Indian Creek welcomes 17 new faculty and staff members to the team for the 2022-23 school year. This influx of educators will support the School's deepening program, growing Middle School, and commitment to well-being. We can't wait for you to meet them next week. In the meantime, please learn more about these incredible educators through their bios below, or learn more about all ICS employees through the Faculty & Staff Directory.
Middle School History Teacher
Jon Bass joins the Middle School faculty after returning to the Baltimore Area this summer from the San Francisco Bay area in California. After a 12-year career in IT, Jon found his passion in the classroom and is thrilled to join the Indian Creek School faculty.
Jon earned his B.A. in History from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is on track to complete his Master of Arts degree in Education and his Teaching Certification in Social Science from Alliant International University in San Diego, California, this month. Last school year, he served as a student teacher at Connect Academy in California, creating curriculum and teaching eighth grade Social Studies.
Prior to transitioning to the education field, Jon worked in the technology field for companies including Under Armour, Mercy Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Systems.
Jon can’t wait to work with Middle School students at Indian Creek. “There is literally nothing I would rather be doing than teaching. The first day I stepped into a classroom, I felt like a fish who had been flopping around on land his whole life and was finally thrown into water. I could not be more excited about the opportunity to be an educator at ICS, and I am confident that my passion will make me an amazing and impactful teacher for my students.”
Upper School World Languages Teacher
A native Spanish speaker, Tania Berkowitz was born and raised in Chile, and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Tania earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish, with a minor in Education, from Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and her Masters of Science degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds graduate certificates in Gifted Education and English as a Second Language, and her Pennsylvania Teaching Certification in Grades 6-12 Spanish.
Tania comes to ICS from Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland, where she has taught in the Upper and Middle School divisions since 2009. At Severn, she taught courses including Spanish I, II, III, IV, Honors, IV Conversation, AP and Post AP Spanish, worked on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives, and served as a grade level advisor, Community Service committee advisor, and led the Spanish and Dance clubs. She also led several cultural trips abroad. Tania also serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Anne Arundel County Community College, and works as a Private Spanish Tutor for adult learners.
Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her two children, Noé(6) and Tiare (almost 3), and her big dog. Tania is passionate about sharing her language expertise and cultural awareness with others, and looks forward to fostering a love of exploring languages and cultures in her students at ICS.
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Indian Creek welcomes Deniz Carroll to the Early Childhood team as a Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. Deniz comes to ICS from Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church Preschool, in Annapolis, Maryland, where she served as Lead teacher for the 2-3 year-old classroom. Prior to this, she taught at St Margaret’s Day School for four years, and worked as a substitute teacher in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system.
Deniz holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and earned a degree in Elementary Education at Anne Arundel Community College.
Deniz’s patience, creativity and dedication to listening to understand the needs of her students make her a wonderful addition to the ICS Pre-K program!
Upper School History Teacher
Alexandra Crowell is acutely aware of the influence that a teacher wields in the life of a child, and aims to make every interaction that she has with her students one in which they feel seen, valued, and capable of reaching their full potential. A scholar of ancient history, literature, and Africana studies, Alex earned her B.A. in International Studies from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and is currently working towards her Master of Arts degree at Middlebury College. She also studied Fine Arts at Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina.
Alex comes to ICS after teaching for three years in the Humanities Department at Glenelg Country Day School in Ellicott City, Maryland. At Glenelg, Alex taught courses in Ancient Studies, Western Studies, African history and Culture, and AP Art History. Prior to this, she was a Preschool Art Teacher at Wee Lad and Lassie Early Learning Center in Severna Park, Maryland.
A highlight of Alex’s career was her tenure as a Peace Corps Education Volunteer in Busia, Uganda. During her service, she taught English to third and fourth grade students at the Dabani Girls Primary School, using both English and the local language Olusamia.
She is especially proud of the relationships that she has cultivated with her students and the community, firmly rooted in love and trust. This dedication, along with her belief in an interdisciplinary approach to education, make Alexandra a wonderful addition to the ICS faculty.
Middle School Science Teacher
Teresita Cuesta is passionate about discovering possibilities in students and helping them to imagine and try out what they can be in the world. A dedicated educator, she comes to Indian Creek from the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, where she has taught for 21 years. During this time, Teresita shared her expertise as a four-time presenter for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, through a number of leadership positions at Sidwell Friends, and as a re-accreditation team member for the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools.
Teresita earned her Master of Education from Framingham State University, in Framingham, MA, and a Liberal Arts Degree from Harvard University Extension School, in Cambridge, MA. She completed the Mathematics for Teaching Master’s degree program at Harvard University Extension School as well. She has also studied at the Universidad Rafael Landivar, in Guatemala, Guatemala.
Outside of school, Teresita enjoys volunteering with organizations including Martha’s Table, A Wider Circle, and Ward 8 Woods, as well as training as a long-distance runner. Her commitment to building a caring and supportive learning environment to help students become empowered to take healthy risks makes her a perfect addition to the ICS Middle School team.
Middle & Upper School Learning Support Teacher; Head Varsity Baseball Coach
Matt Foster joins ICS from Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he taught AP Literature and Composition and American Literature. Prior to this, he taught in the Baltimore City Public School system and served at Director of Athletics at The Cardinal Gibbons School in Baltimore.
Matt earned his Master’s degree in Education and his B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution from Salisbury University. Coach Foster brings a wealth of experience in the MIAA to his role as coach, having played and coached at Cardinal Gibbons and serving on the coaching staff at Archbishop Curley. Coach Foster had a successful playing career at Salisbury University, where he captained their baseball team, earned All-American honors and lead the program to the D3 College World Series.
We are thrilled to have Matt join the ICS faculty, and lead the Eagles Baseball program to new heights!
Front Desk Receptionist
Indian Creek welcomes Laurie Guild to the staff in the role of Front Desk Receptionist. You will see Laurie during after school hours in the main lobby. Laurie comes to ICS from a career in legal administration, where she has served most recently as a Legal Secretary for Hillman, Brown, & Darrow, P.C., as a Perform Clerk for the District Court of Maryland, and as a Legal Assistant for von Diezelski & Turgeon, all in Annapolis, Maryland. Laurie also owns a furniture refinishing business, named A Painted Trove. Laurie is working towards an associate’s degree in Psychology, Sociology, and Human Services at Anne Arundel Community College.
While Laurie is new to the ICS staff, she has been a member of the Creek community for years, as grandmother to Maddox ’24 and Mille ’32.
Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Kathleen Jingwi joins the ICS faculty with extensive experience teaching Mathematics in grades 6-12, both internationally as well as in the United States. She recently returned to the US after several years of teaching at the American School of Douala, in Cameroon. During this time, she taught Algebra I, Geometry, Intro to Statistics, and AP Statistics, and also served as SAT/PSAT testing Coordinator, AP Coordinator, NHS advisor, and a Math Counts Coach. Since her return to Maryland, she has taught Mathematics at Meade High School. Prior to her travels, she was a high school Math educator at Bowie High School for 19 years, where she was awarded the City of Bowie Excellence in Education award.
Kathleen earned her B.S. in Mathematics at Mt. Saint Mary’s University, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and her M.A. in Mathematics Education through the Peace Corps Fellows Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has also received U.S. Peace Corps Cross-Cultural, French, and Pidgin Language Training in Secondary Mathematics and Physics. Kathleen holds her Maryland Advanced Professional Teacher Certification in Mathematics. We welcome Kathleen to ICS!
Head Athletic Trainer; Assistant Athletic Director
The Eagles Athletics Department welcomes Alyssa Kocik in the roles of Head Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director. Alyssa comes to ICS from The Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, where she worked as Assistant Athletic Director, Head Athletic Trainer, Sports Medicine Teacher, Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach, and a member of the COVID Task Force. Prior to this, she served in similar roles in the Prince William County Schools System, and as an Athletic Training Preceptor and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University.
Alyssa earned her M.S. in Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotions and her B.S. in Athletics Training from George Mason. She is currently working towards a Post Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University. She is CPR/AED certified, BOC certified, holds her VDOE Technical Professional license, and is a Maryland and Virginia Licensed Athletic Trainer. Alyssa is thrilled to join the ICS community!
Marcia Kokoski ’85
First and Second Grade Assistant Teacher (Long Term Sub)
Marcia Kokoski expands her ICS resume this year by joining the Lower School faculty as First and Second Grade Assistant Teacher. An alum of the Evergreen Class of 1985 herself, a parent to two ICS alumni (Kaitlyn ’19 and Christopher ’22), and parent to a current Creeker (Andrew ’26), Marcia has been dedicated to the core values, wonderful opportunities, and amazing staff at Indian Creek for decades.
Marcia earned her B.A. from Salisbury University before pursuing a career as a Corporate Recruiter. Most recently, she has worked in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system for five years as a Special Education teacher. Over the years, she has shared her talents with the ICS community, serving on the PTO Board and serving as a substitute teacher in Lower School.
Outside of School, Marcia loves spending time with her family and friends, especially when it involves cooking, the beach, warm vacations, and kayaking.
Upper School History & English Teacher
Colleen Kyle believes that when you ask powerful questions, listen carefully to the answers, and act on what you hear, teaching can become transformational. Colleen joins the ICS faculty from Roland Park Country School, where she served as Upper School Head and taught History. During her time at RPCS, she is particularly proud of her work in creating an Interdisciplinary Studies program to provide students with rigorous deep learning opportunities. Prior to this, Colleen served as Mentor Program Director, Department Head, and on the History & Interdisciplinary faculty at Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington.
Colleen earned her M.A. at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and her B.A. in History at Connecticut College. She is currently working towards a Certificate in School Management & Leadership through the Harvard Graduate School of Education/Harvard Business School. Throughout her career, Colleen has presented at numerous conferences including several through the National Association of Independent Schools and the World History Association.
Outside of school, Colleen enjoys kayaking, walking her dogs, Peloton, trying not to kill her houseplants, reading, and thrift shopping. While Colleen has been an Eagles fan for many years, as and ICS parent (Devin ’22) and spouse (Booth), she is thrilled to officially join the Upper School faculty.
Middle School English Teacher
Lauren McClain joins the ICS Middle School faculty at the perfect time, as “The Project Based Learning initiative is her jam!” (She has even authored a book on PBL!) Lauren finds joy in teaching the humanities to middle grades students because of the socially authentic, interdisciplinary nature of the course material.
A Maryland State Certified Teacher, Lauren earned her Master of Arts in Literacy Education at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and her Bachelor of Arts in English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Prior to joining the ICS faculty, she served as Director of Education and Certified Birth Educator at the Special Beginnings Birth & Women’s Center in Annapolis, Maryland. She has also worked as a Pre-K Classroom Teacher at Art. Play. Learn. in Bowie, Maryland, and as a Reading Specialist and Classroom Teacher at Falcon Ridge Middle School in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Outside of school, Lauren has founded several educational blogs and co-hosts a weekly podcast that centers around health and family content.
Middle School Counselor; Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Head Varsity Boys Soccer Coach
Isaiah Noreiga’s inherent love for teaching, long-standing passion for mental health and well-being, and ongoing desire to make the educational experience more equitable and inclusive for all students combine to make him a strong addition to the ICS faculty.
Isaiah earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical-Community Psychology from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his B.A. in Communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he played Division I soccer. Isaiah holds certificates in Restorative Justice Training from the International Institute of Restorative Practices and in Trauma-Informed Care from ARC, and has completed National Diversity Practitioner’s Institute Training.
He joins us from the Friends School of Baltimore, where he served as a Physical Education teacher, DEI Coordinator, Admissions Committee Member, and Varsity Girls Soccer Coach and Program Coordinator and Middle School Boys Basketball Coach and Program Coordinator. He also serves as a Head Coach for Maryland United. Isaiah is a C Licensed USSF Coach, a Certified Life Coach by the Coaching Training Alliance, and an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer. Additionally, he has served as Head Boys Coach and Assistant Director of Coaching for Allegheny Force, played for the Houston Dynamo U23 and Academy Teams, and represented Trinidad and Tobago as a National Team Player.
Larissa Oktay ’15
Middle & Upper School Fine Arts Teacher (Long Term Sub)
An alum of the ICS Class of 2015, Larissa Oktay returns to Indian Creek excited for the opportunity to inspire a love of learning, the confidence to push intellectual boundaries, and a passion for creative expression through art in her students.
In addition to joining the ICS faculty, Larissa is a Certified Yoga Instructor. She has also worked at YogaWorks in Severna Park, Lululemon in Columbia, Bean Rush Café in Crownsville, and CardoMed Device Consultants, in Annapolis. She earned her Bachelor of Philosophy from Philosophy of Mind, and attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. We welcome Larissa to the Fine Arts faculty!
Advancement Office Database Manager
Rona comes to ICS from the B’nai Israel Congregation, in Baltimore, where she served as Director of Development. Prior to this, she served as Director of Young Leadership & Special Projects for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Mid-Atlantic Region, and as Philanthropy Associate at Mercy Medical Center. A graduate of Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas, Rona brings a great deal of development experience, as well as extensive knowledge in Raiser’s Edge to her work at ICS. We are thrilled that she has joined our Advancement team.Allison Vaughn
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Allison Vaughn brings over 25 years of classroom experience with her to ICS. A seasoned educator, Allison has served as a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Prince Georges County Public Schools System since 1996. Allision is known as a compassionate teacher, dedicated to cultivating personal growth and fostering well-being in her students. We welcome Allison to the Early Childhood team!
Assistant Director of Advancement; Director of Outreach
Whit Willocks loves people, and she loves schools that produce great people. This passion drew her to ICS and makes her a perfect addition to the Advancement team, where she will focus on constituent engagement and alumni relations.
Whit comes to ICS from Kimball Union Academy, in Meriden, New Hampshire, where she served as the Associate Director of Admission. Prior to this she has worked as the Assistant Director of College Advising at Kimball, and as the Director of Events & Programs at the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals.
Lacrosse is a big part of Whit’s life, and she is the owner and Director of ECHO Lacrosse Club, a boys and Girls Club serving children in grades 3-12 in New Hampshire and Vermont. She has served as a Board Member and Head Coach at Empower Lacrosse Club, Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Dartmouth University, Co-Head Coach for the Under Armour All-American New England Team, and Assistant Varsity Coach at Andover High School.
Whit is also a passionate advocate for female athletes, having served as Assistant Director and Panelist on the Young Women in Sports Foundation and speaking at events on behalf of the One Love Foundation nationwide.
Whit earned her Master of Education degree in Education Administration at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology at UVA as well.
We welcome Whit and her family – including children Charlie ’34 and Bo – to the ICS community!