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Boarding life

Boarding School Life

Boarding at Walker’s builds relationships and memories that last a lifetime.

Welcome to your home away from home.

Walker’s community is built on relationships that are nurtured and strengthened both in and out of the classroom. Our residential faculty create a healthy family atmosphere that allows our students to thrive, as they meet the challenges of adolescence head on. We provide a variety of shared experiences and expectations that enhance the building of these special relationships creating memories that last a lifetime. 

At Walker’s, you are never more than a few steps away from someone who is an integral part of your daily life.

Friends, residential faculty and classroom teachers feel like family at Walker’s. Our dedicated residential faculty will take the time to get to know you well and will notice when you need extra support or encouragement.

Residential Faculty and Dorm Affiliates

Corina Alvarezdelugo

Art Teacher and Gallery Director

Corina Alvarezdelugo

 860-408-4261

B.F.A., Albertus Magnus College

Venezuelan-American artist and educator Corina S. Alvarezdelugo was born in Valencia, Venezuela. She studied at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, had formal art training with Venezuelan painter and sculptor Luis Alvarez de Lugo, and earned a BFA in studio art with Honors and Distinction from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, while raising her three children. She is currently a Lesley Art + Design MFA in Visual Arts candidate at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a Strauch-Mosse Merit Scholarship.

Ms. Corina, as her students call her, has years of experience working in different media and techniques that her students benefit from, including drawing, painting, mixed media, fiber art, printmaking, and 3D design sculpture and installation. Her artwork has been shown in galleries and museums in South America, the Caribbean, and in the USA, including the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City. Ms. Corina’s work has been published in numerous publications and has been featured on Spotlight on the Arts on Connecticut Public Television (Piece nominated for an Emmy award). She has won awards from major organizations in Connecticut and New York, as well as an artist-in residency at the Vermont Studio Center with a Merit-based Grant. She was also a 2019 artist-in residency at RUC (Residency for Contemporary Artists) in the Italian Alps, EU.

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Dr. Melissa Bernardo

Science Faculty

Dr. Melissa Bernardo

 860-408-4328

B.A., Eastern Connecticut State University
Ph.D., Wesleyan University

Melissa joined Walker’s in 2017 after completing her Ph.D. in Biology from Wesleyan University. Her dissertation dealt with nutrient-mediated manipulation of host-feeding behavior by a parasitoid. Melissa has taught a range of topics at the university level and brings her knowledge and enthusiasm to Walker’s chemistry, biology and environmental science classes. She also coaches volleyball and softball.

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Elisa Del Valle

Assistant Head of School for Student Life/Director of Social Justice and Inclusion

Elisa Del Valle

 860-408-4287

B.A., Smith College
M.A., University of Massachusetts

Elisa Del Valle, a native of Brooklyn, NY, has lived in Connecticut for over a decade. Prior to joining Walker’s in fall 2016, she worked as the director of student activities and leadership development/new student orientation at Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Elisa served on the Presidential Task Force for Equity and Inclusion and was an active voice on issues of Equity and Inclusion amongst her student affairs professionals. Elisa’s deep-rooted interest in women’s education is what brings her to Walker’s. Elisa attended an all-girls high school in New York City before attending Smith College in Northampton, MA where she majored in Government and minored in Spanish. While working at Mount Holyoke College, Elisa attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated with a Master’s in Social Justice Education. Elisa is an active Commissioner of the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools, an educators network focused on diversity, as well as training and resources for diversity practitioners at CAIS member schools.

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Jade Dennett

Assistant Director of College Counseling

Jade Dennett

 860-408-4217

B.A., Colgate University

Jade joined Walker’s in 2018. She previously served as the assistant director of admissions at Skidmore College for three years. In addition to representing Skidmore at school visits and college fairs in the southwest and mid-Atlantic, Jade served on several admission committees, including the Filene music scholarship, the London experience program, diversity, and athletics. Her assigned application reading load included The Ethel Walker School and she was drawn to Walker’s, in part, because of the academic strength and personal qualities she saw in its applicants.

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Scott Frey

English Faculty

Scott Frey

 860-408-4308

B.A., Gordon College
M.S., Simmons College

Scott joined The Ethel Walker School community in 2012 after more than a decade of teaching English at the Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching English, he coached basketball, worked as a dorm parent, designed new courses in creative writing and film studies, and taught in the school’s summer outreach program. While working at Landmark, Scott also earned a Master of Science in Education from Simmons College. Most importantly, he was truly amazed at the kindness and support of the Landmark community during his tenure there.

At Walker’s, Scott feels he has found another such community. Like so many of his colleagues, he is quite simply thrilled to learn and to teach. Scott is currently working on a second graduate degree in English at Trinity College, yet his greatest lessons come from the students and colleagues he works with each day. Their energy and brilliance continually energize him and renew his love for teaching.

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Michelle Helmin P'19

Director of External Affairs

Michelle Helmin P'19

 860-408-4393

B.S., University of Hartford
M.B.A., University of Hartford
Advanced Business Certificate (Marketing Intelligence), UConn School of Business
Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management, UConn School of Public Policy

Michelle has served as the director of external affairs at Walker’s since July of 2016 where she manages the school’s communications, marketing, media relations and community affairs. She also teaches Personal Finance to juniors and manages the School’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Community Partnership Program. Previously, Michelle was the director of the Annual Fund for Walker’s for the 2015-2016 school year. Prior to joining Walker’s, she was the director of communications and marketing at the UConn School of Law where she managed the strategic communications program for the school, including as editor for the school’s alumni magazine, media relations, website development, event management, media relations and other outreach activities. Michelle has worked in the area of institutional advancement for several years including serving as special assistant to both UConn’s provost and president of the UConn Foundation/vice president for institutional advancement.

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Nishette Isaac

Dean of Students/Dean of Middle School Digital Library Services

Nishette Isaac

 860-408-4324

B.A., Hofstra University
M.S., Fordham University
M.L.S., Pratt Institute

Nishette joined Walker’s in 2016 from the Collegiate School in New York where she served as the school’s librarian for three years. She earned her B.A. in anthropology from Hofstra University, her M.S. in teaching from Fordham University, and her M.L.S. from Pratt Institute. Nishette began her career as a librarian for the New York City Department of Education where she served for four years at PS 305 and PS 256. There, she ran the library while being frequently called upon to perform classroom teaching duties. In 2011, she joined Dalton School as a volunteer librarian and spent the 2012-2013 year as a maternity leave replacement librarian at both Chapin School and Brearley School. Nishette was born in Saint Lucia and moved to the United States when she was 10. She is an active member of the Shelflives Book Club and has served as vice president of the Hudson Valley Librarian Association for the past three years.

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Katelyn Martinez

Katelyn Martinez

Middle School Administrative Assistant and Activities Coordinator

Katelyn Martinez

 860-408-4297

B.F.A., University of Hartford

Ms. Martinez is the Middle School administrative coordinator and activities coordinator and she joins Walker’s from her previous role as an assistant teacher for Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, and as our school’s art intern in past summers. She also joins as Walker’s newest dorm faculty member. Ms. Martinez is a recent graduate from the University of Hartford; she holds a B.F.A.

Ms. Martinez has an impressive portfolio of original artwork that has been accepted and shown in key exhibits including ARIE Magazine and the Goldfarb exhibition.

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Kathleen Minahan

History Faculty & Department Chair

Kathleen Minahan

B.A., Indiana University
M.A., Yale University

Kathleen Minahan joined Walker’s in 2019 after teaching history at Cheshire Academy for six years. During her time at Cheshire, she designed a new school-wide advising program and served as advising program coordinator. Previously, she taught English at the Storm King School in New York and the Academy of New York in Warsaw, Poland. Kathleen earned a B.A. in History and Slavic Languages and Literatures with a minor in Russian and East European Studies from Indiana University and an M.A. from Yale University in European and Russian Studies. She is currently working on an Ed.M. in Private School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to her teaching duties, Kathleen also chairs Walker’s history department.

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Dr. Emma Mitchell

Physics Faculty

Dr. Emma Mitchell

 860-408-4334

B.A., Vassar College
Ph.D., University of Virginia

Emma received her Bachelor’s degree in physics from Vassar College in 2009, where she also was senior editor of the college newspaper. She taught physics and chemistry at her alma mater, Emma Willard School, before earning a Ph.D. in applied physics at the University of Virginia in 2016. Her Ph.D. research was in laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry, focusing on thermal and radiation processing of frozen water in astronomical environments. As a graduate student, she was awarded fellowships by both the NASA Earth and Space Science Program and the NASA Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Emma lives with her rescue border collie, Davy.

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Megan Mulhern

Chair, English Department and English Faculty

Megan Mulhern

B.A., Brown University
M.A., Middlebury College

Prior to joining Walker’s, Megan (Danyliw) Mulhern taught several English courses at Westminster School and the YK Pao Secondary School in Shanghai, China. While at the YK Pao Secondary School she developed a school wide reading program. She also taught at The Lawrenceville School, The Emma Willard School and worked for the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Megan earned her B.A. in English from Brown University and her M.A. in Literature from Middlebury College.

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Mallory Pasquariello

Director of Residential Life and Student Activities

Mallory Pasquariello

 860-408-4237

B.A., Roger Williams University
M.A., University of Leicester

Mallory is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a bachelor’s degree in art history and a triple minor in architecture, business management and English literature. She also has an M.A. in Museum Studies through the distance learning program at the University of Leicester. Previously, Mallory served as teller supervisor and customer service representative for Northwest Community Bank in New Hartford where she has gained a wealth of experience in customer service and organization. Here at Walker’s, Mallory serves as the assistant to the Dean’s Office and is the coordinator of student permissions and attendance in the Upper School. She is also a house faculty member in the New Dorm.

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Dr. Suzanne Piela P’22, '28

Chair, Science Department and Science Faculty

Dr. Suzanne Piela P’22, '28

 860-408-4336

B.S., University of Notre Dame
D.V.M., University of Minnesota

Suzanne joined The Ethel Walker School in the fall of 2007 and since then has taught AP Biology, Advanced Biology, Honors Biology, General Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Honors Biochemistry, Equine Science, and an independent study in Microbiology. Suzanne earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Notre Dame and her D.V.M. at the University of Minnesota. She also did a small animal internship in medicine, surgery, and emergency medicine at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield, MA.

Suzanne practiced as a small animal veterinarian for 10 years before transitioning to teaching. Prior to her role at Walker’s, she worked as a park naturalist and taught ecology at the elementary level, and worked as a middle and high school science and math tutor.

Suzanne is currently the Science Department Chair, coaches JV Tennis, and loves to ride at Walker’s barn when she has time.

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Important Phone Numbers

Main Desk
+1-860-408-4467

Nurse (Joyce McIntyre)
+1-860-408-4289

Dean of Students (Kathleen McNary Pillsbury)
+1-860-408-4239

(8:15 a.m. – 3:25 p.m., Monday–Friday)

Cluett Dorm Faculty On Duty
+1-860-266-5863

Smith Dorm Faculty On Duty
+1-860-266-5864

(after 3:30 p.m. and weekends)

New Dorm Faculty On Duty
+1-860-266-5861

Administrator on Duty (AOD)
+1-860-821-3080

(after 3:30 p.m. and weekends)