New Faculty for 2021-22

Irenae Aigbedion, English Teacher

English teacher Irenae Aigbedion came to Groton from Penn State University where she did her master’s and doctoral studies in Comparative Literature and minored in Spanish. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Her work covers a diverse array of topics, from contemporary comics and films in the Americas to the relationship between classical antiquity and Black identity. Her research has taken her around the world, from Japan to Brazil to Poland. Irenae is always excited to travel to new places and eager to try new things, from snowboarding to tango dancing.

Hannah Antonellis, History Fellow

Hannah Antonellis, a teaching fellow in U.S. History, recently completed a Master of Philosophy in American history at the University of Cambridge in England. She is a 2018 graduate of Williams College, where she majored in history, focusing on the nineteenth century United States. Hannah discovered her interest in teaching while working as an intern and substitute teacher at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in her hometown of Harwich, Massachusetts. A dancer who started ballet at age five, Hannah also enjoys reading, cooking and baking, hiking, and going to the beach.

Melissa R. Cahl, Clinical Counselor

Melissa Cahl, a licensed independent clinical social worker, joined Groton’s Counseling Office after working with adolescents in a variety of clinical settings, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment as well as public and independent schools. She enjoys helping adolescents navigate the process of getting to know and learning to love themselves. Melissa earned a master’s in social work from Boston College and is currently pursuing a doctorate of psychology from Antioch University. She has completed additional training in psychodynamic and existential theories.

Mary H. Carey, Science Teacher

Mary Carey teaches Ecology and Environmental Science and coaches cross country and crew. She previously taught biology and life science electives at Dexter Southfield School. Mary earned a master’s degree from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and served as a program specialist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture for eight years. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in animal science and rowed on the lightweight rowing team, earning three consecutive IRA national championship titles in the Women's Lightweight 8 (2004–06). She enjoys cooking, traveling, and hiking.

Kristen Donovan, Art Teacher

Kristen Donovan returned to Groton as an interim art teacher for fall 2021. The owner and teacher at Donovan Art Studio, she enjoys using a multimedia approach to teach the technical skills of art while encouraging students to find their artistic voices. Kristen’s work has been in several shows (most recently at the State House in Boston) and is in many private collections. Kristen has a degree in studio art and art history from Boston College.

Hannah Guzzi, Math Fellow

Hannah Guzzi, a math teaching fellow, graduated from Amherst College, where she majored in math, played soccer, and was a teaching assistant. She worked as an educational consultant in Boston before coming to Groton. Originally from Southborough, Massachusetts, Hannah enjoys various outdoor activities with her husband, Nick.

Elizabeth Phan, Theater Fellow

Theater Teaching Fellow Lizzie Phan graduated from Wesleyan University as a Questbridge Scholar. She was awarded Wesleyan’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships grant to collaborate with a local domestic violence shelter on a healing art workshop revolving around embroidery and circle storytelling. Elizabeth found her artistic identity while working on several production teams as a costume designer, as well as on performance art projects mixed with service learning. She strives to empower marginalized groups, such as teen mothers and first-generation and low-income students. Elizabeth also loves yoga, longboarding, and being at peace in nature.

Samuel Velleca, History Fellow
History Teaching Fellow Sam Velleca, a Davidson College graduate, is teaching World and the West and coaching football, basketball, and baseball. In college, he spent four months studying central European history in Vienna and also worked as a student philanthropy associate in the development office. An avid sports fan, originally from Washington, DC, Sam began coaching youth baseball at a young age. He enjoys playing golf, fishing, and watching movies.