The Brentwood School Flyer Flyer, October 6 : Page 4

THE FLYER 4 October 7, 2010 Brentwood welcomes new teachers to Middle and Upper Divisions New college counselor, Eric Sherman, is walking the Brentwood School hallways this year. Hailing all the way from Athens, Georgia, Sherman is proud and excited to be at Brentwood. Sherman attended the University of Georgia where he was a member of the rowing team. While there, he worked in the Admissions Department as an intern and a tour guide. Upon graduation, he took a full-time job in Admissions. Later on, Sherman moved to New York City, where he worked at Columbia University’s Admissions Department. After Columbia, Sherman transferred to the New School in New York, at the Eugene Lang branch, where he worked in the re-cruitment field. So far, Mr. Sherman is enjoying his time here at Brentwood. “Brentwood has been amazing so far because everyone who is here, faculty, staff, and students, really wants to be here,” Sherman said. sherman way: Sherman recently moved to Los Angeles from New York City to join the community. Since Sherman moved from New York to Los Angeles, the weather and lifestyle have been big changes for him as well. When Sherman is not at Brentwood, he loves to cycle, and is a spinning instructor at Equinox Fitness Club in Los Angeles. He enjoys playing Charades and Cranium. His favorite movies include Almost Famous, ALeague of Their Own, and Mrs. Doubtfire, even though he doesn’t own a television. He is also an avid reader of the New Yorker. Students have really enjoyed working and getting to know Sherman. “Mr. Sherman really knows how to get through to the kids. He is really on our side and wants what is best for us,” Jes-sica Barreno (’12) said. -Michelle Wolff She has a Bachelors Degree in History of Art from Yale University, a Masters of Art Teaching and Learning in Art and Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, and she was a two-year member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Who is she? Brentwood School’s new Drawing and Composition teacher and soccer coach Talia DiPanfilo. “My favorite thing about Brentwood so far would have to be the community,” DiPanfilo said. “The students are all so bright and respectful, and the staff could not be more welcoming. It has been nothing but a pleasure meeting the ninth graders around my room, and talking about everything from sports, art, and life.” DiPanfilo has taught art for three years and comes to Brentwood after teaching at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts. She has also implemented many new reforms into Brentwood’s Art Department. “I wrote my Master’s Thesis on the use of the iPhone as a new tool for learning within art education, so do not be surprised if you walk by the Art 2 room and see students recording the progress of their artwork on their mobile phones,” DiPanfilo said. This year, she will teach her students new techniques based on their course, and by the end of the year, each student will complete an impressive portfolio. “Ms. DiPanfilo is a great teacher and I can already tell that I’ll be a better artist by the end of the year,” Justin Clareman (’13) said. -Charlotte Hansen a new design : In addition to being an artist, DiPanflo played for the U.S. National Soccer Team. This year incoming freshman students were given the choice to take Mandarin Chinese as their foreign language for the first time where they will have the pleasure of meeting their new teacher Mrs. Helen Li. “I already love Brentwood School and my new students. They are all very diligent and are extremely interested in the Chinese culture and language. I feel very welcomed to the school and it has been a great transition for me,” Li said. Mrs. Li was born in Xian, China and graduated from college in Beijing with a degree in economics. But her passion for the Chinese language helped her decide to become a Chinese teacher. After receiving her degree she worked at the Associated Colleges in China program (ACC) where she taught Chinese to American and Canadian students. These students had come to China solely to learn about the Chinese language and culture. In 2005 she moved to New Haven, Conn. to work at Yale as a Chinese teacher. She continued to teach Chinese at the University of California Berkley and at the University of San Francisco. She then worked at Thea College Prepatoryion School in Oakland where she helped create its Chinese program. She has now transitioned from starting the Chinese program at an Oakland prep school to being the first teacher at Brentwood Upper Division to teach Chinese to incoming freshmen. Although she is only teaching freshmen this year she will eventually be teaching students in grades 9 through 12. soon to move up: Li will soon teach all grades in the Upper Division as her students move forward. Having worked at UCLA and the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood, Aimee Palmitessa has recently joined Brentwood School’s Upper Division as the new chemistry teacher. Palmitessa has always had an interest for science, but mainly chemistry. She hopes to inspire others to really enjoy chemistry, and not look at it as a chore. “I am just constantly amazed at the intricacies of life as we know it and how it all depends on chemistry,” she said. She attended Jakarta International High School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Afterward, she received her Bachelors Degree in Biology from Syracuse University, and her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Thomas Jefferson University. Her passion for science grew as she worked in the research field at Thomas Jefferson University, but it was very isolating for her. “I finally decided to try and do something that combined my interests and got me away from staring into a microscope for 10 hours a day, seven days a week,” Palmitessa said. However, the classroom was not unfamiliar because her mother was a teacher and Palmitessa ended up teaching at Penn-sylvania State Abington University. When she is not teaching, Palmitessa likes to spend her time cooking, traveling, doing bikram yoga, spinning, running, and listening to music. The transition to Brentwood School has been easy for her. “The campus is beautiful, the faculty are wonderful, and the students are really motivated and intelligent,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Brentwood community.” -Benny Grush there is chemistry: Palmitessa has a Ph.D. in both Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Among one of several new additions to the Brentwood School teaching staff this year is Upper Division History Teacher Elizabeth Scott. Scott grew up in Sudbury, Mass. where she decided she wanted to become a history teacher in seventh grade. She was inspired by her own history teacher at the time, who made learning history fun and exciting. She then attended Dartmouth Col-lege in New Hampshire, which she loved very much despite the weather. Though new to Brentwood, Scott is certainly not new to teaching. For the past nine years she has taught Ancient and Me-dieval History at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School located in New York City, where she also served as the History Depart-ment Chair. from east to west: Coming from Massachu-setts, Scott loves the warm Los Angeles weather. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Scott had considered a number of schools. “Brentwood really impressed me with how much it seems to appreciate its students and faculty. The students that were in my demonstration class seemed bright and curious, and the administrators seemed caring and thoughtful,” she said. This school year, Scott is teaching three sections of ninth grade history, and one section of tenth grade history. So far she is impressed with the strong sense of community Brentwood offers, and she loves getting to know her students. “I’m still doing a lot of adjusting to my new environment, but I’m sure that once I’m fully acclimated, I’ll enjoy my time here even more,” Scott said. -Hallie Cohen -Charlotte Hansen PHOTOS BY GABBIE READE AND NATALIE CARDENAS

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