Since its founding in 1976, Oakcrest School has benefited from strong, stable leadership. There have been six heads of school in Oakcrest history, and each of these visionary women has been faithful to the Oakcrest mission. The Board of Directors serve as the governing body of the school. The Head of School is a voting member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Trustees, part of the school’s governance structure, approves nominations to that board. Its members include many of the school’s most ardent and loyal supporters and ambassadors.
    • Mary T. Ortiz, Ph.D., Head of School

As the sixth head of Oakcrest School, Dr. Ortiz continues the legacy of visionary women entrusted with the Oakcrest mission of educating young women of intellect, faith, and character.  

List of 3 items.

  • Her Education

    Dr. Ortiz  holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from New York University, and a Bachelor  of Arts summa cum laude in English and German from Bowdoin College.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 
  • Her Experience

    Dr. Ortiz  joined the Oakcrest faculty as an English teacher and Assistant Head of School in 2009. She became Head of School in 2012.  While completing her doctorate, she taught writing and composition at NYU, and began a 15-year career of developing supplementary educational programs for girls throughout the U.S. Working collaboratively with educators and parents, she coordinated the creation and growth of programs that develop the whole person: camps, service projects, cultural and leadership programs, all of which offer spiritual formation through the Prelature of Opus Dei. 
  • Her Passion

    Dr. Ortiz has brought to Oakcrest her love of literature and the humanities, and experience and commitment to the education of young women. Mary especially enjoys being part of a school with such a noble purpose shared by each of the individuals who work here. She has a deep affection for her home state of Massachusetts, and fondness for the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Oakcrest School Heads Throughout the Years

1976-1979 Patricia O'Donovan 
1979-1984 Diane Hunter 
1984-1988 Biruta Meirans 
1988-1990 Ellen Cavanagh 
1990-2001 Barbara Falk 
2001-2012 Ellen Cavanagh 
2012-present Dr. Mary T. Ortiz
    • Patricia O'Donovan, first Head of Oakcrest School

    • Head of School Mary T. Ortiz (center) with members of the Board of Trustees and founding teacher Phyllis Savino (left) and founding parent and staff member Mary O'Keeffe (3rd from right).

    • Trustees Ellen Cavanagh, Lorrainne Anderson and Germana Mitchell after the memorial Mass for Helena Metzger on May 6, 2022.

Board of Trustees

List of 5 items.

  • Ellen Cavanagh

    Ellen holds a Bachelor degree in Music Education from Syracuse University and a Masters in Education Administration from Boston College.  After teaching for several years in the public schools in Rhode Island, she moved to Boston and while finishing her Masters joined the group of educators who helped found Montrose School.  Having served there for the first four years as Assistant Head of School, she then moved to Washington DC, to teach and eventually become the Head of Oakcrest.  The next twenty-four years were given to serving both Montrose and Oakcrest as Head of School.
  • Germana Mitchell (Julie, 1990; Mary, 2011 )

    Germana emigrated from Italy with her parents and two siblings in 1960 at eleven years of age.  She came with her family to the Washington D.C. area and has lived there ever since. Following her graduation from the University of Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science degree in the field of Home Economics, she worked with the architectural firm of Orofino, Kilsheimer and Ellenbogen as a space planner.  She would later start her own firm, DBS Design (Donnelly, Biondi and Schneider).  The firm provided architectural, landscape design and interior design services.  Shortly after her marriage to Gerard Ellsworth Mitchell, Germana became a stay-at-home mother and homemaker.  She and her husband have nine children and 15 grandchildren.  Their two daughters, Julie (Mitchell ‘90) Newlands and Mary ‘11, attended Oakcrest School.  Germana has served on the Board of Trustees of Oakcrest School and on the Board of the Foundation for Social and Cultural Advancement, a nonprofit organization committed to helping girls and women around the world live with dignity and build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. 
  • Kathleen McGarry, President

    Kathy holds a graduate degree in the Sciences of Education.  She has worked in promoting and developing various educational programs for young women in Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington and now Houston.  She has served on the Oakcrest Board of Trustees since 2002.
  • Mary Ellen Kranzlin

    Mary Ellen is a mother of five. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia. Before becoming a mother, Mary Ellen worked in marketing for Proctor and Gamble and in the marketing division of advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi and the former SSC&B:Lintas.  With her cousins, she runs the Bunting Family Foundation. In addition to her service on the Oakcrest Board of Trustees, she is both a trustee for Save the Sound and a member of their Soundkeeper Task Force. She serves on the Board of Alderton House, which provides religious, cultural, and social activities for women. She is in her third term as Board Member at Seven Acres Montessori in Wilton, CT.  Mary Ellen has been an active volunteer at her children's various schools. She taught religion to children of all ages at her church from 2000-2020. She also teaches at mini-retreats and classes for women. She is a co-leader of the Walking with Purpose Bible Study program at her church.
  • Theresa (Currano '93) Talavera (Eliana '17 and Maite '21)

    Theresa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Romance Languages from the University of Maryland at College Park. She taught French and Spanish at Oakcrest from 1997-99.  A mother of ten children, Theresa leads a vibrant Mothers’ Group which she founded at her parish in 2001. She has also assisted her husband in running his small business since 2004. She served as President of the Board of Clevemont from 2005-2022.  From 2006-2011 Theresa volunteered on the Gala Committee for Divine Mercy Care, and since 2011 has been a key member of the Oakcrest Gala team, chairing the Auction Acquisitions Committee.  She is also an active member of the Oakcrest Alumnae Association. Her daughters Eliana ('17) and Maite ('21) are both Oakcrest graduates. Theresa is currently homeschooling her younger children. 

Board of Directors

List of 9 items.

  • Michele (Casey '99) Bueno, President

    Michele holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Smith College, and a Bachelor of Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College. She has applied her technical skills at several different government contractors in the D.C. area and currently works as a software engineer. She also just recently completed a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. She is the second alumna to serve on the Board of Directors.
     
  • Jan-Hein Cremers (Mary '27), Treasurer

    Jan-Hein has been working in portfolio management for over 15 years, leading teams that research and implement investment models trading public securities, including equities and derivatives. He started his career in Boston doing research in behavioral finance for large asset managers. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. Jan-Hein is married to Sandy, who is a practicing ophthalmologist. They have six children.
  • Gary Hale (Rebekah '11, Kathryn '16, Margaret '18, Anna '19, Brigid '21), Vice President

    Gary is currently CEO of Mpathic, LLC. and has over 25 years of leadership experience in technology companies such as UUNET Technologies, MCI, NetApp, and Amazon Web Services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Virginia Tech. Gary and his wife Jennifer are the happy parents of nine children and four grandchildren.
  • Phil O’Beirne (Charlotte ‘24 and Maeve ‘28)

    Phil O'Beirne is an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C.  Phil holds a bachelor's degree in history from Princeton University and a J.D., cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School.  Phil previously served for five years on active duty in the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate, including a deployment to Kandahar Afghanistan in 2009-2010 with the 82nd Airborne Division. He and his wife Kathleen have five children.
  • Dr. Mary T. Ortiz (Head of School)

    Mary holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from New York University, and Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College. While completing her doctorate, she taught writing and composition at NYU, and began a 15-year career of developing supplementary educational programs for girls throughout the U.S.  Mary first joined the Oakcrest faculty as an English teacher and Assistant Head of School in 2009. She became Head of School in 2012, bringing to Oakcrest her love of literature and the humanities, and experience and commitment to the education of young women.
  • Michelle (Shelly) Heldreth Pelletier (Emma, ’19)

    Shelly holds a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts from Cedarville University. She had the privilege of working for the Honorable Henry Hyde at the House Judiciary Committee. She has served as the Coordinator for Women’s Discipleship at Arlington Baptist Church since 2009. Over the last eighteen years, she has served in a wide variety of volunteer positions at the schools her children have attended. Shelly has been on the board of the Oakcrest Parent Association for six years, most recently as its Chair.
  • Lucia Percovich (Carolina '25)

    Lucia holds a Master’s degree in Economics from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political and Social Science and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family from the University of Navarre. She has actively participated in various non-profit organizations where she has raised funds for projects related to educational program improvements, in addition to leading various college and high school leadership and mentoring programs for girls. She is the founder and CEO of a growing real estate investment family business.
  • Moira Walsh

    Moira holds a Bachelor's degree in biomedical ethics from Brown University and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Her dissertation focused on the relationship of freedom and moral education, a topic that has continued to be a focus of her work.  She has taught ethics, logic, and other topics to students at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, Boston College, and Suffolk University, as well as to numerous groups wanting to learn more about philosophy for personal enrichment without seeking a degree. She has been pleased to have some Oakcrest alumnae among her students in these classes. She currently works in New York City with the Rosemoor Foundation and oversees continuing education programs in philosophy and theology for members of Opus Dei across the United States. 
     
  • Margaret “Meg” White (Adele ‘22, Mary ‘25, Monica ’27), Secretary

    Meg holds a Juris Doctor from George Mason University’s School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from the University of Dallas.  Meg spent time on the Hill and at a think tank before going to law school.  She is the proud wife of an Army veteran and was honored to serve on the Department of Defense’s Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. Meg was fortunate to spend most of her junior year of high school at Oakcrest and considers herself an alumna of sorts.  Her family’s move out of the metro area cut her time at Oakcrest short, but her parents returned to DC later and her two younger sisters are Oakcrest alumnae. In recent years Meg has served Oakcrest and her other children’s schools in a variety of volunteer roles and has run multiple successful fundraisers. 
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