Faculty and Staff
I was 22 years old in 1990. I had just gotten married and graduated with my teaching degree. Upon graduation, the advisors were telling the education students that each teaching position available had over 500 applicants competing for it! After sending out countless resumes, I received a call from this little private school I had never heard of- Londonderry School. At the time, the school had a total of 65 students in preschool through sixth grade. After interviewing with Rhoda Barasch and Rick Stevens, they offered me the job of 1st/2nd grade teacher. I thought I would teach for a few years and get some experience until I could get a job with a public school. Needless to say, I had no idea of the turning point this would be in my life!
I taught 1st/2nd grade for five years and loved it. I loved the kids, and I fell totally in love with the school, and I knew I was never going anywhere else. When I went on maternity leave and had my first daughter, Celia, in the spring of 1995, the 5th/6th grade teaching position opened up, and I decided to give it a try. Within that first year, I knew 5th/6th grade was where I belonged. I taught 5th/6th grade for 20 more years. During those years I had my second daughter, Olivia; I earned my M.Ed. ; Londonderry added a 7th/8th grade; we built our own Green building, and we grew to about 200 students and over 35 staff!
I am so honored to now be the Director of Londonderry. I completely believe in our Philosophy of creating safe, loving environments where students can learn in a fun, engaging way, and where they know they will always be valued and respected. What I love most about Londonderry is the feeling you have being a part of this community. It is often described as a family, and it really is my second family! Being a part of this community gives me something that most people probably don’t get from their workplace: unconditional love and support. I also love that I am always learning! I am so grateful for this place and these people, and it is my goal to keep the heart, the feeling, and the philosophy of Londonderry ever present as we grow and adapt to make sure we are meeting the constantly changing educational, social, and emotional needs of our children and families.
Elementary School Administrator / 7th - 8th Grade Teacher
My family first became part of the Londonderry community in 1997 when my son Grant entered preschool. My daughter Tesia followed in 2000 and my youngest daughter, Annelise, has had the privilege of growing up here.
I have a popsicle stick framed “Mother’s Day” gift photo from Annelise–given to me when she was three and new to Holly’s class–that sums up why I believe Londonderry offers what children need most in school. In the photo, Anna is squatting down, leaning slightly forward, looking with wonder at a butterfly resting inches away from her on a Rudbeckia. Her teacher’s hand is positioned behind her back, not holding her, but there to catch her in case she tipped backwards as she studied the butterfly. The other children were circled around, close to the teacher in what looked like a little huddle. I believe both as a parent and teacher that this photo represents what the best education should look like: Teachers facilitating and patiently sharing the wonder of discovery with children, encouraging their natural curiosity, neither pushing nor restraining, but wholly supporting the child’s learning process.
In 2008, I began teaching at Londonderry in the early childhood program and have taught in the 7th/8th grade class since 2010. I received a B.A. (English) and M.Ed. (Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in Education) from Temple University and a J.D. from Delaware Law School. In my leisure time I enjoy reading, hunting for antiques, and traveling to beaches with my children and husband Luke.
Early Childhood Administrator / Kindergarten Teacher
I am originally from a small , coastal town on Long Island’s North Shore. I graduated from Northport High School and later attended the State University of New York at Oneonta where I earned a BS degree in Elementary Education. After living in Connecticut for a brief time, my husband, Craig, and I settled in Binghamton, New York. I began teaching Pre-School/ Kindergarten for the next three years until we moved to Harrisburg, PA. In 2000, I began teaching Kindergarten at Londonderry. I have one son, Brad, who attended Londonderry through Fifth grade and is a recent graduate from Temple University.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance,
I came to Londonderry first for my children, and then for myself. A good friend told me about Londonderry when my kids were very young, and I was intrigued to hear about the different style of teaching and learning. We came to visit the school and were immediately struck by the warm family-like atmosphere and supportive community, and we were hooked. My kids have grown and thrived here over the years with their amazing teachers – teachers who know what my kids are curious about and what makes them unique.
I spent most of my career working in the corporate business world, so when the job opportunity came up at Londonderry, I knew that it was a move that I wanted to make. I started as the Business Manager at Londonderry in 2014 and it was like coming home – to a place where my kids have grown up, and to a place that I am passionate about helping. I feel very fortunate to be able to come to work every day and support all of the teachers, staff, parents and children who make Londonderry the amazing place that it is.
Early Childhood Teachers
I’ve been a pre-school teacher in the same Londonderry classroom since 1984. My hobbies are art, gardening/floral arranging, cooking, music and literature. I love to read all kinds of books, – always have, and always will! I adore all children’s literature, but my favorite is likely Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or any of his works. I admire him as an artist, illustrator, and person. In my classroom you will find Teddy Bear Tea Parties, Color Days and the FUN of learning! I treasure the relationships I have had over the years with all of my students and their families, and one of my favorite quotes is “Once you are one of my babies, you are ALWAYS one of my babies.”
Preschool Teacher Assistant
I moved to the area in 2012 from outside Philadelphia where I resided for 16 years. My husband Travis and I married in August 2013 and our son Leroy was born in March 2016. I am thrilled to not only be a part of the Londonderry family but overjoyed that Leroy is able to experience this amazing school with me! I am truly honored to be a part of the Londonderry team. I look forward to many amazing adventures as I begin to explore those creative little minds that hold a special place in my heart!
Preschool Teacher Assistant
York College of PA ’98 Art Education
I started tutoring/after-school for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit in 1999, moving to a summer school classroom teacher in 2000. I decided to work with children so that I could be a positive influence in their lives. Some of the kids that I started working with may not have had the best home life, so I always tried to help them see that through education you can overcome any situation. When we were searching for a school for our son, we found Londonderry, and we love it. I started working in the after-school program three years ago, and moved to full-time, in Suzanne’s Kindergarten room in 2016.
Kindergarten Teacher and Kindergarten Science
I am from the Harrisburg area and currently reside here with my husband and two boys. I have a BS in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a MS in Environmental Studies and Education from Antioch University New England.
I enjoy spending time with my boys playing sports or just hanging out. I love the beach, animals, and biology! I traveled the world scuba diving and backpacking which solidified my innate love of nature and the scientific processes that keep life going.
I originally heard of Londonderry through the construction of our LEED certified building. When an employment opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to join the Londonderry community. 11 years later I am still here – a strong believer in the sense of community, sense of place, and support for the whole child that Londonderry offers.
Elementary School Teachers
Jyoti Singh Horgan
1st - 2nd Grade Teacher Assistant
I love working with young children. I was fortunate to help start and be the director for a home for young girls in Nepal. We began with 1 child and 13 years later we had 36 girls that lived, and had total care, in our program.
After moving to Harrisburg and learning about Londonderry School I knew I wanted to be part of this amazing place that nurtures a child’s self esteem and creative learning. The happiness I receive when I see young children excited to learn and grow makes me the happiest person in the world. That’s why working with Megan as a kindergarten assistant is not a job but a treasure of love.
1st - 2nd Grade Teacher
I moved to the area from Maryland in the Summer of 2016 and I’ve been at The Londonderry School since January 2017 and I absolutely love it! In 2011 I graduated from Towson University, in Maryland, with my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Since then I have worked in both Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms, as well as, substitute teaching. I have my private school teaching certification for Pennsylvania. I enjoy working with children and seeing the growth and development they go through. I believe in a child’s innate desire to learn and explore through play, and Londonderry’s philosophy represents just that.
1st - 2nd Grade Teacher Assistant
I have been involved with Londonderry (in one way or another) for about 17 years. I started out working in after school, then became full-time . I absolutely fell in love with this place . It was here at Londonderry that I learned so much about how to nurture and help kids grow . After being here for a couple of years, I had my first child, and then along came baby number 2. I was still substituting and working in after-school part-time while my kids were little. In 2006 I returned full-time , and have been full-time ever since. My boys are now 14 and 11 and I am beyond blessed that they have been here at Londonderry! The students here (including my children) have an amazing place to learn to be the people they are meant to be . Teachers do an amazing job meeting kids where they are and helping them find themselves and who they want to be. I am blessed beyond words to be a part of this amazing school and staff.
3rd - 4th Grade Teacher
3rd - 4th Grade Teacher
I was hired shortly after to work in the After-School program and aid in classrooms throughout the school. At the start of 2020, I was offered the position of 3rd/4th grade teacher (which later turned into 2nd/3rd/4th grade teacher) and accepting the offer was the easiest decision I have ever made.
My ultimate goal as a teacher is to teach my students to love themselves, others, and the world around them. Londonderry is the perfect place to practice this way of teaching, and I plan to be here doing just that for a very long time.
“There are no mistakes in life, only events to learn from.” This is a quote that I came across early in my 13 years of teaching 5th/6th grade at Londonderry, and it has guided my teaching over the years. I believe that children learn best in a loving, caring environment where their individual spirit is valued and respected.
When I was 8 years old, my Mom asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I told her that I didn’t know, but that I wanted to do something that helps other people. I am a hands-on learner, and my elementary school at that time was not set up to address my needs, which in turn made learning a challenge for me. It’s not that I wasn’t able to learn, I just needed a different classroom environment. One with more hands-on lessons and activities, particularly in elementary school. My experiences in school and the desire to help others were the impetus to pursue a degree in education. In 1993, I graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Elementary and Kindergarten Education, and in 2004 earned a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State.
When I completed my undergraduate degree, I began working as a preschool teacher, and loved it. In my work as a teacher, I heard great things about The Londonderry School. While attending a conference for Early Childhood Educators, I participated in a workshop lead by Rhoda Barasch, Londonderry’s Director at the time, and Jane Allis, Londonderry’s Early Childhood Director. As I listened to them talk, I remember thinking three things: this is what education should look like for all students, this would be a cool place to work, and when I have children I want them to experience a Londonderry education.
Fast forward several years. My husband, Eric, and I have two children. Our daughter is four and we visited Londonderry to inquire about preschool. When we left, I asked my husband what he thought. His first response was, “Everyone seems happy to be there. The kids are laughing and enjoying themselves.” Our daughter, Izzy, and son, Henry, both attended Londonderry from preschool-8th grade. Izzy recently graduated high school and is taking a gap year while thinking about a career working with children. Henry is a sophomore at Harrisburg Academy.
When we joined the Londonderry community in 2002, I was warmly welcomed as a parent and able to be involved in various aspects of the school. I joined the Long Range Planning committee, volunteered in my daughter’s classroom, and observed and taught lessons in preschool classrooms as part of my Master’s Degree program. In 2004, Londonderry completed construction of our current home which presented a need for a second 5th/6th grade classroom. Although all of my experience teaching to that point was with preschool and kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to teach at Londonderry and was excited about broadening my teaching horizons.
I have grown tremendously as a teacher, parent, and individual by being a part of the Londonderry family. As a teacher, not only have I found several mentors, but the cooperative nature of the staff and school provide me with many learning opportunities. I am trusted to use my knowledge and creativity to develop my classroom environment in a way that I know is best for my students. It is expected that as I get to know my students, I will act as a facilitator to guide their learning in directions that they are interested in. At Londonderry we are valued for our individual talents and are empowered to use them in ways that will benefit the school community.
I enjoy spending time in nature, and have been leading the fall 5th/6th grade and spring 3rd/4th grade camping trips for the last 5 years. My other interests include spending time with family, hiking with our dogs, reading, yoga, gardening, and attending my children’s sporting events.
5th-6th Grade Teacher
5th and 6th Grade Teacher / Science Teacher
I found out about this wonderful school in time to have my son John start his 6th grade year with Margaret, and my son Kyle began first grade in Rick’s class. Unfortunately, my daughter, Ariel was already out of school.
I began working at Londonderry in 2004 and have been teaching science since 2012. I enjoy the warm, caring community among students, parents and teachers and it fits my teaching philosophy to foster a hands-on, fun, integrated learning experience. My focus is on environmental literacy to better understand how human systems and natural systems interact.
7th - 8th Grade Teacher
I started my career not as a teacher but as a chemist. While working on my graduate degree, I found that I enjoyed my work as a teaching fellow much more than my work in the lab. I made a career switch and spent the next eight years teaching high school chemistry. After I had my children, I made yet another change and taught math and S.A.T. preparation courses for Sylvan Learning Center.
I came to Londonderry in 2006 while looking for a school for my older son who was then in first grade. After spending a day at Londonderry, I remember thinking that this was this was exactly what elementary education should be! I knew it was not only the right place for my kids, but for me as well. I started here as a volunteer and then was hired as a tutor for kids who needed extra help and as a substitute teacher. I eventually moved to my current position teaching pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry to seventh and eighth graders, as well as a cross curricular course called special activities. My goal is to help students become strong and confident in their math abilities and to “find the fun” in learning every day. I also teach ballroom dance and do choreography and some blocking and writing for the school play. I am happy to be part of a school community that values the arts and makes time for our kids to create and perform.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband Mark and sons Dylan and Evan. I work as a private tutor in the areas of math, science, and test preparation. As a lifelong dancer, I continue my involvement in dance through volunteer work with the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. In addition to working behind the scenes at ballet productions, I also perform in the ballet’s annual performance of the Nutcracker.
7th - 8th Grade Teacher / Development Coordinator
In 2016 I became our development director. Building relationships in our community and writing grants are a major part of what I do. But my favorite part is getting to tell everyone I encounter about our amazing school! In 2017, I also began teaching at Londonderry. I teach 3rd and 4th grade history and 7th and 8th grade social studies, which includes history, geography, civics, current events, and, as of 2020, Latin. It is an absolute joy to share such important topics with our students and to foster a love of learning. Social studies can be fun!
I received a BA in history and political science from Moravian College and a MA in history from Tufts University, where I was a fellow in the School for Teaching Excellence. I also have a JD from Boston University, where I specialized in international law, human rights law, and legislative drafting. I continue to practice immigration law locally and, in my spare time, I enjoy genealogy, yoga, medieval cooking, and hiking with my husband and our two boys.
As a single mom, I took Art classes at Harrisburg Area Community College while my son attended Kindergarten at Londonderry. I left HACC to attend Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, bringing my son with me to attend public school. Somehow, I was lucky to find a Magnet Arts Public School for him that had a similar philosophy to Londonderry. While studying Art at Moore, I was exposed to many new forms of art and the countries, cultures, and history that led to each art form, as well as, the art culture, creativity and energy of the city of Philadelphia.
I had never excelled at History in high school. In my eyes, the major focus was War and memorizing dates of historical events with little connection to how each event contributed to my life today. There was usually a dry lecture with very few visuals, except for an occasional film focused on some battle. Science was interesting to me but still hard to relate to, as most of it was memorization with little hands-on experimentation. I needed to move around, to touch what I was studying- I needed to be doing something with my hands.
Art School changed that for me. I studied the History of Art, the History of Civilization, and the History of Fashion – All with visual representations that helped me to connect to the past, to my present and to think ahead to the future. I discovered how many artists recorded history visually with ‘codes’ that I could understand. I learned how the act of creating is intrinsic in humans as they develop civilizations and that often you can identify the civilization by looking at the pottery, tools, textiles, jewelry and decorative patterns on these creations. I also began to realize the relationship between a geographic location, it’s available resources, it flora and fauna, it’s animals and what each civilization chooses to create.
All of my discoveries have dovetailed perfectly with my current avocation of teaching Art to kindergarten through eighth graders at Londonderry. I love to be able to share these cultural perspectives, science, art history, and techniques with children.
I have been an artist most of my life, and I love to experiment with new materials and techniques. I am also a ‘working artist’ who creates and displays my artwork in galleries, in addition to, learning about new artists and techniques. Being a ‘working artist’ helps me to maintain an awareness of the process of learning new art forms while teaching children new skills.
I have been teaching ART at Londonderry since 1989! I love teaching here. Londonderry’s philosophy is very supportive to creative thinking, which has helped me to grow as a teacher and an artist. Londonderry celebrates the ‘whole’ person (children and adults) while maintaining a family-like atmosphere. I feel that I’m part of a nurturing family. In Art class, my goal is to develop the divergent thinking skills of children, which enables them to look at the world from many points of view. It also helps them to discover that there is often more than one solution to a problem. Creative activities assist in the development of these important skills. Creative activities also enable children to explore, make discoveries, manipulate, and control materials in their environment. They learn the “how to” of drawing and creating other forms of art by looking at nature, photographs, and the objects and people around us. While we are looking, we are making careful observations of shape, size, color, texture, and lines in the things that we see. They learn about other people who make art today (illustrators of books, fine artists, sculptors, photographers, etc.) and about artists who made art in the past. By looking at art from different times and cultures they can learn about the history, surroundings, clothing, and ways of life of others. I feel that Art is also a tool for students to gain an insight into personal aesthetics, and self-expression. Art gives children a ‘voice’ to communicate ideas and the expression of feelings and fears.
I am honored to be able to share my love of art and to help give children a ‘voice’ while working with the many creative teachers and staff that are part of my Londonderry family.
I always knew I wanted to teach elementary school. I majored in Philosophy of Education and obtained my teaching certificate at The College of Wooster in 1972. I loved logic and while at Wooster I was a TA for the Logic course in the Philosophy Department. When I first discovered the computer language Logo in 1982, I was amazed at what it allowed children of a very young age to do. I would never have thought I could introduce and use variables to a second grader! I loved the way it tapped into both the analytical and creative sides and the way it allowed me a window into how children think. In 1983, I took a few summer graduate level courses at Rutger’s University and became convinced to become a teacher of the Logo Computer Language.
As a family, we found Londonderry for our son, in 1989. I knew I had found, not only a school for my son, but a home for me. I started volunteering immediately, working with groups of children from Kindergarten and up on creating Logo projects. Within months, I was offered the opportunity of creating a computer curriculum for Londonderry and teaching computer to K-6th graders.
I have also served on Londonderry’s Long Range Planning Committee and was a co-chair for many years. I served as faculty representative on Londonderry’s Board of Trustees. Since 1989, my husband, Robert and I have been in charge of Gingerbread Houses at Londonderry’s Winter Festival. I also help with both Londonderry’s Science and History Fair.
Hollis joined the Londonderry family in 2003 when her oldest daughter, Cathryn, started kindergarten. Her middle daughter, Caroline, also graduated from Londonderry and her youngest, Olive, is now a 3rd grader. For the last 14 years, Hollis has helped with the Londonderry school play. Three years ago, Hollis took over as writer and director of the school play, keeping this beautiful Londonderry tradition alive.
Hollis grew up in upstate New York where she trained as a dancer. She attended the Penn State University where she was active as dancer, choreographer, and President of Orchesis Dance Company. Hollis has taught dance all over central Pennsylvania in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, theater dance and special needs classes. Currently, Hollis teaches jazz and theatre dance at Hershey School Of Dance.
Hollis loves sharing her passion for the arts with the students at Londonderry and seeing the children gain confidence and self-expression through acting, song, and dance.
In 2008, Amanda began her teaching career at Cumberland Valley School District teaching elementary music, chorus, and strings. After the birth of her son in 2013, Amanda made a personal choice to stay home with her son. She kept her music teaching toes in the water during this time by teaching John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music classes out of her home. She has taught voice lessons since 2007 and is a regularly performing vocalist in Central PA.
Amanda believes that healthy singing technique and musical skill can be taught and used through any genre and at any age. When she is not doing musical things, she loves practicing yoga and reiki, spending time with loved ones and being a mom to an amazing little boy.