Mike graduated from Bates College in 1980 with a degree in Comparative Religions. He was a member of the Society of Jesus from 1980-1996, and earned a Master’s in Philosophy from St. Louis University and a Master’s of Divinity from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA. He was the founding director of Sacred Heart Center in Richmond and, for ten years, the Middle School Head of The Steward School, also in Richmond.
Yolanda was born in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Virginia State University in 2004 with a degree in Health & Physical Education (K-12). For four years she taught math and PE to 6th through 8th graders with the Petersburg Public School System. She has been helping AJC students stay on track to succeed since 2010.
Kate graduated in May of 2023 from Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where she is excited to start her full time career at AJC. She worked part-time last year during her senior year as a first grade teachers aide with Mrs. E. She is thrilled to begin this new role as the lower school SE interventionist helping and engaging with all lower school students.
Ingrid has called Richmond home for the last 18 years. Originally from Holland, Michigan, she landed in RVA to teach for Richmond Public Schools after graduating from Gordon College with a degree in Communication Arts. Having taught for three years with Richmond Public Schools, Ingrid transitioned to the Peter Paul Development Center where she taught and served as an education coordinator. In 2014, she went on to become a Site Coordinator with Communities In Schools at the formerly George Mason Elementary, now Henry L. Marsh. Ingrid is grateful to have been a part of the work of AJC from its inception. Many of her former students have attended the school. As the Director of Admissions Ingrid enjoys meeting with students and families. She lives in Richmond with her family.
Kelsey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for helping youth address the impacts of trauma through individual expressive and play-based therapies. She graduated from James Madison University in 2014 with a BS in Psychology & Biology and from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017 with a Master of Social Work. Prior to joining AJC, Kelsey spent four years providing mental health counseling to youth and adult survivors of domestic & sexual violence. When she’s not in the office, she loves bird-watching, board games, and sleeping in.
Susan has a BA from Amherst College and a PhD in English from the University of Virginia. Before coming to AJC, she worked at several schools in the Richmond area, most recently as Head of the Lower School at Sabot at Stony Point. Her job is to support teachers so that they can do their best work with students. Susan has three sons – one of whom also works at AJC, a husband who teaches at VCU, and a boisterous dog who adores children. She is grateful to be a part of the AJC family.
Kelvin has a passion for working with the youth of the East End. He loves to give back through sports and mentoring. As the Director of Maintenance, he enjoys interacting with all the staff and students each day. The opportunity to help students navigate these waters of life is something he will never forget nor take for granted!
Anthony might be new to AJC but is not new to Richmond. Anthony graduated from Hampton University with a degree in International Studies with a Concentration in International Relations in 2020 and has been living in Richmond ever since. Anthony received his Master of Public Administration Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2023. For the past 4 years Anthony has held a variety of positions in education but most recently worked with Communities in Schools as a Site Coordinator at John Marshall High School. Anthony is community focused in all facets of life and enjoys volunteering by donating time to different non-profits throughout the city. Anthony is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Outside of work and giving back Anthony enjoys finding the best food spots and cup of coffee in the city.
Bridgette began working at AJC in 2021 and has kept our campus spotless ever since. She is a mother of seven children and has 17 grandchildren. One of her favorite things to do is bake sweet treats. Be sure to inquire about her cakes when you see her!
J’Nique is a mother of two beautiful kids, Jai’Vionn and Graezlyn. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant and enjoyed every part of that career, but she is very excited to work for AJC with the students and staff here on a new journey.
Tiona is an AJC graduate and she lives in Richmond, VA. She is so excited to work with our littlest lions in the Lower School, and we are so happy to have her back at AJC!
Jenesse taught the inaugural second grade class at AJC in 2021 and the inaugural first grade class in 2022. Prior to that, she was the co-founder of bbgb tales for kids, where she acted as buyer for 7 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from The Ohio State University and her PhD in Writing from UVA, and taught at both the elementary and university levels in both states (as well as in North Carolina). In her spare time she coordinates the lives of her immediate family, who are currently spread across three countries and two continents.
Theo was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Although he was only hired in the Summer of 2022, he has been a volunteer and friend of Anna Julia Cooper School for much longer. While volunteering here at AJC, he discovered his passion for teaching and working with kids. Theo enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, playing or coaching soccer, and teaching among many things.
Emily is a 2014 VCU graduate, with a Masters in Elementary Education. She taught for 8 years in Henrico Public Schools, where she received a Teacher of the Year award, before kicking off her 9th year by joining the staff at AJC. While she is a Franklin County, VA native, Emily has called Richmond home for the past 15 years. In her free time she likes to read, cook amazing meals in her home kitchen, and travel the world with her husband.
Christy graduated from East Carolina University in 1989 with a B.S. in Elementary Education K-8 and a Reading Certification in K-12. She has over 20 years of experience in the classroom teaching in North Carolina and in Virginia, with several of those spent at Anna Julia Cooper as first our Reading Specialist and then as the 4th Grade Teacher. In 2022, she transitioned to a part-time position on the 5th Grade teaching team. When she is not in the classroom, Christy enjoys reading, volunteering in the community, eating pasta, and most importantly spending time with her five children and husband.
Mereal graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 with a degree in Health and Physical Education (K-12). She taught middle school for 11 years in Henrico County. Prior to joining the team at Anna Julia Cooper in 2013, Mereal taught science, health and physical education for three years at All Saints Catholic School in Richmond.
Lorin Johnson may look familiar to some of you. She was a member of the first class to graduate from AJC back in 2012. She then went on to complete her high school years at Trinity Episcopal School. Lorin graduated from Randolph-Macon College. Her impressive list of study areas consisted of Sociology, Communications Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, and Classics. Through her role here, Lorin supports AJC graduates who are now in high school. Lorin is our first AJC graduate to be a full-time staff member!
Brian graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 with a B.S. in Marketing and completed his M.ED with honors from the University of Richmond in 2010. He spent seven years teaching Social Studies and History in Henrico County, concentrating mostly in Civics at Quioccasin Middle School. When he is not in the classroom, Brian enjoys coaching the AJCS soccer team, training for triathlons, hanging out with his rockstar daughters and wife, cheering on his beloved (2018 Super Bowl Champions) Philadelphia Eagles, and spoiling his two dogs. He joined the AJC team in 2013.
Daniel Martin graduated from Lee University in 2015 and has 5 years experience teaching. 2023 will be his first year at AJC. Daniel moved to Richmond, VA with his family in 2014. He’s originally from Cleveland, TN. In his spare time he enjoys playing guitar, and practicing magic tricks.
Steve is a graduate of The College of William and Mary with a degree in Business Administration. After working several years in the private sector, he went back to school at Mary Baldwin College and earned his Masters of Art in Teaching degree. Prior to joining AJC in 2014 to teach the newly added 5th grade class, Steve taught for 15 years in Richmond Public Schools. He loves sports, especially baseball, football and golf.
Shannon is a recent graduate from VCU with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. She is a former thrower for the VCU Track and Field team and though that chapter of her life is over, her love for the sport will never die! She loves to work out, however now-a-days she gets her workouts in chasing around her toddler. Shannon works alongside staff to help students regulate their emotions.
Krissi graduated from The University of Dayton in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She was a project manager in the medical device field for several years before discovering her passion for helping children reach their full potential while tutoring elementary students in Richmond’s East End. In 2020 she began working at AJC to support the Development & Communications team. She is a Richmond CASA and has two teenagers of her own who keep her on her toes! She and her family love being outdoors (whether camping, hiking or skiing) and she feels blessed to be part of the AJC family.
Katerina is a student at James Madison University pursuing a Media Arts and Design degree with a minor in Business, and plans to graduate in December 2023. She has a passion for creativity and loves working with children. In her free time, you can find her watching the sunset or playing with her dogs, Coco and Kipper!
Katherine was born and raised in Richmond, VA. She studied Art History and Elementary Education at Washington and Lee University and earned a Masters of Teaching from The University of Virginia. After teaching kindergarten for two years, Katherine was thrilled to join AJC as a member of the Development and Communications team. Katherine loves art, hiking, and her enormous yellow lab, Luke.
Mrs. Robinson, aka Ms. JAS, was born in New York City and attended Malcolm King College in Central Harlem. She received her Early Childhood Montessori teaching certificate and taught at West Side Montessori School in Upper Manhattan for several years. In 1992, Mrs. Robinson moved to Virginia, where she taught pre-k to lower elementary at Richmond Montessori School for over 25 years. In 2018, she returned to NYC and took the Lower Elementary Montessori training. Through her passion for developing child-centered places for independent hands-on learning, she helped establish Montessori programs throughout Virginia. In November of 2021, while serving as a member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, she had the pleasure of visiting Anna Julia Cooper School. She knew then that she did not want to leave and was looking forward to making AJC her new home.
Jonathan joined AJC in 2021. When he is not feeding snacks to children in the Lower School, you might find him driving a bus, cleaning the floors, or maybe even filming a movie.
Sam graduated from Virginia Military Institute with degrees in Political Science and Arabic Language. After spending a few years teaching in Mobile, AL and earning his M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, he is returning home to Richmond to join the AJC family. Sam could not be more excited to teach, coach, and be part of this wonderful community of students, staff, and families.
Shola was born in Richmond and educated at Virginia Commonwealth University. She forged in kitchens like Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, Millie’s, Nettie’s Naturally and Nota Bene and even had her own bakery, Mahogany Sweets. She joined the AJC team in spring 2020 and is still burning. Shola is a traveler and also an independent researcher of the African American foodways of the American south. Catch her in the kitchen before she catches another flight.
Linton was born in Kinston, NC. He was an army medic for five years, serving in Baumholder, Germany. He went to Cameron University in Lawton, OK then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University. He graduated from Purdue University earning a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies. Here in Richmond, he has worked with Peter Paul Development Center and has substitute taught and tutored around the city. He joined us at AJC in the summer of 2011.
Victoria graduated from James Madison University with her B.S. and M.A.T. in Elementary Education, and then she spent 6 years teaching 4th grade in Rockingham County. Victoria has also worked at Camp Alkulana for the past ten summers, and that is where she was first introduced to the students and mission of AJC. She relocated to Richmond when the opportunity to teach at AJC came up, and she couldn’t be any more excited! In her free time Victoria likes reading, camping, travelling, and learning about different cultures. She is one of 8 children and loves spending time with her 16 nieces and nephews when she gets the chance.
Brooks has lived in Richmond for most of her life. She earned a BA in English and a Masters of Elementary Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She began at AJC as a volunteer, and is excited to be working supporting students and teachers in the Lower School. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her family and friends, and riding bikes.