Faculty and Staff
With nine advanced degrees and scores of years of teaching experience among them, Summers-Knoll faculty know what learners need to succeed. As veteran instructors, Summers-Knoll teacher reach every student and bring joy to every lesson. They are a community of committed, progressive teachers dedicated to building community and preparing students for the next stage of their academic career.
Head of School
Walter holds an advanced degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. A former Teach-for-America participant and long-time teacher, Walter has served as the Head of School at Innovation Academy in Massachusetts and the New Roads School in California.
Val joined the faculty at Summers-Knoll in the fall of 2011. Val has extensive experience in leading active, project-oriented, exploratory and creative classes in a preschool/kindergarten environment. Val’s warmth, humor, high expectations and abundant sense of adventure result in a classroom that resonates with ideas, wonder, and discovery.
Susan Carpenter joined the faculty of Summers-Knoll in the fall of 2002. She holds a degree in Education and an Early Childhood Specialist Certificate. Susan is a passionate believer in creating a calm, beautiful, and peaceful space where children can learn. Early childhood is a time where students learn by doing, so there are plenty of hands-on projects such as building terrariums, sewing pillows, or planting herb gardens. Susan believes that as children connect happily and meaningfully with the world through their studies, their academics soar.
Chris has a B.A. from Oakland University and a M.S. in Education Studies from U-M. He wants students to leave his classroom with a greater awareness of themselves and their environment, seizing the opportunity to move forward in the world as creative problem solvers who nurture their passions and act with empathy.
7th/8th Homeroom and Math
Sam joined Summers-Knoll as a math teacher during the 2012-13 school year. He earned a B.A. in Arts and Ideas in the Humanities and a M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. Sam has been a teacher since 2001, and has worked for the last 10 years in independent schools, teaching math and science at the middle and high school level. Sam has also taught interdisciplinary classes relating to cultural history, futurism, and media literacy. Philosophically, Sam is drawn towards creating interdisciplinary curricula, bringing great energy towards integrating mathematics in broader contexts.
P.E., K-2nd Science
Imogen holds her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of London in England. She has over twenty years of teaching experience in Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient and Medieval History and French. She has taught at South Hampstead School, Sydenham High School and Cobham Hall School, where she was Head of the Classics Department. She has taught courses at Goldsmiths College and for the extra-mural department of the University of London. She has been teaching at Summers-Knoll since 2007 and was instrumental in introducing Latin to all our students from Kindergarten upwards and in developing the French program. She has also taught Exploration Block classes in classical dance and is a fervent believer in the power of language and literature to enrich and illuminate the lives of children.
7th/8th Homeroom and Librarian
Rachel received her MSI from the School of Information at the University of Michigan and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. In addition to her work as a librarian, Rachel also created and developed the youth enrichment arm of Summer in the City, an award-winning Detroit-based nonprofit organization devoted to engaging young people in meaningful service opportunities throughout Detroit. As part of her work both with Summer in the City and in schools, Rachel has developed programs for young people that aim to recognize the value of diverse perspectives and the complex nature of community-building efforts.
Lisa’s relationship with Summers-Knoll began when her daughter became an SK student in 2013. Mindful of the activities that had inspired her as a young girl, Lisa approached the Head of School with the idea of reviving the after school aquarium club that she had belonged to as a child, a group called “Fish Lab.” Joanna and the rest of the staff were incredibly welcoming and supportive, and Fish Lab 2 was born at Summers-Knoll in the spring of 2014. The experiment was a grand success and a personal delight for Lisa, and when she learned that SK was looking for a new science teacher, she jumped at the chance to help inspire a new generation of scientists. Lisa is happy to report that the Fish Lab has now become an elective class for 5-8th graders that is very much in keeping with the Summers-Knoll model of project-based learning.
Mary holds an undergraduate degree from the Residential College at U-M and a Master’s degree in teaching students with diverse emotional and education needs. An educator with more than 30 years of experience, Mary taught in the public schools for 27 years, first as a Teacher Consultant and then in her own 3rd-5th grade classrooms. She integrated her curriculum with thematic instruction while always working to build a sense of community and global responsibility in her classes. She has been committed to progressive issues since her youth and has traveled extensively for pleasure and social justice work. She is thrilled to be a part of the Summers-Knoll community.
Kimberley is an experienced professional with a long track record as a results-oriented and solution-focused individual. She arrived at Summers-Knoll first in 2007 and then happily rejoined the Summers-Knoll team in 2013, having relocated back home to Michigan.
Director of Extended Learning
Director of Operations
Karen joined the staff at Summers-Knoll in 2008. She has a Bachelors in Business Administration degree, majoring in Finance, from the University of Michigan. Karen manages and leads the operations for all of Summers-Knoll School. Karen’s major work includes admissions, supporting teachers, technology, communications and all organizational aspects of the school’s operations.