The Independent Day School is thrilled to welcome nine new members to its faculty and staff for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year!
“I was very encouraged by the number of excellent candidates who applied for our openings,” remarked Head of School Dr. Marijke Kehrhahn. “I am truly excited about the knowledge, skills, experiences, and passion that each of these new members of the IDS community brings to our school.”
Meet the Newest Members of Our Team!
Jannel Heisholt (Middle School Social Studies, Cross Country Coach) - Mrs. Heisholt was born in Jamaica and grew up in Connecticut and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in Education from Lyndon State College, now Northern Vermont University. Her three-year old son, TJ, will be attending IDS as a Beginner this Fall. This will be her second year teaching middle school social studies and her classroom will be filled with fun, sparks of innovation, and discovering ways her students can positively impact our community. From Mrs. Heisholt: “I am dedicated to the academic success of my students. I love spending time with my family. I’m a lifelong learner and lover of history, music, running, world travels, fundraising, volunteering, and living each day to the fullest. I look forward to meeting you all!”
Allison Klobukowski (Fifth Grade) - Mrs. Klobukowski has most recently taught as a reading interventionist for Middletown Public Schools and taught Grades fourth and fifth at St. Rita’s School in Hamden for nine years where she also served as the Math Club Coach, Invention Convention Coordinator, and Yearbook Advisor. Mrs. Klobukowski earned her BA in History and Political Science from The University of Connecticut and is currently enrolled in Wesleyan’s MA in Liberal Studies program. After teaching, Mrs. K’s favorite thing to do is read – especially science fiction and fantasy – and she declares herself a Ravenclaw! From Mrs. Klobukowski: “I am so excited to be joining IDS and I cannot wait to start our learning journey together. What adventures we will have, my fearless fifth grade learners!”
Ashley Lane (Physical Education, Middle School Athletics) - Ms. Lane is a native of New Fairfield, CT and a multi-sport athlete in basketball and golf. She is also skilled in ice hockey, softball, soccer, and lacrosse. Ms. Lane has most recently coached girls’ basketball at The Stony Brook School and coached 2-10 year olds at Soccer Shots on Long Island. Ms. Lane earned her BA in Sports Studies and her MA in Physical Education from Manhattanville College and previously worked for Madison Square Garden before pursuing her teaching career. From Ms. Lane: “I wanted to work at IDS because of the small size and sense of community. Being able to spend one on one time with students is amazing and allows me to foster better learning and relationships.”
David Langer (Educational Technology Coordinator, IDS Class of 2005) - Mr. Langer completed a BA in Liberal Studies at Southern Connecticut State University with a concentration in Business Administration and Spanish, and will soon complete his MA in Teaching/Special Education at the University of St. Joseph. Mr. Langer previously worked for a number of years for The Hartford and ServPro. Mr. Langer resides in Rocky Hill with his wife, Ryan, and his two-year old daughter, Peyton. He is looking forward to reinventing the Educational Technology Coordinator role at IDS to include hands-on technology teaching in the classroom, advising, and coaching. David is an avid college football fan, but loves and appreciates all sports and loves the outdoors. From Mr. Langer: “I am more than excited to make my return to IDS. It is incredible to see how much the school has changed since I last attended, but also how much has remained the same. It is incredible to be back at a school that is so near and dear to my heart.”
Hannah Maynard (Lower/Middle School Chorus) - Ms. Maynard recently graduated with a BA in Music and a BS in Music Education from The University of Connecticut, where she sang in the UCONN Chamber Singers and UCONN Concert Choir, performed in UCONN Opera productions, and directed the acapella group, Notes Over Storrs. Ms. Maynard is a native of West Hartford. She has worked at summer camps for many years as Waterfront Director and Swimming Instructor. For her Honors thesis, Hannah wrote a musical for children about COVID-19 to help them learn about the pandemic and cope with the worries that accompany the great number of changes required of children during this time.
Melissa Michaud-Maltese (Learning Center Coordinator) - Ms. Michaud-Maltese joins IDS as the new Learning Center Coordinator. She is a US Navy Veteran, owner of Worthy Changes LLC, and a certified Special Education Teacher. She recently completed her Transition Coordinator Certification at Central CT State University and also holds a Master’s degree in Special Education. She previously served as a paraeducator and music teacher at St. Paul’s School in Berlin, an assistant teacher at Oak Hill School in Avon, a high school special education teacher at Raymond Hill School in New Britain, and lastly a special education teacher and color guard coach at Bristol Central High School. She is the proud mother of two older children who also have “different abilities” of ADHD and Autism, both of whom currently attend college. From Ms. Michaud-Maltese: “I strongly believe that each student is unique. They encompass strengths and abilities that reveal their true learning styles. When schools embrace student learning preferences, they support students in being the best scholars that they can be from elementary school and beyond.”
David Sizemore (Assistant Head of School) - Mr. Sizemore brings many years of experience in education administration and a love of teaching history to our school. He most recently served as the Principal of St. Joseph School in North Grosvenordale, CT and prior to that served as an Academic Dean for 11 years at Xavier High School in Middletown and three years as Director of Admissions and Director of Student Activities at Carmel Catholic High School in Illinois. Mr. Sizemore has taught middle school and high school Social Studies for Old Saybrook Public Schools, Groton Public Schools, and at Xavier. A graduate of Drew University, Mr. Sizemore earned his MS in Social Studies Education and a 6th Year Certificate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. Mr. Sizemore has served on a number of education-related boards of trustees including Our Lady of Mercy School (Madison), Xavier Alumni Board of Directors, and The Connecticut Council of Social Studies. He served on the IDS Board of Trustees from 2014-2017 and co-led the development of IDS’ Strategic Plan during that time. Known as a leader with heart, Mr. Sizemore thrives on the ‘people work’ of school administration, making connections and building relationships with students, faculty, and families wherever he goes. David and his wife Nada reside in Cromwell. In his spare time, David loves running and completed two marathons while living in the Midwest. David and Nada love being parents to their two feline children – a 16 year old named Sydney and a 14 year old named Lincoln, and enjoy hosting many friends at their home during the TPC Golf Tournament in Cromwell every year.
Nicole Whitman (Middle School Math) - Ms. Whitman earned a BA in English from Skidmore College and went on to graduate from Southern Connecticut State University with an MA and also from Fordham University with a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has taught middle school Math at independent schools in the greater New York City area including Sacred Heart in Greenwich and St. Luke’s School and Rodeph Sholom School in Manhattan. Her son, Jack, will also be joining IDS in Pre-Kindergarten. Ms. Whitman spends her free time playing with Jack, reading historical fiction, and finding all the missing items for the members of her household. From Ms. Whitman: "Since moving to central Connecticut, I have had the pleasure of meeting parents, students and staff members of IDS. I am thrilled to be joining a community of nurturing educators who are rigorously dedicated to their craft."
Stephanie Wratten (Middle School STEM) - Ms. Wratten will serve as the new STEM teacher for the Middle School, teaching Grade 6 Science, Grade 8 Algebra, and Grade 6 Digital Arts and Science. Ms. Wratten has most recently worked as the Student Programs Educator for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History following a 16-year career teaching Middle School Math and Science at the Winsor School in Boston and the Meadowbrook School in Weston, MA. Ms. Wratten earned a BA in Biology from Williams College and an MFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. She enjoys traveling (which she has really missed this last year!), photography, and yoga. From Ms. Wratten: “I love teaching inquiry-based science and math, and the more I learn about the amazing students and teachers at IDS, the more I am excited to be a part of the community!”