New Faculty & Staff Boast Impressive Education, Resumes, and Experiences

We are so pleased to have these very talented and impressive individuals join the Covenant community for the 2019-20 school year!
Several of these new faculty and staff members hold Masters degrees or PhDs and have a wide range of experiences in their respective fields. These new members of our community come to Covenant with real expertise and experiences that will continue to inspire and encourage our students to grow, learn, and achieve great things in their chosen fields and interests. Below are a handful of our new faculty and staff biographies and pictures. 
Jason Bennett, M.S.
Director of Athletics
Jason Bennett comes to Covenant from Chapelgate Christian Academy in Marriottsville, MD where he has been the Director of Athletics and Student Activities for the past 20 years. He brings a wealth of experience in private school athletics and has been a highly respected coach and administrator in the MIAA and IAAM, two premier private school leagues in the Baltimore area.  Mr. Bennett has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Houghton College and a Master of Science in Special Education from the College of St. Rose.  
Christopher Campanelli, M.A.
Upper School English
Chris Campanelli comes to us after teaching English for the past year at the Miller School of Albemarle. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of British Columbia, Regent College. He was awarded the 2017 Luci Shaw Creative Writing Prize and published several poems and articles in Regent College’s Academic Journal, Crux, including an essay on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Mr. Campanelli has also served as a chaplain at the UVA Hospital, a youth mentor for Abundant Life Ministries, and is a performing musician. He is excited and well equipped to take an integrated approach to literature as he teaches the Grade 11 Humanities: Western Literature courses.
Matt Dakolios, M.Ed.
Upper School Mathematics, Athletics & Student Life
Mr. Dakolios is coming from John Paul II Catholic School in Ridgeland, SC, where he has been a teacher, coach, and administrator for the past five years.  He earned a B.S. in Education from Miami University (Ohio) and a Master of Education degree from the University of Virginia. He brings 13 years of teaching experience and has taught all levels of Middle and Upper School Mathematics, from Pre-algebra through AP Calculus and AP Statistics. He has received multiple major awards for his outstanding teaching and coaching, including being recognized as the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year. In addition to teaching mathematics, Mr. Dakolios also served as Athletic Director and Dean of Students while at his previous school. He will be teaching AP Calculus AB and Honors Calculus, as well as helping with athletics and student life.  
Melinda Davey 
Physical Education & Health 6
The Lord has shown great generosity to Covenant by leading Ms. Davey to our team, as she will not only be teaching Physical Education and Health to our 6th graders, she will also be serving as the Assistant to the Head of Middle School.  It is uncommon to find someone who is a veteran Physical Education/Health teacher with extensive experience as an office manager! A graduate of both Tennessee Temple University and Word of Life Bible Institute, Ms. Davey has twelve years of experience in Christian Education, working in schools in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.  She is the proud mother of four adult children, ages 19 to 26. In addition to photography and serving others, one of Ms. Davey’s passions is volleyball. So, we are delighted that she will be serving as our middle school volleyball coach!
Catherine DiLoreto 
2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. DiLoreto joins the Covenant community from Loudoun Country Day School in Leesburg, VA where she most recently served as a 2nd grade teacher for the past 3 years and as a 1st grade teacher for 11 years prior. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of West Georgia where she studied Early Childhood Education and has nearly 30 years of elementary teaching experience. Additionally, she has served as Math Curriculum Coordinator, Grade Level Chair in 2ndgrade, and was on the Board of Trustees at Saint James Preschool in Leesburg, VA. We are thrilled to have Mrs. DiLoreto join our expanding second grade team this year.
Thomas Fickley, M.A.
Upper School English
Thomas Fickley has been teaching and coaching at the Miller School of Albemarle since 2012, and was also a department chair for the past four years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from George Mason University and a Master of Arts in History from Missouri State University. He has a deep understanding and love for history, theology, and English literature, and is excited for the opportunity to integrate these areas of expertise. He will be teaching the Modern Literature and Honors Modern Literature courses in Grade 9, and will be a co-teacher for the Senior Thesis course.
Ralston Hartness 
American History 6 & Introduction to the Classical World 6
Mr. Hartness will be new to our classrooms, but he is not new to Covenant.  He served spectacularly during the 2018-2019 school year as our Middle School Chaplain.  Mr. Hartness understands the opportunity and benefits of private school education as he is a proud alumnus of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN.  Mr. Hartness was a Johnson Scholar at Washington & Lee University where he studied Religion with a minor in Education, earning licensure in History and Social Sciences.  Mr. Hartness also completed several courses in Classics at Washington & Lee. This, coupled with his coursework in History make him well-suited to lead our new Introduction to The Classical World course. Mr. Hartness is a true scholar, a talented musician, and an avid outdoorsman.  His ability to build effective mentoring relationships with students is evident in his role as chaplain this past year.
Julia Hixson, M.A.
Director of College Advising

Mrs. Hixson will be joining Covenant as Director of College Advising.  She brings to the ARC a wealth of experience from her 12 years in education including teaching both French and English and most recently serving as the Assistant Director of College Placement at her former school.  As a Covenant alumna, she possesses a deep love and knowledge of our school community. Mrs. Hixson earned a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Mary Washington, a Master of Arts in Education from Wake Forest University, and a college counseling certification from Rice University. 
Jakob Ingersoll
Upper School Spanish
Jakob Ingersoll comes to us from Fork Union Military Academy where he taught Spanish for three years and was the head coach for varsity soccer. Mr. Ingersoll graduated Magna Cum Laude from Liberty University earning a B.S. in Spanish/Education. He has extensive travel experience in Latin America, including work with Inca Link International in Peru. His wife Jessica is a behavior analyst at the Virginia Institute of Autism, and they are expecting their first daughter was born in August. Mr. Ingersoll will be teaching our Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Accelerated Spanish 2 courses. 
Andrew Irving
Upper School Environmental Science
Andrew Irving is a graduate of Grove City College, earning a B.S. degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Biblical and Religious Studies. He was also a teaching assistant while at Grove City College for courses in Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Chemistry for Engineers. Mr. Irving moved to Charlottesville in 2016 to participate in the Fellows Leadership Development Program, and has worked for the past three years as a Laboratory Specialist for the Division of Infectious Disease and International Health at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine. Mr. Irving will be teaching Environmental Systems and Honors Environmental Seminar.
Sydney Koerber 
Math 6 and Accelerated Math 6
Mrs. Koerber and her husband, Ben are coming to Charlottesville from Grove City, PA where Mrs. Koerber was serving as a mechanical engineer for Braho Machinery.   Her heart’s desire, however, has been to transition to the classroom. Mrs. Koerber earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College, where she also was a member of the Women’s Soccer team.  Her leadership skills were so apparent that she was asked by her coach to serve as an assistant for the past two years! Sydney also brings experience working with youth at Summer’s Best Two Weeks camp, where she has served as both a counselor and event coordinator.  Sydney brings great enthusiasm, public speaking skills (she was a regional champion in high school!), mentoring skills, and Math knowledge to the classroom. If her practice lesson during the interview process was any indication, our sixth graders are in great hands!
Dr. Ben Lee, Ph. D. 
Earth Science 8 & Computer Science 8
It makes perfect sense that Dr. Lee, who holds degrees in both engineering and English, would be joining the faculty at a school like ours, where the rich, integrated study of multiple subjects is one of the hallmarks of a CLAS education.  Dr. Lee is a true scholar, as evidenced by the fact that he was valedictorian of his class during his undergraduate program at North Carolina State University, before eventually earning his Doctorate in English at the University of Virginia. Dr. Lee most recently served on the faculty at The Regents School of Charlottesville. In Dr. Lee’s own words from his application, “the Christian tradition shows us that schools can and should see different subjects as connected to a coherent whole.” Dr. Lee will surely do a wonderful job exploring the beauty of the natural world, and its creative order, while finding beautiful ways to connecting the students’ understandings to truths they are learning in their other subjects. 
Caroline Mann, M.A.
English 6: American Voices & Logic 7 
Mrs. Mann comes to us from the Manhattan High School for Girls in New York City.  She is a graduate of Wake Forest University (English, Religious Studies) and the Teachers College at Columbia University (English Education).  Mrs. Mann moved to New York City in hopes of becoming a comedy writer, before transitioning to education as a result of her experience teaching an enrichment course at a small private school.  She has been a member of the renowned improv troupe, The Upright Citizens Brigade. (Being able to think on one’s feet well, with humor, is a great skill for any middle school teacher!) Mrs. Mann was married this summer to Stephen, who will be starting a program at The Darden School this fall. Mrs. Mann spoke throughout her interview process about her calling to work specifically with 6th graders, so we are delighted to welcome her!
Meredith McClellan
Mrs. McClellan joins The Covenant School faculty this year as an assistant. She is the mother of 3 Covenant children and a former substitute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Comparative Literature from The University of Georgia. She worked as a 1st grade teacher in Georgia before relocating to Virginia where she worked as a kindergarten teacher in Orange. In her free time, Mrs. McClellan likes to be active and is an avid runner and tennis player as well as a certified Pilates instructor. We are looking forward to having Mrs. McClellan join the Covenant faculty. 
Dr. Daniel Moore, Ph. D. 
Latin 1A & Latin 1
After a decade of teaching Classics at The University of Virginia, James Madison University, and The University of Tennessee, Dr. Moore was ready to find a spot to more openly integrate his faith and his vocation.  He is also looking forward to working with younger scholars. We are delighted to give him this opportunity! This will not be his first time working with adolescents, as he has served previously as an instructor at the Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy. Dr. Moore and his wife Jocelyn are the proud parents of three daughters, ages four and under.  Dr. Moore is passionate about folk music (he plays multiple stringed instruments) and baseball. He is also passionate about setting high standards for his students but coupling this with great levels of encouragement and patience. This sounds like the perfect recipe for working with middle school students.
Jane Schmidt
Spanish Teacher
Ms. Schmidt will be returning to the Covenant school as the PK through 5th grade Spanish teacher after attending as a student from Kindergarten through 12th grade. After her time at Covenant she attended the University of Richmond where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies with minors in Linguistics and Luso-Brazilian studies. She has taught elementary English in Granada, Nicaragua and received her TESOL certification in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Schmidt is passionate about leading worship and has led as a student at Covenant, through InterVarsity in college, and at churches both in Richmond and abroad. We are excited to add another Covenant School alum to our faculty. 
Angela Taylor
Pre-Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Mrs. Taylor comes to Covenant from Park Street Christian School where she served as the Preschool Director for 20 years. Additionally, she maintained the role of Lead teacher in a 4-year-old classroom within the program. In her former administrative role, she oversaw the development of Christian curriculum that supports STEAM goals. Mrs. Taylor has over 25 years of ongoing professional development in the areas of early childhood. She is passionate about literature, nature, and outdoor activities. We are excited for her to join our primary team as the Teaching Assistant in our Pre-Kindergarten class.
Jesse Womble 
World Geography & Governments 7 and Current Events/Academic Team
Mr. Womble joins us from the mission field where, for the past two years, he has served with Cru in Senegal on the west coast of Africa and multiple nations in the Middle East.  His experiences will be so valuable as he engages his students with ideas around culture and other elements of geography. Mr. Womble graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Political Science, so he is in an excellent position to guide his students in the courses he is leading.  Mr. Womble has worked with youth at The YMCA of Raleigh and Camp Willow Run in his native state of North Carolina. (Fun fact, he was a fellow counselor with our very own Art teacher, Ms. Grace Breeding!) His supervisors during his time in the mission field raved about his servant-hearted leadership, his ability to build relationships, and his fantastic character. We are delighted to have Mr. Womble bring these gifts to our middle school community. 

The Covenant School

Birdwood Campus | Lower School | Pre-K–Grade 5 |
1000 Birdwood Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 | 434.220.7309

Hickory Campus | Middle and Upper School | Grades 6–12 | 175 Hickory Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 | 434.220.7329
Located in Charlottesville, VA, The Covenant School is a non-denominational, private, Christian day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, visual and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.