Montgomery Blair High School
Instructional Leadership Team, 2021 - 2022
Renay Johnson, Proud Principal
Mrs. Renay Johnson has worked in Montgomery County Public Schools for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University, Mrs. Johnson has served as a teacher, School Counselor, Resource Counselor, Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal, and in 2011, after 77 years of male leaders, she became the first woman principal of Montgomery Blair High School -- the largest high school enrollment in Maryland with over 3300 students and 320 staff members!
Mrs. Johnson is a recipient of the 2019 Takoma Park United Unsung Hero Award, 2018 Silver Spring Links, Leadership Award, 2018 Every Girl Can Ambassador Award, 2017 Montgomery County Media Association, Nancy Walker Award, 2016 Alpha Kappa Alpha, Outstanding Community Service Award, 2015 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, and the 2013 National Board Certified Teachers Network Principal of the Year.
Mrs. Johnson serves on Montgomery County Public Schools Advisory Committees and she is an Instructor at McDaniel College, Graduate Programs. She is married to James and they have two adult children, Jamie and Jordan. She is excited to begin her 11th year as the leader of Montgomery Blair High School. Go Blazers!
Claudine Biggs, Principal's Administrative Secretary
Ms. Biggs has worked for MCPS for 27 years; 17 years at Montgomery Blair High School- first as a main office secretary and then as the school’s Administrative Secretary. She also worked at Silver Spring International Middle School and at the Northeast Consortium office. Prior to her employment with MCPS, she worked as a convention coordinator for trade associations in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Biggs’ two children graduated from Montgomery Blair HS and her family are all proud Blazers! She loves to spend time with her grandchildren who know her as DeeDee. Ms. Biggs is a worldwide traveler and hope to resume her travels as soon as the current health pandemic makes it safer to travel. She is a voracious reader, loves to cook, entertain, garden, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends.
Ms. Biggs is Lebanese/Armenian American, has lived in Libya and England, and shares her love of languages with students and staff, often helping them with Arabic translations and homework. She thrives on the diversity and cultural richness of the school. Ms. Biggs LOVES her job!
Ms. Biggs is the recipient of the 2020-21 MCPS Supporting Services Employee of the Year. She is looking forward to another great year serving the Montgomery Blair community!
Winter Bingham, Assistant Principal
Dr. Bingham is a native of Richmond, Virginia and proud alumnae of Radford University with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She began her educational journey at Durham Public Schools (DPS) as an Exceptional Children (EC) Teacher in the Occupational Course of Study Program. She earned a double Masters in Special Education and School Administration and Education Leadership from North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In 2015, she began her tenure in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) as a Special Education and Resource Teacher (RTSE) while completing her doctoral studies at Bowie State University under the Culturally Responsive Education Leadership in Special Education Grant (CRELSE). In 2020, she received her doctoral degree in Education Leadership after defending her dissertation research study titled, Are Principals Really Serving the Gifted Students? An exploratory study investigating secondary principals’ perceptions of their leadership practices and attitudes towards culturally and linguistically diverse students’ participation in gifted education.
Dr. Bingham has a daughter named Autumn Journey and a Labrador retriever named Jackson Boomer. She looks forward to building meaningful relationships and fond memories with the Blair community.
Adriana Burgos-Ojeda, Assistant Principal
Ms. Adriana Burgos-Ojeda is entering her 17th year in Montgomery County Public Schools, having served as a Library Media Specialist at Newport Mill Middle School and at Kennedy High School before joining the team at Montgomery Blair High School as an Assistant Principal in 2017. She holds a BA in Spanish Literature from Bryn Mawr College, a Master of Library Science with a concentration in School Library Media from Drexel University and a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership from Hood College. Outside of work, she is passionate about running, reading, yoga, food, and family. Ms. Burgos is thrilled to continue leading, learning, and growing as a part of the MBHS community.
Lavina Carrillo, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Lavina Carrillo has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for seven years, four of which have been at Montgomery Blair High school as an Assistant Principal. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Miami and a Master’s in Education from George Washington University. She earned her Administrative Certification from George Washington University. Lavina has a wide range of experience in education, from elementary, secondary, to adult. Working in Title I, bilingual schools, and schools abroad have given her insight in addressing the needs of all students, from different backgrounds. Lavina is married to Charlie and has three wonderful children. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling around the world. She looks forward to continuing to serve the Montgomery Blair High School Community.
Joseph Fanning, Assistant Principal
Mr. Joseph Fanning has worked for MCPS since 2009 and began his career with MCPS as an English teacher and Silver Chips advisor at Blair from 2009-2013. Prior to starting with MCPS, he worked as a teacher in Worcester County (MD) from 1999-2004, and as a teacher in Brevard County (FL) from 2004-2009. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Fanning also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Studies education from Salisbury University and completed his Educational Administration certification through Hood College. Prior to returning to Blair in 2019 as a school administrator, he worked as Co-Lead of the Consulting Teacher team in the Department of Professional Growth Systems in MCPS. He is married and they have three daughters: 14 year old twins and a 12 year old. He is an avid reader and enjoys traveling with his family. Mr. Fanning looks forward to continuing to serve the Montgomery Blair Community.
James Funk, Business Administrator
Peter Ostrander, Magnet Coordinator
Mr. Peter Ostrander has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 25 years. He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Prior to working in MCPS, Mr. Ostrander taught math, science and computer science in California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He joined MCPS in 1995 as a computer science teacher at Takoma Park Middle School. After eight years at TPMS, he became the coordinator of the newly created magnet programs at Roberto Clemente Middle School and then a program supervisor with the Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction before joining Montgomery Blair High School as the magnet coordinator eleven years ago. He enjoys baseball, geocaching and license plate collecting. You can find Mr. Ostrander in room 351 – the door is always open.
Tracy Pettis-Jones, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Tracy Pettis-Jones has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for twenty-five years. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Norfolk State University, Master's Degree from University of Maryland, College Park, and Administration Certification from George Washington University. She has worked as a Special Education teacher at RICA and White Oak Middle Schools, and as a teacher and administrator at Paint Branch High School for 17 years. Most recently, Tracy was the Acting Principal at Paint Branch High School. Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our school. She is married to Gary and has three adult children and a 14-year-old daughter. Tracy enjoys reading and family road trips. She looks forward to serving the Montgomery Blair High School community.
Candace Wilkerson, Assistant School Administrator
Mrs. Wilkerson has worked for MCPS for five years, most recently as a Special Education Teacher at Northwood High School. She has fourteen years of education experience in Georgia, working with Students with Disabilities, Career Technical Education, STEM and Debate Team. Candace received her Bachelor of Science from Brenau University, in Gainesville, Georgia; Master of Education Administration from Troy College, Troy Alabama; Master of Special Education, Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and she has an Advanced Graduate Degree/Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction, from Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is married with four adult sons and enjoys reading, fishing and spending time outdoors with her family. She is looking forward to serving the Montgomery Blair High School Community.
Jacqueline Armstead-Thomas, Fine Arts Resource Teacher
Brenda Barrera Mercado, World Languages Resource Teacher
Ms. Barrera Mercado has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 10 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish language and culture and a Master of Education from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). She was named Teacher of Promise of her class, which is an award given by the Maryland State Department of Education. She completed her teaching Master’s practicum internship at Montgomery Blair High School. Ms. Barrera Mercado has experience teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has also worked as a college professor for Montgomery College teaching Spanish for medical professionals and other degree-seeking undergraduate students. She has worked for public and bilingual charter schools in the District of Columbia. Ms. Barrera Mercado has been a mentor teacher for University of Maryland teacher interns. She enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students. Ms. Barrera Mercado lives in Montgomery County. She is married to Carlos and has two children, Steven and Alessandro.
Leslie Blaha, Elected Faculty Representative
Rita Boulé, Blair Athletic Specialist
Rahman A. Culver, Diversity and Inclusion Instructional Coordinator
Rahman A. Culver is an educational equity advocate who has taught in both the Prince George’s and Montgomery County Public School Systems. He is the former Social Studies Department Resource Teacher and current Diversity and Inclusion Instructional Coordinator for Montgomery Blair High School. Prior to becoming a teacher, Culver worked in the nonprofit sector focused on the opportunity gap, working with national organizations such as College Summit and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Culver earned a B.A. in African-American Studies from the University of Maryland, an M.P.A. from George Mason University, and is certified in secondary social studies and special education. Culver is married to a Blair alumna and they have three teenage daughters. He is also a Blair and Magnet Program alumnus and enjoys sharing his life-long Blazer pride.
Celita Lewis-Davis, Mathematics Resource Teacher
Dr. Andrew Fields, Staff Development Teacher
Sarah Fillman, Communication Arts Program, Blair Publications Coordinator
Ms. Fillman is beginning her 19th year as a teacher, all of which have happened at Blair. She received a B.A. of English Education from Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), an M.A. of Education in Human Development from The University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.A. in Equity and Excellence in Education from McDaniel College. Ms. Fillman is a National Board Certified Teacher and received the Board of Education Award for Distinguished Service to Public Education Award in 2019. In addition to teaching, Ms. Fillman runs a photography business and a tumbling summer camp. She is married to another teacher in the county, Kevin Corpuz, and together they have three cats, Bentley, Cooper and Poppy, and two dogs, Penny and Watson. Her love for animals extends to her volunteer work for City Dogs and Kitties Rescue DC as an adoption counselor. Ms. Fillman looks forward to continuing her equity work in the upcoming school year.
Donna Franklin, Financial Specialist
Ms. Franklin has worked for MCPS for twenty-four years. She started as a Head Start Assistant at Broad Acres Elementary School and jumped right to high school working in the Media Center at Montgomery Blair in 2001. Ms. Franklin has been the Financial Specialist at Montgomery Blair since 2004. Though she is a graduate of Northwood High School, she has become a Blair Blazer and fully embraces the Blair community. She is married with two adult children and two precious granddaughters. She enjoys going to listen to live bands and spending summer vacation with her children and grandchildren. She is looking forward to continuing to serve the Montgomery Blair High School Community and hopes to retire from Montgomery County Public Schools and Blair in six years.
Ryan Gerasimowicz, Elected Faculty Representative
Ryan Gerasimowicz is entering his fifth school year as an ESOL teacher at Montgomery Blair. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master’s in education from George Mason University, and a master’s of education administration from Trinity Washington University. Before arriving at 51 University Blvd Gerasimowicz taught in Fairfax County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, and at a public high school in Shanghai, China. He has served as the sponsor of the Smart Snack club since 2017, assistant coach for JV baseball, and is currently starting his first year as an elected faculty representative. Gerasimowicz and his lovely wife Rebecca recently celebrated their 9th anniversary. They have three beautiful children: twin girls aged five and an eight year old boy. This family spends lots of time outdoors: biking, hiking, camping, climbing and more. Mr. G is looking forward to a great school year together with the wonderful students and professionals of Blair High School!
Jody Gil, Elected Faculty Representative
Jody Gil is one of three Elected Faculty Representatives proudly representing Blair's amazing teaching staff! Blair is literally her home away from home, having taught here for all but her first year in MCPS. Jody begins her 19th year as an ESOL teacher, working with the best ESOL department in the county. She is always thinking outside the box to best reach, teach, and address the unique needs of our ESOL student population. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from George Washington University, as well as National Board Certification, and is continuing her work with the McDaniel College Equity and Excellence in Education certification program this year. When she's not working, Jody loves riding her Peloton bike, running, taking her miniature schnauzer Otto on walks, visiting her crazy nephews in Columbus, Ohio, cooking, reading, and traveling.
Tess Hiller, ESOL and Reading Resource Teacher
Mrs. Tess Hiller is entering her 15th year at Montgomery Blair High School. She has been leading the Reading Department since 2015 and the ESOL Department since 2019. Mrs. Hiller is an MCPS graduate. She earned bachelors' degrees in history and secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master of Science in TESOL from McDaniel College, and a graduate certificate in bilingual special education from George Washington University. Mrs. Hiller is married with two sons, ages 12 and 4. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, and coffee.
Kati Holmes, English Resource Teacher
ReBecca Hughes, Social Studies Resource Teacher
Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist
Robert J. McMahon, Jr., Health and Physical Education Resource Teacher
Mr. Robert J. McMahon, Jr. has worked at Montgomery Blair High School since 2005. He started college at the University of Pittsburgh but finished as a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science. After working for few years in the fitness industry in the Philadelphia area, Mr. McMahon earned his Teacher certificate from Ursinus College and moved to Maryland. He earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Maryland and became the resource teacher of Health and Physical Education in 2012. Mr. McMahon has worked with the county to develop Weight Training curriculum, is passionate about leading an active lifestyle, and wants every student that takes Health and PE to learn to enjoy being active as well. He enjoys lifting weights, martial arts, biking, rollerblading, swimming, playing tennis, volleyball, skiing, and collecting. He resides in Silver Spring with his wife, two daughters, and dog.
Terel C. Reid, Resource Teacher of Special Education
Summer Roark, Science Resource Teacher
Beth Sanchez, Academy Coordinator
Kira Scott, SEIU Representative
Makeyda Soriano, Resource Counselor
Jim Street, Career and Technology Education Resource Teacher
Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator
Montgomery Blair High School
Montgomery Blair High School is a nationally recognized award-winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 86 years of tradition, pride & excellence! The mission of Montgomery Blair High School is to ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen paths successfully.