Department Chairs

Emma Birch
English Language Arts Department Chair

Emma Birch serves as English Department Chair at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. She teaches both World Literature and Freshman Composition. Before arriving at Léman in 2014, she served as Assistant Head of English at St. Mary's College in Auckland, New Zealand, and her teaching experience includes middle and high school English.


Lisa Nowicki
Director of Fine Arts

Prior to coming to Léman Manhattan in 2011, Lisa served as the Performing Arts Dept. Chair for the Sanford School in Hockessin, DE, where she worked for 19 years and produced award-winning music ensembles and a nationally recognized Theatre program. In Theatre, Lisa has worked as a musical director, producer and conductor. She is the co-founder of Delaware All-State Theatre ®, the nation’s only All-State Theatre organization for students, and serves on their Board of Trustees.  In addition, she is a former chairperson of the DAIS Music Educators group, which involves 23 schools in DE, PA, MD and NJ.  Outside of education, Lisa has worked in corporate arts administration and has served as an Associate Producer for “Lisa Howard: Songs of Innocence & Experience, The Songs of William Finn” (Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records).

Jo Ann Calvanico
Physical Education Department Chair 

Jo Ann Calvanico is the Physical Education Department Chair at Léman Manhattan. Since 2008, Ms. “C” has taught PreK4 - 5th grade PE and Swim. Prior to joining Léman Manhattan, Ms. “C” spent 10 years at The Berkeley Carroll School working as a PE/Swim Teacher and coach of JV volleyball, MS/Varsity swimming and MS/Varsity softball. 


Nola Sessions
Technology, Library, and Information Connections Department Chair (TLIC)

Nola Sessions is the Upper School Educational Technology Coach and Pre3-12 TLIC Department Chair. She works closely with students, teachers, administration, and parents supporting educational technology in our school. Prior to working at Léman, Nola worked with PreK–12th grade students and teachers in California, Egypt, Russia, and India in various roles as teacher, coach, and coordinator of Educational Technology.


Brynn Turkish
Mathematics Department Chair

Brynn Turkish serves as Léman’s Mathematics Department Chair. She is the Educational Technology Coach for the Center for Early Childhood Education and Lower School, supporting teachers, students, administration, and families with technology integration. She has worked at Léman since 2007 and has taught a variety of Lower School grades.



Dan Ajerman
Science Department Chair

Dan Ajerman will begin his 48th year of teaching as the new Science Department Chair and Upper Level Biology Teacher at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. After retiring from the NYC public school system, Dan continued his teaching career at independent schools in NYC, Oklahoma, California, and Florida. In addition to teaching, he is an Item Writer and Reader for the AP Biology exam. Dan has also written numerous inquiry-based science curricula, mentored many science teachers, sponsored student research, and was recently named and Intel Teacher of Merit by the Society of Science and the Public. An avid musician, he plays bass and guitar in a band comprised of teachers. Dan lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three cats.


Michael Johnson
Social Studies Department Chair

Michael Johnson serves as the chairperson of the Social Studies Department and currently teaches modern American History in 8th grade, and has taught in grades 5, 7, and 10 at Léman. Michael was the lead teacher in a pilot program for Léman's Standards Based Learning and Grading (SBLG) system and now serves as the SBLG Coordinator. He has been teaching middle and high school Social Studies since 2008 at public, charter, and private schools in the NY metropolitan area.


Jill Klein
Student Support Services Department Chair

Jill Klein, Ph. D. is the psychologist at Léman Manhattan. Prior to joining the school, Dr. Klein spent four years at The School at Columbia University where she provided social, emotional and academic support services. She was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University for several years.



Jessica McCormack
World Languages Department Chair

Jessica McCormack is the French Teacher and the World Language Department Chair at Léman Manhattan. Prior to joining the faculty at Léman, Ms. McCormack taught French at a variety of schools in the NY Metropolitan Area and in France. Her diverse teaching career at a private Montessori school in Brooklyn, a KIPP NJ charter school, a NYC public school, in addition to her teaching assistantship in Bretagne, France through the French Ministry of Education, all contribute to the valuable expertise that she brings to Léman’s World Language Department. Ms. McCormack's experiences living, studying, and working in other parts of the world, such as in Senegal and France, ignited her passion for studying and teaching language. Before teaching full time, Jessica studied music and played college soccer where she received her BA at Beloit College. She lead five international service and culture trips to France and Quebec through Global Works and KIPP NJ, and volunteered as a French/English interpreter for asylum seekers receiving mental health care at Bellevue Hospital in the Program for Survivors of Torture. Ms. McCormack continues to develop her competencies by pursuing a Masters in French Teaching at Brooklyn College. Through years of experience and professional development Ms. McCormack has received rigorous training on how to develop meaningful language curriculum, engaging instructional practices, and strong classroom management skills. Those valuable opportunities have greatly enhanced Ms. McCormack’s understanding of the techniques and nuances of teaching and learning foreign language.

Contact Us

  • Phone
  • 212-232-0266
  • Fax
  • 212-232-0284
  • Lower School
  • 41 Broad St
  • New York, NY 10004
  • USA
  • Upper School
  • 1 Morris St
  • New York, NY 10004
  • USA

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