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Courses and Faculty by Department
The Learning Center is a resource which helps students overcome their challenges to learning, find ways to succeed, and thrive in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. The Center provides a variety of academic support programs, both one-on-one and small group, to meet the needs of the rich variety of learners we serve.
Students who are enrolled in Learning Center meet weekly in small groups or one-on-one to gain individualized skills necessary to be successful. From executive functioning support to content specific tutorials, a wide variety of academic and social needs are addressed.
Staffed by trained professionals, the Kimball Union Learning Center is equipped to provide appropriate, professional, and caring services to help students thrive.
The Choices course is designed to support freshmen in the academic and social realms. It is required of all ninth grade students in the first trimester and is offered on a pass/fail basis. The objectives of the academic curriculum are to help students develop an understanding that learning is an active process, to better familiarize students with their own unique learning styles, and to identify and implement strategies that enhance their effectiveness as learners. Topics covered include: time/materials/space organization, learning styles, plagiarism/citation, note taking, active reading, active listening, writing, memory, and test preparation/taking. The social curriculum aims to provide students with information and strategies for making healthy decisions in all aspects of their lives at KUA. Topics addressed include: KUA history, digital citizenship, personal health, nutrition, coping with stress, peer pressure, self image, relationships, college planning, and leadership. Dependent on the topic of the class, ninth graders are either taught together in a presentation-style setting, or split into smaller groups, either co-ed or single gender, for further exploration through activities and discussion. The course is team-taught by faculty members in the Center for the Advancement of Learning and the Student Life Office.
Designed for, and taught to, students in the spring of their junior year, the SAT Prep course prepares students for the rigors of taking the SAT tests offered by the College Board. The primary goal is to identify and implement test taking strategies using prerequisite knowledge to increase student performance.
Additionally, the Learning Center will refer, to a local tutoring agency, students who either are not able to participate in this course or wish for addtional opportunities to further prepare for standardized testing.
This tutorial provides individualized, small group (maximum of four students) support to students with a focus on improving study skills, organization, time management, general academic skills, and self-advocacy. The tutorial meets during a class period (three times per week). Structured Study Tutorial is a year-long course, but students can re-enroll in the class in subsequent years as needed. (Additional fee)
For students whose learning profile requires the support of the learning specialist without the executive functioning support provided by a Structured Study Tutorial, this program provides intensive and individualized academic support. The student meets with a learning specialist in a one-on-one setting for two class periods each week. Our learning specialists work with students to identify specific academic goals and support students in achieving those goals through academic coaching, specific skills instruction, and regular communication with teachers and parents. Students’ work with a learning specialist is highly individualized and incorporates a wide variety of interventions including general study skills, ADHD coaching, reading comprehension and written expression instruction, and math remediation and support. Facilitation of access to assistive technology and classroom-based accommodations are included in this service. (Additional fee)
This tutorial provides individualized English language support to international students at all levels of proficiency who wish to strengthen their English language skills. The student will meet on an individual basis with the English Language Learning instructor for one class period a week. Assignment is for the academic year and can be extended to subsequent years upon agreement among the student, the parents, and the ELL specialist. (Additional fee)
For students whose learning style requires the support of a learning specialist, this program provides intensive and individualized academic support. In addition to attending Structured Study Tutorial (see above description), the student will meet with a learning specialist in a one-on-one setting for two class periods each week. Our learning specialists work with students to identify specific academic goals and support students in achieving those goals through academic coaching, specific skills instruction, and regular communication with teachers and parents. Students’ work with learning specialists is highly individualized and incorporates a wide variety of interventions including general study skills, ADHD coaching, reading comprehension and written expression instruction, and math remediation. Facilitation of access to assistive technology and classroom-based accommodations are included in this service. (Additional fee)
Each student must accumulate 19 credits in order to be a candidate for graduation. In addition, seniors are required to earn a passing grade in each of their courses to qualify for graduation. Specific course requirements are below and constitute 17 credits of the 19 needed for graduation. The remaining two credits must be earned in advanced level courses in two departments.
English: 4 credits
Science: 3 credits from lab courses (one of which must be Biology)
Mathematics: 3 credits (through Algebra II and one year beyond Algebra II if possible)
World Languages: 3 credits in one language
History: 3 credits (one of which must be US History)
Art: 1 credit (which must include one trimester of Dance/Theatre and one trimester of Visual/Music)
Each year, all students must carry at least five year-long core classes.
Anne joined the Kimball Union Academy faculty in 2015. She graduated from Wellesley College summa cum laude in 1993 with a BA in philosophy. She taught mathematics for five years at Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland before graduating from St. John’s College (Annapolis) in 2002 with an MA in the liberal arts. After spending five years running a peace and nuclear disarmament organization, and travelling to Iran, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Hiroshima, Japan as part of her work, Anne found a new foothold in secondary education as an English teacher and Learning Center specialist at Tilton School in New Hampshire. She worked at Tilton for six years and served as the Learning Center Director for one. Anne’s sixteen years of tutoring experience, layered on top of eight years of classroom teaching experience, has resulted in an enduring interest in, and respect for, learning differences and the strategies to best address them. She will graduate from Plymouth State University in February 2017 with an M.Ed in special education.
Elizabeth Edwards teaches in the English Department, runs sections of SST in the Learning Center, and leads classes for the Freshman Choices Program. She also coaches Cross Country Running in the Fall and Nordic Skiing in the Winter. She lives in Dexter Richards with her cat, Hercules and her dog, Henderson. She is a dorm parent for the residents of Welch as well.
She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education: School Counseling & Human Development from St. Lawrence University. She ran Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Outdoor Track & Field during her undergraduate and graduate school studies at St. Lawrence University. She has been working as a professional in the preparatory school world since 2013. Additionally, she grew up on a boarding school campus where her parents were administrators. She is enthusiastic about exposing students to new experiences and supporting them in their pursuit of personal growth.
Learning Center Teacher, Ceramics Teacher, Taylor Gallery Director
Ursula joined KUA in 2007 to head the ceramics program. Since, she has expanded her role to teaching jewelry making in the recently renovated metal studio and SST in The Learning Center. She holds a MA in American Studies, American Literature and Sociology from the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich, Germany. A native of Munich she moved to Meriden in 1998. Before coming to KUA Ursula was involved at the League of NH Craftsmen studio in Hanover, NH as a teacher’s assistant and mentor, and has been a juried member of “the League” for clay since 2007. When not teaching KUA’s budding ceramicists, Ursula pursues her own work that has been accepted to national juried shows and can be found at local galleries, including the Taylor Gallery at KUA. Ursula has also completed several private commissions. She is passionate about her craft and loves helping students find their voice, both artistically and academically.
Her two sons have graduated from KUA and now pursue their higher education at the University of St. Andrew’s in the UK. Ursula lives in Meriden with her little dog “Rosie”.
After growing up in Marblehead Massachusetts, Bryant attended Kimball Union Academy and graduated in 2004. While on the hilltop, Bryant was a four-year, three sport varsity athlete, a residential proctor, Orange Key tour guide, and senior class president. Following graduation, he took a year off and played Junior Hockey in Massachusetts where he was named to the all EJHL team. He then attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where he majored in Philosophy and PreMed for a focus in BioMed Ethics, with a minor in Environmental Studies. He played Varsity Soccer and Ice Hockey and was named Ice Hockey Rookie of the year as a freshman. In his senior year Bryant captained the Varsity Ice Hockey team.
Coming from a long line of teachers, education has always been at Bryant’s forefront. He offers a diverse perspective and background, as his own experiences in school were quite similar to those of the students with which he works. At an early age being diagnosed with both moderate LD and ADD/ADHD, Bryant had to both learn and independently develop his own strategies to adapt his way of learning. This effort made him aware of different learning styles, abilities and preferences early on in life. During his time as an educator at Kimball Union, he has further developed his understanding of the field and has been working toward an advanced degree in the topic.
Bryant is a Varsity Lacrosse and Varsity Hockey Assistant Coach, he is a dorm parent in Dexter Richards and does extensive work regarding diversity and race on campus.
Raised as a faculty child at Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut, Cynthia fell in love with the lifestyle of the independent boarding school. Upon graduation from Mount Holyoke College, Cynthia worked at the Indian Mountain School as a teacher of science and math, coach, and dorm parent. Her love of administration began at IMS, where she served also as the dean of girls. Graduate work drew her to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she earned a master’s degree in 1984. While in graduate school and afterwards, Cynthia joined the administration at Cambridge School of Weston as the administrative dean and director of residence. Cynthia and her husband, Murray Dewdney, then moved north to Kimball Union, where they have worked and raised their two children since 1988. Cynthia began her KUA career as a college advisor and later was appointed the director of the department. She is now the Director of Studies and Academic Support, coordinating academic support and overseeing the Center for the Advancement of Learning.
Jennifer is the English Language Learning instructor in the Learning Center. Initially planning a career as an Arabic-language translator, Jennifer earned a BA in Middle East Studies from UConn and an MA in Near East Languages and Literature from NYU, with a scholarship from the Defense Department. Upon graduating she headed overseas, where the needs of the communities in which she found herself led her to a career teaching English for speakers of other languages. Long periods of complete immersion in other languages and cultures also gave her a deep understanding of the potential challenges faced by international students embarking on an American education. After earning a second MA in TESOL from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, she gained further teaching experience at The Long Trail School and in two Vermont public school systems before coming to KUA. Besides working with KUA’s international students, Jennifer regularly volunteers with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. She lives in Vermont with her husband Ted, where they enjoy gardening, hiking, and spending time with the grandchildren.
Dorothy Leech received a Masters in the Teaching of English, Grades 7-12, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and did further study there to become a Certified Academic Language Therapist. With 17 years of classroom teaching and 20 years of one-on-one instruction for students with learning differences, ADHD, and Executive Function issues, she last worked with Stern Center for Language and Learning. Her classes combine warmth, rigor, and games to get serious work done.
She participates in a Great Books discussion group, has studied all the romance languages, including Latin, and now focuses on Spanish. She organizes a monthly potluck for Spanish language speakers. She has visited schools in England and Sweden, organized an inter-school visit and engineered book discussions by videoconference between American students and Swedish high school students.
She has a broad background in the arts. As a professional designer/illustrator, she has illustrated books and articles in pen and ink on scratchboard. She also has an interest in social justice and leadership, expressed most recently in volunteering at a Catholic Charities rest stop for asylum seekers in McAllen, Texas, and as a founding board member of the Community Asylum Seekers Project in southeastern Vermont.
Mary Jean was a faculty child on the campus of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut where her father, grandfather and several uncles taught and where she went on to attend school. She earned a BS in elementary education from Southern Connecticut State University and taught at a Montessori School for seven years. After moving to Dallas, Texas with her husband, Phil, and two children, Mary Jean continued her education at Southern Methodist University earning a M.Ed. in education with a graduate certificate in Learning Therapy. In 2010 Mary Jean moved to Vermont and started a private practice tutoring students with language based learning differences while also helping Phil take care of their chickens, donkeys and vegetable gardens. She joined the KUA Leaning Center staff in August 2016. Her favorite vacations involve side trips to International Dyslexia conferences.
Isabella earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Dartmouth College in History and Creative Writing. She also studied mathematics education in between through a post-baccalaureate program at Central Washington University. She is currently earning a second master’s degree, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Plymouth State University. She has lived in Germany, the Caribbean and France. Prior to KUA, she worked in Special Education for four years at Hanover High School. At Dartmouth College she facilitated workshops and provided academic support through the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, the Reading, Writing and Information Technology Center, and Thayer's Design Thinking course. She also facilitated ropes course events at Dartmouth for students and professionals of all ages for the development of teamwork and leadership skills. For recreation, she trail runs, cycles, alpine skis, swims in freshwater with her fiancé and step-son to-be.
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.