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  • Dr. Eileen Heddy, Director
  • Carla B. Varlese, Assistant to the Director
  • George Hefelle, Professional Development Coordinator
  • Dr. Rachel Townley, Performance Assessment and Placement Coordinator

Headshot of Eileen Heddy.

Eileen Heddy, Ed.D., Director

Dr. Eileen Heddy joined the STEP Office as Director in 2019. Prior to this role she taught in the Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Educational Administration and Secondary Education Departments at TCNJ since 2001. Working with colleagues, she developed the Middle School Specialization program and the Environmental Sustainability Education program. She served as the faculty coordinator for the Global Student Teaching program and has worked to expand that program over the past several years. As Director of the STEP Office she continues her work with the Global Student Teaching program, oversees all clinical field placements, develops and maintains relationships with our partner districts, and serves as director of the Professional Development Schools Network. Dr. Heddy is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a BA in History Education. She also holds an MA from Rutgers University in history and an Ed.D. from the University of South Carolina. She can be reached at or 609.771.2408

Headshot of Carla Woodward.

Carla B. Varlese, Assistant to the Director

The Program Assistant provides secretarial and clerical support for the staff in the Office of Student Teaching and Internship Programs, Global Student Teaching, Professional Development School Network. Carla oversees the processing of all mentor teacher stipends, once a semester.  She can be reached at 609.771.2408 or

Headshot of George Hefelle

George Hefelle, Professional Development Coordinator

Coordinates the Teacher Education Professional Development Seminars, the Ewing Enrichment Program for High School students and the Timberlane Summer Symposium. He can be reached at 609-771-2540 or

Headshot of Rachel Dawson.

Rachel Townley, EdD, Performance Assessment and Placement Coordinator

Dr. Rachel Townley (formerly Dawson) joined the STEP Office as the Performance Assessment and Placement Coordinator in August 2021.  After serving as a middle school computers teacher in northern New Jersey, Rachel was the Academic Specialist in Education at Union County College, overseeing and coordinating the education programs’ curriculum, implementation, and field experiences, where she received the Under 40 Award from the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, which recognizes young female leaders working in community colleges.  She holds a BA in Psychology and EdM in Elementary Education and 5-8 Mathematics, with a specialization in Urban Teaching, from Rutgers University.  She also complete her EdD in Educational Leadership and Management, with a concentration in Creativity and Innovation, from Drexel University.  In her current role, Dr. Townley works with partnering school districts to secure field placements for students throughout their programs.  She can be reached at or 609.771.2318.