Faculty

Our faculty are experienced and distinguished educators who bring the challenge of intimate learning to our students.

Ms. Rim An Hinckley

Head of School
Messiah College - B.A.
Graduate studies in Mathematics and Education from Millersville University and Boston College
Founding Head of School, The Geneva School of Manhattan (1996-2002)

Prior to starting The Geneva School of Manhattan, Rim Hinckley taught mathematics at United Nations International School for six years. Along with other Christian believers, she began planning for a classical Christian school in Manhattan in 1995. After a year of planning, praying, pursuing real estate leads, and completing city requirements, Geneva School opened in September 1996 with twenty-two students in three grades. After several years serving as the founder and Head of School, Ms. Hinckley stepped down as full-time headmaster to spend time with her young family. She served on the Board of Trustees for the School until 2011, when she again resumed Head of School responsibilities. Under her leadership, the School has grown to 260 students and two campuses. Ms. Hinckley also serves on the boards of PAVE Academy and Messiah College and has previously served on the board of Hope for New York. She was Teaching Leader for Bible Study Fellowship International from 1996 to 2000. She and her husband Carter Hinckley have two sons, C.J. and Charlie (‘14 and ‘16).

Dr. John Lee

Head of Upper School, Upper School Latin
Rutgers College - B.A.
Yale University - M.A.
Westminster Theological Seminary - M.A.
Bryn Mawr College - M.A.
Yale University - M. Phil., History
Yale University - Ph.D., Classical History

Over the last twenty years, Dr. Lee has taught in various capacities at numerous institutions, including Drew University, Nyack College, and most recently as a teacher of middle school students in Latin, history, and English at The St. Bernard’s School in Manhattan. His experience extends outside the classroom, too; he has pastored for many years, including planting several churches. He also serves as Board President for Ad Fontes Philanthropy. Dr. Lee is also expecting the 2017 publication of his book Paradoxes of Leadership—A Biblical Reflection. Dr. Lee and his wife have two children, one of whom is a Geneva School student. His hobbies include carpentry, writing, and meeting new people.

Ms. Tessa Tiemann

Head of Lower School and Preschool
University of Kentucky - B.M.M.E.
University of Kentucky - M.A.

Tessa Tiemann was a choral director in public middle school for seven years in Louisville, Kentucky. Then, wanting to be home with her three sons while they were young, she served as a part-time director of music in a Louisville church. As her children came of school age, she began her career in the classical Christian educational setting, teaching First Grade at Highlands Latin School for three years before leaving the classroom to serve four years as the Director of Instruction. She is married to jazz musician, Jason Tiemann, and they have two Geneva School graduates and a current student. Ms. Tiemann enjoys cooking and makes a mean gourmet macaroni and cheese!

Mr. Greg Gunkle

Dean of Academics, Upper School History, Logic
Liberty University - B.S.
Graduate studies in Philosophy, Theology, and Education at Westminster Theological Seminary and Lehigh University

Mr. Gunkle has taught for nineteen years in Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has served on the board of a Christian school in Pennsylvania and as the Director and Lead Teacher of the Logic School at Christ Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he is a lifelong Phillies and Eagles fan. He can be found at used bookstores gleaning treasures from writers of old or at his favorite pub discussing great political speeches.

Ms. Kristin Smith

Dean of Students, Upper School Bible
Johnson University - B.A.
Graduate studies in Bible from Johnson University
Graduate studies in Organizational Leadership from Lincoln Christian University

A fifteen-year teaching veteran, Ms. Smith has taught at Geneva School since 2013 and has brought her contagious enthusiasm for God's Word to our Upper School students. Previously, Ms. Smith held positions as a Bible teacher at Christian Academy of Knoxville, music and theater teacher at Concord Christian School, and Director of Children's Ministries at Poplar Springs Church of Christ. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid for both children and adults. She enjoys singing, swing dancing, reading great books, and roller skating (her parents owned a roller skating rink when she was a child!).

Ms. Nicolleta Cano (Nikki)

Pre-Beginners and Beginners East
Liberty University - B.S.
Diploma in Biblical Studies from The Greek Bible College

Ms. Cano brings to Geneva School years of experience as lead preschool teacher at Soterios Ellenas Parochial School, a Greek Christian Orthodox school in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Cano further studied jazz and theater at City College of New York. She currently serves as a worship minister at God’s Church in Edgewater, New Jersey, where her husband is the pastor. They have a son who attends Geneva School. In her free time, Ms. Cano enjoys helping people engage in healthy lifestyle choices.

Ms. Solmarie Miranda

Pre-Beginners and Beginners East Assistant

 

Ms. Miranda is in her fifth year as the Assistant Teacher for Beginners and Pre-Beginners. She was drawn to Geneva School's vision to impact future generations through classical Christian education. Geneva School has helped ignite in her a desire to leave a lasting legacy of Christ-centered learning in her students. Having studied music at Nyack College, Ms. Miranda sings in a Christian salsa band, Rhythm of Christ, and serves as Director and Voice Instructor at South Bronx Performing Arts Conservatory, a music program of her church.

Ms. Meghan Ebright

Pre-Kindergarten East
Harding University - B.A.

 

Ms. Ebright received her Bachelor's degree in early childhood education and is a passionate and gifted teacher. This is her fifth year teaching the classical Christian approach at Geneva Preschool, following several years of teaching preschool in Nashville, Tennessee. She finds immense joy when her students' interests are piqued to continue pursuing a topic after they leave her classroom. During the summer, she serves as Activities Director at Camp Shiloh in upstate New York. An avid traveler, one of Ms. Ebright's favorite travel experiences was bungee jumping off the Corinth Canal in Corinth, Greece.

Ms. Adriana Kapfer

Pre-Kindergarten East Assistant
Pontificia Universidad Xaveriana - B.A.

 

Ms. Kapfer is a native of Colombia and has lived in New York City for more than a decade. She has a business degree in Accounting and has a passion for early childhood education. Ms. Kapfer worked as an assistant teacher at a Maryel International Preschool in New York City with two- and three-year olds. Ms. Kapfer has two school-aged children and also enjoys working with children in her church.

Ms. Carey Bustard

Pre-Kindergarten West
The King's College - B.A.

 

Prior to becoming Pre-Kindergarten lead teacher, Ms. Bustard worked at Geneva School as Assistant Pre-Kindergarten Teacher. Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Ms. Bustard is beginning her sixth year in New York City. She moved here initially to attend The King's College but has since fallen in love with the city and the community it has brought her. While in college, she interned at The Gospel Coalition, where she conducted nationwide interviews with Christians about their integration of faith and work. Through that internship she found herself passionate about vocational ministry and hearing people's stories. She enjoys brunching, traveling, reading, and making Spotify playlists.

Ms. Oribel Ledesma

Pre-Kindergarten West Assistant
Lancaster Bible College - B.A.B.S.

 

Ms. Ledesma brings to Geneva School much experience working with children, as well as a background in biblical studies. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies degree, she has two years of biblical training in Bible and Children's Ministry from Summit International School of Ministry in Grantville, Pennsylvania. Ms. Ledesma served as an assistant preschool teacher at Beginnings Nursery School. She enjoys writing, poetry, reading classic novels, painting and drawing. Her favorite novel is Jane Eyre.

Ms. Evelynn Park

Kindergarten
Mount Holyoke College - B.S.
Teachers College, Columbia University - M.A.

Originally from Seattle, Ms. Park's undergraduate work focused on Mathematics and Religious Studies. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Teachers College-Columbia University. Prior to joining Geneva School in 2014, Ms. Park taught in the New York City public school system for two years and in Seoul, South Korea for three years. Passionate about teaching, she loves to engage her students in interactive ways. In her free time, Ms. Park enjoys watching Broadway shows and taking nature hikes.

Ms. Isabella Legaspi

Kindergarten
University of California, Merced - B.S.

 

Before joining Geneva School, Ms. Legaspi worked as Preschool Assistant Teacher at Learning Springs Academy in California and Third Grade Assistant for two years. Ms. Legaspi lived in Hong Kong as a child and enjoys travel as one of her many interests. For leisure, she enjoys yoga, reading, movies, photography, learning the ukulele, and exploring New York City.

Ms. Caitlin Nunery

Kindergarten Assistant
Covenant College - M. Ed, Integrated Curriculum and Instruction

 

Ms. Nunery taught Fourth and Fifth Grade at Lorien Wood School in Vienna, VA for seven years. She also served as a Redemptive Education Specialist and Curriculum Writer for the Center for Redemptive Education. Ms. Nunery enjoys writing, running, cooking, and reading.

Ms. Joy Duval

Kindergarten Assistant
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - B.A.

 

Ms. Duval has lived in New York City for 27 years. She and her husband, Rex, are the proud parents of two children who attended Geneva School. Ms. Duval homeschooled her younger child for two years after she was diagnosed with dyslexia, providing her with significant experience navigating the Department of Education and Individual Education Plans (IEP). It is a privilege for her to give back to the School that so positively influenced her children.

 

Ms. Tracy Johnson

First Grade
Liberty University - B.S.

 

Prior to joining Geneva School, Ms. Johnson taught Kindergarten, Lower School science, and Third Grade reading at Canarsie Ascend Charter School in Brooklyn. She also served as a long-term substitute in both Kindergarten and Third Grade with Linwood Public School in New Jersey. She serves on the worship team at her church. Aside from singing and making music with friends, Ms. Johnson loves to bake, cook, read, travel, and go to the beach.

 

Ms. Laura Werezak

First Grade
Cedarville University - B.A.
Regent College - M.C.S. in Christianity and the Arts
Lehman College, CUNY - M.A.

Ms. Werezak is passionate about connecting students to Christ through interdisciplinary studies. She has a diverse teaching background that includes the following: middle school Spanish teacher in New York City charter schools, teaching assistant in Christian Thought and Culture at Regent College, and Pre-Kindergarten Spanish instructor at a Christian academy in Oklahoma. Ms. Werezak is a medievalist and voracious reader of 20th century Christian thought. Laura and her husband have two daughters, one of whom is a Geneva School student.

Ms. Tamra Ellis (Tammy)

Second Grade 
University of North Carolina at Pembroke - B.A.

 

Ms. Ellis is passionate about teaching and views it as being a part of a mission that can truly make a difference in children's lives. Her teaching experience includes teaching both high school English and journalism in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Ms. Ellis has also been a business owner and has rasied five children. She currently serves with the Women’s Bible Society of New York and lives in the city with her husband and their youngest daughter.

Ms. Danielle Wilson

Second Grade 
Clarks Summit University - B.A.

 

A veteran teacher, Ms. Wilson has fifteen years of experience teaching elementary school. For the past nine years, she has taught third grade mathematics at Wauseon Elementary School in Ohio. Her husband, Joshua, teaches Upper School Humanities at Geneva School, and they have three children who attend Geneva School. She also has extensive volunteer experience with a Christian girls’ organization, Keepers of the Faith, and enjoys traveling and reading.

Mr. Timothy Goodwin

Third Grade
Dallas Baptist University - B.S.
Master of Divinity Studies at Southeastern Theological Seminary

Prior to joining Geneva School in 2015, Mr. Goodwin taught history at San Antonio Christian School, where he also served as middle school soccer coach and assistant varsity soccer coach. Mr. Goodwin served as Assistant Debate Coach at Northland Christian School. In his four years as a teacher, he has added the following credentials: ACSI Secondary Education, Lecturer at New York City Urban Debate League, and workshop speaker at Society for Classical Learning conference. Mr. Goodwin founded the Geneva School Debate Team in 2015. He is the Associate Pastor at Crossroads Church of Long Island. In his free time, he enjoys preaching, reading, playing soccer, and spending time with his wife and their dog in Bethpage State Park. 

Mr. Matthew (Matt) Waldvogel

Third Grade 
Queens College, CUNY - B.A.
Adelphi Univesity - M.A. Education

The son of a pastor, Matt Waldvogel was raised here in New York City and attended Stuyvesant High School. As part of his fifteen-year teaching experience, Mr. Waldvogel taught American History and Bible for six years at Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill in North Carolina, a classical Christian school. There, he also served as the Middle School Athletic Director and Summer Programs Director. Prior to living in North Carolina, Mr. Waldvogel was Dean of Students and taught for many years at Richmond Hill High School in Queens. 

Ms. Gabrielle Bruestle

Fourth Grade
Pepperdine University - B.A.
St John's College - M.A. Liberal Arts (current)

Gabrielle (Elle) Bruestle has been an educator for eight years and was previously at Beacon Hill Classical Academy and Imago School. She has completed the Great Books Colloquium and an intensive Latin course at the University College of Cork in Ireland. She is also a member of The Society of Classical Learning and trained in Singapore Math. She enjoys organic farming, French, banjo, jazz records, and comic books. If she weren't teaching, she'd be farming!

Ms. Lucy Sailer

Fourth Grade
The King's College - B.A.

 

Ms. Sailer joined Geneva School after graduating summa cum laude from The King's College with a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. A gifted debater, Ms. Sailer won the Adelphi University's 2014 parliamentary debate tournament and represented The King's College at the World Universities Debate Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied abroad for a term at Oxford University, focuing her studies on the writings of G.K. Chesterton. For leisure, she enjoys cooking, perusing children's literature, searching area bookstores, and spending time with her two sisters who live in Manhattan. 

Ms. Corrie Beth Zubia

Fifth Grade Humanities
Hillsdale College - B.A.

 

Prior to joining Geneva School as Fifth Grade Humanities teacher, Ms. Zubia taught Fitth and Sixth Grade Classics and World History at BASIS Independent Brooklyn and previously taught at a classical charter school in Colorado before moving to New York City, where her husband is pursuing a Ph.D. at Columbia University. Ms. Zubia graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in History and a minor in Latin. For relaxation, Ms. Zubia enjoys studying poetry, hiking, and baking cakes (she actually made her own wedding cake!).

Mr. Joshua Wilson

Upper School English Teacher
Baptist Bible College - B.S.
University of Toledo - M.A.
University of Michigan - M.A.
Southern Theological Seminary - Th.M.(current)

Mr. Wilson has been teaching in various capacities since 2003, most recently as Classical Studies Teacher at Emmanuel Christian School in Toledo, Ohio, for five years. Prior to this, Mr. Wilson served at the Assistant Pastor of Jasper Bible Church in Jasper, Michigan. He has also worked as an editor, a composition instructor at the University of Toledo, and taught English overseas for a year in Bangladesh. Mr. Wilson is married to Danielle, Second Grade Teacher at Geneva School, and they have three children.

Ms. Jasmine Rebadavia

Fifth Grade Latin and Bible, Eighth Grade Mathematics
Boston College - B.A.
Columbia University - M.A. in International Education Development (current)

A Geneva School alumna, Ms. Rebadavia has had three years' teaching experience in public and private schools in the Philippines, New York City, and Boston. She enjoys black-and-white film photography, cooking, crafting, math, and memoirs. An avid traveler, Ms. Rebadavia has visited seventeen countries so far, has climbed mountains in Peru, and has built trails in Alaska's archipelago. 

Mr. Leo Chen

Upper School Mathematics
New York University - B.F.A
Lehman College - M.S.

Mr. Chen has taught Upper School mathematics at Geneva School for nine years. Prior to that, he was a New York Teaching Fellow at a Bronx middle school. An avid film buff, Mr. Chen enjoys watching movies and editing home videos. His varied experiences include being a Cutco Cutlery salesperson in college, housekeeping at Best Western, and leading a cable-access television show in high school. To his students (and Geneva School alumni), he is best known for his love of board games and excellent game recommendations. He and his wife Peggy have two young children and live in Queens. 

Dr. Meredith Long

Upper School Science 
University of Florida - B.S. Biochemistry
Duke University - Ph.D. Genetics; Program in Cell and Molecular Biology

Dr. Long has been developing science courses in the classroom at Geneva School for four years, after a ten-year "sabbatical" from her science profession while her children were young. She has previously taught courses at Meredith College and Duke University as an adjunct faculty. Prior to that, she worked in a research lab in the area of RNA therapeutics. In her free time, Dr. Long enjoys singing in her church choir and baking elaborate desserts. 

Mr. David Aponte

Lower School Science
Montclair State University - B.S. in Molecular Biology
University of Bridgeport - M.S.Ed (emphasis in Biology)

Mr. Aponte is a New Jersey native and joins Geneva School from Hope Academy, an independent Christian school in the Bronx. There, he taught biology, life science, physical science, and algebra. Prior to that, he interned as a teacher at The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Aponte is also a certified EMT, is a voracious reader, and even has a background as an amateur competitive boxer!

Ms. Avery Reed

Lower School Art, Physical Education Assistant
The King's College - B.A.

 

Prior to teaching, Ms. Reed worked as an Assistant Editor at Grosset & Dunlap, Penguin Random House, and Teaching Artist at The Children's Museum of the Arts. Ever a lifelong learner, she is currently a student at The Art Students League of New York. Ms. Reed played competitive soccer throughout her childhood, including her senior year playing varsity soccer for the International School of Beijing. She is a published author; while at Penguin, she wrote Who Were the Brothers Grimm? and Backyard Chickens. Her hobbies are many and include baking, biking, painting, weaving, hiking, camping, and reading. 

Mr. Albert Popa

Upper School Art
Art Students League of New York (Anatomy, Portrait Painting)
Pratt Institute - B.F.A. (honors)

Mr. Popa's Website

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Mr. Popa''s parents were professional ballet dancers, who defected to the United States in 1970. He has worked as a professional artist for almost three decades and has taught Upper School Art at Geneva School for nine years. Although he is now known for his classical fine art and portraiture, Mr. Popa was once well-known for his New York City street art and established considerable fame as "Conan" during the Graffiti movement in the late 1970’s. He earned his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute and is married to Madame Popa. They have three children who are Geneva School graduates, of whom two are pursuing careers as artists (David Popa, Annabelle Popa). 

Mr. Adam Trodd

Chess
University of Alabama - B.S.

 

Formerly an Alabama chess champion, Mr. Trodd is currently an Executive Team Member of Chess At Three, where he has written curriculum and developed chess programs throughout New York City. The Chess at Three curriculum engages students through powerful storytelling techniques paired with challenging play and results in children falling in love with the game of chess. In addition to his chess tutoring, Mr. Trodd has experience as an equity research consultant and a real estate broker. Mr. Trodd enjoys soccer and his community at Trinity Grace Church, where he serves the children's ministry. On weekends, you can find him playing speed chess in Washington Square and Union Square.

Madame Stephanie Popa

French 
Baccalaureat Informatique; BEP Agent Administratif
CAP Secretaire
Madame Popa's French Page

Madame Popa was born and raised in France and has taught at Geneva School since its inception in 1996! Madame Popa has also taught and taken professional workshops at the French Institut Alliance Française. Her husband, Albert Popa, teaches Upper School Art, and they have three Geneva School graduates—who are now young adults. The Popas are expecting their first grandchild this year! In her free time, Madame Popa enjoys reading, nature walking, and aqua cycling.

Madame Sarah Kampouris

Preschool French East
B.A. French Literature, La Sorbonne University, Paris

 

French-born Madame Kampouris taught French literature and philosophy to high school students for five years at the Ecole Pigier in Paris, and French as a second language to adults. She served in the Cultural Services Department of the French Institute in Greece and continued her training in Cannes, France to obtain a certification in organization of cultural services. Sarah served as an editor on the French section of the Christian website, Kairos Journal. She was the administrator of KSM Associates, a European consulting company for five years. During her time in France, she served her French bilingual church in supporting the children’s nursery and creating a bilingual mothers and children program for international families. Madame Kampouris and her husband have two Geneva School graduates ('13, '16) and one current student.

Ms. Kajsa Wilkins

Music
University of Idaho - B.A. Piano Performance

Ms. Wilkins's Musica

A native of Moscow, Idaho, Ms. Wilkins grew up in a musical family, in which both her grandmothers were pianists and gave her piano lessons. Her mother and two sisters often sang together for community events. She and her husband, operatic tenor Bray Wilkins, moved to New York in 2011, at which time Ms. Wilkins began teaching music using the Kodaly method. She joined Geneva School faculty in 2012 and is passionate about the importance of music in our culture. She often performs with her husband and hopes their two children will want to perform with them some day.

Coach Jaime Gonzalez

Athletic Director, Physical Education
National Autonomous University of Mexico (U.N.A.M.) - B.A.

 

Coach Gonzalez is originally from Mexico City, where he attended university. Throughout his course of study and after graduation, Coach Gonzalez coached the youth soccer program at his university for five years. This experience afforded him the teaching tools and coaching techniques the uses to develop the sports skills of Geneva School students. Coach Gonzalez played for a second division soccer team at his university, which he credits with teaching him discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills—subjects that he regularly discusses with his students. Coach Gonzalez is married and has a young son who is already displaying some dazzling soccer footwork, just like his dad.

Coach Thomas Meyerson (Tom)

Physical Education
State University of New York at Cortland - B.S.

 

Coach Meyerson holds a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Sports Management, as well as an Associate's degree in Exercise Science and Wellness. His interest in sports and fitness grew out of his tremendous love for golf, and he is a certified PGA Teaching Professional. A native New Yorker, Coach Meyerson enjoys cheering for the Yankees, hiking the Adirondacks, and swimming off New York beaches. He also has a heart for retired clergymen for whom he makes time for regular visits and transportation assistance. 

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