Lower School Profiles

Laura Oetgen – Pre-kindergarten 
Laura Oetgen teaches pre-kindergarten at Peabody. A graduate of the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, she earned her B.A. in Drama and her M.T. in Elementary Education. Mrs. Oetgen taught kindergarten, first grade, and fifth grade in the public schools for five years, then landed back in kindergarten at Peabody School last fall. This year, she’s thrilled to be leading a pre-kindergarten classroom and has many exciting experiential learning opportunities planned for her eager students. Mrs. Oetgen loves children’s literature and helping kiddos discover the magic of reading, and she’s returned to Curry part-time to complete her Ed.S. in Reading Education. In her spare time, you’ll find her playing outdoors, reading a book, or crafting an art project.

Jennifer Strong – Pre-kindergarten
Jennifer Strong has taught Pre-Kindergarten at Peabody School since 2008.  Before earning her doctorate at the University of Texas, Ms. Strong completed honors studies in Elementary Education and Communication, earning a Distinguished College Scholar Award.  She also worked with children and families as an advocate in Houston, Texas where she was presented with the Volunteers in Public Schools Service Award.  When she decided to make a home for her family in Charlottesville, she earned her Virginia teaching license through Mary Baldwin College, completing the Post-Graduate Teacher Licensure Program with highest honors.  She has been developing and implementing exceptional preschool programs since 2005, and she joined the Peabody School faculty in 2008 to launch the Peabody Pre-K program.  As the parent of two Peabody students, she has a deep appreciation for the expectations of the Peabody School community.

Kim Basile-Wood – Kindergarten
Miss Basile-Wood, B.A., teaches Peabody School’s Kindergarten class and leads athletics as the school’s athletic director. Ms. Basile-Wood graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989 with a degree in psychology/history and earned her teaching certificate in elementary education from Mary Baldwin College. Prior to joining the Peabody School faculty in 2001, Ms. Basile-Wood spent many years teaching young children in both preschool and pre-kindergarten classes. In addition, she served as a homebound instructor for the Charlottesville City Schools. Ms. Basile-Wood volunteers in various community activities including youth swimming and the Charlottesville High School PTO.

Trevor Bricker – First Grade
Trevor Bricker has a B.S. in Communication from the University of Clarion in Pennsylvania, as well as a Masters in Elementary Education. Before coming to Charlottesville, VA, Trevor taught guitar for 4 years with California Music Studios in San Diego, CA. While earning his Masters in Education he taught as a full-time Instructional Assistant at Greenbrier Elementary in Charlottesville. Trevor eventually received a 2nd grade teaching position at Clark Elementary where he has been for the past two years. This past year (2011-2012) Trevor received an I-3 grant (Innovative Instructional Initiatives) from the city of Charlottesville for his Music in the Classroom project that taught students the Virginia SOLs through song. Trevor is thrilled to have a chance to take his creativity and background even further here at Peabody School.

Robin Fox – First Grade
Robin Fox is a first grade teacher at Peabody School. Ms. Fox graduated from Cornell University in 2007 with a degree in psychology, concentrating on cognitive neuroscience. In 2009, Ms. Fox received her Masters in Teaching from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining Peabody’s faculty, Ms. Fox taught at Woodbrook Elementary School in Albemarle County for four years. In addition to teaching, Ms. Fox loves to dance, which she started to study when she was five years old. Ms. Fox also enjoys theater and the arts, and incorporates Shakespeare into class activities. She is excited by the opportunity to work with the students at Peabody.

Afolake Wilson – Second Grade
Afolake Wilson teaches second grade at the Peabody School. Mrs. Wilson graduated from the University of Virginia in 2006 with a dual degree in History and Studies of Women and Gender; in 2010, she earned her Masters of Teaching in Elementary and Special Education from UVA’s Curry School of Education. She has taught several different age groups from preschool to high school and her passion is encouraging children to discover their personal strengths and hone their interests about the world. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Wilson enjoys writing short stories, browsing libraries and bookstores, and being with her family and friends.

Julie Gottschalk – Third Grade
Julie Gottschalk, B.A., M.A.T., is the third grade teacher at Peabody School.  Ms. Gottschalk received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School for Social Research in New York and her M.A.T. from Mary Baldwin College. The parent of two grown sons (one was in the first graduating class of Peabody School), Ms G. has taught grades 1 through 5 and drama at Peabody School.   Before she came to Peabody, she served as a academically advanced resource teacher in the Albemarle County schools and a volunteer in the Learning to Read through the Arts program at the Guggenheim Museum in NY.  More recently, she has volunteered with hospice and Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle.

Julie Lacy – Fourth and Fifth Grade
Julie Lacy, B.A., and Ed.S., UVa, 2003, teaches fourth and fifth grade at Peabody School.  Of her 24 years teaching experience, she spent the last 14 with Charlottesville Public Schools, one at Greenbrier teaching fourth grade and 13 at Walker teaching fifth and sixth.  She has taught all subjects, primarily language arts, and has served as an academically advanced resource teacher and reading coach.  She has two children and two step-children, all grown and flourishing.  She was fortunate to have had her daughter as a student in her fourth grade classroom as well as at home for sixth grade.  Julie loves learning new things, reading, traveling, gardening, the outdoors, and playing with her two precious granddaughters.

Demi Runkle – Fourth and Fifth Grade 
Demi Runkle is the Facilities Coordinator, team leader for grades three through five, and the fourth and fifth grade math and science teacher. She is a native Virginian, attended local private and public schools, and graduated from Mary Washington College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. She began her teaching career in 1969 in the Albemarle Public Schools system, retiring in 2000 after 31 years. Mrs. Runkle has received an M.ED from UVA, and has a academically advanced education endorsement. She began teaching at Peabody School in the fall of 2000. She has also done educational consulting for various school systems in Virginia. Mrs. Runkle is married and has four miniature dachshunds. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, yoga, and reading good books.

Victoria Young – Fourth and Fifth Grade
Victoria Young, B.A., teaches fourth and fifth grade at Peabody School. Ms. Young graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 with a dual degree in American Studies and Spanish. Through the national program Teach for America, she spent two years teaching third and fourth grade at IDEA Quest Academy, an IB charter school in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She went on to work for Living Classrooms, an educational non-profit in Washington, D.C., where she designed and taught an environmental science curriculum for early elementary students. After serving as a founding teacher at an elementary charter school with a focus on environmental education, she returned to Charlottesville to join the Peabody staff in 2010 and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in environmental studies through Virginia Tech.