Meet our Faculty
Kindergarten – Nancy Dickson
Mrs. Dickson holds a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education from Rowen University. She taught several years of Pre-School and then moved to Kindergarten in 1989.
Kindergarten is a transition from Pre-School to First Grade. The focus is on readiness skills in reading and math. The new Reading Street reading program encourages emergent readers and develops phonemic awareness. Differentiated instruction provides opportunities for success at all ability levels. Learning centers stress small group instruction. Letter formation is introduced in handwriting. Students learn science, social studies, computer, library, art, Spanish, music and P.E.
The school day is Christ centered. Prayers, daily religious instruction and weekly Mass support our apostolic mission. The Kindergarten is a nurturing, child centered environment where the whole child is educated spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, socially and physically.
Kindergarten Assistant and Kindergarten Religion Teacher – Susan Faxlanger
Susan Faxlanger is the Kindergarten Assistant and Religion Teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies from George Mason University as well as a VA teacher license in Secondary Education. Mrs. Faxlanger has taught Social Studies and has been a substitute teacher for all grade levels. While her past primary focus was in Secondary Education she now enjoys teaching at the Elementary level. She finds working with the children both rewarding and fulfilling.
Mrs. Faxlanger’s teaching phil
Grade 1 – Jill Evans
Jill Evans is the First Grade teacher. She has a B.S. Degree in Education and a minor in Child Day Care from James Madison University. She has experience teaching first, fourth, and fifth grades, and has spent time substituting at all grade levels from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. Mrs. Evans began teaching at St. John School in 2011.
The First Grade curriculum focuses on building foundations of faith, literacy and math. Students focus on learning skills and concepts that can be applied in their daily lives. Life-long learning is emphasized. Critical thinking is stressed as well as student cooperation.
Students will complete the year with a basic understanding of Catholic teaching. They will be reading and writing with grade level proficiency. They will have knowledge of basic addition and subtraction facts.
Grade 2 – Jill Williams
Jill Williams is the Second Grade teacher. She has a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Williams also has experience teaching kindergarten, fourth, and fifth grades. She has also worked as a substitute in grades kindergarten through sixth. Mrs. Williams began teaching at St. John School in 2012.
Second grade students will be taught the core subjects rooted with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Each student will learn the value of academic excellence, virtue from the teachings of Christ, and receive Christ’s love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Communion.
Team work is the backbone of the classroom. Students are set up into groups (teams), and they earn points for working together, following directions and being Christ-like.
Grade 3 – Kelley Smith
Kelley Smith is the third grade teacher. She holds a Master degree from the University of Miami. Mrs. Smith is VCEA certified and has received her Catechist Certification from the Arlington Diocese. She also currently teaches 3rd grade Religious Education for the parish and initiated The Little Flowers Girls’ Club at the school in conjunction with the Homeschool program. Mrs. Smith joined St. John School in 2012.
Third graders learn to function more independently and deepen their Catholic faith in learning virtues through scripture, saints’ biographies and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The curriculum fosters reading with fluency and focuses on comprehension. Writing skills are refined into paragraph composition using proper grammar and punctuation. Students solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, division problems and begin their study of geometry by calculating area, perimeter and volume. Students are engaged in hands-on science projects and experiments. Social Studies involves projects to familiarize them with the 50 United States, their capitals and American History.
Grade 5 – Claudia Hunt
The Fifth Grade teacher is Claudia Hunt. Mrs. Hunt received her education degree from Trinity University. She has taught upper elementary school for more than thirty-five years. She came to St. John School in 1995.
The Fifth Grade year helps students develop the skills needed to transition from Elementary to Middle School. Encouragement and support are provided as they grow independent and self-reliant.
Language Arts and Reading lesson plans stress reading comprehension and real life connections. Students demonstrate critical analysis of literary elements and creative responses to literature.
The Math curriculum maximizes an understanding of various strategies to solve word problems as well as an emphasis on computation skills of fractions and decimals.
Middle School Social Studies and Religion – Ryan Stohlman
Mr. Stohlman received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marymount University in Theology and Religious Studies (double major). Mr. Stohlman started teaching at St. John School in 2010.
Social Studies-Students will obtain an understanding of the major issues, events and figures in World History from Prehistory through 1500 AD ( 6th Grade), U.S. History from Pre-Columbian times through the end of Reconstruction until 1877 (7th Grade), and U.S. History from 1877 to the present. The relevance of past historical events to the modern world is emphasized throughout the curriculum. The Administration is planning to augment these topics with the “History Alive” hands-on curriculum.
Religion- In 6th Grade, students examine major church teachings about our Lord, the Sacraments, and how His saving plan is revealed to man in the Scripture, particularly the Old Testament. 7th Grade students deepen their knowledge of the person, message and mission of Jesus Christ, and how He gives us new life in the Church and Sacraments. Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation and the inherent responsibility of a confirmed Catholic cover the second semester. In 8th Grade, Students focus on the hierarchy, Magisterium, and the role of the Catholic Church, while studying major people and events over the 2,000 year history of Catholicism.
Middle School Language Arts – Tom MacQueeney
Thomas MacQueeney is our middle school English teacher, which includes Language Arts and Reading/Literature. Mr. MacQueeney graduated from Bishop O’Connell, received his B.A. in English at Mary Washington University, and his M.A. in Education at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. He has been an educator for over thirty years. He has taught Advanced Placement Literature and Composition for twenty years as well as U.S. History. He coached varsity boys and girls soccer for many years.
Mr. MacQueeney uses a variety of instructional methods to promote literacy. The Language Arts classes focus on the mechanics and techniques involved in various types of writing, such as descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive. The Literature classes actively engage in silent and oral reading of stories, poems, plays, and non-fiction pieces. Students learn to analyze the author’s use of language to convey theme and purpose.
Mr. MacQueeney’s classes engage in many group projects and research projects often utilizing technology. Students engage in formal debates, write original poems, stories, plays, and create a short movie. Mr. MacQueeney strives to engage all students and create a love of creative writing and reading. Mr. MacQueeney started teaching at St. John School in 2014.
Middle School Science, Grade 8 Algebra, LabLearner Coordinator, Kindergarten – Grade 5 Math Enrichment – LuAnn Fine
LuAnn Fine has been a member of the St. John School community since 1992. After serving two years as the Kindergarten assistant, Mrs. Fine became our math and science middle school teacher. She currently teaches 8th grade Algebra and kindergarten through 5th grade math enrichment. She also teaches 6th through 8th grade science, and kindergarten through 5th grade science lab. Prior to her education career, Mrs. Fine worked many years in the science research field.
Mrs. Fine holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Montclair State University and numerous graduate credits in education, mathematics, and science from Rutgers University and the University of Virginia.
Mrs. Fine believes her role as a teacher is to ignite an enthusiasm for learning, promote creative and critical thinking, and provide a strong foundation for life-long learning.
Math Teacher – Gene Belardi
Gene Belardi is a Math Teacher. Previously, Mr. Belardi has taught Algebra and Middle School Math. Since 1999 at St. John School, he has instructed students in a variety of subjects, including Middle School Social Studies, Literature and Language Arts, as well as Physical Education. He holds a Masters of Education degree from Marymount University and is certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia to teach all subjects from preschool through eighth grade. He has also received a Juris Doctorate degree from William and Mary Law School and has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Rutgers University.
Mr. Belardi uses a variety of instructional methods to teach math, including manipulatives, cooperative group work, board work, technology and drill work. His overall philosophy is to identify and fulfill the individual needs of each student using positive reinforcement techniques to provide an atmosphere whereby the student will achieve success and build self confidence.
Library/Math Resource – Mrs. Linda Hammelman
Mrs. Hammelman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from George Mason University (three years at Gonzaga University) and a Masters of Education from Longwood University. Her love of the St. John School Community goes back more than thirty-five years.
Mrs. Hammelman uses hands-on and traditional teaching methods to encompass the entire learning atmosphere in her classroom. She recognizes the individuality of each student and strives to bring out their unique creative natures. She is an “outside the box” kind of teacher.
Spanish PreK through Grade 8 – Elena Cutting
Mrs. Cutting, our Spanish teacher, is a native of Lima Peru, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Psychology, as well as a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. After working at pre-schools and elementary schools during her college years, she founded her own school Los Luceritos. After meeting her future husband in Peru, Elena immigrated to the US, and was married in St. John the Evangelist Church. Over the years Elena has held teaching and staff jobs in private and public schools in Texas and Virginia, including working in Special Education. For the last five years she has been a Spanish teacher in the Diocese of Arlington. In 2011, Elena completed work on a Master’s Degree in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Salamanca in Spain. This degree involved not only in-class study but extensive traveling to cultural and religious sites in Spain and Portugal. She and her husband have two children.
Music PreK through Grade 8 – Ceci Galvin
Ms. Galvin joined St. John in 2014. The Pre-School and Elementary lessons promote hands-on and explorative music. Students learn the fundamentals of music through speech, singing, movement, playing instruments, and creating their own music. Middle School students take the fundamentals and progress to composition, music theory, career possibilities, history and how music can play a role in their faith and prayer lives. In addition to general music classes, students have the opportunity to participate in Band and Orchestra as extra-curricular activities.
Technology PreK through Grade 8 – Debbie Gaiser
Ms. Gaiser holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Florida. She spent 10 years in industry, 9 years as the Technology Coordinator for Linton Hall School in Bristow and 2 years as the Director of Information Technology for the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. She joined St. John School in 2014.
The technology program at St. John School encompasses keyboarding, Microsoft Office, Computer Coding, many educational software programs, along with webpage development and digital citizenship. Classroom curriculum is incorporated into the technology projects whenever possible. Students also have access to a mobile iPad and laptop cart.
Ms. Gaiser believes in empowering her students to understand, and embrace, technology not only as a tool for academic success, but also encourages her students to become responsible digital citizens.
Art Kindergarten through Grade 8 – Morgan Kruck
Ms. Kruck joined the St. John School faculty in 2016. She holds a BA in Art Education from James Madison University, with minors in Special Education and Art History.
The art program at St. John School encourages students to embrace and develop their creativity through the use of differing mediums, processes and technologies. Through art, students develop critical thinking skills. They learn perseverance, collaboration, focus and accountability.
Ms. Kruck believes in Pablo Picasso’s words, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”, and knows that art production and art appreciation in elementary and middle school, if nurtured, will produce a more creative, compassionate and engaged adult.
Grades Kindergarten through Grade 8 Reading Resource Teacher – Pam Heppard
Mrs. Heppard holds a BS in Elementary Education from Framingham State College and an MS in Reading Curriculum and Instruction from Old Dominion University. She is a former St. John’s preschool teacher.
Director of St. John Pre-School – Julie Copeland
Ms. Copeland is the Preschool Director and teaches a Pre-K class for 4 and 5 year olds. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, an M.S.Ed in Early Education from Old Dominion University, a State of Virginia teaching license, and an Advanced Catechist Religious Certificate. She has been part of the St. John community since 1994.
Her role encompasses overseeing administrative issues, and setting curriculum goals for the learners. This center-based Preschool and Pre-K program is full of experiential learning opportunities. The academic, spiritual and physical well-being of the individual student is daily considered and supported. Specific hands-on activities in fine and gross motor development are encouraged. This whole child approach nurtures and scaffolds each student from one level of learning to the next. The love of Jesus Christ is at the heart of St. John Pre-School learning and teaching.
Preschool (4 Day) – Jamie McCoy