Introducing the new Upper School teachers
August 28, 2018
Mrs. Candace Bridges
Mrs. Candace Bridges replaced Mr. Phil Nicodemo this year. She teaches freshman biology and environmental science. She joins her husband, Ross Bridges, in the science department.
Mrs. Bridges was a science teacher at Tattnall Square Academy for 10 years, and was awarded a Masters Teacher certification through the Georgia Independent Schools Association. Although this is her first year teaching at Stratford, she has taught Stratford students over various science subjects through tutoring. She also was a tutor in the Learning Support Center.
“I feel like it is my innate gift that I can receive information and break it down in a way so that others can understand which is why I though being a teacher would be good for me,” she said.
When asked why she chose science over other school subjects, Mrs. Bridges said, “I have loved science ever since I was a kid. I wanted to be an archeologist when I was young and I went to a marine biology camp during high school.”
Mrs. Bridges hopes to have more labs and hands-on learning with the students during her first year.
Ms. Stuart Hubbard
Ms. Stuart Hubbard, the new sophomore and freshman English teacher, is experienced, but in much more than just writing.
She has been skydiving, surfing, and has worked for three magazines — “The New Yorker” and “Fortune” magazines, as well as “The Economist.”
While working for these magazines, she realized she would rather teach.
“I always felt it would be more rewarding to teach because I really love literature and writing,” she said. ” I wanted to share that enthusiasm with students.”
She has been sharing her love for English ever since she was a child, when she would read out loud to her sister.
She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her undergraduate degree and North Carolina State University for her graduate degree.
She previously taught at an all-boys school in Asheville, North Carolina, and at Savannah Country Day School in Savannah.
Ms. Rachel Newman
Ms. Rachel Newman is the new freshman English teacher. Recently, she completed her Master’s Degree in English Literature at the University of Virginia. She taught in UVA’s Summer Enrichment Program for middle and high school students.
She received her undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She spent four years at McGill, where she studied history and English literature.
Growing up an Army brat, Ms. Newman has lived many places, including the Middle East.
Mrs. Newman’s many hobbies keep her very active when she is not teaching. She horseback rides a few times a week and even brought her horse to Macon with her. She also loves stitching designs when she cross stitches in her free time. Ms. Newman stays very active while she hikes, runs, and participates in many other outdoors activities.
Mrs. Kenna Jones
Mrs. Kenna Jones is a familiar face at Stratford. She has been here since 2005 as a tutor in the science and math departments. Her children, Andrew and Elizabeth, attended Stratford.
Stratford had a vacancy in its math department after Mrs. Jessica Jaquith left at the end of last year. Mrs. Jones was hired for that position.
Mrs. Jones grew up in Marietta, where she graduated high school. She received her degree from Georgia Tech.
Some of her favorite things to do are kayaking, hiking, live music, traveling, and reading.
Her teaching schedule is very different than tutoring. She has multiple math classes and is loving every minute of it.
“Teaching is so enjoyable because I deal with a lot of different personalities.,’’ Mrs. Jones said.
Still, tutoring will always have a place in her heart.
“It’s always so satisfying when I am tutoring a kid, and he or she experience the lightbulb of understanding the concept so much better,’’ she said.
Ms. Kinsey Peterson
Ms. Kinsey Peterson is new to the science department, teaching Biology and Physiology.
She came to Stratford from Furman University, where she received Bachelor of Science degree.
She has gotten involved as an advisor with the Student Leadership Board.
Growing up, Ms.Peterson always wanted to be a science teacher. She said some “pretty amazing teachers” affected her life and her view on education, and she wishes to impact children’s lives as much as they impacted her’s.
Her teaching style includes activities requiring hands-on work. Outside of teaching, she enjoys watching Netflix, outdoor activities and horseback riding.
Ms. Kayla Watson
Ms. Kayla Watson is one of the two new Spanish teachers. She originally is from Abingdon, Va., and attended James Madison University to receive her Bachelor’s Degree, Virginia Tech University for her Master’s Degree, and the University of Maryland for her Doctorate’s Degree.
Ms. Watson’s desire to teach Spanish began when she took a literature class on human rights violations and later decided to live in Peru for a few months. There, she became interested with the Spanish language.
She taught for four years at the university level and for four summers, she has taught in the Upward Bound Program.
Ms. Watson spends her free time being an “adrenaline junky,” doing activities such as rock climbing and hiking and also, playing with her dog, Dilly.
Ms. Kendra Chapman
Not only does Ms. Kendra Chapman speak English and Spanish, but she also speaks Portuguese.
Ms. Chapman comes to Stratford from Ohio, where she taught for a year. However, she also has taught at the University of Illinois and in Brazil.
Although she teaches Spanish, it wasn’t her main focus of study. Instead, she studied English in college, and has a Masters degree in creative writing and poetry.
Her free time is consumed mostly by reading and writing, she said. She also enjoys going to the gym, solving crossword puzzles, participating in boxing exercises, and watching Netflix.
She first began to speak Spanish in sixth grade. At first she couldn’t decide which language to take. The deciding factor in her decision was that her mom claimed she would be able to help her with homework, since she had also studied Spanish.
Ms. Chapman said she “ended up really liking it” and that her mom “never ended up helping her with her homework.”
Ms. Chapman said teaching Spanish is very different than teaching English, where most of her background in teaching is.
She believes that “both types of teaching require different parts of your brain.” However, she claimed to just love language in general.
One of her favorite parts about teaching Spanish is “you can do so many fun things when you teach another language.” Some of those fun things she described included teaching a Shakira song in Spanish class, whereas she claims you can’t really do that in English class.
One of the biggest differences between Stratford and the previous school she taught at was that sports are much bigger here, since it is a much larger school.
Her favorite part about Stratford is how nice and helpful all of the other teachers and administrators have been. She says the kids are great and has fun teaching them. Overall she said “the community in general is supportive.”
Ms. Stella Ye
Stratford has a new Mandarin teacher, Ms Stella Ye. She comes from China. She has been in United States less than a month. She wants to teach here because she wants to teach some Chinese traditional cultures to foreign students and has more experience of teaching.
In the Mandarin classroom, she hangs eight lanterns above the ceiling and puts paper-cuts, Beijing opera masks and Chinese knots on the wall. All of those decoration are festive red because red is stand for lucky, passion, and vivacious. And she wants to shared joyful atmosphere with her students. The most special part in her classroom is the work of students, such as paper-cuts and the paintings of China’s pattern.
In her Mandarin classes, she teaches the pronunciation of Chinese and does some interesting activities. She is really loves her students because they participate in class actively.
“Although there are differences between Chinese culture and American culture, everyone still tries their best to study Chinese,” she said. “In China, when teachers teaches students knowledge, they just remember word by word. In here, students have more abundant creation and imagination.”
She said she loves Stratford because her colleagues are kind and helpful, and her students are lively and intelligent. The study environment is peaceful, graceful, and neat.