Who We Are
The CITYterm team is an eclectic mix of collaborative educators from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Each faculty member joined CITYterm because they are fascinated by experience-based learning, living in a tight-knit community, and New York City. CITYterm affords each faculty member the opportunity to teach in a creative, transformative environment and to learn alongside students.
Click below for faculty contact info and bios!
Isabelle is CITYterm’s French teacher. A French native, Isabelle worked as a French teacher at The Brearley School in the Middle School and Upper School, teaching 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th grades. She also taught at the Upper School of Horace Mann School, teaching 9th through 12th Grade. Isabelle received her B.A. in Teaching French as a foreign language and her M.A. in American Literature from Institut d'Anglais Charles V, Université de Paris VII, France. Outside the classroom, Isabelle enjoys spending time with her son and being a part of the New York City art scene.
Manyata is CITYterms’s Program Coordinator. Manyata grew up in Northern New Jersey and graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where she studied Psychology and The Study of Education. Her main interests include looking at the impacts of social media influence, learning about past and present medical advances, and browsing YouTube. She often spends her summers working with children in an enrichment capacity. Manyata is thrilled to be a part of the CITYterm team and is excited to explore New York City with students.
CITYterm Director Cotter Donnell developed a passion for experiential learning as a student on an Outward Bound course during college, and he has worked to incorporate it into his work as a teacher and administrator in independent schools over the last seventeen years. Inspired by CITYterm’s Teaching for Experience summer workshop for educators, Cotter helped to design a place-based interdisciplinary program on his native Los Angeles at Polytechnic School in California before transitioning to New York to be CITYterm’s new director. Cotter has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and master’s degrees in Educational Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University and English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Cotter lives on campus with his family.
Jennifer Hughes is CITYterm’s Spanish Teacher. A native of Chile, she has enjoyed teaching Spanish, French, and Italian at public and independent schools for seventeen years. This will be Jennifer’s third year teaching at CITYterm. Jennifer's passion for languages began at a young age, studying English in grade school, French in middle school, and Italian in college in Italy. She also studied in France and Switzerland. Her three children are bilingual. She enjoys assisting foreign students, riding her bicycle, and walking her sweet dog, Princess.
This will be Jason’s tenth year as a member of the faculty and residential team. He lives in the dorm with his wife, Mary Ryan. Jason attended Concord Academy and is a CITYterm alumnus (Fall 2000). Jason earned a B.A. studying history at Davidson College and spent semesters abroad at the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Cape Town. After graduation, he joined Teach For America and was placed at the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem. Jason spent two years teaching elementary school while also earning a M.S. in Education from Bank Street College of Education. Jason also has earned a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from the New School for Public Engagement.
Phone: (914) 479-6652
Erik Johnke is the Associate Director of Studies at CITYterm. In addition, he teaches Math and is part of the Urban Core faculty. Erik has been a member of the CITYterm faculty for the past thirteen years. He received a B.A. from Haverford College and completed an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He served as both the Math and Theater Department Chairs at The Solebury School, and taught at The Pennington School and at Friends School in New Jersey. Additionally, Erik has written about a dozen plays and musicals. His musicals “God’s Country” and “Play Like a Winner” were performed at the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Ravi is in his second year as Associate Director of Admission for CITYterm. Ravi earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. After college, Ravi moved to St. Paul, MN where he spent time as a naturalist’s aide, a middle school language arts tutor at Breakthrough Twin Cities, and recently served as an alumni ambassador for Lawrence University. Originally from Connecticut and an alumnus of The Taft School, he is thrilled to return to the independent school community and East Coast. Ravi lives on campus with his life partner Rachel Katkar, who teaches middle school Life Science at Masters, and their two cats. In his spare time, he loves to read, tell stories, talk about movies, and join friends for trivia night.
Phone: (914) 479-6413
Hank is a Math Teacher at CITYterm. Hank grew up in New York, for undergrad he attended Boston University with a major in mathematics and University of New Hampshire for graduate school. Hank has been working at The Masters School for 11 years and teaching for almost 20 years. He lives on campus with his wife Miae. In his free time, he enjoys all sports and learning new languages.
Alyse Ruiz is CITYterm’s Dean of Residential Life and teacher within the Urban Core. She is also a proud CITYterm alumna (Fall 2003). Alyse graduated from Brown University, earning a B.A. in Urban Studies, as well as Nova Southeastern University, earning an M.S. in Educational Leadership. Prior to coming to CITYterm, Alyse taught high school English and served as English Department Chair at a charter school in Miami, Florida. She was also part of a Curriculum Task Force that offered curriculum support to teachers within the larger charter school network, including other schools in Miami, Key West, and Los Angeles. Alyse lives on campus along with her fiancé, Daniel.
Phone: (914) 479-6604
Eva Seligman is an Urban Core teacher at CITYterm. She is also a member of the residential team. Eva earned a B.A. with a double major in Religion and Gender Studies at Oberlin College. After graduation, she taught high school in Romania for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Eva has a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Bard College and spent three years teaching writing and history at the Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn. She is deeply excited to share her profound love of New York City history and culture. When she is not teaching, Eva can usually be found with her nose in a book, on a yoga mat, or trying to spark an impromptu dance party.
Phone: (914) 479-6509
Trinity Thompson is an Urban Core teacher at CITYterm, and proudly hails from Honolulu, Hawaii. Trinity holds B.A in English (Creative Writing), a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and a M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University. She also earned a M.S. in General and Special Education from the Progressive Education Institute, Touro College. Prior to joining CITYterm, she taught elementary and middle school at Harlem Village Academies, where she developed inquiry-based lessons and led the Cultural Competency Committee. Outside of teaching, Trinity serves on the board of Stanford’s NY Black Alumni Network leading Early College Readiness work and co-leads Teach For America’s Black Affinity Group. In her free time, she can usually be found watching film or eating sweets.
Rachel Waldman is a Math Teacher at CITYterm. She recently graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts where she majored in Anthropology and Chemistry. She is from the Washington D.C. area and attended The Maret School. She spent a semester studying abroad in Indonesia, and she wrote her senior thesis on American summer camps. You can find her dancing, running, and listening to podcasts. She is so excited for CITYterm!