The Upper School’s newest educators bring experience and inspiration to the Heart


Ana Patricio

Five new faculty members join the Upper School this year.

The gates of 1177 King Street open wide for five new faculty members.  Sacred Heart Greenwich welcomes Mr. Jonathan Peck, Mrs. Aixa Candanosa, Mrs. Sarah Bergin, Dr. Kelly Connelly, and Mrs. Anne Tozzi to the Upper School community.  These seasoned educators hope to inspire students in their respective subjects by sharing their knowledge inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Kelly Connelly, Upper School Theology Teacher, and Mrs. Anne Tozzi, AP Art History Teacher, are two of the Upper School’s new faculty members.  Ana Patricio ’24

Dr. Connelly, the newest addition to the Upper School’s Theology Department, received her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  She studied Theology and Art History and received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systematic Theology from Boston College.  Dr. Connelly came to Sacred Heart from Manhattanville College, where she taught philosophy.

Dr. Connelly is eager to share her knowledge with her students and be part of their formation as young adults.  She strives to instill a lifelong love of learning and faith in her students as a Theology teacher.

“I hope to impact the Sacred Heart community by modeling intellectual curiosity and demonstrating a genuine interest in and care for my students,” Dr. Connelly said.

Mrs. Tozzi studied at Oxford University, focusing her work on Ancient and Modern History.  She then extended her knowledge by acquiring her Master of Arts degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, studying Classical Art History.  She continued her career in London, England, working for Christie’s Fine Art auction house in the Heritage and Taxation Department.  Mrs. Tozzi pursued her love of English Literature and Art History at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department in New York City, New York.  She has additionally taught children for the last nine years.

Mrs. Tozzi’s passion for Art History drove Mrs. Tozzi’s hopes to share her insight with her students.  Her time at Sacred Heart reminds her of her years as a high schooler in England, as both schools challenge and encourage girls to make the most of their gifts.

“I hope to encourage a lifelong interest and enjoyment of the arts by helping students “learn to look” and give them confidence in their ability to understand and appreciate what they see,” Mrs. Tozzi said.

Mrs. Candanosa received her master’s degree from the City College of New York in Bilingual Special Education and her district administration license from the College of St. Rose.  Before coming to Sacred Heart, she spent most of her career at the New York City Department of Education as a teacher and a school administrator in an early college program.

The Upper School community welcomes Mrs. Aixa Candanosa, Academic Dean for freshmen and sophomores, and Mrs. Sarah Bergin, Dean of Students.  Ana Patricio ’24

Mrs. Candanosa looks forward to getting to know her ninth and tenth-grade students by assisting them in their Upper school journeys.  By working with underclassmen one-on-one as Academic Dean, she will attend to the academic concerns of her students and provide perspective and guidance.

“I hope to support the girls as they find their voices and that our conversations will lead them to make wise choices, which will support them beyond Sacred Heart,” Mrs. Candanosa said.

Before joining the Sacred Heart community, Mrs. Bergin received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her graduate degree from Fordham University.  She worked at the Convent of the Sacred Heart on 91st Street in New York City, for ten years before transferring to Greenwich.

From 91st Street to Greenwich, Mrs. Bergin continues to engage in Sacred Heart traditions.  The Upper School’s sense of community and welcoming environment drew Mrs. Bergin in, as she admired each student’s friendly but hardworking dynamic.  As the new Dean of Students, Mrs. Bergin strives to make a difference in the Upper School by guiding and directing students through difficult times.

“I love that I am able to make connections with all of the grades in the Upper School,” Mrs. Bergin said.  “I want my students to feel supported by me every day.”

Mr. Peck, the Upper School’s Art Teacher, studied visual art his entire life.  He grew up in Massachusetts but left high school to attend an arts magnet school in Denver, Colorado.  While in Colorado, the Kansas City Art Institute recruited Mr. Peck, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).  After college, he returned East and attended graduate school at Yale University.  Then, he moved to New York City to teach in the Foundation department at Pratt Institute.  At Pratt, he taught courses to high school students in their pre-college program, the Pratt Young Scholars.  Through this program, he developed his interest in working with high school students, ultimately leading him to join the community at Sacred Heart.

Mr. Peck hopes to gain richer insight for working with high school students.  He aspires to prepare students for college and potential careers in the arts field.  Mr. Peck strives to continue improving his ability to facilitate meaningful experiences for his students, aiding them in becoming more holistic, well-rounded practitioners in whatever area they pursue.

Mr. Jonathan Peck joins the Sacred Heart Art Department.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

Mr. Peck explained that Sacred Heart’s philosophy drew him to join the community.  He emphasized how he admired the school’s passionate students who are actively interested in their educational growth.  By bringing a new perspective to the art program, Mr. Peck hopes to impact the students of Sacred Heart significantly.

Mr. Peck aims for his students to leave his class with a greater appreciation for visual languages.  He hopes to encourage students to see art not only as an outlet for self-expression but as a vehicle for exchanging ideas, understanding different points of view, and thinking critically about themselves and the world around them.  Mr. Peck hopes his students will perceive the world as artists, empowering them to be more agile in their other disciplines.

“Art is about seeing problems as opportunities and learning that mistakes are essential for growth,” Mr. Peck said.  “I also hope to advise my students on the many and varied pathways they can take to achieve their goals, as the road to success is often circuitous and rarely predictable.”

Featured image by Ana Patricio ’24