Meet Our New Faculty Members

 

Riya Ahuja | Economics Intern

Hailing from Gurgaon, India, Riya attended Singapore International School before matriculating to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her degree in Economics with a Math emphasis, and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. As the top-ranked junior women’s golfer in India, Riya competed extensively in amateur and junior golf tournaments around the world and was a member of the UW women’s varsity golf team. During her time at Wisconsin, Riya also served as an executive board member of Student-Athletes Equally Supporting Others and a representative on the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Riya completed internships at Foote, Cone & Belding (advertising), and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and is a co-founder of Pandemos, a non-profit sustainable clothing brand supporting COVID-19 relief efforts in India. At Hill, Riya will support the Economics and Entrepreneurship classes, coach golf, and serve as a dorm parent in Upper School East.


Brett Bearrows | Admission Office Intern


A recent graduate of Kenyon College (B.A., Political Science), Brett served as president of the Kenyon Social Board, captain of the women’s lacrosse team, vice president of her sorority, and a member of the college’s Emotional Health and Well-being Task Force. Outside of Kenyon, Brett has worked as a lifeguard, youth lacrosse coach, and social media chair for her local chapter of Every Vote Counts during the 2020 presidential election. Brett also has gained valuable experience over several years as a counselor, section director, and expeditions coordinator at Camp Manito-wish, a YMCA Outpost program in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. In addition to her work in the Admission Office, Brett will support logistics and compliance for school-sponsored trips, coach girls’ lacrosse, and serve as a dorm parent in Upper School East. 


Valerie Berryer | Instructor of World Languages


After attending boarding school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Valerie attended St. Thomas University (B.A., Biology) and the University of Miami (M.E., Science). Valerie has taught French, Biology, and Spanish since 1985 in Florida, North Carolina, and Kuwait, while also completing graduate-level coursework in French. Valerie has extensive experience leading international travel and cultural exchanges and studied French through a Fulbright Scholarship in Senegal in 2011. At Hill, Valerie will teach French and Spanish and assist with Theatre Tech.

 


Mike Boyer P'25 | College Counselor and Associate Head Football Coach


A Berks County lifer, Mike has been teaching high school History and coaching football for more than 25 years. He is a graduate of Kutztown University (B.S., Citizenship/History) and is completing his graduate work at Albright College (M.A., Curriculum and Instruction). For the last 11 years, Mike has served as an assistant football coach at Albright College; he has been the program’s Offensive Coordinator since 2019. Mike also has taught History in the Hamburg Area, Boyertown, and Exeter Township School Districts. At Hill, Mike will serve as a College Counselor and Associate Head Football Coach. 

 


Charlie Cunningham | Colhoun Intern for Financial Literacy,  Economics, and Entrepreneurship


A native of Pequannock, New Jersey, Charlie attended Seton Hall Prep, where he was a magna cum laude graduate, captain of the wrestling team, and named an all-American. This past spring, Charlie graduated from Washington and Lee University in Virginia (B.A., Economics). While at W&L, Charlie served as team captain of the wrestling team and was named a two-time NWCA Academic all-American. As our Colhoun Intern, Charlie will assist with Economics, Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship classes, and will also serve as an assistant coach for our wrestling team.

 


Hans Doerr ’98 | Faculty Liaison (Interim), Instructor of History and Social Sciences


A 1998 graduate of The Hill School, Hans continued his education at the University of Virginia (B.A., History) where he also excelled in crew. After college, Hans worked for Teach for America in Detroit and coached rowing at several organizations. He made his way to independent schools in 2010 including stints at Blair Academy (N.J.), Darlington School (Ga.), and Kent School (Conn.), where he most recently served as an Instructor of History, varsity crew coach, and head of a girls’ dormitory. During the pandemic, Hans chaired Kent’s Hybrid Learning Committee and was the principal author of the “Kent School Teaching Guide.” 

 


Tiffany Doerr | Learning Support Coordinator


A graduate of Penn State Schreyer Honors College (B.S., Human Development and Family Studies) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (M.S.Ed., Psychological Services), Tiffany has spent more than 20 years as a school counselor, adviser, and dorm parent. Most recently, Tiffany has served as a school counselor and dorm parent at Kent School (Conn.) and Darlington School (Ga.), and was the Director of Counseling at Blair Academy (N.J.) from 2011 – 2015. 

 

 

Bobbi Jo “B.J.” Keefer | Director of Leadership Programs and the Cleveland Student Leadership Center

Bobbi Jo “B.J.” Keefer completed her undergraduate (B.A., Business Administration) and graduate (M.Ed., Agency and School Counseling) degrees at the University of Lynchburg in Virginia. After holding several student and residential life positions at different colleges and universities, including an adventurous stint with the Institute for Shipboard Education (aka Semester at Sea), B.J. returned to the University of Lynchburg where she had served as Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development since 2006. B.J. has extensive experience with different leadership program models including MBTI, SIGI Plus, and Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, and is a certified Strengths Quest facilitator. As our inaugural Director of Leadership Programs and the Cleveland Student Leadership Center working within the Office of Community Life, B.J. will design and implement leadership and training programs for aspiring student leaders, elected/appointed student leaders, and those employees who guide and advise student leaders. Moreover, she will work directly with faculty and staff to develop and strengthen their own leadership capabilities and teamwork. 


Claudia LaMarca | David H. Mercer Coach of Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse and Director of Student Activities


After completing her B.A. in Communications, Claudia earned an M.S. in Educational Counseling, both at Monmouth University in New Jersey. While at Monmouth, Claudia was a stand-out on the Hawks’ women’s lacrosse team, serving as a two-time team captain. Prior to Hill, Claudia served as a school counselor in the Souderton, Pa. school district and the head coach of Souderton High School girls’ varsity lacrosse team, earning two successful bids to the state playoffs. In addition to her duties as our new Director of Student Activities, Claudia will be the head coach of our girls’ varsity lacrosse team. 

 


Bart Mestelle | Instructor of Science

A Wisconsin native, Bart attended the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire (B.S., Chemistry) and completed his graduate work at Emporia State University in Kansas (M.S., Exercise Science). An accomplished track and field student-athlete, Bart earned NCAA All-American and USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors. He served as a graduate assistant track and field coach at Emporia State; head coach at William Jewell College (Liberty, Mo.); and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. Bart added teaching to his repertoire in 2018, first serving as a Chemistry lab instructor at Boise State University and subsequently as an AP Chemistry, Chemistry, and Physics teacher at Borah High School in Boise for the last several years. In addition to teaching Chemistry and other sciences at Hill, Bart will have a leadership role in our Sports Performance program.



Elle O’Brien | Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Performance

A Maine native, Elle grew up on the different boarding school campuses where her mother worked. After graduating from Gould Academy, Elle earned her B.B.A. in Sports Management and her M.S. in Exercise Science from George Washington University. During her time at GW, Elle was a strength and conditioning graduate assistant for the Colonials, providing sports performance training to nine of the University’s Division I athletics teams. Upon completing her degree and work at GW, Elle became the Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at The Madeira School (McLean, Va.) where she also served as a dorm parent and assistant softball coach. Elle is an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist and an NASM certified personal trainer.



Matthew Rinkevich, Ph.D. | Instructor of Religious Studies and Philosophy, History, and English



Matthew earned his B.A. in English Literature from West Chester University and recently completed his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Delaware. While completing his studies at UD, Matthew taught a variety of Composition and Literature courses and spent the last two years teaching English and World History at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Pa.




Jodi Robinson |Co-Director of College Counseling

Jodi is a graduate of Bucknell University, earning a B.A. in Economics and Psychology and an M.A. in Organizational Behavior. She has extensive admission experience at numerous, highly selective colleges and universities including Bucknell, American, Carnegie Mellon, Wesleyan, and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she worked in admission at both Miss Porter’s School and Kingswood-Oxford School. Jodi returned to UPenn in 2011, where she served as Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Selection Committee Chair, a domestic and international territory manager, athletics/faculty/staff liaison, and staff supervisor. She remains active in the broader college community as a member of the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), International Association of College Admission Counselors (IACAC), Pennsylvania Association of College Admission  Counselors (PACAC), and serves on the Ivy League Athletics International Review and Evaluation Subcommittee.


Sam Rhinehart| Engineering Intern

Growing up on a farm in Columbus, N.C. in a family of educators, Sam always had an interest in math, science, and engineering. In December 2021, Sam graduated from University of North Carolina at Ashville with a B.S. in Applied Physics, taking extensive coursework in Mechatronics and receiving the Tennant, Giordano, and Forbes Scholarships. Sam has taught at a summer robotics camp, served as a teaching assistant at Duke University’s TIP program, and was a math and physics tutor and research assistant at UNCA. At Hill, Sam will assist with Engineering and Computer Science classes, with a special emphasis on 3D design and fabrication, and support our afternoon Engineering and Robotics activities.

 


Tessie Salatas | Instructor of Mathematics


Anastasia “Tessie” Salatas is an alumna of Kent School and College of The Holy Cross (B.A., Mathematics). Originally from Quebec, Tessie arrived at The Hill at the beginning of the Spring Term (March 2022) after a year of teaching and coaching at Ridley College in Ontario. She had spent the previous three years teaching math, coaching crew and ice hockey, and serving as the head of a girls’ dormitory at Kent. Similarly, Tessie will teach math and serve as a crew and ice hockey coach at Hill. Tessie is trilingual in English, French, and Greek.


 

Chris Schiavone ’16 | STEM Intern

After graduating from Hill in 2016, Chris matriculated to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. (B.A. Astrophysics). A highly accomplished swimmer and water polo player at Hill, Chris continued his successful swimming career at F&M where he was an NCAA All-American, First-Team All-Centennial Conference, F&M MVP, and the 2020 Division III National Champion in the 100 Freestyle. Chris also completed several scientific research internships and taught middle school math. As our STEM Intern, Chris will assist with Physics, Engineering, and Computer Science classes, while also serving as a lab tech. He also will coach water polo, swimming, and possibly help with crew.


 

Nevia Selmon | Bissell Intern



Originally from Orange, Connecticut, Nevia is a recent graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. (B.A., Psychology and Religion). While at Smith, Nevia was a member of the crew team. Nevia primarily will support the Religious Studies and Philosophy Department at Hill, while also coaching crew and living in the dormitory.



 

Tanya Sepala | Instructor of English



Originally from Central Pennsylvania, Tanya comes to Hill with 17 years of experience teaching high school English in the U.S. (Maryland and Pennsylvania), and abroad (Kazakhstan and Thailand). Most recently, Tanya taught English for Commonwealth Charter Academy, a prominent online school. Tanya is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., English) and Millersville University (M.A., Literature).




Alec Swartz ’13 | Humphrey Family Intern


A 2013 Hill graduate of The Hill School, Alec continued his education at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. (B.A., English) and soon will complete his Master’s in Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City. During his time at W&J, Alec worked as a clerk in the English Department, was Managing Editor of the college’s literary magazine, wrote for the student newspaper, served as a student government representative, and participated in Model United Nations. At the New School, Alec was a research assistant for an English Literature course. Passionate about debate, community service, and philanthropy, Alec will support the Humphrey Writing Center, the English Department, and student and alumni publications.




Melissa Toomey, Ph.D. |Instructor of English and Classics


We are thrilled to welcome Melissa (previously Melissa Browne) back to The Hill. After teaching Classics at Hill from 2014 – 2016, Melissa completed her Ph.D. in Classics at Johns Hopkins University and has been teaching Latin and chairing the World Languages Department at Devon Preparatory School. Melissa is a magna cum laude graduate of Holy Cross (B.A., Classics) and spent her junior year abroad at Oxford University studying Greek and Latin. With her broad, interdisciplinary education and teaching background, Melissa is a perfect fit for teaching in both our English and Classics departments.


 

Kirby Varnadoe-Russ | Instructor of World Languages

A proud graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a public boarding school in Durham, N.C., Kirby matriculated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where they earned their B.A. in Spanish Linguistics and Global Health/Environmental Studies. During their time at UNC, Kirby served as a resident and multicultural adviser, taught Spanish in a local after-school program, and completed a semester abroad at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. After graduating from UNC, Kirby joined the Peace Corps and worked in Paraguay from 2015 – 2019 as a community health education specialist and program support manager, also teaching leadership, English, and reproductive health. Kirby returned home in 2020 and began teaching Spanish at Carolina Friends School part-time while also working full-time on the front lines of the pandemic in the Duke University Health System as a clinical bed control coordinator and medical interpreter.