Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

New faculty and staff

The run-up to the 2019-20 academic year has begun with the official arrival of 16 new members of the Norfolk Academy family. This group, including administrators, faculty, and staff, completed orientation this week. Please join in welcoming them to the Bulldog family and learn more about their educational backgrounds and professional experience:

Lower School

Katie Aladj ’03, Guidance Counselor

After graduating from Norfolk Academy, Katie pursued her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Virginia. She also earned her Master's in Counselor Education at the university, where she received honors and served as the membership coordinator of the honor society, Chi Sigma Iota. Katie is also a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has been serving as a professional elementary school counselor in Virginia Beach Public Schools for eight years, having started at Indian Lakes Elementary and most recently having served at Alanton Elementary. During the past several summers, Katie has been the site director of Horizons Hampton Roads, a summer enrichment program serving 125 children.

Michelle Alexander, Lower School Director

Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, graduating with honors and double majoring in Russian and psychology. She holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began her career in education as a fourth-grade teacher at her alma mater, Roland Park Country School. She then moved to Cincinnati, where she taught Upper School history and served as Director of Diversity Programs and Community Outreach at The Seven Hills School. For the past nine years, Michelle has served as Head of Lower School at Cannon School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Taylor Olsen, Third Grade Teacher

Taylor graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Sociology. She received a graduate certificate from the University of Richmond in the teacher licensure program. She gained public elementary teaching experience in Texas and in Virginia before taking a professional pause to raise her children. Taylor later continued with graduate studies at Virginia, where she earned her Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in reading. After graduation, Taylor designed and taught a new education course in a higher education setting. Upon her return to Virginia, she completed clinical work at University of Virginia, earning a Reading Specialist endorsement. She has garnered experience at Norfolk Academy as a regular substitute teacher.

Rebecca (Deal) Poston ’95, Teaching Associate

After graduating from Norfolk Academy, Rebecca pursued undergraduate degrees in religious studies and nursing and graduate and doctoral work in nursing ethics at University of Virginia. Rebecca has had a variety of roles in healthcare, including pediatric nurse, clinical research coordinator, and pediatric nurse practitioner. She transitioned to a position in higher education in 2009, earned her Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Virginia in 2012, and was appointed Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University’s College of Health Sciences, where she most recently served as the co-director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. In addition, Rebecca served on the state Board of Nursing and has most recently worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Health Professions. On top of her teaching associate responsiblities, Rebecca will be the long-term substitute in the fourth grade while Allyson Keating is on maternity leave this fall.

Katie Roberts, Physical Education

Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management at Brock University in Ontario. She also holds a master’s degree in Physical Education from Old Dominion University. Katie is an accomplished rower and has been coaching crew for many years. She was the assistant women’s rowing coach at William Smith College and later at the University of Rhode Island. She also worked in athletic administration at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island. Closer to home, Katie has coached both our boys and girls rowing teams at Norfolk Academy. In addition to teaching physical education, she will serve as head crew coach.

Kristen Turrietta, Second Grade Boys Teacher

Kristen earned her bachelor’s degree from her home state of New York at Syracuse University in Economics and Policy Studies, magna cum laude, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She also holds another bachelor’s in Art Education from Old Dominion University, where she was the Outstanding University Scholar and Valedictorian in her graduating class. For the past 15 years, Kristen has taught in elementary school settings in the Norfolk Public Schools. Twice she was been awarded the Norfolk Public Schools Inspiration Award for outstanding performance in art education. Kristen is the mother of two Norfolk Academy graduates, Elise ’16 and Anna ’12. For several years Kristen has served in our Summer Programs as a director in a variety of camps on campus.

Terry Zervos, Teaching Associate

Terry earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in Political Science from Davidson College. While at Davidson, Terry was a student staff resident advisor and also worked as an Information and Technology Services Student Consultant for two years. Terry played football and lacrosse and wrestled in high school; in college, he competed nationally in powerlifting. During past summers, Terry has served as a legislative intern in Washington, D.C., for Senator Jeanne Shaheen from his home state of New Hampshire and has also served as a teaching intern at the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. In addition to serving as teaching associate, Terry will coach football, wrestling, and lacrosse.

Middle School

Garrett Bird, Teaching Associate and Math

Garrett received his undergraduate degree in civil and environmental engineering while playing on the Carnegie-Mellon University varsity football team. During his latter two years at Carnegie-Mellon, he was appointed the team’s undergraduate assistant coach and also coached the Men’s Club Lacrosse team. Garrett was awarded Carnegie-Mellon’s Mr. Engineer award in 2014. His post-graduate career began in North Dakota, where he was a field engineer for a renewable energy contractor on a wind farm. He has also worked in the San Francisco area as a project engineer for a marine engineering contractor. Garrett has spent the past year circumnavigating the world, spending time in 16 different countries. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he will also coach football, basketball, and lacrosse.

Dave Cameron, History

A Gilman School alumnus, Dave graduated with honors in history from Hamilton College, where he was on the Men’s Varsity Lacrosse team. His career started at the Mayhew Program, an outreach program in New Hampshire for underprivileged boys, as an Assistant Director and Athletic Director. He then began a distinguished career in independent schools, serving in several administrative and leadership roles for more than 30 years, all the while teaching a range of history and economics courses and coaching multiple sports. Over the span of his time at Cape Henry Collegiate, Dave served as Athletic Director, History Department Chair, Middle and Upper School Director, Dean of Students, and Assistant Head of School. He served as head coach on all levels in boys’ and girls’ basketball, golf and softball and as assistant varsity boys lacrosse coach. For the past year, Dave has been a regular substitute teacher in our Middle School and an assistant golf coach. In addition to teaching, he will serve as a coach in our basketball and golf programs.

Tommy Hudgins, Interim Middle School Director

Tommy earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Washington & Lee, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa and a four-year letterman in baseball. Tommy also holds his Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Old Dominion University. Tommy began his career as an educator at Norfolk Academy upon graduating from Washington & Lee in 1976. He served our school for 22 years in a wide variety of roles: Assistant Director of Middle School; Director of Summer School; Assistant to the Headmaster for College Counseling; Director of the Upper School and Assistant Headmaster. Tommy was also an English teacher and coach. In 1998, he launched from Norfolk Academy to begin the second part of his career, serving primarily in the role of headmaster, which he did at the Heritage School in Georgia, Westchester Country Day School in North Carolina, and Carlisle School in Virginia. Tommy also served as Interim Head of School at Salisbury Academy in North Carolina and Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Advancement at the Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga. Most recently, Tommy served as Interim Head of Middle School at Alta Vista School in San Francisco.

Upper School

Kelly Dewey ’04, German

A proud graduate of Norfolk Academy, Kelly is a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Pomona College, where she majored in German and pursued a minor in Spanish studies. Kelly lived and worked in Germany for several years as a paralegal coordinator at a firm in Frankfurt and as a management assistant at an IT company in Nuremberg. Kelly returned to the United States in 2015 to teach and coach at the Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching, Kelly will coach field hockey and lacrosse.

Other New Additions

Mike Connors, Digital News and Social Media Specialist

Mike comes to us from The Virginian-Pilot, where he served most recently as an education reporter, covering regional and national trends, administrative policy, and approaches to learning from the elementary school to university level. His education reporting has twice received recognition from The Virginia Press Association: first place for 2017 and third place for 2016. Prior to covering education, he served in a variety of roles at The Pilot, including public safety reporter, breaking news reporter, and copy editor. He won the Pilot's Slover Award for 2012 for best sports reporting. Before arriving in Hampton Roads, he worked as a copy editor for the sports section of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. While earning his master's degree in journalism at University of Missouri, he served as assistant night editor of the Columbia Missourian, a daily community newspaper managed by professional editors and staffed by students at the School of Journalism; in that role, he helped teach undergraduates about reporting and editing. In addition to working in the Communications Office, Mike will coach baseball.

Brad Harlan, Associate Director of College Counseling

Originally hailing from Maryland, Brad graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan, where he majored in Microbiology and pursued a Pre-Medicine curriculum. Following his time in Ann Arbor, he taught science and coached basketball in Henderson, North Carolina, as a member of the Teach for America program. He then made his way to William & Mary, where as a Senior Assistant Dean he reviewed applications for admission from across the country and around the globe, assisted with marketing and programming efforts, and directed student groups such as the Tour Guide program. After four years in Williamsburg, Brad decided that he missed the close-knit relationships inherent in a high school community. This decision led him to St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., where he acted as the Assistant Director of College Counseling.

Caroline Monninger, Lower School Administrative Assistant

Caroline earned her bachelor's degree at St. Lawrence University, where she played Division I Women’s Ice Hockey. After graduating, Caroline served as Assistant Coach for the Women’s Ice Hockey Team at Middlebury College. She then accepted a position to teach Physical Education at Middlebury Union High School, which she did for seven years. During her tenure there, she earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Vermont.

Virginia (McLean) Ward ’96, Business Office Administrative Assistant

Virginia is a proud graduate of Norfolk Academy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia. Virginia lived in Richmond and worked as a portfolio manager at GMAC Model Home Finance. After moving back to Norfolk, she taught preschool at Loch Meadow Kindergarten. Virginia and her husband Carter have twin boys, Frederic and William, who are in the class of 2023.

Ginger (Graham) White, Accounts Payable Manager

Ginger attended Norfolk Academy from the first through ninth grades with the class of 1987, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Virginia Tech. She worked in the automotive and advertising fields prior to spending a few years as a full-time mom. After teaching for eight years at Loch Meadow Kindergarten in Norfolk, Ginger took a position with Welligent, Inc., where she was most recently the local office manager. Ginger and her husband Harrison have a daughter, Hayley, at the University of Virginia and a son, Graham, in the class of 2021.

Additional Photos

New faculty and staff