Ellie DesPrez, Department Chair
314-993-4045 ext. 331
Ellie DesPrez joined the Burroughs faculty in 1998. She currently chairs the English Department and teaches 7th grade English, 10th grade English and honors English senior seminar. She holds the Mark Neville/Martin Perry Chair in English. DesPrez also teaches yoga classes on campus, assists JBS students competing in poetry recitation and spoken word performance, and serves on the faculty/staff steering committee for diversity and inclusion. Prior to coming to Burroughs, she taught at Gallup High School (New Mexico), Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Clayton High School, and Washington University. She completed her bachelor of arts degree in English and philosophy at Vanderbilt University. DesPrez holds masters degrees in English and American literature and in teaching, as well as a doctorate in English and American literature, all from Washington University.
314-993-4045 ext. 282
Andy Abbott joined the Burroughs faculty and administration in 2001 and was named head of school, effective July 2009. He has served as an English teacher, principal, director of college counseling and assistant head of school. Abbott holds a bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College and a master's degree in English from Middlebury College. Prior to Burroughs, he was director of college counseling (1998 - 2001) and an English teacher (1990 - 2001) at Woodberry Forest School (Woodberry Forest, VA).
314-993-4045 ext. 319
Andy Chen joined the Burroughs faculty in 2016 and teaches seventh- and tenth-grade English. He also coaches girls basketball and is the faculty sponsor of the Asian affinity group and The Review. Chen holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in creative writing from Washington University in St. Louis. He previously taught English and creative writing at WUSTL, and his poems and reviews have appeared in various publications.
314-993-4045 ext. 322
Michael Dee '76 joined the Burroughs faculty in 1991. He teaches 9th and 10th grade English and the upper school gardening elective. He also coordinates the outdoor education program and the Drey Land camp. In 2013, he created the school's gardening program. He continues to manage the school's bee colonies. Before he came to Burroughs, Dee taught undergraduate composition at Johns Hopkins University, taught English and advised the student newspaper at Gill/St. Bernard's School in New Jersey, and taught English and directed the drama program at Rutgers Preparatory School in New Jersey. He also taught English as a second language in Salamanca, Spain. He received a bachelor's from Amherst College and a master's in English from Johns Hopkins University. He is an American Canoe Association certified whitewater kayak instructor with swiftwater rescue training and a certified wilderness first responder.
314-993-4045 ext. 288
Jill Donovan joined the Burroughs faculty in July 2011. She teaches English 7, English IV and an Honors English Senior Seminar. She also assists with the school’s community service program (Montgomery Plan) and co-sponsors Works in Progress, the middle school creative writing club. Prior to coming to Burroughs, Donovan taught for more than 20 years in four other independent schools and a few small colleges. She holds a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and a master's in English from the University of Miami (Florida).
Maggie Doyle Ervin
314-993-4045 ext. 202
Maggie Doyle Ervin joined the English Department in summer 2016 to teach ninth- and eleventh-grade English. She holds bachelor’s and master's degrees in English from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. ABD (all but dissertation) in English from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Ervin has 15 years of teaching experience, most recently at Nerinx Hall High School.
314-993-4045 ext. 263
Joy Gebhardt joined the Burroughs faculty in 2004. She teaches English. Prior to coming to Burroughs, Gebhardt taught at Delia School of Canada in Hong Kong, The University of Chicago's Writing Program, Sewickley Academy (Pittsburgh) and The Avery Coonley School (Illinois). She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont and a master's in English from the University of Chicago.
314-993-4045 ext. 394
Jeanne Gillanders joined the Burroughs faculty in 2011. Prior to coming to Burroughs, she taught at Parkway North and DeSmet. Gillanders holds a bachelor's degree in writing and English literature from Saint Mary's College and is completing her master's degree in liberal arts at Washington University.
314-993-4045 ext. 709
Anita Hagerman joined the English Department in summer 2013. She teaches English II and IV. Hagerman holds bachelor's degrees from Ball State University, master's degrees from the University of Chicago and Missouri State and a doctorate in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Before coming to Burroughs, she taught literature, composition and linguistics at Washington University and Webster University.
314-993-4045 ext. 316
Shannon Koropchak joined the English Department in the summer of 2013. She teaches English 8 and English III and is a faculty co-sponsor for the Model UN. Koropchak holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana and a master's and doctorate in English and American literature from Washington University. Before coming to Burroughs, she taught at Washington University and the International Black Sea University in The Republic of Georgia.
314-993-4045 ext. 374
Jim Lewis joined the English Department, teaching English I and English III, in summer 2013. Lewis is a veteran teacher and administrator of independent schools, most notably at Hawken School and Hampton Roads Academy. He holds a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Pete McKeown joined the Burroughs faculty in 2015 as an Academic Support tutor. In 2018, he joined the English Department, where he now teaches two 7th grade sections. Along with teaching English, McKeown teaches 7th and 8th grade physical education; coaches JV boys soccer, varsity ice hockey, and varsity boys lacrosse; interviews prospective students/parents for the Admissions Office; and is a faculty sponsor of the Student Court and Sports for Charity. McKeown earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Tufts University and taught second and sixth grades at Community School prior to coming to Burroughs.
314-993-4045 ext. 365
John Pierson joined the Burroughs faculty in 1993. He is the chair of the Theatre, Speech & Dance department, where he teaches Playwriting, Contemporary Theatre, and Theatre 11-12 scene study. He also directs two productions a year and serves as the producer of the Holiday Program and The Dance Show. In the English Department, he teaches English IV and a Senior Honors Seminar. He is a senior class sponsor and a May Project advisor and works with the Outdoor Education program. Prior to coming to Burroughs, he taught at the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, CT. Pierson holds a BA (English/Physical Education) from the College of Wooster and studied in the actor’s training program at Circle in the Square in New York. A working actor, he is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Screen Actors Guild.
314-993-4045 ext. 325
Jennifer Salrin joined the JBS faculty in summer 2017. She is principal of grades 11 and 12, teaches English and also serves as a college counselor. Salrin taught English for 11 years at Sewickley (Pennsylvania) Academy, where she also served as associate director of college guidance, dean of the junior class and member of the admissions committee and faculty council. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from St. Ambrose University and a master’s degree in English from Indiana University, where she completed additional course work (all but dissertation) toward a doctorate.
314-993-4045 ext. 302
Megan Zmudczynski '04 joined the Burroughs faculty in 2014. She teaches 9th- and 11th-grade English and serves as a faculty sponsor for Spectrum and The Review. Zmudczynski came to Burroughs from Priory. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Brown University and a master's degree in teaching from Webster University.