Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Enriching the Cardigan Community and Welcoming Our New Faculty

Cardigan's new faculty members

As Cardigan prepares for a new school year, we are looking forward to welcoming not only new students but new faculty as well. And while the skills and passions for which they were hired will serve them well in the coming year, they also each possess talents that will enrich the Cardigan community, and we can’t wait to get to know them.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome our new faculty to Cardigan this year,” says Associate Head of School and Dean of Faculty Josh LeRoy. “The group brings a wealth of experience, energy, and enthusiasm off of which the boys on campus will thrive. I do not doubt that this group will build on the strength of the current faculty and be an integral part of Cardigan's close-knit community and culture!”

Chris Kondi

Take, for instance, Chris Kondi, who was hired to work in the Charles C. Gates Invention and Innovation program. Chris is a car enthusiast and enjoys gaming and motocross as well as swimming, boating, and racquetball. Mr. Kondi graduated from Norwich University in 2018 with Bachelor of Science degrees in math and education. Since graduation he has been teaching math and engineering classes at Hartford High School in White River Junction, VT as well as coaching the girls’ varsity soccer team. 

“I feel the most growth as an educator when I can see a student’s pride and accomplishment, especially when it is in the development of a practical or tactile product,” says Mr. Kondi. “To implement this in an immersive, supportive, and community-driven place like Cardigan is, for lack of better words, a dream come true.” Mr. Kondi will be living in Hinman Hall and coaching soccer and wrestling.

Jessica Hunt

Another local to join the Cardigan team is Jessica Hunt, who most recently has been teaching at the Bernice A. Ray School in Hanover, NH. Ms. Hunt has a B.A. in business administration from the University of Florida and an M.S. in education, specializing in applied literacy, from the University of Southern Maine. With well over a decade of experience, she has taught in both public and private schools and has worked with primary through post-graduate learners.

“I believe it is important to build a classroom community of trust, respect, and inclusion where students are active, mistakes are expected, and feedback is positive and encourages growth,” she says. “One of my favorite parts about being on an independent school campus is the opportunity to build connections with students outside of the classroom, dining together, or cheering them on at games.” Ms. Hunt will be a PEAKS™ coach and live in Ovilla House.

Kayla Austin

Cardigan’s Science Department will have two new faces this fall. First up is eighth-grade physical science teacher Kayla Austin. A recent graduate of Connecticut College, Ms. Austin has a B.A. in biological sciences with a concentration in ecology. With a passion for everything to do with being out on or in the ocean, Ms. Austin’s undergrad research focused on marine ecology and tropical ecosystem restoration. It wasn’t until she worked as a teaching assistant and STEM tutor at Connecticut College during the winter of 2020 that she was inspired to pursue a career in scientific teaching.

“I hope to take a hands-on learning approach to teaching this upcoming year and create socially conscious, citizen scientists in my students,” she says. “I look forward to teaching students current and effective techniques for communicating research.” Ms. Austin will be living in Newton House and coaching sailing.

Malik Jarvey

The Science Department’s second addition is Malik Harvey who will be a teaching apprentice, working with the seventh-grade environmental science students. Malik graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2021 with a B.A. in environmental studies. He was also a member of the university’s basketball team and the men’s acapella group, the Singing Saints. During the summer, Mr. Harvey has worked for Inspiring Youth Minds in Brooklyn, NY, a nonprofit organization that helps bright and motivated students––regardless of racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds or economic circumstances––obtain higher education at prestigious boarding schools around the country. Mr. Harvey will be living in French and coaching football, basketball, and lacrosse.

Max Mauer

Also a teaching apprentice and recent graduate of St. Lawrence University is Max Maurer. With a B.S. in conservation biology and a passion for bluegrass, Mr. Maurer says he hopes that at Cardigan he can organize a rock band and an ornithology club. Mr. Maurer is also an outdoor enthusiast having spent six seasons working for Grand Teton National Park, Teton Valley Ranch Camp, and recently, Wilderness Adventures. He likes to spend his time on the ocean, surfing and farming oysters, and in the winter months he enjoys freestyle skiing and playing ice hockey.

“I see Cardigan as an intersection for many of these co-curricular activities and I would love to apply myself where I am most passionate and knowledgeable,” says Mr. Maurer. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with students and teachers beyond the walls of the classroom.” Mr. Maurer will be living in Stowell House and will be coaching mountain biking, recreational skiing, and lacrosse.

Giovanni Fassina

There is also one new addition in the Athletics Department, where Giovanni Fassina will be the head coach for the U16 skiers. Mr. Fassina completed his professional ski instructor course (Collegio Nazionale Maestri di Sci) in 2018 and his professional ski coach course in 2020. For the past four years, he has been working as a ski instructor and coach at Scuola Sci Azzurra di Cortina in Italy. He has also been attending New England College, where he received a B.A. in business administration in 2021 and an M.B.A. in strategic leadership in 2022.

“My favorite thing about Cardigan is the campus,” he says. “The beautiful location and the facilities create a perfect environment for the students. I look forward to working as a ski coach and sharing my passion for skiing with others.” Mr. Fassina will be living in Stowell House and coaching mountain biking and tennis.

Chris Kelleher coaching Cardigan's JV Basketball Team, January 2022

Chris Kelleher coaching Cardigan's JV Basketball Team in January 2022

The Cardigan Cougars will also have a new head coach for the basketball program. With decades of coaching experience at the middle and high school levels, at both public and private schools, Chris Kelleher is in his fourth year of teaching at Cardigan and is looking forward to taking on this new role. Mr. Kelleher is a big believer in fundamentals and hopes to build a cohesive program in which at least some of the same skills and drills are taught and reinforced at every level. 

“The boys may not see the impact immediately,” he says, “but each drill is directly connected to points scored in a game. We’re going to build a foundation of camaraderie between all the levels.”

Mr. Kelleher also hopes to build relationships with other independent schools, developing players who are prepared for high school programs both mentally and physically. In addition to leading the basketball program, Mr. Kelleher will continue to teach history as well as coach football and lacrosse. 

We welcome our new faculty and hope that you will have the opportunity to stop by and get to know them!

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Chronicle, Winter 2023 Issue

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