Golden Pond School’s administrative team members collaborate to ensure the fulfillment of the school’s mission.
Kathie Burrell, Owner & Curriculum Director
Kathie Burrell, together with her husband, Steve, purchased Golden Pond School in late 2002. At the time, Golden Pond was operating as a child daycare center. Kathie’s vision, now achieved, was to transform GPS into a high quality,“pure”preschool and kindergarten.
Kathie has a BA from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential from San Francisco State College, and a master of science in education from Portland State University in Oregon. She has more than 20 years’classroom teaching experience in pre- and lower schools in the U.S. and overseas.
Kathie’s passion is brain-based education, the focus of her master’s dissertation. As Golden Pond School’s visionary leader, Kathie has developed a research-based curriculum known as “The Golden Pond Way.” In collaboration with the teaching staff, this curriculum is continuously updated and modified to ensure effectiveness.
Kathie’s leadership also inspires GPS teachers to participate in state, national, and international early childhood education annual conferences.
Steve Burrell, Owner & “Resource”
Steve Burrell collaborates with Kathie in support of her vision for Golden Pond School. Additionally, he handles the school’s finances, capital expenses, and certain aspects of the school’s marketing. He also takes thousands of pictures of GPS students and events, many of which are featured on this site.
Steve has a B.S. from the United States Military Academy and a Master’s of International Management from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona. Steve spent 35 years in the international oil and gas and petrochemical engineering-construction industry before joining Kathie on the GPS adventure.
Lisa Moriarty, Principal
Lisa Moriarty started with Golden Pond School in 2007 as a Lead Kindergarten Enrichment teacher. Lisa also served as the Kindergarten/Kindergarten Enrichment Coordinator and Team Lead from 2008-2013. She continued in KE until 2013 when she was asked to assume overall leadership of the administrative team as Principal.
Lisa has a B.A. in Education with a concentration in English from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Lisa’s prior teaching experience includes:
- 1994-1997 –Lead 3s teacher, Carmel, Indiana
- 1997–1999–Assistant preschool and kindergarten teacher, Carmel, IN
- 1999–permanent 7th grade substitute, St. Gabriel’s School, Stamford, CT
- 2000-2003 –Lead 3s and 4s teacher and co-lead JK teacher, Fairfield, CT
In addition to her teaching duties, Lisa has been an active member of GPS teams presenting at annual conferences of the Virginia State Reading Association (2012 and 2013) and at the International Reading Association (2013).
Lisa tells us: “I enjoy working in an environment that cultivates a strong partnership between home and school, encourages the pursuit of personal growth, and offers stimulating challenges. Additionally, I love our engaging curriculum, taught by our exceptional educators, which explores themes that promote a child’s natural curiosity, fostering joyful learning and meaningful fun!”
Margaret Grace, Admissions Director
Margaret is the Director of Admissions at Golden Pond. She earned her B.S. in psychology and business from the University of Scranton and worked in human resources in New York before moving to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and finally Virginia. A stay-at-home mom for 12+ years, Margaret volunteered in her children’s classrooms, taught CCD, and worked for Loudoun County Public Schools as a substitute teacher.
Joining the Golden Pond community in 2008 as a substitute teacher, Margaret was impressed with the refreshing learning approach of the experiential, theme-based curriculum. She has been assistant teacher in Golden Pond’s Full-day Kindergarten, Kindergarten Enrichment, Threes, and Lunch Bunch programs.
As Director of Admissions, Margaret enjoys meeting parents who are interested in touring Golden Pond, and sharing our successful learning approach. She says admissions is all about finding the right fit and making a match between a student and a school. She looks forward to guiding families through the admissions process. Margaret also appreciates our wonderful Golden Pond families and the fantastic staff she works with every day.
Elizabeth Dwyer, Operations Director
Elizabeth is Operations Director at Golden Pond School. She graduated with B.A.’s in English and Economics from Villanova University and worked at Prudential Bache in New York. Originally from Long Island, Elizabeth moved down to Virginia to raise her family. Elizabeth has been with Golden Pond since 2011. After staying home to raise her daughters, she substituted for administrative and teaching positions in Loudoun County Schools.
Elizabeth’s initial position at Golden Pond in 2011 was at the front desk, where she enjoyed the daily interactions with parents and children. In the past year she has transitioned into more of a managerial role and taken on more responsibilities. Elizabeth looks forward to working closely with the staff and Golden Pond families in the years to come.
Trish Nestor, Extended Day Program Director/Summer Camp Director
Trish is the Director of Extended Day Programs and will assume the role of Director of Summer Camp for the 2017 camp season. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Concord University and her M.Ed. from George Mason University. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade and Third Grade at numerous schools in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. She also previously ran her own Educational Consulting, Testing and Tutoring Service.
Trish originally joined the GPS faculty in 2013 as a Junior Kindergarten Extended Day teacher. She has loved her years in the classroom and is very excited to develop and grow the extended day and summer camp programs at GPS!
Ingrid Dudley, School Secretary
Ingrid Dudley was born and raised in Queens, NY. She became a Navy wife 12 years ago when she married her high school sweetheart, Chris. They moved to Virginia in 2002 and live in Leesburg with their 2 daughters –Kearney, age 11, and Gabrielle, age 8—and their crazy dog Linus, age 10.
Ingrid is excited to enjoy her new role as School Secretary at Golden Pond School this year and to greet both new and existing Golden Pond families every day. She discovered her passion for working with young children 21 years ago while attending Binghamton University –State University of New York (SUNY). She taught preschool for over 5 years in upstate New York before becoming a professional nanny 15 years ago. From 2012-2014, Ingrid was the assistant teacher in Golden Pond’s Full-day Kindergarten (Bluebirds).
She says, “There is nothing greater than watching a child discover something new and knowing you had a part in supporting their love of learning! The unique hands-on method of teaching is what sets Golden Pond School apart from other schools in the area. I know this not just as a teacher and administrator, but as the proud mom of a Golden Pond School alumna. My daughter attended Golden Pond and I know that her experiences here provided a solid foundation for her continued success in school”.
Ingrid enjoys being a part of the Golden Pond staff and learning about what goes into teaching the “Golden Pond Way.”
Amel Founi, Chef
Amel Founi (pronounced Ah-mel Foo-nee) has been the head chef at Golden Pond School for nine foodtastic years. Originally from Tunisia, Amel has lived in Virginia for 18 years. She enjoys greeting your children each day as she escorts them to their classrooms, and seeing their bright smiles when she serves them their food.