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Leadership Team

Biographies and Contact Information

Executive Director - Carol Edelstein

photo Carol Edelstein has served as the Executive Director of Merritt Academy since December 2006.  She received her bachelor's degree in health services management from LaSalle University preceded by undergraduate studies in early childhood education at the University of Maryland.  Carol taught preschool for 7 years; managed an infant & toddler center for 3 years; was the assistant director at The Talent House Private School (now Merritt Academy) in 1986 - 87; and developed Alzheimer's programing & training for Sunrise Senior Living for 20 years. 
Email:  Phone: 703-273-0787 Shutterfly Page


School Principal - Linda Potts

photoLinda Potts has enjoyed being an educator for many years. She brings over 15 years of experience working at Merritt Academy. She received her bachelor's degree in sociology/anthropology from Gettysburg College and holds a master's degree in education administration and supervision. She has held several positions at Merritt including Director of Education, middle school teacher (of multiple subjects),and Curriculum Director. 
Email:  Phone: 703-273-2209 Shutterfly Page


Preschool Co-Director - Renee Hoegberg

For over twenty years, Renee Hoegberg has worked with families and children as a teacher, administrator, and as a social worker. Renee also wrote and implemented her own music and movement program for young children and has presented it to dozens of preschools in the Washington metropolitan area.  Most recently, she served as the School Assistant Principal at Merritt Academy for nearly a year. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and a 90 hour certification in Early Childhood Education. Renee resides in Fairfax County and is the proud parent of three boys ages, sixteen, twenty-one and twenty-three.
Email:                              Phone: 703-273-5647 Ext:  152

Preschool Co-Director - Milly Areas

MillyMildred ‘Milly’ McNeal joined Merritt Academy in March, 2011, as the Assistant Preschool Director. She has enjoyed working with children in various settings for over 10 years, both in leadership roles as well as the lead teacher in a classroom. She is pursuing undergraduate studies in early childhood education administration and aspires to obtain a master’s degree in educational leadership.  Milly has an appreciation for child-led instruction, where the teachers are natural facilitators.  She believes “childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write, and count. Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child”.
Email: Phone: 703-273-8000 Ext: 151 or 703-273-4980.

School Counselor - Jennifer Atanda

CounselorJennifer Atanda worked for public school systems of both Madison County and Alexandria City, VA, as an elementary school counselor for nearly 10 years.  Jennifer coordinated a comprehensive character education program that included individual and group counseling and classroom guidance lessons, and has taught classes in tolerance, diversity awareness, careers, and social skills. Jennifer is a National Board Certified Counselor, and graduated from the University of Virginia with an M.Ed. in School Counseling and an Ed.S. in Administration. Email: Phone: (703)539-9289 or (703) 273-9289

Director of Admissions - Amy Pernick

amyAmy Pernick joined Merritt Academy in March, 2009, as the Director of Admissions. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech, having earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Business Leadership.  Amy has prior experience in college admissions at High Point University in High Point, NC, where she gained an appreciation for helping families find the school that is the right “fit” for their child.  She feels that the most rewarding part of her job is watching the students she enrolled thrive and grow as they progress through the academy.
Email: Phone: (703) 539-8394 Shutterfly Page


I like Merritt Academy because the teachers make learning fun.

Merritt Academy
2nd Grade Student

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