New faculty, staff join team

Laine Betanzos, Copy Editor

As the school year begins, bringing new challenges and procedures, one thing that stays the same is the addition of new teachers and faculty members in nearly every department.

Laura Leathers: Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs

After serving as the assistant head of school at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee, where she also taught chemistry and served as assistant cross country coach, Dr. Laura Leathers has joined the Hockaday community as the Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs. She is responsible for supporting division heads and the dean of studies, in addition to faculty-led initiatives, committees and workgroups. “I am looking forward to getting to know everyone at Hockaday — the teachers and staff, the families, and most importantly the girls!” Leathers said.

Patty Lowell: Director of Communications

Patty Lowell will serve as Director of Communications at Hockaday. Previously, she worked as the director of communications at The Cristo Rey School in Dallas serving students otherwise unable to achieve a private school education for five years after helping to launch the school. “I am looking forward to telling the story of Hockaday,” Lowell said. “Telling the world about the girls, your amazing achievements, the efforts you’re making, and showcasing and highlighting all that is amazing about Hockaday to the larger community.”

Tiffany Nelson: Director of Admission and Enrollment Management

Tiffany Nelson will serve as Director of Admission and Enrollment Management this year, after holding the same position at Spelman College, working with a team responsible for attracting, enrolling, and supporting future Hockaday students. “I have so many ideas and projects that I cannot wait to get underway,” Nelson said. “I am truly thrilled to be a part of such an incredible place devoted to the education of girls – the world’s future leaders.”

Eliza Carey: Accounting Manager

Eliza Carey joins Hockaday this year as the Accounting Manager, helping families with tuition payments and student charges and reconciling monthly activity such as investments and other school operations. Before Hockaday, Carey worked at Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm, in audit practice. “I am so excited to be at Hockaday and to (hopefully soon) watch the students’ sporting events!” Carey said.

Dr. Tiffani Kocsis: Assistant Head of Upper School

New Assistant Head of Upper  School, Tiffany Kocsis, will support the programs and people involved with student life, working with form deans, advisors, and guidance and learning support staff to ensure a happy, healthy, successful student experience. Before Hockaday, Kocsis served as assistant head of Upper School at Campbell Hall in Studio City, California. “The thing I’m probably most excited about is returning to an all-girls environment,” Kocsis said. “There is something intangible about them— and girls schools, by far, throw the best events which I can’t wait to be a part of again.”

Raquel McKinney: Upper School Learning Support and Administration Counselor

This year, Raquel McKinney joins the Hockaday community as an Upper School Counselor. With previous experience working as a school resource counselor at Bishop Lynch High School, McKinney will provide social and emotional support and guidance for Upper School Students. “I am most excited to meet the Hockadaisies and celebrate their successes and lend a supportive, caring ear during challenging times.” McKinney said. “My hope is to be approachable for each young lady so that they feel they can share their feelings openly.”

Scott Bowman: Upper School History

New Upper School History teacher and Form I advisor Scott Bowman joins the Hockaday community this year teaching AP U.S. History, World History, and Global Issues of the 21st Century. In addition to teaching at the high school, collegiate, and graduate school levels, most recently at Penn State University, Bowman has worked as an attorney. “I’ve heard so much about the motivated and engaged students at Hockaday, and am looking forward to diving into discussions of History with all of you.” Bowman said. “Although I’m just getting started, I’ve been beyond impressed!”

Dr. Keith Clark: Upper School History

After instructing and serving as a teaching assistant at Northwestern University, Dr. Keith Clark joins the Hockaday community as an Upper School History Teacher. He will teach World History, AP U.S. History, and Global Issues in the 21st Century. “I am not only excited to educate students on different historical eras and regions, but to demonstrate why history is both fascinating and fun as well as important for all people in the information age.” Clark said.

Chiamacka (Chi-chi) Acho: Health Services

Chiamaka Acho Oforeh ‘02 returns to Hockaday this year as the Registered Nurse for the Lower
School. Acho recently worked as the Labor and Delivery Triage Nurse Manager at Parkland Health and Hospital system, caring for women, infants, and children. “I’m most looking forward to being able to support the entire time through these unprecedented times.” Acho said. “As stressful as things are, we are going to get through this year, and will be an even stronger Hockaday community when we do!”

Stefan Rinaldi: Upper School Science

Four years ago, Stefan Rinaldi taught at Hockaday as a long-term substitute. This year, he joins the Hockaday
community permanently as an Upper School science teacher, instructing classes in AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Chemistry. Before Hockaday, Rinaldi taught at Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving. “I am most excited about being back at Hockaday after an extended absence,” Rinaldi said. “I did not want to leave… four years ago, and I am humbled to be given the opportunity to teach here once again!”

Brittany Pendleton: Upper School Science

Before joining Hockaday this fall as an Upper School physics teacher, Brittany Pendleton taught at Akiba Yavneh Academy of Dallas. There, she instructed classes in Physics, AP Physics C: Mechanics, Engineering, and Algebra I, in addition to beginning the engineering program and serving as freshman advisor. “I am looking forward to teaching physics with an engineering- based approach,” Pendleton said. “I am extremely excited to see what my Form I students create this year, and to meet the entire Hockaday family.”

Emily Ennis: Upper School History

Emily Ennis joins the Upper School history department this year after teaching AP U.S. Government and
Microeconomics at A&M Consolidated High School. Ennis also developed curriculum for the College Station Independent School District. “I’m excited to get to know my students and learn all about being a part of the Hockaday community!” Ennis said.