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New Faces for the 2023-24 School Year

New Faces for the 2023-24 School Year

There are several new faces on campus as we get ready for the start of the 2023-24 school year on Tuesday, September 5!

These new faculty and staff members have spent the past week getting to know the Holton community and campus. From learning all about our Learn Well, Live Well, Lead Well  philosophy to getting hands-on tech training and classroom prep time, we know that our newest educators are as excited to be here as we are to welcome them to Holton! 

Please enjoy getting to know each of them through their short biographies below. 



Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen celebrating her graduate degree completion, the culmination of hard work!

Sarah Andersen – Upper and Middle School Spanish Teacher
Ms. Andersen (she/her) has a graduate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy with a focus in Social Justice through Boston College and an undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire. Before joining Holton-Arms, she was the Executive Director of The Batey Foundation, a nonprofit that worked with batey communities in the Dominican Republic (DR). She also spent 2 years living in the DR and working for a different nonprofit whose mission is to educate and empower girls to end generational poverty. Ms. Andersen has 7 years working as a high school Spanish teacher in the United States. She loves to travel and has been to every Spanish-speaking country in the world except Equatorial Guinea. 

John Assoko and wife

John Assoko and wife before baby girl Ashira joined the family this week.

John Assoko – Upper School Math Teacher
We are thrilled to welcome John Assoko to the Upper School math team this year! Hailing from Ivory Coast, but most recently the French-American International school in San Francisco, he has been teaching for 18 years and has been a leader in mathematics program development and textbook writing. Certified in the state of Maryland, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cocody in Abidjan and is finishing up his Masters of Education degree from the American College of Education in Indianapolis. He loves landscape design and enjoys staying active, practicing Taekwondo. He lives in Potomac with his wife and new baby girl Ashira born just this week! Bienvenu John!

Chelsea Berry and daughter Amelia reading together.

Chelsea Berry – Upper School History Teacher
Dr. Berry is excited to join the Department of History and Social Sciences this fall. She grew up in the woods in the great state of Vermont and has been living in Washington, DC off and on for over a decade. After graduating from Brown University, she moved south and earned her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. She previously worked at Randolph College before entering the world of secondary education as a long-term substitute at the National Cathedral School. She lives in SW with her baby girl, husband, and aging diva cat. On the weekends she explores DC neighborhoods on long walks with her family (sans cat) and plots adventures for her long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaign. 

Alyce Dillon and son Will enjoying pickleball together.

Alyce Dillon – Sixth Grade Social Studies & Homeroom Teacher
Alyce Dillon is thrilled to return to the Holton-Arms School this year, teaching 6th grade social studies! From 2002-2017 Alyce (Mrs. Dillon) assisted with fundraising efforts in the Advancement Center, coached in both the Middle and Upper Schools, and taught history/social studies as a member of the MS faculty for 11 years. Alyce has a BA (history) from Indiana University and an M.A.T. (Secondary Ed - Social Studies) from American University. Alyce adores sharing her world travel experiences with students by teaching history, geography, and global cultures. When not exploring in the classroom, Alyce enjoys spending time with her two boys Sam and Will, husband Michael, and awesome rescue dog JJ. Alyce loves to read historical fiction, go to the movies, travel, and play pickleball! She is excited to be back and ready to delve into Ancient Civilizations with this year's 6th-grade class! Oh, and go Blue Team! 

Kathryn Dineen – Executive Assistant to the Head of School
Ms. Kathryn Dineen joins the Holton-Arms community as the Executive Assistant to the new Head of School, Penny Evins. Kathryn comes to Holton after spending 23 years at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, NY, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Head of School. Born and raised in New York, Kathryn also raised her own family there and is excited to be working and living in the DMV area.

Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham – Admissions Assistant
Genevieve is thrilled to be joining the Holton-Arms community in the Admissions Department as Admissions Assistant. She is a graduate of High Point University with a Master’s Degree in Business and Communications (2021) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (2020). Throughout her academic career, Genevieve has participated in various paid and volunteer opportunities supporting youth. In the past she has worked with NVVA, World Relief, INOVA Loudoun’s Pediatric ER and Child Life Units, STEM for Kids, and several campaigns for NC candidates. Outside of work, Genevieve enjoys hiking, reading, attending art exhibits, and spending time with friends! She is most excited to get to know current students and families and support prospective families as they go through the Admissions process.

Kaylah Grant, center, with her "babies," 2022-23 Panther Pantry employees and other Holton students

Kaylah Grant – Teaching Fellow
Kaylah is a dynamic, passionate, and focused professional who has been a part of the Holton community since 2019. She is a counselor at Creative Summer, teaching the Girls' Leadership Seminar and she joined us last year to lead the Panther Pantry, the student employee-run after-school snack bar. With old roots in the American South and newer ones abroad, she uses her global experience and educational expertise to help Holton students succeed personally, professionally, and academically. By taking a hands-on approach to igniting changes in organizational culture and leadership at Holton and beyond, Kaylah hopes to inspire and motivate others.

Bella Juzenas – Upper School Biology Teacher
Bella Juzenas is thrilled to be joining the Holton-Arms Community as an Upper School Biology teacher! A Maryland native, she received her B.S. in Biology and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from the University of Maryland. Over the summer, she worked as a camp instructor for UMD’s Physics Department. The photo above is from The Amazing Science Discovery Camp, and shows her instructing the students on how to collect a biological sample from the water. Later, she helped students look at their samples under microscopes. She is super excited to meet her new students and their families in the coming weeks!

Wilfred Kateera enjoying an unforgettable experience of dancing with a dolphin in Hawaii

Wilfred Kateera – Junior Accountant
Mr. Kateera is thrilled to join the Business Office team at Holton. Before joining Holton, he previously worked as an Accounting Analyst for 6 years at a political-media firm in downtown Bethesda. He originates from Zimbabwe and in his numerous professional engagements with banks and insurance companies, he has developed immense work experience in accounting, human resources, and admin-related work. Mr. Kateera earned an accounting degree from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom and is a member of the  Association of Chartered Certified Accountants based in London, UK. In his free time, Mr. Kateera enjoys doing voluntary work for the less privileged communities in the Washington, DC metro area. He also loves traveling and meeting new people.

Madison Kurish with the A10 Championship trophy that George Mason softball team won this spring while she was their strength and conditioning coach

Madison Kurish – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Mrs. Kurish is very excited to join the athletic and physical education departments at Holton. Mrs. Kurish is looking forward to introducing strength and conditioning to the athletes of Holton-Arms. She previously interned at the strength and conditioning departments of Slippery Rock University and Arizona State University. After her internships, she became an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Barry University and George Mason University. Mrs. Kurish is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Slippery Rock and a master’s degree in kinesiology from A.T. Still University. In her spare time, Mrs. Kurish enjoys being active by playing volleyball or running and also going to Nats games with her husband. 

Taryn Lewis – Early Childhood Educator
Taryn Lewis joins Brown House’s infant room as an early childhood educator. She began working as a substitute in May and is now there employed full-time. She has been working with young children for around 5 years. She relocated to Maryland in 2019 after being born and raised in Sussex County, Delaware, and attended Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She competes in powerlifting, so she enjoys working out in her free time. She can't wait until the new academic year begins!

Tony Malagrino – Director of Facilities and Operations
Tony has twenty-eight years of facilities leadership experience in educational institutions. He joins us from the University of South Carolina Beaufort where Tony served as the Director of Facilities Services and was responsible for all facilities-related operations. Previously, he held the same role at California State University Long Beach, the Pomfret School, the Providence Public School System, Babson College, the Olin College of Engineering, and Long Island University. Tony also served as an Aviation Maintenance Officer in the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy. Tony and his wife Susan are excited to make this move. They have four children (and one grandchild) and look forward to exploring the DC area, which is new to them.

Hannah Leckey – Administrative Assistant for Advancement
Ms. Leckey joined the Holton community last fall as the Head Varsity Field Hockey coach but is excited about her new role as the Administrative Assistant for the Advancement Center. She will continue to be involved in the athletic community as a coach for multiple sports and looks forward to getting involved in other areas of the school. Ms. Leckey moved to the Washington, DC area two years ago from Connecticut where she grew up as the oldest of five children. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new recipes, and coaching field hockey. 

Amber Leung, center​​​

Amber Leung – Middle School Math Teacher
Ms. Leung is thrilled to teach 7th and 8th-grade Mathematics at Holton this year. She comes to us with over a decade of experience working with adolescents and has taught every grade from 5th to 10th. She believes in a growth mindset and looks forward to helping students reach their full potential! Originally from Massachusetts, Ms. Leung moved to Maryland this summer from NYC. Her hobbies include exploring museums, singing karaoke, hitting the gym, playing board games, and drinking (milk) tea.

Stephanie Miller and her son August after a day of being outside in gorgeous weather, enjoying live music.

Stephanie Miller – Theater Teacher
Ms. Miller is thrilled to be joining the Performing Arts team at Holton-Arms. A lifelong student of the arts, her artistic journey has taken her from the classroom to the stage of the Kennedy Center, and everywhere in between. After getting her B.A. from Kenyon College where she double-majored in Music and Drama, Ms. Miller returned to the Mid-Atlantic region and took a deep dive into Vocal Performance and Technique, receiving two Graduate degrees from The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Her experience as a professional singer provided her the opportunity to perform in and direct a diverse array of theatrical events, and she is always looking for something new to try! In addition to being an arts addict, Ms. Miller is the adoring mom of one beautiful baby and one rambunctious, but loveable, Boston Terrier.

Yee Von Ng visiting Kuala Lumpur in Summer 2022

Yee Von Ng – Director of Upper School & Middle School Choirs and Handbells, Music Teacher, & Music Director
Malaysian collaborative pianist Dr. Yee Von Ng is thrilled to embark on an exciting transition into the role as Holton-Arms School’s newest Director of Upper and Middle School Chorus and Handbells, Music Teacher, and Music Director. Throughout her career performing and working extensively with various ensembles in prestigious concert halls around the world, Ng has always cherished her collaborations with her Fine and Performing Arts team and students. Ng holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, Master of Music from Bowling Green State, Ohio and a Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Newcastle, Australia and University College Sedaya International, Malaysia. With her deep love for collaborative music-making, Ng is committed to creating inspiring and memorable musical experiences for her students and the Holton community.  

Katharine Norris enjoying swimming near Frye Island, Maine

Katharine Norris – Middle School English Teacher
Dr. Norris is excited to join the Holton-Arms Middle School faculty after many years as a college professor and high school teacher. A French historian by training, she grew up largely in the Boston area and earned her A.B. in history from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. After a blissful year as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, she moved to Washington, DC, in 2002 to work as an assistant professor of history at American University but left in 2009 to pursue her true passion as a “pedagogue without portfolio”—that is, as an interim teacher in a variety of disciplines at the National Cathedral School, St. Albans, Georgetown Day School, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. She loves learning new things, spending time with her New Zealand-based boyfriend and DC-based cat, swimming in Lake Sebago, Maine, and walking and running through the DC area. She dreams of swimming in the Holton-Arms pool and of practicing her euphonium in the band room. 

Brian Reilly and wife Emily at a beautiful lake in the Colorado Rockies

Brian Reilly – Upper School Spanish Teacher
Brian is excited to join the World Language faculty at Holton. Though from the DMV, studying Spanish from a young age led him to spend five years living in Latin America as a young adult. He finds language acquisition to be a fun intellectual challenge in the classroom and, more importantly, a powerful means of connecting with folks from diverse communities in the real world, both close to home and far overseas. Holton’s commitment to preparing students for a meaningful life in a globalized world inspires him. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University and currently studies Social Work at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Brian enjoys getting outside to hike, climb, fish, and camp in his free time and rarely turns down an opportunity to travel.

Quiana Richards – Early Childhood Educator
Ms. Quiana’s joy for teaching started 25 years ago when she first started volunteering at a preschool her mom worked for. She has worked in preschools in Howard and Montgomery counties and Washington, DC. Ms. Quiana is very excited to start her new journey as the infant teacher at Brown House and can’t wait to meet and establish great relationships with children, parents, and colleagues. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, planting, and going to concerts. Her goal for the school year is to approach life/work with an open heart and mind and create amazing memories. 

Melissa Robertson enjoying one of her favorite spots in Berlin, MD.

Melissa Robertson – Grades 7-9 Learning Specialist
Mrs. Robertson is excited to join the Student Support Team at Holton Arms.  She most recently supported students and teachers in the Howard County Public School System as a special educator and instructional team leader.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Reading Education.  Mrs. Robertson is from Maryland and still resides there with her husband and two dogs.  She enjoys reading and spending time at the beach with her family and friends.

Photo Credit: Alex Kavanagh

Anne Shannon – Development Associate for Alumnae Giving and Engagement
(The photo credits should be to Alex Kavanagh or @kav on socials.)
Ms. Shannon is thrilled to join the Development team at Holton. She graduated from American University in 2017 with a B.A. in International Studies and an M.A. in International Relations in 2018. She has previous experience in development as well as customer service and research. She comes to Holton from J. Crew where she worked as a personal stylist. She is a passionate advocate for education and is excited to join the Holton community. In her free time, Ms. Shannon loves to read, knit, and travel. She went on a women’s empowerment retreat to Italy this spring, where she biked the city walls of Lucca, climbed Mt. Vesuvius, and explored Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.

Felicia Swoope – Director of Fine and Performing Arts
Felicia Swoope is excited to join Holton as the Director of Fine and Performing Arts. She received her B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and her M.F.A. in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She was the Founding Curator/Producer of E-Moves, a dance showcase for emerging and established choreographers at Aaron Davis Hall (now HarlemStage). She performed with various modern dance companies and served as a teaching artist for both BatteryDance Company and the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. She became the inaugural Director for AileyCamp Newark in New Jersey. As the founder of GENDARC Dance NYC, she directed her own Arts-in-Education program on the West 50th Street High School campus in New York City. At Dartmouth College, she served as the Associate Producer of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Assistant Director of Admissions Recruiting at the Tuck School of Business, and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Walt Cunningham, Jr.’s Artivism. She currently serves on the Board of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.​​

Julie Weismantel (center) and her family at the top of Mont Saint Grégoire in Canada this summer.

Julie Weismantel – Lower School French and Seminar Teacher
Julie’s academic pedigree includes a collegiate degree in French Economics from Collège St-Louis in Saumur, France, an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada, and a certificate in Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy from the University of Alberta, Canada. A French teacher for over a decade, Julie is experienced in developing learning curriculums for Elementary and Middle School programs. Her other work experience includes five years at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. within the Public Works and General Services Canada directorate. She also served as Executive Leader for Strong Voices and as a Parent Consultant at Weeda Wellness. Julie continues to offer private coaching sessions for children and their families to help and guide them to understand and deal with their feelings and to develop new skills. Julie firmly believes that by acquiring a second language, students gain not only a new skill but also new perspectives and understandings about the world they live in. She sees herself as a mentor to guide her students to be powerful learners. In her free time, you can find her outdoors or in her kitchen cooking up a storm!

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