Welcome to New Faculty

Linda Churchwell-Varga (7th & 8th Grade Principal): Linda joined JBS as the principal of the 7th and 8th grades in summer 2021. Previously, she taught 6th grade and served as 6th grade advisor at New City School, where she also served in a number of leadership roles, including New City's head-of-school search committee, ISACS accreditations and DEI programming. Linda has taught at Aim High St. Louis on the JBS campus. She earned her bachelor's degree from Spelman College, and has a master's in teaching from Wayne State University.


Rene Iannotti (Modern Languages): Rene joined the Burroughs faculty in July 2021. She teaches Spanish 8 and AP Spanish. Prior to coming to Burroughs, she taught at MICDS, Visitation Academy and Isidore Newman School where she was the global education coordinator and director of Aventureros Spanish Immersion Camp. During the summer months, Rene is the director of the United Nations Association of Saint Louis-SDG Changemakers Youth Action Program. She has also led interdisciplinary programs and conducted research in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Perú and Spain. She holds a master's degree Latin American Studies from Tulane University and was a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Dominican Republic.


Brandon Singleton (Library, PE/Athletics): Brandon is a librarian and serves as a 7th and 8th grade PE coach. He joined the JBS community in spring of 2020 as head coach of boys lacrosse, and became assistant for the football and wrestling teams. Prior to Burroughs, he was the head men's lacrosse coach at Fontbonne University (2018-2020) and an assistant lacrosse coach at Lindenwood University (2016-2020). Singleton graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science, and received a master's degree in teaching from Fontbonne University in 2015. 


Renee Susanto (History): Renee joined the Burroughs faculty in 2021 as a history teaching fellow*. She teaches Social Studies 8 and World Civilizations II. Renee holds a bachelor's degree in religious studies from Pomona College. During her time at Pomona, she conducted research abroad about ethnic and religious minorities in Indonesia; she is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia. 



Keith Vassall (Administration; College Counseling; Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity): Before joining Burroughs in the summer of 2021 as the director of student engagement and as associate director of college counseling, he served as director of college counseling and as a humanities teacher at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey. Prior to Moorestown Friends, he worked in the college counseling office at various independent schools on the East Coast, where he also taught AP Psychology, served as a grade dean, upper school advisor and assistant varsity squash coach. Keith began his career in education as an admissions officer at his alma mater, Lake Forest College in Illinois. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in politics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Before his transition to independent schools, Keith was the associate director of admissions and director of diversity recruitment at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where he earned his master’s in school counseling.


Kamau Walker '16 (Science): Kamau joined the Burroughs faculty in 2021 as a biology teaching fellow*. Currently, he serves as a 9th grade accelerated bio teacher and as a co-sponsor for Stubborn Ounces. Kamau holds a bachelor's in science in ecology and evolutionary biology from Yale University.


Jessica Wasilewski (Mathematics): Jessica joined the Math Department in summer 2021. She moved to St. Louis from New York City, where she spent the past seven years as a math teacher and head of the math department at Trinity School in Manhattan. She has been teaching middle- and upper-school math in independent schools since 2002, and has worn many hats including department head, director of residential life, orientation director, peer leadership coordinator, advisor, coach and trip leader. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree from Northeastern University.

*Burroughs Teaching Fellows are recent college graduates or young professionals who are interested in beginning careers in independent school education. They join the JBS faculty full-time for a two-year program that includes on-campus housing, mentoring and professional development.