In 1955, Cardigan founder Harold P. “Hap” Hinman wrote a letter to incoming Headmaster Roland Burbank and reflected, “You have a full schedule ahead of you for some time; yet you know, you’ll get a lot of fun out of the job. Most men do in accepting a challenge.”
Back then, much of Cardigan was still just a dream, conjured up and nurtured through its infancy by seven ambitious and visionary men, as well as a handful of dedicated faculty and staff. Now, much of what they set out to do has been accomplished. The schedule, however, continues to be full—asking the most out of every faculty and staff member who embraces life at this small New England boarding school for middle school boys.
In August, we welcomed nine new faculty, who arrived on campus with fresh perspectives and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and contribute wherever they are needed. Like Roland Burbank and their colleagues who have come before them, the newest members of the Cardigan faculty will have full schedules, but they can also expect to get a lot of fun out of their jobs. We can’t wait to stand with them, shoulder to shoulder, and introduce them to the Cardigan Way. Below we share with you a few facts about each of them.
Mr. Capistran comes to us from the Hun School of Princeton, a 6-12 boarding school in New Jersey. Mr. Capistran was a teaching assistant in the school’s History and Global Studies Department, and in June he was a member of a three-person team that “taught a two-week intensive climate-education course, and guided 19 students in filming, shooting, and producing a 12-minute documentary chronicling their experiences.” Mr. Capistran is also an artist, graduating in 2018 from the University of the Arts with a major in illustration and a concentration in printmaking; his work can be viewed on his website. Mr. Capistran will be teaching art in sixth and seventh grade and living in Brewster 2.
Mr. Carpino is no stranger to Cardigan; from 2012-2016 he was a member of the School’s faculty, teaching Spanish and coaching hockey, soccer, sailing, and lacrosse. Prior to his years at Cardigan, he spent four years just up the road at Norwich University, where he majored in Spanish and English and was a member of the men’s ice hockey team that won the NCAA National Championship in 2010. More recently, Mr. Carpino has been teaching and coaching at the Pingree School in Massachusetts and Aspen Academy in Colorado. In the summers he works with Cardigan teacher Ryan Sinclair in the Ivy Leader Program. Mr. Carpino will be returning to the Spanish classroom this fall, and will be coaching hockey and living in Greenwood House.
Jonathan Castillo ’06
Mr. Castillo is also familiar with Cardigan, graduating with the Class of 2006 and winning the Skibiski Memorial Award at Commencement the same year. After graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in education and public affairs in 2016, Mr. Castillo went to work for JetBlue Airways and more recently for TekSystems. Mr. Castillo has also pursued his love of basketball, coaching multiple high school basketball teams, including the EYSF Panthers AAU Travel Basketball Organization in central Florida. Mr. Castillo has been their head basketball coach since 2014, leading his team to six consecutive State Final Four appearances and helping ensure college scholarships for 50 of his student-athletes. When he is not playing basketball, Mr. Castillo is busy developing his photography business; to view his work, check out his website. At Cardigan Mr. Castillo will be the head varsity basketball coach and will be living in Brewster Dormitory with his wife Alex and their daughter Avery.
Ms. Garber is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she majored in psychology and minored in education. As a member of the university’s varsity field hockey team, she helped coach local elementary and high school players, focusing on hands-on instruction and maintaining a fun and healthy learning environment. This fall, Ms. Garber will be a teaching intern in Cardigan’s Math Department and sharing duties in Clark-Morgan Hall.
Ms. Newton has spent the last two decades working in special education and teaching math and art. Most recently she was the lead teacher of a self-contained elementary classroom in Vinalhaven, ME; she has also worked at numerous schools in Vermont, including the Brookhaven Treatment and Learning Center, The New School of Montpelier, and the Kindle Farm School. Ms. Newton will be living in Funnell House and teaching PEAKS.
Mr. Riffe has taken a winding road to Cardigan, having recently lived in Thailand, Portugal, and Germany. In Thailand, Mr. Riffe taught English at a rural high school and helped build a non-profit organization that focused on teaching water safety skills and ocean conservation. Most recently, Mr. Riffe was teaching at the Berlin Cosmopolitan School in Germany while completing a master’s degree in global history at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin. He also has a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and played for their Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Mr. Riffe’s interests are diverse, ranging from studying the Cold War to hiking, from surfing to learning Japanese. At Cardigan Mr. Riffe will be teaching sixth-grade humanities, coaching hockey, and living in Hayward 2.
Mr. Shapiro is no stranger to boarding school life, having grown up at and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. A recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mr. Shapiro has a bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in the study and practice of writing. At UMass he was a school sports analyst and writer, and volunteered for Beyond Type 1 and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDFR). Mr. Shapiro's passion for sports will come in handy at Cardigan, where he will be coaching hockey and baseball. He will also be a teaching intern and living in Hinman 1.
At 6’11” Mr. Stevens may be the tallest member of Cardigan’s faculty. Coming to The Point from Ithaca, NY, he is a recent graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations. Before Cornell, Mr. Stevens also attended the College of the Holy Cross, where he studied political science and was a member of the Men’s Division I Basketball Team. During his summers in college Mr. Stevens was a federal judicial intern in the Worcester Federal District Court in Worcester, MA, and since graduation he has been a legal/administrative assistant at a law firm in Ithaca, NY. Mr. Stevens will be Cardigan’s third teaching intern this year; he will live in Hinman 2 and coach basketball.
We welcome Mr. Vega back to campus as he makes the switch from teaching during Summer Session to joining the faculty for the full Academic Year. Mr. Vega is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in history. Most recently, he has been the head coach of boys’ hockey at Bishop Brady High School in New Hampshire as well as the arena manager of Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, NH; he also recently taught history and English at the American School of Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. At Cardigan Mr. Vega will be teaching Spanish, coaching hockey, and living in Brewster 1.