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Baylor Welcomes 15 New Faculty and Staff Members
New faculty members (left to right): Karen DiRuggiero, Bruno Poco, Ruby Choudhury, Beth DuRoy, Jennifer Ford, Rhonda Sixto, Garrison Smith, Natalie Rodriguez-Nelson, Cecily Honeycutt, Andrew Pedry, Aaron Tisdale, Doug Smith, and Alex Hrin. Not available for photo: Riley Hammond and Jordan Madrigal.

Baylor welcomed 15 new faculty and staff members to campus during faculty meetings Aug. 10-14.

Ruby Choudhury

Ruby Choudhury filled the role of a long-term substitute teacher at Baylor beginning in January 2020. She joined the full-time faculty in August 2020 to teach world history II and AP world history. Choudhury completed her undergraduate degree in history and classics at Bucknell University and earned a master’s in British history at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Baylor, Choudhury was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since 2012.

Karen DiRuggiero

Karen DiRuggiero teaches precalculus and algebra II with trig and serves as a dormitory parent in Lowrance Hall. DiRuggiero was most recently a math department chair and dormitory head at Stony Brook School in Stony Brook, N.Y. She has a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and an M.Ed. from Concordia University in Oregon.

Beth DuRoy

Beth DuRoy conducts the Middle School choir and teaches the vocal portion of the sixth grade fine arts survey course. With a B.S. degree in music education from Bryan College and an M.M. degree in vocal performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, DuRoy has taught and assisted with choral programs and musical productions in several area schools as well as Lee University and Covenant College. She also serves as the director of children’s and youth music at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Chuch. DuRoy performs with Opera Tennessee, the Chattanooga Bach Choir, and the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.

Jennifer Ford

Jennifer Ford is the mother of a Baylor grad, Gracen ’20, and two current Baylor students, Hannah Lane ’22 and Maryl ’25. She joined the faculty in 2020 to teach anatomy and physiology. A nurse practitioner, Ford earned a B.A. in English and psychology and a M.S.N., both from Vanderbilt University. She has worked at CHI Memorial Westside Clinic as a clinician and as director of the Westside Diabetes Education and Medical Management program.

Riley Hammond is a fellow in the Baylor science department and teaches biology, coaches soccer, and serves as a dorm parent in Riverfront Hall. Hammond earned a B.S. in biology with a minor in psychology from Denison University where she played a conference championship women’s soccer team. Hammond also studied abroad in Copenhagen, completing research related to her neuroscience concentration.

Cecily Honeycutt

Cecily Honeycutt teaches U.S. history and AP U.S. history. Honeycutt has a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, an M.Ed. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is a doctoral candidate in the learning and leadership program at UTC. She spent five years teaching at South Pittsburg High School in Marion County, Tenn.

Alex Hrin

Alex Hrin teaches physics in the Baylor science department. Hrin has a B.S. in engineering physics and a master’s in applied physics from Colorado School of Mines and a second master’s degree in biophysics from the University of Michigan. He came to Baylor from Rocky Mount Academy in North Carolina where he was teaching math and science courses.

Jordan Madrigal serves as a math and science specialist in the Baylor learning center. He completed his B.S. in physics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2019 and was an adjunct faculty member at Chattanooga State Community College, teaching mathematics. Madrigal also was a long-term substitute teacher at Baylor in 2019-20.

Andrew Pedry

Andrew Pedry teaches world history II and AP world history and assists in the Baylor fencing program. Pedry received a B.A. and an M.A. in history, both from George Mason University. Before coming to Baylor he was a teacher and coach at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. Ga.

Bruno Poco

Bruno Poco teaches art in the Middle School and photography in the Upper School. He also assists with the Walkabout program and serves as a dorm parent in Lupton Hall. Originally from South Africa, Poco holds a B.F.A. and postgraduate certification from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has taught at St. John’s Prep in Johannesburg and lived in Chicago and Austin, Tex. Since settling in Chattanooga, Poco has been an art instructor at Townsend Atelier and partnered with the Hunter Museum of Art and Art Creations to present community classes and workshops. In addition, Poco has been a climbing instructor and outdoor educator with the Austin Bouldering Project, the Expeditions School, and Recreational Equipment, Inc.

Natalie Rogriguez-Nelson

Natalie Rogriguez-Nelson came to Baylor after completing a two-year teaching fellowship at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry, Va. She teaches world history I and a social science elective. Rodriguez-Nelson has a B.A. in history from Princeton University and earned an M.Ed. from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.

Rhonda Sixto

Rhonda Sixto serves as a humanities specialist in Baylor’s Middle School learning center. Sixto earned a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and an M.A.T. in English from Agnes Scott College. She has taught language arts and English at both the high school and collegiate levels, most recently working as media specialist at Heritage High School in Ringgold, Ga. Sixto is the mother of two Baylor students, Nadia '22 and Ezra '26.

Doug Smith

Doug Smith is a math and science specialist in the Middle School learning center. A Chattanooga native, Smith earned a B.E. degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University before serving as a U.S. Navy officer for 20 years. Since the end of his Navy career, he has taught in several schools, most recently teaching calculus and physics and Classical Preparatory in Spring Hill, Fla.

Garrison Smith

Garrison Smith came to Baylor from Kent School in Connecticut and teaches honors and AP biology. He also serves as director of the Baylor rowing program and is a dorm parent in Harrison Hall. With a B.S. in psychobiology from Yale University and an M.S. in biology from the University of Arizona, Smith brought over 20 years of teaching, coaching, and residential life to Baylor.

Aaron Tisdale

Aaron Tisdale works in the communications office as Baylor’s social media manager. Tisdale earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and did an internship at Baylor last fall. His impressive work during that internship led him to a full-time position in January. The social media manager supports the school in the development of branding strategies and messaging for prospective families, current parents, students, alumni, faculty and staff, and other constituencies.


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