High School Team

HS Team
High School Team Leaders 2021 - 2022
(From left to right)
Stephen Castles, Assistant Principal (not pictured)
Tom Adams, Head Teacher
Jenny Slocum, Clinician
Kirsten Holmes, Clinician

Stephen Castles
, Assistant Principal
Stephen has been with Gifford since 1999 in roles of increasing responsibility. He's been an integral member of the team supporting our high school students and their families daily. 

Tom Adams, Head Teacher 
Tom has been with Gifford since 2003, and has held various positions including High School Assistant Teacher, Teacher, Department Head, and Middle School Head Teacher. Tom is a 
graduate of Clemson University, and a Professional member of the American Mountain Guides Association, a working rock and ice climbing instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and Project Adventure trained group facilitator. 

Favorite thing about working at Gifford?
My favorite thing about working here is watching the students grow and learn, increasing their self-esteem, and achieving success. The resilience and effort of the students is inspirational. During my career here, I’ve learned that all students want to do well. I’ve also learned that every school should be a therapeutic school.

Kirsten Holmes, Clinician
Kirsten was previously a Clinical Intern at Gifford during the 2009-2010 academic year. She rejoined our community in July 2017 as the Lower School Clinician and transitioned to the High School team in the Summer of 2021. Kirsten has worked with children and their families in a variety of therapeutic settings. She received her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University.

Favorite thing about working at Gifford?
My favorite thing is being part of a community where students are helped to feel safe and comfortable being themselves. From that starting point, great things can happen!

Jenny Slocum, Clinician
Jenny Slocum, LICSW resumed her career at Gifford at the start of the 2021-2022 school year having previously worked in both the High School and Middle School programs from 2004-2007. Jenny has experience supporting students and families in school, residential, and foster care settings. She received her Master's in Social Work from Boston University and her Master's in Special Education from UMass Boston.

Favorite thing about working at Gifford?

My favorite thing about working at Gifford is seeing students develop their capacity to understand themselves as learners and to apply that understanding to reach their social, emotional and academic goals.



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