Inspiring Lifelong Learners

who truly love their work are the key to an outstanding Country School education. It’s the character of our people that defines our school. Each employee cares deeply about our students and they give freely to one another to continually strengthen our community. It takes only one person to make a difference in the life of a child. 

MARIA SETTE '92 has been a Country School fourth-grade teacher since 2003. She served as a peer-elected faculty representative to the Board of Trustees  from 2010 to 2012.
“EVEN AFTER 14 YEARS, I get excited for September. The fresh start of the school year, meeting new families and, most of all, allowing the children to help determine which roads we will take in our learning.

Ask anyone for help, and if there’s a way, they will help, no questions asked. This is not something you can teach; it is in the fabric of who we are and who joins our school. Everyone here is all in. From the kitchen staff, to the administrators, to the facilities team, to the teachers, everyone wants the children to love learning and will go above and beyond in their roles to support that goal.”

WILL MCDONOUGH has been teaching English and history at Country School since 2008.  He is co-chair of the history department, grade level coordinator, an advisor and coach.
“WHEN I WAS FIRST HIRED IN 2008, I was unconvinced I’d stay long. I felt as though a deep sense of wanderlust was pulling me somewhere more thrilling, more adventurous. I was young, passionate, ambitious ... and dead wrong.
As it turned out, teaching English and World Cultures to throngs of engaged and inquisitive adolescents would provide all the thrills and adventures I could ever crave. What was once a purely professional venture has become so intimately personal. I fell in love first with the people, with the passion everyone on campus has for unabashedly knowing and loving the students who flock to this campus each day. I challenge anyone to spend a day on campus without becoming inspired, and without a feeling of longing to swell within them that whispers, ‘If I had to start all over again, I’d want to do it right here.’"
CHARLES KHUEN has been a Country School seventh-grade teacher since 2011. He currently teaches Upper School English and history, and serves as an advisor and varsity soccer coach.
“COMING TO NCCS has been a seminal event in my life. This is the place that has helped me grow as an educator and coach. It has become a part of who I am. I come to school every day knowing that I am known and heard. Now that I know what that feeling is like, I strive to create that sense of belonging for my students.

Being a lifelong learner means that you are not ashamed to care and put yourself out there to be vulnerable. Engaging with the world means taking risks, and this is the kind of courage I strive to instill in my students. It is cool to care!”

BRUCE LEMOINE has worked at Country School since 1980 in a number of different roles. Currently he is the Director of Academic Records and an Upper and Middle School technology teacher.
“I HAVE SPENT THE BETTER PART of my ‘working life’ here at New Canaan Country School. When I was Director of the Apprentice Teacher Training Program here at NCCS, aspiring teachers often asked me ‘What makes NCCS special?’ My answer never wavered. NCCS does not treat children like adults; however, teachers do treat children with a wonderful adult-like respect to which our students respond wonderfully well. As a result of this respect for children, our students learn to trust the adults in their lives. With that comes a unique sense of confidence that takes root in our students and serves them well throughout their lives.”
ABBY CALI has been a Country School Middle School Spanish teacher and coach since 2012. Abby is currently chair of the world language department.
“I LOVE COMING TO WORK EVERY DAY. Since I started working at NCCS I have been a teacher in the classroom, a coach for athletics, a leader of clubs, a chaperone of international field trips and, of course, a bus driver! I think that seeing teachers outside of their classroom shows the students that we are more than our subject area.”
In 2015, I had the opportunity to co-lead a trip to Panamá with my colleague Liz Pepe. The newly graduated ninth-graders stayed with host families who spoke no English. They were pushed out of their comfort zones and truly learned lessons in those 10 days that we could never teach in the classroom.  I know that those students were inspired to take their language learning further, to explore the world and to see things from a new perspective.” 

MARK MACRIDES  began his career at Country School in 1985 as an apprentice teacher, and during his time has worn many hats including archivist, visual arts teacher and department chair, and events manager.
“I’m fortunate to interact with many different constituencies of the school community—with students in the classroom, with faculty and staff, with parents and trustees supporting projects and events, and with alumni through my role as archivist. In all of these interactions, I am constantly moved by the strong ties everyone has to Country School. From a historical perspective, I know quite well the dedicated and consistent support the Country School community has given to the school over the past 100 years. Each day, I appreciate my own chance to be able to contribute to and to receive from this great community. Each day I spend here promises more challenge, more opportunity and more hope for the future.”