Welcome New Faculty and Staff


Nicole Burnett, Assistant School Director: Nicole, mother of Tayah ’22, was born and raised in St. Louis and has over 17 years of experience in education as an elementary and middle school counselor and a sixth grade teacher. She is currently working on an Education Specialist Degree in Administration through Lindenwood University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), LPC – Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and salsa dance. Nicole looks forward to forming a collaborative relationship with the students and families of Crossroads.

Matt Cooper, English: After completing his graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, Matt taught as a visiting lecturer at Gothenburg University (Sweden) for three years before moving to St. Louis with his wife Ivy, an art history professor at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He has served as an adjunct instructor at Webster University, and spent the past twenty years at Lindbergh High School, teaching both the English and the Theory of Knowledge courses in the International Baccalaureate program. In 2016, he published his first novel (Ground Lines), and is currently working on a collection of short stories, as well a scattered handful of poems. (Perhaps one day, he tells himself, they will be rendered marginally less scattered.) Children? Two. Cats? Two. Garden beds? Four, and growing. He can’t wait to join the Crossroads community.

Debra Mein, Theatre: Debra brings nearly 20 years of professional and educational theatre experience to Crossroads. Passionate about quality theatre programming for students of all ages, she has worked as an actor, director, and teaching artist throughout the country with Literally Alive NYC, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Historical Perspectives for Children, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte as highlights. After moving to St. Louis, Debra created multi-disciplined theatre, music, and movement classes designed for infant to middle-school students. Debra lives in the Southampton neighborhood with her spouse, two children, and two hairless cats.

Brian Parsons, English: Brian comes to Crossroads in 2018 after bouncing around the Midwest for most of the past 17 years. After spending a year in the public affairs department at Monsanto, his family relocated to Cincinnati where he earned his Master’s degree in Secondary Education. He taught high school English and coached golf and tennis for almost six years. Following another move to Grand Rapids, MI, he spent the next seven years working as an advisor for the TRiO program and teaching first-year writing seminars at Aquinas College. Now back in St. Louis, Brian and his family have settled in Webster Groves and he is excited to be a part of the Crossroads family. He is married to his college sweetheart, Jillian, and they have two wonderful kids, Megan and Colin. When not teaching, he is an avid reader of non-fiction and tries to play as much golf and tennis as his family’s schedule allows. He dreams of one day playing in Scotland and Ireland.

Joseph Puricelli, Mathematics: Joseph is a St. Louis native with a passion for education that was inspired by the amazing teachers he had growing up. In addition to his time in the classroom, he also has years of experience tutoring math students all over the metro area. In addition to teaching, he also enjoys reading, film, music, and video games, and he occasionally performs as a musician and actor at open-mics and in the St. Lou Fringe festival. He lives with his wife, two cats, a fish, a snail, and every version of Super Smash Bros.