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Laura Bartel

Laura Bartel, Department Chair: English 12, AP Literature

lbartel@bcps.org
I have been teaching in the BCPS system for 13 years and have been a proud Titan since 2017. I received my BA in Secondary Education and English from Mount St. Mary’s University, and my M.Ed. in Reading from Towson University. My passions in life are teaching English and being a mother to my three daughters. My favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and crafting. I currently reside in Hampstead, MD with my family.

Karen Butler
Karen Butler
kbutler3@bcps.org
Michellaine Fields
Michellaine Fields: English 11

mfields@bcps.org
I just realized I have been a special educator for over 30 years. I enjoy the challenge. My family is from South Carolina, but I was born and raised right here in Baltimore. Prior becoming an educator, I was in the entertainment industry working as a vocalist. That was interesting. I love to travel out of the US, but I hate flying because I always manage to get on flights that have a lot of turbulence. The pandemic has put a stop to my travels. My less costly hobbies include reading and doing needle crafts. I still try to spend as much time as possible with my family. They are my first true love.

Benjamin Gaffigan
Benjamin Gaffigan: English 9

bgaffigan@bcps.org
Born and raised on a farm in Frederick County MD, I went to Towson University and got my B.S. in English Secondary Education. After a really nice year of student teaching in Baltimore County, I joined the Peace Corps in Indonesia, where I served 2 years teaching English as a Foreign Language. While there, I volunteered to help with rehabilitation and education at a the largest narcotics prison in the region, as well as a mental health facility specializing in youth with developmental disabilities. These experiences fostered and furthered a passion for helping underserved, misunderstood, and ostracized populations, which I am excited to seek out opportunities for within our school and local communities.

After my service was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in March, I found a job at this spectacular school back with the subject area I trained for. I can't wait to instill a global awareness and perspective aligned with our IB initiatives, while applying modern critical approaches to classical and modern literature. I'm looking forward to my third full year of teaching, and my first at New Town High. Go Titans!

Rohan Hughes

Rohan Hughes: English 11, SAT Prep

rhughes4@bcps.org
I was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix. At age 12, my family moved to Baltimore, and I’ve lived in the area ever since. I attended high school at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and then college at Johns Hopkins University, where I received my B.A. in English. My first teaching experience came in 2014, when I moved to China for a year to teach English at a local university. I lived in the city of Jinan, Shandong Province, where I had such an amazing cultural experience. This sparked my passion for teaching and so when I moved back to the States, I began teaching middle school ELA in Baltimore City. Throughout my three years there, I was able to teach all three middle school grades. From there I moved on to Rosedale alternative school for a year before arriving at New Town High School. I am now in my second year of teaching high school English, having taught 9th grade last year. I look forward to working with the 11th graders this year.

Alice Jones
Alice Jones
ajones4@bcps.org
Monica Lewis

Monica Lewis: English 10

mlewis5@bcps.org
I have been teaching for 24 years. My career started in Baltimore City in 1997 in South Baltimore at an elementary/middle school. During my tenure in Baltimore City, I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th Language Arts/Reading as well as 1st through 5th grade Reading during the summer. I eventually became the Summer School Administrator for my final three years in the city. During my last year in Baltimore City, I was the Academic Coach for our middle school teachers.

I then transferred to Baltimore County in 2003, where I have taught at the middle school and high school levels. During my tenure in Baltimore County, I was the Reading Team Leader at the middle school level. Since transferring to high school in 2007, I have taught English 9 through 11, including Honors, GT, and AP Language, Introduction to Public Speech, and AVID. Most recently, I was the AVID Coordinator and taught all levels of AVID at my previous high school. One of my favorite courses to teach is AP Capstone, which has a research based curriculum.

I am super excited to be here at New Town High School and look forward to working with our students in English 10!

Ethan Nikiel
Ethan Nikiel
enikiel@bcps.org
Becky Plovan
Becky Plovan
rplovan@bcps.org
Catherine Ransom

Catherine Ransom: English 9, English 10, Theatre Arts

cransom@bcps.org
I began my career in education in 2001; however, I have been teaching since I was a small child. My first memory was trying to teach my dog Soul how to spell her name. Education is my calling. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but I am an Army brat. I lived in Virginia and Florida before moving back to my beloved Maryland. I graduated from Temple University in 2001 and began the best part of my life. I became a Secondary English teacher.

Kimisha Robinson Kimisha Robinson
krobinson14@bcps.org
Ashley Rorke Ashley Rorke
arorke@bcps.org
Kathy Vall

Kathy Vall: Special Education English

mvall@bcps.org
I am a mother of four children, three boys and one girl. My two oldest boys are United State Marines, my third son is very successful in Sales, and my daughter is completing her Senior year at Towson University. In my sixteen years of teaching experience, I have taught English, Reading, Alternative Education, and Special Education. One of my most memorable and exceptional experiences of a lifetime, was during the year between 2018-2019 when I taught English to the Afghanistan Air Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. Teaching abroad, in a war zone, opened opportunities for me that I'd never thought I'd experience in my life. I am forever grateful for this experience, for I will never forget the trials, tribulations, and complete success that I had undergone while living in Afghanistan. It afforded me the chance to work with and befriend people from all over the world who shared in this experience with me. I am a better mother, teacher, and person because of this incredible adventure. Furthermore, that opportunity opened other doors for me to travel to other countries which include: Kuwait, Dubai, Istanbul, Prague, Germany, France, and Canada. I have two passions in life that go hand and hand together. One is being a mother, and the other is being a teacher.