Faculty & Staff Updates

Annie Wright Schools' faculty and staff commit themselves to students and their families, providing and supporting our exceptional programs and inspiring a lifelong love of learning.


Brian Dennis, Arts & Athletics Facilities Manager
Previously serving as the Upper School for Boys assistant basketball coach, Brian (fondly known by student-athletes as "Coach Yogi") brings familiarity and an understanding of campus and event needs to this new role. After attending Western Washington University where Brian excelled as an intercollegiate basketball player earning several league honors, he still holds records at WWU. Brian is also involved in the community as an AAU coach, trainer, and mentor. 
Annabel Fernandez, Preschool 3-4 Teacher’s Assistant
After earning an associate’s and a certificate in early childhood education from Pierce College and a bachelor's in elementary education from Central Washington University, Annabel taught and assisted in Preschool classrooms within the Tacoma Public School District and at the North Tacoma Montessori Center. She is an enthusiastic advocate of learning through play through the early childhood years and enjoys supporting students in their social and emotional development.
Sam Glavick, Maintenance Technician
Over the past 10 years, Sam has worked at architectural salvage yards, repaired and created antique and custom light fixtures, worked in the front office of a general contractor, and most recently worked on federal contracts to install and maintain security and CCTV systems. Sam earned his bachelor's degree in History from Western Washington University in 2016 but knew that working with his hands gave him the most satisfaction. Taking pride in his work, he believes in doing the job done right the first time and that form and function do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Lindsey Joyce, Development & Special Events Manager
With a bachelor's degree in strategic communications from Washington State University, Lindsey has managed a variety of events within the retail industry, for both start-up companies and large corporations. She is deeply passionate about building strong and lasting relationships with those in her community. Lindsey was born and raised in Tacoma and is ecstatic to be back working in her hometown, after working in Seattle for the last six years.
Tessa Thurman ’14, Dorm Parent
Being an Annie Wright alumna (Red Tie, 2014), Tessa is happy to return to the school fold! She is proud to lend her unique perspective as a past boarder to the dorm program. After attending Lewis & Clark College to earn her bachelor's in both biology and psychology, Tessa finished a capstone in Advance Small Group Psychology and was published in her work for the neuropsychology of play on the brain.  She is currently working under a grant with the National Science Foundation to create a LARP (live-action roleplay) for underprivileged and underrepresented girls, to learn coding and encourage enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.


Gabriel Davis, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Gabe holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Carleton College and a master's degree in mathematics education from the City University of New York. He taught mathematics at Energy Tech High School in New York City for six years, and conducted research in mathematics teaching and learning at Berkeley. Gabe believes students learn math best when they work collaboratively on challenging, open-ended problems in safe, supportive environments. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys cooking, exploring the outdoors, and tabletop role-playing games.
Jennifer Callaghan (she/her/hers), Upper School for Girls Humanities Teacher
Jennifer earned a bachelor's degree in English from Swarthmore, a master's in international studies from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in American religions from Northwestern. Her research, writing, and teaching draw on literary, historical, and anthropological theories and methods to explore stories and storytelling in historical and social context. Jennifer is excited to help the students at Annie Wright articulate their questions about the world, and to think through those questions with them in class and in written work.
Emily Dovel, Upper School for Girls Global Politics Teacher
After earning her bachelor's in history, with minors in gender studies and political science, from the University of Portland, Emily moved to Morocco to learn Arabic and teach English, before beginning a graduate degree in Islamic Studies at UCLA. As a passionate world traveler, Emily believes in the importance of a globally-minded social science curriculum in line with the necessities of a modern globalized and multi-cultural world.
Abby Drivdahl, Upper School for Girls Social Studies Teacher
With her bachelor’s degree in history and Japanese at Georgetown University, Abby lived in Japan for several years before earning her master's in Asian history. She has taught Upper School history at York School in Monterey, California, and most recently Global Systems at Seattle Academy. Abby believes in as much experiential learning and productive debate as possible, and students know her as a source of random trivia, funny stories, and some really bad puns. In her spare time, she also writes young adult fiction under the pen name Mara Gan.
Ana Esquer, Lower & Middle School Counselor 
Holding her master's degree in educational counseling from the University of La Verne, Ana counseled in Apple Valley and San Francisco, California, for three years with Kindergarten-Grade 8 students. Ana believes that mental health is of the utmost importance for all students in every grade and loves getting to know all of her wonderful students through guidance lessons and one on one counseling.
Carmen Frostholm, Kindergarten Teacher
After earning a bachelor's degree in environmental science from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and working in environmental education, Carmen taught kindergarten at Helios School for four years and preschool at Charles Wright Academy for two years. Carmen builds a strong classroom community with an emphasis on social-emotional learning. She focuses on authentic experiences when creating a curriculum to engage students and place them at the center of their learning experiences.
Allison Haagensen, Lower School Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
A recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Allison brings 15 years of experience serving school families in the Bay Area and Central Valley in California, with a focus on bilingual education. She holds bachelor's degrees in Geography and Spanish language from San Francisco State University and is nearing her BCLAD Teaching Certificate Completion from CSU East Bay. Having learned a lot from her own international travels and study abroad exchange in Mexico City, Mexico. Allison is passionate ​about civic stewardship and helping children find agency as kind and engaged participants in an increasingly globalized society.
Chang Hwan (John) Han, Upper Schools Business & Math Teacher
After earning an MBA from Yonsei University in Korea, Chang Hwan taught business and economics courses at universities in Korea for many years. He brings to Annie Wright Schools his love for teaching and learning from his students. Always pushing students to ask questions and find answers, he inspires students to learn for themselves. As such, Chang Hwan is an avid reader of books and enjoys watching movies and documentaries.
Dubois Hines, Upper Schools Assistant Director of Student Experiences
Dubois has been traveling the U.S. working with youth at Environmental Education Centers in Massachusetts and Minnesota, Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and GreenWood Charter School in Utah. He earned his bachelor's degree from Lees-McRae College in wildlife biology and is enrolled in a master's program at the International Institute of Restorative Practices. He is passionate about helping guide youth to become kind, responsible and empathetic adults. People describe Dubois as a great listener and mediator.
Samantha McCall, Preschool 3-4 Teacher (substitute for Ms. Peterson while on maternity leave)
Samantha has an associate's degree in early childhood education and will pursue her bachelor's degree in early education. She has five years of experience working with young children, serving two and a half years in a Reggio Emilia-inspired program in Tacoma where she taught 4- and 5-year-olds. She also spent time at Hayes Child Development Center working in their head start program. Hands-on activities, using interpersonal skills to problem-solve and collaborating are a few practices Sam values when teaching young children.
Sharon Merrifield, Upper School for Boys Learning Specialist
Holding her bachelor’s degree in French from Davidson College and her elementary education certification from Centenary College, Sharon taught French and worked as an academic monitor and freshman study skills coordinator at Blair Academy over the course of two decades. Sharon’s passion for education centers on how students learn; she promotes a holistic approach to teaching and learning that incorporates adolescent brain research and the development of social-emotional skills. Sharon finds great satisfaction in helping others find different pathways to success.
Sophie Richards, Middle School Science Teacher 
After earning her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College, Sophie taught science, engineering, and math courses at Linden Hall School for Girls in Pennsylvania for two years. Sophie comes to AWS from Baltimore, Maryland, where she taught Middle School science and computer science for five years at The Bryn Mawr School for Girls. Sophie believes science is best learned through hands-on and discovery-based activities.
Briana Samuelson, Middle School Humanities Teacher & Middle Years Programme Coordinator
Briana has taught a wide range of adolescents and adults in English language acquisition, literature, and the humanities. Holding degrees in English literature and educational administration, she has led curricular development, intervention initiatives and mentored new teachers to become servant leaders. Briana previously held teaching roles in South Korea, Turkey, and California. She believes strongly in the International Baccalaureate's philosophy around global citizenship and loves helping students develop lifelong learning habits of mind.
Rob Scotlan, Upper Schools Assistant Director of Student Life
With his his bachelor's degree in English and his master's of arts in teaching from the University of Puget Sound, Rob taught English and video productions at Curtis Junior High for a couple of years before spending 15 years at Charles Wright Academy as a teacher, coach, athletics coordinator and diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. Rob loves to find humor in novels as a teacher, and he also values the importance of the student experience out of the classroom including athletics, experiential education, affinity and alliance spaces, and clubs.
Susan Sparrow, Middle School Language and Literature & Individuals and Societies Teacher
Susan earned her bachelor's degree in politics from Pomona College. She then served 12 years teaching Middle and Upper School humanities at Charles Wright Academy. Susan loves interactive simulations and watching students immerse themselves in history and become the characters they are studying.
Elizabeth Wager, Lower School Administrative Assistant
Elizabeth holds a bachelor of arts in art history, with a minor in Black studies. Post-college, she went on to work administrative positions in local businesses as well as supporting community outreach in the arts. A life-long North Slope resident, Elizabeth's family has been connected to AWS for four generations. She believes building a strong community begins with providing our children a foundation of education, curiosity, and empathy.
Daniel Wood, Middle School Spanish Teacher
After earning bachelor's degrees in linguistics and Spanish language and literature from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master's degree in theoretical linguistics from University of Oregon, Dan taught English as a Second Language at the college level for over a decade and has worked as a freelance Spanish and Catalan translator/interpreter for the past six years. Dan believes language learning should be fun and practical while building confidence and excitement for understanding other cultures.
Lindsay Zielinski, Lower School Librarian, will fill in for Amy Lynn, who is taking the year to stay home with her children. After earning a bachelor's in early childhood education from Central Washington University and a master's in children's literature from Pennsylvania State University, Lindsay spent three years teaching for Tacoma Public Schools. From there she traveled to Thailand where she spent four years as a PYP Librarian for an international school. Lindsay is deeply passionate about children's literature and loves to find the right book for the right person at the right time.
Nick Zosel-Johnson, Lower School Admissions Director
Nick earned his bachelor's degree in government from Claremont McKenna College, and then joined Teach For America where he taught in Chicago for two years and earned his master's degree in teaching from Dominican University. Nick served as an independent school educator and administrator since 2009 and earned his master's degree in independent school leadership from Columbia University in 2017. He believes in building close relationships with families and students so that each individual child is known and valued for who they are.

Faculty & Staff News

See current employment opportunities here.

August 2021: Joy Phelps, Lower School Admissions Director, retired at the end of August. Joy has served 45 incredible years at Annie Wright, teaching and leading in the Middle School, serving Lower and Middle School families in admissions, and providing a warm welcome to all. 

July 2021: Learn about the 20-21 recipients of the Bev Brown Excellence in Teaching Award here

June 2021: Chris Spivey has been named Nisqually League Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. Learn more

May & March 2021: Nate Jones has been named Nisqually League Tennis Coach of the Year...twice! Once in March for boys tennis and then again in May for girls tennis. Learn more.

April 6, 2021: Director of Upper School for Girls Eireann Corrigan publishes her eighth book. Learn more

February 24, 2021: AWSPA launches Endeavor Grants program to fund faculty & staff learning. Learn more

February 18, 2021: Annie Katica Green has been appointed to serve in the new Director of Arts role, starting July 1, 2021. Learn more

January 13, 2021: Jeremy Stubbs has been appointed Director of Upper School for Boys, starting July 1, 2021.  Learn more.

December 18, 2020: Alicia Mathurin has been selected to receive the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Lifetime Service Award by Tacoma’s City Events and Recognitions Committee. Learn more.


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403

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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.