Cortona Academy’s faculty is composed of superior teachers who are highly successful  professionals in their respective fields. All of our teachers have PhDs or Master’s Degrees, have taught at the college level, yet choose to make a real difference in American students’ lives by teaching and mentoring 6th – 12th graders. Our amazing staff honors the integrity and worth of each student. Our main goals are for our students to be authentically involved and intrigued  in the academic process while feeling respected, comfortable, challenged and motivated. Our collective passion for teaching makes this happen every single day.



Sharon Peruzzi Strauchs, Director, Founder

25 Years at Cortona

Education: Carnegie-Mellon University (B.A. English), George Mason University (M.Ed. English & Education), University of Virginia (Ph.D. Courses)

Experience: Gordian School of Writing, Scheffer Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, TLC Tutoring, The Learning Community Inc., Cortona Academy

Returning Faculty

Sue K.

17 Years at Cortona

Education: University of Virginia (B.A. Liberal Arts), Marymount University (MBA)

Experience: AARP Corporate Human Resources Management, CPB Corporate Management


Dr. Pam S.

15 Years at Cortona

Education: University of Madras (B.S. Physics), Madras Christian College (M.S. Physics), Indian Institute of Technology (Ph.D. Solar Physics)

Experience: Fairfax County Public Schools, University of New South Wales, SSAT, SAT, & T.J. Prep


Dr. Edward B.

12 Years at Cortona

Education: Doane College (B.A. Chemistry, Math), University of Nebraska (M.A. Philosophy of Science, Ph.D. Philosophy of Economics)

Experience: Nebraska Public School System, Overseas School in Germany, Diplomat


Dr. Raj S.

9 Years at Cortona

Education: University of Sheffield, UK (Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering)

Experience: Research Science, Engineering Consulting


Amber D.

10 Years at Cortona

Education: Lynchburg College (B.A. European History, English Literature, Art History), George Mason University (M.A. European History, Ph.D. Candidate European History)

Experience: George Mason University, Lynchburg College Development Office


Dr. Charles V.

4 Years at Cortona

Education: Rochville University (Ph. D Science), Virginia Commonwealth University (M.S. Mathematics), Royal Naval College (B.S. Maritime Sciences)

Experience: Herzing University, Northern Virginia Community College, Touch of Art


Dr. Balbir D.

5 Years at Cortona

Education:  India College (M. Eduation, Ph.D. Mathematics)

Experience: India College Professor of Mathematics and Principal


Kelly F.

2 Years at Cortona

Education: Purdue University (B.S. Electrical Engineering, M.S. Electrical Engineering)

Experience: System Engineer at TASC Northrop Grumman

Comprehensive Professional Team

Our team approach to education is that which never fails to ensure that all students are giventhe best education with the greatest amount of support. No other public or private schools do this in the Washington D.C. area, but it is the key to what makes Cortona Academy superior in service to our students.

For students who need further support, our additional professional team can be brought in at any point in time and may include psychologists, coaches, psychiatrists, and mentors who work to solve issues that may be hindering a student from working at full potential. Other schools, public or private, don’t do this; it is essential to our team approach to solving all problems, whether they are educational, emotional, or motivational.