Director of International Programs
Mrs. Agostini joined the Oakcrest Admissions team in 2014. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Marymount University, a Virginia Catholic Education Association License, and an Advanced Catechist Certification. She enjoys being surrounded by the cheerful atmosphere at Oakcrest, and is the mother of an Oakcrest graduate, Giorgina ‘15.
Laura Bell joined Oakcrest in 2011 and is the mother of alumna Kathryn ('12). Laura holds a B.S. in Secondary Education and English from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Education Administration from the University of Scranton. She has worked as a high school teacher, a head of school, a middle school teacher, and a class dean. Laura and her husband Tom are the parents of three children and have four grandchildren.
Theology, Master Teacher
Mrs. Allen is originally from Lisbon, Portugal where she studied at the Escola de Reabilitacao de Alcoitao. She has worked as an Occupational Therapist in school systems throughout Portugal, England and the United States. She collaborated with Allyson Adrian to develop and write the new Guan Series, Learning Spanish with Francois Guan and Charlotte Mason, Vol I & II (Cherrydale Press). Prior to joining the Oakcrest faculty in 2013, Mrs. Allen homeschooled her four daughters, Mia ‘(13), Rosemary (‘16), Grace (‘18), and Nina (‘20).
Mrs. Baldwin is an accomplished musician, composer, and arranger, as well as an experienced instructor. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Composition from George Mason University and was named GMU’s Most Outstanding Musician of 1997. While studying at GMU, she sat as Principal Chair flute and Principal Chair harp in both Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band. She was awarded the Brannen-Cooper Commission in 1999, the National Flute Association Commission of 2009, and the Blessing Foundation Commission for the NFA in 2012. Alix has been a harpist, flutist, composer and arranger for the First Light Ensemble since 2009 and for the Columbia Flute Choir since 1995. She was named the 2019 Scottish Harp Society of America's US National Champion. Before joining the Oakcrest faculty in 2014, Mrs. Baldwin worked as both a private lesson instructor and a sectional coach in the Fairfax County Public Schools for over 20 years. When asked what she enjoys about teaching at Oakcrest, she responded, “I love the ability to teach not just the notes, but the history and meaning behind the music; and I love the atmosphere of joy and kindness that prevails at Oakcrest!”
Michael J. Barvick
Director, Institutional Advancement
Michael Barvick joined Oakcrest as the Director of Institutional Advancement in September of 2016. He has broad experience in the world of advancement and during his career has helped build programs in support of education, underserved communities and public policy. Before coming to Oakcrest, he served for six years as the Director of Major and Planned Giving at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Prior to that he had served as the Executive Director of The Youth Leadership Foundation. Mr. Barvick has a particular expertise in the area of planned giving and has trained numerous non-profits organizations on how to build and sustain a successful planned giving program. He is also the CEO of Alexis Consulting, which provides non-profits assistance in management and fundraising strategies. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Philosophy from the University of Dallas and is the father of Edith (‘19), Franny (‘22), and Irene ('25).
English, 11th Grade Class Dean
Ms. Beckert earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy at Penn State University and received her Masters in Teaching at Drew University in 2012. She taught Literature, History, and English for six years at Regina Coeli Classical Academy outside of Philadelphia. While there, she helped to establish an integrated classical curriculum for the middle school, coached cross country, and won the Catholic School Teaching Award. She comes to Oakcrest with a love of the Great Books and a passion for sharing that love with her students.
Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
Cynthia Bertolini graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics, and holds an M.A. in International Economics and European Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She has worked as a middle and high school teacher and adviser, tutor, and educational consultant, and has served on the board of schools in Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire, where she and her family lived from 2005-2015. She and her husband Lorenzo are the parents of five children, including Luisa ('20).
Art History, Interior Design - Permanent Campus
Ms. Bigliano has pioneered the AP Art History class at Oakcrest. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she moved to Virginia after a strong career in interior design, primarily with commercial and civic spaces. Her interest and professional development in the decorative arts and art history led her to Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware where she graduated from their Certificate Program in Connoisseurship. In addition to teaching, Ms. Bigliano is overseeing all aspects of the interior design of the permanent campus and is the lead designer of the chapel.
Dean of Faculty and Curriculum
Ms. Black received a B.A. in Classics and Early Christian Studies from Christendom College. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Liturgy from the Liturgical Institute. With ten years of teaching experience, seven of which have been at Oakcrest, Ms. Black brings abundant practical knowledge of teaching young people, especially girls, to her new role of mentoring the faculty and developing the curriculum. Working closely with our Master Teachers, her chief responsibility is to help the teachers in their mission to educate our students with professional excellence according to our mission. Her vision of education comes from her strong background in the liberal arts and her commitment to educating the whole person.
Ms. Black is trained in the Ward Method and began teaching at Oakcrest in 2012. Read more about her here
History, 6th Grade Class Dean
Miss Boles attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she earned a B.A. summa cum laude in Greek and Latin, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her senior thesis examined the program of education for an orator in ancient Rome. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in American History and Government from Ashland University. Prior to joining the Oakcrest faculty in 2014, Miss Boles worked as a Latin Teacher at The Geneva School of Manhattan and a Latin curriculum writer for the South Bronx Classical Charter School. A graduate of a classical, liberal arts high school in her hometown of Pasadena, California, Miss Boles' liberal arts background allows her classes to be interdisciplinary. In her Ancient and American History classes, she endeavors to help her students understand the underpinnings of free, democratic societies, and to express their ideas cogently in writing and speech.
Maria Bonvissuto joined the marketing team in the fall of 2018. She graduated from Christendom College with a B.A. in history. Before joining the Oakcrest staff, she worked in the editorial department of Regnery Publishing.
Sarah Brignoni s a Pre-Algebra teacher, as well as a teacher of Geometry and Algebra II. She completed her BA in mathematics and Latin in 2013 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has spent the past six years teaching both subjects at a private Christian school. During that time, she has also worked closely with their Arts department, having assisted with both visual arts and chorus classes. It has been said that mathematics is "the language in which the universe is written"; Mrs. Brignoni delights in exploring such a language, and she strives to pass on that joy to her students.
Michele Bulger began working at Oakcrest in 2006. She holds a B.A. in Business Management from Franklin & Marshall College and a J.D. from Georgetown University.
Associate Head of School-Operations
Miriam Buono has over 30 years of experience in marketing, management, and sales. Her career history includes serving as the Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager for TV Guide Magazine and helping to launch The Weekly Standard magazine. She has also served as adjunct professor of marketing for Marymount University. Mrs. Buono has a Masters in Business Administration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University, where she graduated cum laude.
Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, Mr. Buonocore is responsible for overseeing all financial, human resource, facility, technology, risk management, transportation, construction, safety and other administrative operations for Oakcrest. He brings more than 25 years of experience to the school, with an expertise in managing both financial and operational activities for non-profit organizations. Mr. Buonocore previously served as the Director of Administration for two large private schools located in Northern Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his sons' baseball teams, and singing in the halls of our beautiful new school.
Director of Parent Support
Terri Collins (Lucy ‘11, Helen ‘14, Audrey ‘16, Jill ‘17) serves as Oakcrest's Director of Parent Support. Mrs. Collins brings her knowledge, experience and love for Oakcrest to the role. She continues the work done last year by Kate Hadley (Liz ‘98, Cecilia ‘99, Claire ‘02, Meghan ‘06) with the aim of providing excellent resources to our parents, such as the Family Enrichment program, and plentiful opportunities for parents to find friends among parents. Mrs. Collins is also the school liaison for the Oakcrest Parents Association (OPA).
Mrs. Compton comes to Oakcrest with over 15 years of fundraising experience, having worked with national nonprofits, colleges, hospitals, and private high schools. She holds a B.A. in Organizational Communications from the University of Colorado. Mrs. Compton feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to make a difference for so many good causes. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.
Catherine Scalia Courtney
Director of Academic Advising, Head Librarian
Catherine Courtney is proud to be a member of the Oakcrest community as Director of Academic Advising, Head Librarian, and mother of an Oakie, Class of 2024. Catherine received a B.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Maryland. She brings experience working in corporate, public, and school libraries as well as undergraduate academic advising at George Mason University. Building a collection for Oakcrest School’s beautiful library is a dream come true! Read more about her here
Science, Master Teacher
Heather DeLisle holds a B.A. in Biology and Religious Studies from Connecticut College and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Providence College. She joined the Oakcrest faculty in 2011. Read more about her here
Ms. Duncan holds a Masters of Education and a Bachelors of Arts in Classics from the University of Virginia. Ms. Duncan has fourteen years of teaching experience in the context of private all-girls education. She has taught Latin at the Virginia Governor’s School, has participated extensively in various spoken Latin programs, and has even hosted summer Greek camps for middle schoolers. Ms. Duncan teaches both Middle School and Upper School Latin.
Mrs. Escobar first began teaching at Oakcrest in 1991. She holds a B.A. in History from Loyola University of Maryland and a Professional Teaching Certificate in History. Mrs. Escobar established the "Most Courageous American" tournament for the 7th and 8th grade History students, which makes history come alive for the entire school. When asked what she particularly likes about teaching at Oakcrest, Cecilia says, “I especially love the students. Their joy, their humor and their kindness make every day exciting and joyful. My colleagues are some of the best in the profession and there is a spirit of collegiality that permeates everything we do.”
Mrs. Fernandez-Ulloa received an MA in Spanish Language from Universidad Pontificia Salamanca, Spain, and a Law Degree from Universidad de Navarra. She has taught at George Washington University, and is well-read and knowledgeable on the most significant methodologies of language teaching (such as Task-Based Language Teaching and the Communicative Approach). She has worked alongside Dr. María de la Fuente, who is renowned in the field of Spanish language teaching, and even helped with Dr. de la Fuentes’s textbook. She has also worked alongside students in Hispanic community outreach and is dedicated to fostering and spreading the love of all things Spanish. Teresa is an avid reader and history enthusiast, and was born in Orense, Spain.
Ms. Fortunato joined the Oakcrest faculty in 2009, after completing a rigorous and prolific curriculum. She earned a B.A. in Biology from Northeastern University, as well as a M.A. in Bioethics, a M.P.H. in Behavioral Health Sciences, and a Science Education Professional Certification from the University of Pittsburgh. Angela has published a master’s thesis on "The Care of Dying," and a paper exploring Engineering Ethics Education in the Science and Engineering Ethics Journal. Angela also holds an Active Teacher Certification in Biology from the State of Virginia.
Mrs. Friddle has over ten years of teaching experience in the classroom. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Galway, Ireland. After completing her degree, she continued her education and obtained her Certificate in Education from the same institute. She is currently getting her STEM certification from the National Institute of STEM Education. Mrs. Friddle is very active in professional development related to teaching strategies that enable teachers to have a much larger impact on student learning with more meaningful results and set up students for success as lifelong learners.
Student Life Coordinator
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Ms. Frank holds a B.A. in Theology and Philosophy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a Teaching Certification from the University of Dallas. She began working at Oakcrest School in 2008.
Director of Mentoring
Mrs. Hadley is the mother of ten children, four of whom are Oakcrest graduates–Elizabeth (‘98), Cecilia (‘99), Claire (‘02), and Meghan (‘06). She holds a B.A. in Economics from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and has a deep connection to Oakcrest as a parent and staff member. Mrs. Hadley has served as Oakcrest's Director of Student Mentoring Program for 13 years. She was also Director of the Parent Support Program for many years, organizing speakers, giving parent education talks, and supporting the parents in their role as primary educators. She has trained as a Moderator and runs Family Enrichment classes (IFFD).
Meghan Hadley ('06)
Dean of Students
Ms. Hadley earned both her undergraduate and Masters of Education from the University of Notre Dame. She completed Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. After teaching abroad in Spain for a year, she moved to Chicago where she taught at the Willows Academy for five years, serving as Dean of Students for two of those years. She has a great love and enthusiasm for working with young people and a deep love for her alma mater.
Prior to joining the Oakcrest faculty, Mrs. Hanssen spent many years as a social worker. Her experiences working with the less fortunate color her stories and examples in Theology classes and mentoring sessions alike. She holds B.S. degrees in Sociology and Philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago. She is mother to Oakcrest alumnae Jane ‘(90), Susan (‘92), Lisa (‘03), and grandmother to Elizabeth Trimber (‘13).
Visual Arts, Master Teacher
Mrs. Havey began teaching at Oakcrest in 2004, and has been instrumental in the expansion of the Visual and Performing Arts Program. She holds both a B.A. in Studio Art and a B.A. in Psychology from Duquesne University, as well as a M.F.A. in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Caroline Heeter ('97)
Since joining the staff in 2002, Ms. Heeter has been instrumental in the expansion of Oakcrest’s athletic program and achievements. As a graduate of Oakcrest, Ms. Heeter enjoys the unique opportunity of passing on traditions from her years as a student, as well as helping to create new ones. Caroline earned a B.A. in History from the University of Dallas and a M.S. in Athletic Administration from Ohio University.
Kat Hussmann, Ph.D.
Dr. Hussmann holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in Spanish from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She has done postdoctoral research and has had a number of experiences teaching both college and younger students. She has completed an NIH intensive course called “Scientists Teaching Science,” and has coauthored many peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Hussmann is dedicated to helping high school students understand and analyze scientific literature. She joined Oakcrest as a full-time faculty member in 2015. Dr. Hussmann received the Virginia Science Olympiad (VASO) Committee's 2019 Coach of the Year Award.
Science, 12th Grade Dean
Mrs. Kanuch is a decorated US Marine Corps veteran with a diverse academic background and teaching experience. She studied at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, the Catholic University of America, and the National Intelligence University, and has a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in English, and a Russian minor. She has also taken a Latin and Greek Certificate Program.
English Literature, Master Teacher
As an educator, Mrs. Kenna strives to transmit her love of the liberal arts and the wisdom of the Great Books to each of her students. She joined the Oakcrest faculty in 2011, and since then has cultivated a love of literature and academia, creating the Senior Thesis program and spearheading the founding of the National English Honor Society. Lisa holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. She earned both a M.A. of English and a M.A. of Humanities from the University of Dallas, and completed a Post-Baccalaureate Program in Education there as well. Lisa holds a Commonwealth of Virginia Postgraduate Professional License for English Teachers. She has participated in the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture Teacher’s Academy for six years and has spoken at the National Endowment for the Humanities conference on teaching Dante. Most recently, Mrs. Kenna was selected as one of sixteen participants for the NEH Summer Seminar Scholar program: "Dante’s Inferno: Influence, Adaptation, and Appropriation."
Associate Head of School - Students
Throughout her years of teaching and administrative experience, Mrs. Keuchel has worked closely with teachers, parents and students in a variety of schools and districts. This has allowed her to grow in deep understanding of the needs of students and how to best guide and form them for their future. She earned B.S. degrees in English and Secondary Education from Suffolk University, a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from St. John Fisher College, and a New York State Teacher Certification. Mrs. Keuchel joined the Oakcrest staff in 2007, and is continually grateful for the joyful, faith-filled, academically challenging and growth-focused environment that Oakcrest provides to all of her students, faculty, staff and parents. Read more about her here.
Math, 9th Grade Class Dean
Mrs. Kilmer earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Northwestern University, and taught at Oakcrest from 1993 to 1997. She has also taught at The Willows Academy in Chicago, Montrose School in Boston, and Portsmouth Abbey in Rhode Island. After raising her 11 children, Mrs. Kilmer returned to teach at Oakcrest in 2014.
Director of Communications and Events
Marty Lerner has over 25 years of communications experience having worked for Fortune 500 brands such as Staples, Hershey's Chocolate, Capital One Bank, Heinz USA, PNC Bank, Claritin and GEICO. Mrs. Lerner's events expertise has aided local and national non-profit organizations with raising millions of dollars to advance Catholic education, benefit breast cancer research, and fight childhood obesity. Mrs. Lerner graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington. She is the mother of two - Alexa ('21) and Nolan.
Assistant to the Dean of Faculty & Curriculum and Chapel Coordinator
Cynthia Lim was born and raised in the Philippines. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Far Eastern University School of Medicine, Manila, Philippines. She worked for two years in Radiology at the Far Eastern Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan and for two years in Pathology at the Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan. After this she switched to full- time motherhood, raising four children. Before coming to Oakcrest, she worked for ten years as the Assistant to the High School Principal at Morrison Christian Academy, Taichung, Taiwan.
Math, Master Teacher
Mrs. Lowinger attended the Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore before pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics at Amherst College. She passes on her love for her subject and ability to reach all students. She is the Mathematics Master Teacher and teaches Functions and Statistics and AP Statistics in the Upper School. In addition, she is the moderator of the Chess Club.
Edwina Maksym, Ph.D.
Dr. Edwina Maksym, who received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, has shared her passion for learning and teaching for over thirty years in a variety of settings with learners from their teen years to senior adults. Her broad range of interests crystallized in the study of literature and philosophy because of the insight into truth and human existence these disciplines address. She particularly enjoys teaching philosophy to young people because she believes that adolescence is a privileged time of life in which to learn to think with clarity and depth, to commit oneself to the lifelong pursuit of truth, and to develop the virtues that bear fruit in a mature personality and a life of service to God and others. Dr. Maksym was with Oakcrest in its first years as a faculty member from 1979–2000 and then as Dean of Studies from 2000-2007. She has also served as Academic Dean at Montrose School in Medfield, Massachusetts and as General Education Coordinator and Professor at Lexington College in Chicago. Read more about her here
Mary Ann Messenger
Mrs. Messenger will be teaching Middle School theology this year. Mrs. Messenger has a deep understanding of the mission of Oakcrest, having worked closely with our teachers as a substitute teacher and being herself an experienced home-educator for twenty years. She brings with her years of wisdom in working with children and young people, as well as a passion for the mission of our school. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s, and a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Nancy Miggins ('98)
Mrs. Miggins, BSN, RN, Class of 1998, joins Oakcrest as our nurse. Mrs. Miggins received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University and has been a pediatric nurse for nine years, serving diverse populations from pediatric hematology-oncology to emergency services at hospitals such as INOVA Fairfax Hospital for Children, Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
Fr. Marty Miller
Fr. Miller studied Chemical Engineering, earning a B.S. degree from Notre Dame and an M.S. degree from Columbia University. After working in enzymes and extracts for beer and cheese for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, he took up ecclesiastical studies in Rome and the University of Navarre where he completed a Licentiate and Doctorate in Moral Theology. He brings pastoral experience from working as Chaplain at the Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh (7 years) and more recently at Princeton University (12 years). He is a native of Seattle.
Music, Master Teacher
Mrs. Miller is an accomplished pianist, in addition to being an exceptional choral conductor and musical director. She holds both a B.A. in Music History & Piano and a M.M. in Piano Performance from SUNY Fredonia. Mrs. Miller also holds an Educational Certification and is in progress towards a M.Ed in Social Foundations from the University of Virginia. She has completed Choral Conducting Classes at the Eastman School of Music, Duquesne University, and Shenandoah University. Anne holds a level one Kodaly Certification from George Mason University, and participated as a focus group member for the U.S. Department of Education’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T initiative. She has been a member of the Oakcrest faculty since 2002. When asked what she particularly likes about the educational environment at Oakcrest, Mrs. Miller responds, “Oakcrest has a beautiful mission of forming young women to know who they are and to make a positive impact on society.” Read more about her here
Jean-Yves Millette has worked as an Operating Engineer at GWU, during which time he became a DC First Class Steam Engineer, and he was also part time Building Engineer at Yuma Study Center. He served as a senior maintenance technician at Catholic Charities for nine years and for the Missionaries of Charity for nine years. His daughter, Jackie ’14, is studying at the University of Navarre, and Joan Margaret, age 8, looks forward to coming to Oakcrest.
Mrs. Monroe joined Oakcrest in 2012 and spent six years holding down the fort at the front office where her multi-tasking skills were put to the test. She loves getting to know the students, parents, faculty, staff and school visitors since almost everyone stops by the front office. In the Fall of 2018, Janet joined the Admissions team and enjoys this aspect of school life as well. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Richmond, and is the mother to two Oakcrest graduates, Katherine ‘13 and Kelly ‘16.
Ms. Montecalvo has over fifteen years of teaching experience. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Mary Washington University, her Masters of Education from Framingham State College, and her Postgraduate Professional License with the State of Virginia. A native of Venezuela, Ms. Montecalvo is a passionate lover of Spanish culture and literature and is looking forward to sharing this love with her students.
Sanaz Noorbakhsh ('01)
Sanaz Noorbakhsh received her B.S. in Marketing from George Mason University and an M.S. in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. She worked for thirteen years in the corporate world, focusing on marketing, branding, and events for Capital One, Booz Allen Hamilton, and KPMG. After taking some time off to travel around Europe and the Middle East, Sanaz started her own business: Black Hat Management, which encompasses all the areas Sanaz is passionate about—music, management, and events.
History, Master Teacher, 11th Grade Class Dean
Ms. Nussio holds a B.A. summa cum laude in History and a Theology minor, from Christendom College. She was awarded the Best Senior Thesis Award, History Department for her paper “Spring in October: Wladyslaw Gomulka and the Stillbirth of Polish Freedom in 1956.” During her time at Christendom College, Christine was an active member of the Chester-Belloc Debate Society and later became the student leader of this organization. This experience allowed her to become a confident public speaker, taught her how to engage and reach an audience, and how to communicate her ideas with greater clarity–all of which are essential skills in the classroom. Prior to joining the Oakcrest faculty in 2012, Ms. Nussio worked as a tutor and curriculum development assistant to research and write a Western Civilization History class. Christine is currently pursuing an M.A. in History, focusing on Early Modern Europe, from the Catholic University of America.
Kristin earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies. In addition, she has a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University and Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Dr. O’Malley has directed over twenty shows, acted in many others, has taught middle school in Virginia and Maryland. She sees the role of theatre as a participation in the beauty of God’s own creative act.
Theology, 6th Grade Class Dean
Audrey O’Neill (Christina ‘07) joins Oakcrest this year as a Middle School Theology teacher. In addition to being a trained Montessori teacher, Mrs. O’Neill has completed graduate course work in Theology and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Boston College. She has seventeen years of teaching experience, including teaching in the Montessori Atrium and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classrooms.
Laura O'Neill ('96)
Director of Student Wellness
Mrs. O'Neill holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Divine Mercy University. Following her graduation from Oakcrest in 1996, Mrs. O'Neill earned a Bachelor's in Nursing from Villanova University. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the United States Army after having had an ROTC Scholarship at Villanova. She worked in the Medical and Pediatric ICU at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for 5 years and then various other hospitals in Northern Virginia. In 2009, Mrs. O'Neill was the first nurse hired at Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School and has worked in other diocesan school nurse offices.
Mary T. Ortiz, Ph.D.
Head of School
Mary T. Ortiz holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from New York University, and a B.A. in English and German 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. 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. 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. 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.
History, 12th Grade Class Dean, Alumnae Relations Coordinator
After graduating from Oakcrest in 2009, Ms. Ouyang attended Roanoke College where she earned a B.A. in History. She received many commendations, including the ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Award. While studying as an U.S. Fulbright Student Research Fellow, Ms. Ouyang researched the history of heritage tourism in the Chinese city of Xi’an, developed her research topic with an advisor from Northwest University in Xi’an, and presented her research at the U.S. Fulbright Mid-Year Workshop in Taiwan. Ms. Ouyang is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has been a volunteer English teacher in China. Kathleen has enjoyed the cheerful and encouraging atmosphere of Oakcrest since joining the faculty in 2014.
English, 10th Grade Class Dean
Stephanie Passero holds a BA in English from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, and an MA in English literature from Northumbria University in Newcastle, England. She has taught English grammar and literature to various grade levels for ten years in Massachusetts and Virginia.
Ms. Pompei earned a B.A. from George Mason University and has been a member of the Oakcrest faculty since 2000. Her 13 years of positive Catholic education, professional development, and energetic spirit influence Ms. Pompei's teaching style, making her well-loved by generations of Oakcrest students. She particularly enjoys the familial atmosphere at Oakcrest, citing the countless opportunities to get to know the students, parents, faculty and staff personally.
Mr. Porres joined Oakcrest in the summer of 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
Physical Education, Varsity Soccer and Varsity Track Coach
Jennifer Pruskowski holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She began teaching and coaching at Oakcrest in 2010.
Front Office Manager
Mrs. Reilly was born in Spain. She joined Oakcrest in August 2018. She holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from Universidad Complutense and a M.A. in Theology and Philosophy from Universitaria Aliseda. In Madrid she was a pharmacist and later taught Chemistry at Orvalle High School and Biology at Montealto High. She has been a free-lance/consultant Spanish translator, and for the last 7 years she has been a Spanish interpreter for FCPS. Blanca is the mother of Catherine (’16) and Teresa (’23).
Foreign Languages Master Teacher, Latin
Ms. Rondon- Burgos has a B.A. in Classics – Latin (UVA) and an M.A.T. in Latin and the Classical Humanities (UMass Amherst). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Classics and Ancient History (Durham University). Ms. Rondon-Burgos is fascinated by the Ancient Romans (especially Cicero!) and loves spending time with students talking about Latin. She has been teaching since 2009 in a variety of settings, including rural Ethiopia where she served as a lay missionary with the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Assistant Athletic Director, Head Softball Coach
Sarah Robertson joins Oakcrest's growing athletic program as Assistant Athletic Director. Ms. Robertson earned both a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Liberty University. She was a decorated player on Liberty's Division I Softball team, earning All-Region, All-State, and All-Conference awards as well as being Top 10 in 11 different Program Records. Ms. Robertson is the only player in program history to have 40+ doubles and stolen bases, and she helped build Liberty's teams' RPI from 260th to 25th in the country. She was named Player of the Year in Volleyball and Softball multiple years in the State of Florida for FACA. Ms Robertson is the head coach of the varsity softball team. She also shares her experience in other sports as a member of the basketball and volleyball coaching staffs.
Ms. Salls earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a M.A. in Philosophy of Education, concentration in Character Education from the University of Navarra, Spain. She has authored a book entitled Character Education: Transforming Values into Virtue. Prior to joining the Oakcrest faculty in 2007, Ms. Salls taught at The Willows Academy for 10 years and served as their Assistant Head of School for 10 years. She feels that the mission of Oakcrest School makes it much more than a small, independent school. She feels that Oakcrest is really her dream of the best type of education for young girls today that is made into a reality each day of the school year.
Ms. Phyllis Savino recieved a Bachelor of Science from Brooklyn College and a Master of Education from Hunter College. Exceptional teaching skills, devotion to students, a sense of humor, endless patience, zeal for knowledge, effective methodology, and pursuit of excellence are the hallmarks of her forty-three-year teaching career—38 of those teaching Oakcrest students how to develop resilience and a growth mindset when facing challenges in learning math and science.
Math, Varsity Volleyball Coach, Varsity Basketball Coach, Golf Coach, 8th Grade Class Dean
Ms. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Central Michigan University and a Master of Education degree with a specialization in math and science from Southern Methodist University. She has extensive experience teaching Mathematics at Ursuline Academy in Dallas, TX. She has also structured and overseen community service projects and chaperoned extra-curricular trips around the world.
Natalie Snow holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Assumption College and a Master of Education with an endorsement in Reading from the University of Portland. Ms. Snow is a graduate of the PACE program at the University of Portland, and had been teaching at a college preparatory high school in Portland, Oregon, for several years before coming to Oakcrest.
Mary Ann Thompson
Director of College Counseling
As the Director of College Counseling at Oakcrest, Mary Ann Thompson helps students navigate the college admissions process and the highly anticipated transition into university. Ms. Thompson entered the world of college counseling six years ago with a background in school counseling. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Duquesne University, an M.A. in Counselor Education from the University of South Florida, and she is a nationally certified counselor. Inspired by a solution-oriented counseling approach, Ms. Thompson’s work in academic support prioritizes meeting the student where she is and collaborating on goal development. For the past nine years, Ms. Thompson has worked in private and independent schools both in the United States and overseas. In addition to helping students apply to universities, Ms. Thompson has supported high school students in pre-college programs including Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) and has participated in application reviews for gifted summer programs. Ms. Thompson has reviewed undergraduate applications from an admissions lens through her work and training as an International Admission Reader for UCLA. Her diverse experiences have equipped her with insight into admissions and elite college counseling program development, and uniquely enable her to support and encourage Oakcrest girls in their future development.
Fr. Charles Trullols
Fr. Charles grew up in Barcelona, Spain. In 1999 he graduated as an architect from the School of Architecture of Barcelona. After spending a year in the Spanish Air Force he moved to Rome where he studied Theology and earned a PhD in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In 2006 he was ordained a priest in Rome by the Prelate of Opus Dei and was assigned to work in Granada, Spain, as the chaplain of an all-boys high school, Mulhacén. In 2008 he moved to the US and lived in Pittsburgh, PA from 2008 to 2010 and in South Bend, IN from 2010 to 2012 where he took care of the pastoral needs of the Prelature of Opus Dei. In 2012 he moved to Chicago and was appointed Spiritual Director of Opus Dei in the Midwest. He also worked as assistant chaplain of The Willows Academy and Northridge Prep in Chicago.
Isabel Vander Bleek
Isabel Vander Bleek holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Catholic University of America. She has a passion for character formation and has worked extensively with middle school students as Dean of Students at the Program for Academic and Leadership Skills (PALS) in Washington, DC and as a counselor for the Metro Achievement Center in Chicago. She says about her classroom: “By encouraging a critical approach to literature through authentic conversation and careful textual analysis, I hope to give my students the necessary tools to reach truths about the world inside and outside of the stories they encounter.”
Caroline vanKampen is Oakcrest's Learning Specialist and sixth grade study skills teacher. Currently finishing her Master of Psychological Science from the Catholic University of America, she has worked with teens as an Applied Behavioral Therapist, and most recently in the Disability Support Services Office at Catholic University. Ms. vanKampen supports students in their learning, working with them on a variety of skills including time management, organization, test-taking, note-taking, and stress management. Ms. vanKampen has worked with a diverse caseload of students, and has enjoyed helping them succeed in their classes.
Leonard Van Niekerk
Leonard is originally from South Africa. He is a former high school educator, having taught Economics and Business Studies to 8th, 10th, and 11th graders. He came to the USA in 2014 and joined Oakcrest in 2018. He became a US Citizen in January 2020. He graduated from the University of South Africa (UNISA), with a double major in Education & Psychology. In 2011 he completed a second degree, Human Resources Training & Development. Leonard is currently responsible for transporting the students safely to and from home. He stays current with trends in education by also working as a substitute teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools. In his spare time, he loves riding his motorcycle.
Inés Vera will teach Literature and Logic this year, and is excited to mentor the English Honor Society as well. Ms. Vera holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with a concentration in Art History from the University of Dallas. She says about her own liberal arts education: “[It] taught me to appreciate multiple disciplines outside of my studies in English and Art History and to excel in written and oral skills as well as critical thinking.” Ms. Vera will bring this depth and breadth to her Logic and Literature classrooms at Oakcrest.