It is always a joy to welcome alumnae back to campus, but it is especially exciting when Oakies return to work for their alma mater! This year Oakcrest has had the pleasure of adding four alumnae to the ranks of its faculty and staff: Monica Kolf ‘01 and Anna Diederich ‘17 are teaching mathematics, Nancy (Williams) Miggins ‘98 is returning as the school nurse, and Tara (Hill) Van Zoeren ‘11 is coaching Middle School volleyball.
They join alumnae faculty and staff members Kathleen Ouyang ‘09, Meghan Hadley ‘06, Caroline Heeter ‘97, Maritere (Gramatges) Crum ‘91, Meg Gargulinski ‘11, and Amanda Hernandez ‘12.
Anna returns to Oakcrest after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Biomolecular Engineering. This year she is teaching Calculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Calculus BC. “I decided to come back and teach at Oakcrest because I had realized during the course of my time at university what an impact Oakcrest had on my intellectual and moral formation,” she explains. Attending classes in a coed environment allowed her to see what a gift her all-girls education had been. She discovered how well Oakcrest had prepared her for studies in STEM, and also how it had helped her develop confidence and habits of clear thinking. “It really drove home to me the value of having attended an all-female school; my basis for my love of math and science was in an environment where I was judged on my abilities, not on my gender,” she adds.
Anna’s fellow Oakcrest alumna and math teacher Monica Kolf is also a fellow alumna of the University of Notre Dame. Monica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Notre Dame and then went on to receive a Master in Mathematics Education from the University of Pittsburgh. This will be her second stint as an Oakcrest faculty member; she first taught here sixteen years ago. She went on to found the SHADES Media Literacy Project and serve as the Dean of Students for the Magnolia School in Houston, Texas, among other projects, before returning to Oakcrest.
Nancy (Williams) Miggins has the pleasure of not only returning to Oakcrest, but also seeing her daughter Bridie start as a sixth grader here this year. Nancy earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University. When not at Oakcrest, she works as a pediatric emergency room nurse at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Tara (Hill) Van Zoeren is returning to her Chargers roots by coaching Middle School volleyball this fall. In a way, this is coming full circle for her, as she was a member of Oakcrest’s first Varsity volleyball team in 2009. “I've always been so grateful for the different views of womanhood that Oakcrest offered me when I was a student- my coaches and teachers came from all different backgrounds and walks of life,” she says. “I always hoped to contribute to this some day, knowing that having strong women in my life helped form me into a strong woman. When I saw the open position, I was excited to offer my own unique perspectives to the students in the hopes that they could learn from me as well, and that I could continue learning from them!” Tara has many fond memories of being a Charger, including winning the PVAC title in 2009 and the Director’s Cup in 2011. She is pleased to find that today’s Chargers continue to exemplify what it means to be an Oakcrest athlete, practicing good sportsmanship, hard work, and cheerful teamwork.
“Oakcrest athletes are full of determination and courage, and their sportsmanship and dedication to their teams are unmatched,” she says. “I'm honored to be a part of this world again!”