New Faces

If you haven't already met, there are several new faces we're thrilled to introduce. Please join us in welcoming the newcomers to the Norfolk Collegiate community.

Lower School

Kerri Darden - Physical Education Teacher

Kerri Darden will be joining Mr. Maddox in our physical education department following Debbie Meadows’ retirement after 30 years of service. Darden graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports and Exercise Science with a specialization in Child Development and Movement. While in Apopka, Fla., Kerri taught physical education for pre-K through grade five students at Dream Lake Elementary and in Piedmont Lakes Middle School. As a coach, Darden is most proud of her one time perfect run of zero losses for her soccer team. We are glad to have this coach join our team.

Gina Gordy - Pre-Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Gina Gordy is one of three new faces heading up our pre-kindergarten program. Gordy graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University and most recently taught at Talbot Park Preschool where she wore many hats. In the mornings, she was the lead pre-kindergarten teacher for four and five-year-olds. In the afternoons, she acted as an assistant director where her administrative responsibilities ranged from hiring faculty to overseeing renovations to their building to building websites.

Sara Hahne - Spanish Teacher

Sara Hahne, a Norfolk native, graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish. Hahne is replacing Socorro Montoya-Mann, who is now teaching high school students. Hahne began her teaching career in Coral Gables, Fla., at St. Theresa Catholic School and has since taught Spanish at local private schools. While at Christ the King, she organized and hosted the Spanish Language Bowl among local catholic schools. In 2016, as a Spanish Language Bowl coach, she and her team won first and second place in the tournament.

Nancy Keating - Learning Resource Tutor & Afterschool Coordinator

Nancy Keating is coming to us following Jamie Cato’s move to Denver this summer. Keating has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Education and a Master of Arts in reading from Regent University with an emphasis in reading and learning disabilities. She’s served in various responsibilities ranging from lead teacher to physical education teacher for grades kindergarten through 12 to front office manager to assistant dorm master. We are happy her path has led her to our front door.

Jennalyn Lindeman - Pre-Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Jennalyn Lindeman is another of the three new faces heading up our pre-kindergarten program. She received an Associates of Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu and is currently enrolled at Liberty University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. She previously taught as a lead teacher at United Methodist Church and Preschool in Miami Lakes, Fla. Most recently she was a rotating teacher at Ascension Episcopal Day School. We are glad Lindeman will work with our little ones.

Nicole Skees ’06 - Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Rounding out our pre-kindergarten dream team is Nicole Skees ’06, who received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Elementary Education from James Madison University. A Norfolk Collegiate graduate, she has spent the last six years teaching in the Chesapeake Public Elementary School system. During that time, she was appointed grade-level chairperson and overall science lead. Her school also adopted two, positive behavior management systems that Skees created to increased positive expectations and reinforcement for their students.

Emily Wilson - Administrative Assistant

Emily Wilson is a familiar face to some, as she has been our auction data entry clerk for the past three years. She will be replacing Michelle Kellam, who decided to focus on her family with her second child on the way. Wilson has a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University. While at ODU, she focused on pollinator ecology. This certainly served her well as she is certified in beekeeping, is a member of the Tidewater Beekeepers Society and has a goal of a master beekeeper. While working in the Arthur & Phyllis Kaplan Orchid Conservatory, Wilson designed and implemented the Monarch Butterfly Educational Program.

Middle School

Kimberly Giddens - Math Teacher

We’re excited to welcome Kimberly Giddens to our expanding math department. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University and a Master of Education Leadership degree from Regent University. She’s spent the last 17 years mentoring, tutoring and teaching in Hampton Roads. She’s taught algebra and data analysis at King’s Fork and Nandua High Schools in Norfolk and Portsmouth public schools. She’s most looking forward to building a solid rapport with her students and creating a structured but dynamic classroom environment.

Emily Pope - Art Teacher

Emily Pope has a Bachelor of Arts degree from East Carolina University where she focused on painting and drawing. She’s been volunteering and teaching art for several years between North Carolina and the Hampton Roads area. She was the recipient of the Virgin Islands Department of Education Commissioner’s Mini-Grant Program and was the winner of the Tran and Marilyn Gordley Scholarship for Painting. Emily is really excited to teach middle and upper students about creativity in her classroom.

Susan White - Spanish Teacher

Susan White is joining our modern and classical languages department following the departure of Lori Martinelli-Reindeau, who moved to Maine after her husband’s retirement this summer. White has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Old Dominion University where she studied Spanish language and literature and speech-language pathology. She most recently completed a year long, study abroad program in Costa Rica at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica where she taught English as a second language to children and business professionals. We’re looking forward to White bringing her understanding of culture and language into our classrooms.

Casey White ’11 - Middle School Counselor

Alumnus Casey White ’11 is returning to his roots and joining our middle school as the counselor following the transfer of Val Ortiz to our College Counseling office. White has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from College of William & Mary and a Masters of Education degree in school counseling from the University of Virginia. Before returning to Collegiate, White spent time working in Fluvana Middle School as a counselor and as a camp counselor at Swift Nature Camp.

Upper School

Ashleigh Lassiter - Upper School English Teacher

Ashleigh Lassiter is replacing Ashley (Billman) King as our new upper school English teacher. Lassiter has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Education degree from Old Dominion University where she focused on English and writing. She taught 10th and 11th grade English, as well as AP English at Booker T. Washington High School where she was awarded New Teacher of the Year in 2014. She’s most looking forward to being a part of an instructionally engaging environment and teaching the power of language.

Susannah Lipchak - French Teacher

Susannah Lipchak is joining our modern and classical languages department due to our expanding French program. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Humanities degree from the University of Rouen in France where she studied teaching French as a foreign language. Her master’s thesis studied the effect of cultural stereotypes on the language learning process. She taught in France until 2015 when she made the move to the Knox School in New York where she was also the cross country coach. She’s so glad to be part of the Collegiate community and is ready to say, “Bonjour!” to her new students.

Laura Morse - English Teacher

Laura Morse is joining the English department as a part-time faculty member and will teach our American Academic English course. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia where she studied English and art history and a Master of Teaching from the Curry School of Education. She did her practicum at Walton Middle School and taught summer school to eighth graders last summer. She’s the founding member and former secretary of the English Students Association at the University of Virginia, and she’s looking forward to bringing her love for English to our Oaks.


Megan Goldwasser - Communications Specialist

Megan Goldwasser is joining the communications department due to program expansion. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Georgia where she focused on magazine writing, marketing and advertising. She’s been a freelance writer for several years and was the communications specialist for a small, pre-k through 12 private school in Atlanta (where she also graduated high school). She has several years of social media marketing experience and is looking forward to putting her skills to work for the Collegiate community.

Ashley King - Technology Integration Specialist

She’s the same Ms. Billman we know and love; she’s just Mrs. King now. For the past five years, King primarily taught English 11 at Collegiate. This year, she is joining the instructional technology team as the new technology integration specialist for the middle and upper schools. King will provide guidance and support in the integration of current and emerging technologies and will work collaboratively with teachers to identify opportunities to enhance student learning with digital tools. She has her Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington and Lee University and her Masters of Arts in English and American Literature from University of Virginia.

Val Ortiz - Associate Director of College Counseling

Val Ortiz is joining the upper school College Counseling team as our new associate director of college counseling. Ortiz, who has been the middle school counselor for 15 years, is lending her talents to our expanding college counseling team after working last year as a part-time college counselor while also guiding our middle schoolers. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and English from Emory University and a Master of Science degree in counseling from San Diego State University. Prior to Norfolk Collegiate, Ortiz worked at Kempsville High School as a college counselor. Her children, Shelby ’10 and Michael ’15, are Norfolk Collegiate alumni.

Jamie Stump - Annual Fund & Special Events Manager

Jamie Stump is joining us following the departure of Kate Pringle to pursue other development opportunities. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Old Dominion University and over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. She most recently served as an account manager with the American Red Cross on the blood services side. Stump is diving right into her work and is responsible for the implementation and management of effective long-term development programs and coordinating Norfolk Collegiate’s three signature events−Fall Fair, Annual Auction and Golf Classic.