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Forman News

Forman Welcomes New Faculty
Posted 08/26/2016 11:47AM

Left to Right: Devin Burkhart, Tyler Christie, Alison Bunis, G. Graham Paine, Jr., Stephanie Ramos, C. Carter Walker, III, Cara Clarke, Charissa Padgett, Graham Marks, Kristen Valenti

Forman School is pleased to welcome 10 new faculty members for the 2016-’17 academic year. This group of highly qualified and passionate educators began orientation on Monday, August 22.

“This past Monday, I had the pleasure of officially welcoming our new faculty into the Forman family,” Assistant Head of School for Internal Affairs Mike Kowalchick says. “It was clearly evident from the first day that we have a group of gifted and highly experienced educators who will complement our robust academic, artistic, athletic, and student life programs.”

Learn more about our new faculty members below.

A graduate of Williams College, English Teacher Alison Bunis is the recipient of multiple regional and national writing awards and also brings extensive theater knowledge to Forman as a director, producer, and cast member.

Devin Burkhart joins the Institute for Cognition and Learning with over 10 years of experience utilizing a multisensory approach as a language and learning specialist. He is a member of multiple associations for learning differences and has a B.A. from Colgate University and M.A. from Drew University.

Mathematics Teacher Tyler Christie begins at Forman after eight years at Oxford Academy, where he was the Mathematics Department Head, teacher, and Student Activities Coordinator. Tyler enjoys employing a real-world, hands-on approach to learning and holds a B.A. from Coastal Carolina University.

Cara Clarke brings nearly 25 years of independent school experience to her position as an English Teacher. Most recently, she held the positions of Academic Support Teacher and Advisor, Head Dorm Parent, and Senior/Postgraduate Dean at Cushing Academy. Cara has a B.A. from Hartwick College.

History and English Teacher Graham Marks previously taught literary analysis and tutored international students at The Gunston School. He is also an avid rower, having been part of the Boston University Rowing team and having coached crew teams at boat clubs and independent schools for the past two years.

Having earned an M.A. in Educational Psychology from UConn and a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University, Science Teacher Charissa Padgett is skilled in counseling, data analysis, curriculum development, classroom guidance, and student advocacy. She previously taught Metacognitive Strategies at the Summer Program and assisted the Academic Dean’s Office at Forman.

G. Graham Paine, Jr. has nearly 20 years of experience in independent schools teaching English, advising, and coaching middle and high schoolers. He has enjoyed working in College Counseling, coordinating experiential learning programs, and directing Residence Life, all while earning two Master’s degrees from Syracuse University and Bread Loaf School of English, respectively.

With an M.Ed. from UMass Lowell and M.A. from Salem State University, Stephanie Ramos joins the Institute for Cognition and Learning. She has worked as a Learning Specialist and English Teacher at both private and public school and has been published and multiple national news outlets.

Kristen Valenti is a certified Math Teacher in Connecticut and Massachusetts, having worked in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She previously worked as a Literacy Tutor and Specialist, holding a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

Bringing nearly 30 years of experience as a practicing artist and 13 in art education, C. Carter Walker III is a passionate art educator. With a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design, he has had residencies at La Napoule Art Foundation and Vermont Studio School and taught at Bosque Preparatory School and Trevor Day School.

In addition to training, Forman faculty and staff celebrated their new peers in a barbecue on the Green on Thursday, August 25. “This new faculty cohort is filled with passionate and dynamic teachers with over 100 years of combined educational experience across primary, secondary, and higher education,” Kowalchick adds. “l eagerly look forward to the opportunities that our new faculty will provide our students.

Please join us in giving these skilled and talented new faculty members a warm Forman welcome. We expect a wonderful year!


Forman School
12 Norfolk Road, P.O. Box 80, Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860.567.8712
Fax: 860.567.8317


Forman School is a coeducational, preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9-PG exclusively dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently.




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