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Welcoming New Faculty to the 2021/2022 Teaching Team

by Tim CampbellMelinda Kaufman, and Mary Kimball


Please join us in welcoming Britta Joslyn, Dana Powers, Madeline Tank, Jill Saxton Smith, Darren Smith, and Nicole Henderson to our kehilah!


Nicole Henderson
The Learning Center Teacher

Ms. Henderson has a BA in Elementary & Special Education from Keene State. She holds an MA from the University of Phoenix in Curriculum and Instruction. Nicole has 14  years of classroom experience, the past nine years as a K-8 one-room class teacher, teaching core curriculum subjects to a small student group of all grades levels.


Which McGillis value resonates most with you?

Limud L’shma, learning for the sake of learning, resonates with me the most because I seize the opportunity to learn whenever I can. I try to approach every experience with curiosity and courage.


How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?

When I’m not teaching you can find me adventuring, in the mountains or through a novel. My favorite mountain activities are biking, and skiing. As a reader, I gravitate towards historical fiction novels.


Britta Joslyn
The Learning Center Teacher

Ms. Joslyn has an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Utah. She has also received her Orton-Gillingham certification through the Colorado Literacy and Learning Center as a Certified Academic Language Practitioner.  She has been running her own private practice for speech therapy and dyslexia therapy for the past ten years in Park City.


What was something new you learned over the summer?

Prior to breaking my hand in late June, I took up rock climbing with my kids. We started in the climbing gym in late spring and just began the outdoor adventures of climbing. Our new sport allows us to look at the local mountains and rocky landscape much differently.  We love it.


Which McGillis value resonates most with you?

The McGillis value of Kehilah, community resonates with me.


Dana Powers
Lower School Teacher Assistant

Ms. Powers was a great addition last year as a super sub. She has a B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in early childhood education from Northern Michigan University. She has director experience in various preschools and childcare centers, in addition to her experience last year at McGillis.


How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?

When I am not teaching you can find me camping,  skiing (any kind), hiking, mountain biking, roaming Emigration Market looking for culinary inspiration, in my garden, or adventuring with my family.


Which McGillis value resonates most with you?

The McGillis value Tikkun Olam, Repairing the World resonates with me deeply.  As teachers, we have the gift of educating children about their (our) responsibility to take action and do the constant work to repair the world. 


Jill Saxton Smith
K-8 Art Teacher

Ms. Saxton most recently worked as an art instructor at the Ohana Center for adults with special needs, and as an art instructor and resident artist at Workshop SLC. Jill taught for three years at Colegio Maya International School in Guatemala and has lived and worked in Egypt and Zimbabwe as well.

Jill earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Utah State University, and her Masters of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C.


How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?

When I’m not teaching, I am spending time with my three kids; Mo, Tuesday, and Solly, and my dog Nando. I am a practicing artist so I also spend a lot of time in my studio creating work. I also love to travel and roller skate.


Which McGillis value resonates most with you? Why?

Derech Eretz, Having respect for all: Living abroad for nearly 15 years has given me many opportunities to work alongside people from all different backgrounds. By respecting each other's differences we were able to form deep and meaningful relationships that have greatly enriched my life.


Darren Smith
PE Teacher (Grades 4-8)

Mr. Smith joins McGillis as our PE teacher for grades 4-8. Darren has been a humanities teacher, a PE teacher, athletic director, coach, and more for just over 30 years. A career in international schools has taken him to Canada, Pakistan, Spain, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, and China. Darren has a Bachelors in Education from the University of Alberta.


What do you love most about Utah?

Having just moved from Beijing to Utah 3 years ago, my wife, and I have greatly enjoyed our rediscovery of skiing, hiking, and camping, especially during the pandemic. I have also begun playing golf again as there are so many beautiful courses at reasonable prices here in the valley and up in the mountains. Although, at times, I do question why I ever decided to take up the game again.


Which McGillis value resonates most with you? 

Kehilah, Community: resonates with me as I greatly believe that as a community, if we work together and strive for the same goals, we can help each other achieve enormous success as we move forward during these challenging times for our students, teachers, school, and our broader community.


Madeline Tank
Middle School Humanities Teacher

Ms. Tank has spent her educational career as a student and a teacher in independent schools. She holds a BA in Psychology from Amherst College and a MA in English from Middlebury College. She brings experience from North Shore Country Day in Chicago, University School of Milwaukee, and Kent Denver. She has experience coaching field hockey and ice hockey from the youth level to college varsity.


Which McGillis value resonates the most with you? 

Kehilah, Community: resonates the most with me because I value being a part of a school where students and teachers alike love learning together and from one another.


How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?

I’m an active person and grew up playing lots of sports so when I am not teaching I enjoy any opportunity to move around. I love hockey, field hockey, skiing and hiking. I am excited to be in Utah where I can spend a lot of time exploring outdoors.