New Faces: Fall 2022

At a close-knit school like Commonwealth, every person in our building adds new and noticeable contours to the shape of our community, bringing a multitude of life experiences. Our remarkable faculty and staff are no exception. The latest additions to our faculty come with knowledge that spans the disciplines, from physics to psychology and French to biology. And their paths to Commonwealth are just as varied, from living in a city of twenty million people to exploring the length of Massachusetts's South Shore to conducting research for the United Nations. Get to know these new faces...

Christopher Spalding, Physics Teacher

Mr. Spalding comes to Commonwealth after four years of postdoctoral astrophysics research at Yale and Princeton, where he studied the origins of planets discovered around other stars. He has taught at the college and graduate levels while maintaining an avid passion for science communication. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2018, and he earned a B.A. and M.Sci. in Astrophysics from Cambridge University in 2013. Outside the classroom, Mr. Spalding can be found putting physics into action on a tennis court or by learning a new riff on his guitar.

Derin Korman, Photography Teacher 

Mx. Korman has worked with contemporary artists and art institutions around the globe on a wide range of projects with a focus on photographic imagery. They earned their B.F.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology and M.A.T. from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. They now split their time between Commonwealth and MassArt, where they are a professor of photography. Hailing from Istanbul, a city of twenty million people, Mx. Korman appreciates teaching at an institution with a strong commitment to being in the city. If you'd like to strike up a conversation, they are always up for hearing about philosophical sci-fi that reminds us that another world is possible.

Eva Earnest, Biology Teacher

An EMT serving Malden, Everett, Chelsea, Revere, Somerville, and Wellesley when not teaching at Commonwealth, Ms. Earnest earned her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University with degree certification from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She studied membrane protein variability in mice infected with sepsis with the Michel Research Group at Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2020, Ms. Earnest was recognized for her contribution as a Learning Assistant to RIT's biochemistry program with an award for excellence in teaching. In her free time, Ms. Earnest loves looking at pictures of cows, attending yard sales, and watching reality television shows.

Gena Rodriguez, Director of College Counseling 

Ms. Rodriguez brings a wealth of admissions experience to Commonwealth, having most recently  as an admissions research analyst at ACT's higher education consulting firm. Her previous experience includes college advising through the College Advising Corps and admissions and marketing for the Harvard Graduate School of Education's professional education programs, where she also earned her Ed.M. in Higher Education. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Ursinus College as well. When she is not thinking about all things admissions, you may find her reading or exploring the South Shore. 

Michael Samblas, English Teacher

Michael Samblas was born in Miami, Florida. He got his Bachelor's Degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, before returning to Miami to teach in the public school system. He has since received a master's degree in English from Boston University, where he is currently working on his Ph.D., also in English. During the summers, he teaches English withCommonwealth's Dive In program. During the school year, he divides his time between Boston University, where he teaches courses on Cuban and Cuban-American literature, and Commonwealth School, where he teaches English 10. His research focus is on transnational U.S. and Caribbean literature from 1820--1960. During his free time, he enjoys reading, watching movies, organizing social events, and traveling.

Nora Massoc, French Teacher

Ms. Massoc earned a B.A. in Economics at Nantes University (France) and a second B.A. in Ecology at Natal University (Brazil). She has received a master's degree in Cultural Management from Aix en Provence University (France). After her master's, she moved to Brazil where she taught French at the Alliance Française and High School for fourteen years. In 2013, she came to the United States, where she continues to teach French. When she's not teaching, she enjoys reading, cooking while listening to music from around the world, and playing pickleball.

Olivia Belanger, Debate Coach

Ms. Belanger earned her J.D. from New England Law | Boston and her B.A. in Economics and International Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to joining Commonwealth, she worked as a Research Consultant and Communities Fellow at Accountability Counsel, conducted research for the UN, and worked as an investment accountant. Ms. Belanger is starting a career in human rights law and looks forward to working with a group of enthusiastic debate students. Outside of debate, she can be found frequenting the bookstores of Boston.

Rana Sairafi, Student Life Intern 

Rana Sairafi earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from William James College in Newton, Massachusetts. She is currently completing her doctoral degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology at William James. Her previous experience includes working with children, adolescents, and adults, mostly in private practice. Outside of the psychology world, she loves pottery, writing, reading, and traveling!

Sonia Aparicio, History Teacher 

Ms. Aparicio completed her B.A. in Art History and Mathematics at Columbia University and M.A. in East Asian Studies at UCLA. She was also a teaching assistant in the History department at UCLA and, prior to joining Commonwealth, worked as a writing tutor for elementary, middle, and high school students. Outside of academics and teaching, she loves going to museums and ballets. 

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