Tesseract School adds two award winning teachers to faculty

Tesseract School recruited two award-winning veteran teachers from California to join their faculty this summer.

Former National Association of Independent Schools “Teacher of the Year” Kimberly Jeter Hall and Minna Leigh, recipient of the Anne-Marie Jenks Excellence in Teaching Award, both moved from California to teach at Tesseract.

Ms. Jeter Hall will teach music to Kindergarten through eighth grade students, and Ms. Leigh will teach fifth through eighth grade Science.

“We are thrilled to bring two such exceptional educators to Tesseract,” stated Head of School Mark Bistricky, in a press release. “Top quality music and science teachers are difficult to find because they are in such high demand at schools. We were fortunate to find both this summer.”

During an era of cutbacks in the arts at many schools, music and art remain at the core of Tesseract’s curriculum, stated the press release.

Ms. Jeter Hall joins the Tesseract faculty after teaching for over 30 years in California, according to the release. She has worked in all types of schools and with all levels of students.

“Nurturing and developing creativity and curiosity is what I do best. I am committed to the growth of music programs in all schools, especially at the school where I am teaching,” Ms. Jeter Hall stated in the release.

Her experience includes directing choirs and instrumental ensembles, teaching handbells, and creating a guitar program. She also successfully collaborated with the drama director on over 25 musical productions, according to the release.

Ms. Leigh brings 17 years of science teaching experience at independent schools in Southern California. She comes to Tesseract from The Marlborough School, which was recognized in the 2015 Niche Rankings as one of the best all-girls schools in America, stated the release.

According to the release, combining science with creativity is a particular passion of hers.

“I think that science and creativity go hand in hand. I enjoy developing fun and meaningful science investigations that help students understand the world around us,” Ms. Leigh stated in the release. She also believes that learning must start with the student.

“My role as a teacher is to help students who excel to push themselves further, and to help students who might lack confidence and the right skills to find a foothold so they can grow and become successful.”

Originally hailing from Finland, Ms. Leigh earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at Abo Akademi University in Finland, and has completed all academic coursework and classroom training for a Master of Science in Education degree, according to the press release.

Ms. Jeter Hall received her degree in Choral Conducting from Scripps College and continued her graduate studies in Conducting and Church Liturgy from the Claremont Graduate University.  She is a recipient of the University of Irvine, Most Influential Teacher Recognition Award, the National Association of Independent Schools Teacher of the Year Award, and the Scripps College Alumnae Award, the release stated.

Fully embracing Tesseract’s mission and values, Ms. Jeter Hall states, “I believe that education is a lifelong pursuit.  Music is the perfect conduit for synthesizing diverse and seemingly unrelated fields of study.  I teach music because, as an art form, it allows human beings to take all accumulated knowledge and skill and use it to create emotion, the one thing science cannot duplicate. It is my goal to motivate students in ascertaining their inner strengths and abilities. I strive to foster self-confidence in even the shiest student – to instill in each student a love of and for music as well as a desire to pursue knowledge throughout their entire lives.”

Ms. Jeter Hall will be teaching music classes for K-8 students, directing the Middle School choir and coordinating the musical.  Mr. Wes Hawkins will be teaching Middle School band class and Early Childhood music, according to the release.

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