Wesleyan’s 2019 New Faculty

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Kathleen Shade

Where did you attend college? University of Mississippi, Ole Miss.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? Right after my interview, I knew I wanted to be here. Wesleyan felt like a perfect fit. Although academics are important, I love how Christian values are a big part of Wesleyan too.

What is your role at Wesleyan? I teach Algebra 1 & 2 and coach the 7th grade girls’ basketball team.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? Family friend connection.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? Spending time with my daughter, usually attending some sporting event and church on Sunday.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

What was your favorite vacation? My two week cruise to Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Ellen Riggins

Where did you attend college? Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? When I was a fellow, I was really blown away by the faculty here and how excellent they were in their jobs. I appreciated that Wesleyan wants to excel in academics and athletics, but more importantly than that, I was personally very shaped by the people here. They impacted my own relationship with the Lord in such a significant way. I knew I wanted to be in a community like this.

What is your role at Wesleyan? I teach sophomore English, senior seminar and coach varsity basketball and lacrosse.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? My college point guard, Britney Stevens, is a Wesleyan alumna and works here now. She told me about the fellows program. Through her and other Samford students who went to Wesleyan, I decided to apply.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? I love playing any and all sports, concerts, time with friends and time to read.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? “In the end, all we are is bones, white ribs exposed joints and cracks we’d covered up now known. Look underneath your skin. You are a beautiful skeleton.” -Dawson Zimmerman

What was your favorite vacation? A few years ago, I visited a ranch in Wyoming with my family where we hiked, rode horses and explored Yellowstone National Park.

Amanda Holdbrooks

Where did you attend college? Western Michigan University.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? I subbed here and loved the students and faculty, as well as the Christian mission.

What is your role at Wesleyan? High School Administrative Assistant.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? I live in the community and have always driven past it.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? Spending time with my husband, going out to eat and taking a spin class.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? Psalm 119:105  “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

What was your favorite vacation? My honeymoon in Italy where we had our marriage blessed by the pope.

Andy Mattick

Where did you attend college? Pensacola Christian College.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? New opportunity to teach computer science, and I love the campus.

What is your role at Wesleyan? I am a Pre-Calculus, AP Computer Science and Robotics teacher, as well as a Wesleyan tennis coach.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? Previously played against Wesleyan when I worked at Blessed Trinity.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? Frisbee Golf and regularly helping my kids with soccer.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? Proverbs 21:1 “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.”

What was your favorite vacation? Hilton Head.

Joseph Koch

Where did you attend college? I went to John Hopkins for undergraduate and Wagner College for graduate school.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? It was a great fit, both professionally and personally as I started to look for options that aligned to where I wanted to both teach, and have my children attend.

What is your role at Wesleyan? High School Principal.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? I used to work with Mr. Khedouri at Westminster and had spoken with Mr. Young before applying to work here.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? I love attending my kids’ activities, as well as gardening, mountain biking and hiking, and watching college football on Saturdays.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

What was your favorite vacation? My whole family traveled to Tenerife, Spain, and visited the Canary Islands.

Brooks Hanrahan

Where did you attend college? Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? I decided to accept the position at Wesleyan because I believe in the school’s commitment to Christian education while maintaining a high academic standard. Beyond this, I sense that the community at Wesleyan is uniquely supportive of its teachers, parents and students. For these and many other reasons, Wesleyan seems to be the perfect place to begin my teaching career.

What is your role at Wesleyan? I am a Faculty Fellow in the high school English department, helping teach the Senior Seminar course and AP Seminar. Additionally, I am assisting in the fine arts programs throughout the year.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? A good friend of mine at Princeton Seminary, Andy Clack, was a Fellow at Wesleyan a few years ago. He spoke highly of the program and recommended that I apply.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? This is a great question! I look forward to spending time with my wife, watching football (in the fall) and catching up on my ever-growing list of movies I need to watch.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Quote: “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.” The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

What was your favorite vacation? This past May, my wife and I took a trip to Denver, Colorado, to celebrate being done with seminary. We did some hiking around Boulder and ate a lot of good food in Denver. It was the perfect way to close one chapter of our lives before moving onto the next.

Sydney Leimbach

Where did you attend college? Emory University.

Why did you choose Wesleyan School? I chose Wesleyan for the values that it upholds in its students and faculty, including its Christian mission and commitment to excellence. I also felt very welcome at my interview, and the Faculty Fellows program really impressed me for the amount of support and opportunity it offers.

What is your role at Wesleyan? I teach World History with Mr. Russell. I also help with junior varsity volleyball and will be helping with varsity swimming and varsity tennis as well.

How did you hear about Wesleyan? I originally found the Fellows program through a teacher placement firm, but I had heard of Wesleyan since I went to Marist for high school and had friends from the area.

What do you normally look forward to on the weekends? On the weekends, I like to go on bike rides,  hike, go to concerts and see new movies that are out in theaters.

What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? James 1:2-4: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Quote: “Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.” – Vincent van Gogh

What was your favorite vacation? When I was studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, my family got to meet me there and spend Spring Break with me traveling throughout southern Ireland. We saw the Cliffs of Moher, heard a ton of live music and met some incredible people throughout the country.

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