Jennifer Strong – Pre-kindergarten
Jennifer Strong, B.J., J.D., teaches Peabody School’s Pre-Kindergarten class. Ms. Strong completed honors studies in elementary education and journalism with a Distinguished College Scholar Award before earning a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas. Ms. Strong worked with children and families as a Legal Aid advocate in Houston, Texas. She also worked as a volunteer teacher in city magnet schools, earning a 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. Ms. Strong is First Aid and CPR certified, and she has a Virginia Pre-K-6 endorsement. She has been developing and leading exceptional Pre-K programs since 2005, and she has been a member of the Peabody School faculty since 2008.
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.
Laura Oetgen – Kindergarten
Laura Oetgen teaches 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. After graduating, Mrs. O traveled north to Alexandria, VA, where she taught first grade and kindergarten for four years. In 2011, Mrs. O returned to Charlottesville and taught “big kids” in Albemarle County. This year, she’s thrilled to be returning to the land of kindergarten at Peabody. Mrs. O loves children’s literature and helping kiddos discover the magic of reading, and she’s recently returned to Curry part-time to complete her M.Ed. in Reading Education. In her spare time, you’ll find Mrs. O reading a book or playing outdoors with her husband and their beagle, Scout.
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.
Sarah Edwards – Second Grade
Sarah Elizabeth Edwards is excited to spend her first year teaching as a member of the Peabody faculty teaching second graders. Ms. Edwards holds an MT from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education as well as bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and drama. Of special interest during her studies at UVA were developmental psychology, costume design, and reading education, though she also appreciated the opportunity to dabble in other disciplines whenever possible. In addition to teaching at Peabody, Ms. Edwards teaches chemistry, biology, and algebra II to area high school students in UVA’s Upward Bound program on Saturdays and over the summer. When she is not learning with (and from) her wonderful students, Ms. Edwards enjoys long-distance running, playing guitar, knitting, and exploring Charlottesville’s thrift stores.
Victoria Young – Third Grade
Victoria Young, B.A., teaches third 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. Most recently, she served as the founding third grade teacher at an elementary charter school with a focus on environmental education. She is thrilled to be returning to Charlottesville to join the Peabody staff this year. Ms. Young enjoys cooking and eating great food, reading on her porch, and being outside. She has visited over 50 National Parks and hopes to visit them all!
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.
Matthew Deegan – Fourth and Fifth Grade Social Studies, Fourth Grade English
Matt Deegan teaches Fourth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies and Fifth Grade Social Studies at Peabody. Before becoming a Panther – and a teacher – Mr. Deegan reported education news for the Charlottesville Daily Progress, covered high school sports for the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger and wrote about local government issues for CVILLE Weekly. He holds a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Richmond and a Master of Teaching degree from the University of Virginia. When he’s not in the classroom, Mr. Deegan enjoys running, writing, playing his saxophone and visiting the many tasty restaurants and cozy music venues that Charlottesville offers.
Demi Runkle – Fourth and Fifth Grade Science, Fourth Grade Math
Demi Runkle is the Facilities Coordinator and After-School Director 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 three miniature dachshunds. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, yoga, and reading good books.