By Leighton Van Wagner, Staff Writer
At the beginning of the school year, Trinity Hall welcomed five new staff members: Stephen Duffy, Lynn Retterer, Lorraine Knepple, Rosa Madriz and Kristin Sweeney.
Duffy is the new interim Assistant Head of School, sophomore class adviser and maternity leave replacement teacher for Lauren Pappa’s sophomore English classes. Duffy has “done pretty much everything that you can do” when it comes to working in independent schools, with over thirty years of experience in a wide variety of positions. Despite Duffy’s experience, he had yet to teach in an all-girls environment in the Catholic tradition before coming to Trinity Hall.
“This felt like a place where I could really learn a lot, as well as help. I’ve never worked at an all-girls school before, so I’m definitely enjoying being pushed out of my comfort zone,” he said.
Duffy is pleased with his exposure to the school community and is optimistic when thinking of the future. “I’m just really thrilled to be here at Trinity Hall, and I’m looking forward to a great year,” he said. The only difficulty Duffy said he has faced here is trying to best participate for the blue royal rumble team while also being the orange team sophomore class adviser.
In addition to Duffy, the school welcomed Lynn Retterer as Admissions Assistant and Transportation Coordinator. Retterer works with Theresa Kiernan in the Admissions Office, where she prepares for next year’s freshman class, while also organizing all transportation to and from school. Retterer now not only admires the Trinity Hall community as a parent of a member of the sophomore class but also as a faculty member.
“The support from administration to faculty and faculty to students is awesome. Everyone wants to be here everyday; that’s the best part about it,” said Retterer, who is also an avid photographer with her own personal photography business.
Kristin Sweeney has also joined the Trinity Hall staff as a part-time development officer. Sweeney concentrates on raising money for “The Fund for Trinity Hall”, which is currently at 100% participation. With 20 years of experience, 18 of which were at the Dalton School in New York City, Sweeney is comfortable working in the development and fundraising arena. After observing the school’s growth for the past few years, Sweeney admires the students’ drive and care for their community.
“From day one, I could see what a special place Trinity Hall is. The leadership is passionate, the faculty and staff are enthusiastic,” said Sweeney, who values time spent with her family, especially when it comes to cheering on her sons at their sporting events.
Trinity Hall has also welcomed another development officer, Lorraine Knepple. Knepple assists the development team in many areas, but her work focuses on fundraising opportunities from corporations. Knepple, who is also a certified public accountant, brings with her a strong business background from a 12-year career on Wall Street and previous work in fundraising and development at St. Peter’s School in Point Pleasant Beach. Knepple’s passion for Trinity Hall stems from her role as an alumni parent.
“Trinity Hall is a very strong community-oriented environment…and the vision of superior all girls education was very appealing to me; it’s nothing like I’ve ever worked in before,” Knepple said.
Aside from her part-time role at Trinity Hall, Knepple works in recruitment at the Walt Disney Company. Knepple recruits for the consumer products division in the New York City area and finds Walt Disney’s visions extremely inspiring.
As the school’s new business officer, Rosa Madriz has many responsibilities, such as bookkeeping and human resources. Madriz refers to her position at Trinity Hall as a “gift from God” after a car accident prevented her from pursuing her field of study, medical interpreting. Qualifications from her previous work as an office manager at a church in Red Bank prepared her for the position, which requires much maintenance.
“Trinity Hall is empowering not just the girls, Trinity Hall empowers all of us who are here to be better each day and to be able to work as a community and support one another,” said Madriz, who loves to dance, entertain and volunteer with the SCOPE council and Parker clinic.