Ryan Bennett has been named head coach and director of the baseball program. In addition, he will teach PE classes in the fall and winter and provide athletic contest supervision across all three seasons. While growing up in the Chicago area, Bennett played three years of varsity baseball and basketball. After high school, he accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Austin Peay State University, where he was inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame. He went on to play for the New York Mets organization, from 1996 to 2002, reaching AAA in his final season. Bennett then coached Division 1 at Fairfield University. After relocating to Austin, he served as assistant baseball coach at St. Stephen’s in 2018 and coached other select teams. Off the field, he serves as managing partner at MD Cress Ventures.
Terry Chapman has been appointed Middle School learning specialist. Chapman comes to St. Stephen’s from Palo Alto, Calif., where he was a lead teacher at the Clark School for two years and served as K-8 learning specialist at the International School of the Peninsula since 2007. Chapman holds a B.A. in psychology with a minor in education from Hawaii Pacific University and an M.S. in special education from National University in San Jose.
Latryce Cole, Ph.D., has joined the St. Stephen’s faculty as an Upper School math instructor. Most recently she has served as chair of the math department at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, where she taught Algebra II, Geometry and Calculus. Prior to her role at St. Andrew’s, Cole taught at Auburn University, the Montgomery Academy and the Westminster Schools. She holds a B.S. from Spelman College and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Auburn University. Her dissertation focused on culturally competent principles and African-American student success.
Marilyse Figueroa has been appointed an Upper School English instructor. They earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in creative writing from Texas State University. Most recently, Figueroa taught at Texas State and served as co-managing editor of the “Front Porch Journal.” Figueroa brings extensive creative writing experience to St. Stephen’s, both as a published writer and through volunteer work with local organizations such as Austin Bat Cave, The Writing Barn, OutYouth, Barrio Writers, Texas State’s Student Learning Action Center and Austin Library Foundation.
Marité Ibanez has joined the school faculty to teach Middle School Spanish. Born and raised in Peru, Ibanez is a native Spanish speaker. She has taught at Murchison Middle School and Austin International School, where she also served as Spanish department coordinator. Ibanez holds a B.S. in elementary education from Universidad Federico Villarreal Del Peru and an M.A. in Spanish from Arizona State University.
John Keyes has joined the St. Stephen's faculty to teach 7th grade English in the Middle School. Keyes graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall and later earned a B.A. in English from Skidmore College and an M.B.A. from Rice University. Keyes has been a teacher, coach, advisor and dorm parent since 2002 at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Mass., and River Oaks Baptist School in Houston. Most recently he taught English at Trinity Episcopal School in Austin.
Maria Serrano Jurado has joined the school’s modern languages department as Upper School Spanish instructor. She also holds a B.A. in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Locally, Jurado has taught at Elgin High School, KIPP Austin and Zilker Elementary and has led after-school programs throughout Eanes ISD. A Barcelona native, she speaks both Spanish and Catalan fluently, and she is proficient in French and Portuguese.
Michelle Geo Olmstead has been named the advancement office’s new director of alumni relations. She has more than 18 years of experience working in development. Most recently she served as director of alumni relations at Breck School, a co-educational Episcopal day school in Minneapolis, Minn., where she promoted and managed alumni volunteer leadership opportunities, such as their alumni council, alumni committees, and alumni annual fund program leaders and volunteers. She also served as director of Breck’s comprehensive capital campaign and parent relations, managing a successful $60 million effort.
After working for seven years in both part-time and full-time positions at the Health Center, alumna Jenny Pyle '01 left to pursue a job as a nurse practitioner in the community. She has now returned to campus as a full-time nurse. Pyle holds a B.A. in history and an M.S.N. in community health nursing from The University of Texas at Austin. Since completing her post-master's pediatric nurse practitioner certification at UT last year, Pyle has worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Dell Children's Hospital, specializing in infectious diseases, and at After Hours Kids in Austin. She will work a combination of days, evenings and weekends in the Health Center.
A member of the school faculty from 2002 to 2006, Juan Rodriguez returns to The Hill this fall as a Middle School history instructor. Rodriguez holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and recently has worked on a master’s degree at Middlebury College. Following his initial tenure at St. Stephen’s, he worked as a teacher, coach, dorm parent and administrator at Deerfield Academy, The Putney School, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and the Harker School. Rodriguez said he is excited to return to Texas and to be a Spartan once again.
Adrian Ruiz has been appointed director of the St. Stephen’s jazz bands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from The University of Texas at San Antonio, a master’s degree in music composition from Texas State University and a D.M.A. in jazz trumpet performance from Butler School of Music at UT. Most recently he served as lecturer and director of jazz studies at UTSA. He also has served as band director at Rhodes Middle School and as assistant band director at Matthey Middle School and Jefferson High School. Ruiz regularly performs throughout Texas and beyond.
Alumna Samantha Schmidt '14 has accepted a one-year appointment to teach Upper School history. Schmidt earned a B.A. in history and Middle East and North African studies at Northwestern University. This past year she served as a language teacher in Nobeoka, Japan, where she designed the curriculum and taught second-year English conversation classes at Nobeoka Commercial High School. She shared that she is eager to support the French Club and Model UN.
Dennis Sheeter has been appointed Upper School chemistry teacher. He holds a B.S. in biochemistry and cell biology, an M.S. in molecular pathology, and a Ph.D. in molecular pathology from the University of California?San Diego. He has taught advanced chemistry for the past nine years at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, where he also served as dean of students, tennis coach, school photographer and science department chair. Prior to teaching, Sheeter worked as a scientist and supervisor over molecular diagnostics and gene regulation for Millipore Corp. and as field applications specialist for Applied Biosystems.