FOUNDING HEAD OF SCHOOL

Claire McDonald holds a BA in political science and economics from William and Mary and an MA and a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts. Claire has taught history and economics in private schools, community colleges, and universities for more than 25 years, and she has held major administrative posts in private schools for many years. She and her husband Bob live in Gainesboro with their three children, all of whom attend ISW.

ELEMENTARY CAMPUS DEAN, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT

Meghan Whitlock holds a BS in elementary education from Appalachian State University as well as a Virginia teaching certificate. Meghan worked for many years in outdoor education, leading trips and running camps for children and adults. Meghan joined the staff of ISW in our second year, 2009, and has taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade. She lives in Winchester with her husband Ben and her daughter, who is an ISW student.

TEACHING STAFF

Elementary Program (Stephens City):

Charlene Curry (Upper Elementary Coordinator) graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis on English, Leadership, and Social Change. She earned her certification in Elementary Education and an MS in Education with an emphasis on teaching from Shenandoah University. Charley has been working with young people for years. Most recently, Charley taught third grade in a local public school program. Charley lives in Stephens City with her husband and two young children.

Karen Eriksson-Lee (Upper Elementary Assistant) has been teaching for more than thirty years. Trained as a dancer, Karen holds a BS in Dance and with a minor in psychology from Shenandoah University. She was the founder and director of the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet and later taught dance at the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Karen has also worked in a number of academic settings with students of all ages. She is finishing her MA in Teaching and Curriculum at Shippensburg University. 

Rosemary Markowski (Art) is a gifted artist who owns Tangelo Studio, which specializes in papier mache and commissioned portraiture. Rosemary taught at ISW several years ago, and we are thrilled that she has returned to us. Rosemary recently completed a BFA from  George Washington University’s Corcoran School of Art, a division of the school of Arts and Sciences, and she is in the process of completing a Masters of Science in Education at Shenandoah University. She lives with her husband and three children in Berryville.

Faith McKechnie (Kindergarten Art) graduated from Shepherd University with a BS in Commercial Recreation and Tourism and worked for many years in the travel and restaurant world. She also spent several years working as an assistant teacher in preschools. Faith is currently a stay-at-home parent. She and her husband Mike reside in Winchester with their two children and four cats.

Kerry Silva (Kindergarten Coordinator, Elementary Spanish, Director of Kindergarten and Lower Elementary Performing Arts) holds a BFA in from Shenandoah University and a certification from Ulyanovsk State University in Russia. She taught pre-kindergarten at the Winchester Medical Center Day Care Center, where she worked for 15 years. She has also taught ballet, modern, and jazz dance for 11 years at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy and has been Director of Ballet at Rhythm Studio since 2013.  Kerry and her husband Pablo are the parents of two young children, one of whom is an ISW student.

Laura Viner (Lower Elementary Coordinator) holds a BA in French with a minor in Elementary Education from Rutgers University. She also earned an MA in Elementary Education from Georgian Court College in New Jersey. Laura holds New Jersey and Virginia teacher certifications and has taught elementary school and computer classes for children. She volunteers as a Hebrew teacher for the children of Beth El Congregation. She often hosts French exchange students at her home and gives them a true American family experience. Laura resides in Winchester with her husband Jay and their two children.

Middle School and High School (Youth Development Center): 

Dr. Jeffrey Bass (High School History) has taught at the university level at the University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University (where he earned the Outstanding Faculty Award), and Arizona State University. Locally, he taught high school courses at a home school organization while his son attended school there. Jeff holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MA and PhD in History from the University of Connecticut. 

Donna Day (High School American Sign Language) is a certified ASL instructor who has taught students of all ages–from very young children to adults. She taught ASL for seven years at Lord Fairfax Community College. In addition to teaching at ISW, she works at Access Independence, where she has been employed since 1998. Donna lives in Inwood, WV.

Nicki de Medici (Middle and High School Spanish) holds a BS in Spanish from Georgetown University and an MA in European History from American University. She has taught both Spanish and Italian at the high school and university levels. She also served as translator and editor for Civiltà della Tavola, an Italian magazine. Nicki is passionate about community involvement and has served on many boards, including the Shenandoah Arts Council, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Winchester Education Foundation. 

Dayle Disque (Middle and High School Math) is a highly successful teacher of mathematics who has taught locally for 30 years. Dayle holds a BA in Secondary Math Education from Shepherd University, and she has a special interest in technology.

Jeremiah Dyke (High School Math) earned his undergraduate degree at George Mason University in Economics, and he holds an MS in Math Education from University of Phoenix. Jeremiah has taught in a number of settings and is currently a professor of  mathematics at Lord Fairfax Community College. He and his wife and two sons, one an ISW student, reside in Strasburg.

Karen Eriksson-Lee (Middle and High School Dance) has been teaching for more than thirty years. Trained as a dancer, Karen holds a BS in Dance and with a minor in psychology from Shenandoah University. She was the founder and director of the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet and later taught dance at the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. 

Christine Hannaford (High School English) is a highly experienced English teacher who is also a published author. She holds BA in English from Trinity College, an MEd in Education from St. Michael’s College, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Christine has taught in many settings, from middle school to high school to community college. Most recently, she worked at the Bosque School, a progressive independent school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Rebecca Lloyd (High School and Middle School Science) graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BS in geology and minor in English. Becky has taught students of all ages, and she brings to ISW a background rich in hands-on, experiential learning. She served as a  program presenter at Blandy Experimental Farms and at Oak Hart Farms, and she has worked in secondary schools teaching a wide variety of science classes. Becky and her husband reside with their daughter, an ISW student, in Clarke County.

Rosemary Markowski (Art) is a very gifted artist who owns Tangelo Studio, which specializes in papier mache and commissioned portraiture. Rosemary has taught at ISW several years ago, and we are thrilled that she has returned to us. Rosemary recently completed a BA in Art Education through the Corcoran Gallery and George Washington University and is pursuing her masters degree at Shenandoah University.

Bob McDonald (Technology) earned a BBA in finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MLA from Loyola University Maryland. Bob has worked in business, technology, and education for over 20 years. He taught at an alternative high school in Baltimore and later became Chair of the History Department at the prestigious Cranbrook Schools in Michigan. Bob mentored the Model UN Team at Cranbrook for many years. Bob is married to Claire McDonald, and together they live with their three daughters in Gainesboro.

Anne McDonough (Middle School Humanities and Math) holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies as well as a teaching certification from the University of Utah. Anne taught for several years in Murray, Utah. Since moving to Virginia, she has devoted herself to caring for her young family. In that capacity, she served for two years as PTO President in Clarke County. She has worked with pre-teens and teenagers through homeschooling and church organizations for the past two years.  Anne lives in Stephenson with her husband Evan and their two children, both ISW students.

Jennifer Ratcliffe (Middle School Performing Arts, High School Acting) has more than twenty years’ experience teaching acting to students of all ages. Jen holds a BFA in Theater Arts/Acting from the University of Florida and she is the proud owner of  Kids’ Dramatix, Inc.  Jennifer lives in Boyce with her husband and son, an ISW student.

Dr. Christina Romich (Director of Performing Arts, High School Choir and Stagecraft, Music Director for Huzzah) has her doctorate in vocal performance from West Virginia University, a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy from Shenandoah University, and a Bachelors of Music from Shenandoah University. She is a very experienced teacher who has worked with students of all ages–from the very youngest preschoolers to adults. Chris directed opera scenes at WVU, music directed high school student musicals, and conducted choirs, pit bands, and marching bands. She and her husband and daughter live in Winchester.

Experiential Education:

Jessica Fletcher (Experiential Education Coordinator for Upper Elementary) is an ISW parent who lives with her husband and daughter in Winchester.

Christina Thompson (Experiential Education Coordinator for Kindergarten and Lower Elementary) is an ISW parent who lives with her husband and two sons, one of whom is an ISW student, in White Post.