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Photo of Jean  Cook

Jean Cook


Jean joined the DDS faculty in 1994. She is the director of technology and the media specialist. She advises the yearbook, runs the after school program and school store, teaches library skills to third, fourth, and fifth graders and computer classes to grades kindergarten through fourth, and eighth. Jean also serves as the eighth grade homeroom teacher and advisor. Jean obtained her bachelor’s degree in communications at Simmons College and her master’s in educational psychology at Marist.
Prior to joining DDS, she co-owned a computer sales/services/training business where she taught computer classes for corporate and private clients. She also taught adult classes at Marist College, Dutchess Community College, Hyde Park Adult Education and BOCES.

Photo of Ann Foster

Ann Foster


Ann Foster started teaching at Dutchess Day School in 2015 as music teacher for grade 8, director of both choruses, and musical director for the 8th grade theater productions. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, where she received a Master of Music in Conducting, and the University of Massachusetts, Ann has had a long career in music education. She has been the music department chair at the Millbrook Central School, is an adjunct instructor at SUNY Dutchess, and her career as a voice and vocal music teacher and choral director spans 35 years. She is a singer and conductor with many professional affiliations. She has guest-conducted for All-County, NYSSMA, Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir, and more.

Photo of Alison Howard Roland

Alison Howard Roland


Ali joined the DDS faculty in 1998. She is the art educator for grades kindergarten through eight, and the set design coordinator.

Ali attended SUNY Purchase where she received a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture, drawing, and set design.

Her art studio is in Red Hook, NY, where she works as a professional mixed media artist and teaches budding artists. She organizes many art exhibits in local banks, hospitals, libraries and galleries, to highlight the work of students at Dutchess Day.

Alison volunteers as an expressive painting coach in the Paint What You Feel program at Astor Services for Children and Families in Rhinebeck. This abstract expressionist painting therapy program pairs artists with emotionally charged children to help them release their emotions in a productive, confidence-building way.

Photo of Laurie Schoch

Laurie Schoch


Laurie joined the faculty of Dutchess Day School in 1995. She teaches physical education for first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth grades, and coaches varsity volleyball and girls’ lacrosse. In addition, Laurie is a third grade writing assistant, as well as an eighth grade homeroom teacher and advisor. In the past she coached the school’s field hockey team and served as the athletic director.
Laurie attended SUNY Brockport where she obtained a bachelor of science degree in physical education and a teacher certification for kindergarten through twelve. She also was enrolled in the graduate program at East Stroudsburg University where she studied sports management and sports medicine.
Prior to coming to Dutchess Day School, Laurie taught preschool through eighth grade physical education at St. George’s School in Poughkeepsie, and taught kindergarten through sixth grade physical education at St. Mary’s School in Poughkeepsie. She has coached volleyball at Spackenkill High School and Van Wyck Jr. High School, and coached basketball at Van Wyck Jr. High.

Photo of Paul Connors

Paul Connors


Paul Connors started in January of 2017 teaching music to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th grades and directing two ensembles: jazz and intro to instrumental ensemble. Paul is a working musician as well as an experienced music educator. He has taught private music lessons for over a decade in voice, bass (electric and stand-up), guitar, piano, and Hammond organ—his signature instrument.

He plays with two bands—his own Paul Connors Organ Trio, a jazz/soul group and the nine-piece soul review band known as A Decade of Soul. Paul’s “most important gig” is as dad to five-year-old twins, Annabel and Donovan. He and his wife, Leeanna Varga, live with their children in Croton.

Paul graduated summa cum laude with a masters in music education from NYU. He also has a BA in English from Fordham University. He says, “I’m pleased with the opportunity Dutchess is providing me to step into a strong music curriculum but to augment it with my own material. As a student-centered teacher, I find this teaching environment to be ideal for following student interests and passions.”

Photo of Jaime Marsella

Jaime Marsella


Jaime Marsella joined the faculty as athletic director in September of 2017, having served as the tennis professional at the Millbrook Country Club for fourteen years. Prior to that, he played and taught soccer in London, before setting off to France to play tennis. He worked at Windridge Tennis Camp in Vermont for five summers as the director of the tennis program. He enjoys playing soccer and running, and is an avid reader. Other hobbies include riding his motorcycle, surfing, and painting.

Photo of Chris Whalen

Chris Whalen


Chris Whalen joined the faculty at Dutchess Day as a teaching assistant, primarily in the lower school. He also teaches 4th grade PE, assists in teaching physical education and health for the lower school, and coaches various sports. Chris attended the University of Tampa, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education K-12. In his free time Chris likes to play golf and exercise.