Branson Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

Branson is pleased to welcome eight new faculty and staff to our community:

Chance Sims, Director of Studies
Chance’s journey in education started with a five-year tenure at Lakeside School in Seattle, where as a history instructor he developed a deep interest in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teaching practices. After completing a graduate degree at the University of Washington, he accepted an offer to be the chair of the History and Social Science Department at Georgetown Day School (GDS). Chance went on to complete three years at GDS before taking a leadership position at the 300-year-old Trinity School in New York City. Chance is coming to Branson from The Northwest School in Seattle, a grade 6-12 international boarding and day school. As the Upper School Director, Chance was responsible for a division with 360 students from 20 different countries. Chance is the father of Isamu (15) and Aya (8), and loves to paddle board, bike, cook, and travel in his free time.

Dr. David Hanson, CFOO
David is the founder of Winthrop & Associates, LLC, a consultancy focused on financial and operational sustainability, as well as risk management for colleges and independent schools. Prior to founding this firm, David served Phillips Exeter Academy as its Chief Financial Officer. He had responsibility for all financial affairs, HR, IT, risk management, and legal affairs, as well as various operating departments. In his long career in schools, David also served Virginia Commonwealth University, first as the Vice President for Finance and Administration (CFO) and then as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He also spent nearly a decade at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where he served as the Associate Vice President for Administration and Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration.  

Dr. Arturo Acevedo, Spanish
Arturo is a seasoned teacher who has been teaching Spanish in New York since 2005. Most recently he worked at the Little Red School House in Manhattan where he taught Spanish I-IV, he was the Freshman Dean, and he led the Latinx affinity group. Arturo is a life-long academic and earned his PhD in Education Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount. An avid soccer fan, he is looking forward to enjoying the nature that the Bay Area provides.

Matt Chan, Associate Director of College Counseling
Matt joins Matt Lane and Frances Dillon in the College Counseling Office and has just finished his Master's degree in Educational Leadership at Harvard. Prior to that, he worked in the Admissions Office at Georgetown University, his alma mater. Matt is a native of the Bay Area and is excited to be back in his hometown. He is eager to work with our students as they make their transition to college.

Emily Easom, COVID-19 Coordinator
Many of you already know Emily as one of our beloved girls’ basketball coaches. We are lucky to bring her aboard as our COVID Coordinator, where she will manage the day to day operations as they relate to COVID-19: health screening, data collection, and health and safety protocols. Emily is an EMT and has also just finished her firefighter training. We are delighted to have Emily at Branson full time. 

Erin Mansur, English
Erin joins Branson as an English teacher, coming from the Brooklyn Friends School, a K-12 day school in Brooklyn, New York. Erin has twenty years of experience teaching, mentoring, and guiding young people from divergent communities in a variety of different fields including language arts, history, humanities, theatre, and American Sign Language. Erin has a passion for forging connections between literacy and social justice, as well as for marrying thought and action, principles, and practice.

Caroline Santinelli, English
Caroline will be teaching English at Branson. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College, and an MA in English Literature from the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury. Most recently, Caroline has been working at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado, where she taught English, coached the swim team, and ran the Model UN program. Caroline is an avid outdoorswoman and looks forward to exploring our beautiful trails through the area.

Shujun “Jasmine” Xiang, Chinese
Jasmine is a veteran Chinese teacher who comes to us from Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. While there, Jasmine taught all levels of Chinese. She started her career teaching English in China and began teaching Mandarin in the US in 2012. She enjoys sharing her culture by traveling to China with students and teaching classes in Chinese cuisine and Tai chi. Jasmine has moved onto campus and will be living in one of the apartments in Crossways.