Welcome New Faculty & Staff

Wheeler Communications Office
Wheeler is delighted to introduce its new faculty and staff for the 2018-19 school year. Welcome from left to right: Sharonda, Jose, Reina, Chris, Ross, Felipe, Ky, Matthew, Judy, Bonnie, Andrew, Adam, Carrie, Valerie, John, and Trevor! Read more about each one of them here.
Bonnie Calderon, Kindergarten Teacher
Bonnie brings her creative spirit and passion for social-emotional learning to the Kindergarten team and early childhood program. Before coming to Wheeler she taught for 12 years in independent, public and charter schools in Greenwich, CT, San Francisco, CA, and Central Falls, RI. 
She has dual MATs in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Manhattanville College, NY, and a BS in Culture and Communications Studies, NYU. Did you know?  Bonnie holds yoga teaching certifications from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA, and Kaia Kids Yoga in Westport, CT. 

Ross Clark, Upper School History Teacher
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Ross has 35+ years’ experience working in independent schools, most recently at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA, where he has been a member of the History and Social Studies Department and held posts such including Academic Dean, Academic Coordinator, and Chair of the Achievement Gap Study.  He has a BA in Psychology from Amherst College. Did you know?  As an Assistant Scoutmaster, he was an expedition leader for a high adventure trip this summer -- a 10-day canoe trip in the Allagash waterway in northern Maine.

Sharonda Dailey, Associate Director of College Counseling and Student Support
Sharonda has served as Associate Director of College Counseling at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT  where she was a member of Choate's Diversity Education Committee, co-founded an affinity group for young women of color and served as a resident adviser in a dorm for sophomore and junior girls. Prior to Choate, Sharonda was Senior Assistant Dean of Admission at Wesleyan University. She holds a B.S. in communication from Boston University and an M.A. in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. Did you know? In the summer, Sharonda regularly volunteers with the Camp College New England program where she mentors high school students who will be the first in their family to attend college.

Judy Diaz, School Nurse
Judy Diaz is a registered nurse who holds a nursing degree from Rhode Island College and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University. She was most recently a School Nurse Teacher at The Learning Community Charter School. Previously, Judy was a Behavioral Health Nurse Care Manager at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care and prior to that work, she was a Director of Community Health Services for Lifespan. Did you know? She is fluent in Spanish and has served on the boards of several professional organizations including as a Governor-appointed board member of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and as a board member of the Rhode Island Free Clinic.  

Felipe Ferreras, Upper School Spanish, and Latin Teacher
Felipe is a second-semester senior at Brown University majoring in History. He identifies as first generation Dominican-American. He’s also a Wheeler graduate (Class of 2013), and while he was at Wheeler, he cherished the language programs. He thinks it’s fun to exercise one’s brain in a different tongue and looks forward to sharing his fondness for languages as part of the Modern Language department. Did you know? In his free time, Felipe enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and going on nature hikes. 

Valerie Gallagher, 5th Grade Teacher
As a sharp but rebellious teenager, Valerie chose to drop out and get her GED. Eventually, she returned to the formal educational fold through Brown University's Resumed Undergraduate Education Program and graduated magna cum laude in 2007 with a BA in Anthropology. Upon graduation, she began working for a local non-profit and opened a GED school to help high-risk youth. There, Valerie discovered most of their educational issues had roots reaching back to elementary school, and returned to Brown to get her MAT in Elementary Education. For the past two years, she has been working on the team of dedicated educators at Highlander Charter School in Providence as a first-grade teacher. Did you know? At various times she has mucked stalls, tossed pizza, been a makeup artist, machined precision metal parts, and created fine hand bound books for her living.

John Goncalves, 4th Grade Teacher
Returning to his high school alma mater, Wheeler, John has been a 3rd & 4th-grade private school teacher in St. Paul, MN, where he has also served as Lower School Faculty Council Chair, Lower School Annual Fund Faculty chair, tutor, and coach. John served as a mentor for the Big Brother Big Sister of the Greater Twin Cities, is involved in local politics, and has served as a board member of his neighborhood association. John graduated from Brown University with a BA in Education: Human Development and received an MA in teaching also from Brown University. Did you know? John is a technology enthusiast and enjoys computer programming, reading, hiking, biking, politics, music, and sports.

Trevor O’Driscoll, First Semester - Long Term Substitute Teacher of Grade 8 History; Second Semester – Middle School Academic Support
After five years as the Head of Middle School at Bancroft School in Worcester, MA. Trevor returns to Wheeler's Middle School. While at Bancroft, Trevor helped to reshape the middle school, instituting programmatic changes including a building a robust student electives program, a full schedule redesign and facilitating more opportunities for student choice in hands-on, real-world learning environments both on and off campus. He has an AB and MAT from Brown University.  Did you know? Trevor is excited to be closer to his family at Wheeler (his kids Cormac and Oona are currently in first and third grade), and he led College Crusade's summer program at Wheeler with his wife and MS Dean of Students/English Teacher Vanessa O'Driscoll.

Adam Rodriguez-Dunn, Breakthrough Providence Director, Student & Family Engagement
Adam stepped foot into the Breakthrough community through its Summerbridge program, first in 2012 as Dean of Students, and then again in 2013 as an interim program director.  He returns to Breakthrough Providence after having worked in various capacities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. After completing his undergraduate degree at Brown, Adam pursued graduate studies in developmental psychology and narrative technology at NYU and went on to receive his MA in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from the Boston University School of Medicine. Did you know? When not in the office, you can find Adam sitting down to his typewriter, belting out songs on a stage, or reveling in a lively discussion about diversity (or movie adaptations...or neuroscience...or his dog).

José Sepúlveda, Middle School Spanish Teacher
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, José has been a middle and upper school Spanish teacher, coach, and advisor with 20+ years of experience working at private day and boarding schools.  He has coached baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, squash, and cross country.  He has a BA from UMass Amherst and a Master’s in Education from Leslie University. Did you know? In his downtime, José enjoys mountain biking, reading Sports Illustrated and Tom Clancy novels, listening to a wide range of music, kayaking, dining on Puerto Rican cuisine and his wife's Italian cooking.  

Carrie Sorensen, Hamilton 1st Grade Teacher
Carrie Champlin Sorensen comes to Hamilton from her role as first-grade teacher at Highlander Charter School for eight years. She moved from NYC to Rhode Island to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching at Brown University, having acquired her BA from SUNY - Geneseo. Did you know? Carrie believes in education as a platform for social change and enjoys collaborating with students, colleagues, and families to create rich and enduring educational experiences.   

Reina Thomas, Upper School History Teacher
Reina came to Rhode Island to continue her education after obtaining a MAT from Brown University and completing her BA in History at Kenyon College. For the past four years, she’s taught at Hope High School and Milton Academy. Last year, she made the decision to take a year off from teaching to attend Awakening Leadership Center (ALC), a ministry school in Smithfield to study Youth Leadership. Did you know? Reina is from Columbus, Ohio which means she’s a die-hard Buckeye, Cavaliers, and even...Cleveland Browns fan. 

Ky Wier, Gift Processing Associate
Ky joins the Institutional Advancement team to process gifts made to Wheeler. After working in sports television programming for more than 10 years, Ky brings with her a thorough knowledge of database management and operations. Originally from California, she has a BS in Management from Georgia Tech and an MS in Sports Administration from Georgia State. Did you know? Ky played volleyball at Georgia Tech and was a two-time Academic All-American. 

Christopher Williams, Physical Education Teacher
Chris is in his 20th year teaching Physical Education, previously teaching 18 years at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas.  Chris attended undergraduate school at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville Texas and graduate school at Concordia Texas University. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and a Masters of Education Degree in Educational Administration. In addition to teaching PE, Chris coaches Football, Basketball and Track and Field.  Did you know? When not at school, Chris loves to read and cook. He also enjoys watching sports, especially the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys.

Andrew Zielinski, 4th & 5th Grade Science Teacher
Andrew has spent the past three years teaching science and the elementary grades at The Foote School in New Haven, CT.  Most recently, he has taught life science in Grade 6 along with a STEAM integration course for Grade 3.  He brings a background in project-based learning and outdoor and experiential education.  Andrew has a BS in Biological Science from York College of Pennsylvania. He also expects to receive a Masters of Education from Southern Connecticut State University this summer. Did you know? While an environmental educator with Nature’s Classroom Institute and Aspen Center for Environmental Science, Andrew cared for a wide variety of rehabilitated animals, including a 20’ python and a golden eagle.

Also shown: Matt Wheelwright, Family Medical Leave replacement for MS Math. Not shown: new positions Erin Kilduff '91, Teacher of Health and Meaghan Landry, Hamilton 5th Grade teacher.

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216 Hope Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246
Phone: (401) 421-8100

Founded 1889

The Wheeler School is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for Nursery, Pre-K, K-Grade 12 serving Providence, RI, Greater Providence and Greater Boston. The Hamilton School welcomes Grades 1-8 with language-based learning differences.