Please join us in welcoming this year's new employees joining Holton for the 2021-2022 School Year.
Melissa Caicedo, Brown House Teacher
Melissa studied early childhood education at Montgomery College-Rockville. She worked for Holton's Creative Summer since she was 14 years old and has been teaching preschool for six years. She loves her job and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Melissa was born and raised in the DMV and Spanish is her first language. She's a big foodie and loves to travel. After being engaged for two years, she is finally getting married this September. She has a mini Goldendoodle named Bailey, and she loves spending time with her family and friends, especially at the beach. Some of Melissa's favorite hobbies include crafting, riding at SoulCycle, and practicing yoga. She is so excited to be at Holton full-time!
Victoria Chester, Middle School History
Victoria is ecstatic to bring her passion and enthusiasm for history to Holton's Middle School. She received her bachelor’s in social sciences at Towson University and is currently working on a master’s of education at Goucher College. She is certified to teach social studies in grades 4-12. This is Victoria's third year teaching; prior to Holton-Arms, she worked at The Sacred Heart School of Glyndon as a middle school social studies teacher. Her goal as a history teacher is to emphasize that learning about the past is actually fun! Victoria makes a promise to her students at the beginning of the school year that they will have fun in at least ONE history lesson. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking smoothies. She grew up in Baltimore and recently moved to Silver Spring. She is looking forward to learning more about the Holton-Arms community.
Mihailo Djuric, HR Generalist
Mihailo grew up in Belgrade, Serbia and at age 18 moved to Chicago to study psychology at Illinois Tech. He specialized in industrial-organizational psychology and decided to pursue an HR position upon graduation. However, given his interests in the legal aspects of my work, he is currently also enrolled at the George Washington University Law School where he is taking classes as an evening JD student. Upon graduation, he plans to combine all of his interests, both with respect to growing in the industry and growing in academia. He is excited to support the faculty, staff, and students of Holton, as well as work at a place that is forward-thinking while nevertheless honoring tradition. Prior to Holton, he was an HR intern at Camping World (a large national corporation with over 10,000 employees). In his free time, he likes to read, play sports, and explore new places.
Ana Farach, Middle School Spanish
Ana is excited to join the Holton community and its wonderful Middle School as a Spanish teacher! She comes from National Presbyterian School just around the corner, where she taught Spanish to students in second to sixth grade. Before that, she was a teacher at two other independent schools in the area and has completed graduate work at the University of Maryland. She obtained degrees in English and German from universities in the US and Germany, where her love for languages and cultures thrived. As a mom and wife, she always yearns to spend more time with her family outdoors and enjoy their visits with their extended families in Nicaragua and St. Louis. Along with her background and love for languages, she looks forward to sharing her passion for laughter and jokes with her students at Holton. Hasta pronto.
Jane Heeter, Associate Director of Communications
Jane is thrilled to join the Holton community and help tell its stories as associate director of communications. After graduating from Mercer University with her bachelor’s in journalism, she worked for several years as an education reporter in Newport News, Va., informing the community about local schools and colleges. For the past two years, she was a university storyteller at Christopher Newport University, working in both digital and print communications. She and her husband, Jonathan, love visiting national parks with their Korean rescue dog, Hayden, and they are especially excited to explore the D.C. culinary scene.
Sarah Kimmelman, Childcare Teacher at Brown House
Sarah is very excited to begin this school year as a part of the Holton community. This past May she graduated from Lasell University in Newton, Mass., with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. During college, she was on the crew team and was in many clubs such as Best Buddies and She’s the First. In June she moved to Fairfax, Va., and worked at the soccer camp for Creative Summer. Outside of work she loves to play soccer, spend time with her family, and travel, especially back up to Massachusetts where some more of her family lives. She looks forward to meeting new people and having a wonderful school year!
Karri Hill McFadden, Lower School Literacy Specialist
Karri Hill McFadden is returning to Holton's faculty after three years of teaching and living in Berlin, Germany. Karri has a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in reading education. She brings 20 years of teaching experience to her new role of literacy specialist in Holton's Lower School. Karri enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Lindsey McKan '05, Computer Science
Lindsey is a Holton alumna. She attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute and enjoys reminding people she is a rocket scientist. After graduation she stayed in New England to work as a helicopter engineer for Sikorsky Aircraft. She returned to the DMV area to complete a master's in education in 2019, specializing in math instruction. Before Covid, she worked for Play-Well TEKnologies utilizing LEGOs to facilitate STEM programming for elementary-age students. Last year she worked on campus as a Caring Adult with the Lower School and as a math instructor with the Middle School. She’s happy to be back on campus working in the Computer Science Department. At home Lindsey spends her time snuggling her quarantine pets, Marcel the cat and a 140-pound mastiff named Grendel.
Jun Niu, Lower School Librarian
Jun is in the 19th year of her career as a librarian. She has organized public library programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and led international school libraries in Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Shandong University, a master‘s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Hong Kong. She believes that reading is the driving force of life-long learning and that by kindling students’ curiosity and encouraging them to read extensively, we as educators can empower them to take learning to a new level. Other than reading and talking about reading, she likes cooking, hiking, and watching good movies and sports.
Nmadinobi (Nma) Okafor, Admissions Coordinator
Nma is new to the Holton Family serving as the admissions coordinator. She just recently graduated May 2021, from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s in cognitive science with a concentration in linguistics. During her time at UVA, she served in many roles, such as president of the Organization of African Students, UVA Covid-19 task force, and first chair for the Black Presidents Council. She is originally from Nigeria and at the age of 10, moved to Hampton, Va. She spends her time watching movies, cooking, and playing with her rescue dog, Jojo. She looks forward to getting intertwined with the Holton community and being an inspiration for Holton’s future leaders.
Jasmine Owens, Brown House Teacher
Jasmine is very excited to be able to come back to work full-time at Brown House this year. She recently joined the Brown House staff after subbing during the winter and summer break from school. She graduated from Mount St. Marys University in May 2021 with a bachelor's in health sciences. She enjoys playing volleyball, singing, and baking.
Eranga Panagodage, US Administrative Assistant
Eranga Panagodage is the new Administrative Assistant for the Upper School. She obtained an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. She is originally from Sri Lanka and moved to the U.S. in early 2018. Before Holton, she worked at Marriott Hotels as a group reservation coordinator, and in Sri Lanka she worked for American National College for six years as assistant manager for admissions and student enrollments. Eranga is the mom of a 2-year-old baby girl. During her free time she loves to spend time with her family and friends, and she enjoys traveling and watching movies. She is so excited and thrilled to be part of the Holton family!
Alex Peacemaker, Sixth Grade Language Arts
Alex is thrilled to join the Holton community as the Sixth Grade Language Arts teacher. After graduating from Washington College with a degree in education, she received her master’s degree in Supervision/Administration in K-12 schools from Marymount University. Alex grew up in Maryland and has been teaching fourth through eighth grades for 11 years. She has a passion for empowering girls; she has coached soccer and basketball and supervised student government associations. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her daughter, Finley, reading on the beach, and walks with her dog, Malu.
David Post, Physical Education
David Post is thrilled to join the physical education and athletics department at Holton. He has spent his career teaching and coaching in Virginia, Washington, D.C., California, and Switzerland. Mr. Post received his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster (the same school as Mr. Westerberg!) and his master’s in education from the University of Virginia. He spends his free time with his family: wife Cait, daughter Caroline '27, son Cooper, and his dogs Larsen and Jetty. His favorite activities in addition to playing and watching sports include reading thrillers, improving his culinary skills, hiking, biking, body surfing, and keeping up with his kids on the trampoline. He is excited to get know the Holton students across all three divisions!
Roya Rahimi, Communications Associate
Roya is excited to help capture the spirit and community of Holton in her position as a Communications Associate. She joined the Communications Department in February 2021 but has been a part of the Holton family since 2017 working both for the Lower School Extended Day program and Creative Summer. As a recent graduate of the University of Maryland’s Communication program, Roya hopes to bring compelling design and social content to her role. She is also eager to work directly with students to create a memorable yearbook in her role as Yearbook Advisor. Outside of work, Roya enjoys photography, film, traveling, and spending time with her friends, family, and cats.
Camila Salaverria, Associate Director of Admissions
Camila is thrilled to be joining the Admissions team at Holton-Arms as Associate Director of Admissions for Upper School. She is excited to get to know current girls and families and guide prospective students through the Admissions process! Camila was born and raised in El Salvador and moved to Virginia to pursue her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a minor in sociology from Marymount University and a master’s in project management in sustainable development with a focus in education from SIT Graduate Institute in D.C. Before Holton, Camila worked at the Madeira School for several years. Camila loves to spend quality time with her family and listen to podcasts.
Ritu Virmani, Middle and Upper School Math
Ritu is excited to join the Holton team! She is a veteran teacher with over two decades working with young learners of all kinds. She began her career teaching math in Washington, D.C., and then at an all-girls American school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Upon her return to the U.S., Ritu specialized in teaching students with language-based differences at the Sienna School in the D.C. area, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to teaching math, she loves learning about and applying technology in the classroom; she learned computer programming at an all-female coding boot camp. Ritu takes joy in sharing her love of math with students, encouraging them to see how math shapes their world. She received her bachelor's in communication from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a master's in teaching from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. In her spare time, Ritu loves cooking traditional Indian and Israeli foods, inventing new recipes, gardening, makeup artistry, and crochet. She lives in Kensington, Md., with her husband, two children, and her dog, Elvis.
Xueying Zhang, Lower School Chinese
Xueying brings 18 years of experience working with students of all ages, from Pre-K through adult as a world language educator. She has directed program development and implementation in the US and China. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from East China Normal University and a master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Mary Washington. Xueying loves helping students find their way or create one to engage in the world through the study of a foreign language and cultures. She is an enthusiastic experiential practitioner. In addition to teaching, Xueying enjoys Chinese traditional painting, learning, and exploring historical towns and nature.