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Administrative / Support Team

Robert Hovermale

Dr. Robert Hovermale

Dr. Rob Hovermale is the principal of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland. Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, Dr. Hovermale received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education from Towson University in Baltimore.  He received his Administration and Supervision certificate from Frostburg University and he completed his doctorial studies through University of Maryland in educational leadership.

Previously he served as the Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts for Washington County Public Schools between 2002 and 2013. Prior to that he taught 3 years in Baltimore and then was the band director at E. Russell Hicks Middle School in Hagerstown for 11 years.  He has adjudicated and guest conducted around the state.

Viki Gipe
Principal Administrative Assistant


Sherry Kibler has been employed with WCPS for over 25 years.  She has been with Barbara Ingram since the doors opened in the summer of 2009 serving as the Principal Administrative Secretary.  She is known as one of the “Mom’s” to all of the students at BISFA where we are one big family.  Sherry is the wife of 36 years to husband, Keith, the mother of a son, Matthew, daughter, Kelly-Jo, and the “Gidget” to 3 beautiful grandsons.  Sherry spent most of her young adult years traveling and performing with a musical troupe and now enjoys singing Contemporary Christian Music with her church praise team.


Denise Hunt
Assistant Principal


Denise Hunt is the assistant principal at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland.  She received her AA degree from Hagerstown Junior College, and a B.S. in elementary education from Wilson College.   She earned her M.S. degree in educational leadership from Hood College in Frederick, MD.

Denise has been with WCPS for 28 years.  Her experiences include para pro, classroom teacher, intervention teacher, student achievement specialist, administrative intern, and assistant principal.  She has served on the Redistricting Committee, WCPS/WCTA Teacher Evaluation Workgroup, and most recently the Diversity Taskforce.

Denise is a native of Hagerstown.  She and her husband John reside in the area and enjoy the entertainment venues in the arts and entertainment district, especially performances put on by the school.  She has always been inspired by the arts, and is thrilled to be a part of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Jonathan Beattie
Lead Teacher



Rob Merrill

rmHello.  My name is Rob Merrill, and I am the new School Counselor at BIFSA.  I am new to Maryland, coming here from Orlando, Florida.  I am originally from Buffalo, NY.  This is my 23rd year as a School Counselor, and I have worked at all levels.  I look forward to getting to know the BIFSA community this school year.

Cheryl Rizer
crI grew up for the most part in the Williamsport area.  I have been employed as a secretary by WCPS for over 11 years.  I spent my first year working at Salem Avenue Elementary, seven years at Washington County Technical High, two years at South High and last year at Boonsboro High.  Prior to working for WCPS, I was very blessed to be a stay-at-home mom to my three children for 10 years.
Together, my husband, Dave, and I are the proud parents of four children and two beautiful grandchildren.  In our free time, we love to travel, spend time outdoors and most of all spend time with our grandkids, Finn and Riley!  I love listening to different genres of music but must admit that 70's/80's rock is my favorite.  Other hobbies I enjoy are baking, gardening, reading and shopping.



Jen Ritter |Case Manager: Special Education

jrMrs. Jennifer Ritter is a Washington County native, having graduated from Smithsburg High School before moving on to Salisbury University where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She went on to pursue her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Hood College and then additionally took certification classes to become certified in Special Education. Mrs. Ritter has taught grades three through five, served in the role of Lead teacher, intervention teacher, and most recently has spent the last five years in Special Education. While Mrs. Ritter has spent the last sixteen years in Elementary Education, she is excited to take on her new role as Special Education Case Manager with BISFA. Mrs. Ritter is married to her husband Derek and they have three boys, Kaleb, Andrew and Noah. In addition to being a mom, a wife, and an educator, Mrs. Ritter serves on the Education Foundation of WCPS as a board member and secretary. She also serves on the executive committees with PTA for both Old Forge and Smithsburg Middle School. She enjoys watching her sons take part in sporting and scouting events, traveling, the beach, a good book, exercise, and all things related to the arts! Mrs. Ritter is excited to be part of the BISFA family!


Ann Shilling
Media Specialist


Ann Shilling was born in Washington D.C. and her family traveled frequently moving across the country from East Coast to West Coast landing in the Southwest for many years. She graduated with a degree in Social Work from Texas Lutheran University and later in life earned a MA in Instructional Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Most recently, Ann earned a MS in Library Media from McDaniel College. 

In addition to librarianship, Ann is active in the Washington County Homeless Coalition, The Washington County Literacy Chapter or SoMLA, Leadership Washington County, and the On-Track School-aged Youth Collaborative Network.  She recently served on the Maryland Humanities Council and has received national recognition for facilitating Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation book clubs.  

Natausha Ramos-Izquierdo
Para Professional


Terry Mason
Lead Custodian


Tyler Hardy


Sam Hardy


William “Doug” Oates
School Resource Officer

Officer Oates

Officer Doug Oates has been with the Hagerstown Police Department since 2003 and has a degree in Criminal Justice. Officer Oates has experience and training working with youth and schools including School Resource Officer Training with the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Registered Nurse