Welcome to our faculty page.  This is where you will learn about our founders, administrators, faculty and staff.

Village School Founders

Jamie Knorr

Jamie Knorr was a Social Studies teacher for three years at Charlottesville High School before starting Village School. He is certified to teach history, government, economics, geography, cultural anthropology, and psychology. Mr. Knorr received a B.A. from Stanford University with a major in History, an M.A. in Philosophy from University of Kentucky, and an M.A. magna cum laude in Medieval Studies from the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. During high school and college, he received four All-American awards in swimming. Before moving to Charlottesville with his wife Nancy, Mr. Knorr was Vice President with Shearson Lehman Brothers in New York City.

Proal Heartwell

Before starting Village School, Proal Heartwell was a secondary school English teacher for ten years. He has taught all levels of English from Advanced Placement to English as a Second Language. Mr. Heartwell has a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in English with a Concentration in Fiction Writing from George Mason University. In his teaching career he has coached, sponsored publications and other activities, and has served as Lead Teacher for the Community of Caring at Charlottesville High School. Mr. Heartwell has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Council for Basic Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Foundation for Excellence in Public Education and the Center for Liberal Studies. Mr. Heartwell and his wife, Susan Roseberry Heartwell, have one daughter, Elise.

Head of School

Eliza O’Connell, Head of School

B.S., Sociology, Cornell University

Prior to being named Head of School, Ms. O'Connell served as Director of Development and Strategic Planning for Village School, and for a year, the girls' PE instructor. Before coming to Village School, Ms. O’Connell’s professional activities centered on capital formation, development and strategic growth of community-based enterprises. She has acted as a consultant to several local businesses including Relay Foods and Computers4Kids and was previously the Director of Marketing for Virginia National Bank. Ms. O’Connell’s volunteer service includes serving on the boards of CASPCA, Virginia Discovery Museum, the Senior Center, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Hickerson Foundation. Ms. O’Connell holds a BS in Sociology from Cornell University. She is an avid runner and biker and outdoor enthusiast. Ms. O’Connell and her husband Dan have three daughters.

Core Faculty

Proal Heartwell - English

B.A., English, University of Virginia
M.A., English, George Mason University

Jamie Knorr - History

B.A., History, Stanford University
M.A., Philosophy, University of Kentucky
M.A., Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Suzannah Spaar - Enrichment

B.A., English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
M.F.A., Poetry, University of Pittsburgh

Linde Rickert Tassell - Math

B.S., Communication, Cornell University
M.Ed., Mathematics Education, University of Virginia

Kim Taylor - Science

B.S., Biology, Queen’s University
M.S., Science Education, State University of New York

Sadie Van Vranken - History

B.A., African American History, Princeton University
M.T., Social Studies Education, University of Virginia

Ned. M Wells, III ("Tres") - Math

B.A., Mathematics, Austin College
M.A.T., Austin College
M.Ed., Mathematics Education, University of Virginia

Lucy Western - Latin

B.A., Classics, Yale University

Auxiliary Faculty

Jane Skafte - Art

Susan Patrick - Art

Ike Anderson - Dance

Ruth Sherman - Dance

Melissa Charles - Drama

Jen Fleisher - Health

Dr. Lisa Locke-Downer - Health

Meg Laughlin - P.E.

Brooke Mahanes - Orchestra

Ethan Wagner - Beginning Orchestra

Christine Steele - Woodwinds

Xavier Taylor - Chorus

Tara Scott - Chorus

Ruth Sherman - Music Appreciation

Edward Booker - Maintenance

Mariah Johnson - Office Manager