The Governor’s Academy is excited to welcome eight new faculty members to the community this year.
Teri Bennett — Library Information Specialist
Teri received her B.S. from SUNY Oneonta and her M.L.I.S from San Jose State University. After working at Governor’s for the past seven years as a part-time Library Assistant, Teri is thrilled to be joining the Govs as a full-time Library Specialist. Most recently, Teri was the Youth Services Librarian at the Rowley Public Library. In addition to her positions at Rowley and Govs, Teri has worked for a variety of public and school libraries with diverse populations and age groups. She holds her Massachusetts provisional teaching license and is a Google Level 1 educator. She enjoys talking about books and stories so much so she recently talked a co-worker into launching a podcast about books and reading. Teri lives with her son and daughter and enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, listening to her son play bass guitar/guitar, and watching her daughter play field hockey.
Tara Danielson — Associate Director of Admission
Tara received her B.S. in sports management from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her M.A. in Athletic Administration from Springfield College. Tara was the Head Field Hockey Coach at Stanford University eleven years. At Stanford she specialized in international recruiting and enjoyed building relationships with prospective students and families through the admissions process. Most recently, she led the Cardinal to the 2021 America East Conference championship, its fourth title in the last five years, and a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight, earning NFHCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year for her efforts. Tara moved back to New England to be closer to family. She enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with her family. Tara is excited to bring both her expertise in recruiting and her skills in athletics onto the Governor’s campus
Cindy Fanikos — Chief Financial Officer
Cindy received her B.S. in Accounting from Boston College. Cindy brings with her a wealth of experience in both the financial services and nonprofit realms. She has worked in higher education as the Tax and Debt Manager at the University of Virginia, was an auditor with the accounting firm Ernst & Young, and was a senior manager with Capital One Financial Corporation before becoming the CFO of North Hill Ventures, which is Capital One’s venture capital firm. Most recently, she was the CFO at St. John’s Prep (Massachusetts) where she was an integral part of the Head of School’s leadership team. During her tenure, she helped lead the expansion of a middle school to the campus, which involved hiring 100 new employees and the addition of two new buildings. She also oversaw the construction of a new wellness center on campus, adopted new technology to improve the management of business operations, created a long range financial plan, refinanced the school’s debt, and developed the school’s first disaster recovery plan. Cindy enjoys yoga and spending time with her family. She lives with her son, daughter, and dog.
Rachel Flinn — Assistant Director of Admission
Rachel received her B.A. from Kenyon College (Ohio) where she was on the swim team for four years. Originally from New Hampshire, Rachel is a seven time All-American, three year NCAA qualifier, and captained her team in her senior year. Rachel has spent the last five years in admission at Riverdale Country School (New York) and Dexter Southfield School (Massachusetts). Rachel enjoys swimming, baking, gardening, and lives with her fiancé.
Monica Kirschmann — English
Monica received her B.A. in English from Fordham University and her M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. She spent the last seven years at Miss Hall’s School (Massachusetts) where she taught English, directed the Writing Center, coached soccer and lacrosse, and served as a dorm parent. Prior to her tenure at Miss Hall’s, Monica taught English at the Loomis Chaffee School (Connecticut), Northwest Catholic High School (Connecticut), St. Thomas Aquinas College (New York), and Paramus Catholic High School (New Jersey). She loves growing tomatoes, her signature dish is herb roasted chicken, and she is a lifelong Yankees fan. She is excited to join the Govs community with her partner and son.
Milton Kop — Mathematics
Milton received his B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Creighton University and his M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in Learning and Teaching. He has taught math at his alma mater St. Louis High School (Hawaii), computer science and math at Maryknoll High School (Hawaii), math at Newton North High School (Massachusetts), physics at Academy of the Pacific Rim (Massachusetts), and, most recently, math at Westwood High School (Massachusetts). Milton wrestled in high school and cheered in college. He enjoys stretching, running, and lifting. Milton follows the Patriots, Celtics, and his Creighton Bluejays. He loves spending time outdoors with his dog.
Chanté Reid — English
Chanté received degrees in writing from both Brooklyn College and Brown University. A writer from The Bronx, NY, Chanté practices and teaches literary arts and was most recently a visiting lecturer at Brown University and Johnson & Wales University. She has been an editor for the Bronx-based literary magazine, Thesis, and the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, The Junction. Chanté firmly believes community and competition can and should constructively coexist. She and her partner spend their spare time serving a tiny, demanding, playful poodle-mix.
Gabriella (Gabby) Tober — Director of Instrumental Music
Gabriella earned her B.M. in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She distinguished herself academically, professionally, and musically, playing in nationally competitive ensembles including Spirit Winter Percussion and the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, the latter with whom she performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis in 2018. Following graduation, Gabriella worked with various musical ensembles around the New England area, including local high schools, co-directing the Boston University Drumline, and managing the front ensemble caption for the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Outside of her time teaching and performing, Gabriella enjoys traveling, ice skating, going for hikes, and playing chess. Gabriella is excited to bring both her passion for music education and love for performance onto the Governor’s campus.
L-R: Chanté Reid, Tara Danielson, Gabby Tober, Cindy Fanikos, Milton Kop, Teri Bennett, Monica Kirschmann, Rachel Flinn