Welcome New Nichols Faculty and Staff

We are thrilled to welcome eight new employees to the Nichols School faculty and staff for the upcoming school year!

Jessica Block

Jessica Block joins the Nichols School faculty as the Choir Director and Upper School music teacher after most recently working at the Cate School in Carpinteria, California. Block graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from San Jose State University. She won the Eisteddfod Choir of the World Prize with the SJSU Choraliers in 1991. Block has also taught at Pacific Northern Academy, where she was named Anchorage Alaska Music Teacher of the Year in 2004, and at the Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain in Las Vegas, where she was the Performing Arts Chair and Theater Director. Outside of teaching, Block enjoys knitting and fiber arts, Bullet Journaling, and being a hockey and baseball mom to her two sons, Owen and Duncan.

Chui Sien Chan

Chui Sien Chan joins the Nichols School faculty as an Upper School science teacher. Chan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore, and also attended the University of Iowa where she graduated with her Ph.D. in Biology. Chan worked at Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama for 10 years as an Upper School science teacher. She has also served as a lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore and as a graduate teacher at the University of Iowa. Chan has authored numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Acta Neuropsychologica, Plant Physiology, and The Lancet.

Zoe Jackson-Gibson

Zoe Jackson-Gibson, a 2012 graduate of Nichols, returned to the school in 2019 as the Prospect Research Associate. Jackson-Gibson previously worked as an International Volunteer Coordinator with Bridges to Community in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and was a Women's Sports Corp Fellow with Soccer Without Borders in Nicaragua. Jackson-Gibson attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. A standout soccer player at Nichols, Jackson-Gibson excelled with the William Smith Herons, helping the team win the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship.

Sarah Jacobson

Sarah Jacobson returns to the Nichols School faculty as an Upper School English and history teacher after teaching Latin and Greek at the school from 2011 to 2015. Jacobson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics and Spanish from Hendrix College and a Master of Arts degree in Classics from the University of Arizona. Most recently, Jacobson taught Latin, history and theatre at the Founders Classical Academy of Leander in Texas, where she was named the school's Teacher of the Year in 2016. Jacobson also has seven years of collegiate teaching experience at the University of Arizona and the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2004, Jacobson earned the Watson Fellowship and performed archaeological fieldwork in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Peru. She has also published articles on digital humanities in Literary and Linguistic Computing and Transactions of the American Philological Association. Outside the classroom, Jacobson enjoys gardening, reading the novels of Anthony Trollope, and reading to her five-year-old daughter, Emily Jane.

Clara Moran

Clara Moran joined the Nichols School staff in 2019 as the Development Associate. Moran is also the owner of Cabaret Restaurant in Buffalo, and has previously worked with Catholic Charities of Buffalo as the Director of Appeal Advancement. Moran studied business administration at Erie Community College and Buffalo State College. Moran enjoys getting outdoors and taking part in all that Buffalo has to offer throughout the year.

Joseph Ray

Joseph Ray joined the Nichols School staff in 2019 as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Ray previously worked as a Social Media Marketing Advisor with Haley Marketing Group in Williamsville, and he was also the Athletic Communications Assistant for New Media at Niagara University. Ray earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, concentrating in marketing. He went on to graduate from Niagara University with a Master of Science degree in Sport Management. Ray's Master's thesis at Niagara University, The Effect of Regulatory Fit on Twitter Fandom in the National Hockey League Postseason, was published in the International Journal of Sport Communication in 2016 with co-authors Jimmy Smith and Brian Fowler. Ray enjoys playing hockey, volleyball and tennis, kayaking and reading.

Cory Shelton

Cory Shelton joined the Nichols School faculty in 2019 as an instrumental music teacher for both the Middle School and Upper School. Shelton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music focusing in education, world music and cultures at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Shelton previously taught in the Sweet Home School District in Amherst, teaching music to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. He has also contributed to the Buffalo music community as the Assistant Director of the West African Drumming Ensemble at Buffalo State College, and he worked as an Instrument Repair Technician Assistant and Instrument Rental Contract Associate at Twin Village Music in Lancaster. Shelton won the Ann James Manly Endowment Scholarship for field research and continuing education, where he attended University College Cork in Ireland to study Irish traditional music, society and culture. Outside the classroom, Shelton is an active performing musician with local world percussion group Diaspora Drumming, and he is a contemporary music worship leader with Holy Cross Church in Clarence. Shelton is also an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the National Association for Music Education. He also enjoys traveling often while exploring, reading and learning about other cultures and local history.

Susannah Wales

Susannah Wales joins the Nichols School faculty as an Upper School history teacher. Wales earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College majoring in philosophy and archaeology, and went on to the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education where she earned her Master of Science in Education. Wales has extensive experience in the independent school setting, teaching at The Park School in Brookline, Massachusetts, The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and most recently at The Spence School in New York City. In her free time, Wales enjoys running, reading and enjoying the outdoors.