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Welcoming New Faculty Member

When St. Andrew’s-Sewanee resumes classes on Monday, August 19, there will be several new faces. In addition to 39 new students, SAS will welcome the following new faculty and staff members:

New Faculty 2019-20

Back row: Regan Schutz, Stephen Thomas, Diana Rinck, Melissa Askins
Front row: Stephen Brehm, Kira Tharp, Vienna Cornell
Not pictured: Chelsea Padro

Vienna Pae Cornell, Counselor/Counseling Services Coordinator
Vienna joins SAS in the newly created role of full-time, residential counselor and counseling services coordinator. Vienna will help to facilitate a positive and healthy school experience for all students by developing, implementing, and supporting mental health and wellness programs in collaboration with the Dean of Students, Chaplain, Residential Life Coordinator, and Health Clinic staff. Vienna holds a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, an M.Div./M.A. from Princeton, and an M.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Georgia State University. 

Alexis Murphy, House Parent
Alexis is already familiar to the SAS community having lived on campus with her husband, International Student Coordinator and Chinese teacher Marcus Murphy for the past year. She is a 2009 graduate of the University of the South with a degree in International and Global Studies. She also studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and TEFL International in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She is a certified yoga instructor and will be offering classes on the SAS campus this year.

Chelsea Padro, Theater Teacher and Theater Director
Chelsea Padro joins SAS as Theater Teacher, Theater Director, Filmmaking instructor, and house parent. She holds an M.A. in Theatre Education from The Catholic University of America and a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a Minor in Adolescent Education from Nazareth College of Rochester. Chelsea was most recently the Lower School Drama Director and Early School Music Teacher at Severn School in Arnold, Maryland where her responsibilities included teaching drama, directing two plays and a musical annually, and teaching music to pre-kindergarten students. For the past seven summers, she has served as Acting Teacher/Director at Admiral Theatre Summer Camp in Bremerton, Washington, where she teaches acting classes, improvisation, and monologues to students, ages 6-18. 

Diana Rinck ’15, Spanish
Diana Rinck returns to SAS to teach Spanish. Diana, daughter of former SAS Spanish teachers Steve and Claudia Rinck, grew up speaking Spanish, received her B.A. in German & German Studies with a concentration in Spanish Studies from The University of the South, studied French at the university while enrolled at SAS, and studied in Germany and Mexico. A former SAS volleyball player, Diana will join the coaching staff.

Regan Schutz, Adjunct Chaplain
The Rev. Regan M. Schutz joins SAS as Adjunct Chaplain. She will teach a section of Introduction to Religious Studies and support the spiritual life of the community. Mother Schutz received her M.Div. from the Sewanee School of Theology and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is an accredited Education for Ministry (EfM) mentor, has practiced Godly Play in numerous and varied settings, and has completed coursework in the Spiritual Guidance of Children through General Theological Seminary. In addition to this chaplaincy at SAS, Mtr. Regan serves as Priest-in-Charge at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Shelbyville, Tenn. She previously served as Curate at Otey Memorial Parish and as Director of US Training, Communications, and Development at the Godly Play Foundation.

Stephen Thomas, Spanish
Stephen Thomas joins SAS as a Spanish teacher, golf coach, and Outdoor Adventure instructor. Stephen most recently taught Spanish, led the Golf Club and the Hiking and Camping Club, supervised field studies, and coordinated a study abroad program at Chattanooga's Ivy Academy. He holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a former U.S. Marine. Stephen received Military Linguist Certification in Spanish with honors from the Defense Language Institute and was a Spanish Cryptologic Language Analyst for the USMA and the National Security Agency. He is a graduate of McCallie School and has lived and studied in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Spain.

Several people will assume new or additional roles this year. History department chair Geoffrey Smith steps in as Interim Dean of Students. Former Father Flye Fellow John Wheeler joins the faculty as an English teacher, house parent, and football, swim, and soccer coach. John is a cum laude graduate of The University of the South with a B.A. in English. Alumni and Campaign Assistant Kira Tharp ’12, a fellow Sewanee graduate and a former teaching assistant at the Centro de Educación Creativa/Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica, will teach a class in English. Admission Associate Melissa Askins joins the math faculty. Melissa holds an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction from Tennessee Tech, an M.A. in education from Cumberland University, and a B.S. in accounting from the University of Charleston. She has worked in the Manchester and Tullahoma middle schools as a math, language arts, and English teacher. Academic Administrative Assistant Marin Miller assumes the role of Residential Life Coordinator.

During the summer, Stephen Brehm joined the staff as Assistant Director of Advancement. Stephen worked for Public Markets, Inc. for eight years, serving as Operations Manager for the last six years. (Public Markets is best known for producing the Chattanooga Market, one of the largest and most successful public markets in the nation.) He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Berklee College of Music. Stephen is the husband of Sarah (Askew) Brehm ’00.

Opening of school orientation and festivities begin on Thursday, August 15 with Welcome Night for New Middle School Families. The first day of school is Monday, August 19.