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220 East 50th Street
New York, NY 10022

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Faculty

Headmaster
George Higgins
Education:
BA, Learning Disabilities: Salisbury University
MA, Administration and Supervision: New York University
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George Higgins
Headmaster
Biography:

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.  With the introduction of technology, George’s new challenge is to learn ways of incorporating the ever-advancing development of computers and the Internet into Beekman’s classrooms.

Director of The Tutoring School & Teacher
Maren Holmen
Education:
BA, Math and Drama: Bard College
MA, Administration and Supervision: Fordham University (in progress)
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Maren Holmen
Director of The Tutoring School & Teacher
Biography:

Maren Holmen teaches Algebra I and Calculus for The Beekman School and is the coordinator of The Tutoring School.  She is a self-professed "math nerd", and enjoys working with students to help them realize their full potential in whatever they do (whether or not it is math-related).  Maren joined the Beekman family in 2001 as a part-time math teacher and tutor in The Tutoring School.  In 2009, she took over the program and has overseen its growth and renovation into a new, fresh space.

Business Manager
Suzan Damsky
Education:
BA, Psychology, Hunter College & NYU
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Suzan Damsky
Business Manager
Biography:
Learning Specialist/Assistant Outreach Coordinator
Nicole Harris
Education:
Florida Institute of Technology, Applied Behavior Analysis
Seton Hall University, Special Education
William Paterson University, B.A. Communication
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Nicole Harris
Learning Specialist/Assistant Outreach Coordinator
Biography:

Nicole Harris is Beekman’s Learning Specialist/Assistant Outreach Coordinator and also teaches English at The Beekman School. Ms. Harris completed her B.A. in Communication at William Paterson University (2007) and has studied Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis at Seton Hall University and Florida Institute of Technology respectively. During her 10-year career in education, 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.

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
College Guidance / Outreach Coordinator
Biography:

Krista Sergi (B.A., English, Northeastern University; M. Ed., Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education) is Beekman's College Guidance Counselor and Outreach Coordinator. Krista has worked on both sides of the college admissions process, having served on an admissions team at a large college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and more recently as the College Counselor, 11/12 Honors English Seminar Teacher, and 12th Grade Level Chair at a charter school in Boston. 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, Minor in English and Music Performance
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Jason Watkins
Attendance Supervisor & Teacher/Tutor
Biography:
Teacher
Kate Bendrick
Education:
B.A. Economics/French, Southern Connecticut State University (2007)
M.A. Economics, University of Connecticut (2008)
Dr. rer. pol. Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany (2012)
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Kate Bendrick
Teacher
Biography:

Kate’s interests range from math to dance via language, and currently teaches math (Geometry, Algebra II, Finite Math, and SAT Math) at the Beekman School, as well as special topics such as Mathematical Economics in The Tutoring School. She believes in the value of a well-rounded education throughout high school and beyond, and enjoys helping students find and nurture their autonomy. She is an advocate of the “flipped” classroom, in particular as a way to encourage individual initiative in learning.

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
Michelle Koza
Education:
B.A., Boston College, 2005
M.L.S.., Pratt Institute, 2008
M.S.T. Pace University, 2011
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Michelle Koza
Teacher
Biography:

Michelle Koza has taught all levels of English at The Beekman School. Her elective courses include Art History, Dystopias for Our Times, and Mythology, among others. Her interests include Arthurian literature, and the history of the English language. As the faculty advisor for The Beekman Chirp (our arts and literature club), Michelle collaborates with students and faculty to promote student art and writing, and sponsor field trips to cultural events around the city.

Teacher
Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez
Education:
BA, Biology: Texas A&M University
Double Minor - Chemistry and Speech Communications
Teacher Certification - Secondary Biology and Composite Science
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Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez
Teacher
Biography:

Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez (B.A., Biology with a double Minor in Chemistry and Speech Communications, 1999, Texas A&M University; Teacher Certification-Secondary Biology and Secondary Composite Science, Texas A&M University, 2004) has been teaching Biology, Honors Biology, Chemistry,  Ecology and Forensic Science at The Beekman School since 2006.  She has served as the Student Council Advisor and currently sponsors The Benevolent Blue Jays, Beekman's community service organization.  She worked for the Dallas Independent School District as a teacher and Instructional Lead for six years at the prestigious Skyline High School Science Magnet.  She was promoted to district administration in 2005 as part of a team of Science Coaches charged with overseeing the science curriculum, testing and professional development needs of all high schools in the Dallas Public School System before joining the Beekman faculty in 2006.

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
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
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
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) is the chair of the Mathematics Department.  He teaches Geometry, Algebra II & Trigonometry, and Finite Mathematics, 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 Charles has been an adjunct professor at New York University, where he most recently taught a course in Precalculus Mathematics.   Charles has been a member of the Beekman faculty since 1988.

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
Raven Koch
Education:
BA, Linguistics: University of Oregon
MS, Acupuncture: Tri-State College of Acupuncture
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Raven Koch
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Raven Koch (B.A., University of Oregon, 2000; M.S., Tri-State College of Acupuncture, 2007) has over five years of experience teaching and tutoring Beekman students in a wide-range of subjects, from English language and literature to Biology to test preparation and study skills development.  Ms. Koch's academic background included intensive study in both hard and soft sciences and left her with a love of language and the human story.  She can often be found gesticulating wildly while teaching private history classes in the lower level of the school.

Teacher and Tutor
Luis Martin
Education:
PhD in Physics: University of Buenos Aires
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Luis Martin
Teacher and 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
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
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
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
Glenn Doering
Education:
BS, Biology: Loyola University of Chicago
MS, Biology: Loyola University of Chicago
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Glenn Doering
Teacher/Tutor
Biography:

Glenn Doering planned to go into teaching 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 in both middle-management and senior-management positions, he returned to his first love – teaching, and has taught a wide range of ages and subjects. His corporate operations-based experience and organizational skills make him an excellent academic coach and study skills tutor. Glenn’s degrees, along with his post-graduate studies in communication, leadership, and the arts, give him the expertise needed to teach science/math as well as humanities/arts.

 

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