Faculty & Staff - Faculty members looking over papers.

Faculty & Staff

… want to make a difference
Teachers and staff are drawn to School One in Rhode Island because they want to work in a small school where they can have a big impact. They value being able to focus directly on individual student’s needs (not on test prep and paperwork) and to invest in their successes.

… teach what’s relevant and resonant
Faculty teach to their own and to their students’ passions, delving into material that is both relevant and resonant. In many cases they bring rich outside experiences to their work with School One students.

… benefit from collaborating with peers
Faculty and staff have daily opportunities to share best practices, problem-solve and mentor those new to School One. The resulting camaraderie creates a productive and rewarding work environment.

… are supported to do their best work
Our full-time social worker and full-time special education coordinator familiarize teachers with students’ personal challenges, and sometimes challenging circumstances. They give teachers tools to successfully address students’ academic, social and emotional needs, enabling them to do their best work.

Directory

Jennifer Borman

Jennifer Borman, Head of School (JBorman@school-one.org)

  • A.B. Brown University, English
  • Doctoral work, Michigan State University
  • English Coordinator at School One 1985-1989; Head of School since 2007

After graduating from Brown University in 1985, Jennifer began teaching English at School One. Four fulfilling years later, she left to pursue doctoral work in education at Michigan State University and then returned to Brown to work at The Education Alliance. There, she evaluated educational innovations focused on adolescent literacy, teacher development, technology and school improvement.

“I loved my job at the Education Alliance,” Jennifer says, “but I saw how often good ideas in education failed in practice because of bureaucracy and lack of support. At School One, I see exceptional teaching practices every day and tremendous commitment from staff.” Head of School since 2007, Jennifer is impressed with School One’s culture: “I’m struck by how many different kinds of students enroll here and how respectfully they treat each other. I’m also inspired by the transformations we see here: shy students become more confident, procrastinators learn to stay on top of work, and all students get to experience care and kindness on a daily basis.” Jennifer remains excited to have landed at her ideal high school.

Cary Honig

Cary Honig, Assistant Head of School (CaryH@school-one.org)

  • A.B. Classics, Brown University
  • J.D., Harvard University
  • M.A.T. English, Brown University
  • Assistant Head of School since 2002

After growing up in New York City, where the kids who beat him up referred to him as “The Professor” by the time he was six, Cary was lured to Brown University. Post-Brown, he spent a miserable three years in law school and then entered the M.A.T. program at Brown despite his parents’ objections.

After teaching in public schools, Cary fell in love with School One students’ willingness to disagree with and educate him and with the time and freedom the school granted him to figure out how best to teach students to read, write, punctuate, provide evidence and think for themselves. He also loves being able to evaluate students in a genuine and informative way rather than by comparing students through letter grades. After 25 years at School One, Cary still feels very lucky to be here.


Robin Lansinger, Development Director (RobinL@school-one.org)

  • B.A. English, Amherst College
  •  M.B.A. Leonard Stern School of Business, New York University

After graduating from Amherst College, Robin moved to New York where she spent nearly 20 years in advertising and marketing communications, burning the candle on both ends at Young & Rubicam and Bates Worldwide.   After too many "mad men" years, Robin left Madison Avenue to pursue more rewarding endeavors at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.  A true city girl but also a Rhode Islander at heart, Robin decided to "move home"  in 2002. 

Robin brings broad development and non profit marketing experience to School One.  Since relocating back to RI, she has served as Director of Development at the Genesis Center and at the Groden Center, as well as managing marketing communications at Slater Mill Museum.  She also served as Marketing and Development Officer at Lifespan.  Prior to School One, Robin was Senior Account Executive at RDW Group.  "I'm so pleased to join School One," Robin says. "I'm struck by our students' creativity and individuality and our teachers' passion and commitment to excellent teaching.  My goal is to develop and nurture productive relationships that will benefit School One's innovative education programs."

Julia Volynsky

Julia Volynsky, Admissions and Marketing Coordinator (JuliaV@school-one.org)

  • B.A. Communications, Rhode Island College
  • Admissions and Marketing Coordinator at School One since 2006

“My job at School One is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. I love seeing the relief on students’ faces once they find School One and are able to be themselves, flourish and succeed.” She adds, “seeing a student enter in ninth grade, shy and unsure and then give an inspiring speech four years later at graduation is what makes my job so rewarding.”

Julia graduated from School One in 1999. She lives in Providence with her husband and their dog.

Gianna Boulet

Gianna Boulet, LICSW (GiannaB@school-one.org)

  • B.S. Criminal Justice, Northeastern University
  • M.S.W., Rhode Island College
  • School One Social Worker since 2007

After completing a social work internship and substitute placement in a large public school, Gianna appreciates the close-knit atmosphere at School One and the ability to get to know all the students. She likes being able to provide an empathetic ear for students without the stigma often found in other schools. Students frequently drop by her office to take some quiet time or debrief about stressful situations.

Besides her commitment to teen issues, Gianna is also a dedicated advocate in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault. In her “spare” time, she provides consultation and counseling services at a local domestic violence agency.


Beverly Vileno, Internship Coordinator (BeverlyV@school-one.org)

  • B.A. English, French, Education, Rhode Island College
  • M.A. Education with concentrations in Program Administration, Counseling and Adult Education, University of Rhode Island
  • Assistant Head of School One 1987-2002; Internship Coordinator 2002-present

Bev has performed multiple roles at School One over the past three decades, beginning as English Coordinator in the early 1980’s. In 1987 she became Assistant Head, fostering a renewed focus on authentic and interdisciplinary learning and developing higher standards for students. After a brief time away, she then returned as Internship Coordinator in 2004. She currently serves in that position and also observes and works with teachers as part of the school's professional development program. Bev's sense of humor and constant search for more lunch help keep School One grounded. She is a lifelong resident of Rhode Island.

Alayne Todd

Alayne Todd, Office Manager (AlayneT@school-one.org)

  • B.A. Hunter College of the City University of NY
  • M.S. Brown University
  • School One office manager since 2008

Alayne took a circuitous route to School One. A geology major (specialty micropaleontology) morphed into an alumni officer at Brown and then an office manager at a design and marketing communications firm. The mother of a School One alumna (class of 1999), Alayne witnessed up close the effects that a caring and inclusive community can have on a student who had been meandering through a conventional education. “I couldn’t believe my good fortune when an opportunity to become part of the School One community presented itself. How lucky I feel to work with such dedicated teachers and meet another group of great kids every year.”

Erin Egan

Erin Egan, History Teacher/Advisor (ErinE@school-one.org)

  • B.S. Theatre, Emerson College
  • M.A.T. Teaching, Brown University
  • School One history teacher since 1995

Erin began her career at School One as a part-time teacher. During her fifth year, she became a full-time teacher. She has spent a good deal of time in her realm on the second floor creating a warm and inviting room that is conducive to discussing history. She appreciates good, robust debates and encourages them in all of her classes. Erin specializes in English Medieval History, but has taught courses in U.S. History, Western Civilization, Fashion and Décor, Hollywood History and Shakespeare. She also draws on her theater background in stage-managing to help organize School One’s unique graduation ceremony.


Michael Fox, Humanities Coordinator and English Teacher/Advisor (MichaelF@school-one.org)

  • B.A. Interdisciplinary Humanities, Western Washington University: Fairhaven College
  • M.A. British and American Literature, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • School One English teacher since 2010; Humanities Coordinator since 2015

Michael is descended from a long line of sports nuts and was pressured into athletics from the beginning. Fortunately, his strong nerd pedigree from his mother’s side eventually prevailed, and, with ambitions to be a writer, he struck out on his own to study literature and philosophy.

After completing a master’s degree program in Missouri, Michael applied for a teaching fellowship through the Fulbright program and was placed in a beautiful winemaking region in Austria. When he finally landed at School One, his adventurous soul felt right at home. Michael teaches English courses that emphasize philosophical, literary, and historical topics. He encourages creative writing and divergent thinking. Michael enjoys the freedom School One gives him to teach his passions: film studies and poetry. He also secretly relishes the opportunity to get back to his athletic roots by participating in School One’s Friday gym classes.

Siobhan Richie Cute

Siobhan Richie Cute, Humanities/Spanish Teacher/Advisor (SiobhanC@school-one.org)

  • A.B. Sociology, University of Chicago
  • School One teacher since 2008

Siobhan grew up rolling her eyes at parents who dragged her along on trips to far-off lands like Turkey, Thailand and Tunisia. Somewhere along the line, she realized her good fortune, falling in love with cultures, places and peoples. She loves teaching languages and fostering many forms of communication.

Siobhan feels School One is a wonderful place for young people, because “students here get to step into and walk around in adult-sized academic shoes.” She adds that, “the personal, educational investments made during a student’s time here bring great returns. School One helps young people embrace one of our most significant challenges: thinking as individuals, while sharing the world with different people.”

Laurie Spry

Laurie Spry, Math/Science Coordinator/Advisor (LaurieS@school-one.org)

  • B.S. Biology, Principia College
  • 20+ graduate credits in science, math and education
  • Summer studies include an 8-week MIT electron microscope lab placement, the two-week Harvard Stem Cell Institute Seminar and the two-week Biotechnology Workshop for Teachers at Amherst
  • School One teacher since 1994

As School One’s math/science coordinator, Laurie organizes the department’s curriculum and administers the school’s math competency exam. She also teaches biology, environmental science and the occasional math class. Laurie is School One’s representative to the National Center for Independent Schools for Renewal and has presented at many conferences. She loves getting students out into the world of nature to extend their scientific inquiry. As Laurie says, “digging up skunk cabbage in the spring or collecting puffballs in the Fall, sharing my mammal skull collection with the Forensics class and studying the effects of deer on woodland plants with the Ecology class are all ways I love to share my rural lifestyle with my science students.”

Laurie has also lived in Australia and Vermont, and has long been involved in agriculture and equine management. She enjoys trail riding, gardening and Zydeco music.

Steve Martin

Steve Martin, Math/Science Teacher/Advisor (SteveM@school-one.org)

  • A.B. Physics, Brown University
  • A.M. German, Brown University
  • M.S. Physics, University of Connecticut
  • Ph.D. Physics, University of Connecticut
  • School One teacher since 2001

Steve loves sharing School One students' diverse interests: With some he discusses relativity or quarks; with others it’s history, politics or sports. Prior to School One, Steve taught physics and math at Johnson & Wales University and Rhode Island College.

“Every day is unique at School One,” says Steve. “In class I am always ready for the unexpected: A physics lesson will often inspire the students to speak of cars, jets or tanks. Outside of class there are always opportunities to learn. And during sessions of the Graduation Board of Review I sometimes discover a student’s sleeping dream or ambition.”

When Steve is not contemplating subatomic particles, he can be found reading dusty old German novels or chasing speeding tennis balls.

pams

Pam Stokinger, Math/Science Teacher/Advisor (Pams@school-one.org)


Michael Ruo, Business and Operations Manager (michaelruo@school-one.org)

  • A.S. Electronics Engineering, Heald College, San Jose CA
  • Business and Operations Manager at School One since 2015
Michael brings nearly 40 years of expertise (mostly with non-profits) in finance, technology, systems analysis and human resources/benefits administration to School One. In addition, he has extensive experience in event planning and execution with great results.  

"My nephew attended School One and I saw how the experience helped to change his life for the better. I want to be part of and contribute with the team which values students,their education and teaches them how to think, not what to think."


Kristen Jones, Art Coordinator/Advisor (KristenJ@school-one.org)

  • B.F.A. Painting, Kutztown University
  • B.S. Art Education, Kutztown University
  • School One Arts Coordinator since 2014

As the Arts Coordinator, Kristen Jones brings a background in the visual arts that includes 25 years experience working in a wide range of materials as well as a great deal of education and exposure to art history and aesthetics. Kristen’s education included Fine Art Painting and Art Education and she has taught in private schools, public schools, museum settings, and private lessons in Pennsylvania, New York
City, Taiwan, the Middle East, and Mexico. While teaching internationally she has traveled all throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Every chance she gets she is always in pursuit of art, history, and culture. 

As much as Kristen likes history she is also known for being a “techie”. She enjoys art that includes technology and is very interested in New Media art and installations. For close to ten years she worked as a photographer and location scout in the New York City while also teaching digital photography and photoshop. 

“My goal as an art educator is to develop an atmosphere for students to not only learn artistic skills but also to develop their own creative identity. Ideally I hope to use the arts to inspire my students to value their global citizenship, both within their own community and toward other creative avenues of the world.”

Casey Seymour-Kim, Theater Teacher (casey-seymour@cox.net)

  • A.B. Comparative Literature, University of Michigan
  • M.A. English Literature, University of California, Berkeley
  • School One teacher since 2002

Lon Plynton, Music Teacher (lon@lioneye.com)

  • Graduate study as an Associate Artist at Brown University’s MacColl Studio for Electronic Music
  • Electronic Studio with Gerald Shapiro and Brother Ah

Nick Mazoniwicz, Video Teacher (mazonick@gmail.com)

  • B.F.A. Rhode Island School Of Design
  • Summer Film Program, Boston Film and Video Foundation
  • School One teacher since 2007
 

Lucy McKenna, Special Education Coordinator (LucyM@school-one.org)

  • B.A. History and B.A. Honors Liberal Studies, Villanova University
  • M.Ed. Special Education, Rhode Island College
  • Advanced Graduate Coursework, Providence College
  • School One Special Education Coordinator since 2014

Lucy discovered School One in 2004. Over the years she has worked as both an adjunct 
and full-time teacher in the Humanities Department, taking a couple of hiatuses along the 
way to work in journalism and corporate project management. In 2012 she decided to pursue 
her M.Ed. in Special Education at Rhode Island College. Having completed her degree, she 
returned to School One in 2014 to serve as Special Education Coordinator. Lucy teaches 
Resource classes, collaborates on writing IEPs, and trains staff on strategies that work for 
diverse learners. 

Lucy appreciates the counterintuitive mixes of warmth and rigor, freedom and structure, and 
community and individuality that distinguish School One from other schools and allow students 
(and staff!) to flourish.


Patti Barnatt, Ceramics and Fibers Adjunct (pattibarnatt@yahoo.com)

  • BA in Education, Mt. St. Joseph College, Wakefield, RI
  • Owner Instructor, West Side Sewing Studio, Providence
  • Ceramic Instructor at The Steel Yard, Providence
  • School One teacher since 2011 

Peter Viner-Brown, Math Adjunct (peter.vb@verizon.net)

  • B.Sc. (Hons) Physics & Chemistry, Queen Mary College, University of London
  • MS Management, Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass.
  • School One teacher since 2014

Phil Goldman, International Student Coordinator and Humanities Teacher/ Advisor (PhilG@school-one.org)

 

  • B.A. Liberal Studies and Teaching Certificate, Providence College
  • Producer/Host, Live Bait: True Stories from Real People, Providence
  • Tai Chi Chuan Instructor, Community Tai Chi, Cranston
  • School One teacher since 2010

Grant Archer, English Adjunct (granta@school-one.org)

  • BFA in Painting, Creative Writing Minor, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Mass.
  • Artist, Writer/Spoken Word Poet and Teacher at Providence’s ¡CityArts! 
  • School One teacher since 2014 

Emily Keizer, International Student Coordinator (International@school-one.org)

  • B.A. International Relations & French, College of Wooster
  • M.A.  International Education, SIT Graduate Institute
  • International Student Coordinator since 2014

Emily grew up in Michigan and went to college in Wooster, OH. After graduation, she taught English in primary schools in France then moved to Rhode Island to join her fiancé at URI. Before School One, she worked with international students at EF Education First and the Newman School. She loves traveling, and has been lucky enough to have visited 4 continents and 24 countries. School One students are some of the most fascinating people to be around, and she loves being able to learn new things from them all the time!


“My son liked doing things his way (not always with success). School One worked with his personality while offering guidance and support. Instead of hitting a brick wall when I had a concern, I felt his teachers were more than willing to work through issues with us.”

LIN BONN
Alumni Parent

 


About Our Faculty and Staff

 

  • Most have advanced degrees
  • Many of our arts faculty are successful working artists in addition to their teaching jobs
  • Full-time faculty have taught at the school an average of 13 years