Lida Brook serves as School One’s Business and Office Manager, where she juggles phone calls, requests for bandaids, logistics and daily accounting. Lida moved to Providence with her family two years ago from the Boston area. She left her career in management to start her own sewing business, designing and creating custom handbags and accessories. Lida studied accounting at the University of Southern Florida. She loves getting to know our families when they walk in the door and staying busy with all of the tasks that keep us running smoothly.
- Studied accounting at the University of Southern Florida
- Business and Office Manager since 2018
Miles teaches courses ranging from comics to illustration to digital design. A comic book artist himself, he teaches students to create characters, map out plots, and use visual communication whether on paper or using digital tools. Miles comes to School One from Maine where he attended the Maine College of Art.
- Maine College of Art, BFA Illustration.
Diana Champa is the Director of Literary Engagement at School One where she oversees literary arts programming and community engagement. Diana’s current projects include an inter-generational books club, after-school and evening creative writing programs and the WriteRI short story contest. She also works to foster partnerships with other writing organizations like Grub Street and Goat Hill Writers.
Before coming (back) to School One, Diana worked for Prime Cut Productions and the Van Morrison Rhythm and Blues Foundation in Northern Ireland. Previously, Diana worked as School One’s Director of Development and for several arts organizations in R.I.
She’s native to Rhode Island who makes friends easily. Despite ridicule, she believes in astrology.
- B.A. Liberal Studies, University of Rhode Island
- Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University Belfast
- School One since 2005-2009; 2015 to present
Siobhan Ritchie Cute
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.” In addition to teaching Spanish, Siobhan’s Psychology class is a perennial favorite. Siobhan also helps organize our prom and brings great spirit to all our school events.
- A.B. Sociology, University of Chicago
- School One teacher since 2008
- B.S. Marketing Management, Virginia Technical Institute
Deb DeMarco teaches ceramics at School One and runs our after-school
ceramics studio. Before coming to School One she has done numerous youth
arts projects with organizations like City Arts! and the Learning Brooke school. A
ceramics artist herself, her work has been shown the South County Art
Association, AS220 and Providence City Hall.
- University of Rhode Island, BA, Art.
- Continuing education in ceramics, printmaking, and design at Providence College and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Jim Drain is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work centers around craft-based methods in his sculpture and installation work. Jim received his bachelor’s degree in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] in 1998. At School One, Jim teaches Art and sees his instruction as a way to gain visual literacy, find ways to problem-solve and see making as another method of thinking critically. Jim also teaches at RISD and has taught at Lesley University, Sotheby’s School of Art and Haystack School of Arts and Crafts. His work is in a number of private and museum collections including MOMA, the Whitney Museum and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.
- BFA Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design
Erin began her career at School One as a part-time teacher and began full-time in 2000. Erin specializes in English Medieval History, but has taught courses in U.S. History, Western Civilization, Fashion and Décor, Hollywood History and Shakespeare. She appreciates good, robust debates and encourages them in all of her classes. Erin converts students from “I hate history” to “It’s my favorite class” on a regular basis. She is also a warm and caring advisor who can nonetheless deliver a “look” when students are cutting corners. She draws on her theater background in stage-managing to help organize School One’s unique graduation ceremony.
- B.S. Theatre, Emerson College
- M.A.T. Teaching, Brown University
- School One history teacher since 1995
Phil straddles many roles at School One: teacher, advisor, and international student coordinator, among others. With our international student program, he supports host families, communicates with parents in China, and helps with students adjust to a different culture. He also teaches a wide range of courses at School One, from Writing Workshop to Eastern Philosophy to Storytelling to Tai Chi. Phil’s classes combine thoughtful reflection with lively debate.
When he’s not teaching at School One, Phil runs the monthly community storytelling show “Live Bait” in Providence.
- 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
Elia Gurna is an artist, a youth worker and a mother. She has worked in youth programs and education for over 20 years in both the United States and Europe. She previously served as the Executive Director of New Urban Arts, a nationally-recognized community arts studio for high school students and emerging artists. Elia’s work has been included in exhibitions in New York City, Beacon, NY and Philadelphia, as well as the Queens Museum of Art. She is a Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory facilitator and a permaculturist. Elia lives and works in East Providence. Elia teaches art history and drawing at School One.
- B.A. German and Visual Arts, Columbia College, Columbia University
- M.F.A. Painting and Sculpture, Queens College, CUNY
After finishing his undergraduate history degree in 1988, Christopher began teaching in Vermont at a small junior boarding school for dyslexic boys. It opened his eyes to how students learn differently and led him to Brown and Ted Sizer to earn his MAT in 1992. A decade of teaching history led to independent school administration, supporting teachers in best meeting the needs of their students. He is thrilled to be returning to New England and family. While Christopher is quite tall, no, he was not a very talented basketball player.
- B.A. Williams College, History
- M.A.T. Brown University
- Head of School since 2021
After growing up in New York City, where the kids who beat him up referred to him as “The Professor,” Cary was lured to Brown University. After Brown, he spent a miserable three years in law school and then entered the Master’s in Teaching program at Brown despite his parents’ objections. After teaching in public schools, Cary fell in love with School One students’ willingness to speak up and disagree 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 30 years at School One, Cary still feels very lucky to be here. In addition to teaching, Cary serves as School One’s college counselor and oversees the school’s curriculum.
- A.B. Classics, Brown University
- J.D., Harvard University
- M.A.T. English, Brown University
- Assistant Head of School since 2002
After graduating from Amherst College, Robin moved to New York where she spent nearly 20 years in advertising and marketing communications. 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 years of fundraising and non-profit marketing expertise to School One. In 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. At School One, Robin works with our parent group to organize School One’s annual Scholar Dollars fundraiser and oversees School One’s grant-writing, annual giving, and our ACCESS tax credit program.
- B.A. English, Amherst College
- M.B.A. Leonard Stern School of Business, New York University
- School One Development Director since 2012
Melissa is a member of the National Mathematics Honor Society Pi Mu Epsilon. At School One, she teaches Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Advanced Calculus. A native of Massachusetts she enjoys traveling the northeastern United States ranging from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the peace and tranquility of Maine. A tie-dye aficionado you’ll be bound to find her wearing tie-dye at some point. She loves “The Office” and lives by the quote “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
- B. S. Mathematics, minor in Statistics, Bridgewater State University
Michaela graduated from School One in 1987 and is thrilled to have returned. With degrees in art and education (she’d have earned a degree in travel, as well, if there were one), School One embodies the learning space that Michaela most admires. A huge proponent of progressive education, she feels strongly that School One’s small classes, advisor system, creative curriculum, and student-centered learning is pretty close to perfect. After 25 years of teaching Art and Spanish in some nearby independent schools, Michaela now oversees School One’s admissions office, international student program, our website, and our parent newsletter, while making sure that all our prospective families have a great experience with the admissions process.
- M.Ed. Curriculum Development: Creative Arts in Learning, Lesley University
- B.A. Studio Art: Ceramics, Rhode Island College
- B.S. Art Education, Rhode Island College
- School One alumna, 1987
- Admissions and Marketing Coordinator at School One
Lon’s music classes at School One combine ensemble playing with musical
concepts and range in style from jazz to rock to blues to classical. Lon is a multi-
instrumentalist, composer, producer and performer, often playing with the band
Mystic Jammers. He also directs music and performs with Rites and Reason
Theater at Brown University.
- Brown University, B.A., Music and Africana Studies
Brittany Proulx, LMHC
Brittany is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, licensed in both Rhode Island and
Massachusetts, with a Clinical Psychology Degree obtained from University of
Massachusetts at Dartmouth in 2014. While in graduate school, Brittany started her
career working with children at Bradley Hospital on the inpatient unit. Once
graduated, Brittany continued to work in the emergency service field in both outpatient and
inpatient settings, working with individuals across of all ages. However, Brittany’s
passion has always been working with children and being able to make a positive
impact to enhance a healthy mind and lifestyle. Brittany has experience conducting
crisis evaluations, one-on-one therapy sessions, and running psycho-educational
therapy groups. Brittany implements a strength-based approach when working with
students and pulls skills and tools primarily from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and
Person Centered Therapy. Brittany is passionate about helping students find their
voice and empower them to foster personal growth and change to succeed toward
their future goals.
- Bachelor of Psychology, UMass Dartmouth
- Master of Clinal Psychology, UMass Dartmouth
- School One School Counselor since 2020
- Registered Yoga Teacher
- B.S. Accounting, Central Connecticut State University
- Rhode Island Teaching Certification, English, Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island Teaching Certification, ESL, Rhode Island College
- MEd. Special Education, Providence College
With a doctorate in materials chemistry, Megan’s scientific background is both deep and broad. At School One, Megan teaches chemistry, forensics and physics. This year, she is also piloting a computer science curriculum developed at the University of Rhode Island. Megan wants students to truly connect to science: “My goal is for every student to find something interesting, relevant and fun in their science courses.” Her previous teaching experience includes SUNY Binghamton as well as Moses Brown. When not working, Megan practices chemistry in her kitchen and is a baking genius (according to her lucky colleagues and students).
- Ph.D. State University of New York at Binghamton
- B.S. St. Lawrence University
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 loves getting students out into the world of nature to extend their scientific inquiry.
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. She also runs an after-school science enrichment program “Sick Science” where students dissect, explore, and take trips to local exhibitions.
- 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
Pam discovered her love of teaching by working as math assistant while studying at Framingham State University. Then, after several years of raising children and serving as a foster parent, Pam began to teach math at Mansfield High School. She found a much better fit at School One: “Kids can be kids here. I can go more slowly and make sure the students really understand.” Pam is also a sought-after advisor who helps her students stay on top of every deadline.
Every winter, Pam teaches a free after-school SAT/ACT prep course at School One and is also in demand as a tutor for RI Tutorial and Education Services. Extensively trained in the SAT, Pam tailors her prep classes to each student’s needs.
- Framingham State University, B.S. in mathematics, minor in education
- Trained in SAT preparation
- Tutor for RI Tutorial and Education Services
- School One teacher since 2011
Maryann Ullmann’s expertise spans many disciplines. She teaches Spanish and has lived in Mexico and Argentina for several years. She also teaches U.S. history, Civics, and creative writing courses. In her Civics & Communications course, students participate in Generation Citizen where they research an advocacy issue, develop policy recommendations, and present at Civics Day at the RI Statehouse. As Maryann says, “I love seeing the amazing projects students come up with when they are given the freedom … to follow their passions and curiosities, and all the ways they learn from and support each other.”
Maryann also teaches a wide variety of creative writing classes. She leads School One’s National Novel Writing Month Project every November and runs after-school creative writing classes like Ghost Stories and Lit Lab with School One’s Literary Center.
- Antioch University New England, M.A., Environmental Advocacy and Organizing
- Chatham University, MFA, Creative Writing
- Antioch College, B.A., Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies
- M.F.A. Brown University
- B.A. University of California, Berkeley