Welcome New Faculty/Coaches

It’s another year of top draft picks as Lawrenceville welcomes new faculty to campus for the 2019-2020 academic year. In keeping with School tradition, these nine talented members of the faculty community will serve multiple roles, from teaching to coaching to advising to House life.

Tonita Balcom, Counseling. Ph.D., psychology, Long Island University; B.A., double major in psychology and law and justice, The College of New Jersey. Having served part-time at Lawrenceville since 2018, Balcom joins the School as a full-time counselor this fall. Balcom previously was a program director at Gen Psych PC focusing on child and adolescent mental health. She also has worked with women’s mental health issues and individuals having trans identities and experiences.

Liz Buckles, English Department. M.L.S., Wesleyan University; B.A., double major in religion and English, cum laude, Kenyon College. Buckles has extensive experience working and teaching in boarding schools, including at Loomis Chaffee and The Hill School, where she taught religion and philosophy and served as assistant dean of students. Most recently, Buckles worked at Hotchkiss, where she taught English, was a faculty mentor in the Penn Fellows program, served as a dorm parent, and coached girls’ soccer.

Danny Concepcion ’02, Science Department. Ph.D., genetics and developmental biology, Columbia University; M.A., science education, Pace University; B.A., biochemistry, Columbia University. A member of the Lawrenceville class of 2002 and recipient of the Max Maxwell Award, Concepcion returns to Lawrenceville after teaching biology and chemistry at Bronx Theater High School (BTHS). He also co-chaired the School Leadership Team at BTHS and managed and directed a range of theatrical productions, from fashion shows to musicals.

Nuri Friedlander, Religion and Philosophy Department. ABD, study of religion, with focus on Islamic Studies, Harvard University; M.S.W., Simmons College; M.A., Arabic language and literature, American University in Cairo; B.A., English and comparative literature, American University in Cairo. Friedlander comes to Lawrenceville from Phillips Exeter Academy, where he taught a range of courses in the Religion Department, including classes on Islam, Religion and Popular Culture, Existentialism, and Bioethics. He has also been a social worker and, while at Harvard, taught Arabic and served as Islamic Society chaplain.

Josh Frechette, Admission Office. M.A., English, Breadloaf School of English, Middlebury College; B.A., American studies, Williams College. A former two-sport athlete at Williams, Frechette brings considerable experience in independent schools on both the east and west coasts – as an administrator, lacrosse and football coach, and English teacher. As director of athletics at Marin Academy, he was also head coach of the boys’ lacrosse team, leading them to an undefeated league championship and two California North Coast division championships.

Marisa Hedges, History Department. M.Ed., curriculum and instruction, Boston College; B.A., double major in history and secondary education, Providence College. After teaching part-time in the History Department for the past two years, Hedges joins Lawrenceville full-time as the department’s new chair. A former Big East Academic All-Star in track and field and the founder of the Middle Eastern Student Association at Providence College, Hedges has been a teacher and leader at various institutions, including The Peddie School and the non-profit educational organization, Facing History and Ourselves.

Chloe Kalna, Visual Arts Department. B.F.A., communications design and illustration, Pratt Institute. Equally at ease in the classroom, the art studio, or the dance studio, Kalna has worked at Wyoming Seminary and at The Darrow School, where she wore many hats. In addition to teaching visual arts, Kalna served as the assistant director of communications, the yearbook adviser, and a house parent. She also taught yoga and helped to create the school’s dance program, offering instruction in ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance.

Joselle Lamoutte, Language Department. J.D., Tulane University School of Law. A.B., comparative literature, Princeton University. A graduate of the Teacher Prep Program at Princeton, where she focused on Spanish language instruction, Lamoutte is joining Lawrenceville as a part-time Spanish teacher this year. Before turning to teaching, Lamoutte worked as a lawyer and translator, mostly recently as a linguist for the FBI.

Nicki Selan, Science Department. M.S. in physics, concentration in computational astrophysics, Miami University of Ohio; B.S., engineering physics, West Virginia Wesleyan College. Selan has taught physics at the high school and college levels for the past 15 years, most recently at Moravian Academy, where she also served as the chair of the Science Department. In addition to her teaching and department duties, Selan also founded and coached Moravian’s Science Olympiad and Robotics teams.




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