Entering Faculty 2019-2020

Monday, June 3, 2019

We are excited to introduce new faculty that will join us on campus this summer and fall. Waterford faculty is composed of passionate and dedicated educators—experts in their fields. They are exceptional individuals who deliver on the Waterford mission and embody the Waterford core values, and the new faculty and staff members are anxious and prepared to join the Waterford family. 

MATTHEW ADAMS - English Teacher

Mr. Adams joins us in the English Department from San Diego, California, where he has worked as a Humanities teacher. Mr. Adams has a BA in Linguistics and German from UC Irvine, an MA in German from Georgetown University, and an MA and PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University. 

Matthew Adams

Why/how did you get into teaching? 

I've always loved learning and self-teaching. I feel very comfortable in a classroom and enjoy the spirit of academic discourse. Teaching presents a daily opportunity to have communion with students and thinkers, and it provides for a life of the mind coupled with a social purpose: to help others grow alongside me.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

I love hiking, backpacking, and tinkering with Linux-related projects (data curation, personal knowledge management, home servers). My wife and I enjoy reading, cooking Korean food, and finding beautiful spots in the American West to explore.

If you are relocating, what brings you to Utah?

I'm relocating to join the Waterford English faculty. I'm looking forward to backpacking and hiking more consistently, and the Wasatch seems so inviting! My wife wants to take me skiing, because I've never been on skis in my life. I felt welcomed by the Waterford students, faculty, and staff when I visited, and I love the mission that Waterford establishes for its community.

Best book you read this year/summer?

2666 by Roberto Bolaño​

Most interesting person (famous or not) that you've met?

Working with Paul Kiparsky, a Stanford linguist, fundamentally changed how I think about language, linguistic research, and poetics.


ANNOR BENSON - History Teacher & Reading/Writing Tutor

Ms. Benson is a long-time Waterford parent and a long-time MS/US reading tutor, who will now join us in the history department as well. She has a BA in History and Secondary Education from University of Northern Colorado, and  has over 15 years of teaching experience. 


BETTY BIENERT - Chinese Teacher

Ms. Bienert joins us in the World Languages Department. She joins us with an MBA in Marketing and International Business from Wayne State University, a BA from Changchun University in China, and over a decade of teaching experience. 


SAM SATHER BROGNA - Class I Teacher

Sam SatherMs. Sather Brogna joins us in the Lower School with a Master's of Arts in Teaching from Westminster College. She also has a BS in Communications from the University of Utah and a Communications Design degree from California College of Arts & Crafts, and has transitioned from corporate communications to teaching. 

Why/how did you get into teaching? 

How:
As a previous communications professional, my life changed considerably when I had my son and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. At the time I was living on Bainbridge Island in Washington State and it was during those years that my desire to pursue a teaching career began to germinate. My community included many different caregivers who were very interested in child development and in exploring the many paths for laying a foundation for a love of learning. That time, coupled with days spent with children exploring in the Grand Forest, picking wild berries, or playing on the beach uncovered a passion in myself to become a teacher. Over the last decade, I have dedicated myself to becoming a highly-skilled teacher. As a lifelong learner, I have immersed myself in many educational settings and have had many opportunities to serve in a variety of different schools and classrooms.

Why:

Witnessing the ah-ha moments and realizing that children are natural scientists and artists. Children constantly remind me about the joy that curiosity and discovery bring to our lives. I feel deep gratitude to be a teacher.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Outside of the classroom, I spend as much time as I can with my son Kehoe in the outdoors, in all weather, away from the city as much as possible. I savor reading a good book and enjoying the people I love by sharing dinners/going camping/traveling/tacking projects together. 

Best book you read this year/summer?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 

Do you have a favorite dessert?

Mudpie with homemade hot fudge topping 

Do you have a pet? 

YES! Suki. She is a mini Australian Shepherd (who doesn't mind me at all)


BRENDA BUTCHER - LS/MS/US Dance Teacher

Ms. Butcher has a BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah. She joins us with 13 years of dance teaching experience and has recenlty been teaching with Waterford Dance Academy. She joins us with extensive dance and fitness experience. 


DEVON CALLENS - Science Teacher

Ms. Callens joins us in the Science Department with 5 years of teaching experience in Science and Math. 

Devon CallensWhy and/or how did you get into teaching?  

Seven years ago I was coaching athletics for a private school in Oklahoma while working as an engineer, and I began tutoring my athletes after practice. I quickly discovered that those 3 hours of the day were the highlight of each day, and decided to make a career change. The school hired me on full time that spring, and I've never looked back.  

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

I enjoy being outside. I grew up in the mountains and love spending time playing in them. My interests range from basic hikes to water skiing and snow skiing. During many of these activities I am accompanied by my husband, Kyle, and German Shepherd, Bailey. Finally, I love spending time with friends and family. 

If you are relocating, what brings you to Utah? 

I am originally from the Pacific Northwest, and my husband is from Texas. We have an enormous amount of family in the area, and we've spent many holidays out here in the past 10 years. Utah seemed to be the perfect mix of activity, family and fun for us to settle down. 

Best book you read this year/summer? 

I really enjoyed reading Lessons From a Third Grade Drop Out by Rick Rigsby. It is filled with insightful wisdom and peppered with some truly enjoyable humor. 

Do you have a pet? 

We do! We have three pets. I have had two cats for 10 years, and they, of course, rule the roost. We also got a dog four years ago. Her name is Bailey and she is a German Shepherd. She has loved the move to Utah and the opportunity for more activity and less heat. 


ERICA COOPER - English Teacher

An alum of Waterford School, Ms. Cooper returns to Waterford to the English Department. She has been teaching for the last four years locally, after graduating from Utah State University with a BA in English Teaching. 

EricaCooper

Why/how did you get into teaching? 

I went into teaching because I have always loved learning. Teaching is a profession where I get to continue to grow and learn everyday.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my dog, doing Crossfit, reading, and napping.

Best book you read this year/summer?

The best book I've read recently is called Augustown by Kei Miller.

Do you have a pet?

I have a four-year-old lab/border collie mix named Oliver.

Most interesting person (famous or not) that you've met?

I met a Catholic nun on a bus to Madrid. 


KENT HERCULES - Director of Auxiliary Programs

Mr. Hercules returns to Waterford School, where he taught from 1992-2010. He joins the Administration enthusiastically ready to further implement the Strategic Plan through auxiliary programs here at Waterford. Mr. Hercules graduated from BYU and has done extensive traveling around the world. 


MISSY JOHNSON - MS/US Counselor

Ms. Johnson relocates back to Utah after finishing up her PhD in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also has a BS from BYU and has extensive experience working with students. 

Missy Johnson

Why/how did you get into psychology? 

 I have always enjoyed working with kids and teenagers and wanted a job working with those ages. I also have seen the impact psychological support and help can have on people's lives and wanted to be able to provide that support for others. 

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Two of my biggest passions are Broadway shows and travel. I love musical theater and try to see as many shows as possible. Travel is another passion of mine and I try to explore new places any chance I get, both internationally and around the USA. 

If you are relocating, what brings you to Utah?

I am relocating back to Utah after spending 7 years on the East Coast working and for graduate school. My family is from Utah and I missed the mountains! 

Favorite Dessert?

My favorite dessert is pie. Any and all kinds of pie, although I'm particularly a fan of berry pies. 

Most interesting person (famous or not) that you've met?

Zachary Levi


SHANNON LECHNER - Class III Teacher

Ms. Lechner joins our Lower School with a BS from Penn State University and a Master's in Education from the University Exeter, Exeter, England. She joins us most recently from the Landon School in Maryland. 

Shannon LechnerWhy/how did you get into teaching? 

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a teacher. After I graduated from college, I traveled abroad to England and received my Master’s degree in Education from the University of Exeter.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

I love to play lacrosse, go on adventurous hikes, and read on the beach. Since moving to Utah, I will also be spending a lot of time skiing!

If you are relocating, what brings you to Utah?

I never had the opportunity to live out west. I love nature and being outdoors, so Utah seemed like the perfect place to live.

What is your favorite album/song?

I LOVE country music! My favorite song is Springsteen by Eric Church, and I love too many albums to just choose one.  

Do you have a pet?

I have a yellow lab and his name is Duke. He is a 90 pound rescue dog and absolutely loves going to the park to run around and play with other dogs!


ANNE INNIS - History Teacher

Ms. Innis joins us in the History Department with a Master's in Education from Utah Sate University and BA in Spanish and Communications from Lycoming College. She joins us with over a decade of experience in education. 

Anne InnisWhy/how did you get into teaching? 

I found teaching as a profession by accident. Shortly after graduating with a B.A. in Spanish I received a phone call from a middle school principal in need of a long term substitute Spanish teacher who could start immediately. I interviewed and began teaching within a week. I never looked back. A few years into my career, I moved to teaching history as I realized that being an educator allowed me to include my fascination with colonialism and secret love of European history into my everyday life. Teaching history led me to Utah in pursuit of graduate education, and I am currently in the dissertation writing phase of a Ph.D. in Education, Culture, and Society.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Outside of the classroom I enjoy tending my ever expanding backyard garden, reading feminist and indigenous histories, and road tripping with my family and our adventure loving dog

Best book you read this year/summer?

Two books that my top reading list are Pipestone: My Life at an Indian Boarding School by Adam Fortunate Eagle and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Where is your hometown? 

When not enjoying the mountains of Utah, I like to return to the mountains of rural Pennsylvania, where my parents still live in the log cabin in which I grew up.


JOANNE PRICE - Kindergarten Teacher

Joanna PriceMs. Price, beloved Waterford teacher, rejoins the Lower School with nearly 15 years of teaching Elementary Education at Waterford. 

Why/how did you get into teaching? 

My choice to become a teacher was likely influenced by my dad, a professor at Purdue University, and my mom, who received her BS in education from Utah State University. Although they never promoted education as a career, our home was filled with books, conversations about current events, and lots of office supplies.

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Outside of the classroom I love to read, travel and spend time with family.

Where is your hometown?

I grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana and still love the sight of fireflies, rivers, and mile upon mile of corn fields.

Do you have a favorite dessert?

My favorite dessert (or snack or beverage!) is anything chocolate.

Most interesting person (famous or not) that you've met?

The most interesting person I’ve met is my mom who lived from the Model-T era into the computer age and and still maintained a clear view of her place in the world. She was witty, intelligent, kind, endlessly patient and loving.


MATTHEW ROBERTSON - LS Music Teacher

Mr. Robertson joins us as a specialist in Lower School with over 5 years of experience as Music Teacher and Choir Director.  He has a Master's of Science from Wheelock College and a Master's of Music from the University of Utah. 


ANDREW SWINDLE - Director of Advancement

Andrew Swindle 2Mr. Swindle joins the Administration from the Development Office at the University of Utah, College of Engineering. He has a BA in Spanish from the University of Utah and brings years of experience. 

Why/how did you get into education? 

Although I am not a teacher, I am a firm believer in the experiences that formal education provides. Primarily the opportunity it affords to work closely with other individuals who are both further along in the journey of life as well those who are coming along the learning path behind oneself. 

What are your favorite hobbies outside the classroom? 

Love the outdoors. Fly Fishing, Golf, Biking, and Skiing rule our home and my wife and I hope to pass along our passion for sport in the outdoors to our children.

What is your favorite album/song?

Currently, the "A Star Is Born" soundtrack. All time, some Johnny Cash, Notorious B.I.G., Tom Petty, Pearl Jam - just depends on the day.  

Do you have a pet?

7-year old Black Lab named Moses

What is your favorite dessert?

Banana Cream Pie or my wife's chocolate chip cookies.


SHANNON TATMAN - Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Tatman joins us in the Lower School with five years of Elementary teaching experience and a B.S. in Elementary Education from BYU.