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New to the Nest 2023: Welcome to Our New Faculty and Staff


As we prepare to kick off the 2023-24 school year, we welcome these new members of the Ravenscroft faculty and staff.

A grid of photos showing new Lower School teachers

Lower School

Brittany Jackson joins our Kindergarten team as an assistant teacher. Brittany has a B.A. in communication arts from Johnson C. Smith University. She is currently pursuing dual licensure for special and general education at William Peace University and has experience working with children ranging from infants to elementary-aged students. She is excited to start her new journey with Ravenscroft and eager to grow and learn more about teaching. In her spare time, she loves to read, try new restaurants and play with her bully-pit puppy.

Carly Kvietok joins the Ravenscroft community as a Kindergarten assistant teacher. NC State’s Park Scholarship drew her to Raleigh from her hometown in Colorado to pursue a B.S. in fashion and textile design. Mid-pandemic, she pivoted toward her lifelong passion for education, earning an M.A.T. in elementary education from Western Governors University. She holds an Elementary Education license for teaching grades K-6 and has experience as a second-grade teacher as well as a student teacher in third grade. When she’s not at school, she loves reading her friends’ monthly book-club pick, listening to comedy and “Ologies” podcasts, playing with her tuxedo cat or trying a new restaurant with her fellow-foodie boyfriend! 

Jenna Linton joins the Lower School community as a fourth-grade teacher. She has been an elementary educator for nine years and comes with a passion for teaching. She earned a B.A. in psychology and an M.A.T. from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She holds a K-6 teaching license in both North Carolina and Connecticut and has experience in a variety of grade levels. Jenna’s education also includes an independent school background. She attended Staten Island Academy from Lower School through Upper School and is excited to get back to her roots in an independent school community. In her personal time, she enjoys taking yoga and barre classes, walking her Yellow Lab and spending time with her husband and soon-to-be one-year-old son.

Rebekah Prickett is so excited to begin her journey with the Ravenscroft community as a first-grade teacher! She graduated from Meredith College in 2019 with a B.S. in child development and a K-6 teaching license. She previously taught kindergarten and first grade in Wake County schools. When she is not in the classroom, you’ll probably find her traveling with her husband, trying out delicious restaurants, baking or practicing yoga.  

Jennifer Trevino joins Ravenscroft’s Lower School as the fifth-grade language arts teacher. She has 11 years of teaching experience and has spent the last seven years as a Lower School teacher at an IB school in New York City. She has a BFA in art education from the University of North Texas and an M.S. in classroom education and museum education from Bank Street College of Education. She has a passion for creativity and allowing students to find avenues of self-expression through their learning in the classroom. She is very excited to begin her new chapter in Raleigh after living in New York City for the past 15 years. She loves spending time with her husband and six-year-old daughter, Elia. She enjoys trying new restaurants and coffee shops as well as exploring museums and local parks. 

Christi Vereckey joins the Ravenscroft Lower School as a second-grade teacher. She has 31 years’ experience working with students in North Carolina. She is a team player and looks forward to working with the second-grade team as well as the entire Ravenscroft community. She earned a B.S. in child development and K-6 teaching license from Meredith College then returned to get an M.Ed. in reading. Being a lifelong learner, she also has her National Board Certification and co-owns a business specializing in educational camps for elementary students. In her personal time, she enjoys reading, walking on the beach, playing games with her family, attending Carolina Hurricanes and Carolina Panthers games with her husband, and cuddling with her dogs. She is excited to help her older daughter, Tori, move into Appalachian State University for her freshman year. Christi’s younger daughter, Katie, will be a sophomore at Apex Friendship High School and is excited to get her driver’s license this fall. 

Brandon Vick is thrilled to join the Ravenscroft community as the fifth-grade science teacher. He graduated from NC State and, after a brief stint working in finance, decided to follow his passion and go back to school to become an educator. He received a B.S. in elementary education from Kennesaw State University and has taught in Charlotte for the past seven years, with the last three as a seventh-grade science teacher at Charlotte Country Day School. Brandon is excited to be back “home” in Raleigh to spend more time with his family and friends and, of course, to cheer on the NC State Wolfpack! 

Sarah Wright joins the Lower School Leadership Team as the Assistant Head of Lower School for Student Life. She received a Master of Arts in Education from the University of California at Berkeley; she received a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from Ohio State University. She is an experienced facilitator in diversity and equity issues and has more than 100 hours of professional development in working with gifted and exceptional children.  She taught third  through fifth grades at the Logan School, fifth grade at Miami Country Day School and an Upper School elective on race in America while directing Colorado Academy’s inclusion and belonging journey. Her joy for Lower School led to her to work with the Logan School in establishing their Logan Lab School, where she spent her recent summers working with Kindergarten and first-grade students from various public school settings. When she isn’t catching up on the latest episode of Bluey or Elmo with Ryleigh (almost 2), she’s binging “Stranger Things,” learning the latest TikTok dance with Mila (13) or catching up on “Queen Charlotte.” 

A grid of photos of new Middle School teachers

Middle School

Savannah Johnson is thrilled to be joining the Ravenscroft community as the new Middle School administrative coordinator. She is relocating back to North Carolina from Ohio, where she worked in an independent school as an administrative assistant to Lower and Middle Schools. A graduate of Ohio University, Savannah first started her journey in education as a seventh-grade math teacher during which she won the First-Year Middle School Teacher of the Year award in her district. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her son Greyson and husband, Kyle, play trivia and music bingo, and watch Steelers football. 

Jessica Montrella is excited to support students, families and staff in the Ravenscroft community as the Middle School counselor. Jessica has been counseling in various school settings in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina for more than 10 years. She attended Davidson College and received a B.A. in psychology before graduating from Boston College with a master’s degree in clinical social work. She has a passion for helping students feel unconditionally valued and supported as they work to identify their strengths, overcome challenges and reach their academic and social-emotional goals. Aside from counseling, Jessica loves her family, friends and all things basketball.

Melissa Ramel is overjoyed to be joining the Ravenscroft community as a Middle School social studies instructor. She has taught secondary social sciences for 18 years, most recently at Saint Mary’s in Raleigh. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in history and a single-subject teaching credential. While at USD, she played four years of Division I basketball. Additionally, she holds a master's degree in educational technology from Grand Canyon University.  She is looking forward to working with, teaching and advising middle school students and fostering an interest in historical thinking and reasoning skills. Apart from teaching, she loves spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Mike, and their children Adalyn ’35 and Matthew. Together the Ramels enjoy camping, watching sports and exploring new places.

Skip Walter is excited to be coming to Ravenscroft as a Middle School history teacher. He has spent the past 20 years as a history teacher and outdoor educator in Cleveland, Ohio, and Corte Madera, California. He has a B.A. in political science and English from the University of Vermont and an M.A. in English literature from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. He also graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Patagonia Semester. He is dedicated to educating and inspiring others to be critical thinkers, authentic learners and risk takers. Outside of the classroom and school, he loves playing guitar and listening to music; hiking with his wife, Laurie, and pup, Levi; and tinkering on his 30-year-old truck. He also enjoys woodworking and has just recently finished building a 16’ cedar-strip “Prospector” canoe.

Yan Zhou, originally from Shanghai, China, is overjoyed to be joining the Ravenscroft community as a Middle and Upper School Mandarin teacher. She has been a Mandarin teacher of students of all ages for six years in Shanghai, China; León, Spain; and here in Raleigh. She graduated from NC State with an M.Ed. in K-12 reading. She holds a Master of Teaching Chinese as Second Language from Shanghai International Studies University and a B.A. in English from Shanghai University. She also holds licenses in K-12 Chinese, Reading and ESL. She is excited to share her love of Chinese cuisine, culture and language with students. Apart from teaching, she enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and watching movies with her husband and 13-year-old son.

Upper School

Dania Borrero is thrilled to join the Ravenscroft community to serve students, staff and families as the Upper School counselor. Dania attended Florida International University and earned a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in psychology, as well as Barry University, where she earned an M.S. in counseling. With 12 years of experience in education both in Florida and North Carolina, she is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where students can thrive. Outside of her role, she enjoys an active lifestyle by playing with her young daughters, traveling with her husband, and reading, reflecting her commitment to a balanced and holistic approach to life and learning.

Karen Cruz is excited to join the faculty as an Upper School English teacher. She has previously taught in New York City and Chicago, as well as at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State. She holds a B.A. in English and world literature from Manhattan College in the Bronx and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. She looks forward to sharing her love of literature and writing with the students at Ravenscroft. In her spare time, she enjoys theater, traveling and spending time with her family.

Alex Mahon is overjoyed to be joining the Ravenscroft community as an Upper School social studies instructor. She taught high school social studies in New York City for six years and has served as an administrator and professor at Winthrop University, The New School and University at Buffalo. She recently graduated from University at Buffalo with a Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction and the science of learning after completing both an M.Ed. in divergent learning and a B.A. in political science/public affairs from Columbia College. She is excited to help students think critically about the world and how history has shaped it while fostering a love for civics. Apart from teaching, she enjoys traveling, reading, theater, finding new coffee shops and watching Gamecock football in the fall.

Leah Poole is proud to be joining the Ravenscroft community as an Upper School Academic Skills teacher. She is originally from Georgia and has lived in five states, four countries and three continents. She received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Wake Forest University, a master’s degree in mass communications from Florida International University and a master’s degree in special education from Hunter University. She is certified to teach Special Education, Adolescence - Mild Disabilities. Leah started her teaching career in New York City and taught in the Bronx and Brooklyn. She has  taught reading intervention, chemistry, biology, earth science and Algebra II. She has a true passion for working with students and helping each child progress in all areas of their development. She strives to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment. This will be her sixth year of teaching and her first full year at Ravenscroft. 

Meagan Stone is excited to join the Ravenscroft community as an Upper School mathematics instructor and department chair. She has been teaching math for the last 10 years in Raleigh and has served as a department chair for seven of those years. She has also been an AP reader for the College Board. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in mathematics. She holds an M.S. in mathematics from NC State. She is passionate about helping students develop confidence in math and empowering them to embrace challenges. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading and being outdoors. She and her husband spend much of their spare time trail running and hiking in the North Carolina mountains.

Susie Tadder is excited about her family’s move to North Carolina and looks forward to joining the Ravenscroft community as a math teacher. She has been teaching for 20 years and most recently spent 11 years at  Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California. Throughout her career she has taught math, chemistry and IB economics, including at Colegio Americano in Quito, Ecuador; the Friends School of Baltimore; and La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, California. She received a B.A. in economics with a minor in chemistry from University of California, San Diego. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling and cheering on her daughters, Emerson ’24 and Adelaide ’25, at their various sports.

Karen Tinnesz is excited to be joining Ravenscroft and teaching mathematics in the Upper School. She has over 15 years experience teaching and tutoring math to all levels of students, including advanced middle school math, all high school levels and undergraduate college courses. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in mathematics and then earned a Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Maryland. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing soccer, running, reading and working any type of puzzle —  jigsaw, crossword, logic, you name it! She also enjoys long hikes and road trips with her family, and she and her husband and three sons are on a quest to visit all of the U.S. National Parks. 

Kenzie Weidner is excited to be part of the Ravenscroft community as an Upper School mathematics teacher this year. With a decade of teaching experience in North Carolina and most recently in Austin, Texas, she brings valuable expertise to her role. She holds a B.S. in secondary mathematics education from NC State. Her goal is to help students find enjoyment in mathematics, and she is excited to discover what makes the Ravenscroft community so special! Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, staying active and spending quality time with her family.

A grid of photos showing faculty and staff in Athletics and IDE

Physical Education/Athletics

Jeremy Chaitin is entering his fifth year as a licensed physical education and health teacher and has 13 years of experience in coaching various sports and joins Ravenscroft as a P.E. teacher and athletics coach. He received a B.A. at University of Massachusetts and an M.A. at Manhattanville College. He previously taught and coached at the Charter School of Educational Excellence in Yonkers, N.Y., where he instructed K-12 physical education and coached volleyball, basketball and baseball. He is from Nyack, N.Y., and grew up a huge fan of the Yankees, Giants and Knicks. His hobbies include board games, yard games and various competitive sports. He loves traveling and has been to all but two continents, which he hopes to check off his list soon.

Rhonda Landwehr joins Ravenscroft as a physical education teacher and coach. She has eight-plus years of experience teaching physical education and health and six years of coaching various sports. She is from Kimball, Minnesota, a small town in the central part of the state, and received a B.A. in sport management from St. Cloud State University and an M.A. in education from University of St. Thomas. She is also a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. Her previous teaching experiences include elementary and middle-grades P.E., fitness and health at schools including Laura Jeffrey Academy (St. Paul, MN), Girls Prep (New York, NY) and Denver School of Science & Technology (Denver, CO); and teaching English in South Korea.  She is also a trainer at Burn Boot Camp. Her hobbies include exercising, being outside, playing sports and traveling.

Kylie Spector joined Ravenscraft as the Athletics administrative coordinator in December 2022.  She has a lengthy background in sports management, obtained a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from St. Thomas University. She is excited to provide support to the Athletic Department and the Ravens Athletic Club and to introduce her daughter, Savannah (4), to all Ravenscroft has to offer.  When she is not cheering from the sidelines, Kylie loves to bake, shop and spend time with her family.

Sean Thomas is a certified and licensed athletic trainer in the state of North Carolina with more than 20 years of experience. He joined Ravenscroft in February 2023 as an assistant athletic trainer and instructor in the sports medicine program. He attended North Carolina Central University, earning a B.S. and an M.S. in physical education. He then went to work as an assistant athletic trainer and P.E. instructor at Columbia University in New York, New York. He has also served as the head athletic trainer at both Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and North Carolina Central University in Durham. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and also enjoys fishing when he can.

Library and Technology Services

Mitchell Carraway is thrilled to join the Ravenscroft community as the Director of Educational Technology. With extensive experience as an educator, he has served as a Director of Technology in Charlotte for seven years. He holds a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in educational technology from North Carolina Central University, earning him the distinction of being a Double Eagle. He brings his enthusiasm to enhance and support the teaching and learning process by integrating technology tools and resources. Beyond his role as an educator, he finds joy in traveling, sports, spending time at the gym, engaging in community service, embracing the outdoors and cherishing moments with his wife and two children.  

Mariam Elias is overjoyed to be joining the Ravenscroft community as an Upper School computer science teacher. She has been an instructor at NC State’s College of Education, teaching courses in graphic communication and technology/engineering for four years. She holds a B.S. in technology, design and engineering education (with the highest honor, summa cum laude) and an M.Ed. from NC State and is working on an Ed.D. in learning and teaching in STEM there now. Mariam has eight years of teaching experience in K-12 schools. She has traveled to countries including France, Spain, Dubai and Turkey, affording her many different cultural experiences. She is excited to help foster a love of STEM education and spark this same love of programming to empower her students to learn new skills, foster their creativity, cultivate their curiosity and inspire them to be lifelong learners. She has four children: her oldest sons, Rafi and Rony, are at Elon University studying business analytics and computer science; Ramen is rising ninth grade; and Melina is four years old. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, baking and walking the trails. 

James McFarland joined Ravenscroft last year and will be teaching Honors Robotics, Honors Engineering, and Design & Making. He also serves as one of the coordinators for the Keim Center’s Innovation Lab. He has 10 years of experience in teaching engineering and technology courses and has previously taught in Durham Public Schools and the Wake County Public School System. He earned a B.S. in information and logistics technology from VSU and later pursued an M.Ed. in STEM education (engineering/technology) from NC State. Throughout his career, he has held various positions, including engineering instructor for Duke TIPS, lead engineering teacher for NC State’s day camps, assessment assistant at the Office of Global Engagement at NC State, Howard N. Lee Leadership Scholars Academy Coordinator, and member of the Alpha Pi chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau organization. He also completed his teaching certification program at Harvard. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, cooking, spending time with family, watching movies and playing video games.

A grid of photos showing new staff


Emma Dement ’16 joins Ravenscroft as Alumni Engagement Officer. She is a proud alumna of NC State with a degree in sport management. She returns to Ravenscroft after spending several years working in sales and marketing in ninor league baseball and collegiate athletics. She is thrilled to return to Ravenscroft and support the advancement team in its important work to remain connected to the growing alumni community. In her spare time, you can find her cheering on the Wolfpack, taking a yoga class or spending time with her dog, Gravy. She is excited to get started and continue to learn and grow with the Ravenscroft community. 

Kayla Thomas joins Ravenscroft as Director of Annual Giving after a decade in higher education, most recently serving as a fundraiser at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She has spent the past four years of her career cultivating relationships with donors and alumni through direct outreach and personal engagement and is excited to bring her passion for education and her fundraising expertise to the Ravenscroft community. In her spare time, she is an avid reader, baker and writer and enjoys touring the Triangle’s parks and farmer’s markets with her husband and two-year-old son, Emmett. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University Bloomington. 


Kara Durrette joined Ravenscroft as Digital Marketing Manager in October 2022. Originally from Raleigh, Kara moved home from Atlanta to be closer to family and is the parent of a rising second-grader at Ravenscroft and a two-year-old. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2010 with a degree in visual communications and a minor in media arts. Before coming to Ravenscroft, she worked in sports marketing with the Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Falcons and AMB Sports & Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium). She is currently on the 12-person NFL Focus photography team for the National Football League. She loves going on adventures with her family in her free time.

Business Office

Heather Brusino is excited to rejoin the Ravenscroft team as Accounts Receivable Coordinator. Heather is from Blacksburg, Virginia, and met her spouse, Joseph ’11, while attending Virginia Tech. She now lives in Wake Forest with her husband and their three children. They enjoy watching Carolina Hurricanes hockey, UNC basketball and Virginia Tech football. 


Cameron Horner came to Ravenscroft as an intern last spring working for the Athletics Department. This summer he joined the Facilities Department as a full-time facilities technician to head up our new in-house landscape crew. He has also jumped in to help out with football and will be helping coach throughout the year. He graduated from East Carolina University with a master’s degree in sports management. In his free time, he likes to watch sports, play golf and go to the beach. 

Grayson Vestal started with Facilities last October. He most recently worked at SAS, where he did landscape work. He is in charge of event setups for the Facilities Department and is excited about the opportunity to grow and expand his talents at Ravenscroft. He has two associate degrees from NC State and enjoys reading, backpacking and hanging out with family and friends.