LS announces departures

We will miss Curriculum Coordinator Christy Plummer, Second Grade Teacher Molly Darr '92, Kindergarten Teacher Karri Leslie, and PE Teachers Rye Daily and Lindsey Preston.
As we approach the end of the 2020-2021 school year and begin to look ahead, we would like to pause and reflect on the contributions of several special people in Lower School. These important members of our community will either be moving on from USN or shifting their roles in the coming school year. 
 
As you have read in a previous issue of the WAG, Curriculum Coordinator & Math Specialist Christy Plummer will be moving on from USN this year. Plummer’s contributions to USN are numerous. Her dedicated work as a kindergarten teacher and later as a member of the Lower School leadership team has made a lasting impact on the USN community.
 
Molly Darr '92 is stepping away from the classroom after 17 years as a second grade teacher. “Ms. Darr’s All Stars” will forever remember their second grade year with fondness and gratitude. Darr’s leadership and generosity have been cornerstones of the second grade team in Lower School. Now, as her children have become teenagers, she is stepping away to spend more quality time with Hannah and Carson '25. Thankfully, Darr won't be going far, as she plans to be our go-to substitute teacher and baseball team fan. 

Karri Leslie is getting married and moving to the Orlando area to be with new husband, Steadman. Leslie’s gentle spirit, kindness, and patience as the beloved Green Door kindergarten teacher have made her an integral part of the Lower School community. Leslie is pursuing teaching opportunities in the Central Florida area and will be sorely missed on the kindergarten team. 

Skyler Moots will officially join Kim Avington, Tempest Covington, and Christopher Washko as the newest member of the 4th grade team. He has adeptly filled Washko’s shoes this year after covering multiple maternity leaves and serving as a teaching assistant and coach over the years. Moots’s love of USN, teaching, and his students has been apparent in each role he has played, and we are thrilled for him to continue his journey at USN.

First Grade Teacher Betsy Hoffman '83 is making a move across the atrium to the corner suite currently occupied by Molly Darr. Hoffman has been exploring new opportunities in the form of workshops focused on student-centered, design-thinking, project-based teaching and learning over the past couple of years. She is excited about her move to second grade.

Lindsey Preston will be leaving us to pursue ways to connect her love for yoga, health and wellness, and teaching. She has been an important part of the PE team and has helped us make a great deal of progress in articulating and recording our PE curriculum. Preston has put her deep love for physical activity and development to work in her teaching. An important part of her work at USN has been her relationship with students. Students absolutely love her and are so excited when Coach Preston meets them for PE.

Rye Daily will be moving in a new direction next year, also. He is a master PE lesson planner, classroom manager, and kid magnet. To watch him differentiate the stations for the day’s lesson is a thing of beauty. Kids learn to work with and support a partner, they learn to challenge themselves and celebrate the success of others, and they get a textbook dose of what best-practice PE instruction looks and feels like. This year has reinforced Daily's desire to be closer to family. 
 
While we cannot, at this point, imagine a school year without these all-stars on campus, we look forward to celebrating each of our departing faculty members and all that they have meant to USN and the Lower School. We have made tremendous progress in our search to fill the roles of these extraordinary individuals and are excited to share more about the talented new members of the Lower School team in the near future.
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