Our Admissions Staff are some of the first people you will meet here at The Frederick Gunn School. Our team is comprised of experienced professionals who are here to welcome you, make you feel at home, introduce you to our school, and most importantly, learn more about you and what you can bring to our community.
Phone Number: 860-350-0116
Dan Allen is an Associate Director of Admissions and Head Coach, Girls Varsity Ice Hockey. A native of Brookfield and graduate of Immaculate High School and Proctor Academy, Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Western Connecticut State University, where he played hockey and baseball. Prior to joining Gunn, he lived in Saxtons River, Vermont, and worked as a history teacher and Head Ice Hockey Coach at Vermont Academy. He was also the academy’s Head Coach for Varsity Boys Golf and Assistant Coach for Varsity Boys Soccer. Dan served as Director of Danbury Arena Hockey and Assistant Coach for the NCAA Division II hockey team at St. Michael’s College. He was a camp coach for the New York Rangers and Elite Hockey as well as a USA Hockey instructor and evaluator in Vermont. When he is not coaching hockey, he enjoys playing golf, watching movies, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Dan lives on campus with his partner, Emily Walsh.
A native of Clinton, New York, Craig Badger was a defenseman on the Wesleyan Hockey team for four years and after graduation served as the Assistant Men's Hockey coach at Williams College for one season. Craig currently serves as a Senior Associate Director of Admissions and the Head Coach for Boys Varsity Hockey and is an Administrator of the day. Craig and his wife, Jenn, their three daughters, twins Avery and Maggie, and Brooklyn live in the Cottage.
Kelly Childs joined the Admissions Office in 2022 as Admissions Receptionist. Kelly is often the first person prospective students and families meet when they arrive at The Frederick Gunn School. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, Kelly worked in boarding schools in England for 17 years.
Phone Number: 860-350-0149
Caralyn Dea is Director of International Recruitment and Senior Associate Director of Admissions at The Frederick Gunn School. Caralyn works closely with educational consultants and prospective students and families, leading the school’s global student recruitment strategy. She stewards international students from their initial inquiry through enrollment, and helps to ensure that they are thriving at the school.
A dual citizen of the United States and Australia, Caralyn served as Director of International Education and Boarding at Toorak College in Melbourne, Victoria. She helped to increase Toorak’s international admissions and retention rate, improve the experience of each international student, and increase the average ATAR of international students. As a result of her efforts, Caralyn was named one of the Top 50 Educators in Australia, and was a three-time finalist for the Australian Education Awards. A key content expert for the Australian media, she was a featured speaker for the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA), and wrote articles for ABSA’s “Lights Out.” Caralyn holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Sydney and a graduate diploma in teaching and learning from Charles Darwin University. A former teacher, she was named the Northern Territory Teacher of the Year in 2013.
Phone Number: 860-350-0193
Rachel Hedden joined The Frederick Gunn School in September 2021. Hedden is currently an Associate Director of Admissions, Social Media Specialist and Head Coach, Girls Varsity Lacrosse. A native of Burlington, Connecticut, Hedden attended Central Connecticut State University as a communications major and graduated from Hartwick College with a bachelor’s degree in history and dual minors in general education and sociology. She played NCAA Division I lacrosse at CCSU, and was captain of Hartwick’s Empire 8 (E8) Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Team. She also served as a student ambassador in Hartwick’s Admissions Office and was a peer mentor in the Center for Student Success. Most recently she was a member of the events and promotions team for iHeartMedia and worked as a student teacher at Oneonta High School. To the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team, Hedden brings five years of experience as a youth girls lacrosse coach at the club level and for Connecticut youth programs in Burlington and Avon. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, watching her siblings play lacrosse, playing music and spending time around a campfire with friends.
Phone Number: 860-350-0152
Blake Hollinger joined The Frederick Gunn School Admissions Office in 2022. A graduate of Salisbury School, Blake holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Hamilton College, where he was captain of the Men's Lacrosse Team in his senior year. He earned a master's degree in organizational leadership from Shenandoah University's School of Education. Prior to joining Gunn, Blake was in charge of Upper School Admissions and coached varsity football and lacrosse at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. At Gunn, he is the Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Lacrosse.
Kristen Lanesey joined The Frederick Gunn School Admissions Team in 2012. A native of Thomaston, Connecticut, and a graduate of Thomaston High School. Prior to joining Gunn, Kristen worked in an accounts payable/receivable position for many years at a construction company and from there moved on to a manager position at a bakery. Kristen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to live music, hiking, spending time outdoors and helping people. She also enjoys traveling and Vermont is a favorite destination. She and her husband, Joe, live locally with their two children, Hunter and Scarlett, their cat, Dylan, and their Golden Retriever, Luna.
Jackie LePine grew up in Oakville, Connecticut, and graduated from Watertown High School, where she played volleyball and softball. She joined The Frederick Gunn School in 2015. She and her husband, Paul, live in Oakville and have three adult children, Rachel, Matthew, and Sara. Jackie homeschooled both of her daughters through high school. She is very active in her parish, Prince of Peace Parish in Woodbury/Bethlehem.
Phone Number: 860-350-0132
Cassandra Ruscz is the Director of Multicultural Recruitment and Associate Director of Admissions at The Frederick Gunn School. A graduate of the Taft School, Cassie majored in psychology and Spanish at Tufts University, where she was also an All-American and helped to lead the Jumbos to back-to-back national championship titles in softball. She holds a master’s in education from the University of Delaware and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. Cassie arrived at Gunn in 2017 as a member of the World Languages faculty, and has taught almost every level of Spanish at the school. She served as Director of Residential Life for two years, and Prefect Advisor for six, before taking on her current role in the Admissions Office in July 2023. She is also the Head Dorm Parent in Gibson House, Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Basketball, former Head Coach for Varsity Softball, and the 2021 recipient of The Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award.