Saint Rita Catholic School

In the Classical Tradition
Preschool - Grade 8
"The soul of education is the education of the soul"

Faculty & Staff


Rev. Christopher Christensen

Pastor

Rev. Christopher Christensen, was born in Oak Harbor, WA and grew up in a Navy family. After spending time with his family in Washington, Florida, California, and Japan, he finally moved to Northern Virginia, where his family still resides. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School in Woodbridge for middle school and went on to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria (2002). He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 with majors in Philosophy and Japanese language, and was   commissioned as a Naval Officer through the NROTC Program. From 2006 to 2008, he served on the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) in Yokosuka, Japan as a Surface Warfare Officer. In 2008, he entered seminary for the Diocese of Arlington and spent 6 years at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Since his priestly ordination in June 2014, he has served at 3 parishes as Parochial Vicar – John the Apostle, Leesburg (June 2014 – Nov 2015), the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington (Nov 2015 – June 2020), and St. Leo the Great, Fairfax (June 2020 – June 2021). He arrived at St. Rita in June 2021. It is his first assignment as Pastor, and he is loving every minute of it!

frcc41@gmail.com

703-836-1640 ext 17

Rev. Nicholas Schierer

Parocial Vicar and 6th Grade Religion teacher

Rev. Schierer was born in Fairfax, VA, the third of 4 boys of Ann Schierer and the late Daniel Schierer.  Raised in Herndon, VA, he went to St. Joseph’s Elementary School and Paul VI Catholic High School (2005).  He studied at the University of Mary Washington (2009) where he double majored in History and Religion.  After graduation, Fr. Schierer worked for three years in the special events industry, as well as a long term substitute teacher and home care giver to his great Aunt.  He entered seminary in 2012.  He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, PA for Pre-Theology and attended the North American College for Theology.  Fr. Schierer was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ on June 9, 2018.  He served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Hope from 2018-2020.  He has been the parochial vicar at St. Rita’s since October 2020.

fatherschierer@gmail.com

703-836-1640 ext. 30

Mrs. Bethany Hamm

Principal

Mrs. Hamm is a Minnesota native.  She holds a B.A. in History from The College of William and Mary, an M.A. in Security Studies from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Marymount University.  She has always loved learning and has spent her life in the classroom, either as a student or a teacher.  She taught high school history for nine years before transitioning to law and then being a stay at home mom (where the clients were just as demanding, but they paid a lot less!).   She and her husband Paul have been St. Rita parishioners since they moved to Alexandria with their first baby eight years ago, and three of their children now attend St. Rita School as well.  Here’s hoping they don’t act up and get sent to the principal’s office!

Mrs. Hamm looks forward to another exciting year of learning and growing in Christ and thanks the entire St. Rita community for their prayers and support as together we raise up the next generation of saints!

principal@saintrita-school.org

703-548-1888 ext 24

Mrs. Caitlin Rockwell

Preschool Director

Mrs. Caitlin Rockwell, Preschool Director, has taught preschool for over twelve years in Alexandria, and looks forward to continuing the good works of Saint Rita Catholic Preschool!  After graduating from St. Lawrence University, Mrs. Rockwell began her career as a news producer for both PBS and NBC before starting her family and switching gears to focus on early childhood development. Since joining Saint Rita Preschool seven years ago, Mrs. Rockwell has helped develop the program’s curriculum and offerings, including the preschool’s Angels classrooms and after-preschool Lunch Bunch extension.  She loves the excitement that comes with being the Director of the Saint Rita Preschool community. When not on campus, Mrs. Rockwell enjoys tennis, running and volunteering within Alexandria. She lives in Rosemont with her husband, Christian, two teenage children and two rambunctious Goldendoodles.

preschooldirector@saintrita-school.org

703-548-1888 ext 16

Mrs. Josephine Cunningham

Director of Admissions and Development.

Mrs. Cunningham has been a part of the Saint Rita family for twenty years. She joined the Saint Rita staff in January 2008. Prior to that as a parent, she served on the PTO board for two years, helping to build a school and parish community. She has two daughters, Sarah, a graduate of the  University of Limerick in Ireland, and Niamh, a recent graduate of James Madison University, VA. Both girls are graduates of Saint Rita.  Josephine is working closely with the Saint Rita School and Parish community to spread the good news about our school. She is also working with our very active PTO and Alumni groups to secure additional funding to support school upgrades and our scholarship program. As a parent, volunteer, and staff member at Saint Rita School she truly believes that we can achieve great things if we work together with one goal which is to “Prepare our children for this world and the next.” 

jcunningham@saintrita-school.org

703-548-1888 ext 32

Mrs. Noemi Neville

School Secretary

Mrs. Neville  has been a member of Saint Rita Parish for 13 years, and all three of her children attended Saint Rita School, K-8th grade. She loves the commitment every family brings to the school, and the joy with which everyone serves. The Neville family truly enjoys the outdoors in their rustic cabin in West Virginia, especially around the holidays.

office@saintrita-school.org

Miss Mary Kate Vander Woude

School Nurse

Miss. Vander Woude,  is so excited and grateful to be joining the St. Rita family for another year! Mary Kate is from Nokesville, Virginia, and was very blessed to receive an excellent Catholic education at Seton School and then at Christendom College, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Philosophy and a minor in Theology. After college, Mary Kate went on to nursing school in northern Virginia and became a Registered Nurse. She then served for two years as a FOCUS Missionary at the University of Connecticut, mentoring and discipling the female college athletes there. After UConn, she spent the next three years in Colorado with the FOCUS International Missions Department, coordinating and leading college students on international mission trips to third world counties, serving the poorest of the poor. After spending the majority of her last year in Missions running medical missions in multiple countries, Mary Kate decided the Lord was calling her back into full-time medicine. She then worked as a Registered Nurse at a Level 1 trauma hospital outside of Denver, before making the move back to her home state and joining the St. Rita team as the school nurse. She is convinced she has the best job (and the best stories!) and is looking forward to another year! Some of her favorite things include iced coffee, peppermint ice cream, her extra-large family, Mother Teresa and all modern day saints!

mvanderwoude@saintrita-school.org

Miss Haley Lange

Kindergarten Teacher & Lower School Team Lead

Miss. Lange is excited to start her third year teaching kindergarten at St. Rita School. Miss Lange recently graduated from George Mason University earning her M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Elementary Education. Miss Lange is a local, having attended Catholic elementary and high school here in the Diocese of Arlington. Before coming to St. Rita’s, Miss Lange previously worked for 10 years as a teacher’s aide and extended day director at St. John Academy. Some things Miss Lange enjoys in her free time are going on hikes, crafting, and spending time with her nine beautiful nieces and nephews. The thing Miss Lange loves most about teaching in a classical Catholic school is that she can integrate Jesus’ life, the lives of saints, and scripture in all academic subject areas she teaches.

hlange@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Dana Smullen

Kindergarten Instructional Aide

Mrs. Smullen  begins her fourth year at St. Rita School.  Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she is a graduate of Miami University and spent more than ten years on Capitol Hill working on health care and education policy for Members of Congress in the Ohio Congressional delegation and on several political campaigns.  She lives in Alexandria with her husband and two children who are both students at St. Rita School.

dsmullen@saintrita-school.org

Miss Margaret McLaughlin

1st Grade Teacher

Miss. McLaughlin is a recent Elementary Education graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she gained significant experience student teaching at the first grade level. Having grown up in Falls Church, she has been a lifelong parishioner at St. John the Beloved and attended diocesan schools at St. Catherine of Siena, St. James and St. John parishes before graduating from high school at Oakcrest School in Vienna. She is very excited to share her love of the Catholic faith, while fostering the nurturing learning environment that she experienced growing up in Catholic schools. She looks forward to meeting the St. Rita community and having a fruitful school year!

mmclaughlin@saintrita-school.org

Miss Jennifer Hwang

1st Grade Instructional Aide.

Miss. Hwang grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Public Policy and Anthropology. Prior to St. Rita’s, she worked as an instructional assistant at St. Veronica Catholic School and volunteered at St. Paul Chung Catholic Church. She is excited to continue learning how to educate the whole person at St. Rita’s and wants children to know and feel that they are loved. In her free time, Miss Hwang enjoys singing, cooking new pasta recipes with family and friends, and praying the Mass.

jhwang@saintrita-school.org

Miss Megan Rolla

2nd Grade Teacher

Miss. Rolla grew up in Scranton, PA and graduated from Christendom College with a B.A. in Philosophy.  She trained to become a Catechist of the Good Shepherd for Level I and II Atriums, where she worked at Saint Rita for many years before transitioning to the Second Grade classroom.   She loves literature, history, science, music, art and loves the outdoors.

mrolla@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Cindy Hart

2nd Grade Instructional Aide

Mrs. Hart studied French and math at UVA and received her Master’s in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. She and her husband have been members of St. Rita Church for over 30 years and are blessed to be the parents of eight, including six graduates of St. Rita School and two younger boys with Down syndrome. An active PTO and classroom volunteer while her children attended St. Rita, Mrs. Hart has more recently been immersed in the world of special needs, gaining a deep appreciation of the unique gifts and abilities of each child. Mrs. Hart loves big family meals, strong coffee, St. Teresa of Avila, and HGTV. She is delighted to be joining Miss Rolla and the second grade class for their exciting sacramental year!

chart@saintrita-school.org

Mr. Thomas McMullin

3rd Grade Teacher

Mr. McMullin is a graduate of Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. He is entering his ninth year as a classroom educator. Mr. McMullin is in his third year of teaching at St. Rita. He has also served as a teacher’s aide in a 4th/5th special education classroom, a professional child care worker, and a parish youth minister.

What excites me about teaching at St. Rita is the focus on teaching the whole person. Modern education often focuses too narrowly on the acquisition of knowledge and/or churning out industrious members of society. Our goal at St. Rita is to not only help the children to acquire knowledge and success, but also to inspire them to pursue virtuous lives. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Nothing is more important for the public wealth than to form and train youth in wisdom and virtue. Only virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

tmcmullin@saintrita-school.org

Miss Becky Walker

4th Grade Teacher

Miss. Walker is excited to be continuing at Saint Rita School.  She graduated from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Indiana, with a BA in Economics and English Writing, and with a minor in Film Studies.  Before coming to Saint Rita, Miss Walker worked at Saint William of York, the same school she attended from fourth through eighth grade and where her own mother teaches math.  Miss Walker loves the science fiction and fantasy genres, including books, movies, and television programs.  She enjoys creative projects, including crochet, sewing, and writing.  She aspires to dress as delightfully as Ms. Frizzle of Magic School Bus fame.  Her favorite part of teaching classically is getting to explore early technologies, such as radio, film, and the airplane, and their impact on the global community.

rwalker@saintrita-school.org

Miss Kristin Malcolm

Dean of Faculty, 5th Grade Teacher

Miss Kristin Malcolm, Dean of Faculty, 5th Grade Teacher. Miss Malcolm is eager to apply her faith in Christ, her love for classical education and pedagogy, and her care for students in her new role at St. Rita Catholic School.

Kristin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Politics. While attending Hillsdale she was a recipient of the George Washington Fellowship Scholarship, the leader of Hillsdale’s Young Life program, a member of Phi Sigma Tau Honorary, and an active volunteer with middle school students and the elderly. Since graduation, Kristin has served as Immanuel Lutheran School’s 5th Grade Homeroom Teacher, Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher, and 3rd and 4th Grade Latin Teacher. Her post-graduate classes at the Dominican House of Studies have taught her the joy and challenge that is Ecclesial Latin. Her time teaching at ILS has taught her faith, hope, and love—and the invaluable place of prayer in the life of a teacher and the life of the school.

Kristin is passionate about teaching children to know God and His world so that they can love God and his world. She cherishes simple joys and peaceful times with family and friends. Two of her favorite things are a good book and a good conversation. She also loves playing volleyball, the piano, and European board games.

kmalcolm@saintrita-school.org

Miss Laura Tillotson

6th Grade Core & 8th Grade Latin & Religion

Miss Laura Tillotson, 6th Grade Core, Latin 8, and Religion 8, is very excited to begin a new school year at St. Rita’s.  Having been classically educated herself, Miss Tillotson thrives on inspiring her students to seek what is true, good, and beautiful, and most importantly, to seek the source of truth, goodness, and beauty, which is God.  Miss Tillotson majored in theology at Christendom College and double minored in philosophy and in Classical and Early Christian Studies (Latin and Greek).  She has a special interest in medieval philosophy and history.  Always eager to learn more, Miss Tillotson audits theology and philosophy graduate classes at the Dominican House of Studies in her free time.  Miss Tillotson has been a volunteer youth minister, taught high school CCD, and also worked for Mother of Divine Grace School, tutoring high school students in religion, history, literature, paper writing, and Latin.  Miss Tillotson holds her Advanced Catechist Certification from the Arlington Diocese and her teaching certification through the Virginia Catholic Education Association.  She loves teaching at St. Rita’s because of the faith-filled community, traditional Catholic culture, and Christocentric philosophy of education she finds here!

ltillotson@saintrita-school.org

Miss Cristina Totanes

Preschool: Angels Lead Teacher

Miss Cristina Totanes, Angels Lead Teacher, is a product of Catholic school education in the Diocese of Arlington, having attended Saint Agnes School for PreK, Saint Charles School from kindergarten through eighth grade, and Bishop O’Connell for all four years of high school. During her school days, she often volunteered at Saint Charles School, where her mother was a teacher for 28 years. She helped teachers in the classrooms-setting up their rooms in the summer, reading to young children, and assisting with arts and crafts. It was during these volunteer opportunities that she discovered a love for working with young children, and she experienced a unique fulfillment in watching them grow, develop, and thrive.

After graduating from high school, she moved to Lugano, Switzerland and earned a BA degree in Communications and Media Studies with a minor in Marketing from Franklin University Switzerland. Other passions that Miss Totanes enjoys include working out, cooking, listening to music, and traveling to new countries.

ctotanes@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Renuka Carlitti

Pre-Algebra and Algebra Teacher

Mrs. Renuka Carlitti, Pre-Algebra and Algebra Teacher, is delighted to return for the 2022-2023 academic year because “St. Rita School is a unique place where we do God’s work with enthusiasm and gratitude and put God first in everything we do.” She has a genuine passion for education and is excited to help middle schoolers discover the elegance of math; it is the language of our digital world and possesses a unique beauty that affirms God’s handiwork. Mrs. Carlitti enjoys solving problems, working challenging puzzles, and applying meticulous, logical thinking to everyday life situations. She has a B.A. from the University of Rochester, a teaching license from the Virginia Catholic Education Association, and a catechist certificate from the Diocese of Arlington. She was recognized for her significant efforts to promote Catholic education, previously named the Diocese of Arlington’s Volunteer of the Year by the Bishop. Mrs. Carlitti and her husband, Rocco, have been Saint Rita parishioners for over 20 years and have 2 adult children who attended Catholic schools throughout their successful academic careers.

rcarlitti@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Aileen Warren

Pre-Algebra and 6th Grade Math Teacher

Mrs. Warren is a Florida native.  She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University, and a J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  She worked in several legal roles in the U.S. and abroad before settling down in Alexandria and becoming a stay at home mom. Mrs. Warren speaks Spanish fluently and enjoys traveling, cooking, and gardening in her free time. She looks forward to this new adventure and hopes she can instill a love of learning in her students.

awarren@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Holly Carroll

Science Teacher, EDC Director

Mrs. Holly Carroll, Science Teacher & EDC Director, is excited to begin another year of teaching at Saint Rita.  She holds an M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and a B.A. in Geography from Arizona State University.  Mrs. Carroll enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, white water rafting and reading historical fiction in her spare time. 

hcarroll@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Kaitlin Coleman

Art Teacher K-8

Mrs. Kaitlin Coleman, Art Teacher, was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area and was educated in the Arlington Diocese. She attended St. Bernadette’s in Springfield for elementary school and Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. She studied at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA for her undergraduate studies and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education.  The following year she did graduate work in special education while teaching at an arts based school in suburban Philadelphia. She later moved back home, and has been teaching at Angelus Academy in Springfield in a number of different roles, including fourth grade teacher, art teacher, and kindergarten aide. She is very excited to be able to split her time teaching Art at St. Rita and taking care of her young daughter at home – who will soon have a little sister arriving!  In addition to teaching, Mrs. Coleman enjoys working on her own art (her favorites are painting and charcoal), as well as reading and going to trivia with her friends.

kcoleman@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Sarah Greiner

Library, Latin and Grammar

Mrs. Sarah Greiner – Library, Latin and Grammar, comes to St. Rita from St. Paul’s Choir School, a small Catholic classical liberal arts boys school, where she taught French for two years. She had five years of Latin at the school she attended in Boston growing up and four of Greek. In college she majored in classics and religion. She has an M.A. in philosophy from Catholic University and has completed all the required work for her Ph.D. but for her dissertation, which is on θυμός in Aristotle. She has taught both Greek and philosophy at the college level and has recently completed two courses with Accademia Vivarium novum in Rome in teaching Latin as a spoken language. She works from time to time as a freelance editor for Catholic University Press. Mrs. Greiner is passionate about the faith, Paris, grammar, walking, and her family. She and her husband Jeremy have been parishioners at St. Rita for seventeen years, and their children, Seamus and Eamonn, attended St. Rita School.

sgreiner@saintrita-school.org

Ms. Carolyn Lundberg

Assistant Librarian

Ms. Carolyn Lundberg – Assistant Librarian, is so delighted to join the St Rita’s community – a parish and school that I’ve long admired as a resident of South Arlington, and where I’ve known several teachers through the years. In 2003 I started teaching in Arlington Diocese Catholic Schools as my second (and better ☺) career, after practicing law for 18 years. I loved being a Children’s Librarian and Assistant Librarian for K-8, teaching Junior Great Books classes for many years – especially at the 3rd and 4th grade levels, spending one year as a K-8 music teacher, co-directing middle school musicals for five years, and leading my former school’s charitable outreach programs. After semi-retiring in 2018, I’ve had the joy of teaching first grade CCD for the past four years, now heading into the fifth year of starting their formal religious formation.  St Rita’s style of academic focus and religious instruction puts it in the forefront of important educational trends within our diocese, and I look forward to contributing to the school and meeting your children!

clundberg@saintrita-school.org

Mr. Michael Taylor

K- 8 Music

Mr. Michael Taylor – K-8 Music, was born in London and has lived in the USA since twelve. During his high school years in North Texas, he won national MTNA awards as a pianist and composer, appeared on NPR’s From the Top, and was recognized as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English, where he also pursued music studies and instruction in composition at New England Conservatory. He is organist for St Luke’s/St Ignatius in Oxon Hill, MD, violinist for American roots band Kentucky Avenue, and freelances as a private teacher, pianist, composer, singer, and choral conductor. He looks forward to sharing his great love of music and beauty with the students at St. Rita.

mtaylor@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Elizabeth Hexter

Resource

Mrs. Elizabeth Hexter, Resource Teacher, has worked at Saint Rita School for the last several years in various capacities. Mrs. Hexter earned her B.A. in Government and her Master’s in Elementary Education from the College of William and Mary in 2014. She has taught reading through the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning, and worked as a reading interventionist at a school for children with dyslexia. Her favorite part of teaching is helping each child to see the strengths that God has given them. Mrs. Hexter’s hobbies include reading, singing, and traveling. She feels blessed to be continuing at Saint Rita School this year and see all the familiar smiles each morning as the kids walk in the door.

ehexter@saintrita-school.org

Miss. Monica Kolf

Dean of Students and Student Support

Miss. Monica Kolf, Dean of Students and Student Support, grew up in Rockville, Maryland and is a proud alumna of Oakcrest School. She holds an M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, where she focused her studies on the works of Aristotle and Aquinas. She brings with her nine years’ experience teaching middle school math and mentoring middle school and high school students. She has been both the Assistant Academic Director and the Assistant Character Director for the PALS Summer Program, which fosters academic and leadership skills for girls in Washington, D.C. She has also been the Executive Director of Shades Media Literacy Project, giving workshops to teens and parents regarding the influence of media on human identity and relationships. Miss Kolf is thrilled to be joining the Saint Rita’s community! She is passionate about helping each student become happy, healthy, and holy, and she believes the classical and faith-filled education at Saint Rita’s cultivates these characteristics beautifully. Miss Kolf is currently working toward certification as a Youth, Parent, and Family Coach. Here follows one of her favorite quotes: “I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.” George MacDonald

mkolf@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Molly Metzgar

Resource Teacher, Instructional Coach

Mrs. Molly Metzgar, Resource Teacher, Instructional Coach,  has taught in Catholic schools for 12 years and is excited to continue her work in Catholic education at St. Rita Catholic School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Reading and Language Arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She especially enjoys sharing her Catholic faith in the classroom and helping students appreciate the joys of reading.

mmetzgar@saintrita-school.org

Miss Elizabeth Vail

Good Shepherd Catechist Level 2

Miss Elizabeth Vail, Good Shepherd Catechist, graduated with a degree from the University of Virginia in 1999.  Miss Vail has worked in a variety of different positions in several different industries. She is pleased to be working again in a Catholic school, helping to build the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.

evail@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Lisa McNichols

K-8 P.E.

Mrs. McNichols -K-8 PE, has been part of the St. Rita community since 2005, when she and her husband John moved here right before their twins were born.  She is the mother of four girls who currently attend or have graduated from Saint Rita.  She loves the parish and school and has coached the St. Rita Track and Field and Cross Country Teams for twelve years.  A graduate of Manhattan College, Mrs. McNichols ran track and cross country in Division 1 and continues to run today.  A former child abuse prosecutor and graduate of Wake Forest University Law School, Mrs. McNIchols will be teaching PE and surreptitiously recruiting students to the track and field and cross country teams.

lmcnicols@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Monica Ciatti

Instructional Aide and Alumni Relations Coordinator

Mrs. Monica Ciatti, Instructional Aide and Alumni Relations Coordinator, received a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from the Pennsylvania State University. Post degrees, she enjoyed career coaching and alumni relations roles at Loyola College in Maryland, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland.  She especially appreciates the simple pleasures of baking, being outdoors biking and walking, and laughter at the family dinner table. She and her husband and their three children, who are students at St. Rita’s School, live in Alexandria. Continuous growth in the Catholic faith is an integral part of her life that she looks forward to bringing to the classroom daily.

mciatti@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Hannah Armstrong

Good Shepherd Catechist Level 1

Mrs. Hannah Armstrong, Good Shepherd Catechist Level 1, is excited to be part of the St. Rita community. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Hillsdale College, where she graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College.  She apprenticed in the Montessori method in Penzberg, Germany. She has taught various subjects and age groups over the course of the last 15 years, including English in Istanbul, Turkey, sailing in Long Island, New York, aquatics in Wyoming, and Celtic dance in Michigan. Having always believed hands-on learning is essential to an effective and joyful education, particularly in the younger grades, and that Christian teaching is an essential foundation of education, she recently felt compelled to complete training to be a Level 1 Catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shephard. Hannah and her husband have two children attending St. Rita School this year.

harmstrong@saintrita-school.org

Miss. Christine Hanley

7th Grade Teacher

Miss Christine Hanley – 7th Grade Teacher, holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University. The oldest of six children, she grew up as an unofficial life-long teacher, which ultimately inspired her to pursue education as a career; she has been teaching in various official capacities since 2016. Miss Hanley is lucky enough to speak German fluently (thanks, Mom!), and greatly enjoys reading, creative writing, singing, painting, and indulging in foods that are less than healthy for her. Most of all, though, she finds happiness in fostering joy for learning in her students, and in being able to do so through the most-important lens of her Catholic Faith. Miss Hanley is excited to join the St. Rita community, and asks that you pray for her as she begins this new journey – just as she will be praying for you!

chanley@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Alexsandra Oakes

Preschool: Angels Aide and Lunch Bunch Aide

Mrs. Alexsandra Oakes, Angels and Lunch Bunch Aide, is excited to be returning to St. Rita’s full time this year after taking some time off to care for her young daughter. She has worked at St. Rita’s for the past 12 years in many different capacities, including both instructional aide and lead teacher in preschool and primary grade classrooms. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Oakes lives in Arlington with her husband and one year old daughter.

Mrs. Melanie Worth

Preschool: Lambs Lead Teacher

Mrs. Melanie Worth, Lambs Lead Teacher, is returning for her seventh year at Saint Rita Preschool.  Mrs. Worth has mastered the routine of our oldest preschoolers, the Shepherds, over the years.  She brings many talents to the classroom including her love of musicMrs. Worth is a native of Athens, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Political Communications. She worked on Capitol Hill for seven years, as a scheduler and office manager for U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich. Currently, Mrs. Worth resides in Arlington with her husband, Brian, and two boys, Thad and Matthew, who have both graduated from St. Rita School.  Pasttimes include cooking, live music, cheering on her kids’ sports teams and loving her Labradoodle, Mr. Rodney Tumnus.

mworth@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Janey Connors

Preschool: M/W/F Lambs Aide

Mrs. Janey Connors, Lambs Aide, was born and raised in Northern Virginia.  She attended Mary Washington College and graduated with a degree in Psychology.  She took numerous art classes in college which sparked a talent she shares in the preschool!  Before joining the Preschool Team, Mrs. Connors worked for the Wolf Trap Foundation, The CloseUp Foundation, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Looking for something more creative, she started working in floral design and started her own small business which she ran for 13 years.  Mrs. Connors has taught both CCD and VBS at her local parish.  She is the middle child of five siblings.  She has been married for 27 years and resides in Alexandria with her husband and daughter.

jconnors@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Kristin Lowe

Preschool: T/TH Lambs Aide

Mrs. Kristin Lowe, T/TH Little Lambs Instructional Aide has been assisting in the St. Rita Preschool program for several years in different classrooms.  Mrs. Lowe received her BA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at the College of Charleston. She taught first grade in Fairfax, VA. During this time, she met her husband Christopher, a US Army Officer. It has been a whirlwind ever since! Mrs. Lowe has been married for seventeen years and has lived in five different states and nine different houses. She has two children attending Saint Rita and two have gone on to high school at Bishop Ireton. She has been a substitute teacher or volunteer in every school that her children have attended. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, college sports, spending time with family and friends, and walking her dog.

klowe@saintrita-school.org

Miss Taylor DeRosa

Preschool: Shepherds Lead Teacher & PM Kindergarten Aide

Miss Taylor DeRosa, Lead Shepherds Teacher and PM Kindergarten Aide, is thrilled to watch her students learn and grow everyday! Miss DeRosa is originally from upstate New York and now resides in Northern Virginia. After graduating with her B.S. in Human Services Management from Alfred State College, Miss DeRosa began teaching at the Alfred Montessori School where she spent 2 years. She also taught at Anchor Academy Preschool in Florida. In her free time, Miss DeRosa loves to spend time outdoors hiking and running. She also cherishes the time she can spend with her family and friends.

tderosa@saintrita-school.org

Mrs. Noely Estrada

Preschool: Shepherds Aide, Lunch Bunch Coordinator

Mrs. Noely Estrada, Shepherds Instructional Aide and Lunch Bunch Coordinator, has been with Saint Rita Catholic School for years, working with both the K-8 Extended Day and PreK Lunch Bunch programs. She has also served as a substitute teacher for all of the preschool’s age groups.

Mrs. Estrada came to the United States at the age of 16 from El Salvador, and has been in Northern Virginia for 27 years. She has been an active member of Saint Rita Catholic Church for over 25 years, and continues to live in the area alongside her husband, two daughters, grandson, and her pets. When not on campus, Mrs. Estrada enjoys puzzles, long walks, baseball games, making earrings and spending time with family and friends.

nestrada@saintrita-school.org