New leaders at the helm

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Eight local Catholic schools will have new leaders at the helm this school year. New principals will guide seven diocesan schools - St. Luke and St. John in McLean; Queen of Apostles in Alexandria; Holy Family in Dale City; St. James and Corpus Christi in Falls Church; and St. Timothy in Chantilly - and a new head of school will lead Oakcrest School in McLean, an independent Opus Dei Catholic high school.

Siena Academy in Great Falls is on the lookout for a new head of school to replace Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Janet Siepker, who directed the diocesan Montessori school since 2010. Father Alexander R. Drummond, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Great Falls, is the interim head of school.

Marie Como Bonard, principal of Corpus Christi School, was born in New York City. She earned a bachelor's in sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master's in business administration in accounting from George Washington University in Washington. She has taken graduate courses in education and behavior management from George Mason University in Fairfax and the University of Virginia. She is a certified public accountant and holds a certificate in elementary education.

Bonard has 11 years of teaching and seven years of substitute teaching experience in the diocese, as well as nine years in administrative work.

Prior to her service in education, Bonard worked in Washington as administrative vice president for the Defenders of Wildlife, a part-time budget director for Common Cause and as a member of the board of directors for the American Rivers finance and development committees.

She served as a substitute teacher at Corpus Christi from 1994 to 2001, when she began teaching full-time. She became assistant principal in 2010 and has been interim principal since February.

Bonard is a parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church. She is married to Glenn and has two children. She replaces Al Garcia, principal of Corpus Christi since 2010.

Michael J. Bussman, principal of St. John Academy, was born in San Diego. He earned a bachelor's in economics from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, a master's in information systems for business from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a master's in education for Catholic school leadership from Marymount University in Arlington. Bussman has six years of teaching experience and six years of administrative service.

Bussman worked as a naval officer in Yokosuka, Japan, 2000-03; as lead navigator instructor at the Naval Academy, 2003-05; as a project manager for a company in Fairfax, 2005-07; followed by vocational discernment at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.

He comes to St. John from to Pope John Paul the Great High School in Dumfries, where he began teaching in 2009.

Bussman is a parishioner of St. John the Beloved Church in McLean. He replaces Peter Schultz, principal of St. John since 2005.

Sarah J. Chevlin, principal of Holy Family School, was born in Kansas City, Mo. She earned a bachelor's in liberal studies form San Jose State University in California and a master's in elementary education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. She holds a Virginia postgraduate professional certificate.

Chevlin has 20 years of teaching experience. She taught at Panama Canal College in Panama City, 1992-94; Southside Programs for Adult Education in Prince George County, 1995-98; and Pierce College in Lakewood, Wash., 1998-2001. She's taught for 11 years in Prince William County schools and has been the third-grade teacher at Holy Family for the past nine years.

Chevlin is a parishioner of Holy Family Church in Dale City. She is married to Michael, and the couple has two children. Chevlin replaces Joseph McLaughlin, principal of Holy Family since 2009.

Sister Margaret McCullough, principal of St. James, was born in Philadelphia. A member of the Sisters, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she earned her bachelor's in elementary education from Immaculata University in Immaculata, Pa., and a master's in theology from St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia.

Sister Margaret has 25 years of teaching experience and nine years of administrative experience. She's taught at several schools in Pennsylvania, including Holy Innocents in Philadelphia, St. Monica in Berwyn, Coatesville Catholic Area Elementary in Coatesville and Transfiguration in Philadelphia. She was an administrator at Queen of Peace School in Shamokin, Pa., 2003-06; and at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional in Coal Township, Pa., 2006-11. She was vice principal of St. James last year.

Sister Margaret is a parishioner of St. James Church in Falls Church. She replaces Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Nancy Kindelan, principal since 2008.

Joseph McLaughlin, principal of St. Timothy, was born in New York. He earned a bachelor's in business administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia, a master's in business administration in marketing from Binghamton University in New York and an education specialist degree from the University of Virginia. He holds a Virginia leadership and supervision certificate.

He has five years of teaching experience and four years of administrative experience. He taught at Amelia County High School in Amelia, as well as at Holy Family School in Dale City and St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School in Woodbridge. He was principal at Holy Family, 2009-12; and assistant principal of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2008-09.

McLaughlin also worked in the private sector for 18 years as a sales and marketing executive in various Fortune 500 firms.

McLaughlin and his wife, Lucille, have seven children and are parishioners of Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville. He replaces Patricia Kobyra, principal of St. Timothy since 2006.

Amy McNeill, principal of Queen of Apostles School, was born in Denver. She earned a bachelor's from Christendom College in Front Royal, a master's in elementary education from Duquesne University in Pittsburg and a master's in Catholic school supervision from Marymount.

She holds a Virginia teaching and supervision certificate.

McNeill brings 11 years of teaching experience and three years of administrative experience to Queen of Apostles. She has taught for eight years in the Arlington Diocese: at St. Luke School in McLean, 2000-03, and at St. Veronica School in Chantilly, 2004-11. Outside the diocese, McNeill taught at Carlow Campus School in Pittsburg and at Aquinas Academy in Bear, Del.

McNeill was assistant principal of St. Veronica, 2009-11, and she comes to Queen of Apostles from Annunciation in McSherrystown, Pa., where she served as principal last year.

McNeill is a parishioner of St. Raymond of Peñafort. She replaces Mark Moran, principal since 2010.

Mary Ortiz, head of school at Oakcrest School, was born in Weymouth, Mass. She earned her bachelor's in English and German from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and her master's and doctorate degrees in English from New York University. While completing her doctorate, she taught writing and composition at NYU and began a 15-year career of developing supplementary educational programs for girls throughout the United States.

She was a college counselor and director of student life at Montrose School in Medfield, Mass., a graduate teaching fellow in the Expository Writing Program at NYU, and a staff member and volunteer at Rosedale Achievement Center in the Bronx. Since 2009, she has served as assistant head of school at Oakcrest.

Ortiz replaces Ellen Cavanagh, head of school since 2001, who will serve as president of the Oakcrest board of directors.

Louis M. Silvano, new principal of St. Luke School, was born in Liverpool, England. He earned a certificate of education from Middlesex Polytechnic in London, a bachelor's of music from London University and a master's in human resources development form Marymount. He also took a course in school personnel administration at the University of Virginia.

Silvano has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator in the United States and Europe. He comes to St. Luke from St. Anselm's Abbey School in Washington, where he served as headmaster since 2008. Prior to St. Anselm's, he was head of school at Green Acres School in Rockville, Md., 2000-08; middle school head at The Langley School in McLean, 1997-2000; and assistant head of Green Hedges School in Vienna, 1994-97. He also taught social studies at The Langley School, and was an English teacher at Marymount Junior School in Arlington and at Marymount School in Paris.

Silvano and his wife, Jan, are parishioners of Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown and have two children. He replaces Mark Cosenza, principal of St. Luke since 2011.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012