Welcome to our newest faculty and staff

August 29, 2014

Madeira is pleased to welcome an impressive array of  new faculty and staff members who have joined us this school year. We look forward to seeing their contributions in the classroom and around campus. Listed in order of photo left to right.

Dr. Joel Wallace joins the Science Department with 11 years of experience teaching in independent schools. In 2014-2015 he will be teaching Biology and AP Biology. Mr. Wallace earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Drew University and his MD from New Jersey Medical School. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and taking advantage of Washington, D.C.’s museums. Dr. Wallace is also an opera enthusiast and reports the highlight of his summer was getting to see his cousin perform in New York City’s annual Musical Theater Festival.  

Ms. Lauren Roy comes to Madeira as our education technology specialist after working as the interactive technology director for a private kindergarten through eighth grade school in South Florida. In her role, Ms. Roy will advise faculty and staff how to incorporate technology into their classes and help fuel innovative approaches in the classroom. “Thanks in part to the accessibility of mobile devices, technology is reaching the point where students of nearly any age can become their own advocates for a personalized education,” said Ms. Roy. “They can become explorers and builders of their own learning.” In December she graduated with honors from Purdue University with a Masters in Learning Design and Technology. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from the University of West Florida. As a Gold Award scout herself, Ms. Roy has also served as the assistant camp director for the Girl Scouts of South East Florida’s residential summer program for several years.  

Stacy Tippens is an educational technology specialist new to the Information and Innovation Department at Madeira this year. She has a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland university collage. In addition to working as an educator for all age levels, she served as an IT specialist for the Smithsonian Institution. Ms. Tippens brings with her a background in video production and is very excited to pursue this passion at Madeira. Stacy has recently moved to Northern Virginia, from Kennesaw, GA, with her husband and 10 year old daughter.  She and her family loving living in the D.C. metro area and are enjoying all that it has to offer.  

Valerie Proudfoot joined the Development Office in July as special events coordinator. Prior to coming to Madeira, she was the marketing and communications assistant at The Community Foundation of Frederick County, MD, where among her many tasks she developed and coordinated special events. Ms. Proudfoot attended Hood College and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. She was a board member and ADDY co-chairwoman for the American Advertising Federation of Greater Frederick, and assisted in the planning of the American Advertising Awards, the largest competition and event within ADDY. In her free time, she is a snowboard instructor at Liberty Mountain during the winter months teaching students of all ages. Ms. Proudfoot is looking forward to working creating fun and exciting events for the Madeira community at large.

The History Department welcomes Mr. Jeff Meade to the classroom. Mr. Meade is building off of 10 years of experience in the Smithsonian education departments. He is the former program lead at the Smithsonian EdLab, where he coordinated educational programs aimed at increasing learning relevancy to student life through meaningful digital media exploration. He is particularly interested in making classroom learning about community investigation and participation. Mr. Meade emphasizes authentic experiences rooted in object- and place-based learning styles, and he says that The Madeira School is the perfect laboratory to explore such innovative education. He received his Masters in Museums Studies from the George Washington University’s Museum Studies Program, building museum experience upon a bachelor’s degree in Ancient History and Religious Studies. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, he served four years as an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service.

Dr. Xiaofu Ding comes to the Madeira World Languages Department as a French teacher from the Brearley School in New York City where she taught French and Mandarin to K-12 girls for six years. She graduated from New York University with a Ph.D. in French literature, studied at the prestigious l’École Normale Supérieure (Lyon) and acquired a diploma of advanced studies (DEA) at Paris 8. As an experienced educator with over 15 years of teaching foreign languages, literature, and western civilizations at numerous schools (which include New York University, the New School, the Brearley School), Dr. Ding believes the ultimate goal in education is to teach students how to think critically and creatively. She explained her teaching philosophy by way of a metaphoric analogy picture: she initially shows the young mind the right keys to the right doors, which would guide them to acquire the skills to find the right keys to the doors they wish to open. The ultimate achievement is that they will be able to make their own keys to unlock whatever doors they choose. In her leisure time, Dr. Ding loves outdoor activities, and is an arts, theater, and modern ballet lover. She is excited to join the Madeira community, and contribute to the enrichment of students’ lives.

Joining the History Department is Ms. Shana Barnett, a California native who most recently worked for three years as a humanities teacher at High Tech High, a project-based-learning charter school in San Diego, CA. As an instructor, Ms. Barnett facilitates collaborative learning and creative problem solving through projects. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After a semester studying the Italian language in Siena, Italy, Ms. Barnett returned to the University of California to participate in the Stevenson College Junior Fellows Program and teach an undergraduate philosophy course. Ms. Barnett is excited to join the Madeira community and empower the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. 

Ms. Imani Wiltshire comes to Madeira’s English Department from New York City. She has taught in a combination of independent and public school settings. Her career began in Washington, D.C. following her graduation from Howard University where she completed her degree in English and secondary education. After entering the classroom she found an interest in community service, and has traveled with students to El Salvador and domestically working to cultivate service-learning programs. She has earned her previous school a service-learning grant from the Youth Service of America. She completed a Masters of Reading, Writing, and Literacy from The University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Wiltshire’s passion to strengthen students’ identity through their curricular experience in English, motivates her to utilize varying modes of communication to help fuel students’ 21st-century communicative skills. This year, Ms. Wiltshire is looking forward to engendering reflection and excitement in the young women she teaches as they approach their study of English language and personal identity. In many ways, she says, “a student’s experience with discovering characters in literature is inextricably linked with her impression of the world.”  Ms. Wiltshire looks forward to the discussions that her classes will have regarding their experiences with the “text and self.”

Ms. Amy Heishman joins the English Department, bringing with her a love of American literature and history. Ms. Heishman earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Belmont Abbey College and a master’s in American literature from North Carolina State University. While at NC State University, she was nominated twice by the English department faculty to represent excellence in research at the annual Graduate Research Symposium. Upon graduating, she taught at Duke University and Durham Technical Community College. Most recently, Ms. Heishman spent the last year working with a non-profit organization, developing material for the National Endowment for Humanities, and this summer marked her fourth year with Duke’s Talent Identification Program as an instructor. While she spent the summer helping students stage an original Shakespeare adaptation, she is most excited to share her passion of American history and literature with Madeira girls.