Virginia Educational Facility Planners

Board of Directors


Stephen is a Vice President at Moseley Architects. He was elected to the VA4LE Board in 2014.

As a graduate of North Carolina State University, Stephen holds two degrees in architecture and has over 15 years of experience in designing K-12 facilities throughout the Commonwealth. He has worked in over 20 school divisions from Maryland to South Carolina on a wide range of projects from planning studies to replacement high schools. Stephen is also a Recognized Educational Facility Planner through the Association for Learning Environments.

Stephen is a past Board Member and Secretary of AIA-Richmond and is a past Parish Council member at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Richmond. He lives in western Henrico County with his wife Joanna, and their two children where all free time is spent watching their kids play soccer. He is an avid supporter of teams that wear red; NC State and Liverpool FC.

Cathy is Vice President and Project Executive for Branch & Associates, Inc.

Branch & Associates, Inc. is a construction management firm based in Roanoke, Virginia. Cathy is responsible for providing executive oversight of Branch’s construction management projects and works consultatively with owners, architects, engineers, and economic development professionals to establish new business relationships.

Cathy is currently serving on the Montgomery County Educational Foundation Board, an organization focused on improving the educational opportunities for children in Montgomery County. She also serves on the New River Valley Regional Executive Council. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.

She lives in Shawsville with her husband, Casey, and their four children. In her “spare time” she enjoys being involved with her children and their numerous activities.

Michael Ross is the leader of HBA Architecture’s Community Studio and has close to three decades of experience in planning and designing K-12 educational facilities throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Michael has been with HBA ever since he graduated from VA Tech with a degree in Architecture, and he achieved the status of Recognized Educational Facility Planner (REFP) through CEFPI (now A4LE) in 2002.

Mike approaches educational planning from the learner’s perspective by asking questions such as: “What skills do our young people need to have when they graduate to be successful contributors in today’s global society?...What habits do our young people need to develop to become life-long learners?...How do we get students engaged in their own learning experience so that they become self-motivated?... These types of questions form the basis of Michael’s philosophical approach to planning school facilities, and determining each community’s unique answers to these questions leads to the design of exceptional learning environments that truly meet the needs of both the learners and the community.

Michael lives with his wife in Virginia Beach, has two daughters in the workplace, and one grand-dog. His interests include biking, sailing, traveling to exotic places, photography, and sustainability.

Vijay is an Architectural Consultant for the Virginia Department of Education.

Vijay was born and brought up on the island of Mauritius. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Bombay, India. In 1980 he attended a UN-sponsored course on furniture design and manufacturing held in Lahti, Finland. After graduation he worked on World Bank financed housing and educational projects in Mauritius. Upon migrating to the U.S., he started his career with TDF&B, an A/E consulting group in Richmond and after a few years he joined the Virginia Department of Education.

At VDOE, in addition to providing assistance to schools and architects, he has focused on school safety issues (CPTED) and playground design and safety issues. He is CPTED certified and is the co-author of the VDOE document "School Safety Audit Protocol, Checklist and Procedures", a safety self-assessment tool for schools. He is certified in playground safety and design by the NPPS. He led a team of playground design and safety experts in producing a publication incorporating learning while playing for children in grades preK-12 entitled "From Play to Learning Environments."

He is a past president of VA4LE and is active at the state and regional level of the Association for Learning Environments. He enjoys traveling and is a soccer fan. In his spare time he likes reading both fiction and nonfiction. He is fluent in English, French, Creole and Hindi. He and his wife, Veena, have three children and live in Midlothian, Virginia.


Elaine is the educational planner for the Virginia office of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, Architects. She was elected to the VA4LE Board in 2013.

From 2004-2010, Elaine led the Westmoreland County Public Schools as school superintendent. In 2010, Elaine joined the faculty at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia where she continues to serve as adjunct faculty.

Elaine has served education in Virginia for more than 30 years. She earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She completed her undergraduate degree at Radford (College) University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Micronesia, teaching English as a Second Language. She taught in secondary, middle, elementary and career/technical settings in Roanoke City, Shenandoah County, Orange County and Albemarle County. She served as assistant principal of Hollymead Elementary School in Albemarle and assistant superintendent of the West Point Schools. She worked at the state level as a Virginia Department of Education regional representative and was the Executive Director of the Southside Virginia Business and Education Commission at Longwood (College) University.

She is newly elected to the Virginia Educational Facility Planners Board of Directors. Elaine also serves on the Virginia High School League’s Foundation Board, the Women Educational Leaders of Virginia as past president and recently returned to the Board of Directors of Four County Players. Elaine maintains a strong connection with her University of Virginia colleagues and Virginia educational leaders through her service on the School of Continuing and Professional Studies K-12 Advisory Council.


Steve is a Principal in the Public Land Development Division at Timmons Group, specializing in K-12 educational design and athletic facilities. He was elected to the VA4LE Board in 2014.

A 1991 Civil Engineering graduate of Virginia Tech, Steve is responsible for everything from feasibility studies and master planning to design and construction administration. Steve is passionate about sustainable design for our children's environment. He understands the importance of project phasing to ensure students will have as little disruption as possible during their academic year. Steve's favorite part of a project is meeting with the owner to understand their vision and collaborating with the project team to realize the project's goals. He has been working at Timmons Group since 1997.

Steve enjoys fishing, jogging and golfing, but most of all, he enjoys doing just about anything with his wife and three children.

Al is the Assistant Superintendent for Operations for Henrico County Public Schools.  He was elected to his second term on the Virginia Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (VA4LE) Board in 2012.

Al serves as an Assistant Superintendent for a school district with over 49,000 students, 7,700 employees and a $530 million annual operating budget. He is responsible for instructional technology, hardware technology, new construction, land acquisition, facility maintenance, pupil transportation, and school safety. Al manages an Operations Division with over 2,100 employees.

Over the past 23 years, Al has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director with Henrico County Public Schools before joining the Operations department 2 years ago. Al has received degrees from Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been working with Henrico County Public Schools since 1992.

Al and his wife, Diana, son, Joseph, and daughter Angela, enjoy spending their summers along the southern coast of Maine as well as participating in numerous after-school activities.

Director Peter Gretz, Ed.d

Dr. Gretz is the Superintendent of Middlesex County Public Schools. He was previously the Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations for Goochland County Public Schools, serving in this position since 2008. Dr. Gretz began his career in education in 1991, teaching language arts to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Glade Spring Middle School where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1993. Four years later he became a high school English and Advanced Composition teacher, coaching wrestling and sponsoring both the Southwest academic Competition Team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes clubs at Holston High School.

After earning a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University and nine years in the classroom, he became assistant principal of the William N. Neff Center for Science & Technology where he served two years. He then returned to Holston High School as assistant principal for four years. In 2002, he became principal of Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange, VA. There he developed a passion for mastery learning and performance-based assessment, both of which remain foundational pillars of his belief system regarding teaching and learning.

He earned his doctoral degree from Virginia Tech in 2012. He was then appointed to the central office in Buckingham, VA, first leading the Student Services & Special Education Department and later as Director of Instruction. He teaches graduate courses in educational leadership and assessment for JMU, VCU and the Center for Teacher Education in Richmond, VA.

He and his wife, Sara, have three children and have lived in Goochland since his appointment in 2008. Sara is an active volunteer in the community and works as a program coordinator for the Goochland Parks & Recreation Department. They both enjoy an engaged membership at West End Presbyterian Church. Among his love for the outdoors and spending as much time with his family as possible, Pete is also an avid musician with specific interest in guitar and piano.

Director Jeff Harris

Jeff is a partner at RRMM Architects and also serves as the Assistant Director of the firm's K-12 Studio.  He was elected to the VA4LE Board in 2015.

Jeff is a graduate of Hampton University. He has worked for more than 23 years exclusively in the K-12 and higher education markets, serving school districts and college campuses throughout the State of Virginia. Jeff has been involved in all aspects of the design process from schematic design through construction administration. His work on a variety of new construction, complex renovations, and addition projects gives him a comprehensive understanding of today's changing educational facility design requirements.

Jeff lives in Hampton, Virginia with his wife, Rachel and two daughters, Brooke and Hanna. He has a passion for providing the best educational environments that ensure lifelong learning for today's students. He also enjoys watching his daughters dance, coaching his daughters' softball teams, playing golf, and spending vacations on the beach with his family.

Director Albert L. Orndorff, Ed.d

Dr. Orndorff is the Assistant Superintendent for Administration for Frederick County Public Schools, serving in this position since July 2004. He has been employed by the school system as Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent; Clerk of the School Board; Frederick County Public Schools Career & Technical Education Supervisor; Program Director at Dowell J. Howard Center; Assistant Principal at Dowell J. Howard Center; Adult Education/Adult Literacy Supervisor at Dowell J. Howard Center; and Technology Teacher at Robert E. Aylor Middle School and James Wood High School.

Dr. Orndorff currently serves on the Frederick County Educational Foundation, he is a member of Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK); Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and the Virginia chapter, VASBO; member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Prior community involvement includes: The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and the Winchester-Frederick County Community Leadership Program.

Born in Winchester, VA in 1955, Dr. Orndorff received his Bachelor of Science degree in technology education from Virginia Tech in 1978; a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Virginia Tech in 1988 and his Doctoral Degree in Educational Administration at Shenandoah University in 2015. He and his wife, Vickie, have two children and two grandchildren.

Kelly St. Clair DIRECTOR Kelly St. Clair

Kelly is a Regional Manager for VS America in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Kelly is a graduate of Radford University in Interior Design and has worked for over 36 years helping create effective work, healthcare and learning spaces. Being a representative for VS has allowed a primary focus in education for 5 years. She and VS have worked with many counties and architectural firms to help realize spaces that foster growth for students.

Kelly lives in Roanoke with her husband of 26 years, has two adult children, loves to travel and see live music when she can. Faith, family & friends are her foundations.

Ben Copeland Director BEN COPELAND

Ben Copeland has been the Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Administration for Lynchburg City Schools since 2012. His responsibilities include facility maintenance, transportation, school safety, human resources, school board policy, student services and new construction/renovation.

He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, having served 21 years with the U.S. Marines in locales spanning the globe. His first position in public education was as the Chief Auxiliary Services Officer for Fort Bend ISD in Sugarland, TX from 2009-12. Ben is a 1988 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in History. He is a lifelong learner with two M.S. degrees; the first from Mercer University in Healthcare Policy & Administration and the second from the Naval Postgraduate School in Information Technology Management. He is currently a leadership studies doctoral candidate at Lynchburg College with an expected graduation in May, 2018.

He is newly elected to the VA4LE Board in 2017, and resides in Lynchburg, Virginia with his wife, two children, two cats, one dog and fourteen chickens.


Maureen is the Supervisor of Land Acquisition & CIP Planning for Prince William County Public Schools. She was elected to the VA4LE Board in 2009.

Maureen stays busy acquiring sites for future school construction. Maureen has worked in the public sector for over 20 years, starting in Economic Development, then Transportation Construction and finally moving to the School Division. Maureen has a BS in Business Administration from West Virginia University and a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University.

Maureen lives with her husband and 3 children in Lake Ridge, VA where she spends most of her non-working time (vs. free-time) volunteering for the marching band, swim teams and Relay for Life.