Ranney School announces 2020-21 faculty, administration additions

TINTON FALLS – Ranney School Head of School John Griffith has announced several new educators who will be joining the faculty in the 2020-21 academic year.

Amin Babar will be joining the Middle School and Upper School faculty and the technology team. He will also be teaching Upper School robotics and some STEAM-oriented classes in the Middle School, according to a press release.

“Amin is an exciting addition to our faculty and staff,” said Head of Upper School Greg Martin. “He is dedicated to paving the path for others.”

Babar founded an organization called Yes Education to help students from all over Pakistan access quality education in Islamabad, according to the press release.

Tom Brinkerhoff, who has been published in peer-reviewed articles and presented at six national conferences, will be joining the Upper School History Department.

“We are very excited about Tom joining us,” Martin said. “He is a true student of teaching and pedagogy and just started an educational doctorate program at Vanderbilt.”

After 20 years at Ranney School, Lilly Torrente has announced her retirement.

Upon Torrente’s retirement, Todd Christopher will join the Performing Arts Department. A former opera singer, Christopher has been teaching performing arts at middle schools and upper schools for 18 years. Most recently, he was on the faculty at Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville, Ohio, according to the press release.

Joining the Technology Department, David Forman has 12 years of experience at private schools in New Jersey.

Jonathan Goodson joins Ranney’s Middle School Humanities faculty after teaching at Ciji Primary School in Zhejiang, China, as part of a partnership with Ranney School. He has also mentored middle school students at the Young Quakers Community Center in Philadelphia.

“Jonathan brings with him invaluable experience with middle school students that will really help transform our humanities curriculum,” said David Ketcham, Head of the Middle School. “His charismatic personality will make him an instant favorite among our students.”

Angelina Howard will be joining Ranney School as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, Middle School Dean, and part of the Upper School Psychology faculty.

Chelsea Kucharski will join Ranney as an Upper School science teacher after serving as the Ranney Middle School girls lacrosse coach for the past two years, as well as a long-
term maternity leave substitute for Upper School geometry.

“We are excited to have Chelsea return to campus after making such a positive impact on our students,” Martin said. “It will be an easy transition to welcome her back and we look
forward to her continuing her great rapport with our students.”

Rachel Lasda will teach Upper School science, coming to Ranney from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, where she taught a variety of classes, including Advanced Placement Biology and Honors Biology.

Lasda, who has also been an emergency medical technician for three years, will also serve as the Upper School girls lacrosse coach.

Amanda Penecale will be teaching in the Visual Arts Department. She has a great deal of teaching experience in middle school and upper school, and will be the middle school girls basketball coach.

Daniel Shaw will be teaching Upper School computer science. He most recently taught computer science at Hackley School in New York. He will be entering his first season as the varsity girls soccer assistant coach at Ranney, according to the press release.

Ranney is celebrating the retirement of Barb Bongiovanni, who began at Ranney in 1986. In her 34 years with the Panthers, “Mrs. B” was inducted into the Athletic (Alumni) Hall of Fame in 2016, and received the Carol Pressley Award in 2004, according to the press release.