Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Piano Moving!

At TMS students and faculty work together to keep the campus running. It's real work, and fun can be had! As new faculty moved into their houses, we decided to move this piano from Helios House to the Hayden Room so that we'd have more music options where we sing every day. Well, moving a piano takes ingenuity, teamwork... and a bit of craziness:

(Yes, this is a posed picture... proper safety procedures were observed while the piano was actually in motion. But Thomas Road has seen its fair share of rolling music -- like Jack Stewart '09 skateboarding down the road while playing his accordian.)

Introducing New Faculty -- part 2

Our next installment in the introductions of new faculty focuses on the farm, and by this time in the summer none of them are really "new" at all -- and some of them are veteran TMS folk already!

Ben Casiello has been a whirlwind of activity on the farm since he began as Farm Manager here in the spring. He comes to us most recently from Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he was the herd manager for a grass-fed beef cattle farm, the Rotokawa Cattle Company, which was featured in a Time Magazine article this past January about how grass-fed cattle farming can be sustainable and carbon-friendly! He has also been the camp coordinator at the Heifer International Summer Day Camp in Rutland, Mass, and holds a bachelor's degree in Animal Science (Livestock Management) from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ben is excited to be taking leadership of the TMS farm, where farming and education are so well integrated.

His wife Cathy Casiello will be houseparenting with Ben in Thomas House. She works in the Athol-Royalston (Mass.) public school district as a speech-language pathologist. She is sharing the work in the gardens this summer, and looking forward to sharing her hobbies of folk-dancing, contra-dancing, and singing with the TMS community come Fall!

Lauren O'Donnell will be our Farm Intern for the 2010-2011 school year, and started up this summer. She is an airplane mechanic and automobile mechanic, and holds a Student Pilot Certificate: she was an apprentice aviation maintenance technician at Sandhill Aviation in NH. She has also been the repair shop coordinator at a lumber store, the cheerleading coach and choreographer for the Derry Demons Youth Football Association, and all sorts of jobs in between. She is excited to learn about farming, ecology, and business management here at TMS as she contributes her numerous maintenance skills!

Our other summer farm intern is Devin Green, TMS class of 2007 and a rising Marlboro College senior, who can be seen speaking about farm wisdom at an earlier age in the TMS video of 2006. As we were haying the Bartlett Fields in June, Devin was driving the truck pulling the big hay wagon, and I spotted a dog-eared copy of the philosopher-critic Michel Foucault on the seat next to him -- part of Devin's preparation for his senior independent work. It sparked a conversation about the difference between deconstructionists and post-modernists, as we tossed hay bales. It's good to have Devin back around the place.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Introducing New Faculty -- part 1

We are very excited about our new faculty for the 2010-2011 school year -- talented, experienced educators who bring tremendous gifts and strengths to our school community. Since late June they have been settling into campus life and planning their classes for the fall, working with the returning faculty. The first installment of introductions:

Burrett McBee will be teaching language arts. Burrett joins The Meeting School from Plymouth State University, where he has been an adjunct professor of English since 2006. Burrett has a wealth of experience teaching teenagers in an independent school setting. He has taught high school English and theater at Germantown Friends School, Tilton School (where he was the chair of the English and theater departments), and The Harvey School (where he was the chair of the English department and theater director). He will be living in Helios House with his wife, Rhu. Burrett earned his BA in English from Utica College of Syracuse University, and a MA in Theater from the University of Illinois.
Rhu McBee is our new Admissions Director and will be overseeing marketing. Rhu comes to The Meeting School with more than 16 years of teaching experience in independent schools. Rhu also has expertise in independent school admissions, marketing, and college counseling. She has also been a library assistant. Rhu will be living with her husband Burrett in Helios House. Rhu earned her BA in Communications from Northwestern University, and her MEd in Integrated Arts (Secondary) from Plymouth State University.

Welcome to TMS, Burrett and Rhu!