With the 2022-23 academic year underway, we are pleased to have new students and faculty on campus. The expansion of the Valley to three sections of each grade offered the opportunity to welcome a well-rounded group of experienced teachers and mentors to The Heights. We are pleased to welcome the following faculty and staff members to The Heights community this academic year.
Dr. Joseph Lanzilotti is a new fifth grade homeroom teacher in the Valley. He holds a BS in biology with a double major in philosophy from DeSales University, an MA in theology from Ave Maria University, and a PhD in theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Having grown up in rural New Jersey, Dr. Lanzilotti developed a great love for the natural world. He is a beekeeper and gardener; he enjoys trail running, swimming, and skiing. Joseph and wife, Caeli, have a one-year-old son. They reside in Reston, Virginia.
Elias Naegele ’10:
Elias Naegele returns to The Heights as a fourth grade homeroom teacher. A native Virginian, a Heights lifer, and the third of five Naegele boys to graduate from The Heights, he first pursued his love for all things wild by venturing to Wyoming following graduation from the University of Virginia. After time spent guiding doctors, lawyers, and business executives on snowmobile and ATV tours in the verdant valley of Jackson Hole, Mr. Naegele returned to the D.C. area, where he taught lower school natural history, and middle and upper school math at The Avalon School. Still scratching the interminable itch of the untrodden path, he trekked up the coast to help found Sparhawk Academy, in the Boston area, teaching fifth grade homeroom and engaging in the innumerable tasks required of a founding faculty member. Yet while the ancient Appalachians were never far off, the craggy peaks of the west continued to call. Following in the footsteps of the Virginian, the title character of Owen Wister’s famous novel, Mr. Naegele returned west once again, where he worked in admissions at Wyoming Catholic College and met his beloved wife, Mollie. He enjoys reading, dabbles in writing, and if not readily available, has likely ditched the pre-packaged life of suburbia for the open road on yet another adventure with his young family and trusty Irish Setter pup, Rosie.
Josue Zelaya teaches third grade homeroom, having recently retired from the Montgomery County Police Department after twenty years of service. Mr. Zelaya has been married to his high school sweetheart, Paula, for eighteen years, and is the father of five current Heights students who all shared in the excitement of the Valley. Mr. Zelaya looks forward to the continued formation of Heights boys into virtuous men!
Nate Gadiano ’16:
Nate Gadiano returns to campus as the director of consulting at The Heights Forum. He oversees the Forum’s various consulting services, including campus visits, individual consultations, and the Leaders Initiative. In addition to his work with the Forum, he teaches Natural History in the lower school. After graduating from The Heights, Mr. Gadiano earned his AB, summa cum laude, from Princeton University, where he studied a combination of literature, philosophy, and theology. While at Princeton, he served as the president of The Tigertones, the university’s signature all-male a cappella group. He also served as the co-president of Princeton Pro-life and as a ministry team leader of the Aquinas Institute. After graduating from Princeton, Mr. Gadiano spent a year in the admissions office at The Heights. He then worked for The Hawthorn Foundation in New York City, before heading to the University of Notre Dame as a Bradley Fellow in the Mendoza College of Business. While in South Bend, he studied Italian literature and taught Italian language to undergraduate students at the university.
Toni Kilner, a native Washingtonian, returns to The Heights front desk after working at Catholic University in the office of President John Garvey. She is the mother of Heights board chairman Pat ’97, Joe ’00, Fr. Bob ’06, and Michael ’09, and grandmother to three current Heights students. Mrs. Kilner and husband Pat have nine children and twenty-four grandchildren. She’s always up for a Scrabble challenge, and is a part-time professional florist.
Phil Brach ’19:
Phil Brach, a 2019 graduate from The Heights, joined the team as an alumni coordinator over the summer. Mr. Brach is also a bulk fuel specialist and Training NCO in the Marine Corps Reserve. During his time at The Heights, he played lacrosse and ran track and field. After graduating in 2019, Mr. Brach entered the labor force as the company operations officer for a chain of grocery stores in Washington D.C. and Montgomery County. He is one of nine children; his brother and fellow alumnus Joe graduated from The Heights in 2018. In addition to his work at The Heights, Mr. Brach teaches Sunday school at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Washington, D.C .