Montgomery Blair High School

Instructional Leadership Team, 2020 - 2021

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

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 3200 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 10th year as the leader of Montgomery Blair High School. Go Blazers!

Adriana Burgos-Ojeda, Assistant Principal

Ms. Adriana Burgos-Ojeda is entering her 16th 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.

Dirk Cauley, Assistant Principal

Mr. Dirk Cauley has worked for Montgomery County Public School System for twenty years as an assistant principal. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University and a Master’s Degree from Bowie State University. He is married and has four adult children. He is charged to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.

Lavina Carrillo, Assistant Principal

Mrs. Lavina Carrillo has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for six 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

Mr. James Funk has worked at Blair for 14 years. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining MCPS, he worked for 20+ years in various management roles for Fortune 500 companies in the financial services industry, most recently with E*TRADE Financial Services. Jim is married with three sons – Josh, Jake and Jordan. He enjoys spending time with family and being outdoors.

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-four 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 13 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 four 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

Mrs. Jacqueline Armstead-Thomas is beginning her 10th year at Montgomery Blair and her 14th year in Montgomery County. She began her career as a Digital Art teacher at John F. Kennedy High School and Argyle Middle School before becoming a Blazer. After five years, Ms. Armstead-Thomas applied for and accepted a leadership position and is currently the Fine Arts Resource Teacher. She holds a BA in Graphic Design and Business from West Virginia Wesleyan where she played D2 volleyball, and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. In her after school hours, Mrs. Armstead-Thomas is the co-sponsor for the National Art Honor Society and co-coach of the Co-ed Varsity Volleyball team. Outside of school, she enjoys watching the Ravens, baking, camping, knitting, watching scary movies, snuggling with her two cats, and cheering on her son on the football and lacrosse field. For the upcoming school year, Mrs. Armstead-Thomas is really excited to see and hear all the amazing art and music Blair students will create this year.

Brenda Barrera Mercado, World Languages Resource Teacher

Ms. Barrera Mercado has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 9 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

Blair has been Leslie's home her entire career since 2002. She teaches in the Science Department, coordinates AP testing, and for the last three years has served as one of the Elected Faculty Representatives (EFRs). She loves being a voice for the wonderful staff at Blair and can't imagine teaching anywhere else. In her spare time, Leslie loves traveling the world with her husband and visiting her adorable niece and nephew.

Rita Boulé, Blair Athletic Specialist

Rita Boulé has been in MCPS for 26 years as a teacher, coach, academy lead and athletic director. She spent her first 17 years at John F. Kennedy High School before coming to Blair to be the Athletic Director. She recently assumed the role of Blair Athletic Specialist, a 12-month position she is very much looking forward to. Ms. Boulé has worked in MCPS Athletics for her entire career. She teaches the New Coaches Seminar for the county, is chairperson of the MCPS Coaches Task Force, and serves on the Equity and Social Justice committee, the New Athletic Specialist Mentor committee as a mentor, and the Summer Scheduling committee. In her free time, she highly enjoys the outdoors, being physically active, travelling (especially to see family), spending time with family and friends, reading, landscaping, and learning.

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 Davis, Mathematics Resource Teacher

Celita Davis has been teaching for 27 years and has worked for MCPS since 1997. Prior to starting with MCPS, she worked as a mathematics teacher in DC Public Schools. It was there where she won the First Class Sallie Mae teacher of the year for DC. She began her MCPS journey at Montgomery Blair, transitioned to middle school as the Math IRT at Silver Spring International Middle School. And, lastly, teaching mathematics at Paint Branch High School before returning to Blair. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of the District of Columbia, M.Ed. in Curriculum (Urban Education) from Trinity University, and an Ed.S. from Walden University in Teacher Leadership (Math Literacy). She also completed her Administrative Certification from Trinity University. Celita is married and has two sons, ages 17 and 20. She is a professional musician and loves to play piano and organ, as well as drawing and figuring out math problems!

Dr. Andrew Fields, Staff Development Teacher

Dr. Andrew Fields joins the Staff Development team as Staff Development Teacher. His role includes student discipline, planning professional development activities for Montgomery Blair Staff, and supporting the teaching and learning process under the direction of Mrs. Renay Johnson and her administrative team. Dr. Fields has previously served as an administrator at several schools in Montgomery County, including Robert Frost Middle School, Albert Einstein High School, Damascus High School, and Gaithersburg High School.

Sarah Fillman, Communication Arts Program, Blair Publications Coordinator

Ms. Fillman is beginning her 18th 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 is currently finishing 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 two cats, Bentley and Cooper, 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.

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 17 of her 18 years 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 will begin the Equity and Excellence in Education certification program this fall through McDaniel College. When she's not working, Jody loves riding her Peloton bike (the bike that goes nowhere), running, taking her miniature schnauzer "son" 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 14th year at Montgomery Blair High School. She has been leading the Reading Department since 2015 and was additionally appointed Resource Teacher for ESOL last year. 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 11 and 3. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, and coffee.

Kati Holmes, English Resource Teacher

Kati Holmes has worked at Blair for three years. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park and her Master’s degree from George Mason University. Prior to working in MCPS, Kati taught English and served as On-Time Graduation Coordinator in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has also worked in Curriculum Development, both in FCPS and at the University of Maryland. Kati is a Google Certified Trainer and loves helping teachers learn new tech. She and her husband enjoy DIY house projects, rock climbing, and biking.

ReBecca Hughes, Social Studies Resource Teacher

Ms. ReBecca Hughes is beginning her sixth in Montgomery County Public Schools, having worked as a Special Education Teacher and Social Studies Teacher at Montgomery Blair High School, and as an RTSE at Sherwood High School. Prior to working in MCPS, Ms. Hughes worked at Oak Hill Detention Facility and Prince George's County Public Schools. She holds a BA in History from the University of Maryland (College Park), a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Maryland, and graduate certificates in Educational Leadership, Equity and Excellence in Education from McDaniel College, and Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition from the University of Maryland. Outside of work and being a life-long learner, she enjoys traveling, reading, going for walks/hikes near and around water, the Summertime, live music, writing/performing poetry, and quality time with family and friends. Ms. Hughes is very excited to be back at Montgomery Blair High School, and the opportunity to continue to collaborate and learn with the Blair community.

Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist

Ms. Andrea Lamphier has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 20 years, 17 of which have been at Montgomery Blair High School. Previous to working for Montgomery County Public Schools, she worked as a Librarian at Stone Ridge School in Bethesda for several years, and before that, worked in Washington, DC, at the International Monetary Fund’s Joint Bank-Fund Library. Ms. Lamphier holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and English from the University of Houston, a Master of Science in Politics and Government of Russia from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Ms. Lamphier is the mother of two adult children and has the world’s most wonderful dog. Her years at Blair have given her insight into applying her work in librarianship and better serving students from a wide diversity of backgrounds, needs, and interests. She looks forward to working with the students, staff, and parents of the Blair community as we navigate online learning together!

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

Ms. Terel C. Reid is starting her 20th year of teaching in MCPS. She is currently the Resource Teacher of Special Education (RTSE). Ms. Reid has received many certifications including National Board, Highly Qualified in Special Education, Advanced Professional, and Mathematics in Education. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a bachelor's degree in science, and a master's degree in education (special education). She has taught in all areas of special education, originally teaching students with significant intellectual disabilities in a School Community-Based (SCB) Program. She then taught students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities enrolled in the Learning for Independence (LFI) Program. After earning her certification in math, Ms. Reid taught self-contained and inclusion Algebra 1 classes in the Learning and Academic Disabilities (LAD) Program, and served as RTSE at Gaithersburg HS in a department of more than 50 that included teachers, paraprofessionals, and dedicated aides, before accepting the RTSE position at Blair. Ms. Reid has a true passion for working with students to reach their potential and loves to help each student progress in all areas of their development. Ms. Reid is a proud native of Jamaica. In her free time, she enjoys binge-watching TV shows, napping, and enjoying a delicious Jamaican meal with her large family.

Summer Roark, Science Resource Teacher

Summer Roark Thiero has worked in MCPS for 21 years. She started teaching in 1996 in Prince George's County. She began teaching in MCPS at Montgomery Blair High School in 1999. Ms. Roark was also a student at Montgomery Blair High School (better known now as "old Blair"). She received a B.A in Chemistry from St. Joseph's University in 1995 and an M.A. in Secondary Education from Trinity University in 1997. Before becoming the Resource Teacher of the science department in 2007, Ms. Roark worked on curriculum writing teams for both the Matter & Energy and Forensics Curriculums. Ms. Roark was also the senior class sponsor and the JV soccer coach for three years. Ms. Roark was featured in Bethesda Magazine as one of the areas top teachers in September 2015. She is married to John Thiero, who also works for MCPS as a security staff member. They have two daughters Cheyenne, age 11, and Tatiana, age 12.

Beth Sanchez, Academy Coordinator

Mrs. Beth Sanchez is entering her 18th year in Montgomery County Public Schools. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from York College of Pennsylvania in Secondary Mathematics. Her early experience as a math teacher opened her eyes to the disparities in education. This led her to pursue a Master’s Degree from John Hopkins University in Special Education. As Academy Coordinator, she looks forward to working with the Blair community to enhance the high school experience by creating learning opportunities outside of the classroom for all Blazers to explore their career interests. Beth enjoys traveling, camping, musicals and playing board games with her family.

Kira Scott, SEIU Representative

Kira Scott is a paraeducator/support to the Science Department at Blair High School. She has been employed with MCPS for seven years and at Blair going on four years. She will assume the role of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Representative in the coming academic year. She is confident that all will quickly realize her ability to be the voice of the Blair Support Team.

Makeyda Soriano, Resource Counselor

Mrs. Makeyda Soriano is entering her 8th year in Montgomery County Public Schools, having served as a School Counselor at Winston Churchill High School before joining the School Counseling Department team at Montgomery Blair High School as an Resource Counselor in 2019. She holds a BA in Psychology from St. Mary's College of Maryland, and a Master's degree in School Counseling from Trinity Washington University. She holds a National Counselor Certification (NCC) from the National Board of Certified Counselors. Outside of work, she is passionate about sewing/crafting, reading, Varsity Blair POMS team, food, and family. Mrs. Soriano is thrilled to continue leading, learning, and growing as a part of the MBHS community.

David Stein, Elected Faculty Representative

David Stein is one of Blair's three elected faculty representatives. He is also head MCEA building rep for Blair. His primary job, though, is being a math instructor, teaching both Statistics and Calculus. This is Stein's 27th year being in the classroom, and his 19th year at Blair. All three of his children are Blair graduates. In his free time, he enjoys baseball and all sorts of puzzling. He is also an obsessive step-counter so you’ll him walking inside and outside the building.

Jim Street, Career and Technology Education Resource Teacher

Jim Street earned his BS from The University of Maryland and his MSIT from UMUC, and has been teaching in MCPS for 38 years. He taught at Takoma Park Middle School for several years before coming to Blair in 2011. He taught Industrial Arts and Magnet Computer Science at TPMS. He teaches Magnet Research and Experimentation at Blair, and serves as the Resource Teacher for the Career and Technology Education Department. In his spare time, Jim enjoys fishing, hiking and travel; and, he spends a bit of time fixing stuff around the house.

Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator

Ms. Melissa Young is in her fourth year as the Latino Achievement Coordinator at Montgomery Blair High School. She has over 25 years of experience in MCPS, teaching and leading in World Languages and English for Speakers of Other Languages, working with students at the middle and high school levels. Ms. Young earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies at Vassar College and her Masters of Science in Spanish Linguistics at Georgetown University. She is the mother of two MCPS students and enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time outdoors. She looks forward to supporting Blair students and their families in the coming school year.