marie-Josée Marquis, French Teacher

Marie-Josée has been teaching over the course of 17 years in every country of North America. Having taught languages such as French as a first and second language, Spanish and English both as second languages in a total of 7 schools throughout her career, she has also been a professor for biochemistry at the Anahuac Medical School (Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico) and therefore mastered not only the language arts but also many forms of science. Aside from her experience as a teacher, Marie-Josée has been the Department Chair of Languages at Hyde School (Woodstock, Connecticut). Marie-Josée holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Quebec in Montreal, and a master’s as well as a doctorate in French Literature from the University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut).

Egla Ochoa-Madrid, Physics Teacher 

Egla taught physics at Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas) a few years after graduating from the university herself with a master’s thesis in physics education. Her thesis work and her undergraduate work at Adelphi University (Long Island, New York) have led to publications in both the Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2020, 2023) and The Physics Teacher (2023). Egla is also passionate about climate resiliency, having been a three-term researcher with NASA DEVELOP between fall 2020 and summer 2021.

Blanca Peñalver de la Rosa, Spanish Teacher

Blanca Penalver most recently taught Spanish at Smith College (Northampton, Massachusetts). Blanca holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching languages from Córdoba University (Córdoba, Spain) and a master’s degree in American Studies from Smith College. Prior to this, Blanca taught Spanish at a charter school in Houston, Texas, and she served as a Spanish teacher to newcomers in Spain. This summer, Blanca worked as the main office manager at Exploration Schools at Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York). In addition to her experience as a Spanish teacher, Blanca has also worked as an English teacher in Spain. She was a swimmer on the Spanish National Team and a three-time medalist in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at national competition.