Mr. Phillip is the Director of Bands at John Champe High School. Mr. Phillip is a graduate of James Madison University and holds a masters degree from George Mason University. He studied tuba with Mark Theile and Kevin Stees. He continues to perform in the Capital Wind Symphony. Prior to his position at John Champe, Mr. Phillip taught band at Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia. Under his direction the Park View High School band earned superior ratings in concert, marching, and jazz. While there the Park View Band Program twice earned "Virginia Honor Band" status. Mr. Phillip was named the Park View Educator of the year during the 2009-2010 school year. Mr. Phillip enjoys spending his free time with his Wife, Laurel Phillip, and their pets Shirley and Tink.
, Choir Director
This is Mrs. Merceruio's third year teaching in Loudoun County Public Schools. In addition to being the choir director, she teaches elementary music at Arcola Elementary and Buffalo Trail Elementary.
Mrs. Merceruio went to Shenandoah University and received a bachelors degree in Music Education. She also studied music theater and vocal pedagogy. While attending SU, she participated in the operas and musicals, and traveled with the Conservatory Choir to France and Italy.
In the summer, Mrs. Merceruio has taught Broadway Pops Choir and Vocal Jazz for LYCEUM, formerly known as Summer in the Arts, to 6th through 12th grade students. She has been a part of the program for three consecutive years.
Lauren Merceruio is originally from Dover, DE and is currently living with her husband and two cats in Leesburg, VA.
Mr. Staggs, Drama Teacher
Russ Staggs comes to John Champe High as our new Drama/English teacher. Mr. Staggs has 14 years of teaching experience, primarily in the Drama classroom, but also as an English and Journalism teacher.
Mr. Staggs received his BA in English with a minor in Theatre from James Madison University in 1999. Ten years later, Mr. Staggs received his MA in Theatre Studies from Regent University where he had the opportunity to work with Victoria Jackson (former Saturday NIght Live member) among other prominent professionals in Theatre.
Mr. Staggs began his career in 1999 at his alma mater, Great Bridge High School, in Chesapeake, VA, where he taught for 8 years. Students under Mr. Staggs’ direction raked in several dozen acting, playwriting, and design awards state and nationwide, including 2 state champion productions and multiple state-runner up productions, primarily written by Mr. Staggs and his students.
Mr. Staggs also taught 4 years at Grassfield High, the newest high school in Chesapeake, VA. In their first two years, the Grassfield Theatre department won four consecutive VHSL District Theatre Competitions, ranked 2nd in the state twice and won the VHSL AAA State Theatre Festival. In addition, the Fine Arts Department collaborated on three major musical productions involving nearly 100 students each: Guys & Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Mis.
Mr. Staggs recently taught at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, a one-of-a-kind school in Western Massachusetts where the arts are the center of education. As a result, Mr. Staggs brings a unique perspective on the benefits and need of arts integration and collaboration in the traditional classroom.
In addition to his extensive teaching experience, Mr. Staggs has been an active participant in the community. He has played various roles as part of Tidewater Community College’s Annual Shakespeare In The Grove for 15 years; served as a Board Member for the Virginia Theatre Association for 5 years, including the office of Vice President; and he has worked closely with students in various Hampton Roads high schools and colleges in hopes of bolstering the already strong artistic presence in the area.
Russ Staggs is proud to be a Knight! He can’t wait to experience the talent, energy, and community John Champe High School has to offer, and looks forward to sharing his experiences with students, parents, and staff.
For questions or comments about the Champe Drama Program, please email Mr. Staggs
Ms. Tomick graduated from Loudoun County Public Schools and went off to art school to study animation and drawing at Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD is ranked one of the top art schools in the nation, and it is there that Ms. Tomick had the opportunity to work with professionals in the animation field. After completing her degree, Ms. Tomick realized that working in the animation field would not be the best suited job for her so she found herself working as a children's book illustrator for a small publishing company and also tried her hand at freelancing. Although she loved her work, something felt like it was missing. She discovered that the missing piece was teaching so she went back to school to complete her master's degree in art education at George Mason. Now that Ms. Tomick has found teaching she can't imagine doing anything else. She is excited to be back in Loudoun County teaching in the very place that started her off in the world of art.