MiChelle Carpenter Becomes First Assistant Head of High School
MiChelle Carpenter will be the first Assistant Division Head for the High School Division beginning July 1. MiChelle, now in her tenth year at Grace, was the inaugural Dean of our founding High School Class of 2016. She also served as the Dean of the Class of 2020 and is currently the Dean of the Class of 2024.
MiChelle has taught a range of courses at Grace, notably freshmen-level Intensive Geometry and Educational Inequity, a Lab Studies course, which was an outgrowth of the original Service Learning program. MiChelle came to Grace with two decades of experience as an educator and administrator in public, charter, and independent schools, including Packer Collegiate Institute and The Park School of Baltimore. She also spent many years facilitating workshops for NYC independent schools, which centered the lived experiences of students of color in predominantly White institutions.
Before beginning her tenure at Grace, MiChelle conducted teacher training workshops for Grades 6-12 mathematics teachers in under-resourced public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and Cincinnati, Ohio. This experience informed her work at Grace and in particular her approach to the Lab Studies program. "It is not enough for us to be concerned with our own intellectual development and academic aspirations. We must engage with the societal realities that make learning and educational attainment difficult or even impossible for many. Our goal isn’t just to get students into the best college, but to help them develop empathy for others and to acquire the skills to understand their place in a global world.”
Incoming Head of School Robbie Pennoyer said of MiChelle’s appointment, “MiChelle Carpenter has defined, strengthened, and embodied the ethos of Grace Church School’s High School Division throughout the first decade of its existence. A passionate advocate for students, a masterful teacher of geometry and lab studies, and a wise and generous colleague, she has been a superb dean for three classes. I’m thrilled that she has accepted our invitation to serve as the Assistant Division Head for the High School.”
MiChelle is a dedicated world traveler and yogi; even during the pandemic, MiChelle indulged her wanderlust by attending yoga retreats in Costa Rica. A voracious reader and amateur chef, MiChelle has also discovered the joys of mountain biking! In her spare time, MiChelle enjoys taking 30-mile bike rides, 15-mile walks, and doing DIY construction projects in her Newark, NJ, home.
MiChelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science Engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Arts in American Studies from Rutgers University. Only a few courses shy of being dissertation-ready, MiChelle hopes to one day complete her doctoral degree.