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Meet the Residential Faculty

Residential Faculty members (or "RF's" for short) are the adults who watch over the boarding students after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. They live on campus and all are teachers or coaches, so they know first-hand what students experience during the school day.  However, they only teach one or two classes at most so that they can focus the bulk of their energy and time on the boarding students when the school day ends.  In addition to the RF’s, the boarding students are joined on-campus by 17 faculty and staff members, their families, and four monks, all of whom call Priory "home."

Michelle Taffe

Michelle's introduction to boarding school came at the age of 16, when she studied French at the St. Paul's School Advanced Studies Program in Concord, N.H. This experience inspired her career in residential education, which spans more than 20 years and includes schools in New England and California.  Michelle has worked in schools in a variety of roles: as a French teacher, an admission officer, an associate dean of students, a dormitory head, and a track and field coach.

Mike Loftis

Mike was born in Nashville, TN, where he has lived most of his life.  In 2004, he graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a BS in Education.  After college, Mike taught English for the US Embassy in Thailand, and he has worked on the Priory campus for the last 8 summers at the Mountain Camp Woodside summer program and is currently the Assistant Director. Last year, he was an Assistant Basketball Coach for Donelson Christian Academy in Tennessee, and his team won the Tennessee State Championship.   In addition to being an RF, Mike coaches basketball and a number of other sports at the Priory.  In his freetime, he enjoys sports, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Amanda McFadden

After subbing for Tina Paulson (choir teacher) at Priory, I knew it would be a great fit for me.  When the opportunity was presented for me to join the faculty full time, I jumped on it and I am so glad that I did!  I graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (cum laude), receiving the Outstanding Undergraduate award from The School of Music.  I went on to pursue a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music from San Jose State University.

Music, to me, is an essential part of a well-rounded education.  Students need to express themselves and music provides a wonderfully creative outlet for them to do so.  I believe in quality, commitment, and persistence.  It is important for me to reflect every day on my teaching so that I can better serve the students I will teach.

When I am not playing music, I enjoy playing volleyball with my sisters, spending time with my family, and eating delicious foods from around the world.  Music, family, and food; these joys are what life is all about! 

Myles Somerville

Myles Somerville is from Middletown, RI and has lived on small islands off of New England his entire life. He attended Portsmouth Abbey high school, a Benedictine high school in Portsmouth, RI. In 2009, he graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Outdoor Pursuits and a minor in English. He also was a 3 time All South Eastern Conference lacrosse player for FSU. Besides being a Residential Faculty member, Myles is passionate about hiking, traveling, writing, and meeting good people in great places.

Tess Somerville

I received my Bachelor's in English and French from New College of Florida before embarking on a three year adventure teaching in France, Spain, and Vietnam. My time abroad not only solidified my passion for education, but also encouraged me to continually deconstruct and rebuild my understanding of culture and human nature.

My solo travels taught me the true value of hospitality and understanding. Therefore, I'm very excited to join the Residential Faculty team at Priory, where campus life is such a high priority, and where students are so well supported in all aspects of their lives. 

Kailen Whang

Born and raised in Los Angeles, by choice, I picked up and moved to New York to have a completely different experience in college. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in English Education at NYU and relocated back to Los Angeles shortly after graduating. After working in different industries, I knew I wanted to work with students again and found the wonderful campus and community of the Priory. As I work with the boarding students this year, I will be completing my Master’s degree in Educational Technology at the California State University, Fullerton in the winter of 2014. 

In my spare time, I love to cook (and not follow the recipes), read, bike, sing to my heart’s content, and laugh.