Meet Kent Faculty
Our close-knit, supportive community is a big reason students choose Kent and it’s a big reason students thrive here. So we’d like to give you the opportunity to meet some of us. We are not only your teachers, but we’re coaches and advisors. We feel like being together in different contexts not only makes a strong community, it builds a stronger you. It’s fun too. So whether it’s in a classroom or the library, in a practice room or on the stage, on a playing field or in the gym, in your dorm or in our residences for dinner, we’re here to support your efforts and applaud your accomplishments. Come meet us!
Kent School has benefited from the talents of Lisa Brody since the fall of 1991. A practicing artist herself (oil painting), Ms. Brody has exhibited her work in a wide variety of galleries and museums, and has participated in numerous artist residencies in the US and Europe. Her talent as an artist makes her an invaluable tool in helping students to develop their own artistic abilities, and she is quick to note that the students help her to grow as well. In considering her experience here at Kent, Ms. Brody says “walking into my classroom every day is an adventure. I never know what will happen, and that is an exciting, invigorating and mind-expanding experience. I learn as much as these students do every day. Art is a universal language, and each student brings their individual personality, history, and predilections into the class to share with each other. It is a beautiful laboratory that is a forum to express visually their thoughts, feelings, sensibilities, and the world at large. As W.H. Auden wrote: ‘we were put on this earth to make things.’ By creating art, our students also create self-esteem, confidence and beauty.”
Joe McDonough has been a member of Kent School’s faculty since 2006 and he’s been an influence and mentor to hundreds of students in a variety of ways. His work in the Classics Department is legendary, having taught Latin, Greek, Classical Civilizations, and several other courses. To keep admirers of classics informed, he helps in overseeing the Kent School Classics page on Facebook. He spends most of his summers pursuing advancement of his knowledge in the Classics field, taking courses and attending programs in England, Ireland, France, and Greece. Joe is far from a one-dimensional leader here at Kent, though, as he has been involved in coaching boys cross country and girls basketball. He is a talented musician, serving as an organist in both Kent’s chapel and at Sacred Heart, and also contributes as an accompanist for the spring musical. Since 2014, Joe has been the faculty advisor to The Cauldron, our school’s magazine of literature and art. We are indeed fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher on our faculty!
As she begins her new role of Chairwoman of the English Department, Cate O’Dwyer is starting her 12th year teaching English at Kent School. In that time, she has taught almost every course the department offers, but she is currently working with 4th and 5th formers, focusing on English 2 and Honors English 3. Ms. O’Dwyer is the holder of the Clifton K. Loomis teaching chair in English and has also been the faculty advisor to the Kent News, our school’s newspaper, since she arrived on campus. She has a lifelong respect and love for boarding schools, as she grew up as a “fac brat” at Dedham Country Day School in Massachusetts and graduated from Groton School. Ms. O’Dwyer believes deeply in the value of independent, teacher-driven education. She teaches with the belief that “real inspiration in the classroom comes when teachers can teach from a place of passion.” Kent School students are quite fortunate to have access to such a dedicated and extraordinary teacher as Ms. O’Dwyer.
Laurie Rousseau is in her 8th year at Kent. Along with her two children and husband Shawn (Kent’s Director of College Counseling), she came to Kent after six years at St. Mark’s where she taught math and coached girls varsity hockey and lacrosse. In her first six years here at Kent she taught Math, but as of the 2017-18 school year, she has also assumed duties as an Assistant Dean. In her undergraduate days at Yale, Mrs. Rousseau distinguished herself in numerous ways in women’s ice hockey. As goalie for the Elis, she was named Ivy League player of the year three times and earned ECAC all-star and All-American honors. She also competed for our country internationally, playing on the US National Select Team in 1995, serving as an alternate on the 1998 Olympic team, and earning a silver medal in 1999 at the World Championships. As a boarding school teacher, she values greatly the ability to work with students in different capacities Mrs. Rousseau says, “whether it is giving extra help in Math, having the hockey team over for cupcakes, helping 6th formers as the dean of the class of 2018, or checking on kids in the dorm, it’s a pleasure to see Kent students grow not just as individuals, but also as members of a community. We are blessed to work with such talented and diverse students.”
Kent School has been fortunate to have Jeremy Sokolnicki on its faculty since 2003. In his 15 years at Kent he has worn many hats, and has helped Kent students in a variety of ways. As a teacher, he has taught various levels of Biology (regular, honors and AP), and has also taught some of our science electives (Genetics, Biotechnology, and Anatomy). Jeremy has served as a dorm parent in North Dorm and was also the dorm Head of Borsdorff Hall. For five years he worked in the Deans Office as the Dean of the class of ’08. In addition to that responsibility, he also was the Director of Student Activities for four years. Concerning extracurricular activity, Mr. Sokolnicki has felt very fortunate to coach two sports that he truly loves – cross country and golf. He has worked with the cross-country team since his first year at Kent. He enjoys running with the team, and notes how much stronger the program is, saying “I used to be at the front of the pack, but now I’m lucky to hang on with the varsity boys.” In his second year of teaching, he was asked to help with the golf program and jumped at the opportunity. Within a few years he became the head coach and has happily held that post ever since. Jeremy has always approached his duties at Kent with enthusiasm and passion, and our students have benefited greatly in working with such a dedicated teacher.