Randy Hollister joined LCDS in September 1988, following the completion of a doctorate of philosophy in foundations of education from the University at Buffalo. He taught seventh and eighth grade English and writing lab, coached soccer and basketball and served as student council adviser. In 1993, he became headmaster and continued to teach eighth grade English until 2006. Dr. Hollister is a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship recipient and a Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award winner. He has chaired numerous accreditation teams for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). A Shakespeare enthusiast, Dr. Hollister offers a “Shakespeare on Saturdays” program for fifth through eighth graders each January through April. His other interests include coaching basketball and leading skill-development clinics, aviation, and tinkering with mechanical projects. He is always thrilled to hear from former LCDS students. His own two children, Laura and Will, attended LCDS from prekindergarten through eighth grade and graduated in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Assistant Headmaster, Lower School Director, Eighth Grade Civics Teacher
Tim Beauchemin has been with LCDS since 1997. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, he moved to the Washington, D.C. area. He started as an intern at a national association of state legislators and eventually become its policy director. After working in the political arena for several years, he recognized that solving the world’s problems was too big a job for him alone and decided that he could have a greater impact by empowering children to help him do it. He earned a Master’s degree in Teaching from the University of South Carolina, returned to the D.C. area and was hired to teach middle school Math, Civics, and History at LCDS. In 2011, he became the Assistant Headmaster, though he still teaches eighth-grade Civics and also serves as the Secondary School Counselor. A history buff, Tim enjoys strolling through the area’s many Civil War battlefields. His greatest accomplishments are his three daughters: Esther (’12), Rebecca (’14), and Sarah (’22).
Middle School Director
Aileen Hawkins joined LCDS first as a parent in 2014. In 2016, she became the Director of Advancement, and in 2018, Middle School Director. Before moving to Virginia, she taught math, history and English at several independent schools, including Lake Forest Academy, La Jolla Country Day School and Sage Hill School. At Sage Hill, Aileen also served as the Dean of Academic Technology, worked on digital and print marketing, and chaired the Faculty Annual Giving campaign. After her move in 2014, she served as the Upper School Innovation Coach at The Potomac School, where she designed and taught Potomac’s first entrepreneurship course. Aileen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a Master’s degree from Brown, both in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She is currently a doctoral student at George Washington University, and her dissertation focuses on independent school leadership. Aileen has presented at several digital learning and classics conferences and recently published scholarship about mythology in children’s literature. She enjoys traveling, singing and cooking with her husband, Erik, and daughters, Grace (’19) and Eve (’21).
Early Years Director, Prekindergarten Teacher
Angie Cross began working at Loudoun Country Day School in 2002. She is a native of the area and was born and raised on a beef cattle farm in Lovettsville. She received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and MaED in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from Virginia Tech. During her study there, she was a member of the University Honors Program and wrote the first undergraduate “In-Honors” thesis for the College of Human Resources and Education. She also studied abroad in Italy twice, learning about their approach to early childhood education. Angie still has close contact with the Education Department at VT and assists with research projects each year. On a personal note, she now lives in Leesburg with her husband, Josh, and her two daughters. When there is time (and there really is very little of it), she enjoys attending concerts, photography and rooting for the Hokies during football season!
Second Grade Teacher
Diane Bolavage began teaching at LCDS in 2002. She was born and raised in Northern New Jersey and has fond memories of spending many summers at the Jersey Shore. Diane graduated from the University of Maryland and received her M.Ed in Special Education: Learning Disabilities from the American University. While at AU, Diane worked at the Lab School of Washington, where she spent an invaluable year learning a multi-sensory approach to teaching diverse learners. Diane began her teaching career with the Arlington Public School system as a resource teacher and fourth-grade classroom teacher. An avid reader herself, Diane enjoys watching the excitement of a child learning to read and hopes to instill a lifetime love of reading in all of her students. In her spare time, Diane enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, taking long walks with her dogs and reading the latest mystery novel.
Lower School Spanish Teacher
Karinna Bordas (“Señora Bordas,” as her students call her) began teaching Spanish at LCDS in 2015. She was born in Venezuela, and she and her family moved to the U.S. in 2010. She has a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism from the Catholic University, and an M.A. in Education from the Metropolitan University, both of them in Caracas, Venezuela. She has completed numerous child education courses, and has more than 20 years of experience as a preschool director, teacher, and tutor, working with students from three to twelve years old. One of her earlier teaching memories is when she was the lead teacher in a 1984 bilingual Spanish-English Summer camp that was directed by the American embassy in Caracas. Teaching has been her life-long passion. She enjoys it so much that she teaches piano to young children in her free time.
First Grade Teacher
Quela Carlson came to LCDS in 2014. She has two Bachelor of Science degrees (Mathematics and Psychology) from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She also attended Loyola University Maryland, where she earned her Master’s degree in Education, as well as her AMI Montessori elementary diploma through the Washington Montessori Institute. Quela loves teaching first grade through hands-on experiences, craft projects and any other activity that shows the students’ uniqueness and creativity. She enjoys creating a nurturing environment where children thrive and become astronauts in her space-themed classroom. Quela truly loves creating a special bond with each and every one of her students. She can’t seem to walk down the hallway without getting at least one hug! She loves clever puns, the color blue and her two cats, Tiramisu and Spresso. She likes to say blue things make her happy because they are blue-tiful!
Fourth and Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher
Liz Causey first joined LCDS as an Assistant Teacher in 2020. However, she has worked in the field of education for more than 15 years. She has lived in the Northern Virginia area for the past thirty years, and she is extremely excited to move to her new home in Winchester VA in September! Liz received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Ed from Old Dominion University. After her last child was born, she decided to pursue her master’s degree. She graduated from George Mason University with a master’s degree in English Language learners. Since then Liz has worked in private and public settings. She has always loved working with children and feels very strongly that all children are unique and benefit greatly from a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, emotionally, and socially. She hopes to help create this type of environment where her students can meet their full potential. Liz has 3 children, Kristin 32, Alex 23, and Andrew 18. She also has 2 cats Nimbus and Nyla.
Victoria Cunningham has been with LCDS since 2016. She graduated from James Madison University with a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching and from Old Dominion University with a Master’s degree in School Librarianship. Prior to moving to Northern Virginia, Victoria lived in rural southern Virginia, where most of her family still resides. Since becoming a NoVa resident, she has taught fourth grade for Manassas City Public Schools and third and fifth grades for Fairfax County Public Schools. She joined LCDS as the lower school enrichment teacher before transitioning into the role of librarian. Her love of reading and project-based learning is well-utilized within the LCDS library program, with a heavy emphasis on student interest and real-life experiences. Victoria is an avid Washington Capitals fan (Go Caps!), reader, and runner. Some of her favorite books include the Harry Potter series and Wonder. In her free time, she loves to take her four-legged friend, Maddie, on long walks to explore new places!
Charlie started at LCDS in 2021. After graduating from the University of Plymouth in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in business and events management, he found his passion for teaching while coaching sports at a summer camp in New Hampshire. After a brief 2 year sabbatical “working” as a ski instructor and chef in the European Alps, Charlie pursued his passion for teaching when he graduated from Bath Spa University with a Masters in elementary education in 2014. Charlie taught for 5 years in the UK, Spain, and China. While teaching in Spain, he met his American wife, who convinced him to give his passport a bit of a break and settle down in the USA in 2019. Working as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach through 2020 helped Charlie rediscover a passion for teaching sports and physical education which he’s excited to bring to the LCDS Athletics department. Charlie is an avid traveler, amateur chef and self-taught yogi. He loves video games and cartoons (much to his wife’s delight).
Middle School STEM Teacher, Director of Institutional Technology
Cara was very excited to join the LCDS faculty in 2020. She earned her Master’s degree in Integrative STEM Education K-12 from Virginia Tech and her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from High Point University in North Carolina. Cara has experience teaching 2nd grade, 5th grade, and 6th-8th grade Math and Science. She uses personalized learning and project based learning pedagogy in her teaching. In her classroom, Cara facilitates a risk-friendly environment where students can explore their curiosities and learn 21st century skills. She loves experimenting with new technologies and learning about advancements in STEM Education. Cara is passionate about environmental conservation and sustainability, which she enjoys bringing into her lessons. Having grown up in Washington DC, Cara is an avid Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals fan. At home, Cara enjoys spending time with her Corgi, Tyrion, and her rabbit, Theodore. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and ordering way too many things from Amazon.
Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Brenda has been with LCDS since 2013. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer College. Her first career was working as a government contractor doing financial work on the V-22 Osprey program. It was during that time she met her husband and had three children. When her first child was born, Brenda continued working, but soon realized her place was at home. When the youngest went to first grade, she started working as a preschool teacher. She loves working with young children and says she learns something new every day! She feels every child has a different way of learning and her goal is to try and figure out what works best for each child. Brenda’s son graduated from Roanoke College where he played baseball as a left handed pitcher. Her daughter graduated from SUNY Brockport as a competitive gymnast and her youngest daughter is attending Virginia Tech and having the time of her life.
Fourth-Eighth Grade Art Teacher, Student Information Systems Administrator
Renée Edmonston joined LCDS in 2008. She wears many hats, from visual arts teacher to business system analyst to graphic designer. Renee’ earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Communications and an Associates in Business. Renée’s approach in the art room is primarily choice-based. She regards each of her students as skillful artists and as such, puts their own ideas and interests at the forefront of their creativity. Her favorite artist is Picasso simply because his form of expression was like no other. In 2013, Renée’s hand-painted cookies won First Place in the Great American Cake Show. For her winning submission, she recreated characters from Nightmare Before Christmas. Renee’s technology background stems from her early career as a Director of the Group Insurance Benefits Division for Meltzer Group, and an HR Business System Analyst for Universal Studios. In her free time, Renée enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, working on her miniatures, baking, golfing and quiet time at the beach.
Cathy Fernandez has been with LCDS since 2003, when she started as the middle school boys’ soccer coach. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Communication Studies. While in college, her love of sports had her playing on intramural teams, for the women’s JV basketball team and attending John Wooden practices. Throughout high school, Cathy also played softball, ran track, played volleyball and loved Powder Puff Football. She began her coaching career 27 years ago while coaching her children in soccer. At the youth, middle school and high school level, she has coached basketball, t-ball, soccer, lacrosse, cross country and roller hockey. She previously taught prekindergarten PE, and just saw her last class for that age level graduate. Cathy currently teaches fourth and fifth grade PE, coaches middle school soccer, basketball, cross country and girls’ lacrosse and serves as the director for PE and athletics. In her free time, she loves to cook, play golf, be a mom and watch the NBA.
Third Grade Assistant Teacher
Denise has been with LCDS since August 2020. She is a Virginia native, having graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After clowning around in college and graduating, Denise decided to run away and join the circus. She worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus for five years before jumping on the Administrative Assistant track for another four years. She then raised her two daughters through their elementary years before coming back to the school system. She worked for LCPS as both a Special Ed. and Regular Ed. Teacher Assistant for eight years and loved it. Denise enjoys working with young kids and helping to fan into flame their curiosity and love for learning. She enjoys connecting with each child and seeing all facets of their unique personalities. Denise loves reading books to students because she is an avid reader herself. She also loves art, theatre, music, and sports. She is a dog-lover and has two Golden Retrievers, Penny and Oshie.
Third Grade Teacher
Jennifer Fusselle began teaching at LCDS in 2013. She originally developed her interest in teaching while in high school, after taking a Teacher Cadet course that gave her the opportunity to create fun lessons for elementary school classes. Jennifer then went on to graduate from Lynchburg College with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-6). Science and Math are two of her favorite subjects to teach, though she also loves all things athletic. Jennifer is active throughout the school year, playing in multiple adult-league sports teams, as well as occasionally attending PE with her class. Jennifer has served on various committees such as Relay for Life and Garden Lab for LCDS, and during the summer is a counselor for multiple summer camps through the school. Outside of LCDS, she enjoys participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, yoga and paddleboarding.
Fifth Grade Teacher
Laura Galvin joined the LCDS family in 2020. She earned her Bachelor’s in English from John Carroll University and a Collegiate Professional License from George Mason University. With over 20 years of teaching experience in private education Laura has taught all grade levels from kindergarten to high school. In 2013 she was recognized as a St. Vincent College Great Teacher. Her goal is to promote a love of learning, life and self in her students. As a lifelong learner, Laura loves learning from and with her students. As an educator and mom she understands the importance of working with families to promote a positive learning environment for her students. Outside of the classroom Laura can be found kayaking and cooking with her family. Always eager to read a good book and to attend live theater, she is building up the courage to downhill ski again.
Director of Extended Day, Medical Administrator
Pam began working at Loudoun Country Day School in 2000. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and earned a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology at the University of Missouri. After college, she moved to San Diego, California and worked as a regional loan supervisor in the mortgage lending industry. Later, she relocated to the Northern Virginia area and began volunteering at the Montessori school that her children attended. Her love of helping children learn to read lead to a job at that school. When her children transitioned to LCDS, she also joined the school as a first-grade assistant. At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, she began her current role at the school. Pam enjoys the many different responsibilities her job offers: assisting in the library, providing support to the health suite, helping coordinate buses for field trips and sporting events, managing school calendars, and working with Extended Day. Every day at work is a little bit different and always interesting!
Annie joined the LCDS community in 2021 and is incredibly excited to be a kindergarten teacher at Loudoun Country Day School. She graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2020 with her BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in rhetoric and a minor in leadership studies and received her Master’s degree in Elementary Education in 2021. Her goal as a teacher is to help all of her students gain confidence in themselves and feel valued as a student and a member of the LCDS community. Annie grew up in Great Falls, Virginia and attended Flint Hill School through high school. She moved to Loudoun County at the beginning of the pandemic and has enjoyed exploring the new area. Outside of teaching, Annie loves to play and coach lacrosse, ski, read, and spend time with her friends and family. She also enjoys playing with her French Bulldog, Meatball.
Middle School Resource Teacher
Marty Hope has been with LCDS since 1982. After graduating from Hollins College with a Bachelor’s degree in Divisional Social Studies, she worked with autistic children at Grafton School. She earned a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Virginia, and returned to Grafton School, teaching learning disabled and emotionally disturbed children. After two intense years, she left Grafton and started the resource program at LCDS, eventually becoming the Middle School Director. In addition to that role, Marty teaches the middle school resource classes and a pre-algebra class. Helping adolescent children become confident, successful learners and kind, cooperative citizens is her lifelong passion, and the one that has been most gratifying. In addition to teaching, horses have always been and continue to be a big part of her life. Marty enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, and being an auntie to five awesome nephews and one very cool niece.
Director of Admissions
Susan Hower joined LCDS in 1990 as an experienced early childhood educator and became an LCDS prekindergarten lead teacher for over twenty years. She was instrumental in developing the current program for our young learners and drew inspiration from graduate study at the University of Virginia to establish the prekindergarten art curriculum. An award-winning faculty member, Susan has earned recognition for her contributions in education from The Town of Leesburg, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, the Wolf Trap Foundation, and as a recipient of the Thomas Jewell Reading Chair. She also served the LCDS Board of Trustees as the faculty representative. Concluding a nine-year term as a member of the Alumni Admissions Committee at her alma mater, Susan switched gears in 2012 to join the administrative team in the newly-created role of Director of Admissions. She treasures her relationships with the many LCDS children and families with whom she has worked for nearly three decades. An avid traveler and perennial adventure seeker, Susan often finds simple pleasures provide her with the broadest smiles: searching for the ultimate ice cream, discovering the perfect beach and daydreaming about being a mermaid.
Prekindergarten Assistant Teacher
Jenny Huerbin joined the LCDS faculty in 2017. After six years of working for Loudoun County Public Schools as a Teacher Assistant and Substitute Teacher, Jenny was excited to expand her role in a small classroom environment where she could work closely with each student. Jenny’s kind, positive spirit is contagious and valued by her second graders, who often say they’re encouraged and inspired by her warmth and wonder. Jenny has lived in Loudoun County for 18 years with her husband Greg. They have three wonderful sons: Josh, who attends UVA, Jake who attends the University of Tampa, and Owen, who attends Loudoun Valley High School. When she’s not working with her students on their biographer presentations and other interesting projects, Jenny loves practicing yoga. Her family enjoys skiing, sailing and travel when they are not cheering in the stands watching their boys play lacrosse and football!
Lower School Music Teacher, Middle School Music, Band, and Orchestra Teacher
Sonja Jewell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Summa Cum Laude, from Youngstown State University, with a double major in trumpet and voice. She also earned a Master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in Music Education with a Major in Instrumental Conducting, and a Specialization Area in Trumpet. Sonja was fortunate to study with world class teachers and performers such as Esotto Pelligrini, Charles Gorham and David Baker. She completed post graduate courses in voice with past voice chair Dr. Roger Hvronek at Indiana University. Sonja taught undergraduate music education courses at IU, as well as later teaching high school choir and orchestra in Indiana. Sonja has been teaching at LCDS since 1997. At LCDS, she started the string orchestra and band programs, and expanded the vocal music and general music programs. Sonja loves spending time with her family, playing tennis and reading, not at the same time, and kayaking. She is a past Board Member of the Loudoun Symphony, and continues to freelance as a singer, trumpeter, festival judge, and conductor.
Events Coordinator, Advancement Assistant
Milisa Johnson joined the LCDS team in 2015. She grew up in Illinois and graduated from Elgin Community College. Milisa spent 15 years in the corporate world, specializing in Human Resources and holding positions that ranged from generalist to director. Milisa and her husband moved to Virginia in 2002, where they started a family in 2010 with the birth of their daughter. Becoming a mom inspired Milisa to take a break from the corporate world, and when she became a stay-at-home mom, she was also able to realize her dream of launching her DYI company, Henigan Manor. Once her daughter started school, she decided to return to the workforce and use her degree in Art Education to work within a school. Milisa first came to LCDS as a substitute teacher, but accepted her current position of Development and Events Coordinator in 2016. She enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining and the DYI projects she creates through Henigan Manor. Her family loves traveling and being with their pets.
Lower School Resource Teacher
Janet Jones has been with LCDS since 2013. She is a WVU alumnus and graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1993. She continued her education at JMU and graduated with an M.A. in Special Education in 1995. She worked in Fairfax County Public Schools for five years as a Special Education Teacher until the birth of her daughter in 2000. Her son was born in 2003, and she continued to stay at home to raise her wonderful children. After 13 years at home, she decided it was time to “get back out there” and was hired as a substitute teacher for LCDS. For the next two years, she was a classroom assistant and then took on the role of the resource teacher in 2016. She is excited to continue working with students in a variety of grades as well as many of the wonderful teachers. In her free time, Janet likes to read historical fiction and create delicious meals for her family while listening to Dave Matthews Band. Janet is a certified Orton Gillingham Instructor and tutors students 1-1 after school.
Director of Maintenance and Transportation
Joe Kaylor joined LCDS in 2016. He has 42 years of experience in working with mechanical equipment in a variety of industries, ranging from heavy-duty vehicles to commercial print operations to HVAC units. He is an ASE-certified Master Mechanic, the highest certification available in the industry. One of his career highlights was driving NASCAR great Jeff Gordon’s motor coach cross-country. His skills have also taken him as far away as Russia (technically the USSR when he went) to install specialized printing equipment for a company in the 1980s. Family is very important to Joe, who has two sons, both of whom live in NoVa. In his spare time, Joe enjoys working on his lime green 1974 Dodge Challenger (nicknamed “The Grinch”), which is currently tuned to 900 horsepower. At LCDS, Joe enjoys using the skills he has refined over the years and interact with students on a daily basis to ensure their learning facilities are running at top-notch levels so they can succeed.
Dr. Jennifer Kaywork joined the LCDS staff in 2020. Jenn earned her BSEd in Elementary/Early Childhood Education and Child/Family Development from the University of Georgia, her MS in Family and Child Development from Virginia Tech and her EdD in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Rutgers University. Jenn fills many roles in the field of education, including as a consultant to child development centers and a professor of teacher education. She has conducted research on children’s learning, project-based learning and preservice teacher reflection, and was fortunate enough to study early childhood education and the Reggio Emilia Approach in Italy during her graduate work. Jenn has also authored two textbooks on infant/toddler development and curriculum. Connection, community and relationships are the focus of her work and daily life, and she feels privileged to have the opportunity to work with young children at LCDS. Jenn loves college football, outdoor adventures with her family and good food and drink. While teaching is her passion, her most favorite job is being Mommy to her kids Hayleigh and Maximus.
Admissions Assistant, Registrar
Casey has been with LCDS since 2001 when she joined as a 2nd grade student, and has worked as a camp counselor and director as well as a substitute teacher at LCDS for a number of years. She was excited to begin working as the Admissions Assistant and Registrar in 2020. After graduating from McDaniel College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies & Spanish, Casey worked for several years in the field of Environmental Education both in the US and in South America. Her favorite part of any job is the opportunity to build relationships and learn from the people around her, though she also enjoys having a good problem to solve here and there. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, exploring the area’s trails with friends, going to trivia nights, and talking about bugs with Mrs. Peacemaker!
Third Grade Teacher
Amy Kidd joined the LCDS family in 2020. Born near Philadelphia, she grew up knowing teaching was her lifelong goal. Inspired to teach by her own 3rd grade teacher, she studied education at Penn State, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood and Early Adolescent Education. WE ARE! Prior to joining LCDS she has spent the last 12 years working with children and studying education. Aside from multiple volunteer programs, from 2009-2018 she worked at Tyler Arboretum as an educator and camp counselor during their Summer nature programs. In the Spring of 2016 she studied in Perugia, Italy where she had an internship in an Italian elementary school. From 2017-2020 she taught 3rd grade as a lead teacher in a small Catholic school near Philadelphia. She is excited to become part of the LCDS family and share her love of teaching! In her free time she loves to read, root for her beloved Penn State Football, and manage her art photography business, Traveling Teacher Photography! In the Winter she also loves to ski. A lover of history, she is excited to explore the historical locations of her new home, Loudoun County!
First Grade Assistant Teacher
Dana Kilrain began teaching as a first grade assistant in 2020 after being a sub at Loudoun Country Day School. She has a degree from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. She is a native Virginian and lifelong baker. She and her husband Michael, live in Purcellville and have five children. A son who graduated from UVA, a daughter who graduated from JMU, a son who is a junior in Homeland Security at VCU, a son who is a freshman in Communications at JMU and a son who is a sophomore at a boarding school, The Lawrenceville School. She enjoys watching any college sports- especially football and lacrosse, listening to podcasts, walks on the beach, and traveling with her family.
Middle School Orchestra Teacher
Dr. Kim joined the LCDS Music Department in 2014. A native of Daejeon, South Korea, she began studying violin at the age of 8. Her Master’s was completed at Queens College, CUNY where she studied with Daniel Phillips of the Orion Quartet. She then went on to receive her D.M.A. from Catholic University. Dr. Kim is an active concert violinist and orchestra player. She currently serves as the principal second violin of the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, she has been invited to play with many orchestras in the New York and Virginia area. Dr. Kim is an expert teacher with over a decade of experience teaching violin and viola to all ages and all levels, from beginner to advanced. A large number of her students have been chosen for the greater D.C. area’s top youth orchestras, and successfully auditioned for Virginia’s District, Regional and All-State orchestras. She believes that it is through music that she can best serve people with truth, faith and love.
Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Laura Kirkpatrick grew up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University. She worked in Silicon Valley, San Diego and Seattle in marketing and sales positions in the computer and video game industry, where she launched games and other consumer products. Then, she decided to stay home to raise her son (who is now in college at The Citadel). She was a regular classroom volunteer in her son’s schools from Pre-K through 8th grade and held leadership positions in the schools’ PTAs. She also chaired fundraising campaigns for local charities. In her free time, she enjoys hiking mountains with her husband and 2 red dogs, and playing competitive racquetball. Laura is starting her second year at LCDS and feels very at home being an Assistant Teacher in Kindergarten where she can support the growth of enthusiastic minds.
Middle School Science Teacher
Laura Kitselman began her career at LCDS in 1987 after graduating from the University of Virginia. At UVA, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. At the same time, she pursued her desire to teach and completed coursework in Science Education at the Curry School of Education, leading to state certification. She teaches seventh and eighth-grade science and coordinates the Lower School science curriculum. Laura is passionate about science, teaching and learning. A strong believer in the value of hands-on, experiential learning, she strives to create an environment in which her students can explore a variety of topics and methods of experimentation. Some of her favorite activities of the year include hydroponics, mousetrap cars, DNA extraction, and using microscopes. In addition to learning in the classroom, Laura is an advocate of educational travel and has led student trips to the Amazon, Costa Rica, and Key Largo. In her free time, she experiments with cooking and coral reef organisms, knits socks and completes the daily crossword puzzle.
Preschool Assistant Teacher
Tania grew up in Loudoun County and graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Communications. She spent 12 years in the corporate world where training company and client employees was one of her main responsibilities. When her children were born in 2002 and 2005, she decided to take a break from the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom. When she returned to the workforce, she realized that while she had enjoyed the teaching aspect of her previous jobs, teaching children rather than adults would be a better fit to her nurturing nature. She initially became a substitute teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools, then in 2014 she became a substitute teacher at LCDS. In 2016, LCDS offered her the Preschool Assistant position. She was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who was also a preschool teacher. Tania enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, their children Kelli and Jack, and their 2 cats. Her family loves lake life, the beach, snow skiing, and the Washington Capitals.
Business Office Assistant
Shannon Krise joined LCDS in 2017. She was born in Indiana and grew up in Hong Kong, where her parents helped administer a seminary serving students all across Southeast Asia. After studying English Education at Cedarville University, Shannon worked as a program supervisor for Toward Independence, Inc., providing residential services for adults with developmental disabilities. She then moved to Loudoun County, where she worked as a conference-center billing clerk. For the next 15 years, Shannon worked as a stay-at-home mom raising three children: Gareth, William, and Freyja. During that time, Shannon also volunteered on the boards of various school and youth organizations including Cub Scouts, Harmony Band Boosters, Woodgrove Music & Arts Association and as an Odyssey of the Mind Coach and School Coordinator. Working at LCDS provides Shannon the opportunity to combine her interest in organization, bookkeeping experience and passion for working with youth.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Emily joined the LCDS family in 2021 upon relocating from the Charlottesville area. The 2021-2022 school year will be Emily’s 9th year teaching; previously she has taught Kindergarten, second grade, 4th grade, and 7th and 8th grade History. Emily graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education where she played tennis. After graduating Emily attended James Madison University to complete a Master’s of Art in Teaching in General K-12 Education with a specialization in Special Education. In 2016 Emily returned to graduate school at The University of Virginia and earned a Master’s of Education in Psychology and Foundations of Education. Her personal philosophy is “I aspire to inspire before I expire”. Emily believes the greatest impact in the world is teaching children to love the sound of their own laughter and to be lifelong learners. She loves baseball, strong coffee, spending time with her 1 year old daughter, Charlie, running with her 4-year old boxer mix dog, and spending time at the beach with her family.
Middle School Assistant
Abby came to LCDS in 2020 as the first Middle School Assistant. While attending school to become a pastry chef, Mrs. Krebs worked as a lifeguard, at a preschool, and taught swim lessons. After college her search found her working at Wegmans, the Grand Hyatt in Washington D.C., and managing bakeries. Through all of these experiences, two things really stuck with her: she tremendously enjoys helping people and she absolutely loves working with children. Mrs. Krebs found her home at LCDS and couldn’t be happier! In her free time, she loves baking, knitting, painting, and anything crafty. Most importantly she loves spending time with her amazing husband, John Krebs, who is an exceptional history teacher at LCDS. Whether they are going to concerts or having a quiet evening at home, as long as they are together, they couldn’t be happier.
Middle School History Teacher
John Krebs joined the LCDS faculty in 2015. He graduated from the Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio, earning a B.A. and a B.S. in History and Education. Ever since he was a child, John knew he wanted to be a history teacher. He loved movies that portrayed teachers in a fun and inspiring manner, especially School of Rock. Both of his maternal grandparents fought in WWII. His grandmother was a WWII nurse who was forced to help NAZIs in a POW camp and his grandfather was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. John grew up listening to his grandmother’s stories and immediately fell in love with history. John’s passion and enthusiasm are contagious; his students enjoy his lessons and learning about World History from such an animated teacher. After school, he enjoys spending time with his very lovely wife, Abigail Krebs, who is a professional baker and cake decorator. They are avid concert- and movie-goers.
Second Grade Assistant Teacher
Barbara joined the LCDS faculty in August 2021. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Elon College. Barbara has been a Preschool Teacher Assistant, a PALS Tutor, a Substitute Teacher, and most recently a Teacher Assistant in the Early Childhood Special Education Program with Loudoun County Public Schools. She was awarded LCPS Elementary Substitute of the Year in 2019. Barbara was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her family eventually crossed the river, moving to Purcellville, Virginia in 2003. Her eldest daughter Emma graduated from JMU in 2020 and now lives and works in Arlington. Barbara’s son Christopher is a senior at Virginia Wesleyan University and is on the lacrosse team. Her youngest son Ryan is a senior at Loudoun Valley High School and plays lacrosse. Barbara, Stephen and their children enjoy playing games and spending time in New Hampshire and the Outer Banks.
Kim Martino began her position as Business Manager at LCDS in 1996. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College, graduating cum laude with a double major in Accounting and Spanish. She started her career with Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After she took some time off to start a family, Kim began a position as Business Manager at a private school in Connecticut. She worked there for five years before her family moved to Virginia, where she joined LCDS. She has always loved the family environment at LCDS and the opportunity for her three boys to attend school here. Of the many varied aspects of her job, she most enjoys budgeting. Her personal passion has been following her sons through their athletic careers, all three wrestling from youth through college. Academics, though, have always come first to her, and she appreciates working in a school.
Jane McCarter joined LCDS as a middle-school substitute teacher and bus driver in 2014, but she has been a part of the school community for many years. In 1996, she chose LCDS for her daughter’s education and participated as an Odyssey of the Mind Coach for LCDS teams at that time. Jane received both her B.S. in science and engineering from Iowa State University, later licensing in Urban Planning (AICP) and LEED-AP design. Jane has recently retired from Loudoun County service with 25 years experience as a project manager in land development engineering and urban planning. She has experience teaching adults in continuing education for engineers and planners. Jane flunked retirement and was delighted to have the opportunity to support the LCDS community once again. She has lived immediately adjacent to the Appalachian Trail for more than 30 years with a variety of visiting and resident dogs. In her free time, she enjoys hosting Appalachian Trail hikers, writing and sustainable design work.
Second Grade Teacher
Karen joined LCDS as a second grade teacher in 2020. After graduating from San Diego State University, she taught second grade at Rancho Santa Fe Elementary School in Rancho Santa Fe, California. While raising her three sons, Karen was a substitute teacher through the North County Coastal Substitute Consortium. The NCCSC consisted of five school districts, which gave her the opportunity to work with children of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. She obtained her Master’s in Education with emphasis in National Board Teaching Certification from National University in 2017. Karen worked at Horizon Prep as a second grade assistant for two years. Last year, Karen was a Kindergarten Lead Teacher at Horizon Prep. In July, Karen and her husband, Jim, moved to Virginia. In her free time, Karen loves to hike, read, and travel. Her biggest hiking accomplishments are hiking to the summit of Mt. Whitney, California and crossing the Grand Canyon.
Sixth Grade English and Math Teacher
Ms. Pannuto was immersed in the education field starting in high school, where she completed a Teacher Education program from New Paltz High School. With a love for traveling, Ms. Pannuto spent the summer of 2019 volunteering in Uganda, Africa, where she taught English and Math at a juvenile detention center. She went on to graduate from CUNY Hunter College this past summer with her BA in English and a Field of Study in Preparation for Secondary Education with honors, all while competing on their Women’s Basketball and Softball teams. Both her grandfather and grandmother were lifelong educators, and inspired Ms. Pannuto with their with their work ethic and dedication to helping their students become the best version of themselves. Ms. Pannuto loves to spend her free time on a softball field or basketball court, and can always be seen with a good book in her bag! She is beyond grateful to start her first year at LCDS with an amazing group of students and fellow teachers, and hopes that the 2021-22 school year will be filled with amazing memories, growth, and laughter!
Lower School STEM Teacher
Robin Peacemaker joined the LCDS faculty in 2014. She has earned multiple degrees including a B.S. in Agronomy with a minor in Environmental Sciences from the University of Maryland and a CTE teaching certification from VCCS. She has enjoyed leading STEM camps and looks forward to more of them. Robin loves all things STEM and especially science! She has a passion for protecting the environment and strives to share that with her students. She also wants all of her students to know that making a mistake is not something to be feared, but rather how we learn the most. One of her favorite quotes from Albert Einstein is “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Robin has a daughter studying forensic psychology in college, a husband who is her best friend, four dogs and a cat. She loves to cook and feed lots of people, to garden and to read all types of books.
Kindergarten-Third Grade Art Teacher
Anne Peterson joined the LCDS faculty in 2015. She graduated with a degree in education from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Michigan continues to feel like home and she returns twice a year to enjoy snow drifts and the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. Before coming to LCDS, Anne taught a variety of grades in Texas, Maryland and Northern Virginia. She also worked for a member of Congress on Capitol Hill. She originally became a teacher because of her desire to make a difference in the lives of children and the opportunity to exercise her creativity. LCDS is a perfect fit for Anne because she strongly believes in a Liberal Arts education and the need to expose children to a variety of disciplines early in life. She has lived in Leesburg with her husband and three sons for almost 20 years. Anne enjoys painting watercolors, reading and binge-watching House Hunters International.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Suzanne Porreca has been an LCDS teacher since 1994. She grew up in the beautiful rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Educational Psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Suzanne and her then five-year-old daughter, Megan, relocated to Maryland in order to accept a job at the National Institute of Health’s Retrovirus Exposure Surveillance Program. Suzanne’s first teaching position was in third grade in Prince George’s County Public Schools. When she first joined LCDS, she taught fifth grade before eventually moving into her current position. Suzanne’s 27-year teaching career has been quite fulfilling. Watching her students develop socially, emotionally and academically has been one of her life’s greatest pleasures. Suzanne enjoys spending time with her family: Wayne (husband), Megan and Ricky White (daughter and son-in-law), Matthew (son) and Bella and Casper (dogs). She also enjoys going to the movies, gardening and visiting her family in Pennsylvania.
Middle School French Teacher
Mme. Ptasienski has over 20 years of experience teaching French to elementary and Middle School students. A native French speaker, she has a BA from Knox College and an MS in Education from Butler University. She also holds the prestigious National Board Certification in World Languages other than English. Prior to joining LCDS, she taught in the French Immersion Program at Kent Gardens Elementary School (Fairfax Co.) for 14 years.
Middle School Spanish Teacher, Service Learning Coordinator
Señora Quiles joined LCDS in 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the College of William and Mary, her Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech, and a certificate in gifted education from the University of Virginia. She is passionate about teaching Spanish and nurturing her students’ personal and academic growth. Prior to teaching, Kim lived abroad in Costa Rica and Spain. She taught Spanish for more than a decade, first with Williamsburg Public Schools and later with Loudoun County Public Schools. In addition to teaching every level of high school Spanish, including Advanced Placement, Kim was a gifted resource teacher with LCPS. She loves to travel the world, but Barcelona is her favorite city, as it is the first Spanish city she ever visited and where she met her Catalan husband. She lives in Ashburn with her husband, two daughters, and their golden retriever, Neula (which is a type of Spanish cookie).
Coach Rayson joined LCDS in 2014. He grew up in the UK playing the “big 3 sports”– rugby, soccer and cricket–as well as swimming competitively. After moving to Hong Kong with the Royal Air Force, Ian continued his sporting career as a triathlete and coach. After receiving his M.A. in Recreation and Sports Management and attending Reading University in the UK to obtain his Post Graduate Teaching Certificate, he embarked on his teaching career. He spent two years teaching PE in the UK and 11 years as a PE and classroom teacher at a private International school in Hong Kong. He loved running the sports days, camps, swim meets and extracurricular activities. He most enjoyed the annual overnight outward-bound camps, sharing his excitement for the great outdoors with students. A keen swimmer, he coaches and manages the LCDS Swim Team. He teaches PK, K and 1st grade PE, middle school girls’ hockey, the co-ed intramural program and tennis. His free time is spent “coaching” his wife and three young boys.
Sixth Grade Math and Science Teacher
Alex joined LCDS in 2020 as a middle school science and math teacher. Alex came to LCDS from the Smithsonian Institution, where she was a primate keeper and a behavioral research investigator. She remains affiliated as a Research Associate. Alex has worked with many school groups, educating them about behavioral science, conservation, and natural history, incorporating her experience observing wild orangutans in Indonesia. She also served as a substitute teacher in Washington, DC public schools. Alex volunteers with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa. She earned a Master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was an anatomy and physiology graduate teaching instructor, and a Bachelor’s in anthropology from the University of Oregon. Alex is passionate about science, nature, and lifelong learning. Her teaching philosophy is inspired by Jane Goodall´s words: “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” In 2021, her baby boy, Cedar, was born.
Julie Roberts joined the LCDS community in 2007 as a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher, before advancing into her current role. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1994. Julie began her career working in administration and human resources with an airline association in Washington D.C., and enjoyed traveling in her position. After spreading her wings, she settled down to work as a teacher at a special needs preschool in Maryland and her children’s preschool in Virginia. At LCDS, she found a program that supported her educational philosophy of nurturing the whole child, providing enriching experiences in all content areas and guiding children to become successful learners. In 2011, Julie became a Lead Kindergarten Teacher at LCDS. She is also a seasoned LCDS parent—she has a son, alumni Jake (‘14) and daughter Carly (‘18). In her free time, Julie stays busy at home with her family and four dogs. She enjoys cooking, planting and is an avid fan of HGTV and the Food Network.
Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Shannon joined LCDS in 2021. After graduating from Central Michigan University with a BS in Art Psychology, she then pursued an elementary teacher certification at North Central College. She began her teaching career in the public sector as a long-term substitute for 1st grade as well as for a 4th/5th split gifted classroom. Shannon moved into the private sector, teaching both 4th and 5th grade for Cranbrook Institute’s Lower School, Brookside. She stepped away from the professional world to raise her three children, Jack, Lucy and Kate. Over the past 18 years, Shannon has continued her life-long drive to positively impact young minds in her community. She passionately volunteered in elementary classrooms, school libraries, started a middle school theater program, guided her own children in beginning a charity, created and authored her own private art studio classes, and initiated numerous family oriented events in her community. When she isn’t at LCDS, as one of the Kindergarten Assistant Teachers, you will find her enjoying her family while hiking, camping, or riding roller coasters!
Lower School Music Teacher
Amie Roos began her teaching career at LCDS in 2001. She received a Bachelor’s degree of Music Education from Youngstown State University. Throughout the years, she has taught grades PS through Eighth, General Music, Choir, Show Choir, and Orchestra. Amie shares her love of music through passionate teaching and truly involves herself in all of her lessons. Students can’t help but get excited because her fun spirit and enthusiasm is contagious. Through her high expectations of performance etiquette, the students engage and perform to the best of their ability in the numerous LCDS school programs and performances. A singer herself, she has performed throughout Northern Virginia and D.C. venues including the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, and the Supreme Court. Her greatest accomplishments are her three children: Liam, Andrew and Lauren. When not at school, you will find her at baseball and football fields and the dance studio cheering her kiddos on!
First Grade Teacher
Kristin Seamans joined LCDS in 2019 with 10 years of teaching experience. After graduating from the State University of New York at Cortland with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she worked for the New York State Department of Labor for five years. It was after working with the Summer Youth Program that Kristin confirmed her true passion was in education and working with children. She earned a Master’s degree in Teaching from the State University of New York at Cortland, and taught for five years in Upstate New York prior to moving to Alexandria, VA. While in Alexandria, Kristin taught 3rd grade for five years, before taking a short break from teaching to stay at home with her daughter. She believes in creating a nurturing and fun atmosphere for her students, where they are excited to learn and strive to meet their full potential. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Ben, daughter Mia, and English Bulldog Fiona.
Fifth Grade Orchestra Teacher
Marjory Serrano began teaching at LCDS in 2013. An accomplished orchestral and chamber musician, she began violin studies at the Aragua Symphony Foundation in Venezuela. At Shenandoah University, she earned a Masters Degree in Violin and an Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies. She also received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Violin Performance from Catholic University. Marjory served as principal second violin at the Idyllwild Arts Music Festival under the baton of Larry Livingston, and also performed at the Castleton Festival under the baton of then-New York Philharmonic conductor Lorin Maazel. She has performed at such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Dr. Serrano holds an adjunct faculty position in violin at Frederick (Maryland) Community College. She is Concertmaster of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington (PACO), and she also performs with the Apollo Orchestra and the American Festival Pops Orchestra in the Washington, D.C. area.
Kristin Siegert is excited to join the Loudoun Country Day School family as a Lead Kindergarten Teacher. Kristin holds a BA in Theatre from James Madison University and began her career in the entertainment industry in New York City, where she worked at a talent agency for several years. While making a career shift, she spent two summers at a sleepaway camp, serving as the Program Director Assistant. It is here where she realized her passion to work with children and decided to go back to school and pursue her MA in Teaching at Manhattanville College, where she became certified in Early Childhood and Childhood Education. For the past two years, Kristin has worked at an all-boys school in Greenwich, CT, where she taught Kindergarten and First Grade. Kristin believes that there is something truly special about early education. She values what is unique about each of her students and loves to see the “ah-ha” moment when they discover something new. She has a wonderful fiancé, Stefan, and a playful dog named Kona.
Rob Smith began working at LCDS in 2013. He grew up in Loudoun County and attended Art Institute of Washington, where he studied graphic design. He was a Loudoun County Public School substitute teacher for four years, as well as a special education teacher’s assistant for two years. Recognizing his love of sports and passion for working with kids, Rob coached high school basketball and middle school basketball for five years. He currently coaches LCDS afterschool flag football, where he promotes enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and aims to improve kids’ skills and knowledge after every practice and game. Rob loves coaching LCDS students and being a positive role model for them. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of his favorite sports, and his excitement is contagious. During his free time, he loves being with his daughter, going fishing as often as he can and playing basketball and football.
Middle School English Teacher
Kate Stavish began teaching at LCDS in 2018. She brings with her over 10 years of teaching and education leadership experience. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, Kate worked as the Director of Marketing for a technology company. Inspired to give back to rising generations, Kate left the corporate world and entered the University of Virginia in 2004, graduating with a Master’s degree in English Education in 2007. She taught in Virginia for four years before relocating to Philadelphia, PA where she was an Assistant Athletic Director and teacher at the William Penn Charter School. In 2011, she and her husband moved to Leesburg and she began teaching at Herndon High School and recently (2013-2018) worked as an Administrator at McLean High School. Along with teaching in the Middle School, Kate will be coaching field hockey and has over 20 years of playing and coaching experience. Kate has two wonderful daughters, Harper and Eliza.
Front Office, Lunch Program Administrator
University of Massachusetts in Amherst as a microbiology major and an English minor. After graduating, she started working as a bench microbiologist at Whitehall Laboratories in southern New Jersey, close to where she grew up. In 1992, she moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia and continued to work for Whitehall-Robins in Richmond, the new name for Whitehall Labs, on the bench and as a technical writer. In 2000, Susan moved to Loudoun County and worked as a stay-at-home mom to raise her children, Jessica and Andrew. She became very active as a volunteer while her children were in school. Her favorite volunteering job was all the time that she spent with the Woodgrove High School marching band. When she went back to work outside the home, she was a substitute for LCPS, before coming to LCDS. Susan enjoys going on long walks with her husband, Ken, and watching her two Hokie children march with the Marching Virginians down in Blacksburg.
Christa has been with LCDS since 2012. After graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communication, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. She married her college boyfriend in 1993 and began a corporate job in government contracting with the IT Department at TRW, which transitioned to the Bechtel SAIC Corporation, working on the Yucca Mountain Project. She and her husband were blessed to welcome triplets in 2000. With her husband’s corporate relocation to the D.C. area in 2008, she found herself with kids in school and missing the days of reading and teaching letters and numbers. She began her career at LCDS working as a substitute and in the aftercare program. In the fall of 2012, she found her passion working with students as an assistant. After two years in first grade, she made the transition to kindergarten. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the “light bulb moment” when a concept clicks with a student! In early 2021, she was promoted to a lead kindergarten teacher position.
Director of Auxiliary Programs
Susan Tucker has been a part of the LCDS staff since 1999. Her early career was in the Federal government and hospital administration, which she pursued while simultaneously studying philosophy and graphic art at NOVA and GWU. After a time, she settled down in quality control administrative management with an environmental consulting firm that brought her to Loudoun County. After the birth of her second child, she managed her family contracting business part-time in order to have more time with her children. Having been an LCDS parent since 1992, she happily stepped into the role of kindergarten assistant in 1999. She found the saying “Everything I needed to know about life I learned in kindergarten” to be true. In 2010, Susan began her role as Director of the newly created Auxiliary Programs to develop Summer Programs and After School Activities and manage Private Lessons, Tutoring and Rentals. Susan enjoys time at home with her pet farm (two dogs and two cats), gardening, cooking, reading, hiking, writing and spending time with family and friends.
Fifth Grade Teacher
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Sylvia Valchar grew up in State College, Pennsylvania. She joined the LCDS community in August 2012 as a fifth grade teacher. In 2016 she made the big move to kindergarten, and in 2020 she moved back up to fifth grade. Prior to that she taught in Aurora, Colorado (first and fourth grades), Houston, Texas (fourth grade for Teach for America) and for LCPS (kindergarten and first grade). She has both her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Youth and Family Education from Penn State. Go Nittany Lions! She knew her heart belonged to teaching after volunteering at an elementary school during high school and spending several summers at Camp Laurel in Maine as a camp counselor. Mrs. Valchar loves sharing her love for learning and helping students reach their potential through hands-on and experiential learning. She has three children: Benjamin, Olivia, and Noah. She and her husband, Zach, and their children and two dogs, Piper and Barley, live in Lucketts, Virginia. Mrs. Valchar loves to travel, shop, and watch her kids play and enjoy their childhood.
Second Grade Assistant Teacher
Judy began teaching at LCDS in 2012. In her time here she has taught both 1st grade and Kindergarten. She is extremely excited to be a member of the 2nd-grade team this year. Judy graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to joining LCDS, Judy taught in various capacities with Loudoun County Public Schools, both as a 1st grade teacher at Legacy Elementary and as a Kindergarten and Special Education teacher at Evergreen Mill Elementary. Judy aims to differentiate lessons to meet the individual needs of each student and to foster a positive learning environment where children develop a lifelong love of learning. Judy, along with her husband, has been a long-time resident of Fairfax and Loudoun County and has 2 sons. While away from work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Megan joined LCDS in 2013. After spending her childhood playing school with her name-tag adorning stuffed animals and watching her mother make a difference in the lives of children, Megan attended Radford University to become a school teacher. She earned her teaching degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in English and history. After graduation, she returned to her hometown and began teaching for Loudoun County Public Schools where she stayed for five years before joining the private sector. Growing up around LCDS, she knew the differences between public and private schools; smaller class sizes, special programs, and a beautiful campus. It seemed like the perfect fit. Megan believes that strong relationships foster trust and an eagerness to learn. She adores her students and makes a point to relate to each of them on a personal level. Any of her previous students would tell you that she loves good humor, bright colors, puppies, being outdoors, live music and the beach.
Middle School Math Teacher
Heather started teaching at LCDS in 2003. She graduated from Georgia Tech in 2000 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. She was a four-year softball letter winner at Tech. She returned home to Texas to teach and coach at Splendora Middle School, before returning to Atlanta in 2002 to teach math and coach softball at Mount Paran Christian School. In 2003, she moved to NOVA with her husband, Dan, to teach Math and coach at LCDS. She took a break from teaching in 2007 when she gave birth to twins, Carter and Abby. She lived in Germany from 2010-2012 and returned to LCDS in 2012. She left LCDS in 2015 to care for her younger children, Ayla Joy and Janie. Heather and her family moved to Southlake, TX in 2016 where Heather was the varsity high school softball coach at Grapevine Faith Christian School. Heather and her family returned to Leesburg and LCDS in 2020. Heather is passionate about making Math fun and challenging students to see Math as a key to unlocking life’s mysteries.
Prekindergarten Assistant Teacher
Erin Zaluzney joined the LCDS faculty in 2017, after moving to Loudoun County from Fredericksburg, Virginia. For 17 years, she worked as a Teachers Assistant at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church Preschool, working (and playing!) with four-year-olds for all of those years. She earned an Associates Degree from Germanna Community College in 2015. Each day, Erin’s students are greeted with her warmth and loving, mama-bear spirit. She is supremely passionate about her own three children: Lucas (28), Nicholas (24) and Emily (23). A huge Crimson Tide fan, she became hooked on the football team while Lucas attended the University of Alabama. Most recently, she became a mom to her new fur baby, a 2 ½-year-old female boxer named Avery whom she adopted through Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue. In her free time, Erin loves spoiling her new pup, continuing to baby her children, cooking, visiting local wineries, exploring antique stores and hiking.