Our Team

Leidra McQueen

Leidra McQueen serves as the Executive Director of Lynchburg Beacon of Hope.

Throughout her time with Beacon, she served as the Deputy Director, Director of the Office of College and Career Success, and the Future Center Director at her alma mater, Heritage High School.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. Leidra is a former member of the University of Virginia’s College Advising Corps, where she assisted hundreds of students and families through the college admissions and financial aid process in Martinsville, VA. After her tenure with the University of Virginia, she transitioned to the University of South Carolina’s TRIO programs in Columbia, SC. There she continued her work in college access and student development. Ultimately, her passion for student access and success in higher education for students in her hometown brought Leidra back to Virginia in 2013.

Through Beacon of Hope, Leidra hopes to contribute to true community transformation and irreversible impact in Lynchburg City.

Mrs. McQueen can be reached through her email leidra@beaconofhopelynchburg.org or at (434) 941–3145.

Dennis Coan

Dennis Coan is the Director of K-12 Programs for Lynchburg Beacon of Hope.

Growing up outside of Jacksonville, Florida, Dennis came to Lynchburg in 2002 to attend Liberty University.  After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and teacher licensure, his career began first as a classroom educator. He spent 10 years at the middle school level and four more years teaching and coaching at Heritage High School.

His time spent coordinating a Federal GEAR UP grant at HHS shifted his professional trajectory and provided valuable learning experiences in college and career access. He joined the Beacon team to continue to support Heritage students through the Future Center. Now Dennis continues to use his varied experiences as a teacher, head coach, and access advisor to provide the greatest opportunities for all of our students with a high level of support for them and their families. Dennis can be reached through his email dennis@beaconofhopelynchburg.org.

Maegan Fallen

Maegan Fallen serves as the Director of College and Career Success for Lynchburg Beacon of Hope.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the College of William and Mary. After nearly a decade in career services, Maegan joined the Beacon team. She is passionate about assisting students with finding their purpose through experiential learning opportunities and connecting students with resources to discover what success looks like to them.

Maegan and her family love calling Lynchburg home and she is an active community member, serving on several boards and organizations in town. Maegan can be reached at maegan@beaconofhopelynchburg.org.

Rachel Madigan

Rachel Madigan serves as the Office of College Success CVCC Site Director.

Rachel moved to Lynchburg in 2009 and served as a teacher in the Lynchburg City Schools for 6 years prior to joining Beacon of Hope. She received her undergraduate degree at California Polytechnic School – Pomona in Hospitality Management and her Master’s Degree from Hope International University in Education. Rachel also has multiple years of experience working with high school students as a youth leader. She has a sincere passion for students and helping them in their educational success.

Mrs. Madigan can be reached through her email rachel@beaconofhopelynchburg.org.

Macey Normyle

Macey serves as the Director of Operations for Lynchburg Beacon of Hope.

Growing up outside of Houston, Texas, Macey moved to Lynchburg in 2019. Graduating from Texas A&M University and University of Houston, she has a background in health education and business.

Macey has always been service-oriented and believes in the importance of asking the right questions to influence the lives of others. She admires the mission of Beacon of Hope because Beacon is asking the right questions to open the door for students to help create their future. Macey can be reached through her email macey@beaconofhopelynchburg.org.

Bre Pannell

Breanna Pannell (Bre) serves as a Pathways Adviser for Lynchburg Beacon of Hope.

Hailing from Altavista, Virginia, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Strategic Communications from Liberty University. Bre's journey in education and mentorship began at the E.C. Glass Future Center, where she spent four transformative years as a work-study under the mentorship of Heidi VandeHoef. During this time, she became well-versed in the art of academic advising, learned about E.C. Glass, and fully embraced the mission of Beacon, which is all about meeting each student exactly where they are.

Bre's commitment to empowering students doesn't end there; she also served as a College Advisor at Buckingham County High School as part of the Virginia College Advising Corps before returning to Lynchburg Beacon of Hope. Her unwavering passion for working with students, instilling in them a belief in their own future, is deeply personal. It's fueled by the memory of her younger self, who once needed the same support that she now wholeheartedly provides through Beacon.

Shiniya Scott

Shiniya Scott proudly serves as the Programs & Operations Coordinator at Beacon.

With a rich educational background as an alumna of Heritage High School and as a Commonwealth Scholar, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech. Shiniya has deep roots in Lynchburg, VA, where she was born and raised.

Since graduating, she has ventured into the field of disability and workers' compensation as a representative, gaining valuable experience in the process. However, what truly fuels her passion is the personal connection to Lynchburg City Schools (LCS) and Beacon of Hope. As a product of these institutions, Shiniya carries a profound appreciation for the work they do. She is grateful to be part of an organization that refuses to place limits on the potential of LCS students. Instead, Beacon empowers and supports these students to reach their goals, a mission that Shiniya holds dear to her heart.

Shiniya also has a knack for crafting charcuterie boards, adding a dash of creativity to her life outside of work.

Virginia Scott

Raised in nearby Amherst and Appomattox, Virginia holds a degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and pursued further studies at Randolph College, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2011. With 13 years of teaching experience in central Virginia, she taught a range of subjects, including English, Spanish, African American Studies, and Teachers for Tomorrow, spanning grades 8-12. Her roles have also encompassed directing a thriving theatre program and coaching multiple athletic teams.

From an English teacher to her current position as Director of Communications and Development, her focus remains steadfast on guiding students to recognize their potential and providing the tools for crafting their stories. Recognized for her impactful contributions in Amherst, Albemarle, and Greene counties, her commitment extends beyond the classroom, reflecting a genuine passion for holistic student development.

Joining the Beacon team signifies a new professional chapter. In this role, she aims to establish meaningful community connections and work diligently to ensure all LCS students have access to the resources vital for realizing their full potential.

Noah Winton

Noah Winton serves as the Future Center Director at Heritage High School.

Growing up in South Alabama, Noah never thought he would call Virginia home, but after completing a degree from Liberty University he would not want to live anywhere else! Noah began working with Lynchburg Beacon of Hope during his Freshman year at Liberty through our Middle School Heroes Program, which sparked his passion for working with students. Throughout College, Noah was able to see each of our Programs and thrived in the Future Center Advisor position. He is so excited to now run the Future Center at Heritage High School, and work every day to ensure students find their passion and connect them with resources to pursue their Post-Secondary dreams.

Noah is our “Resident Camp Counselor,” based on his energy and experience running a Youth Summer Camp, and promises to never be boring and always bring the joy! He is passionate about all things Beyonce and Pop Culture… you know, the things that entertain but do not matter. Most importantly, though, his driving force is to watch students succeed. His goal is to partner with students to chart what is next in their lives and do everything within his ability to fuel their journey there!

You can reach Noah through his email noah@beaconofhopelynchburg.org or at (434) 300-9453.