Kickboxing, cushion forts, chicken coops, and bird-watching … these are just a few of the hobbies of the new Upper School Teachers. Oh, and one of them knows Chance the Rapper.
This year, St. Mary’s welcomes five new teachers to the Upper School and all are excited to join the St. Mary’s community. From anatomy to literature, each teacher is passionate about education and aims to immerse students in fascinating topics through lively discussions.
Ms. Segars (‘05) is the new Assistant Chaplain and Faith Foundations teacher for the Upper School. Having been a St. Mary’s girl, she knows all about the community and admitted that it still lives up to the hype. “I am proud to be a part of the work St. Mary’s does in preparing girls not only to be very strong academically, but also to approach their studies and each other with curiosity, compassion, and connection.” she said. During her free time, she loves to walk her basset hound Andy and help her son Teddy build couch cushion forts.
Dr. Sorin is joining the St. Mary’s community this year teaching AP Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology. She also co-directs the Honors Independent Research Study. “It is so important that young women are educated about science and consider careers in STEM fields” she said. So far, Dr. Sorin is impressed by the student engagement but does admit the school culture is going to take her a while to get used to. After the Derby Day themes were announced for each grade, she was slightly confused. “Freshmen are mustard?” she asks. Outside of school, she is the happy pet owner of two dogs and three chickens and loves to explore whenever she gets the chance.
The new British Literature teacher Ms. Ryan is thrilled to be a part of the environment at St. Mary’s which she describes as “quirky, intelligent, and enthusiastic.” She first experienced St. Mary’s through her undergraduate program which allowed her to observe classes. “I immediately admired the culture of intellect and relationships between students and faculty” she expresses. Ms. Ryan loves to use literature as a lesson in her daily life; “I try to be quick to listen and slow to speak, knowing my experience and opinion is not like everyone else's and learning what is helpful to others.” However, when she is not reading, teaching, or making lesson plans, you can find her training for a kickboxing match or dining on some good vegan food.
Previously the coach of the dance team, Ms. Seebeck is happy to return to St. Mary’s as the Mind and Body Wellness teacher for the freshmen. She has a strong passion for working with young women and adds, “I hope to aide them with an understanding of how to care for their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.” She loves the uniqueness of St. Mary’s and hopes to help her students build positive well-being as they learn. On her own, Ms. Seebeck enjoys a vast array of activities including practicing yoga, playing with her dog Rudy, drinking coffee, and bird-watching.
Mr. Nichols is teaching Chemistry, Intro to Engineering, and co-directing the Honors Independent Research Study projects this year. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Rhodes, he said that he developed a love for introducing the scientific world to his students. Interestingly, when he previously taught in Chicago, one of his students was Chance the Rapper’s brother, so he got to interact with Chance on multiple occasions. When he is not teaching, he is travelling, reading, swimming, or spending time with family and friends. So far, Mr. Nichols has really enjoyed St. Mary’s and admits, “You guys know how to make a new teacher feel welcomed and supported!”