ABOUT US

  • At Destiny School of the Arts, we incorporate academics with performing arts to create the ultimate educational and fine arts experience. The arts are used as a platform to stimulate self-expression and academic growth. Experiential learning through arts integration lends itself to both academic excellence and happy students!

  • History of Destiny School of the Arts

    Destiny School of the Arts started in a small storefront strip mall on Leesburg’s Market Street in 2009. With one preschool class and a handful of specialized teachers, our school was born. From the beginning, daily lessons and exposure to art, music, and creative movement was our priority.

    History of the Greenway Manor House

    Our beautiful school was once a prestigious manor house from the 1700’s, complete with maids’ quarters, a fruit cellar, a large barn, a smokehouse, and a carriage house.

    The manor house originally belonged to the family of William Meade . William Meade fled England with William Penn (signer of the Declaration of Independence) on a ship sailed by Captain Greenway. The Meade family used the house for both Quaker meetings and services. During the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy took possession of the house at different times. Throughout the years, Greenway Manor House, as it is also known, has housed numerous families, including that of a prominent Leesburg judge. Our garden committee is making plans to restore its once handsome flower garden precisely where it was located 200 years ago. Children will use this outdoor classroom to explore weather, the plant cycle, and much more. We love our school building and honor its history and charm by making it a place where children can continuously learn and grow.

  • Welcome to Our Home!

    We welcome you to our home on South King Street (Leesburg, Virginia). This 6000 sq. ft. historic plantation manor house has been renovated to serve Destiny School of the Arts students. Our new home provides a healthy, child-friendly environment that includes: two outdoor play facilities, excellent classroom space, and state of the art renovations. Best of all, there is room to grow!

    The colors, textures, and lighting of our  school were all chosen with care and attention to create a pleasant backdrop. We believe our home-like environment is the perfect place to nurture the creativity and academic growth of your child.

  • ADMINISTRATION


    Jennifer Wigfield
    Director

    Jennifer Wigfield serves as director of Destiny School of the Arts. A licensed Virginia educator, she feels passionate about creating a warm and healthy environment where children can learn through the arts. In 2005, Jennifer received a master’s of education (prek-6) from Liberty University. In 2010, she earned a curriculum and instruction endorsement (prek-12) through George Mason University, subsequently becoming an English language specialist with Loudoun County Public Schools. Being fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, she has enjoyed building a foreign language program at our school. Jennifer believes fully in DSOA’s mission for students reach academic excellence through arts integration, and enjoys collaborating with staff to achieve that goal. Jennifer is very enthusiastic about DSOA’s bright future, and honored to be a part of such a wonderful school.

     


    Gloria Haines
    Assistant Director

    Gloria Haines is the Assistant Director at Destiny School of the Arts. She has about 20 years of experience in a preschool setting. She has taught 2’s, 3’s, and PreK and is very excited about leadership role at DSOA. Gloria has lived in Leesburg for 22 years and has seen a lot of growth in the area, especially in the number of school choices that are now available for early education. She enjoys working in an administrative capacity at DSOA and being a key contributor toward the growth of our school. In her spare time she enjoys volunteer work, crafting, and fundraising.


    Jodi Mallon
    Director of Marketing 

    Jodi Mallon is the Director of Marketing for Destiny School of the Arts. She comes to our school with a wealth of marketing, sales, and business development experience across multiple industries. Over the last several years she has been helping Loudoun County nonprofits and small businesses to develop and execute dynamic marketing plans.  She is thrilled to be using her skills and talents to help Destiny School of the Arts grow its one of a kind preschool and elementary school programs. Her desire is that more students will come experience the difference a fully integrated arts program has on their academic success, personal growth and development.


    TEACHERS


    Cindy Backus

    Cindy Backus teaches kindergarten grade at Destiny School of the Arts. Originally from Florida, she and her family moved to Loudoun County eight years ago. She loves her new home and enjoys volunteering to make a difference in her community. She holds a postgraduate professional teaching License from Virginia and an M. ED. in Psychology. Cindy has a wide range of teaching experience in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms, from Pre-K to the collegiate level. Before working at DSOA, she taught children with special needs for Loudoun County Public Schools. Her wide range of experience has equipped her with diverse and effective teaching techniques that implements in her classroom. One of Cindy’s primary objectives is to create a stimulating and positive classroom environment where students begin their journeys as life-long learners.
     
     

    Jeannie Baer
     
    Jeannie Baer is an art and academics teacher at Destiny School of the Arts. She began her career as a muralist, painting murals in places of business and in private homes. Loving art herself, it is always her goal to foster that same love for learning, self-expression, and creative thinking. Impressively, Jeannie has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to teaching art. Believing strongly in process-oriented art, she enables children to explore their creativity by using many different mediums. In addition, she also helps her students obtain important learning goals through creative means. Students love performing hands-on experiments in Jeannie’s class!
     
     

    Lara Lasher
     
    Lara is very excited to be part of the Destiny Team as our three-year-old lead teacher. She has fourteen years experience in a private school setting teaching ages three to the advanced age four curriculum. Her desire to be in a loving, nurturing environment, with the most well rounded academics and arts for the children is what brought her to Destiny. She has a passion for teaching, and strives to meet each child at their individual needs to encourage their love for learning.  Lara lives in Lovettsville with her husband and two children.
     
     

    Jill Orton

    Jill is so excited to be teaching the 2’s this school year at Destiny School of the Arts. She graduated from Ohio University as a division 1 scholarship athlete in swimming with a major in English Literature and a minor in Sports Industry/Coaching. In 2009 Jill obtained a Master of Education degree from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Teaching in Fairfax County, Jill has five years of teaching experience including working with special education and pre-Kindergarten. Jill is energetic and loves to teach through song and movement while developing creative projects with the students. In addition to being a teacher, Jill is the head swim coach for a local Leesburg swim team in the summer. When she is not teaching or coaching Jill loves spending time with her husband and three young children Owen, Olivia, and Oliver.

     


    Heather Pitts

    Heather is our elementary creative movement teacher and an assistant in the 3’s Class. Heather was born in a little farming town in Switzerland and is the oldest of three girls. She says she came to America for an education, but also found a husband! Heather has a BS degree in Health, Fitness, and Recreation, as well as many years of dance instruction. She loves being a teacher and loves seeing how much students learn and change within a single school year. Heather is excited and feels privileged to be a part of the lives of the children at DSOA.
     
     

    Renee Spara

    Renee is our lead Creative Play teacher. She grew up in Staten Island, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education and began her teaching career as a substitute teacher at various elementary and middle schools. In 2010, Renee relocated to Virginia and began teaching young children from preschool to kindergarten. Renee knew instantly that she found her niche! She believes a teacher’s excitement and passion to educate comes from the student’s enthusiasm and curiosity to learn. Renee enjoys reading stories to the children and engaging them in conversations about everyday life and the world they live in. Renee has played an integral part in expanding and enriching our Creative Play program.

     


    Tanya Vanderheiden

    Tanya is a pre-k homeroom teacher, as well as the music teacher for our pre-k and elementary students. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. She has been working in the field of performing arts as a music, dance and drama teacher since 2006. Tanya has also performs professionally with theater companies in the DC Metro Area. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband and her daughter Nora. Tanya loves being a part of our talented staff, as she delights in sharing her love of performing arts with children!


    Dr. Krista Kettler

    Krista is thrilled to join Destiny School of the Arts as an elementary school teacher.  With over 30 years of experience, she has served many roles including that of a teacher, supervisor, consultant, case manager, family service coordinator, university professor, and diagnostician. Her background is in both public and private sectors spanning Early Childhood through Post-Secondary Education levels. She began teaching in her hometown of New Orleans in 1986 and has subsequently taught in Alabama, Texas, Maryland and Virginia.  She received an undergraduate degree in Regular & Special Elementary Education from Louisiana State University, a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Alabama, and a Doctoral Degree in Infancy & Early Childhood from the University of Maryland.  Her deep desire is to bring innovation and enthusiasm to Destiny’s unique learning environment.  When not teaching, Krista enjoys travel, volunteer work, and fellowship with family and friends.  

  • Destiny School of the Arts began as a ministry of Destiny Church with the intent to serve the community through a preschool centered on learning through the arts. Today, Destiny School of the Arts is a non-profit 501c, and largely independent from Destiny Church. Our desire to serve the children of Loudoun County, however, remains strong!

    Destiny School of the Arts is an Interdenominational Christian organization, with our teachers coming from various churches in the community. The word “God” is not taboo at our school. Students sing a blessing or say a short prayer before snack and lunch. We also encourage the development and discussion of many Biblical principles and themes, such as honesty and kindness.

    We are not, however, a traditional Christian school. We do not have a Bible curriculum or chapel service. Our belief is that our lives and actions should speak more about our faith than our words, and our main goal is for every child to feel loved and special while under our care.