By Debbie Adams
William Byrd High School has welcomed several new faculty and staff members for the 2023-
2024 school year – Aaron Book, Isabelle Cimala, Dan Faubel, Briona Hurt, Marissa Kopera,
Shenan Lovern, Kinley Moore, Cassie Powell, Andrea Stevens, Katy Nance, Lauren Pomeroy,
and Junius Panell.
Aaron Book is teaching 12 th grade AP Government and Politics and 12 th grade Virginia and U.S.
Government at William Byrd High School and 6 th grade US History 1 at William Byrd Middle
School. He is originally from Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History
and Politics from Ithaca College in New York and his Master’s degree in Education at Virginia
Book is a proud Navy veteran. He has been working in the field of education for 23 years.
He recently moved to the Roanoke area. He has been teaching at Tunstall High School in
Pittsylvania County for the past seven years.
Isabelle Cimala is teaching at both Cave Spring and William Byrd High Schools. She teaches all
levels of Latin. She is originally from Bloomington, Ill. She earned her undergraduate degree
from the University of Alabama and her Master’s in Classics from the University of Virginia.
Her hobbies are “anything Classics-related,” along with hiking and reading.
Dan Faubel is teaching biology and ecology at William Byrd High School and 6 th grade science
at William Byrd and Hidden Valley Middle Schools. He is originally from Pennsylvania but
spent the past 12 years in Florida.
He earned his BSED in biology from West Chester University and his MS in classroom
technology from Wilkes University. He has been an educator for 16 years.
“I chose to teach science to help promote scientific literacy in society,” Faubel said.
He enjoys playing golf, camping, hiking, and “building things with my bare hands.”
Briona Hurt is teaching English 10 and English 12 at William Byrd High School. She is a
Special Education co-teacher. She was “born and raised” in Vinton and is a graduate of WBHS.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance: Exercise Science from
Ferrum College. This is her first year of teaching.
“I worked as an Instructional Assistant last year at Byrd and worked with SPED and saw the
difference the program made for the students, and it really encouraged me to want to be a part of
that difference,” Hurt says.
As for her interests outside of school, “I love to travel and spend time with my family and my
She will be coaching basketball, volleyball, and track at WBHS.
Marissa Kopera is teaching at both William Byrd and Hidden Valley High Schools. She teaches
two different marketing classes—Advanced Marketing to seniors at WBHS, and Marketing with
sophomores-through seniors at HVHS. She grew up in Vinton and graduated from William Byrd
High School. She earned her degree in Management, Human Resources from Virginia Tech. This
is her first year of teaching.
“I was a long-term substitute last year and I fell in love with teaching!” Kopera says. “I ran into
my former principal, Mrs. Newcomb, who asked me if I needed a job for the remainder of the
school year last year. From there, I heard about full-time openings from former teachers and
She will be one of the DECA sponsors at WBHS and HVHS.
Shenan Lovern is teaching Math 8 and Algebra I at William Byrd Middle School and William
Byrd High School. She grew up in Roanoke County, graduated from WBHS, and has lived in
Vinton most of her adult life. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Longwood
University and her Master’s in Education and Administration from the University of Virginia.
This is her 19th year in education – 11 years in Franklin County, six years in Roanoke City, and
one year with Virtual Virginia.
“I love MATH!” Lovern says. “I enjoy showing students that everyone can be successful in
math. Those ‘I got it, Ms. Lovern,’ moments are the best!”
She is excited to be in Roanoke County and on the same schedule as her daughter who is a
seventh grader at William Byrd Middle.
“I love doing arts and crafts with my daughter,” Lovern says. “I enjoy making floral
arrangements and wedding flowers for family and friends.”
Kinley Moore is teaching Algebra 1 to ninth graders at WBHS as a Special Education co-
teacher. She is from Vinton and a graduate of William Byrd. She earned her degree in Special
Education K-12 Adapted and General Curriculum from James Madison University. She has
worked for one year as a long-term and permanent substitute teacher and then was offered her
“I started substituting at William Byrd Middle School and High School and really enjoyed being
back in the county where I graduated from,” Moore says.
Moore says she loves to “do anything outdoors, traveling, and music.”
She will be coaching cross country and track and Field at WBHS.
Cassie Powell is a first-year Special Education teacher at William Byrd and a co-teacher for
Earth Science. She is from Vinton and a graduate of WBHS in 2017. She earned her Bachelor’s
degree in Sports Management and her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction
from the University of Lynchburg. This is her first year in teaching.
“I went back to school for my Master’s in Education and found a passion for education,” Powell
says. “I originally applied for a Marketing teacher’s position in Roanoke County and was offered
the Special Education position for this school year.
“I played college softball and plan to assist with the varsity softball program this upcoming
school season, along with coaching a 12U softball travel team. My free time in the spring will be
spent at the softball field or with family and friends. My little sister and cousin both play softball
at the University of Lynchburg. This is their senior year. So, I plan to attend as many games as
Powell will be assisting with William Byrd varsity softball for the upcoming school season.
Andrea Stevens is teaching at William Byrd and Hidden Valley High schools – CTE classes,
digital photography, robotics, CAD, and electronics – “I love hands-on learning experiences.”
She is originally from Philadelphia and graduated from WHS there. She is a graduate of Temple
The “amazing staff” at both WBHS and HVHS urged her to apply for her position.
“I love running and will be assistant cross country coach for HVHS. I have three high school
students in the county, and I have an adorable French bulldog.”
Katy Nance “was at William Byrd Middle for five years and am thrilled to be continuing as a
Terrier at the high school. I will have last names starting with S-Z.” She is originally from
outside Philadelphia. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from Wake Forest University.
“My daughter, a 2019 WBHS alum, graduated from the University of Virginia this year with a
degree in Cognitive Science. She is working at the Developmental Neuroanalytics Lab at the
University of Virginia where she is continuing her undergraduate research. My son, a 2022 alum
of WBHS, just completed the first year at Virginia Commonwealth University. My husband,
Wes, is Commonwealth's Attorney for Bedford County. I love spending time outside with my
two pitbulls, Frank and Moe.”
Nance will be continuing as the hurdle coach at WBHS.
Lauren Pomeroy will be working with all grade levels at WBHS as the LIFE Counselor, doing
individual counseling, group counseling, and providing support to students.”
She is originally from Roanoke and a graduate of Cave Spring High School. She received her
Bachelor’s degree at James Madison University and her Master’s in Counseling at Virginia Tech. She has spent the past five years working in school mental health.
“I am a licensed counselor and absolutely love being able to provide my services to students
while they are at school,” Pomeroy says.
“I enjoy playing soccer, being active, and doing anything with my husband and our yellow lab,
Teacher Junius Pannell is working with seniors this year at William Byrd High School and will
continue coaching indoor and outdoor track & field.