Faculty & Staff Board of Trustees CDS Campus Calendar

Faculty & Staff

Dave Bruns

Executive Director

Dave earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the College of William & Mary. He practiced law for leading law firms in San Francisco and Virginia. Dave was recognized by Richmond Magazine as one of Virginia’s best young lawyers. He and Stacey lead the effort to form the vision, philosophy and mission of the school. Dave is known as “Coach Dave” to kids since he volunteers as a basketball and baseball coach. Dave is the proud father of CDS Alums Jack (17) and Jane (14).

Dave Bruns

Stacey Bruns

Head of School

Stacey has always had a clear vision and talent for educating children. Her prior mentors have recognized this quality by, among other honors, naming her the outstanding student in the University of Virginia’s Master of Teaching program, naming her the first-year teacher-of-the-year for the Hanover County school system, placing her in leadership positions early in her career, and promoting her to Assistant Head of School at a successful private preschool – eighth grade school in California. Before proposing and founding Charlottesville Day School, Stacey was the leader of a preschool in Arlington, Virginia. Stacey is the proud mother of CDS graduates Jack and Jane.

Stacey Bruns

Johanna Beaver

Orchestra; Violin and Viola Teacher

Johanna Beaver leads the orchestra and teaches private violin and viola lessons at CDS. She began teaching twenty-five years ago while pursuing her Masters degree in violin performance. Since then, she has served on the faculties of the University of Virginia, Interlochen Arts Camp, Opus 118 Violin Program in New York, and the Stony Brook Pre-college. Johanna performs regularly in the Roanoke and Richmond Symphonies, Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, and as a member of the Afton String Quartet. Johanna holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where her mentors were Katherine Murdock, Mitchell Stern, and the Emerson String Quartet.

Johanna Beaver

Amy Buddington

Spanish Specialist

“Señora B” is excited to be back for her twelfth year teaching Spanish at CDS. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Virginia and earned her teaching license from Mary Baldwin College. She enjoyed working for Albemarle County as a Spanish Teacher at the high school level before finding her true passion teaching children at CDS. Her Spanish curriculum includes age-appropriate songs, games, stories, poetry, culture, and art. She takes a storytelling approach to teaching Spanish. Señora B also shares her love of cooking and baking with her Wednesday enrichment and elective classes for elementary and middle school students. Amy has two daughters: Laura is an Eighth Grader at CDS and Julia is a CDS graduate.

Amy Buddington

Townley Cole

Panda Bears Teacher

After graduating from The College of William and Mary, Townley began her teaching career as a first grade teacher in Newport News Public Schools. When she and her late husband, Malcolm, moved to San Rafael, California, they founded Janus School, a private preschool through second grade, which they operated for eighteen years. Upon returning to Virginia, Townley was the founding director of The Salvation Army Child Care Center for Homeless Children in Charlottesville. She has also worked as a teacher in the Albemarle County Afterschool Program and as director of Trinity Episcopal Child Care Center. For more than ten years, Townley has worked as a preschool teacher at CDS. She brings with her a wealth of experience and a passion for early childhood education. Her proudest accomplishment is being a parent to her amazing children, Mira, Andrew, and AJ and spending time with her grandchildren Aiyana, Nathaniel, Makai, and Kaydence.
Visit class>

Townley Cole

Coro Cope

First/Second Grade Teacher

This is Coro’s ninth year teaching at CDS. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters of Teaching degree in Elementary Education. While she was a student, she was named Outstanding Student in the Elementary Education program and also worked with the Curry School Foundation as a student representative to the board, fundraising and increasing student involvement in the school. Coro has also worked in other elementary schools in the Charlottesville area as a tutor and teaching assistant, and brings these experiences with her to CDS. Coro has completed an Orton Gillingham reading instruction course. This class provided Coro with a deeper understanding of multi-sensory reading instruction geared towards helping struggling readers. With this experience under her belt, Coro is able to deliver reading instruction that truly meets the individual needs of each child in her class. Coro’s daughter Everly is a Grizzly this year.
Visit class>

Coro Cope

Kira Cotter

Reading Specialist

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona, Kira spent the summer teaching in a village in Tanzania. She then completed a two year teacher training program at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral School in Washington D.C., and went on to teach first grade for the next several years at a progressive independent school in Alexandria. In 2015 she earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education at UVA as well as a reading specialist endorsement (K-12th grade). During this time, Kira also worked in several Charlottesville schools as a literacy mentor to pre-service teachers and provided intervention directly to students. Recently she received formal training in the Orton Gillingham approach. She has served as the Reading Specialist for the past two years at CDS. In addition to providing reading intervention to students from K-4th, she also works closely with classroom teachers to plan instruction, build curriculum and provide ongoing professional development.

Kira Cotter

Becky Dice

First/Second Grade Teacher

Becky is excited to return for her fifth year on the First & Second Grade team at Charlottesville Day School. She obtained her Bachelors degree from Roanoke College in 2009. Not too long after graduating and working in business, she realized that her true passion is teaching. She moved to Charlottesville to attend graduate school at UVA. She graduated from the Curry School of Education with a Masters of Teaching in Elementary Education. She brings experience from Charlottesville City and Albemarle County schools where she worked with students in grades K-5. Along with her husband she lives with her daughter Riley and corgi, Hobbes. Becky comes to CDS highly recommended by the Curry School’s Elementary Education Coordinator, Dr. Robert Tai.
Visit class>

Becky Dice

Jontel Evans

Physical Education Teacher & Basketball Coach

Jontel graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors degree in Anthropology in 2013. While at the University, Jontel played Point Guard on the basketball team, where he was twice selected to the All-ACC Defensive Team by ACC coaches and selected to the Lefty Driesell All-American Defensive Team. Jontel also led UVA in assists in 3 consecutive seasons. He continued his basketball career after college, playing professionally in Slovakia during the 2014 – 2015 season. Jontel is excited to return to CDS as a Physical Education Teacher and basketball coach and loves sharing his love of basketball and fitness with CDS students.

Jontel Evans

Mimi Fitzpatrick

Fifth Grade Teacher

Mimi wanted to be a teacher her whole childhood and followed her passion into a career in education. She earned a Masters in Teaching degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She was first introduced to the concept of lifelong learning at the Curry School, and she fully embraces this idea in her professional and personal life as she finds joy in constantly learning from the world around her. This is her tenth year as an elementary school teacher. She is thrilled to be a part of the CDS community as a teacher on the Middle School team.
Visit class>

Mimi Fitzpatrick

Ataira Franklin

Art, Physical Education, Basketball Coach

Frankie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters degree in Creative Arts from Vanderbilt University. This is Coach Frankie’s third year at CDS. During her time at the University of Virginia, she majored in Studio Art with a concentration in photography. She was also a member of the Women’s Basketball team, which enabled her to work closely with the Children’s Hospital, Hope Community Center’s Hope4Kids, and the Ronald McDonald House. She is most excited to be back in Charlottesville and to share her love for art and basketball with the students here at CDS.

Ataira Franklin

Jaime Hawkins

Middle School English

This is Jaime’s sixth year at CDS and she couldn’t be more excited to be part of the team. Jaime graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters of Teaching in Elementary Education. She has taught almost every grade, K-6. She brings a wealth of teaching experience having served as a teacher for 10 years with Charlottesville City Schools. Jaime’s daughters, Zoë and Maizie, are part of the CDS family as well.
Visit class>

Jaime Hawkins

Katie Hickson

Middle School Math, Admissions, Project Specialist

Katie is a former Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia where she earned both her undergraduate degree and her Masters of Teaching. She is beginning her eighth year at CDS and combines her love of math with her talent for creating engaging, meaningful learning experiences. While working on her Masters degree, Katie studied differentiated instruction and curriculum design for high ability learners in the Gifted Education department of the Curry School of Education. Prior to teaching at CDS, Katie taught middle school students as part of UVa’s Saturday and Summer Enrichment Programs. Katie has had training in a variety of approaches to math in the middle grades, including the College Board’s Springboard Pre-AP Math curriculum, Michigan State University’s Connected Mathematics program, and Stanford Professor of Mathematics Education Jo Boaler’s philosophy of math education. Katie also continues to serve in her role as CDS’s Project Specialist, photographing students learning in action, creating web content, and designing print projects for CDS special events and marketing materials. She also works on the Admissions team with Stacey.
Visit class>

Katie Hickson

Lauren Jones

Cubs Assistant Teacher, Extended Day

Lauren is excited to return for her second year at CDS! She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree through Western Governors University and came to CDS after having worked in two other local preschools. Ever since Lauren was little, she knew that working with kids would someday be her career. She has a passion to love other children as her own and to teach and watch them grow. In Lauren’s free time, she loves spending time with her husband, her adorable pups, and having family time on the weekends. Lauren is overjoyed to continue working in the Cubs class!
Visit class>

Lauren Jones

Meryl Kahn

Grizzly Assistant Teacher

Meryl returns to Charlottesville Day School for her tenth year as a preschool teaching assistant. A native of Charlottesville, Meryl has worked with preschool children in a variety of settings. She received her Associate degree in Early Childhood Development from Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA. While pursuing her degree, she interned at St. Paul’s Children Center in Stockbridge, MA. An avid sports fan, Meryl follows UVA sports and the Yankees. Meryl is very excited about the new school year and teaching with Abby and Megan.
Visit class>

Meryl Kahn

Angela Kelly

Music Director

Angela is an accomplished educator with more than 20 years experience teaching young people not only how to play music, but how to love it. She holds a degree in Music Education from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music. Angela has a busy performing career as a professional flutist. She served as the interim Principal Flute for the Charlottesville & University Symphony for seasons 2009-2010 and currently plays Principal Flute with the Virginia Consort and the Oratorio Society of Virginia. She is the director of several flute choirs in the local community. She strongly believes in the power of music to impact young lives. Angela returns for her thirteenth year as our Music Director at CDS. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Angela offers individual flute lessons at CDS.

Angela Kelly

Kimberly Kotarski

Business Manager

Kim is returning for her thirteenth year at CDS. She is a native to Charlottesville and graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine. Kim’s wealth of experience in all things administrative allows her to organize and lead while supporting the faculty and parents on a day to day basis. Kim and her husband Craig are the proud parents of their three daughters, Camryn (9), and Kiley (6), and Kacey (3).

Kimberly Kotarski

Michelle Lockwood

Middle School Science

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from UNC-Wilmington and teaching credentials from Colorado University at Boulder. Before teaching professionally, Michelle worked as a field biologist, naturalist, and an environmental educator with non-profit organizations. This is Michelle’s eleventh year at CDS. She is a Master Naturalist and is excited to share her love for the natural world with her community and students. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her staying active and spending time with her husband and three children (one CDS Alum and two current middle schoolers).
Visit class>

Michelle Lockwood

Rita Moore

Cubs Teacher

Rita is a Georgia native who earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. As a social worker, she served a diverse range of children and families. Her primary focus was to enhance parent/child relationships and interactions. After having two children of her own, Rita became actively involved in their education. She has been teaching in the Cubs classroom since 2006 when CDS opened its doors. Rita enjoys the amazing learning process, creativity, and joyfulness of two and three year olds! She is a kind, patient and warm member of our faculty. Rita and her husband, Eric, are the parents of two children, Will (College of William & Mary) and Gracie (11th grader).
Visit class>

Rita Moore

Jamie Morris

Administrative Assistant

Jamie joined CDS in 2007 and returns this year as the Administrative Coordinator. She holds an Associate degree in Education, an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate and has her CNA. Jamie is well loved by children of all ages and will continue to support CDS faculty in her Administrative Assistant role this year. Jamie is excited to return for her tenth year at CDS and put her love of organizing and attention to detail to work. When not working at CDS, Jamie enjoys spending time with her husband Guthrie, and children Paisley Belle and Gannon.

Jamie Morris

Tamara Murray

Art Specialist

Tamara earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to teaching, Tamara has been a practicing fine artist for over 20 years. She shows her work locally and is a member of several arts organizations including the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Art Association. Tamara has been at Charlottesville Day School since its inception and brings an abundant knowledge of various fine art disciplines. With a great appreciation of each child’s unique qualities, Tamara works passionately to enhance each student’s ability to explore art-making independently. Tamara and her husband have lived in Charlottesville for 26 years and have two children, Jack and Ryann.

Tamara Murray

Clare O'Brien

Middle School English

This is Clare’s sixth year teaching at CDS. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 2011 with a Bachelor of English degree and has a Secondary Teaching License in English Language Arts. During college, she had practical experience teaching 6th-11th graders in the Fredericksburg area, and was a member of an Education Honors Society. After college, Clare joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and moved to Sacramento, California to work in an inner-city public charter school as a full-time volunteer teacher. She began her studies at the Curry School of Education in the fall of 2012, and graduated in 2014 with a Master of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Academic, Linguistic, and Cultural Diversity, in addition to an Endorsement in Gifted Education. She has been fortunate to work extensively with Dr. Carol Tomlinson and Dr. Catherine Brighton. She enjoys blending together her passion for history, literature, and writing content with her love for children.
Visit class>

Clare O'Brien

Abby Perry

Grizzly Teacher

Abby earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. Abby is a passionate teacher who has a positive, hands-on approach with children in the classroom. She has prior experience as a classroom teacher and joined the CDS family in 2013 as a teacher in the Grizzly class. Abby’s daughter, Olivia, is joining CDS as a Cubbie this year.
Visit class>

Abby Perry

Karin Reed

Third/Fourth Grade Teacher

Karin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College and a Master of Education degree from Trinity College. This is Karin’s twelfth year at CDS. Karin came to us with 11 years of experience in a variety of public elementary school classrooms, including Albemarle County Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools. While teaching in New England, she was the city of Worcester’s nominee as Arts Educator of the Year for Massachusetts. In addition to teaching, Karin enjoys co-directing the CDS Theater Program. Karin has a gift for reaching children and is passionate about her profession. Karin has taught almost every grade level and is excited to return to CDS as a Third/Fourth Grade teacher this year! Karin has two daughters, Ella (CDS Alum) and Izzy (CDS Seventh Grader).
Visit class>

Karin Reed

Tiffany Stauffer

Middle School Math, Math Specialist

This is Tiffany’s third year at CDS, although she has felt connected to CDS for many years. Before her time as a classroom teacher at CDS, she tutored students, worked with teachers, and taught math summer camps. Tiffany graduated from Millersville University in Pennsylvania with a Bachelors degree in Education and an endorsement in Secondary Mathematics. She earned her Masters degree in Mathematics from the University of Virginia, with an endorsement as a Math Specialist. She has taught both high school and middle school math and has worked as a math specialist.
Visit class>

Tiffany Stauffer

Theresa Sury

Third/Fourth Grade Co-Teacher

Theresa is very excited to return for her seventh year as a teacher at Charlottesville Day School. Theresa graduated from James Madison University in 2011 with an Art Education degree, Pre-K through 12. During her time at JMU, Theresa served as the president of the school’s National Art Education Association chapter while participating in the university’s Honors Program. Theresa completed a senior honors thesis, including a long-term study of a group of young students as they explored their creativity and the connection between art and learning in other subjects. Theresa is thrilled to once again be part of the Third/Fourth Grade teaching team.
Visit class>

Theresa Sury

Alex Taylor

Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Alex has had a passion for working with children since she was a young teenager and comes to CDS with a wealth of experiences with kids! She taught for multiple years at a well-established summer camp and after-school program in Westford, Massachusetts. This is where Alex realized she wanted to pursue a lifelong career of helping children learn and grow into positive and influential members of society.  She is currently pursuing an Education degree at Piedmont Virginia Community College. While she was part of the Extended Day program during the 2017-2018 school year, this will be Alex’s first year as a classroom assistant at CDS. She has received overwhelming support and love from the faculty and hopes to call CDS her home for years to come!
Visit class>

Alex Taylor

Jennifer Thomas

First/Second Grade Assistant Teacher

Jennifer is excited to start her sixth school year at CDS and return to the 1st/2nd grade class & assisting in music. Jennifer is a native of Randolph, NJ and is a proud CDS mom to Phoebe Rae (9th Grade) and Felix Flynn (4th Grade). She holds a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and an MFA in Acting/Classical Texts from the Professional Actor Training Program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL. As an actress, Jennifer performed in regional theatres across the country, including NYC’s Classical Repertory Theatre, The Pearl Theater Company, The NJ Shakespeare Festival, The McCarter Theatre, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. While in NYC, Jennifer worked for Visible Theater Inc., a non-profit theatre company dedicated to providing a means of theatrical expression to adults with disabilities. Jennifer is an organized, loving, and artistic teacher.
Visit class>

Jennifer Thomas

Katie Van Ess

Third/Fourth Grade Teacher

This is Katie’s tenth year of teaching and fifth year at CDS! Before moving to Virginia, Katie taught in a Fort Worth public school for five years. There, she focused on empowering and motivating her students, their families, and the community. Katie is thrilled to work with Karin and Theresa on the Third & Fourth Grade team. Katie is passionate about building strong relationships, meeting the individual needs of students, and providing a challenging and supportive classroom environment. In her free time, she enjoys reading, creating new recipes, and is an avid music connoisseur. Katie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Texas Christian University and recently graduated with a Master of Education degree from the University of Virginia in the spring of 2014.
Visit class>

Katie Van Ess

Megan Van Ornum

Pre-K Teacher

This is Megan’s second year here at CDS. In 2017, she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching upon completing the Inclusive Early Childhood Education program at James Madison University. Megan has always enjoyed working with children through babysitting, volunteering, student teaching, and now as a full time teacher. She is excited to be teaching with Abby and Meryl as part of the Grizzly Bear team in Pre-Kindergarten.
Visit class>

Megan Van Ornum

Sara Verhalen

Kindergarten Teacher

Sara is thrilled to join Charlottesville Day School as our kindergarten teacher! A California native with a lifelong passion for working with children, Sara moved to Washington, D.C. in 2011 to pursue a career in teaching.  During her time in D.C., she taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, second grade, and third grade at several different public and charter schools. While she enjoyed teaching all subjects, Sara developed a particular love of teaching reading when she watched struggling students transform into enthusiastic and confident readers.  That passion led her to the Curry School, where she recently completed a Masters of Reading Education program to earn a reading specialist endorsement (K-12th grade).  Sara also has an early childhood teaching license (PreK-3rd grade) as well as a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from UVA. Outside of the classroom, Sara enjoys drinking coffee, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and hiking around Virginia, California, and Montana with her family.
Visit class>

Sara Verhalen

Lance Weisend

Middle School History Teacher

Born and raised in Blacksburg, Lance attended Virginia Tech, double majoring in American History and Secondary Education and also running on the cross country team (4:12 mile!). He then earned a Masters in American History from Oklahoma State, focusing on the American West and Native American studies. He returned to Virginia to work on his PhD at UVA. After finishing his coursework in American Colonial and Revolutionary history, he found his true passion: teaching. He joined the faculty of Albemarle High School, where he helped develop the American Studies program, taught AP US History, and introduced a popular sociology course. He also coached the cross country team, winning several district and regional championships, placing in the top ten at States – with six individual State champions. Lance’s daughters were part of the opening of CDS, and he is excited to re-join the CDS community as a teacher.
Visit class>

Board of Trustees

Rob Wise

Chairman

Rob Wise is a complex litigation attorney with Bowman and Brooke. He has experience on Boards of other non-profits and fortifies the professionalism of our Board of Trustees. Rob is the father to Gus (6th grade), Latane (3rd grade) and husband of Sarah.

Read Rob's "Case for CDS">
Rob Wise

Mira Williams

Vice Chair

Mira Williams is a graduate of the Curry School of Education where she received her and undergraduate and Master’s Degrees in Teaching. After beginning her career as a teacher at CDS, Mira returned to Curry and received her Doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education. Mira is now a professor at James Madison University, teaching courses in child development.

Mira Williams

Candace Grierson

Past-Chair

Candace is a founding CDS Board member. Candace’s daughter is a CDS graduate and her son is currently a student in the CDS Middle School. Candace is very active in the Charlottesville community, works in Event planning and leads the CDS Development team.

Read Candace's "Case for CDS">
Candace Grierson

Chris Peper

Treasurer

Chris Peper is the Director of Operations at the Curry School of Education. He is a 1994 graduate of Colorado College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Chris is the husband of Michelle Lockwood and the father of three CDS students: Hayden (13), Townes (10) and Quinlyn (8). Chris is a strong supporter of the CDS Mission and his background in finance and operations serves the board well.

Ellen P. Hench

Secretary

Ellen P. Hench is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education where she has studied extensively with Carol Tomlinson in the areas of Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Learners. She has also served as adjunct faculty for the School of Continuing Education and Professional Studies across the state of Virginia. She has also worked as a coach for teacher training in differentiation principles, practices, and skills in schools in southwest Virginia. Ellen believes that a positive and productive school community recognizes and nurtures the individuality of each child and focuses on the growth and development of the whole child – mind, body and personal spirit. She has particular interest and passion for helping support school environments that foster social and emotional growth in tandem with academic learning. She and her husband Allen are the parents of two grown children, Stefan and Adriana.

Ellen P. Hench

Holly Hertberg-Davis

Trustee

Holly Hertberg-Davis is an educational consultant specializing in differentiation of instruction, advanced curriculum, and effective professional development and teacher growth. She is a former professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Holly is the mother of Cole (3rd grade) and Finn (Kindergarten).

Holly Hertberg-Davis

Renee Fischer

Trustee

Renée is a physician of internal medicine and partner at Internal Medicine, Ltd in Charlottesville. She has been practicing medicine for sixteen years. She is a graduate of Boston College and SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York. Renée’s twins attend CDS.

Read Renee's "Case for CDS">
Renee Fischer

Christie Reed

Trustee

Christie is an educational consultant specializing in case-based learning, experiential learning, and advanced curriculum, the co-owner of George & Henry, LLC, an exclusive dog boarding operation, and a mom. She has two sons who both attend CDS.

Carol Tomlinson

Honorary Trustee

Dr. Tomlinson is a professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education where she serves as Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy. She is also a pioneer and expert in the field of differentiating instruction, a core principle in the CDS curriculum.

Carol Tomlinson

Peter Wiley

Trustee

Peter is a native of Central Virginia. He joined Frank Hardy Realty in 2005 and has been very active in the brokerage of farms, estates and historic properties in the Charlottesville area. Prior to becoming a realtor, Peter served as a Congressional staffer for a member of Congress and more recently as a lobbyist for the Venture Capital and Biotechnology industries in Boston and Washington DC. Peter’s daughters attend CDS.

Peter Wiley

CDS Campus

Downtown is our Playground! We love our new campus downtown. During the entire summer of 2011, parents, teachers and children worked together building, painting, and preparing our new campus. All the hard work not only brought together a building but also a community.

See a slideshow of the volunteer-driven renovation>