Sayre News

Great Learning begins with Great Teaching
Posted 07/23/2018 11:31AM

New Hires, 2018-2019


Melanie Driver, Advancement Associate

We welcome Melanie Driver to the Advancement Office as Advancement Associate. Melanie comes to Sayre with a strong administrative and development background, having served as the Executive Director of Good Shepherd Day School since 2012. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Transylvania, an M.S.W. in social work from the University of Kentucky, her C.S.W. Kentucky State Board of Social Work, and her Kentucky Directors Credentials from Morehead State University.  Melanie will be joining her daughter Ella Rhea (7th grade) as new members of the Sayre community. Melanie’s primary focus will be the Sayre Fund and the Sayre Parents Association, along with the other activities of the Office of Advancement. Mary Breeding, Director of Advancement, put it this way, “Melanie is the perfect fit for Advancement and for Sayre. Her energy, experience and creativity will help shape the future of Sayre School.”

Nicole Garrett, School Counselor

We welcome Nicole Garrett as our School Counselor. Nicole is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and earned her M.S. in Family Studies-Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Kentucky. For the past eight years, she has been employed by KVC Behavioral Healthcare, KY. Most recently, she served as KVC’s Family Preservation and Reunification Services Regional Director and oversaw all operations in fifty-nine counties. Nicole, her husband Kenneth, and their daughter Briar (4th grade) have been members of the Sayre community since 2013.

Lower School

Mattie Bashorun, PK-4 Teacher

We welcome Mattie Bashorun as our new Pk-4 teacher. Mattie holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Kentucky, a M.A. in Elementary Education and a Master’s Certificate in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education. She comes to us with experience teaching both preschool and first grade in Fayette County, as well as serving as a Spanish Interpreter for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.   Mattie brings a philosophy of early education focusing on student voice and active learning which will dovetail beautifully with our project work orientation. In preparation for this year, Mattie had the opportunity to attend a three day institute on project work this summer and is excited to meet our students and join the Sayre community. We are so pleased to have her warmth, compassion, and early childhood expertise joining our team.

Polly Stephens, Assistant PK-3 Teacher

Polly Stephens joins our Preschool team as an Assistant Teacher in Ms. Bailey’s Pk-3 classroom. Having grown up in Brazil, Polly moved to the United States in 2001 and has been teaching infants and preschoolers ever since! She holds a CDA certificate and has worked as a Lead Preschool Teacher, a STEM Enrichment Teacher and a Zumba instructor in a variety of early childhood settings. Polly’s energy and passion for children is contagious and she will be a wonderful asset for our preschool team.

Jennifer Lowe, Preschool Assistant Floating Teacher

Jennifer Lowe joins our team in the role of Preschool Assistant Floating Teacher. In this role, she will provide support to many of our preschool classrooms and will have the opportunity to know all of our youngest students. Jennifer is currently a student at the University of Kentucky in the field of Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and is excited to have this opportunity to work in our program.

Marcus Thomas, Lower School Music Teacher

Marcus Thomas is joining our Lower School Team as our new Music Teacher, replacing Sarah Kuchera who moved to New York this summer to be closer to her family. Marcus holds B.A.’s in both Music Education and Music Composition from the University of Kentucky. He is certified in Orff-Shulwerk, Levels I, II and III and is a NATS Certified teacher in active standing. Marcus came to Lexington from his hometown, in the northern reaches of Illinois, in order to attend the University of Kentucky. He is immersed in the Lexington arts community. His collegiate and professional training is in music education and vocal pedagogy, as well as music composition and arranging. In addition, he brings a plethora of experience working in children’s theater companies, having been on the creative/directing team for 11 productions.   He believes that all classrooms should encourage student input and creation and he looks forward to collaborating with teachers across the curriculum and helping children strengthen their confidence through musical expression. We look forward to having Marcus’s passion for teaching Music to young children as a part of our Lower School Team.

We have 5 Lower School teachers who will be working Preschool classrooms:

Susie Bricken, who served as Assistant Teacher in Lucia Di Prima’s Pk-3 classroom, will assume the role of lead Pk-3 teacher this year. We are thrilled to have her expertise in this new role.

Patty Saunders, who worked as the Assistant Teacher in Libby Clay’s Kindergarten classroom last year, will be moving to Susie Bricken’s classroom in Pk-3 to complete that teaching team.

Angie Morton who has served as both a 2nd grade and 3rd grade teacher, will be joining the preschool team this year, working with Tiffany Christopher. We are thrilled to have her enthusiasm and good cheer make up the second half of this teaching team.

Elise Latsko has moved from 5th grade and will be joining Mrs. O'Rourke in 4th grade this year. Elise and Michele have been working together all summer and it promises to be a wonderful, collaborative year for the Lower School's oldest students. We are thrilled to have Elise remain in the Lower School with us as 5th grade transitions to Middle School.

Allie Walling and Kara Cobb who have been working with Extended Day and Summer Programs will be joining our Preschool team. Allie will serve as the morning Assistant Teacher in Pk-4 with Mattie Bashorun and Kara will work in both the preschool program and the Extended Day program. Within the preschool program, Kara will work as a floating teacher and will be seen in all of our preschool classrooms. We are very happy to welcome both Allie and Kara to the Preschool Program.

Middle School

Ashley McGraw, Middle and Upper School Librarian

Ashley McGraw joins Sayre as the new Middle and Upper School Librarian. She comes to us from the Lexington Public Library’s Northside Branch, where she was their Youth Services Librarian, working in patron engagement, programming, collection development, and community engagement. She worked closely with Middle and Upper School students in her job at the Northside Branch, and she brings enthusiasm for engaging students in the role of the library in a vibrant way. Ashley is a graduate of Centre College with a B.A. in Government and Religion, where she spent a year at Centre in Europe in Strasbourg, France. She has her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. Ashley “passionately advocates for literacy” and is “creative, energetic, and enthusiastic.”

Audrey Bebensee, Fifth Grade Math and Science Teacher

Audrey Bebensee joins the Middle School faculty as the new fifth grade math and science teacher, partnering with Martha Heil as the two fifth grade lead teachers. Audrey graduated from Kenyon College with a B.S. in Neuroscience, and has a M.A. in Education from the University of Kentucky. Audrey taught science in Clark County High School and most recently, Middle School science at Capital Day School in Frankfort, where she led her students to win the Verizon app challenge in 2017 and the Lexus Eco Challenge in 2018. At Capital Day, Audrey led robotics, 3D printing and design, and engineering electives. She has “strong leadership abilities, achievements, desire to collaborate, and a drive to make a difference.”

Upper School

Yvette Martinez, Spanish Teacher

Yvette Martinez is joining Sayre’s Spanish Department, replacing Karla Arias. Yvette, who is a native speaker, was born in Texas, but relocated to Lexington with her family and has grown up in Central Kentucky. Yvette earned her B.A. in Spanish and her M.A. in Hispanic Studies from the University of Kentucky. She taught both Elementary Spanish (Levels 1 and 2) and Intermediate Spanish (Level 3) for two years at the University of Kentucky. Yvette also worked as a language tutor for students struggling with dyslexia and learning disabilities. This fall, Yvette will teach Spanish 8 in the Middle School, and Spanish IV and Honors Spanish IV in the Upper School.

Adam Samples, Math Teacher

Adam Samples is the newest member of our Upper School Math Department replacing Mary Ryan. Adam grew up in Kentucky and has a B.A. and an M.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Kentucky. He began his teaching career at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, and has also taught Math at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, and he spent nine years at the Ann Arbor Open School in Michigan where he taught math and was a curriculum leader. Having just moved back to Lexington last year with his wife Amy, who is a Sayre graduate of the class of 2000, he taught Algebra II and AP Statistics at Bryan Station High School. Adam will teach Geometry, Algebra II, and Calculus this fall.

Jarred Williams, English Teacher

Jarred Williams, who joins the Upper School English Department replacing Kate Dyer, has family in the Louisville area and is happy to be returning home after going off to Drew University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001 with a double major in English Literature and Classics. Jarred spent six years teaching the Classics at the Trinity School in New York City where he was also the Diversity Coordinator. Jarred then returned to school to earn his M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at the University of Michigan where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He has been teaching English grades 8-12 at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, an independent school in suburban Philadelphia, for the past five years. Jarred will teach English 9, English 11-12, and sponsor the yearbook class this fall.

Spartan Coaching Staff

Chad Pennington, Director of Football Operations

Chad Pennington graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting. Chad was a member of the Marshall University football team and an 11 year NFL player for the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. He is the parent of an incoming ninth grader, and is looking forward to bringing football back to Sayre.

David White, Head Golf Coach

David White is a graduate of Morehead State University. David played golf at Morehead State, and is a professional golf instructor at the Athens Golf Center.

Griffin Melzer, Head Boys Lacrosse Coach

Griffin Melzer is a graduate of Salisbury University, where he played men's lacrosse. He won a National Championship while attending Salisbury. Griffin is also a member of the Sayre football staff.

Bart Bellairs, Head Girls Basketball Coach

Bart Bellairs is a graduate of Brevard College where he played basketball and baseball, and is a member of the Brevard College Athletic Hall of Fame. Bart was the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Virginia Military Institute and a former commentator.

Charles Matthews, Head Tennis Coach

Charles Matthews is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where he was a member of The University Tennis Club. He is a member of the United States Tennis Association. Charles has been an assistant tennis coach at Sayre for the past five years.

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