Current News Stories
This coming school year, The Baldwin School welcomes 18 new faculty and staff members. Our new teachers, counselors and staff members will provide great expertise and guidance for our girls with their many years of experience in their designated fields.
Dr. Marisa Porges, Ph.D. – Head of School
Marisa Porges, Ph.D., a 1996 graduate of The Baldwin School, most recently served at the White House, as White House Fellow to the National Economic Council. As a senior advisor for cybersecurity and technology policy, she directed efforts to expand Internet access in public housing and helped launch the President’s Buy Secure cybersecurity and consumer protection initiative.
Prior to joining the White House, Dr. Porges was an International Security Program Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In these roles, she traveled throughout the Middle East and in Afghanistan, conducting research on counterterrorism—including interviews with former members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and Syrian rebel fighters, to better understand their perspectives. She also served as a counterterrorism policy advisor in the U.S. Department of Treasury and in the U.S. Department of Defense, and on active duty as a Naval Flight Officer in the United States Navy.
Dr. Porges, a native of Penn Valley, PA, holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate from King’s College London. Her awards include the National Committee on American Foreign Policy 21st Century Leader Award and the NATO Medal for service in Afghanistan. Her writings have been published by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and other top-tier outlets, and she has appeared on CNN, CSPAN and Al Jazeera.
Christopher Armstrong – Lower School Mandarin Teacher
Christopher received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Education from Temple University. He joins us from Belmont Charter School as well as Saint John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School. During his time at Belmont he was a Mandarin teacher, teacher leader and an interpreter between parents and teachers. Then at the Saint John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, Mr. Armstrong was working part-time as an English teacher. He continues to work on his Mandarin by participating in training programs such as Fulbright Scholar and Startalk.
Kristin Brown – Middle School Art Teacher
Kristin acquired a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with Honors from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MAT from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Mrs. Brown joins Baldwin after being at the Westminster Schools, where she served as Visual Arts Teacher and a Discovery Teacher. She was a member of the professional learning community titled STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Outside of teaching, Mrs. Brown has had professional experience with companies such as Forbes in New York, partaken in exhibitions around the country and is an active member of Atlanta Printmakers Studio.
Kathleen Burke – Computer Science Teaching Fellow
Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bard College. During her time at Bard, Ms. Burke was a Language & Thinking with Code Curriculum Developer and Instructor. She was also the club head and founder for Women in STEM.
Allison Carden – Middle School Music and Choral Teacher
Allison obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music Education; Voice from Western Connecticut State University. She most recently was a part of the Community Education Alliance, which works with schools such as Belmont, Belmont Academy Charter School and Inquiry Charter School. While being in the Community Education Alliance she created a Pre-K through Grade 8 curriculum that encompasses all aspects of music. She was also an Enrichment Team Chair for the alliance.
Arlyn Castillo – Staff Accountant
Arlyn joined Baldwin back in January from Parks Casino. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Temple University.
Bridget Doherty – Middle School History Teacher
Bridget earned a bachelor’s degree in History, with a concentration in Middle East from Temple University and a Master of Arts degree in World History from West Chester University. She joins us from The Haverford School and Episcopal Academy, where she was a substitute teacher. She has received the Educational Testing Standards Recognition of Excellence Award for the PRAXIS II Social Studies exam.
Betty Ellsworth – Director of Lower School Enrollment
Betty joins us from Delaware County Christian School (DCCS) where she served as Admissions Director for nine years, leading the daily operations for all grades, Pre-K through 12. Prior to serving in this role, Betty taught in the Lower School at DCCS as well as Fort Stewart Elementary School in Fort Stewart, GA. Betty holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Wheaton College and a master’s degree in Special Education from Penn State Great Valley. She will join the Baldwin Community on September 19.
Margaret Epstein – Middle and Upper School Science Teacher
Maggie received her bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s in Education from CUNY Brooklyn College and completed a Master Science Teacher program at the University of Texas. She was previously at the Pease School in Austin TX, where she was the Department Head for Science. One of her greatest scientific achievements included DNA extractions, PCR, electrophoresis, sequencing and analysis. Her work has been published in an array of academic papers.
Rebecca Grantham – PreKindergarten Assistant Teacher
Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University and a master’s degree in Education from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She was previously a teacher at Ashley Hall, an all-girls day school in downtown Charleston, SC. She was a member of the professional development team there, as well as a Volleyball coach.
Deborah Havert – Grade 2 Teacher
Deborah graduated from Millersville University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After substituting in the Lower School last year, she is returning to The Baldwin School for the first time since 2003. In 2003, she was the Co-Chair of PAPAS and the Middle States Self-Study. During her previous tenure at Baldwin she was also the Assistant Lower School Director, Resource Teacher, Scheduler and a Grade 4 teacher. Ms. Havert has worked at many other schools around the country. She has taken part in numerous influential educational conferences such as several held by NAIS. Ms. Havert has had two of her books published, and she has created five musicals and written three songs.
Dr. Karen Lancaster, Ph.D. – Middle and Upper School Science Teacher
Dr. Karen Lancaster holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Denison University, and earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical. After receiving her Ph.D., she taught a Medical Microbiology Class and ran a Medical Microbiology and Parasitology Lab. She has been presented with 16 awards, such as the Academic All American and the Provost award. Dr. Lancaster has written seven publications and has two patents. She not only has a vast knowledge of the sciences, but she also has 13 years of experience as a field hockey coach. She will influence the girls both inside and outside the classroom.
Caitlin McLane – US History Teacher
Caitlin acquired a bachelor’s degree in History from Colgate University and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences with a focus on American History from the University of Chicago. She is a recipient of the Mariana Stroock Leighton ’55 Stock Fund for Early Educators award at the Emma Willard School for her positive impact on her students and colleagues. She joins us from St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA, where she was a history teacher, softball coach and residential faculty member.
Jordan Pascucci – Co-Director of College Counseling
Jordan was previously an Associate Dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She created a strategic plan for the Admissions office, developed Penn’s LGBT outreach initiative, was a member of the Undergraduate Admissions Office senior leadership team and was a key member of partnerships globally designed to enhance Penn’s admissions efforts, as well as served as a Selection Committee senior chair. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and American Studies with a minor in Italian from Temple University and a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dena Phillips – Controller
Dena joined Baldwin back in January from Royer-Greaves School in Paoli, PA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Widener University and a master’s degree in business management from Rosemont College.
Janice Tan – Pre-K/Kindergarten Science and DREAM Lab® Teacher
Janice holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Rochester and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Queens College. She has had many teaching jobs since her career began in 2003, but most recently she had been working at the Haverford Friends School as a Science Teacher. She has three certifications for Childhood Education, Biology and Instructional Level I Elementary.
Valerie Welsh – Director of College Counseling
Valerie received a bachelor’s degree in French and International Business from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. She joins us from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a part of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as well as the Associate Dean. She has been involved with the University of Pennsylvania since the early 2000s.
Kelly Zemaitis – Middle School English Teacher
Kelly acquired a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from La Salle University and a Master of Arts in English from La Salle University. She has multiple certifications and has participated in numerous educational conferences. For the past nine years, she has taught at Friends Academy of Westampton, a small independent school in South Jersey. During her time there, she coached the middle school girls’ basketball team, led two teams to a first place victory in the Burlington County Battle of the Books competition and was the faculty advisor for several after school clubs. Alongside this full-time teaching job, she has taught various English courses for the past two years at Rowan College at Burlington County.