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.

Director of Center for Academic Excellence

Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt P'23 '24 joined the school in 2022 as a member of the English Department faculty and the Center for Academic Excellence, where she is responsible for Special Projects/Educational Technology Support. She is also the Assistant Coach for Highlander Hockey in the winter and Girls JV Lacrosse in the spring. A New Hampshire native, Sarah is a graduate of Tilton School and Saint Michael's College, where she received a bachelor's degree in philosophy with a minor in English. She holds a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of New England and previously served as Director of Interim Studies at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. In 2021, she founded an educational consulting firm, Purposeful Development. Sarah lives on campus with her husband, Eric P'23 '24, IDEAS Lab faculty, and their three children, Annabelle '23, Wesley '24, and Anderson. They have a mini goldendoodle, Honu, whose name means "sea-turtle" in Hawaiian.

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.

English Faculty

Leah Peluchiwski

Leah Peluchiwski joined the English Department faculty in 2022. She teaches English I and English II and is an Assistant Coach for Highlander X. A native of Chicago, Leah graduated from the Latin School of Chicago and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame in the Program of Liberal Studies; Film, Television, and Theater; and a minor in Business Economics. At Notre Dame, Leah was also a member of the Club Sailing Team, a tour guide, and volunteered with a Junior Great Books group at a nearby middle school. Prior to joining Gunn, Leah taught 10th grade humanities and coached sailing and swimming at Culver Academies, a boarding school in Culver, Indiana. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sailing, and spending time outdoors.

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. 


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 Entrepreneurship

Arne Rees

Arne Rees brings to his role as the Director of Entrepreneurship many years of experience in venture capital and business startups. In addition to teaching Honors Entrepreneurship Seminar, Rees is responsible for leading the school’s new Center for Entrepreneurship, an integrated, interdisciplinary hub where students discover how to turn ideas into action. A native of Heide, Germany, Rees holds a law degree from the University of Passau. He earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from The Fletcher School at Tufts University through its dual degree program with Harvard Law School, and has an MBA from École des Ponts Business School in Paris. Prior to joining Gunn, Rees was a founding partner of Velocity Capital, a venture and growth stage investment fund, and CEO of Sportradar US, a Nasdaq-listed sports technology company. From 2016-2022, Rees was a partner at investment firm MSP Sports, leading investments into McLaren Racing Formula One and Global Football Holdings, and International Chairman of Bundesliga. Prior to this, he was a senior executive at ESPN, where he held various positions over a seven-year period, including Chief of Staff to ESPN President George Bodenheimer, GM of International Digital Media, and Vice President of International Development. Rees spent six years as the Head of Strategic Business Development at UEFA, helping grow the EURO and Champions League brands’ global image. He was an adjunct professor for four years at Columbia Business School, where he taught a class in media strategy and innovation. Rees served as Chief Operating Officer at RSE Ventures from 2013–2016, and as a partner at Vayner/RSE.

Assistant Dean of Faculty, History Faculty

Ellissa Popoff

Ellissa Popoff is the Assistant Dean of Faculty, Head House Parent in Emerson, and a member of the History Department faculty as well as Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Crew. Born in Vancouver, Canada, Elissa grew up in Pennsylvania, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Taiwan. A graduate of Tabor Academy, she holds a bachelor's degree in history and psychology from Williams College and a master’s in psychology from Connecticut College. Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School, Ellissa taught in the Social Sciences Department at Tilton School in New Hampshire. In her last year there, she  served as Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Ice Hockey, and as a dorm parent, and ran the grade 12/post-graduate level program. Fun fact: Ellissa lived in Northern Sweden (in the town of Ornskoldsvik) for a year between high school and college. In her free time, she likes to hike, knit, crochet, and travel. She lives on campus with her boyfriend, Nick Sceggell, her dog, Marla, and cats, Alvie and Simon.

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.

Math Faculty

Sean Milano

Sean Milano joined the Mathematics Department faculty in 2022, which marked his 14th year of teaching at boarding schools. In addition to teaching Calculus, Algebra II, and Geometry at Gunn, he is Assistant Coach for Coed Ultimate Frisbee. A Connecticut native, Sean graduated from Guilford High School and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Williams College, where he played football and was a three-year starter at strong safety. Prior to joining Gunn, he worked at Canterbury School in New Milford for 11 years, teaching math and coaching football and baseball. He enjoys spending free time with his family, eating pizza, working out, and running. Sean lives on campus with his wife, Amy, their daughters, Tate and Tessa, and son, Rhys, along with their goldendoodle, Barley, and Oscar the cat.

Hear From Our Faculty