New School Faculty & Staff


Part of what makes The New School special is the relationship between teachers and students. It is a true collaboration, with the faculty and staff supporting and championing the dreams of students each and every day.

Here are the twenty-six wonderful members of the faculty and staff that made the 2018-2019 school
year a success:

Alan Villarreal
Billy Pasour
Carolina McLean
Clara Saa
Danny Pelsinger
Diana Gibson
Eden Costagliola Appelstein
Heather McPherson
Henry Edwards

Janis Trizna
Jenny Fey
Joan Goodman
Joanna Cole
John Potter
Jonathan Rushbrook
Noelle Andreano
Rachel Lewis
Savi Ravichandran

Shannan Danish
Steve Elm
Steve Roushakes
Sujatha Nukala
Ted Ramsey
Travis Cooper
Val Boone
Virginia Palmer-Fuechsel

A Teacher’s Perspective

This is my 13th year teaching at The New School and there’s never been a dull moment. I’ve taught everything from Algebra to Applied Sociology, Death and Dying, Digital Design, and Horror Film Making. I’ve worked on faculty committees to form Essential Time and the new portfolio process, and I’ve worked with students to develop the student government bylaws, build the school store, and to host exciting events from Prom to Pancake Palooza. As a member of The New School faculty, I’m given the
freedom to design my classes and to work with students and colleagues to shape the school community as a whole.

Designing skill based classes allows us to focus on what’s really important. A social studies class, be it Death and Dying or Applied Sociology, teaches unique content, but the skills taught in the discipline are the same. By focusing on the skills, we’re not rushing to finish a large body of content. We have time to go more deeply
into a topic and really focus on giving students the skills they need to be independent learners and continue learning long after they’ve left The New School.

Having small classes is also a huge benefit of teaching at The New School and really allows us to get to know our students. “The back of the class” isn’t far away in a class of 10, so we can make sure everyone understands the material. We tailor our classes to best help our particular students. We also get to know our students outside of class through advisory, clubs, or chatting at lunch or ET. We know who has similar interests and passions and therefore we can help cultivate those relationships in classes and in the community. Our close relationships with our students make us more effective teachers and make our jobs even more rewarding as we get to know the students as learners and as individuals, and see them grow over time.

As Community Coordinator, I work with Student Government, Clubs and the School Store. I get to see the students when they’re inspired to create and improve the school for themselves and for others. Students manage and serve in a program that gives students access to free peer tutors. They manage locker assignments, run morning meeting, plan events, post morning meeting announcements, and manage a store to raise money for events.

In a school of just over 100 students, we have 19 student led clubs, more than a fifth of the school works at the school store, and over a quarter of the students have at least one leadership role in either a club, Student Government, or Fairness Committee. Everyone can get involved and learn practical skills from managing programs and events. They are in charge of their learning and are stewards of their community.

I’ve heard our founder, John Potter, explain that he named the school “The New School” because it continually reinvents itself based on the current students and teachers. It’s a real privilege to be part of that excitement, and to be part of a school that gives students and teachers the trust and freedom to do such wonderful things.

Shannan Danish
Math, Computer Science, & Social Studies Teacher
Community Coordinator

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