LHS Administration

Dr. Brian K. Matney, Principal

Elected as the 2006 VASSP State High School Principal of the Year and 2014 VSCA Administrator of the Year, Dr. Matney assumed the principalship here at Landstown High School: Governor's STEM and Technology Academy in 2011. A product of our school division and valedictorian of Kempsville High School, he went on to earn his Phi Beta Kappa key as an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. as a Dean Smith Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he won a dissertation fellowship for his research on school desegregation efforts in Charlotte, North Carolina, and received awards for his teaching of undergraduates. Since assuming the principalship in 1998, he has continued his studies at Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, and through the National Institute of School Leadership.

Dr. Matney currently serves as president-elect of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP) and just completed a term as nationwide chairman of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) National Honor Society advisory board. He has served on the Governor’s Education Roundtable and was appointed by the State Board of Education in 2011 to its advisory board on teacher education and licensure (ABTEL), where he now serves as vice-chair. He graduated as a member of LEAD Virginia's Class of 2012 and assumed an appointment by the Trustees of the College Board to its Scholarship Service Assembly this past fall. He was extended life membership to the Virginia State PTA in 2002 and received its prestigious President's Honor Award in 2006.

Prior to his arrival on Concert Drive, Dr. Matney served as the principal of Frank W. Cox High School from 2002 until 2011 and at the helm of Lynnhaven Middle School for four years prior to his service at Cox. In 2008, he was named the Commonwealth’s Outstanding High School Principal by the Curry Foundation at the University of Virginia. He was also named our city’s “Outstanding Young Citizen” by the Virginia Beach Jaycees in 1998 and, a year later, as one of three “Outstanding Young Virginians” by the statewide organization. Dr. Matney has also served as an assistant principal at Ocean Lakes High School and as an advanced placement government teacher at Green Run High School, where he was selected as one of the top 100 new teachers in America in 1988.

He and his wife, an advanced placement chemistry teacher at Tallwood High School, are the proud parents of two sons, a sophomore at Kempsville High School and a seventh grader at Kempsville Middle School.

Mr. D. Brad Barbour- Assistant Principal


Mr.Barbour joined the Landstown administrative team in the summer of 2012 after working for five years at Bayside High School as an assistant principal. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Masters Degree in Special education from Old Dominion University. In 2004, he obtained his Ed.S in Education Leadership from the University of Virginia.

Mr. Barbour started his career as a special education teacher with SECEP at the Portsmouth RE-ED center and Virginia Beach TREAP center for five years before coming to VBCPS in 2000. He worked at Independence, Lynnhaven and Kemps Landing Middle schools over the next seven years as a special education teacher, school improvement specialist, and coach.

He and his wife, a special education teacher in VBCPS, have two children attending Princess Anne Elementary School.


Natasha Christian - Assistant Principal

Ms. Natasha Christian completed a Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia in Microbiology and her Master of Science in Leadership in Educational Administration from Capella University.  She returned to Landstown High School: Governor’s STEM and Technology Academy in the summer of 2013. Ms. Christian joined VBCPS in 2005 at the Technical and Career Education Center as a practical nursing instructor and was successively promoted to the nursing director of the program in 2008. Prior to transitioning to VBCPS, Ms. Christian taught in Hampton and Portsmouth City Schools as a biology and chemistry teacher. Her leadership development was established as the administrator of the nursing program, a HOSA Advisor, and as the Legislative Chairperson for the VHOEA organization. In 2007, Ms. Christian was named Outstanding New Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education Services Health and Medical Sciences Education Division.  Ms. Christian transitioned to Bayside High School as the Health Sciences Academy Coordinator for the 2012-2013 school year.

Ms. Christian’s husband is an honored product of VBCPS, a graduate of Bayside High School. Their children attend Kempsville Elementary School.

Her passion is ensuring all eagles have vast opportunities and resources to soar to exceptional and extraordinary academic heights.  Mrs. Christian and her family are excited and proud to be part of the eagle family.


Jennifer Knight

Hoping to build her capacity to serve others, Mrs. Knight joined our Landstown High School administrative team this fall. A proud native of southern Chesapeake and a graduate of Great Bridge High School, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Master’s degree in Humanities at Old Dominion University. Mrs. Knight later continued her studies at The George Washington University and earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration and Supervision.

Mrs. Knight began her teaching career at her alma mater in 1992, and after three years of service was given the opportunity to transfer to Virginia Beach City Public Schools, where she taught Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Spanish at Princess Anne High School for eight years. In 2003, Mrs. Knight and her family relocated to Louisiana where she taught both in New Orleans and St. Charles Parish Public Schools. In 2008, Mrs. Knight was named the Teacher of the Year for Hahnville High School, St. Charles Parish Public Schools, Louisiana’s Region One, and was a finalist for Louisiana’s State Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Knight was overjoyed to also be named the New Orleans Saint’s “Teacher of the Week” on October 12, 2008.

In 2009, Mrs. Knight returned to Virginia Beach City Public Schools where she developed her leadership skills as the World Languages Department Chairperson and SCA Advisor at Brandon Middle School.  Mrs. Knight was honored to return to Landstown High School Governor's STEM & Technology Academy this year to serve as the Administrative Assistant.  Mrs. Knight and her husband are the proud parents of a sixth grader at Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake. The Knights are all excited to be a part of the Landstown family!

Mr. Jake Miller

Mr. Miller

Mr. Miller joined the Landstown High School administrative team in March 2014.  A product of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, he is a graduate of Ocean Lakes High School.  He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and a Master of Arts in Teaching from James Madison University.  Mr. Miller continued his studies at the University of Virginia where he earned his Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision in August 2013.

Mr. Miller began his teaching career in Fairfax County at Robert E. Lee High School until coming home to Virginia Beach in 2008 to serve on the faculty at his alma mater.  While at Ocean Lakes, Mr. Miller served as a World History I, Leadership Skills Development, and AP Psychology teacher, SCA Adviser, Assistant Student Activities Coordinator, and Director of the Ocean Lakes Leadership Workshop.  During the 2012-2013 school year, Mr. Miller was "Tagged by the Superintendent" and was recognized as a Distinguished Teacher at Ocean Lakes.  In 2013, he joined the administrative team at Ocean Lakes as the Administrative Assistant, a position he held until his appointment at Landstown.

His wife is a Math teacher and SCA Adviser at Salem High School, and they are both very excited to join the Landstown family.

Mrs. Lisette Diehl - Technology Academy Coordinator


Mrs. Diehl is serving in her eighth year as the Academy Coordinator at Landstown High School. In her capacity as the Coordinator for the Governor’s STEM and Technology Academy, she serves as the Administrator for the Entrepreneurship Technology, Information Technology, and STEM Engineering Technology Departments. She is a current member of the Virginia Beach Association of Secondary Administrators and the National School Reform Faculty. She received her Master of Arts in Education in the field of Administration and Supervision with honors from Austin Peay State University. Mrs. Diehl earned her B.A as a dual major in Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med) Cum Laude graduate and member of the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society from Norfolk State University. She has completed additional coursework at the University of Virginia, University of Mary Washington, George Mason University, James Madison University, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Prior to her position as the Technology Coordinator she served as the Director of Students Services and Assistant to the Superintendent of Russellville Independent Schools in Kentucky. In addition, she has served as an Elementary School Principal and Assistant Principal in the Kentucky Public Schools. She began her career in education in Fauquier County, Virginia, as a middle and high school science teacher and specialized in the area of gifted education. She was selected as a Master Teacher in Science and as a result was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. She was chosen as Science Teacher of the year and became both a Program and Department Chairperson for Science. She is a founding member of the Educational Advisory Committee for the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

As a native of Norfolk, Mrs. Diehl attended Norfolk Collegiate and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School with honors. She participated in the foreign exchange program for high school students during which time she received instruction in England.

Darcy Parker - Administrative Assistant


Mrs. Parker


Prior to her arrival at Landstown High School, Mrs. Parker was an administrative assistant at Kempsville High School.  Mrs. Parker taught science at Landstown Middle School and at Renaissance Academy for 8 years. She served as an instructional leader for 6 years and as Renaissance’s Teacher of the Year in 2011. She has served on VBCPS curriculum, objective revision, balanced assessment, and performance task committees.

Mrs. Parker graduated from The University of George Washington with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Administration. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Mary Washington College and further studied at Old Dominion University for her teaching endorsement.

Mrs. Parker and her husband have a son attending Landstown Middle School.


Mr. David Siock - Student Activities Coordinator


Mr. Siock is a native of Vestal, New York, and moved to Virginia Beach after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Syracuse University in 1993. Mr. Siock was fortunate enough to attend Syracuse on a full athletic scholarship in basketball. He also received his Master’s degree in Sports Management from Old Dominion University. Prior to coming to Landstown in 2002, Mr. Siock taught mathematics and served as the assistant student activities coordinator at Bayside High School. He is especially proud of our eighth VHSL sportsmanship award won in 2013, the six VHSL state titles the Eagles have won since our opening, and the vast number of students who have earned college scholarships. His wife is also a member of the Landstown High School staff as a teacher in the mathematics department. Mr. and Mrs. Siock have two children, both enrolled in Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Mrs. Sandra Copeland - Guidance Director


Mrs. Copeland is one of the original Eagles who opened Landstown High School and Technology Academy in September 2001 as one of five school counselors. She currently serves as the guidance department chair and is entering her thirty-second year of service with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Prior to becoming a school counselor, Mrs. Copeland taught English. She coached girls’ basketball on the middle school and high school levels, and she earned Teacher of the Year recognition at the Literacy Center, an alternative school that provided intense instruction in reading and math for students who had not passed the Literacy Passport Test. Mrs. Copeland is a product of Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in urban studies with a concentration in school counseling from Norfolk State University.

Mrs. Kara Gaunce - School Improvement Specialist

Kara Gaunce, School Improvement Specialist, joined the Landstown Eagles in the spring of 2013. As a native of Virginia Beach, she is a graduate of Frank W. Cox High School, and earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Old Dominion University. She began her teaching career as a special education teacher at SECEP, Kempsville Re-Ed center. Proud of the Virginia Beach City Public School System, she was excited to begin teaching for the division at Corporate Landing Middle School.

Mrs. Gaunce brings previous testing experience to Landstown, having served as a School Improvement Specialist at Kellam High School, and as a Testing Specialist in the division’s Central Office. She has also served VBCPS as an Instructional Specialist with the Office of Programs for Exceptional Children and most recently, taught English and Public Speaking at Bayside High School.