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New Principia School Faculty Up the Academic Ante

New School faculty from top left to right (first row): Lindsay Bryan (transitioned to a new position), Wade Combs, Luci Evans, Sierra Farson, Natalie Gerke, Sarah Grigsby. (Second row): Melissa Hardy, Fran Hogan, Devon Marunde, Gabe McManus, David Morey, Denyse Ogilvie. (Third row): Meredith Pratt, Nadim Sarhan, Josh Spuhl, Nadine Terrell, Jackie White (transitioned to a new position), and Joe Zoller.


(Editor’s note: Principia graduates are indicated with “US” for Upper School or “C” for College along with their graduation years in parentheses following their names.) 

Now that the 2022–2023 school year is well underway, the impact of new faculty has become clearer. This group of new teachers brings both depth of experience and new energy. For example, a Middle School Learning Engagement Center (LEC) teacher is currently earning her doctorate through St. Louis University; a new third-grade teacher has former experience teaching in the Lower School and St. Louis schools before returning to Principia; and a new physics/math teacher has a quarter century of experience in education.

Upper School

The Math Department received an influx of new talent with three new faculty members. Wade Combs is teaching math and statistics and holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Eastern Kentucky University. He has more than six years of teaching experience at both the high school and college levels. Josh Spuhl teaches math and is also a master strategist on the court as the new head girls’ basketball and volleyball coach. Spuhl has more than 200 varsity wins in his coaching career. Joe Zoller is teaching both math and physics this year and has 25 years of experience in education—both as a classroom teacher and owner of an educational consulting firm. Zoller holds a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin. Nadim Sarhan comes on board as the new STEM and integrated studies teacher. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from Al Balqaa’ Applied University in Jordan and a master of science in electrical engineering and control engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Gabe McManus (C '97) is teaching theatre arts and will be the Director of the Upper School Spring Production. He has a bachelor's degree in theatre from Principia College and was the former drama teacher at Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles, Calif. And David Morey (US ‘87) rounds out the Upper School new-hires team teaching Spanish. He’s been teaching high school Spanish and French for 22 years and is also the School’s new international-student coordinator.

Middle School

Because of growing enrollment at the Middle School, Fran Hogan has joined the team as a language arts teacher. The integrated studies/social studies program welcomes Lindsay Bryan (US ‘01) who moved from the Upper School to the Middle School team. Bryan taught social studies and entrepreneurship at the Upper School for the past five years. Natalie Gerke, who is a reading specialist and doctoral student, joins the Middle School team as an LEC teacher. 

Lower School

Sierra Farson (US ‘14, C’18) served as a Lower School assistant teacher for several years and, more recently, has been teaching third grade at Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis. Farson is the new third-grade teacher at Principia. Sarah Grigsby (C ‘07), the new fifth-grade assistant teacher will also be assistant coach for cross country and track and field. She has a master’s degree in recreation and sport sciences from Ohio University. Devon Marunde (C ‘20) was an associate teacher at Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles for first and second grade and joined the Lower School as an assistant teacher for kindergarten and first grade. 

Early Childhood

Because of growing enrollment in Early Childhood, we have six new faculty members including:

Jackie White (C ‘87): moved from Preschool 4 assistant to lead teacher in our ELC Infant class
Meredith Pratt (C '07): moved from assistant to lead teacher in our second ELC infant class
Luci Evans (US ‘15, C ‘20): Acorn assistant teacher
Melissa Hardy (US ‘16, C ‘20): Preschool 4 assistant teacher
Denyse Ogilvie: Preschool 3 assistant teacher
Nadine Terrell (C ‘16): ELC assistant teacher

We are so happy to have these talented teachers join the Principia School team. Principia is always looking for excellent teachers and staff. Check out current job openings here