Please find faculty email addresses followed by bios below:
Richard B. McPherson, President, International Student Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin J. Davern, Headmaster, College Counselor, Thomas More Institute: email@example.com
Matthew Bronzi, Assistant Headmaster: firstname.lastname@example.org
RJ Hawley, Executive Director: email@example.com
Ellen Clifford, Assitant Head, Director of Development: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Stroot, Dean of Students: email@example.com
Istvan Teleki, Lower School Head: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tad Shields, Chief Financial Officer: email@example.com
Fr. Roberto Amoruso: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Bostick: email@example.com
Charles Devereux: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Duffy, Head Baseball Coach: email@example.com
Caleb Glaser, Director of Admission: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandi Gersten: email@example.com
David Houseal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Kanka: email@example.com
Jeff Kantor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adele Kolf: email@example.com
Harris Moriarty: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Oriani: email@example.com
Edward O'Daniel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne O'Neill: email@example.com
Tyree Spinner, Head Football Coach: tspinner@avalonschoolsorg, (301) 760-0403
Rebecca Streeter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Stroot: email@example.com
Jennifer Tifford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Tobin: email@example.com
Richard B. McPherson, President, The Avalon School and Brookewood School; Headmaster, Brookewood School; Director, International Student Program
Richard McPherson helped found The Avalon School in 2003 after more than two decades of experience in the independent school education of young men. He is the former headmaster of The Heights School, an independent day school for boys in grades 3-12, located in Potomac, Maryland. Under his leadership, enrollment rose from 270 students to 460, and the number of Advanced Placement Scholars grew from three to 32. He also led the school through an ambitious building and improvement program of more than $3 million, providing an excellent foundation for shepherding Avalon and Brookewood through the coming years.
This year, Rich also assumed the role of Headmaster at Avalon’s sister school, Brookewood, located in Kensington, MD. In addition to his duties as President, Headmaster, and mathematics teacher, Rich will continue to serve as director of Avalon’s international student program.
A graduate of Harvard College (’79), Rich taught for two years before pursuing a career as an actuary in New York, where he held positions at Coopers & Lybrand and Metropolitan Life. In 1984, he was named an Associate of the Society of Actuaries. That year also marked his return to his true vocation – education. Prior to assuming the position of Heights' headmaster in 1997, Rich taught a variety of courses, coached a host of sports and led the 1991-92 varsity basketball team to a top-twenty ranking in The Washington Post. He was the recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship at Harvard in 1988, where he studied Aristotle’s natural philosophy.
In 2003, Rich’s leadership in the field of education, record of service to the Church, and volunteer service to the poor led to his investiture into the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem on Rhodes and Malta, commonly recognized as the Order of Malta, by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.
A native of Massachusetts, Rich is a devotee of author G.K. Chesterton, poetry, the Boston Red Sox, and mathematical conundrums. He, his wife Janice, and a selection of their six children - Avalon graduates Matthew (’10) Gil (’11), and John Paul (’13), as well as Michael (’17), and daughters Anne Marie and Maggie (Brookewood ’16), and a rotating roster of international students, reside in Clarksburg, MD.
Rollin James Hawley III, Executive Director
September marked R.J. Hawley’s second year as Executive Director of both Brookewood and The Avalon School. Brookewood’s former Assistant Headmaster brings a broad range of administrative skills to the extensive business and planning responsibilities of both institutions. R.J. came to Avalon in 2003, following two years at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS); he assumed the role of Assistant Headmaster at Brookewood School in 2013.
During his more than 20 years in independent school education, he has taught journalism and ethics and a wide range of science and mathematics courses, and also garnered extensive experience as a college counselor both here and in Europe.
R.J. is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied biology and philosophy and began his intensive exploration of Aristotle’s works on man. He completed his Master of Science in Educational Administration at Trinity Washington University in 2013.
He and his wife, Kristen, and their four children, Will (Avalon ’20), Alec (Avalon ’24), Maggie (Brookewood’19), and Clare (Brookewood ’25), live in Silver Spring, MD.
Kevin J. Davern, Headmaster, College Counselor, Thomas More Institute
Kevin Davern brings a wealth of administrative and classroom experience to his role as the first Headmaster of The Avalon School. September marks his twenty-seventh year in the independent school education of young men. He will continue to share his extensive knowledge of his favorite subjects this year, teaching U.S. History and Apologetics, as well as assisting with College Counseling.
The former Assistant Head of School and Director of Admission at The Heights School, hetaught Lower and Middle School before moving to the Upper School in 1995. He concentrated his efforts on mathematics, history, and religion in addition to extensive administrative duties, and served as director of the summer math program for four years.
Kevin is an honors graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he majored in history, and also captained the varsity basketball team. He has the distinction of twice being named the school’s male Academic-Athlete of the Year, and was the recipient of the Landers Award for Achievement in History. He was awarded a master’s of education with a concentration in administration and supervision from the Johns Hopkins University in 2000.
Kevin and his wife, Jennifer, live in Silver Spring, MD with their sons, Jimmy (Avalon ’15) and Thomas (Avalon ’20), and four daughters, Katie (Brookewood ’12), Mary (Brookewood ’14), Tricia (Brookewood ’17) and Rachel (Brookewood ’22).
Albert Shields, Chief Financial Officer, Founding Chairman, The Avalon School
Tad Shields lived in Germantown for more than 15 years and recognized the urgent need for an independent Catholic school in Upper Montgomery County. He was instrumental in the founding of The Avalon School and served as its first chairman of the Board of Trustees. As Chief Financial Officer, Tad oversees the economic health of both Avalon and Brookewood.
In 1987, Tad founded and then served for 11 years as CEO of Simulation Laboratories, Inc., a data communications equipment manufacturing company in Ijamsville, Md. He is the former president of Timeplex Corporation and has held various management positions with Data General and Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Tad holds a bachelor of arts in mathematics and economics from Denison University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Judie, live in Potomac, MD.
Matthew Bronzi, AssistantHead of School, Middle School Coordinator
Matt Bronzi is an Assistant Head of School in addition to serving as Coordinator of the Middle School program. His also will continue his work in the classroom this year, teaching Chemistry, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Chemistry, and Life Science.
Matt brings his passion for the sciences to Avalon from both the academic and corporate worlds. Following graduation with honors from Rock Valley College in Illinois, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas. A recipient of the Robert Welch Scholarship, Matt was an integral part of organic chemistry research (published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Jan. ’05) at the school. In addition to his studies, he tutored in both mathematics and the sciences.
Prior to joining the Avalon faculty, Matt worked with Baxter Bioscience in the manufacture of a meningitis vaccine.
He and his wife, Margaret, and sons Frankie (Avalon ‘23), Peter (Avalon ’25), Vincent (Avalon ’31), Martin (Avalon ’32), and Thomas (Avalon’35) and their daughter, Agnes (Brookewood ’28), reside in Frederick, MD.
Ellen M. Clifford, Assistant Head of School, Advancement
Ellen Clifford, an Avalon founder, brings more than 30 years of fundraising and communications experience to her role as assistant head and director of development. She also serves as advancement director at Brookewood School, and coordinator of the Autumn Auction and Spring Gala. A development professional for twenty years in independent schools including Harbor School, Bullis, and The Heights School, she specializes in the creation and expansion of advancement programs
Prior to entering the field of education, Ellen served for 12 years as a senior writer and editor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as a production associate and publicist for the Washington Bureau of ABC News, on Capitol Hill in both the U. S. House and Senate, and as special assistant to the co-chairman of the Republican National Committee. Her work in education includes six years as an independent school trustee and board chairman.
The mother of two grown daughters (her youngest married a former Avalon teacher in 2011), Ellen lives in N. Bethesda, MD.
Thomas Stroot, Dean of Students
Tom Stroot will share his all-encompassing passion for History and Math this year with the Upper school students, teaching Advanced Placement U.S. History, Geometry-SAT, and a seminar on Dystopian Novels, as well as History in the Middle School. In addition to his classroom duties, Tom will serve as Avalon’s Dean of Students, overseeing day-today student activities and discipline.
Known as “the voice of the Avalon Black Knights” for his distinctive announcing skills at interscholastic sports events, he also will continue his coaching work with the Middle School swim team. In addition, Tom continues in his stewardship role of Avalon’s charitable works program, overseeing the student volunteer efforts at “The Lord’s Table” food program for the less fortunate, twice-weekly at St. Martin’s in Gaithersburg.
A graduate of The Heights School, Tom earned a B.A. in Political Science at Villanova University, and then worked for several years in the Montgomery County Public School system (MCPS) with students who had a variety of physical and educational needs. Accepted for the Education Master’s degree program at the University of Maryland in 1998, he graduated with a 4.0 and went on to teach fifth grade in the MCPS.
Tom and his wife, Mary, live in Damascus with their two daughters, Kaylor (Brookewood ’17) and Ella (Brookewood ’22), and a son, Patrick (Avalon '25).
Istvan Teleki, Lower School Head
Istvan is an Avalon founder, gifted veteran teacher, and Head of Avalon’s Lower School. He has spent the last 13 years teaching lower school boys in a wide array of subjects, but he has a particular fondness for Natural History, Avalon’s lower-school study of plants, birds and insects, and is founder and director of a natural history summer camp held each year at the Avalon campus.
Istvan also brings multilingual skills to his positions at Avalon. He is fluent in Spanish and Hungarian, and has taught AP Spanish in the Upper School.
Istvan is a Cum Laude graduate of Providence College. Before joining the Avalon faculty, he spent a year in Pamplona, Spain, teaching economics to freshmen in the Bilingual Program at the University of Navarre.
He lives in Gaithersburg. MD with his wife Caitlin, and his six children: Karoly (Avalon ’23), Joseph (Avalon ’25), and Ignatius (Avalon ’35), and daughters Lilianna (Brookewood ’27), Margaret (Brookewood ’28) and Lucy (Brookewood ’31).
Caleb Glaser. Director of Admission
Caleb Glaser, who joined the Avalon faculty in 2013, begins his second year as Director of Admission. He also continues his classroom work, teaching Creative Writing and Church History in the Upper School, and Religion in the Middle School.
Following his 2012 graduation from Ave Maria University with a bachelor’s degree in History, Caleb served as a legislative intern for Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE) on Capitol Hill, and led a walk across the United States for the pro-life organization, Crosssroads. He also possesses extensive experience in the construction industry, and will share his skills with both the Avalon and Brookewood schools.
Caleb, his wife, Mary, and their daughters, Elizabeth and Naomi, live in Rockville, MD.
Tyree Spinner, Director of Athletics
Tyree Spinner’s true love is developing, molding, and assisting student-athletes to be better men, and ultimately, better husbands and better fathers, through his work as Avalon’s head football coach and Athletic Director. He also shares his passion for literature, grammar, and poetry with the students of the Upper School during two periods of structured study hall each day. In addition, Coach Spinner teaches physical education in the Lower School.
A graduate of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, VA, Tyree was an honor roll student and also recognized as one of the nation’s top high school tight ends and small forwards. Offered more than 100 college scholarships, he chose to attend the University of Virginia, where he majored in communications and was a two-sport athlete, playing both football and basketball for the Cavaliers. Following a successful but injury-stricken athletic career, Tyree went into coaching on the field and training athletes during the off-season. Prior to joining the Avalon faculty, Tyree was responsible for placing more than 30 high school athletes in colleges on athletic scholarships. He not only prepared them for the rigors of the next level of athletics, but also improved their academic habits both in and out of the classroom.
Tyree is a father of three: his daughter Cameron, and sons Tyree Jr. and Mason. During his tenure at the school, he hopes to be known for this service to the Avalon community and for his success both on and off the athletic field and court.
Fr. Roberto Amoruso
Fr. Roberto comes to Avalon via Kenya, Africa, where he spent 12 years serving as a chaplain, teacher, missionary and social services director. This year he will teach Middle School Religion, and Sacred Scripture, Chemistry, Spanish II, and Art and Drawing in the Upper School.
Fr. Roberto holds degrees from the University of Milan in Agronomy and from the Lateran University of Rome in Philosophy and Theology. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he taught high school religion and Italian in Rome and served as the school chaplain and director of campus ministry. It was during this time that he perfected his skills as a skier and windsurfer, giving lessons during the winter and summer breaks. In 1993, Fr. Roberto was called to teach chemistry at Queen of the Apostles Seminary while he established an out-station for a large parish in Nairobi. His high school work continued at the Italian School of Nairobi Dante Alighieri where he taught philosophy and history.
Moving into social services in 1997, Fr. Roberto worked with terminal AIDS patients, single mothers, orphans and young men who had dropped out of school. He also conducted a Distant Adoption program linked to several parishes in Italy. His last post in Kenya was at Utalli College where he served as chaplain and taught Italian in addition to the martial arts of Karate and Aikido at the school and in the parish where he lived.
Fr. Roberto brings a unique skill set to Avalon. Along with his pastoral and athletic expertise, he is fluent in Italian, English, French, Kiswahili and Gikuyu, Latin, and has a reading knowledge of Greek. He is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right.
Fr. Roberto lives in Bethesda, MD.
Jim Bostick’s passions are history and languages. This school year he is teaching History in the Middle School and Spanish I, Spanish III, and Advanced Placement European History, in the Upper School. Jim has been an educator for more than fifteen years, during which time he has coached debate, served as a forensic judge, and led cultural tours of Spain.
In addition to his classroom work, Jim is the moving force behind the school’s system of Houses, and also designed the House crests for both Avalon and Brookewood School.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, he is a master’s candidate at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, where he served on the faculty of economics. He also is the recipient of a scholarship from the Embassy of Spain for summer courses in language and culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
A native Texan, Jim now lives in Damascus, MD, with his wife, Colet, daughter, Eleanor (Brookewood ’23), and son, James (Avalon ‘24).
Chuck Devereux continues his role in the Middle School, teaching Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science in addition to two sections of Math, and serving as coach of the Middle School basketball team and assistant coach of Avalon’s award-winning varsity baseball team.
A native Washingtonian, Chuck attended the University of Maryland on a baseball scholarship and captained the team in 1992. The Terrapin earned a degree in criminal justice in 1993. He joined the Orioles organization in 1992, playing for the Frederick Keys, the Bowie Baysox and the Baltimore Orioles through the 1995 season. His baseball career also took him to Taiwan, where he played for the Taipei Tigers, and to Perth, Australia with the Wanerroo Giants before returning to the U.S. in 1998.
Upon his return, Chuck served as an assistant baseball coach and substitute teacher at Landon School for Boys through 2012. He also worked as a substitute teacher and coach at Avalon and other independent schools in the area. In addition, Chuck coached the B-CC Baseball Association Youth Travel Team from 2000-12, and served as a camp coordinator and pitching coach at the Maryland Baseball Academy and The Baseball Zone from 1998 to the present.
Chuck, wife Deena, and their son, Ren (Avalon ’25) live in Derwood, MD.
Patrick Duffy, Head Baseball Coach
Patrick Duffy returns for his fourteenth season as head baseball coach at Avalon. During his tenure he has guided the Black Knights to eight State Championship appearances, with a 190-96 record. In 2006 – the school’s third season of baseball but only its second season of playing a full varsity schedule – the Black Knights were victorious in their run for the state championship. In 2009 and 2010, the Black Knights won back-to-back titles with rosters mostly comprised of underclassmen. The team most recently won their fourth and fifth championships in 2013 and 2014.
The baseball team’s success has embodied the school’s attitude, “Small School, Big Possibilities”. Avalon players land opportunities to play at all levels of college baseball. Avalon, which typically graduates two or three baseball players a year, has produced a professional pitcher (Kevin Fuqua ’07), and college commitments in all of the school’s nine graduating classes. Additionally, one graduate received a walk-on invitation to an Atlantic Coast Conference school, and others have pursued opportunities on college club teams.
In 2012, Duffy took the title of Commissioner of the Old Line Baseball Conference (OLBC), which he helped to establish in 2007. He previously served as OLBC’s Head of Media Relations, and Webpage Facilitator. The Black Knights have either won or finished in second place in seven of the league’s nine years. Several Avalon players have received All-OLBC awards, including Bennie Sanchez ’09, Josh Brunvoll ’11, Niko Sanchez ’13, Billy Lennox ’14, and Erik Janss ’16 – all were named conference Most Valuable Player. In 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014, the Conference coaches unanimously voted Duffy OLBC Coach of the Year, and Co-Coach of the Year in 2015.
In addition to the baseball program, Coach Duffy teaches a variety of subjects to Avalon students in grades 1 through 12, including Upper School Journalism, Middle School Physical Education, and Lower School Language Arts and Physical Education.
Duffy also is a licensed realtor for R. K. Ashton Real Estate, and the collegiate coach for Dig in Baseball in the Maryland Collegiate Baseball League. Coach Duffy lives in Bethesda, MD.
Sandi Gersten continues her role in the Lower School as a resource teacher, religion teacher, and second grade math teacher.
Prior to homeschooling her five children, Sandi managed a private contract through the Criminal Investigation Division of the Department of the Treasury, where she coordinated the efforts of federal law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of financial crimes.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University and is a Master of Education candidate.
Sandi lives in Silver Spring. MD with her husband, David, four sons, Liam, Michael (Avalon ’19), David (Avalon ’20), Gabriel (Avalon ’20), and daughter Phoebe (Brookewood ’14).
A founding Avalon teacher, David Houseal returns this year to bring his extensive teaching experience to the Upper School in pre-calculus, calculus, moral theology and English III.
A native of Michigan, David attended the U.S. Naval Academy. Desiring a true liberal arts education, he received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College, where he was the 1991 commencement speaker. Following graduation, he taught all levels of mathematics from geometry to calculus, as well as English, Latin, history, art, and theology at a start-up independent school in Scottsdale, Arizona. He also has taught English as a second language and has served as a TOEFL and SAT preparation instructor.
David taught at The Heights School in Potomac, MD before joining Avalon in 2003. He later returned to Michigan where he taught theology at a diocesan school. He embarked on graduate studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Master of Arts in Theology. David lives in Annandale, VA.
Justin Kanka (Class of 2010)
Justin Kanka, who joined the faculty 2014, is the first returning alumnus to teach at The Avalon School. This year his classroom work includes Upper School Math, Physics, and an American Film Seminar, and Middle School Algebra I, Justin also will continue to bring his experience as an NCAA Division 1 soccer player to Avalon, as head coach of the varsity soccer program and Middle School soccer team.
As a member of Stewart House during his Black Knight years, Justin graduated first in the Class of 2010, and has assumed the duties of faculty head of Stewart House.
A Cum Laude graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian, he lived in Perugia, Italy for four months as he studied abroad at the Universita di Perugia per Strainieri. Justin lives in Gaithersburg, MD.
Now in his fourth year at Avalon, Jeff Kantor continues to bring a “dead” language to life in the Middle and Upper schools through Latin A and Latin III, as well as religion and literature in the Lower School. He also brings a superb voice and musical knowledge to Lower School Choral Arts, the Spring Gala revue, and the annual Gentlemen Adventurers’ Dinner.
Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from George Washington University. He practiced immigration law in the D.C. area for many years, representing asylum claimants from countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Laos, and Cambodia before the Arlington and Baltimore Immigration Courts.
In addition, he has undertaken a variety of volunteer work, including serving as a sacristan at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chinatown, where he assists in preparations for both Tridentine (Latin) and Novus Ordo (English) Masses, and as a tutor at Avalon. His hobbies include collecting classical music recordings and engaging in Catholic-Muslim dialogue on theological topics.
Jeff is an Avalon founding parent; his son, Billy ’14, studied studying civil engineering at Virginia Military Institute on an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship, and is a 2016 VMI graduate. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Gaithersburg, MD.
The Kindergarten continues under the able direction of Adele Kolf this year, who brings dedication, heart and energy to our youngest Black Knights and Ladies.
Adele taught elementary school in San Diego, CA for five years after receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Aquinas College. In addition to her prior teaching experience, she served as an aide in the Avalon Kindergarten for two years before assuming leadership of the program.
She and her husband, Paul, and their three sons, James (’23), John (’23), and Greg (’25) live in Rockville, MD.
Harris Moriarty continues to bring a combination of scholarship, athleticism, and theatrical talent to his third year at Avalon. His Upper School teaching schedule includes classes in Algebra II, Biology, Church History, and Medieval Early Modern History. In addition to his classroom work, Harris will again direct the faculty and Upper School performances in the 2017 Spring Gala: A Black Tie Knight, and lend his considerable vocal talent to the Gentlemen Adventurers’ Dinner.
A 2012 graduate of Belmont Abbey with a degree in Political Science concentrating on Political Philosophy with a minor in Business Management and Biology, Harris competed on the basketball and track and field teams, and participated in multiple Theatre Department productions. He currently is engaged in advanced academic studies through Johns Hopkins and the Institute of the Psychological Sciences for Liberal Arts and Psychology, respectively.
Outside of academia, Harris has lived in the Yucatan Peninsula jungles in Mexico and the slums of Nairobi in Kenya, both in a missionary capacity. He also has extensive coaching experience at the high school level, has had success in both public and private school leagues, and managed waterfront staffs as well as aquatics facilities from neighborhood pools to 50,000 square foot facilities. He currently lives in Silver Spring, MD.
Ed O’Daniel brings a unique set of skills and experience to his role as Avalon’s English as a Second Language instructor as well as Lower School Math and Middle School Geography.
Ed, who secured an undergraduate degree at Texas Southern University, was drafted in 1971 by the San Diego Chargers football team. Unfortunately, injuries sidelined his career before it began, and he undertook graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts where he initiated his teaching and business careers.
Over the past four decades his career has centered on sales and marketing, as well as teaching and coaching. Prior to joining the Avalon family, Ed taught at Gaithersburg High School in the Special Education Department. He is the grandfather of nine, and lives with his wife, Stephanie, in Gaithersburg, MD.
Yvonne O’Neill, who will continue to mold Avalon’s youngest scholars in First and Second Grades, has first-hand experience teaching boys; she and her husband have raised six sons.
Prior to joining the Avalon faculty, she served as a substitute teacher and First Grade teacher assistant at St. Jane de Chantal School in Bethesda. Yvonne began her formal teaching career at Bradley Hills Pre-school, and also taught at the Holton Arms Creative Summer Program.
Yvonne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington College, and a Masters from The American University.
Her son, Jim, is a 2014 Avalon graduate. She, her husband Tom, and a selection of sons, reside in Bethesda, MD.
In his third year at Avalon, Kevin Oriani continues to share his passion for classical languages, teaching Latin B, Latin II, Latin IV, as well as English and Composition, and Classical Civilizations.
With more than a decade of Latin experience, Kevin is interested in the use of Latin as a spoken language and even went so far as to spend a week at a conference where all the participants pledged to speak to one another only in Latin. He also studied Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and German during his four years at The Catholic University of America where he graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Classics. In addition, he traveled to Germany and spent a semester studying Classics and Theology at the Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg.
Kevin lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife, Sophie, and his daughter, Teresa.
Rebecca Streeter brings both professional and personal independent school experience to Avalon. A former teacher at the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church Preschool where she served as faculty liaison to the School Board, she also served on the executive board of The Heights School Parents’ Association and edited their monthly newsletter.
Rebecca honed her editing and writing skills at the National Rifle Association, where she worked for its Institute for Legislative Action as a production manager for publications. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.
Her many duties at Avalon include teachings second and third grade Language Arts, serving as the school Registrar and overseeing operation of the school’s office. She resides in Chevy Chase with her husband, Jim, and three sons, James, Charles (Avalon ’07), and William (Avalon ’11).
Matthew Stroot, Transportation Coordinator
Matthew Stroot continues to bring his extensive and dynamic teaching skills to the Middle and Upper schools this year, where he teaches 8th Grade English and Composition, Algebra II, and English IV. In addition to his classroom work, Matt has taken on coordination of Avalon’s transportation program as “Van Man”, and serves as the faculty Head of House for Washington House.
Matt’s seventeen years of classroom experience is augmented by more than two decade’s work as a coach. His success leading a local swim team, the Cedarbrook Seahawks, to division championships was reflected in the successful inaugural year of the swim team he established at his alma mater, The Heights School, and as coach of the junior varsity basketball team. Matt earned his B.A. from Wake Forest University, where he majored in English. He also aided in growing the college’s club swim team and worked with the homeless at the Samaritan Inn, a men’s shelter in the Winston-Salem area.
Matt and his wife, Lesley, and their two daughtrs, Katie (brookewood '26) and Audrey (Brookewood '28), and son, Kolbe (Avalon '31) reside in Rockville, MD.
Tom Tobin’s love of language is reflected in his history, which includes more than a decade of teaching English at all levels of the curriculum at Springbrook High School, where he designed and implemented the English component of the International Baccalaureate curriculum, the school’s signature program.
Now in his eleventh year at Avalon, Tom brings his experience to the school as head of the Upper School English program, including its Advanced Placement English. A particular highlight of his curriculum are the short films scripted, directed, filmed and acted by the students each Spring.
A graduate of the Georgetown University with a B.A. in English literature, Tom received an M.P.A. from George Washington University and a M.Ed. from the University of Maryland.
He lives in Aspen Hill, MD with his wife, Grainne, and their four children, Matthew (Avalon’16), Daniel (Avalon'18), Liam (Avalon ’20), and their daughter, Maggie (Brookewood ’23).