Introducing New Faculty

This year, the school welcomes 15 new faculty members, including the first Walter Crain fellows. The Crain fellowship is a 4-year appointment in conjunction with Columbia University Teachers College, where fellows will pursue Master’s Degrees in private school leadership. Walter Crain P ’86 ’89, Instructor in math and the first Black faculty member at Hotchkiss, taught and coached at the school for 33 years. This fellowship aims to serve as a tribute to his legacy. Another notable element of this year’s hires is the expansion of the Diversity & Inclusion office, including one Crain fellow, Ms. Kinyette Henderson, instructor in English, and Ms. Lisanne Norman ’94, instructor in history.


The features editors asked the new faculty members why they chose the school and how their transition has been so far. 


I chose to come to Hotchkiss for three main reasons: the vibrancy and welcoming atmosphere of the English department, the beauty and serenity of Lakeville, and to be an active participant in the conversations happening on campus about how we can cultivate a culture that is open and welcoming to all. I was also excited to bring my experience researching and teaching feminist and anti-racist philosophies and literature to campus.”

– Annu Dahiya, Instructor in English


“Hotchkiss was the place that really allowed me to begin exploring literature and expressing myself through writing. I’ve wanted to return here to be a positive influence in both the community and classroom. I’ve always liked, and continue to like the English, History, and Music departments. And upon returning, I really love the way in which the community cares for and pays attention to each other’s needs.”

– Lennox Debra ’02, Instructor in English


“I chose to come to Hotchkiss because of the intentional work that is happening on this campus. Throughout my interview process, I was very impressed hearing testimonials about how this campus has become more inclusive and more equitable for so many groups of students. My family and I have had a wonderful welcome to campus. I was blown away by the hospitality and the genuine community. I have really appreciated the parents checking on me about preschool for my son, teachers willing to offer a hand with getting set up for classes, and dorm faculty always ready to support in any way.”

– Kinyette Henderson, Walter Crain Fellow, Associate Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Instructor in English


Working at Hotchkiss is a dream job for me! I’m a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine, so my life’s work has been caring for teenagers. I also was a middle school teacher before I went into medicine, so working as a doctor in a school is the perfect mixture of my two lives. After working with Dr. Zelman for a few years, I knew this was the right place for me. My experience has been incredible! I absolutely love the energy of school and of its students–just walking around feels exciting and electric! Also, I really enjoy the salad bar. 😉

– Zachary McClain, MD, Medical Director


While I did know that Hotchkiss has a reputation for excellence amongst its student body and staff, I had no idea that the school provided such a warm and welcoming community. I applied as a Walter Crain Fellow, fully expecting that I would not feel an affinity towards the school and would ultimately not fully pursue the role. When I started interviewing, I was bowled over by the kindness and authenticity of everyone I met. I was surprised to learn that I knew so little of the true Hotchkiss. When I was offered the position, it was a no-brainer for me to accept. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. Besides one cross country meet a few years ago, I had never stepped foot on campus before I started working here. All of my interviews were conducted through Zoom, and I had not met most of the people who interviewed me until very recently! Everyone has been overwhelmingly helpful and welcoming to both me and my family. I am really looking forward to getting to know more of the community members and experience more of what makes Hotchkiss such a special place.

– Claudia McGuigan, Walter Crain Fellow, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Instructor in Mathematics


“I have been a college counselor for a long time, and with my youngest child heading to college this year, I was ready for a change. But my experience is a bit different than most new faculty, as I worked mostly remotely. I have loved getting to know my students and colleagues, and I am so impressed by how engaged my students are in their learning and in the world around them. I love the strong sense of community, the warm and welcoming environment, and the people!”

– Jennifer Meeker, Associate Director of College Advising


I chose to come to Hotchkiss because of its incredible reputation and the wonderful people that I already knew who worked here. So far, the students and faculty have been very warm and welcoming!

– Missy Wolff, Associate Director of Admission & Communications Specialist


It didn’t take long to convince me that Hotchkiss is exactly the kind of educational environment I would like to be a part of. The school cares about, supports, and celebrates students’ all-around development. In addition, my family owned an Amish farmette for over 10 years, where we grew a lot of Asian vegetables and raised all kinds of farm animals, so the Fairfield Farm caught my attention right away. Also, in my past 15 years as an educator, developing and providing opportunities for students to study abroad have been a big part of my work. The international education opportunities Hotchkiss extends to students truly impressed me.

It’s a great feeling to already have developed a sense of belonging. I love walking around and seeing how diverse this community is. The dining hall food is so fresh and healthy. And making new friends at the dining hall tables makes the food taste even better. I have enjoyed all the conversations with students and am really looking forward to starting teaching!”

– Jingxia Yang, Instructor in Chinese