Board of Advisors

The mission of the Loyola School of Education Board of Advisors is to assist the dean and the leadership of the School to enact the vision, values, and plans of Loyola University Maryland in the lives of the undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, administrators, and staff of Loyola University Maryland.

Emily Widger Maurer, '06, Chair

B.A. in Sociology, Loyola University
M.S. in Early Childhood/Special Education, Johns Hopkins University ‘11

Emily is a special education preschool teacher in a Multiple Intensive Needs Classroom- Early Learner (MINC-EL) program in the Howard County Public Schools System.  Prior to teaching in HCPSS, Emily worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist, implementing home programming for young children on the autism spectrum.

Emily and her husband, Scott, reside in Baltimore City.

Stephanie Amponsah, ’16


B.A. in Human Relations, High Point University

Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Organizations, High Point University

M.Ed. in School Counseling, Loyola University Maryland


Stephanie is the Executive Director of Urban Alliance in the Baltimore region. Stephanie has professional experience in human services and nonprofit management as a Social Worker and Social Entrepreneur in organizations that strive to empower youth.

Yvonne Barhight, ‘03

CAS, Organizational Change, Towson University
M.Ed., Literacy Education, Reading Specialist, Loyola University Maryland
B.S., University of Maryland College Park

Yvonne is currently a Director of School Performance for Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). Prior to this position she served as the Principal of Hawthorne Elementary in Middle River, MD.  Yvonne began her career as a teacher at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mt. Washington. For the last thirty years, she has worked in various roles within BCPS including classroom teacher, reading specialist, resource teacher, Supervisor, and Director for the Office of Elementary Language Arts in BCPS.

Yvonne and her husband Scott reside in Towson, MD.

Erin Bennett, '07

B.A. in History and Certificate in Elementary Education, Muhlenberg College
M.Ed. in Reading Specialist, Loyola University Maryland

Erin is currently teaching third grade at Calvert School in Baltimore, MD. This is her seventh year at the school.  Prior to teaching at Calvert, she taught at the School of Cathedral.

Erin and her husband live in Towson, MD.

Mary Beth Brady, M.D.

Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Francis Chiaramonte, Jr., Ph.D.

Parent of Caroline, EE, '17

Dawn Cunnion, '93

B. S in Elementary Education/minor in music, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
M.Ed in Educational Administration with an emphasis on private school leadership, Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University) 1993
Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Leadership Policy Studies, Arizona State University

Dawn is currently the Associate Head of Brentwood School, and independent K-12 school in Los Angeles, CA.  Prior to this position she served as Brentwood’s Lower School Director and Assistant Head of School.  Dawn began her career as a fourth through sixth grade teacher at St. Rose of Lima School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which is where she also began her administrative career as principal of the school. While serving as principal of St. Rose Dawn was the recipient of the Marquette University School of Education Award for designing and implementing field experience programs for undergraduate students. After leaving St. Rose, Dawn went on to be the principal of St. Clement School in Chicago; Director of Admissions and Financial Aid and Director of Communications at McDonogh School in Baltimore; Admissions and Curriculum Consultant at Phoenix Country Day School; and, Head of the Lower School at Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara. She is a member of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi and currently serves on two school boards, Our Lady of Malibu, where she is the chair, and Westmark. 

Dawn and her husband Bob reside in Malibu, California.

Emily Desimone, '13, '14

B.A., Elementary Education, Loyola University Maryland
M.Ed., Special Education, Loyola University Maryland
Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis, Penn State University

Emily is currently a special education teacher at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. She works primarily with elementary students with mild to moderate disabilities. Emily began at RPEMS following the completion of her masters from Loyola University Maryland. When Emily is not teaching her students, she can be found sampling cold pressed juices for the Baltimore-based company, Gundalow Juice. Currently, Emily is pursuing certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). 

Emily grew up in Tarrytown, NY. She currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

Victoria A. Elasic, Ed.D.

American Montessori Society Elementary I & II Certified Teacher, Delaware Institute for Montessori Education
B.S. in Primary Education, Wilmington University
M.Ed. in Instruction: Gifted and Talented, Wilmington University
Ed.D. in Innovation and Leadership, Wilmington University

Victoria is currently the Curriculum Coordinator, Extended Care Director and Summer Campus Director at The Hockessin Montessori School in Delaware.   Prior to her current position, she taught in the school's Upper Elementary program teaching fourth through sixth grade for eight years.  Before joining The Hockessin Montessori School, Victoria served as a founding teacher for Serviam Girls Academy, a Nativity Miguel Network school. 

Victoria's publications focus on improving intrinsic motivation of elementary students in the Montessori classrooms as well as improving Montessori teacher effectiveness. 

Victoria is an adjunct for Wilmington University's College of Education graduate program. 

Victoria and her husband, John ('06) reside in Wilmington, Delaware with their daughter. 

Jess Gartner

Founder and CEO of Allovue, Inc.

Jean C. Halle, ’80

B.A. in Accounting from Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland)

Parent of Danielle, '10

Jean C. Halle is currently Acting President and COO of Curiosityville. Prior to this she worked as the chief executive officer of Calvert Education Services from 2002 to 2010. From 1983–2001 Ms. Halle held ever increasing roles of responsibility with the Baltimore Sun, eventually becoming the chief financial officer and vice president of new business development for Times Mirror Interactive. Halle is currently a member of the board of directors for American Public Education, Inc., a provider of online higher education.

Her current business and civic responsibilities include:

  • Advisory Board Member for Stevenson University
  • Advisory Board Member for Citybizlist, Baltimore
  • Member, Women’s Education Alliance, Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • Board of Directors Member, American Public University System
  • Senior Advisor, Dinnertime, Inc.
  • Board Member and Treasurer for Catholic Distance University
  • Fellow, National Association of Corporate Directors
  • Board Member, Pebblecreek Community Association

Halle resides in Lutherville, MD.

Bill Heiser, '95, '97

B.A. in Sociology, Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland)
M.Ed. in School Counseling, Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland)
Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, Morgan State University
Certificate of Advanced Study in Organizational Change, Towson University

Bill Heiser is currently the President of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore.  He is the past principal of Catonsville High School in Baltimore County and North County High School in Anne Arundel County. In 2013, he was named a Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.  Prior to his work in secondary education, Dr. Heiser was an assistant dean of Loyola University’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Bill and his wife, Tracy (’95), reside in Linthicum, MD with their two sons.

Rebecca Lange-Thernes, '91

Notre Dame of MD University                                                                                                 
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Loyola University Maryland

Rebecca Lange-Thernes started with Stocks in the Future eight years ago and for more than five of those years, has served as Executive Director. During that time, she expanded SIF participating schools from 8 to 18 and grew participating students from 350 to more than 900. She is experienced in cultivating relationships with SIF schools and aligns Common Core within the SIF curriculum. During her first year as Executive Director, she established a strategic plan alongside the Board and relationships with new funders. She is exceptional at connecting stakeholders across Baltimore communities and networking them into SIF's mission and vision. Rebecca spent the first half of her career as a middle school teacher of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science in Baltimore and Arlington. She also has extensive experience in curriculum design which is critical to the success of the organization. In her spare time, Rebecca plays the flute and loves to read.

Hannah Ruth MacDonald, '13

B.A. in Elementary Education                                                                                                  
Kappa Delta Pi
Loyola University Maryland 

Hannah is a fifth grade teacher at Solley Elementary School in Glen Bernie, MD, a position she has held since graduating from Loyola University Maryland. Hannah is the president of the school’s mentoring program; a program designed for at risk children within the school community. Additionally, she is a head coach for “Girls on the Run”, a national organization that inspires girls to be confident through an experience based running curriculum. 

Hannah is a certified swim instructor and a certified water aerobics instructor. She has recently completed two marathons. Hannah also enjoys playing golf.

Currently, Hannah is a candidate in the Masters of Education in Literacy ~ Reading Specialist Program, Loyola University Maryland.

Hannah grew up in Short Hills, NJ. She now resides in Baltimore, MD.

Aimee Martin

B.A., Colgate University                                                                                                 
M.B.A., Harvard University

Aimee Martin has over 20 years of experience in consulting, finance and business development. She led multiple start-ups from concept through launch and path to profitability. Aimee is CEO, EduMD, LLC, an on-the-job surgical training assessment software company started out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Additionally, she is the Co-Founder of Odibodi, an app that supports consistent mental imagery practice as well as Co-Founder of BondTrue, LLC a medical device design company. She boasts expertise in the education, technology, health care, media, and retail industries primarily focusing on business plan development, M&A and operations. Aimee has built businesses and led transactions for Educate, Inc. (brands include Sylvan Learning and Hooked on Phonics). At Discovery Communications,  she was the key finance executive for top affiliate relationships including Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV. And as an investment banker, she helped raise $1B and led acquisitions in the technology industry. Advisory Board, Betamore.  Finally, Aimee volunteers at three Baltimore-area schools.

Aimee lives in Baltimore with her husband and three children.

Audrey Rose McGonigle, '12

B.A. in Elementary Education, Loyola University Maryland

Audrey McGonigle is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at The Primary Day School in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to teaching Pre-K, Audrey taught for two years in Washington, DC as an Early Learning Center teacher at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. During her time at Loyola, Audrey student taught in a Baltimore City first grade class and a Baltimore County third grade class. Audrey also taught in a Danish Vuggestue, or nursery school, while studying abroad in Copenhagen. Audrey resides in Washington, DC.

Beth Nichols, LCPC, '97

B.A. Trinity College CT
M.Ed. Loyola University Maryland

Lower School Counselor at Calvert School. Approved Clinical Supervisor. Prior to that, School Counselor at St. Paul's School for Girls. First position after getting my Master's was working for Catholic Charities as a School Counselor at two Catholic Schools.

Lives in Towson with husband, Foster Nichols.

Deborah Phelps, '97

B.A. in Education, Fairmont State University
M.Ed. in Educational Management and Supervision, Loyola University Maryland

Deborah Phelps is the newly appointed director for The Baltimore County Public Schools Education Foundation which provides resources for students and teachers and funds for innovative programs. Widely regarded as an innovative, talented leader and master teacher with more than three decades of teaching and administrator experience, Ms. Phelps began her career as a teacher in Harford County Public Schools in 1974. Over the course of her distinguished career, she evolved her experiences from teacher to team leader to department chair to middle school principal in Baltimore County. She has been a BCPS Teacher of the Year Finalist, twice named Maryland Family and Consumer Science Teacher of the Year, and was named Baltimore County’s “Baby Boomer of the Year, 2004.” She co-chaired the “One Campaign” for the Harford County Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and is a member of the Board of Directors for Maryland Character Education, The Children’s Guild, Northwest Hospital and The Michael Phelps Foundation. She serves on the national advisory board for The American Students’ Fund and Rachel’s Challenge and is an education presenter for many organizations throughout the United States. Ms. Phelps has also written a book titled "A Mother for All Seasons," released in April 2009.

Phelps resides in Baltimore, MD.

Michelle Wetzel, ’99

Radnor High School, Library Media Specialist