Ravenscroft has announced the following additions to the school's Leadership Team, effective July 1, 2021. These positions report to Head of School Doreen Kelly.
Justin Brandon - Asst. Head of School for Academic Affairs
Justin Brandon, currently serving as Head of Upper School at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, will assume the role of Ravenscroft Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs.
Brandon's considerable work in school administration and as a teacher, coach, dean, and diversity, equity and inclusion practitioner mirrors the values we have at Ravenscroft. Throughout his more than 20-year career in education, he has demonstrated extensive collaboration with all aspects of the community while listening and responding to numerous issues related to academic, social, emotional and moral issues. As an advocate for students and teachers at Parker, Brandon implemented changes that enhanced and grew academic programming for the Upper School and for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Brandon holds a Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African-American Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Brandon began his career as an intern at Culver Academies. Since then, he has worked in independent schools across the country as a Director of Diversity, history teacher, dean, Head of Upper School, advisor and coach. He has participated in the Friends Council Institute for Engaging Leadership and was a recipient of an NAIS Aspiring Heads of School Fellowship. He facilitates workshops on leadership, cultural competency, student well-being, and diversity, equity and inclusion at many regional and national conferences around the country.
"I look forward to joining a community that is committed to educating the whole child through curiosity, leadership skills development, and a diverse curriculum that prepares students for the world they will inherit," Brandon said.
Outside of school, Brandon serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors for the Global Youth Leadership Institute and as the incoming president of the Macalester College Alumni Board.
Brandon has deep ties to North Carolina: his father's family has roots in Henderson, and his mother was born in Robersonville, where he spent many summers with his grandmother. He loves to read, travel and explore the outdoors. A foodie at heart, Brandon said that he and his family welcome all recommendations for the best ice cream and barbecue in the Triangle.
Dr. Kendra Varnell - Asst. Head of School for Student Affairs
Co-Director of Clinical Services Kendra Varnell has been named Assistant Head of School for Student Affairs.
Varnell joined Ravenscroft in the fall of 2017 and has since served as the Middle School and the Upper School counselor. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, then returned to her home state of California for graduate school, where she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.
Varnell said she has enjoyed forming relationships with students and families through her various roles at Ravenscroft and is looking forward to serving our community in new ways. Moving into this role, she will oversee our PreK-12 health and wellness programs.
"I am most excited to think about student wellness at the institutional level," Varnell said. "Knowing how interconnected academics and diversity, equity and inclusion are to student wellness, I am passionate about partnering with members of our Leadership Team to enhance student experiences holistically."
Outside of school, Varnell can be found with her husband walking their two dogs, listening to a good pop culture podcast, or on the hunt for a good cup of coffee.
Louis Tullo - Chief Technology Officer
Louis Tullo, currently serving as Director of Educational Technology at The Athenian School in Danville, California, will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer.
Throughout his career, Tullo has led IT operations in a variety of industries. In his most recent role at The Athenian School, he spearheaded curricular technology integration. Some of those responsibilities included oversight of blended-learning programs, fostering a technology coaching program for faculty and developing a robust distance-learning strategy in response to the COVID pandemic. He is a Boston College graduate and an active member of the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools.
"I look forward to building relationships throughout the Ravenscroft community and partnering to drive innovation throughout academic programming in a way that advances the school's mission of preparing students to thrive in a complex and interdependent world," he said. "I am excited to forge paths for students of all backgrounds and build upon their classroom learning in a deeply experiential way."
Outside of work, Tullo spends his time with his local community of faith — that is, he added, when he and his wife, Melissa, have a break from wrangling their four young boys!
We are also pleased to announce the following additions to Upper School leadership.
Angela Miklavcic Brandon - Asst. Head of Upper SchoolAngela Miklavcic Brandon (Ms. Miklavcic) joins us from Francis W. Parker School, where she has served their Junior K-12 school as the schoolwide Science Department co-chair and seventh-grade life sciences teacher.
With more than 20 years of experience working in both boarding and independent day schools, Miklavcic has extensive experience teaching and leading in Upper School and has taught topics including AP Chemistry, chemistry, honors chemistry and kitchen chemistry as well as forensics, physical world and Earth science. She has also served as an advisor for Upper School students, affinity groups and Student Council and as a coach for crew and girls basketball at the varsity and middle school levels.
Miklavcic earned a Master of Education in Private School Leadership from Columbia University, a Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.
Miklavcic is an avid reader, traveler and plant lover. Although she is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, she has lived in six states during her lifetime. She enjoys making craft projects with her daughter and doing puzzles when she has space on her dining room table! Miklavcic also has trouble passing up a tasty dessert or a good basketball game. She is inspired by the opportunity to work with students and adults to develop their leadership potential. However, she is most looking forward to seeing what excites students about their learning and teachers about their craft. She will report to Head of Upper School Aaron Sundstrom.
Samantha Borkovic - Upper School Counselor
Samantha (Sam) Borkovic joins us from Saint Edward's School in Vero Beach, Florida, where she is currently serving as the PreK-12 counselor and department chair, teacher, Advocacy Coordinator, Assistant Dean of Students and the girls varsity soccer coach.
Borkovic earned a Master of Education in Professional School Counseling from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a concentration in Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University. She attended Sewickley Academy, an independent school in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
In addition to implementing Saint Edward's array of counseling programs — which includes programs for behavioral health, substance-use prevention and early intervention — Borkovic teaches AP Psychology and Honors Sociology and co-teaches an online Honors Ethics summer program.
Borkovic is eager to partner with Ravenscroft families during such an important time in their child's life. She is particularly excited to become immersed in Lead From Here and all of the co-curricular opportunities that come with the program. She will report to Assistant Head of School for Student Affairs Kendra Varnell.
When not working, she is an outdoor enthusiast, devoted foodie, animal lover and sports fanatic.
Please join us in welcoming the newest members of Ravenscroft's leadership to our community!