Meet YWC 2012 Teachers and Counselors!
Director/Teacher: MICHELE POACELLI
Michele Poacelli has been involved with the Young Writers Camp since 2009. She taught Fiction Writing for two consecutive summers, directed the 2011 “It Was A Dark and Stormy Summer” themed camp and will direct and teach in the Camp again this year. Michele lives in Mercersburg with her husband, Todd – a member of the English Department at the Academy – and her two sons, Gabe (6) and Gaven (3). During the school year, she tutors Academy students in English and history. Michele has taught Middle School English and writing in public and private schools in New York City and has directed educational non-profit programs in Seattle and Philadelphia. She earned a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Middlebury College. Michele enjoys reading, writing, running, swimming, yoga-ing, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to direct the “Mystery and Magic” themed Young Writers Camp this July.
Assistant Director/Teacher: MONICA CARVALHO
Monica Carvalho is a recent graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, where she studied Secondary English Education. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as her New York State teaching license, and is currently working towards her Rhode Island State teaching certification as well. She graduated from Brown University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, as well as one in Modern Culture & Media, with a focus in Film Studies. She has worked as a Literacy Teacher with Providence Summerbridge, a sect of The Breakthrough Collaborative, where she was responsible for creating and teaching a six-week unit plan for 7th and 8th grade students with a co-teacher. She has also completed two semesters of student teaching in New York City, one at Wagner Middle School and the other at Beacon High School. For both semesters, Monica aided her cooperating teacher with lesson planning and teaching, individual conferencing with students, and assessment.
Monica plans on teaching English literature at the middle or high school level in New York City before moving back to her home state of Rhode Island. She is an advocate of using multimedia in the classroom and loves to incorporate film, music, visual art, and other forms of media into her English classes. She also values the importance of self-expression and likes to provide her students with numerous opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions through performance, classroom discussion and writing assignments. While her favorite writer is Shakespeare, Monica also enjoys reading books written for teens, such as the Harry Potter, Princess Diaries, and Twilight series. Aside from reading, she loves to watch movies and listen to music, and also takes dance classes in tap, jazz, and ballet.
Teacher: DAMARIS HILL
Dr. DaMaris B. Hill is a graduate of the University of Kansas and is a graduate of Morgan State University. She is a member of the National Writing Project and the Holocaust Educators Network. Her story, On the Other Side of Heaven – 1957 won the 2003 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for Short Fiction. An excerpt from the novel she is writing, The Devil and The Doctor, won the 2010-2011 Nancy Stockwell Creative Writing Award. Some of her writing is published with or is forthcoming in the following literary spaces: Shadowbox, Tidal Basin Review, Impact: Telling Our Stories, Tongues of the Ocean: Words and Writing from the Islands, Kweli Journal, Sleet Magazine, Reverie, Bermuda Anthology of Poetry, Warpland, Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy, Women in Judaism, African American National Biography Project, Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers and The Sable Quill.
Teacher: JOHN DAVID BENNETT
John David Bennett teaches AP English Language and Composition (11th grade) and World Literature (9th grade) at the Mercersburg Academy. Before coming to Mercersburg in 2007, he taught at The High School for the Talented and Gifted (Dallas, TX), a four-time Newsweek magazine “Best Public High School in America.” He is the head coach of the Mercersburg Blue Storm Softball team, and he sponsors Four-on-the-Floor, the Academy swing dance society.
Head Counselor: LORRAINE SIMONIS
Lorraine graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 2010. Currently, she is majoring in Medieval & Renaissance Studies and German Language at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. She is originally from Philadelphia, but between boarding school and college, she has not spent more than a couple of weeks there at a time for about 6 years! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, hiking and camping, and watching movies. During the school year, she teaches French to elementary school students (her Dad is French) and works as a manager for the Men’s Lacrosse Team.
Counselor: MATT BACHTELL
Matt Bachtell graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 2009. He now majors in physics at Grinnell College in Iowa, where he is entering his third year. With going to school in the midwest, living locally near Mercersburg, and yearly visiting family and friends in California, he is an experienced traveler. He is currently studying Japanese, and has a keen interest in Japanese culture and music; in particular, one of his favorite bands is D’espairsray. As of last year, he was also a two-time winner of National Novel Writer’s Month.
Meet the rest of this summer’s staff by clicking below!
Counselor: CAROLINE METZ
Caroline is currently a student at Mercersburg Academy and will be entering her senior year this coming September. She was born and raised in New York City and has a younger sister named Claire. She is a squash player and has played on Mercersburg’s Varsity team for her two years here. Outside of her busy school schedule, she enjoys singing, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Counselor: EVAN MOATS
Evan Moats is a member of the Mercersburg class of 2012. Originally he is from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, which is about 40 minutes away from Mercersburg. He will be leaving in August to study in England for a year before coming back to attend college at The College of Wooster in Ohio. He plans to join the soccer team at Wooster and major in International Relations. He usually spends his spare time (what little he has at school) playing soccer, reading, or listening to music, also kayaking and rock climbing when he gets the chance.
Counselor: ARIEL GAROFALO
Ariel Garofalo graduated from Mercersburg this past spring. Next fall, she will be attending Boston University where she plans to go Pre-med with a minor in Spanish. Although she has spent most of the past four years at Mercersburg, she calls Brownsville, Pennsylvania, home. Traveling is her favorite thing to do, but she also enjoys rock climbing, art, music, playing squash, and doing yoga. One fun fact about her is that she lived with a host family in Chile for a month when she was sixteen.