Our Faculty

and Their Voices

The Frederick Gunn School faculty are a diverse group of educators who bring to our students a wide range of experiences and expertise. We are happy to introduce them and share their stories and voices here.

Science Department Faculty

Steve Bailey P'09

Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School, Steve Bailey graduate from MIT and enjoyed successful careers in the U.S. Navy and at NASA. As a project manager with U.S. Submarine Forces, he commissioned four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, known as 688s. He taught math for two years at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, before embarking on a career as a safety engineering consultant at NASA’s Langley Research Center. He was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019 and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Chair for Math and Science, 2008-2011.

What advice do you have for new students?
Too much ice cream isn’t good for you. Explore the things that are not in your wheelhouse, the things you might not know or like. You might like music. That’s great! So go ahead and challenge yourself with a science class or a math class – or vice versa. If you’re good at science or math, you might take a class in AP Literature. I also really like the emphasis that Peter Becker has brought to Mr. Gunn beyond the classroom. It’s so much about your character. What does that mean? And what is the right thing to be when no one is looking? We had a founder who had a lot of views on this and was quite contemporary. That connection with him is something a lot of schools don’t have.

There are no resources to display

Director of Residential Life

Cassie Ruscz

Cassandra Ruscz is the Director of Residential Life at The Frederick Gunn School and a member of the World Languages faculty. A graduate of the Taft School and Tufts University, where she majored in psychology and Spanish, and won back-to-back national championships in softball, Cassie joined The Frederick Gunn School faculty in the fall of 2017. In addition to teaching Spanish, she is the Head House Parent in Gibson, an advisor, and Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Basketball. In 2020, Cassie earned a master’s in education degree from the University of Delaware, and she is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. In 2021, Cassie was honored with the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Director of The Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy

Bart McMann

A Massachusetts native, Bart McMann holds a bachelor’s degree in government and legal studies from Bowdoin College and a master’s in social sciences from Wesleyan University. In June 2019, he participated in the Summer Institute of Civic Studies at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University to learn more about the current scholarship on civic engagement. A former chair of the History Department at The Frederick Gunn School, he currently serves as Director of the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy and is a Connecticut State Coordinator for Braver Angels. Bart teaches Honors U.S. Government and Politics, the Highlander Newspaper class, and three classes in the school's four-year citizenship curriculum, Pathways, Citizen Gunn and Public Speaking - The Declaration. He was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. He is Head Coach for Varsity Golf, an Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Soccer, and Head Coach for Highlander Hockey. He lives in Whittlesey House with his wife, Kate '05, their son, Benjamin, and daughter, Lucy.

Director of Studies

Amy Paulekas

As Director of Studies, Amy Paulekas spends much of her time working one-on-one with students to help them stay on point academically. She devotes much of her time to helping students, teachers, and families find the most academic success and growth possible, and values those interactions. In the Academic Office, Amy helps manage course registration, grades and comments, and parent-teacher-student conferences. She educates students about the Academic Honor Code, ensuring they adhere to it, and helps them navigate the course selection process. In addition to this, Amy is a mathematics teacher, Head Coach for Girls Varsity Basketball, Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Lacrosse, an advisor, member of the Curriculum Committee and Student Success Team, and a dorm parent in Graham House. She was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.
Originally from Glastonbury, Connecticut, Amy graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in economics and a minor in mathematics. She rowed for Colby's women's crew team and was named captain her senior year. Every summer since 2007, she has worked at Camp Eagle Wing, a 150-acre overnight camp on Gardner Lake in Maine, where she teaches lifeguarding and is the waterfront head for some 75 campers ages 8-16.

What is your favorite lesson or day of the year?
My classes will tell you that I tell them it's my favorite lesson six times a year. My favorite day of the year is the first day of school. I love the moment when you've got all the returning kids coming back and being able to see each other and this whole new set of kids. You watch them start to have conversations. The whole ambiance is great.

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

LaDarius Drew

As Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, LaDarius Drew works collaboratively to emphasize the school’s commitment to pluralism (rather than tolerance), and sees efforts to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities and curricula as critical to the school’s work with students. He is responsible for critically evaluating current programs with a vision toward how the school can move forward as an institution in furthering this mission. He serves as Co-Chair of the Executive Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with Emily Gum, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. The mission of the task force is to steer ongoing work related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to create an environment on campus that is truly inclusive of diverse people and viewpoints. 

A native of Dallas, Texas, LaDarius holds a bachelor’s degree in government, with a concentration in international politics, and a master’s degree in arts, with a concentration in social sciences, both from Wesleyan University. He played football and competed in track and field at Wesleyan and served as the football and track and field representative on the university’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC coordinated with other NESCAC schools to provide a better space for the community surrounding the schools and the athletes themselves. Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School in 2016, LaDarius was the track and field graduate assistant at Wesleyan University. He is a member of the History Department faculty, Head Coach for Varsity Football, Assistant Coach for Boys JV Basketball, and faculty coordinator for the Black Student Union (BSU). He is the former Director of Student Activities.

English Faculty

Kori Rimany ’14

Kori Rimany ’14 received her bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, where she double majored in English and Gender and Women’s Studies, with a minor in mathematics. She lived in Durban, South Africa, where she studied community health and worked in the postnatal ward of a local health clinic. She also wrote her thesis on women and the criminal justice system. She is teaching English, coaching JV field hockey, serves as an advisor, dorm parent and member of the Weekend Activities Team. In her spare time, she enjoys making crafts and baking, and hosting her family’s dogs, Divot and Bailey, on campus.

Director of Theatre Arts

Kent Burnham

Kent Burnham is the Director of Theatre Arts. Previous artistic leadership positions include Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education for Southwest Shakespeare Company from 2015-2017. His Southwest Shakespeare directing credits include Wittenberg, The Merchant of Venice (Best Director: BroadwayWorld), Pride@Prejudice, and the touring productions of Romeo and Juliet, A Midwinter Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night. Phoenix directing credits include Doubt (Best Play Nomination), Arsenic and Old Lace, Circle Mirror Transformation (Kennedy Center Regional Selection), Tribes, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night. Regional directing credits include Shaker Bridge Theatre, Chenango River Theatre, Theatre at Monmouth, Primary Stages Detention Series, Planet Connections, Boomerang Theatre, Hale Theatre, and Mesa Encore Theatre. Regional theatre acting credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Ford's Theatre, Arvada Center, Capital Rep, Penobscot Theatre, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Oldcastle Theatre, Chester Theatre, Denver Civic, Sierra Rep, Seacoast Rep, Shaker Bridge Theatre, Depot Theatre, Saratoga Shakespeare Company, and Western Stage.  TV credits include Law and Order: SVU, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, All My Children, Melrose Place, and General Hospital. Film credits: Discord, Long Lost Love. As a professor of acting, directing, voice, and Shakespeare, he has taught at Grand Canyon University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Nassau Community College, Mesa Community College, and SUNY-Albany. He has a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Hofstra University and an MFA in classical acting from The Shakespeare Theatre/Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, D.C. 


Mathematics Faculty

Kelsey Brush

Kelsey Brush teaches math, works with The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program, serves as Gunn Outdoors Coordinator, is a member of the Student Activities Team, and is the 2022 Thomas R. King ’60 Family Chair for Excellence in Teaching . Kelsey grew up in Endicott, New York, and Sparks, Maryland, graduating from Hereford High School. She completed a pre-college program at Johns Hopkins University, where she was a Resident Counselor, and graduated from Hamilton College with dual bachelor's degrees in mathematics and music, and a minor in Hispanic studies. As a vocalist, Kelsey performed with the choir, the College Hill Singers, and The Hamiltones, an a cappella group, at Hamilton. She was also an Orientation Trip Leader, Alumni Relations Intern, a teaching assistant in the Music Department, and a student assistant in the Math Department. She completed an English teaching internship at Colegio Bilingüe FEM in Madrid, Spain. where she also studied abroad. At Gunn, Kelsey has performed on stage in the all-faculty production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, and in the Connecticut premiere of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted by Dwayne Hartford from the book by. Kate DiCamillo. She was an assistant director and choreographer for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and an assistant director for Almost, Maine. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking, yoga, singing and musical theatre. She is the Head Dorm Parent in Browne Dorm.

Associate Head of School, Director of Co-Curricular Programs, College Counselor

Seth Low

In coming to The Frederick Gunn School in 2004, Seth returned to his independent school roots. He spent his youth as a faculty child at the Cranbrook School and Blair Academy. Prior to his time at FGS, Seth spent five years working at an environmental engineering and consulting firm located outside of Boston. He holds a BA in geosciences from Williams College and an MALS from Wesleyan University. Seth serves as Associate Head of School and Director of Co-Curricular Programs. He is a College Counselor and former Director of College Counseling, teaches Public Speaking - The Declaration, part of the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy's four-year curriculum, and is an Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Lacrosse and Head Coach, Boys Fourths Basketball. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and loving/hating the Red Sox. Seth lives on campus with his wife Anne, their son, David, and daughter, Sarah.

Mathematics Department Chair

Alisa Croft

Alisa Croft grew up in Bolton, Connecticut, a small town just 13 miles from the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics. At The Frederick Gunn School, Alisa has taught every math course except for Algebra I and Ed Small's Operations Research Class. She is the Mathematics Department Chair. She is an Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Soccer and Varsity Softball, and previously coached basketball. She is an advisor and the Head Dorm Parent in Graham House. Alisa was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and the Tisch Family Chair for Excellence in Teaching, 2012-2015.

What is your favorite FGS tradition?
The holiday concert. I enjoy watching the kids perform (they are phenomenal) and the vibe at the school that night with the formal dinner and people are excited to go on holiday.

What would you say to Frederick Gunn given the chance?
I would thank him for being thoughtful in his founding the school. The principles he used in 1850 we still use today. Some schools search for what they are. I would thank him for hitting the nail on the head.

Director of Counseling

Brian Konik

Dr. Konik has over 20 years of experience working with adolescent and young adult students in varying capacities – counseling, mentoring, and coaching. Dr. Konik received his B.A. in Psychology from The University of Florida, his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Vermont, and completed his predoctoral internship at the Outpatient/Inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit with the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Konik’s research background focused on the relationship between anxiety and pain in children. Dr. Konik is a well-recognized leader in the field, having presented nationally at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs and has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

English Faculty

Kylie Regan

Kylie Regan, Ph.D., joined the English Department faculty in 2021. She teaches English II and AP English Language and Composition and coaches Life Fitness. Kylie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she ran cross country, served as co-editor of the campus literary magazine, and worked as a research assistant for the Center for Henry James Studies. She holds a master’s in English from the University of Rochester, and received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in English, with a specialty in contemporary American literature. She wrote her dissertation on “Counterintelligence Literature: Cold War American Espionage and Postmodern Fiction.” Most recently, Kylie lived in Kansas and taught English at Notre Dame de Sion High School, an all-girls day school in Kansas City. Prior to that, she lived in Indiana for five years, teaching various composition, literature, and film studies courses at Purdue.