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220 East 50th Street
New York, NY 10022

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Faculty

Head of School
Maren Holmen
Education:
BA, Math and Drama: Bard College
MA, Administration and Supervision: Fordham University (in progress)
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Maren Holmen
Head of School
Biography:

Maren Holmen joined the Beekman family in 2001 as a part-time math teacher and tutor in The Tutoring School.  In 2009, she took over the Tutoring School program and has overseen its growth and renovation into a new, fresh space as Director. In more recent years, she additionally taught Beekman's Algebra I and AP Calculus AB courses.  Upon the transition of former headmaster George Higgins' role as president in 2020, Maren stepped into the role of Head of School.  She looks forward to carrying on the tradition of maintaining close connections with those who have been a part of the Beekman community as students, families, or faculty, past or present, while continuing to lead The Beekman School as it looks ahead to its second century of compassionately delivered, personalized education.

Director of The Tutoring School
Glenn Doering
Education:
BS, Biology: Loyola University of Chicago
MS, Biology: Loyola University of Chicago
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Glenn Doering
Director of The Tutoring School
Biography:

Glenn Doering planned to go into academia after earning his Master of Science degree but was lured into the corporate world by a scientific equipment company. After spending several years in business operations in both middle-management and senior-management positions, he returned to his first love – education. Glenn has taught at both the college and high school level, as well as numerous and varied adult education classes. His corporate operations-based experience and organizational skills make him an excellent academic coach and school administrator.

 

Business Manager
Suzan Damsky
Education:
BA, Psychology, Hunter College & NYU
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Suzan Damsky
Business Manager
Biography:
Director of Learning Support & Teacher
Nicole Harris
Education:
BA, Communication: William Paterson University
Advanced Studies in Special Education, Seton Hall University
MS, Applied Behavior Analysis: Florida Institute of Technology (In Progress)
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Nicole Harris
Director of Learning Support & Teacher
Biography:

Nicole Harris is Beekman’s Learning Specialist/Assistant Outreach Coordinator and also teaches English at The Beekman School. Ms. Harris completed her BA in Communication at William Paterson University and has studied Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis at Seton Hall University and Florida Institute of Technology respectively. Since begining her career in education in 2006, she has developed a true passion for supporting students and is committed to helping students succeed. Outside the classroom, Ms. Harris volunteers her time with organizations that advocate the inclusion and acceptance of individuals with disabilities.

Director of College Guidance / Outreach Coordinator
Krista Sergi
Education:
B.A. English, Northeastern University
M.Ed. School Counseling, Harvard Graduate School of Education
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Krista Sergi
Director of College Guidance / Outreach Coordinator
Biography:

Krista Sergi (B.A., English, Northeastern University; M. Ed., Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education) has been Beekman's Director of College Guidanceand Outreach Coordinator since 2017. Having served on an admissions team at a large university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Krista has experienced college admissions from both the college and applicant perspectives, which has given her invaluable insight into this process. Krista has a passion for access and equity in education, and believes that there are multiple pathways for students to achieve their college and career goals. 

Attendance Supervisor & Teacher/Tutor
Jason Watkins
Education:
BFA, Theater: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Minors in English and Music Performance
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Jason Watkins
Attendance Supervisor & Teacher/Tutor
Biography:
Headmaster Emeritus/President
George Higgins
Education:
BA, Learning Disabilities: Salisbury University
MA, Administration and Supervision: New York University
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George Higgins
Headmaster Emeritus/President
Biography:

Former Headmaster George Higgins moved to New York in the summer of 1979 and begin teaching history at The Tutoring School of New York in 1980.   For the next ten years, he taught the ninth through twelfth grade core academic history courses, as well as a variety of elective courses.  In 1990, George became the head of the school and changed its name to The Beekman School, creating a program within Beekman called The Tutoring School.  From those early days through to today, our school’s design and program have remained the same.

George stepped aside from the day-to-day operations of the school in 2020 and is now an advisor to the administration, continuing to share his expertise and wealth of knowledge.

 

 

Teacher
Linli Chin
Education:
BA, Industrial Psychology: Baruch College
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Linli Chin
Teacher
Biography:

Linli Chin (B.S Baruch College, City University of New York, 2000) teaches 9th through 12th grade math and science at the Beekman School, with specializations in Pre-Calculus, Physics, Conceptual Physics and Theoretical Physics. A faculty member since 2000, Linli is known for her hands-on teaching, which include the Egg Drop Project from the third floor (to test Newtonian laws) and the kite-building/flying unit, where Bernoulli’s principles on velocity and pressure are observed on the grounds of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Teacher
Deborah Doering
Education:
MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
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Deborah Doering
Teacher
Biography:

Deborah Adams Doering (B.A., Wheaton College; M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago) teaches Art, Humanities, and Technology classes at the Beekman School and the Beekman Tutoring School. She assists Beekman's English Department with the Beekman Chirp (student Art & Literature Magazine). Before teaching at Beekman, Deborah owned and managed a graphic design firm in Chicago for over 15 years, and concurrently taught a wide variety of art and humanities courses for all ages, from elementary to post-graduate. Deborah is a practicing artist whose work is included in private and public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; she was awarded a US patent on a unique sculptural process in 2012. 

Teacher
Ian Rusten
Education:
BA, History & Classics, Hunter College
MA, Education & Social Studies: Hunter College
MA, American History: Hunter College
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Ian Rusten
Teacher
Biography:

Ian Rusten (B.A., Hunter College, 1995; M.A., Hunter College, 2000; M.A. in American History, Hunter College, 2009) teaches U.S. History, Government, Economics, Modern Politics and International Politics.  His specialty is American History, though he also has a passion for European History, Ancient History and Classics in general.  He began teaching while overseas in the 1990s and has taught at various New York schools since 2000.  He joined the Beekman faculty in 2010.

Teacher
Daniel Shabasson
Education:
BA, Philosophy: Wesleyan University, 1993
JD: Brooklyn Law School, 1996
MA, Spanish Adolescent Education: Hunter College, 2017
PhD, Philosophy: CUNY Graduate Center, 2018
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Daniel Shabasson
Teacher
Biography:

Daniel Shabasson holds Spanish (7-12) and German (7-12) teaching certifications. He joined the Beekman faculty in 2017 as a Spanish teacher. He had previously taught at a public high school, adjunct lectured in philosophy, and practiced law.  

Teacher
Gabriella Skwara
Education:
BA, Comparative Literature: UC Davis
MA, German: UC Davis
MA, German: University of Pennsylvania
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Gabriella Skwara
Teacher
Biography:

Gabriella Skwara (B.A., UC Davis, 2000; M.A., UC Davis, 2003; M.A., UPenn, 2007; ABD, UPenn, 2009) has taught at The Beekman School since 2013. Her career background includes managing academics for Kaplan Test Prep, serving as the Resident Director for the University of Maine's study abroad program in Austria and advising international undergraduate and graduate fellowship recipients. In addition to teaching at The Beekman School, Gabriella is an Adjunct Lecturer at Queens College, CUNY.

Teacher
Cavin Thuring
Education:
BA, Visual and Environmental Studies: Harvard University
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Cavin Thuring
Teacher
Biography:

Cavin Thuring (B.A., Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University, 1989) is the new Digital Arts teacher for Beekman.  With 23 years experience in production and post production graphics and design for the largest global advertising agencies and all major US broadcast networks, Cavin wanted to share his experience and knowledge by teaching the next generation of artists and designers.

 

Teacher/Tutor
Derek Barnett
Education:
BS, Neuroscience Biology: The Pennsylvania State University
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Derek Barnett
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Derek Barnett (B.S. Penn State University) teaches predominately 9th through 12th grade math and science classes at the Beekman School. Derek specializes in chemistry, algebra 1 and 2, pre-calc, calculus 1 and 2, geometry, physics, and biology. A teacher/tutor with Beekman since early 2019, Derek is known for his emphasis on conceputalizing the 'why' of math and science. Guiding students to focus more to truly understand the concept than memorizing a formula.

Derek taught general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, cellular biology, biochemistry, calculus, and physics at university for 4 years prior to teaching at Beekman. After moving to NYC, Derek quickly decided to continue his passion for education by focusing on preparing students for the inherent rigors of STEM courses at university. 

Teacher/Tutor
John Cortez
Education:
BS, Mathematics and Spanish Studies: Fordham University
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John Cortez
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

John Cortez (B.S., Fordham University, 2009) joined the Tutoring School faculty in the spring of 2012.  His undergraduate concentrations were mathematics and Spanish studies, and he specializes in all levels of these subjects here at Beekman.  John has also had the pleasure of teaching such electives as Economics and Astronomy.

Teacher/Tutor
Shannon Diaz
Education:
M.S. Biology University of Texas at Arlington, B.S. biology University of Texas at Arlington
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Shannon Diaz
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

I enjoy sharing my passion of science with students and helping students to love science. Since receiving my Master's, I have spent 7 years in education. During grad school, I worked as a math and science tutor for grades 6th through college. I fell in love with teaching and became a Biology and Chemistry teacher at a local Dallas high school while adjuncting as a biology instructor at El Centro College. I then worked for 5 years at El Centro College as a biology and anatomy and physiology instructor prior to moving to New York and joining The Beekman School. 

Teacher/Tutor
Rebecca Kasper
Education:
BS, Speech: Northwestern University
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Rebecca Kasper
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Rebecca Kasper (B.S. Northwestern University) teaches English and History in The Tutoring School, as well as other subjects.  Rebecca has taught at The Beekman School since 2010.  She has also taught for over 5 years at Central Synagogue, and has many years of classroom and private teaching experience all over New York City. Rebecca is also an actress and singer who enjoys teaching drama to kids and adults.

Teacher/Tutor
Luis Martin
Education:
PhD, Physics: University of Buenos Aires
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Luis Martin
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:
Luis Martin teaches all Math and Physics classes offered by The Beekman School including Calculus, Statistics, Algebra I/II, Geometry, SAT/ACT Math, Physics in all its levels, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and AP Physics. Luis is also a tutor at the Tutoring School, customizing classes for all kinds of students and situations, adapting syllabi for students with learning disabilities and/or in special situations. Luis is passionate about Math and Science, and thus has dedicated his entire life to learning, teaching, and researching. His experience as an astrophysicist has allowed him to deal with very complex mathematical and physical concepts as well as interact with very talented people in an extremely multicultural environment. He believes that how people conceptualize and learn new things can change drastically from one person to another and that combining formal and customized education is an excellent way to unleash the real potential in people.  

Teacher/Tutor
Tracey Minich
Education:
B.A., Cornell University
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Tracey Minich
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Tracey Minich (B.A., Cornell University, 1983), who is new this year to The Beekman School, teaches Japanese. A former TV broadcaster for Fujisankei Communications (Fuji TV) in the USA and Japan, Tracey has taught Japanese to students from Horace Mann School and the Bronxville, Scarsdale and Eastchester Schools for the past 15 years. A former JET English instructor in Japan and five year resident of Tokyo, Tracey teaches ESL to expat Japanese executives and their families and frequently works as a language and business consultant to Japanese companies operating in the USA. Tracey is excited to share her deep appreciation of Japanese language and culture with her students at The Beekman School.

 

 
Teacher/Tutor
Paula Nance
Education:
BA, Religion: Wake Forest University
MDiv, Duke Divinity School
MA, Text and Performace Studies: King's College London and Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
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Paula Nance
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

 Paula Nance has taught all levels of English at The Beekman School since 2001. Her elective courses include Page to Stage; Irish Literature; Southern Literature; and Conversation, Public Speaking, and Debate, among others. Her interests include Irish and British theatre. Paula enjoys introducing students to creative learning environments, including student field trips to theatres and museums.  She co-led the 2005 spring break trip to Ireland. 

Teacher/Tutor
Sagar Patel
Education:
BS, Mathematics in the Actuarial Concentration, George Mason University
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Sagar Patel
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Sagar Patel (B.S., Mathematics in the Actuarial Concentration, George Mason University) teaches Mathematics courses offered at The Tutoring School, as well as other subjects, since 2018. For 10 years, Sagar worked as a Business Analyst in the finance, healthcare, and software industries, and has over 5 years of classroom and private teaching experience all over New York City. Sagar is also an actor of stage and screen. He has a passion for empowering students to be the best they can be, with the understanding that all students excel in specific approaches over others. With that in mind, he always intends to help each succeed with the utmost professionalism and patience. Given his corporate background, he's also resourceful for career guidance and advice, and gladly willing to answer questions regarding college and onward!

Teacher/Tutor
Emma Ramos
Education:
BA, Psychology: Marymount Manhattan College
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Emma Ramos
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Emma Eden Ramos is a writer from New York City. Her middle grade novella titled The Realm of the Lost was published in 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing. Her short stories have appeared in Stories for Children Magazine, The Legendary, The Citron Review, BlazeVOX Journal, and other journals. Ramos’ novelette, "Where the Children Play," was included in Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens, edited by Eric Nguyen. Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems (Heavy Hands Ink, 2011), Ramos’ first poetry chapbook, was shortlisted for the 2011 Independent Literary Award in Poetry. Still, At Your Door: A Fictional Memoir (Writers AMuse Me Publishing, 2014) is Ramos' third book. Ramos currently writes for Luna Luna Magazine. She has published interviews in Agnes Films Journal and WomenWriters, Women['s] Books.

Teacher/Tutor
Charles Sitler
Education:
BA, Mathematics: Fordham University
MS, Mathematics: Pennsylvania State University
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Charles Sitler
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Charles Sitler (B.A., Fordham University, 1968; M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 1971) has been a member of the Beekman Mathematics Department since 1988. In that time Charlie (as he is known) has taught Geometry, Algebra II & Trigonometry, and other syllabus Math courses, as well as one semester electives in the Mathematics of Symmetry, and the Mathematics of Infinity.  His specialty is Logic and the Philosophy of Mathematics, and in previous years has also taught an elective in Eastern Philosophy.  In addition, for over twenty years Charlie taught as an adjunct professor at New York University, where he lectured on Precalculus Mathematics.  Since 2015 Charlie has worked in The Tutoring School where, through individualized sessions, he continues  to empower his students in understanding and appreciating the beauty that is Mathematics.

Teacher/Tutor
Blake Tommey
Education:
B.A., Journalism and Mass Communication: Samford University; M.Div., Social Ethics: Mercer University
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Blake Tommey
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Blake Tommey was born and grew up in Dallas, Texas, where he discerned a passion for writing, making music and spiritual leadership. He attended Samford University, earning a degree in journalism and mass communication and establishing a career as a freelance feature writer. Following undergrad, Blake pursued a lifelong call to vocational ministry at Mercer University in Atlanta, Ga., where he earned a Master of Divinity in social ethics and met his wife Lesley-Ann Hix. In 2017, Blake and Lesley-Ann moved to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, where Lesley-Ann works with survivors of domestic violence. The next year, after a decade in journalism and ministry with high school and college students, Blake discovered his vocation anew in the classroom, where he teaches English, history and government. The Beekman School not only allows him to connect with students and form trusted relationships, he says, but to inspire them in becoming enlightened, compassionate and courageous human beings.

We are welcoming students to class this fall either via a hybrid in-person/online learning model in NYC or via fully remote, synchronous online classes. 

Learn more about our re-opening plan and response to COVID-19 >