Foreman, Jenny

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Arts Department Chair
Learning Specialist, Dance, Theater

BA Barnard College, Columbia University
MA The Gallatin School, New York University

 

Jenny relocated to her home state of NH after 17 years of living in New York City, where she was a professional dancer, ensemble theater performer and private tutor. She began tutoring in high school and has enjoyed helping kids of all ages cultivate skills to achieve their goals and engage with the learning process ever since. Her performance career has included being a principal dancer for Buglisi/Foreman Dance, performing with the Martha Graham Dance Company, touring the US with the Graham Ensemble, and creating dance educational and performance collaborations as co-founder, with her husband, of On Common Ground (www.danceocg.org). Prior to coming to Dublin, Ms. Foreman served on faculty at Barnard College and the Graham School from 1999-2010 and as guest faculty at SUNY Purchase, The Ailey School, the Usdan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, and the Neighborhood Playhouse; and developed and taught numerous outreach and arts-in-education masterclasses and workshops focusing on dance as communication. Her Master’s work applied educational theory and best practices to suggest new pedagogical approaches to the classical modern dance technique of Martha Graham. In addition to being at Dublin, Jenny has spent her summers at Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton, NHas curator, mentor, and director of the John C. Russell Young Playwriting Lab and as a director for mainstage plays. Ms. Foreman has always gained much insight and inspiration from working with young people, in both the academic and artistic realms, and strives to help students to both find their own voice and explore new perspectives. She lives in Harrisville, NH with her husband and two sons, Ashton and Miles.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? MANY teachers... but one in particular: Steven Carver, my high school history teacher. He always urged us to look beyond the book, into the lives of people in all times and all places, and apply it to the here and now. A favorite quote he passed on sums up his approach to living, and a personal philosophy I have tried to impart as well:  

"The most visible creators I know are those artists whose medium is life itself - the ones who express the inexpressible – without brush, hammer, clay or guitar. They neither paint nor sculpt – their medium is being. Whatever their presence touches has increased life. They see and don’t have to draw. They are the Artists of being alive…"

How would your friends describe you in three words? disciplined, patient, playful

What is your favorite place on campus and why? Well, it would be blasphemy if I did not answer this question by naming the upper FAB as my favorite place on campus. It is certainly my most frequented place! But, seriously, I believe that the space embodies the values of versatility, imagination and possibility. I find inspiration in the great blank slate that the empty theater and dance studio offer, and I welcome the energy of those who come into the space to give it life.

I am most happy when... I am busy and the many aspects of the work I am involved in feel integrated and meaningful. I often find the most joy when I am collaborating with others toward a common goal.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? Exploring the woods and pond life in search of frogs and turtles is a favorite family activity. My son Ashton is a remarkable animal-lover.

Jennings, Rachael

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English Department Chair

B.A., Middlebury College;
M.A., Bread Loaf School of English

After growing up outside of Philadelphia with my wonderful parents and twin sister, I moved north to Middlebury College, where I studied literature and education, ran the literary magazine, edited Features for the newspaper, sang a cappella, and fell in love with the mountains of Vermont. I got my feet wet through student teaching in Vermont and as a middle school teacher in Harlem and then fortunately found my way to The Haverford School, an all boys' independent school back near my hometown in Pennsylvania.

After teaching at Haverford, where I enjoyed working with the Debate team and building a Gender Studies program for the school, my heart was longing to be back in the hills of old New Hampshire. A summer camp person—who camped and counseled and directed at YMCA Camp Coniston up near Sunapee—I'd missed the open skies and beautiful hiking paths and calm, welcoming streets of New England. Though I'm lucky enough to be in the mountains during the summers, when I study at Bread Loaf, I'm delighted to be back north year-round. I couldn't be more excited to have found a new home at Dublin, and I look forward to the adventures ahead.

What book has made you think the most? It's difficult to pick one, so I'll go with a few: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Hamlet by Shakespeare, This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, The Beauty of Ordinary Things by Harriet Scott Chessman, and Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? So many teachers have impacted me, and I include my students in that, too. I love learning from those around me—in all contexts. One of my favorite high school teachers was Mrs. Banks. She had been teaching for decades, and yet she existed as if every poem, every question, every moment was a precious surprise. She found delight in the rediscovered. She had endless warmth, eccentricity, kindness, and joy. In the classroom, I feel similarly delighted and eager to be surprised, and I hope that I will continue to carry that appreciation for thought, mistakes, and the cadence of a particularly stirring line with the same grace—from tomorrow to forty years from now. One of my favorite graduate professors is Rae Paris because she listens into stories and silences, creates community, and allows herself to disappear into a discussion. Rae has this phenomenal way of seeing her students for all that they are and can be and never losing sight of that. Lastly, two of my greatest teachers are my parents. They have taught me an enormous amount about creativity, being good to others, laughing, strength, patience, and resilience.

How would your friends describe you in three words? Compassionate, quizzical, humming-to-herself

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? One of my favorite courses at Middlebury was Professor Cohen's seminar called "Truth and Other Fictions" (and I have since created a senior elective with the same name, actually). The course was rich with obscure, fresh voices, freckled with bizarre metafiction, and often led my classmates and I to just look at each other and say "What just happened?" in the best of ways. It was uncommonly baffling and energizing.

What is your favorite place on campus and why? Though I'm new to Dublin and am sure this is subject to change, so far I love my classroom: colorful chairs, big windows, and shelves and shelves of books.

If I had a free afternoon I would... go for a run, swing by the Harrisville General Store for that great kale salad, read a book, and probably try a fun new recipe for a little dinner gathering.

Phinney, Jonathan

Learning Specialist
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 B.A. University of New Hampshire, M.F.A. ibid.

 I grew up in the Monadnock Region, and hold dearly the natural beauty we take for granted.  

I am constantly enthralled by the power of words to describe the infinite variety of human experience, and by the experience created by words themselves. I studied English and Writing at UNH, though I am fascinated by almost every other subject. I took an Intro to Marine Biology course my senior year and believe that, had I taken it sooner, I would have changed my major. I feel the same way about an oil painting class I took the semester before. While writing, and teaching writing, are my passions, I believe this diversity of interests prepared me well to be a tutor here at Dublin.  

I have lived on the NH seacoast, in San Jose, California, and even, for a semester of college, in Southern India. I have come full circle, to live again in the shadow of Monadnock. This area is special. I consider myself lucky to live just down the road from Dublin, in Harrisville, with my wonderful daughter, Amelia.

What book has made you think the most? The Magus, by John Fowles

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? Mike O'Leary. He was my favorite High School English teacher. He encouraged inquiry and original thinking. He valued and sought difference of opinion, and pushed students to think deeply and work to articulate their differences.

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? I took a screenwriting class in grad school that was actually a form and technique workshop in fiction writing. Each week, four students would write a scene and a synopsis for a movie. Each would choose fellow students to act in our scenes, serving as director for the performance, held right in the classroom. It was messy and fun and chaotic, and turned out to be a great way to get inside the process of conceiving, visualizing, and dramatizing a story.

If I had a free afternoon I would... Listen to mid-career John Coltrane and drink really good coffee, maybe read a little Jack Gilbert.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? I love a challenging hike, where the change in altitude or terrain reveals changes in the landscape.

 

Rabb, Sophia

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B.A. Brown University,
M.S.Ed. University of Pennsylvania

After growing up a blonde in a family of brunettes in Massachusetts, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island to go to Brown University. There, I pursued my degree in English Nonfiction, lived as an R.A. for three years, performed in many dramatic productions, and rode on the Equestrian team. I intended to pursue a career in theater or advertising, but one of my friends suggested I put myself out there as a teacher, too, and I thought it couldn't hurt. Little did I know that this one conversation would lead me to The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, where I taught English and completed my master's degree in Education through the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Residency Master's in Teaching program. While at Loomis, I worked on three school productions as an assistant director, lived in a dorm, and advised SPECTRUM, the schools LGBTQ+ affinity group. Now, I have come to Dublin, where I will teach English!

What book has made you think the most? Though this question is unanswerable, the last book to keep me up all night was "Annihilation," by Jeff Van Der Meer, the last book to leave me with conflicting feelings of devastation and hope was "Purple Hibiscus," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and the last book to make me snort-laugh aloud was "Bossypants," by Tina Fey.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? My junior English teacher, Ms. Eng, was a soft-spoken, thoughtful, accidentally comical teacher who saw the best in all of us, though we were sometimes a rambunctious crowd. I struggled mightily in high school, but Ms. Eng saw and accepted me for who I was and helped me produce some of my better writing. She was also a fully fledged intellectual who loved and promoted the exploration of the abstract and the human condition, and she believed we, though young, could do the same. In short, she believed that we could, and so we did. 

On a more humorous note, my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Lauten, taught us all about Medieval Europe and ancient Greece. Sometimes, he would reach up to the top shelf of the classroom supply closet (he was very tall) and retrieve a multicolored, Fisher Price telephone that we all knew as "The History Phone." While we wriggled with delighted suspense in our seats, waiting anxiously for it to ring, Mr. Lauten would go about class as usual. At some point, the phone would ring, and on the other end would be some important figure from history like Charlemagne or Joan of Arc. We were permitted to ask this historical person questions and our medium, Mr. Lauten, would relay their 'responses' with his typical dry humor. The fact that I love Greek mythology so much may be his responsibility!

How would your friends describe you in three words? Loyal, pensive, Gryffindor-esque

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? I took a Nonfiction course called "Lyricism and Lucidity" my junior year of college. On the surface, it appeared to be a survey elective that introduced the more literary, lyrical, poetic corners of the nonfiction genre. Did you know that poetry and graphic novels can be nonfiction? They can and are! The catch was that we were required to read every single daily assignment and major assignment aloud to the whole class. I felt nervous about doing so at first because there were many talented writers taking the course, even the university newspaper editors and students who were already published authors! But through the practice of sharing not only the good, but also the bad, the rushed, and the unfinished, I got to see not only how those talented writers thought and worked, but also that they, too, struggled sometimes to produce work they felt proud of. It can be so easy to look at a friend or classmate we admire and say "I could never do what they do," but the truth is that those admirable friends and classmates work diligently and sometimes even unsuccessfully to achieve the wonderful things they do.

I am most happy when... I am taking a walk, riding a horse at full gallop, traveling, or singing in the car.

If I had a free afternoon I would... Take a walk, watch Netflix, play the guitar, go on an adventure, hang out with friends, listen to an audiobook while lying on my couch or cleaning my apartment, or do a seasonally appropriate outdoor activity.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? Walking, horseback riding, snowboarding, and hiking are all favorites!

Scalfano, Alexander

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M.F.A. (Poetry) University of Massachusetts Amherst,
M.Ed. (Secondary Education) University of Massachusetts Amherst,
B.A. Emory University

I grew up in Trinity, Alabama with my two younger brothers. After high school in Huntsville, AL, I moved to Atlanta, GA for college where I majored in English. After a year spent teaching middle school English, I then moved to Western Massachusetts for graduate school where I first studied Secondary Education and then Poetry and Creative Writing. In my free time, I write poetry, read, enjoy the outdoors, and play games.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? My high school English teacher had a tremendous impact on me as a student and later as a teacher. She actually inspired me to become an English teacher because of her deep respect for and trust in her students. She empowered me to not only love the literature, but to also care about why I love it.

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? My favorite course in high school was definitely AP Literature. That was the class that made me truly love English as a subject. In college, my favorite classes were Intro to Creative Writing: Poetry and Contemporary Irish Poetry.

I am most happy when... it's a beautiful day, I have a mesmerizing book in my hand, and I'm next to a body of water.

If I had a free afternoon I would... head to the lake with a book and my headphones or play a game with friends.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? I love camping and backpacking. The great thing about those activities is that they also include so many other outdoor activities. Camping is basically just living outside and I really enjoy that freedom.

Walters, Henry

English
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A.B. Harvard College

Born in Chicago, grew up in Indiana and southern Michigan, a boy of the cornfields and the flat, and--frankly--happy to be shut of them both. Once desperate for city life, but quickly disabused of that folly. Studied Latin and Greek literature in college, with stints in Ghana (ostensibly teaching but mostly being taught by elementary-school kids) and Rome (speaking Latin in a monastic basement with the Pope's Latin Secretary).

Leaving college, lived in Ireland (working as a falconer) and Italy (hauling beehives from the eucalyptus groves to the orange orchards). Taught English and Latin at the Groton School before coming north as a seasonal biologist for New Hampshire Audubon, monitoring fall hawk migrations. Dublin School took me under its wing when I was most in need of a haircut, a hot bowl of soup, and a generous, talented, and thoughtful community. After many years of moving from place to place, I'm very grateful to be where I am.

What book has made you think the most?  For the earthly union of Precision and Soul, you'd better read "The Man Without Qualities," by Robert Musil.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?   Flight combined with the nervous tic of strafing pigeons in the park.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?  "She said it's hard for me to see / How one little boy got so ug-lee // ...Way over yonder in the minor key / Ain't nobody that can sing like me." (W. Guthrie)

What teacher has had the most impact on you? How were they special?  When I was in high school, one David O. Ross, professor at the University of Michigan (and total stranger), agreed to meet with me for two hours each Sunday morning to read Catullus and Plato together at his home. A little philosophy, tempered with love and poetry. But more than that, the slow dawning that Language is an Eden -- put your hand in it and you'll see that it's pure topsoil, all the way down. Topsoil and quicksand and everything about us that's most human.

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?  Well, well, well.

You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?   Polonius, to keep the conversation going; Annie Dillard, to make him shut up; and Dylan's Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands, so that I could propose to her.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?  Ingrid Bergman.