Upper School Newsletter - August 26, 2020
Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year
Please be sure to take care of all necessary school work, textbook purchases and our Health Pledge this week. You may access this information by using the Resource Board on Husky Hub — be sure to bookmark the direct link! Please pay special attention to the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile.
Please remind your children to check their Flint Hill email account multiple times a day starting tomorrow. This is a major source for communication. Class schedules will be released in Husky Hub on Thursday, August 27th.
Role Changes, New Faculty and Staff and Departures
While we previously shared this information in the final newsletter of the school year, we want to re-share information about the new faculty and staff joining us this year with many new families who became part of our community during the summer.
Christine Allred – Upper School English Teacher – began her career in the classroom at Harvard, where she held a joint appointment in the History and Literature and Expository Writing Departments and received the Derek C. Bok Certificate of Distinction in teaching. She is delighted to return to the classroom as a member of the English Department at Flint Hill. She holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from UCLA. In her years away from teaching, Christine has worked as a freelance writer and editor. Her clients have included the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Ballantine Books. She served on the executive committee of the board of the Learning Lab, an adult and family literacy nonprofit, and continues to volunteer for CommonSense American, a public policy non-profit that she and her husband Keith founded. Christine and Keith are the parents of three children. For the last 15 years, their primary parenting strategy has been to run cattle and ride cutting horses just outside of Boise, Idaho. Although she misses their western life, Christine has always wanted to live in the D.C. area. She manages her nostalgia for mucking stalls and bucking hay by biking the W&OD Trail and visiting the National Gallery of Art.
Elizabeth Anderson – Upper School History Teacher – has lived in the D.C. area all her life, primarily Montgomery County, Maryland, and is moving to Vienna, Virginia now. She is a graduate of Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Soviet Studies and has a Master’s in international relations from Georgetown University. She worked for the National Security Agency as a Soviet analyst and moved to teaching after her two daughters were born. She comes from a family of teachers – her mother was an art history teacher and her father was a university professor. She has two daughters: Keegan, who is a graduate of American University and a law enforcement officer, and Tierney, a graduate of West Chester University, who is starting a Ph.D. program in physical therapy, in the fall, at Drexel University. Elizabeth previously taught at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and for the past six years at Sandy Spring Friends School. She loves to travel. Countries she has visited include Vietnam, China, Egypt, Italy, Ireland and the Galapagos Islands, and several of those trips were with students. In her free time, she loves to read, bike, run and, the number one activity she plans to do after the pandemic is over - trapeze! She took classes for many years and would really like to get back to it.
Michael Anderson – Upper School English Teacher — has been teaching English since 2005. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree from the University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. in English from Southern Methodist University. He has taught at institutions as varied as SMU, Northern Virginia Community College, and the American Military University. A specialist in medieval literature and English composition, Dr. Anderson is excited to join the Flint Hill community and share his love for literature and writing with his students. He lives in Alexandria with his wife, two kids, and small yappy dog.
Nicholas Bennett – Upper School Math Teacher – is thrilled to be joining Flint Hill. He grew up in West Michigan and graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and psychology. He began his teaching career in Virginia and then transitioned to Washington, D.C., where he spent nine years teaching a variety of subjects including AP Calculus AB/BC, Algebra 2, and more at The School Without Walls. In 2017, he and his family returned home to West Michigan for several years, only to find out how much they missed being in Northern Virginia. His teaching philosophy: “Every classroom has its own unique community of individuals; my role as the educator will be to assist each child in becoming their very best by developing both their potential as learners and individuals. I believe, given the opportunity, all students can be successful.”
Joelle Cheng – Upper School English Teacher – is a firm believer that school is more than just a building where knowledge is disseminated. School is where young children become holistic young adults. Entering her fourth year of teaching high school English, Joelle has a passion to not only instill a (dying) love of reading in her students but also equip them with the necessary verbal and written communication skills students will need as they venture out in life. With a background in cognitive science from UC Berkeley and a master’s in education from Harvard, Joelle feels that she has a unique perspective on language and communication that she is eager to share with her students. Lastly, as a native Californian, she is excited to experience all that the East Coast has to offer.
Natalie Conrad – Upper School Counselor — has returned to her passion for working with high school students after choosing to temporarily put her career aside to help raise her family and be an active volunteer at her children's elementary school. Natalie previously worked as a secondary school counselor at Palisades High School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Daniel Boone Jr/Sr High School in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and Ossining High School in Westchester County, New York. She also spent time as an academic advisor at Monroe College in the Bronx, New York, and as a mobile therapist in New York and Pennsylvania. Along the way, Natalie coached high school field hockey. Most recently, she worked as a substitute teacher and counselor in Fairfax and Loudoun County public schools. Natalie moved to Northern Virginia in 2015 with her husband and three children. She loves spending time with her family and pets, taking bike rides and reading. Natalie has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science in counselor education from Marywood University, Pennsylvania.
Greg Fuller – Upper School History Teacher – Greg’s journey to the professional studies of history was a career path he never thought of when he left high school. Interestingly, it was the theory of justice that settled on his mind. However, as it was, destiny had other plans for his professional development. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree, MAT in History, from Rutgers University. As he shared when he visited our school, “I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to capture and nourish the young minds of our and of future generations to be better citizens of this one planet.” An experienced teacher, Greg has taught at the middle school, high school, and university levels, including Atlanta Metropolitan State College; Clark University; Georgia State University; The American School Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico; and Shipley School. Greg loves traveling and interacting with different cultures and people, and he has lived in several countries including Jamaica and Mexico and moved back to the United States in 2017. In his free time, he also enjoys running, soccer, and doing his weekly podcast on poverty and homelessness, but his biggest passion is reading, which he shares with his wife and four children: Chasina, Gabrielle, Jose and Romina.
Javanese Hailey – Upper School Math Teacher – is a New York native who graduated from Colby College, with a bachelor’s in sociology, followed by Lesley University with a master’s in education. “The 2020-2021 school year will be my 18th year teaching math – 17 years have been spent teaching middle school math, and this will be my first year teaching high school. I have an 8-year-old daughter who spreads light and glitter wherever she goes. 🙂 Some of my hobbies include gardening, baking, and race training. I’m super excited to be a part of the Flint Hill family, and I’m looking forward to having an awesome and exciting learning experience with your family.”
Miles Henderson – All-School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator – was born and raised here in Northern Virginia. At George Mason University, he studied foreign languages and education. He has previously worked as a substitute teacher and a tutor, as well as a volunteer for The Trevor Project’s advocacy team. Working with the Trevor Project encouraged him to find work related to equity and inclusion in education. He is very excited and eager to join the Flint Hill Community, and he hopes to see everybody in person this fall.
Vicki Knickerbocker – Grades 7-12 Innovation Department Chair and Middle/Upper School Computer Science/Robotics Teacher – is a D.C. area native. After graduating from the University of Maryland, she began a career in video production, working at a local PBS station and production houses in the metro area. From there, an opportunity at a local school system gave rise to a new adventure as a communications lead and an opportunity to teach adults and children. Teaching was Vicki’s “Ah-ha!” moment. She moved to a position at a local independent school and spent the next 15 years building a flagship STEM program, serving as the technology lead, supporting the marketing team, providing training and support to faculty and, most importantly, sharing her love of learning and all things STEM with her students. A tinkerer by nature and academic explorer, Vicki is excited to join Flint Hill’s family.
Kimberly Lowinger – Upper School Math Teacher – attended the Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore, before pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics at Amherst College. Since graduating in 2006, she has taught mathematics and chemistry to middle and upper school students in independent schools in Connecticut and Virginia. Most recently, Kimberly taught at Oakcrest School in Vienna, where she was department chair and taught AP Statistics and AP Calculus. Kimberly was a sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta, the school’s mathematics honor society and moderator of the chess club. Kimberly enjoys hiking and tai chi. She resides with her husband Daniel, a Chinese teacher, in Falls Church, Virginia.
Khalil Malik-Abdul – Upper School English Teacher – has an M.S. in technology management from Columbia University and a B.A. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is very excited to join the Flint Hill School community, where he will be teaching English I Honors and English II. Before joining Flint Hill, Khalil worked as a teacher and coach at Norfolk Academy (VA), the Westminster Schools (GA), Poly Prep Country Day School (NY), Newark Academy (NJ), and, most recently, the Langley School (VA). Last summer, Khalil and his family returned to his hometown, Washington D.C., after graduating from Columbia University’s M.S. Technology Management program. While studying at Columbia University, he focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the transformative power of digital technology in schools. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. He was a varsity wrestler at the College of William and Mary (“Go Tribe!”) and at UNC-Chapel Hill (“Go Heels!”). He and his partner, Susan, are parents to a wonderful five-year-old daughter, Ava.
Blair McVoy – Upper School Computer Science and Robotics Teacher – graduated from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education with a degree in Youth and Social Innovation. Her professional experience has largely been in out-of-school learning environments, working with middle school, high school, and college-age youth in project-based learning programs that build skills in computer science, digital arts, audio/video production, electronics, 3D modeling and more. Her work has also focused heavily on mentoring and community building, looking for ways to expand educational opportunities outside of the classroom. She believes that the most enriching educational experiences are ones that give students authentic problems to solve and opportunities to show off their skills. Blair is excited to bring her passion for interdisciplinary, project-based learning to the Innovation Department at Flint Hill.
Andrew Tran – Upper School Chemistry Teacher – graduated from the College of William & Mary with his B.S. in Chemistry and is currently finishing his M.Ed and M.S. from the University of Maryland University College and Montana State University, Bozeman, respectively. He began his teaching career as a long-term sub at the Congressional Schools of Virginia, teaching middle school science. His first full year of teaching was at Green Hedges School, teaching middle school math and serving as the school’s technology integration specialist. In addition, he taught summer school courses at Commonwealth Academy, specifically supporting students with the processing, executive functioning, and reading challenges. With a desire to return to the science classroom, Andrew found himself at the McLean School in Potomac, Maryland, teaching eighth grade physical science and as a robotics teacher/coach. He most recently served on the Senior Leadership Team as the science department chair, overseeing the entire K-12 science program through hiring, funding, curriculum development, teacher support, and summer STEM program coordinator.
Elizabeth Van Lieshout – Upper School Math Teacher – joins us from Loyola Academy in Chicago, where she taught AP Statistics for the past seven years. She is relocating to the area to be closer to two of her adult children, Martha and Nick. Her third child, Emma, lives and works in Boston. Liz has been in teaching since 2003, first as a long-term substitute and then full-time for the last nine years. In her last position, Liz introduced students to Math Modeling competitions and formed the Math Modeling Club, with over 25 students of all abilities and ages competing in 3 or 4 competitions per year. Liz graduated from the University of Michigan, with an undergraduate in statistics, and the University of Chicago with a master’s in statistics. Prior to teaching, she worked for over 13 years in the telecommunications industry in business research. Liz’s passions are statistics, teaching, gardening and reading. You may find her on any weekend in a garden, working or walking.
We would also like to note faculty and staff who are taking on new roles this year:
Maia Schmidt — 7-12 English Department Chair
Riki Weeks — 7-12 Math Department Chair
Kasey Lynn — Junior Class Dean
Nate Green — MS/US TIS and Innovation Teacher (no longer serving as an advisor)
Finally, we’d like to extend our best wishes to faculty and staff who departed over the summer — Director of Facilities Dennis Giuliani, Manager of Student Transportation and the Online School Store Sharon Giuliani, Fitness and Strength Coach Pete Salvano and Upper School English Teacher and Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach Melissa Raeder. Each of these individuals made an incredible impact on Flint Hill, and I hope you will join us in wishing them well in their future endeavors.
Questions about school supplies? Lunch? Transportation? Check out the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile on the Resource Board!
Are you ready for the new school year? We’ve been making continuous updates to our Preparing for the 2020-21 School Year tile, on the Resource Board, to help you get ready and stay abreast of changes and preparations we are making due to COVID.
You may access checklists by division by clicking on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile on the Resource Board of Husky Hub.
To access the Resource Board, visit www.flinthill.org/app (be sure to bookmark this link!), and log in with your username and password. Once you’ve logged in, click on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile. The tile will remain accessible through the start of the new school year.
Thursday, September 3
For students who will need to keep medication on campus during the school year, we will have a medication drop-off day on Thursday, September 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Upper School Campus.
Families will pull into the circle, and a nurse will come to your car to collect the medication and the appropriate forms. As a reminder, all prescription medication must be accompanied by the physician's order on the Medication Authorization Form, which must be completed and signed by the prescribing physician. All medication must have the pharmacy label on it.
All over-the-counter medication must be accompanied by the Medication Authorization Form and must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian. The medication must be in the original packaging and must be administered according to the package instructions, including the time and route to be administered.
If you are unable to come to the School on the medication drop-off day, please call to schedule an appointment with one of the nurses prior to the start of school.
First Week of School
Information regarding the first week of school is now available on the Resource Board under the Preparing for the 2020-21 School Year tile. Please remember to send a lunch, with on-campus students when full-day classes begin, during the week of September 14.
Morning and Afternoon Carpool
On-campus students should plan to arrive on campus between 7:30–7:50 a.m., to avoid late arrivals. Students will be released from their final class of the day (period 5) when their ride has arrived in the Upper School circle. Every family was mailed carpool signs today. Families with multiple households were mailed signs to each address. Please display your carpool signs during both morning and afternoon carpool.
In response to feedback from families, we have made a few adjustments to the Upper School dress code for this unique school year. The Upper School dress code for the 2020-21 school year was created with comfort in mind. Our gender-neutral dress code permits casual pants, including jeans, and comfortable tops consisting of polo shirts, Oxford shirts, blouses, and sweaters as well as hooded sweatshirts. Students are also allowed to wear skirts and dresses.
The dress code must be respectful. No references to political affiliations, drugs, alcohol, weapons, sexually explicit or offensive content on clothing or school-related items will be permitted.
There are a few restrictions.
- No shorts
- No T-shirts
- No torn or ripped clothing
- Shoes must have backs (no slides, flip-flops, etc…)
- College sweatshirts are reserved for SENIORS ONLY as a senior privilege.
If you have specific questions, please contact Upper School Dean of Students Howard Chang at 703-584-2230.
Health Form Reminder
Reminder — all health form requirements must be entered into the Magnus Health system and approved before your child can attend school — virtually or on campus. Requirements must be entered/completed by a parent/guardian directly into Magnus.
Paper copies or scanned copies to the School will not be accepted.
Q&A Sessions for Parents
Prior to the week of student orientation, new parents are welcome to join me in a virtual meeting on Thursday, September 3, at 4 p.m., to discuss the start of the school year.
Q&A Sessions for Returning Parents
Prior to the week of student orientation, returning parents are welcome to join me in a virtual meeting on Friday, September 4, at 3 p.m., to discuss the start of the school year.
Upper School New Parent Q&A
Google Meet Code
Thursday, September 3, 4 p.m.
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Upper School Returning Parent Q&A
Google Meet Code
Friday, September 4, 3 p.m.
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Upper School Student Leadership Retreat — Virtual
Friday, September 4, 9 a.m.
September 8-11, 8:10-11:55 a.m.
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First Day of Classes — Full Day
September 14, 8:10 a.m.-2:55 p.m.
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