Nick Cottone, Principal
Nick Cottone attended St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia as an undergraduate majoring in Biology with a minor in English. He continued at St. Joseph’s completing a Master’s in Science degree in 2000 and began teaching adjudicated students in the backcountry of Colorado and Utah at Alternative Youth Adventures. He returned to Philadelphia to work at the Center for Autistic Children for a year as a therapist in the classroom.
In 2002, he began teaching in a formal classroom at St. Anne’s Middle School in Middletown, DE and after three years began teaching 9th Grade Physical Science at William Penn High School in New Castle, DE. In that time, he completed a second Master’s degree in Teaching at Wesley College and an Education Leadership Certification from the University of Delaware.
Nick Cottone moved to Loudoun in 2009 and worked at Stone Hill Middle School as a Physical Science teacher before moving to Mercer in 2010 as 7th grade dean and assistant principal. In 2017 he became Seneca Ridge's Principal, and is most passionate about fostering the positive climate among students, staff, and parents creating a true Seneca Community. One of his primary goals this year is to help all students feel a connection to Seneca beyond the curriculum. Teachers and students will be working on team building, academic skills, and character growth.
His door is still always open.Brenda Patton, Assistant PrincipalMrs. Patton is a Midwesterner, who enjoys returning to the family farm in Iowa for holidays and vacations. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocational Home Economics Education from the University of Northern Iowa and her Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Shenandoah University. Mrs. Patton has served Seneca families since 2012. Previous experience in education includes Assistant Principal at River Bend Middle School, Dean at Eagle Ridge Middle School, and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Sterling Middle School and Fairfax County Public Schools.Mrs. Patton feels privileged to work with the students and staff at Seneca to make each day one of personal growth and development as members of our community. Outside of school, Mrs. Patton enjoys magical family trips to Disney World and supporting her three children in their various explorations.Mitchell Seipt, Assistant PrincipalMr. Seipt grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, developing an affinity for the perpetual mediocrity of Philadelphian athletic endeavors and a permanent aversion to all things bovine. He is an alumnus of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and completed his administrative certification at Shenandoah University.Before starting in his new role at Seneca Ridge, Mr. Seipt taught in Tennessee and Pennsylvania and was a history teacher at Mercer Middle School and J. Michael Lunsford Middle School. He also served as the 8th grade dean at Stone Hill Middle School. Mr. and Mrs. Seipt have three children, all of whom prefer Chick-Fil-A to any other food group.Casey Davenport, 6th Grade Dean
Mr. Davenport attended Ferrum College where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education with a Minor in Teaching. While at Ferrum he was a member of the baseball team as a starting pitcher. He taught in Loudoun County for 10 years before becoming a Dean. Mr. Davenport received his Masters in Education Administration from Shenandoah University This will be his 4th year as a Dean and he is very excited about working with the 6th grade students this year.
Mr. Davenport has been married for 13 years and has 3 beautiful children.Maria Wakefield, 7th Grade Dean
Dr. Wakefield grew up all over as an Army brat. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science and Biology and her Master’s Degree in Teaching from Coastal Carolina University. She earned her Doctoral Degree in K-12 Leadership from Regent University.
Prior to beginning her role at Seneca Ridge, Dr. Wakefield was an instructional facilitator at Guilford Elementary, taught 7th grade Life Science at Trailside Middle School and Warren County Middle School, and taught various high school sciences at Lancaster High School. Dr. & Mr. Wakefield have three amazing children (Lorelei, Mikaela, Christian) who always keep them busy and on their toes.
David Friend, 8th Grade Dean
David Friend is a native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania where he grew up playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, and pulling for Pittsburgh teams. He completed his degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Upon finishing from Slippery Rock, Mr. Friend moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where he was a middle school Health and Physical Education teacher from 2008-2012 at Monelison Middle School. He also coached football and track while at Monelison. He then moved to Pittsburgh, PA as a high school Health and Physical Education teacher from 2012-2015. Again, he coached football and track after moving to the Pittsburgh area.
Mr. Friend completed his Masters degree in Educational Administration in 2014 from California University of Pennsylvania and became a Dean of Students for Warren County High School from 2015-2017. He is extremely excited to be a part of the community here at Seneca Ridge where he and his wife reside. Mr. Friend is most passionate about seeing students work hard to make progress academically, socially, and behaviorally over the course of the school year!
Tara Daugherty, Special Education Dean
Mrs. Daugherty is a Fairfax native, who enjoys spending time with her family. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from James Madison University and then her Master’s Degree in Dietetics also from James Madison. Mrs. Daugherty has worked at Seneca Ridge since 2016. She previously served as a special education teacher at Seneca Ridge until 2021. She earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from George Mason University. She now serves as the Seneca Ridge & River Bend Special Education Dean.
Mrs. Daugherty enjoys spending time outdoors running, kayaking, and walking her dogs. She loves getting to watch her daughters compete in taekwondo and softball.