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Meet The Teachers | New Faculty for 2020

Greg Kwasnik
What do a professional cellist, a ski-jumping computer scientist, and a scholar of the American West with Ivy League hockey chops have in common? They’re all teaching in Holderness classrooms this year.
Holderness is excited to welcome a total of seven new faculty members to campus this fall.  As we face the uncertain future of our new COVID-19 reality, we look forward to the fresh and dynamic perspectives these new faculty will bring to their classrooms - and to the Holderness community. “We’re in these really strange circumstances of COVID and coming into a very different and potentially daunting and intimidating school year, and these educators are all in,” says Dean of Faculty Kristen Fischer. “This is a really awesome group and I’m really looking forward to working with all of them.”
Here are their stories.
French | Alicia Carter
Last year, Alicia Carter taught English in France; this year, she’s teaching French at Holderness. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Colgate University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in French, Ms. Carter moved to Carentan, France, where she worked as an English Teaching Assistant at the Lycée Sivard de Beaulieu, teaching high school students about English language, culture, and grammar. While a student at Colgate University, Ms. Carter worked as a French tutor and served as the president of the school’s Latin American Student Organization.  

Psychology | Sally-Thomas “Sam” Daigneault ‘96
Veteran teacher and former Holderness School Vice President Sally-Thomas “Sam” Daigneault ’96 is returning to her alma mater to teach psychology. Having earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Williams College and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Old Dominion University, Ms. Daigneault went on to spend two decades teaching young children in Texas, Florida, and Virginia. Most recently, she worked as a third-grade teacher at Park Place School in Norfolk, VA, an institution that offers a free private school education and experience to students with learning disadvantages. While at Holderness, Ms. Daigneault will coach girls’ varsity basketball.

Music | Alexander Ellsworth
If you hear the sonorous notes of a cello emanating from the Carpenter Arts Center this year, you can probably trace it back to Alexander Ellsworth, the school’s new music director. A cellist, songwriter, and interdisciplinary artist, Mr. Ellsworth comes to Holderness from Chicago, where he spent five years as music director at MUSIC Inc. Chicago, a nonprofit program that combines high-achieving music education and character development for students in Chicago’s west side communities. An All-New England soccer goalkeeper, Mr. Ellsworth will coach girls’ junior varsity soccer and live in Lower Bean. He has a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the University of Maryland, and a master’s degree in Cello Performance from the DePaul University School of Music.
English | Charlotte Anne Freccia ’15
The last time most of us saw Charlotte Anne Freccia ’15, she was headed to Kenyon College, having just won the Fiore Prize for Theater and the English Cup. This fall, we’re excited to welcome this talented alumna back as an English teacher. After graduating from Holderness, Ms. Freccia went on to make a name for herself at Kenyon, working as an editorial associate at The Kenyon Review before earning the Philip Wolcot Timberlake Memorial Prize for excellence in English and graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2019. While in college, Ms. Freccia spent several summers as a program assistant at the Great Books Summer Program in Amherst, MA, where she designed and taught unique literature electives for high school and middle school students. In addition to her teaching duties at Holderness, Ms. Freccia will live in Upper Niles and coach cross country.
English | Joe Gaudet  
Looking for an Ivy League hockey champion who just happens to be a published scholar on the American West? Joe Gaudet is your guy. While a student at Dartmouth College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies and Government, Dr. Gaudet was assistant captain on the varsity ice hockey team that won an Ivy League Championship. He went on to earn a master’s degree - and a Ph.D - in American Culture from the University of Michigan. In addition to writing scholarly articles on American history in the West, Dr. Gaudet volunteered his time as a collaborator for the Red Thunder History Project for the Gros Ventre tribe in Montana, doing work that concerned environmental history and mining on the reservation. Dr. Gaudet also has extensive private school teaching experience. While earning his advanced degrees, Dr. Gaudet taught history at Vermont Academy, and English at the University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. He comes to Holderness directly from the Pomfret School, where he taught English. In addition to his teaching duties at Holderness, Dr. Gaudet will coach boys’ varsity hockey, boys’ varsity baseball, and have dorm duty in Webster. He is also married to Jenn Calver Gaudet ’05.
Computer Science & Robotics | Morgan Stepp
With the school’s new home for STEM classes, the Davis Center, taking shape on campus, we’re truly excited to welcome computer science and robotics teacher Morgan Stepp. In coming to Holderness, Mr. Stepp won’t have to travel far: he spent the last six years as an Information Technologist at Plymouth State University, and he continues to serve as the ski jumping coach at Plymouth Regional High School. Mr. Stepp has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Colgate University.

Spanish – Interim | Jessica Storey P’20,’22
Jessica Storey P’20, ’22, is no stranger to Holderness. The mother of Carter Storey ’20 and Rachel Storey ’22, Ms. Storey will spend the fall as an interim Spanish teacher. She brings to Holderness a wealth of classroom experience, having taught Spanish at several Massachusetts schools, including Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, and Lenox Memorial High School in Lenox. She also currently works as the Wellness Consultant at Camp Dudley in Westport, NY, where she teaches fitness classes, coordinates outdoor experiential education programs for local schools, and leads the camp’s farm-to-plate program for campers and leaders. Ms. Storey holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from St. Lawrence University, and a master’s in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College.

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