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New Faculty & Staff 2019-2020

We are thrilled to welcome 14 new members of the faculty and staff for the 2019-2020 school year, who come with a diverse range of teaching and professional experiences.

Emily Alderman — Art Associate

Emily comes to Foote from P.L.A.C.E. Children’s Museum in Hamden where she planned and taught after-school art classes to students ages 5-11. In 2013, she was the winner of the Full Tuition Scholarship Competition at the Hartford Art School, where she received her B.F.A.. Emily specializes in children's book and editorial illustrations, and also enjoys hand-drawn decorative typography.

Alison Moncrief Bromage — 8th Grade English Teacher

Alison returns to Foote after having taught 8th Grade English here from 2005-2007 and 2008-2009. Most recently she has been a residential writing tutor at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning. Alison is an award-winning poet and also the co-author, with husband Andy Bromage, of The Foote School: Celebrating 100 Years, published for the school’s centennial celebration. Alison received a B.A. in English Literature and Art History from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and an M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University.

Mary Beth Claflin — Gift Coordinator

Mary Beth joins Foote from Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport where she worked in the development office, specializing in donor relations and database management. Prior to that she worked in development at St. Ann Academy in Bridgeport. Mary Beth has a B.A. in Legal Studies from Quinnipiac University.


Stephanie Dillon — Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Stephanie was most recently Assistant Director at Kindercare Learning Center in New Haven where she helped with general office organization and assisted families. She received her B.S. in Recreation and Leisure from Southern Connecticut State University.


Emily Istas — After School and Vacation Program Coordinator

Emily Istas continues her work with Foote as the new Coordinator for the After School Program & Vacation Program. Previously, Emily was the head after school teacher for First and Second Grades where she supervised, taught and played with children. Emily has also been a teacher at Oakwood Child Care Center.

Dana Kephart — Music Teacher

Dana joins us from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School where she was a vocal music teacher, teaching musical theory and chorus. She has taught private voice lessons for students aged 8 to adult. Dana has a B.Mus. in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Hartford and an M.Mus. in Early Music/Voice Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Chrissy Khachane — Head of Lower School

Chrissy was previously President of Edvise Consulting, LLC, which works with schools across the country to support curriculum review, faculty professional development, student assessments, and social/emotional initiatives. Previously she has served as Lower School Head and Assistant Lower School Head at Pine Crest Preparatory School; Middle School Learning Specialist and Fifth Grade Dean at Hackley School; and Reading Specialist at Agnes Irwin School and The Haverford School. Chrissy has a B.A. in Arts and Education from William Smith College; an M.A. in Psychology in Education from Columbia University Teachers College; and an M.S. Ed. In Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Felicia McKee — Lower School Associate

Felicia most recently was an associate teacher at Hamden Hall Country Day School. Prior to that, she was a long-term substitute and tutor at Ridge Hill Elementary School in Hamden. Felicia has a B.A. in Liberal Arts, a B.S. in Collaborative Education, and an M.Ed. from Southern Connecticut State University.

Jessica Payne — Lower School Head Teacher

Jessica comes to Foote with teaching experience ranging from grades 1-9. She has taught elementary and high school at Amistad in New Haven, and prior to that she taught writing and English at Watkinson School, an independent school in Hartford. Jessica has been active working with both students and teachers on social justice. Jessica received a B.A. in English and an M. Ed. from Quinnipiac University.

Rob Withers — Teacher Intern and Math Teacher

Rob joins Foote full-time after working as a substitute teacher here over the years. Previously, Rob was a reading, writing and math instructor at Cider Mill Elementary School in Wilton. Rob has a B.SC. from Exeter University (UK) and an M.A. in Teaching from Sacred Heart University.


Chris Zachau — Middle School Science Teacher

Chris was most recently a science teacher at Sayre School in Lexington, KY, where he developed science and engineering curriculum, taught introductory coding and robotics and served on the school’s equity and justice committee. Previously, he was a STEM educator at the Connecticut Science Center. Chris has a B.A. in Psychology from Hendrix College and an M.A. in Experimental Psychology/Ecology and Environmental Biology from the University of Tennessee.

Andrew Zielinski — Lower School Science Teacher

Andrew rejoins Foote after working as a science and math teacher at the Wheeler School in Providence, where he was also an indoor track coach. Previously Andrew was the grades 4 and 5 associate teacher at Foote, where he also assisted in the 6th grade life science and biology classes. Andrew earned a B.S. in Biology from York College of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University.

Not pictured: Zhao Yu (Vincent), Chinese Guest Teacher

Since 1916, The Foote School has provided child-centered education that nurtures creativity, excellence and joy in learning.

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