Teacher & Staff Bios


Melissa Anderson: 3rd Grade Teacher

Miss Anderson has been a public school teacher since 2010 and has spent the last 6 years at Janney. She has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade having a background in both general and special education from Syracuse University and spent her first two years at Janney focusing on math. Miss Anderson is originally from New Hampshire. She still spends her summer vacation up at her family lake house on Lake WInnipesaukee. She loves time with friends, family, and she is currently learning to knit!

Jessica Baker: 2nd Grade Teacher

Jessica Baker grew up in Centreville, Virginia, and now resides in Arlington. She majored in English at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and she received her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Early Childhood from George Mason University. Ms. Baker previously worked as a teacher assistant at a Montessori school in Greensboro, NC, for two years. She then moved to Washington to become a Pre-K and then Kindergarten teacher at a Reggio-Inspired charter school prior to joining the Janney community in 2014 as a Pre-K teacher. She joined the Janney 2nd grade team in 2019.

Mike Barnhart: Assistant Principal

Mike Barnhart joined the Janney Community in 2015 as a Math Instructional Coach before assuming the role of Assistant Principal in 2018. As an Instructional Coach, Mike contributed to the school community as a part of the Janney Academic Leadership Team, supporting the continuous improvement of teaching and learning through an equity and inclusion lens. Prior to becoming a Jaguar, Mike spent 16 years teaching in Anne Arundel County and Caroline County schools, where he was a 4th and 5th grade teacher, a math lead-teacher, a Title 1 math interventionist for grades K-5, and a district-level Instructional Coach. His most recent leadership experience prior to joining Janney was as a Mathematics Teacher Specialist in the central office. In this role, he designed curriculum, created assessments, and led professional development opportunities for the Anne Arundel’s 75+ elementary schools and broader parent community. Mike holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and received graduate degrees from Loyola University and McDaniel College. He can often be found after school searching the halls with his toddler son for his two older children, who are proud Janney Jaguars.

Wendell Belew: Partner Teacher

Wendell Belew has been working as a Partner Teacher at Janney since 2014. Prior to that, he was a substitute teacher in various capacities. He received his BA in History, the Arts, and Letters from Yale and his JD from New York University School of Law. Both as an advocate and a parent, Belew has a long-standing interest in Early Childhood Education, children’s rights, and the interests of people with disabilities. He served as Chairman of the Board of Governors at the St. Columba’s Nursery School during a period of study and reflection leading to the selection of a new Head of School. That experience introduced him to some of the conceptual and theoretical issues of educating and supporting the development of young children. His experience as a Partner Teacher has added practical and personal dimensions to that background. Belew lives in the neighborhood with his wife Joy and son Matthew. His interests include reading, politics, and travel.

Ann Beumel: Director of Strategy and Logistics

Ann is from the Midwest, specifically Iowa, and credits her work ethic from those roots. She graduated from Arizona State University and moved to Dallas before moving to DC in 1991. Life happened quickly when she moved to DC in 1991; she got married in 1992 to her husband Greg, and they welcomed their first child Elizabeth in 93. WHEW!!!!

Ann joined the Janney Community as a parent in 1998, and as a staff member in 2001. As the school has grown so has Ann’s job title, as she is the Director of Strategy and Logistics. You can find Ann in the main office. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Ann if you need help or guidance to negotiate Janney School.


Kim Bigelow has worked with DCPS since 2005 and joined the Janney community in 2007. She is a native Washingtonian and is committed to teaching the children of DCPS. Before joining the 5th grade team, she previously taught second, third, and fourth grades here at Janney. She earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from George Washington University and is certified in DC in Elementary Education. During her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with family, reading, and cooking and baking.

Elizabeth Erin Burke: Kindergarten Teacher

Erin Burke joined the Janney Kindergarten Team in December 2018. Previously, she taught as a Partner Teacher in Kindergarten at Horace Mann Elementary after completing her Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Early Childhood Education at American University in 2018. Ms. Burke also has experience teaching 1st Grade at Murch Elementary as a student teacher. Before pursuing her MAT, Ms. Burke volunteered with Reading Partners at Brightwood Elementary. Ms. Burke enjoys spending time with her two daughters, reading, and gardening.

Sarah Buscher: 4th grade Teacher (Reading)

Sarah Buscher holds an M.Ed in Elementary Education from George Washington University and worked as a 5th grade teacher for four years at the Lowell School. Prior to earning her Masters in Education, she served as a substitute teacher for DCPS and a magazine writer in New York City. The mother of four children, her teaching is informed by her work with the Parent Encouragement Program. She loves hiking, gardening, and reading.

Haley Chetrit: PK Teacher

Ms. Chetrit joined the Janney Community in 2019, and has been an early childhood educator at charter and private schools in the DC area since 2013. Raised in Northern California and Texas, Ms. Chetrit moved to DC after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design to work in the building and design industry. After 7 years working in an office, she decided to become a teacher through KIPP’s Capital Teaching Residency program. Ms. Chetrit loves incorporating her design background in the classroom by teaching through art, messy materials and encouraging her students to always use their imaginations. She lives in Washington, DC, with her family, and enjoys finger painting and jumping in rain puddles with her two young sons.

Kim Calnan-Crismali: Business Manager

Kim Calnan-Crismali (aka Ms. C-C) joined the great Janney community in 2015.
In prior years, she was Director of Admissions for 17 years at Holy Trinity School, Georgetown. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Business & Human Development and Masters in Nutrition. Outside of work, Ms. C-C enjoys spending time with her son, family and friends, the beach, needlepoint, cooking, swimming, and reading.

Katie Cole: 4th Grade TEACHER (Math/Science/Social Studies)

Mrs. Katie Cole has been teaching math since 2008. Prior to joining Janney in 2018, she taught 4th grade math at a charter school in Washington, DC. She also has experience as a math interventionist and has taught 5th-8th grade math. She is originally from Maryland. After graduating from Virginia Tech she moved to New Orleans where she taught for two years with Teach for America. She currently resides in Northwest DC with her husband and daughter. When not teaching, Mrs. Cole enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and spending time outdoors.

Kimberly Davis: 5th grade co-teacher

Kimberly Davis grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgia State University, Master’s Degree from University of Georgia, and a Specialist in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.  Over 13 years of experience in Education, she started her career in the suburbs of Atlanta as a Special Education teacher serving various populations including EBD as well as Specific Learning and Mild Intellectual Disabilities. Entering her seventh year in the District of Columbia Public Schools as an educator, Ms. Davis has served the roles as a 4th – 8th Grade math teacher, Math Lead, Academic Leadership Team (ALT) member, and Saturday School Principal. She enjoys working out as well as time spent with friends and family.

Liz DiCrosta: Pre-K Teacher

Mrs. DiCrosta has been working in early childhood education since 2003, working with students ranging in age from 4 months to 5 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Loyola University New Orleans in 2007 and a Master of Arts in Teaching – Early Childhood Education from American University in 2016. Mrs. DiCrosta completed her student teaching at Janney in December 2016 and spent the rest of the school year as a long-term substitute in PreK. Mrs. DiCrosta is a native of Honolulu, HI, and lives in the Takoma neighborhood of DC with her husband Nick and daughter Josephine. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, hiking, and running.

Adrian Dresser: 3rd Grade Teacher

Mr. Adrian Dresser relocated to Washington, DC, from the Boston area to pursue a master’s degree in Education. Mr. Dresser holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Boston University and taught second grade from 2014 to 2018 in the Chelsea Public Schools. He joined the third grade team at Janney in Fall 2018 as a partner teacher and served as lead teacher in 2019.

Robin English: Art Teacher

Robin was an elementary art educator in Massachusetts for 11 years before moving to DC. In her first year with DCPS she taught art part-time at Van Ness Elementary School in the Navy Yard. In addition to teaching, she has also worked in the Education Department of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and as a volunteer in the College and Career Counseling Department at Raw Art Works in Lynn, MA. Robin brings expertise in diverse materials and hopes to create a Janney partnership with local museums and museum educators. She holds a Master of Education in Teaching from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Lyndsey Epperson: Library

Lyndsey Epperson grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland and graduated from Frostburg State University. She earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She enjoys teaching research and media skills at Janney, and enjoys helping students discover and nurture their love of reading for pleasure. Mrs. Epperson also has a passion for helping Janney students become good digital citizens through the Common Sense Media program. She has two sons who keep her really busy, and loves to ballroom dance with her husband.

Tawana Franklin: Administrative Assistant

Tawana Franklin, a native Washingtonian, has been a member of the Janney Elementary School team for 25 years. Prior to joining our team, she worked at the DC City Council, culminating her career as the Ward 7 Constituent Services Coordinator. She has filled several Early Childhood positions as a Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade partner teacher. She has held several leadership roles such as lead partner teacher, union representative and is still serving as the staff representative on LSAT. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Penina Freedenberg: 3rd Grade Teacher

Penina Freedenberg has been an educator in the DC-Maryland area for over 25 years. She began teaching at Janney in 2011. She has taught grades 3-5, but her most extensive experience (and true love) is 3rd grade! Mrs. Freedenberg loves baseball and the Nats, and she and her husband go to games as often as they can. She grew up in Boston, so she is also a diehard Red Sox fan! Mrs. Freedenberg has two children and two grandchildren. She loves to watch movies, read, go hiking, and sing. She collects sand from all over the world.

Amy Miller Gartland: 2Nd Grade Teacher

Amy Miller Gartland joined the Janney community in 2015 as a member of the 3rd grade teaching team, moving to the 2nd grade team in the 2017-18 school year. She comes to Janney from the Archdiocese of Washington school system where she taught 4th-7th grades for 15 years as well as coordinated extracurricular activities. Born and raised in Buffalo, Mrs. Gartland earned her BA in Politics from Catholic University of America and Master’s equivalency in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She discovered her desire to become an educator after enjoying the experiences of volunteering in her children’s classrooms and coaching high school softball. True to her Buffalo roots, she has fun playing ice hockey (go Sabres!), traveling and hiking with her adventurous husband, and spending time with her three wonderful children.

Kristen Gentile: Music

Kristen Gentile grew up in Oyster Bay, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island. She loves the beach and misses living so close to the water, so she is especially excited when she can visit her parents who still live there. Ms. Gentile’s sister is a nurse and her brother is a naval aviator, so her family members are all very busy! Her musical skills come from he grandfather who was a drummer in many marching bands his whole life. In his retirement, he loves listening to classical music and tinkering in his garage. Ms. Gentile graduated from The Catholic University of America (CUA) with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. She grew up playing clarinet and singing. At CUA, she sang in the University Chorus and Chamber Singers and performed beautiful pieces of music at many amazing venues, including the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and the Kennedy Center Opera House. Ms. Gentile also attended George Mason University’s Summer Institute where she received Level 1 and 2 certification in Orff-Schulwerk. While at CUA, Ms. Gentile met her husband Jon, who works in government relations and is originally from New Jersey. Ms. Gentile and her husband grew up as Yankee fans and have enjoyed traveling to Ireland and Italy. They have a beautiful son who keeps them laughing.

Keri Giguere: 5th Grade Co-Teacher (ELA)

Keri joined Janney’s fifth grade team in 2019. Before joining the Janney community Keri taught Kindergarten and third grade at a DC public charter school. Keri moved to Washington, DC in 2016 as a member of the Urban Teachers program. Keri received her Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University. She has a passion for differentiation and using students’ natural curiosity to foster a love of learning. Outside of the classroom Keri enjoys reading, visiting museums and hiking.

Scott Gold: 4th Grade Teacher (Writing)

Scott Gold began teaching at Janney in 2013. Prior to teaching at Janney, Scott spent more than two decades working in the fields of advertising and marketing in both New York City and Washington, DC. Scott obtained a master’s degree in Elementary Education. He lives in the upper Northwest community and spends much of his free time coaching baseball.

Betsy Good: 1st Grade partner teacher

Betsy Good has lived most of her life in Washington, DC. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a BA in Sociology, she lived in both New York City and the San Francisco Bay area working in Online Marketing as an Affiliate Manager. When her son was born she became a stay-at-home mom. Now she has two children who are Janney Students (4th and 2nd in 2018-19). In 2015 she started a new stage in her life as a DCPS substitute teacher taking on two long-term substitute positions with the Pre-K team. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys cooking, having fun with her kids, and walking her very energetic and fluffy dog Ozzy while listening to podcasts.

Genna Greenberg : 1st Grade Teacher

Genna Greenberg joined the 1st grade team at Janney in 2014 and is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful learning community! Before coming to Janney, she taught Kindergarten and 1st grade at KIPP DC charter schools. Ms. Greenberg was raised in Chicago and attended Vanderbilt University, where she studied Early Childhood Education and Child Development. While in college, she became fascinated with the brain and understanding exactly how students learn. This led her to a Masters Degree in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Outside the classroom, Ms. Greenberg enjoys reading, playing volleyball, traveling and trying out new recipes.

Brianna Guilherme: JEP Director

Brianna Guilherme has been a JAC Counselor since 2015 and was Assistant Director for Summer Camps at Aidan Montessori before becoming JEP Director at Janney+ in 2018.

Chandini Gupta: 5th Grade TEACHER (Math/Science/Social Studies)

Ms. Gupta is a DMV native who graduated from University of Maryland (Go Terps!). She joined Teach For America and earned her teaching certificate through Johns Hopkins University. She is a career changer who went from working in financial services to the classroom, and it was the best decision she has ever made! She is thrilled to join the Janney community, and previously taught 5th grade Math for several years at a Washington DC public charter school. While not teaching, Ms. Gupta loves to do yoga, read new books, travel across the world and do henna at different events in the area!

Karen Harris: Director, Janney Musical

Karen Harris has been a performer and artist since childhood, studying voice, dancing and acting in her hometown of NYC. Karen joined the Janney community as a parent in 2007 and began teaching musical theatre at the school in 2008. She has held the positions of Director of Arts Integration, Interim Director of Enrichment and PTA President at Janney and served on a host of committees at the school. Karen has directed over 1000 children in the DC/VA/MD area from ages 4-18. Karen performs as much as possible as a singer and actress. She holds B.A. from Vassar College and J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and certificates of study in arts education and musical theatre.

Elisa Hull: 5th grade Teacher (Writing)

Elisa Hull was born in Calgary, Canada and moved to Washington, DC in 2005. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Elisa started her teaching career in London, England. She comes to us with 16 years of teaching experience and has been with DCPS for 6 years. She has worked in elementary and middle schools as a classroom teacher and as a reading specialist. Outside of work Elisa loves to travel, get outdoors, work on her Spanish, play with her dog Juno, spend time with her family and of course cheer on the Capitals!

Lisa Jensen: 4th Grade Co-Teacher (MATH)

Lisa Jensen joined the fourth grade team in 2016 as the second math teacher. Ms. Jensen taught third grade at Lafayette from 2000-2015, focusing on math and social studies/science for the last six of those years. She created a team teaching model with her co-teacher at Lafayette and enjoys working in the collaborative teaching model at Janney. Ms. Jensen won the 2011 History Teacher of the Year award in the District of Columbia for her work in creating a cross-curricular event called the DC Theater Cafe.

Imari John: Pre-K Partner Teacher

Imari John joined the Janney community in 2011 while in undergrad for Theater Arts/Management. She loves being apart of the Janney community and is currently in graduate school for Education and Leadership. Ms. John enjoys reading, cooking for family and friends and seeing shows in the DC Theater Arts.


Manda Kelley: 5th grade Teacher (ELA)

Manda grew up in a small town named Galesburg, IL. Even as a child, she knew that life in a small town was not for her. When the chance arose, she moved east to DC where she has been for over 25 years. Manda earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Trinity Washington University in December of 2016 and has been teaching for 2 years. Manda is a single mom to a daughter who is leaving for college this fall. In her free time, Manda enjoys reading, social activism, spending time with friends and family, singing, a good Starbucks iced coffee, and taking road trips with her daughter.

Malin Kerwin: 1st Grade Co-Teacher

Malin Kerwin is a transplant from Sweden and came to the US when her father was asked to work at the World Bank in DC. She joined the Janney community in 2004, when she became the school librarian; a position she thoroughly enjoyed for ten years at Janney. In 2014, she decided to use her experience and knowledge of reading and combine it with her passion for growing the individual student and moved into the role of the reading co-teacher for 4th and 5th grades. In 2016 Mrs. Kerwin became the first grade co-teacher. She is married and has three sons, William, Liam, and Lars. All three of her boys attended Janney Elementary, Alice Deal Middle School, and Wilson High School. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Kerwin enjoys traveling, skiing, and reading a good book with her toes in the sand.

Vesna Korac: ESL

Ms. Vesna Korac works with students who at home speak other languages than English. She has worked at Janney for over 30 years and is celebrating over 30 years as an educator. She was born and grew up in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. She completed her undergraduate studies in Italian and English Languages and linguistics in Serbia, Italy, and England, and finished her graduate studies in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at American University.
Learning a foreign language and transitioning into a new culture is not an easy endeavor, and she knows that very well as a former ESL student herself. Ms. Korac truly enjoys working with newcomer students, welcoming them and their families to the community, and helping them learn English as quickly as possible and smoothly adjust to the new environment. In collaboration with other teachers, she creates the appropriate individualized instruction to best support our ESL students so that they become fully English proficient in both social and academic languages. She also provides extra support for students who formally exited the ESL program but still need fine tuning – especially in their reading, writing and vocabulary development. However, the most important aspect of learning English fast is the welcoming, friendly and supportive environment that the Janney community provides to newcomers.

P.S. We all know that our Janney community is very diverse, but did you know that more than twenty six languages are spoken at our school?


Nick Ledyard: 4th Grade TEACHER (Math)

Nick Ledyard began his teaching career by getting certified through the Center for Inspired Teaching here in DC, while serving as a resident at Capital City Public Charter School in a kindergarten classroom. He spent four years teaching first grade here at Janney before spending the 2017-18 school year as a fellow at National Council on Teacher Policy. In his free time, Nick enjoys watching and playing soccer, cooking, and playing music with friends.

Logan Leonhardt: Kindergarten Teacher

Logan Leonhardt’s career has taken her to Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms where she’s had the privilege to meet and work with some amazing students and educators, from Washington, DC, to Toronto and back! She holds an undergraduate degree from Rider University where she was recruited to play D1 tennis, and she holds a Masters from American University (MAT). Logan began teaching at Janney in 2013. Outside of teaching, she is a coach for Girls on the Run and helps with the flute section for the Janney band. You can also find her early mornings on the ice (yes, she dance skates!), and she is a member of the Washington Figure Skating Club. Logan is also a certified tennis Instructor with the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) and is eager to get out and play tennis any chance she gets. In the summers, you can find her traveling back to Canada with her husband (she’s a permanent resident of Canada), hiking, biking, traveling, curled up with a book, or most likely out on the golf course! She also enjoys watching any live sporting event. And of course she cheers for the Washington Capitals! Go Caps!

Cydney Lewis: School Counselor

Cydney Lewis is a licensed school counselor with specialist training in Anxiety Management and Grief & Loss; she earned her master’s degree in counseling from the George Washington University. Ms. Lewis has worked as a counselor in northwest DC elementary schools since 2011 and has a keen understanding of the challenges facing students and parents in these hectic times. During the school year she joins in the Janney classrooms to promote community and resilience through mindfulness, self-regulation and conflict resolution. She also teaches the Personal Safety/ Self-Respect curriculum. Before coming to DC Ms. Lewis lived for over 15 years in Seattle, and she has a fondness for overcast skies and soggy shoes. When not working she enjoys kayaking with her husband, reading, and eating noodles.

Kate Maitland: 2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Kate Maitland grew up in western Michigan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University, and completed student teaching abroad, in Costa Rica. Following, Kate moved to the District, where she has worked with DCPS since 2011, teaching first, second, and third grade. Kate also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from American University. Kate’s favorite subject to teach is writing. In her spare time, Kate loves to do CrossFit and provide nutrition coaching.

Margaret Mallory: Psychologist

Margaret Mallory-Powell, Ph.D., a native of Philadelphia, PA, received her graduate training in child clinical psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. She is a licensed Psychologist in the District of Columbia and is a certified school psychologist with 20 years of years of experience conducting psychological assessments on children with learning disabilities, developmental delays, attention difficulties, autistic-spectrum disorders, social-emotional disorders, and other difficulties that compromise children’s ability to reach their academic and social-emotional potential. In this role, Dr. Mallory-Powell has collaborated extensively with teachers and parents to develop plans of action designed to promote a child’s improved academic and/or social functioning and she has extensive knowledge of the special education and 504 process. In her spare time, Dr. Mallory-Powell enjoys traveling with her husband, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, and spending time with her adult daughters and two lovable dogs.

Lucy Marcinel: 2nd Grade Co-Teacher

Lucy Marincel joined the Janney community in 2014. She works alongside Ms. Kirsch and Ms. Santos to support all of the great learning of second grade. She studied at Macalester College and Hamline University, and is currently working on her Master’s degree in ESL education. Ms. Marincel is from Minnesota and loves the winter time! When she is not teaching or thinking about teaching, she loves to read, to knit anything that can be made out of a square, and to spend time with her cat, Wallace.

Katelyn Mazenko: 1st Grade Teacher

Katelyn Mazenko has been teaching since 2012 and joined the Janney community in 2014. Originally from Fairless Hills, PA, Katie attended Villanova University then began her teaching career with Teach For America in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she taught Kindergarten. Katie is passionate about incorporating social-emotional learning into the classroom and creating a joyful environment where students feel supported to be their best, brave selves. Katie enjoys yoga, cheering for Philly & Villanova sports, reading, and spending time with family & friends.

Christine Mazzocchi: 2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Christine Mazzocchi returned to Janney in 2018 as a partner teacher after having completed her student teaching in Ms. Valerie Sewell’s second grade class. She started as a second grade teacher at Janney in 2019.  Ms. Mazzocchi completed her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at American University in May 2018 and will be working on her graduate degree in ESOL at American University while teaching at Janney.

Frances McCrackin: Primary Science Teacher

Fran McCrackin was born in Washingtonian DC and grew up in the area. Prior to becoming a science specialist in 2014, she taught Kindergarten and First grade. Ms. McCrackin has been at Janney since 1998. She enjoys mentoring other teachers including 7 years in the Carnegie Academy for Science Education, and working as a Lesson Study coach in various DC schools. Ms. McCrackin taught origami after school for many years. She enjoys reading, writing, and travel (especially to those countries where her three children and two grandchildren live!)

Jacqueline McDonough: Instructional Coach (MATH)

Jacqueline McDonough was born and raised in Philadelphia and has spent the last decade working in public education in both Washington, DC and Philadelphia. She is thrilled to be back in DC to continue her work supporting teachers and students. After 7 years of teaching in the classroom, she transitioned to the role of Instructional Coach. Her most recent leadership experience was at a Philadelphia Public Charter school where she coached teachers and oversaw their K-8 math department. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Amerian University and received a graduate degree from Chestnut Hill College. During her free time, she can be found spending time with her family as they explore their new city!

Susan Meshberger: Kindergarten Teacher

Originally from Indiana, Susan Meshberger graduated with a B.A. in Psychology (emphasis in Child Development) from Miami University (OH) and a M.A.T (Masters of Art in Teaching) at American University. She was awarded the “Highly Effective” rating through DCPS’ IMPACT Teacher Rating system six times.   Mrs. Meshberger has been in the DC area for 11 years and lives with her husband Frank, daughter Evelyn, and their cat Tux. Prior to teaching, she spent four years as a legal recruiter for law firms on K Street. She is a HUGE Washington Nationals fan yet her football loyalties have remained in her Indiana roots – Go Colts! Mrs. Meshberger began teaching Pre-K in 2008, and started as a Pre-K teacher at Janney in 2009. She joined the kindergarten team in 2017. Her teaching is framed by the following philosophies and guidelines: teaching is 9/10 encouragement; early childhood learning should be FUN!; and it is the teacher’s role to meet the student where he/she is and take him/her somewhere else.

Mellissa Modico: Kindergarten Teacher

Mellissa Modico grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University where she studied Art Education and Art History. In 2006, she moved to Washington, DC and began her career teaching art but soon focused on early childhood education. Merging her experience of art and teaching, Mellissa studied in Reggio Emilia, Italy and worked as an atelierista and then later as an assistant principal at a Reggio-inspired charter school. She joined Janney in 2014, first serving as a co-teacher and then in 2015, she began teaching kindergarten (her true love). In her spare time, Mellissa loves spending time with her 6 nieces and 3 nephews. Her hobbies include reading, baking, brunching and traveling.

Margaret Myers: Kindergarten Teacher

Margaret Myers joined the Janney community during the 2009-2010 school year. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, as well as a Master’s degree in Art History from George Washington University and a Master’s degree in Teaching with a focus on Early Childhood Education from Trinity Washington University. Mrs. Myers began her teaching career at the Anglo-American School in Moscow while living in Russia from 2002 to 2007. She is married with two daughters: Emma, a junior in college, and Maddie, a junior in high school. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Myers enjoys traveling, kayaking, and potting.

Robyn Nelson: 1st Grade Teacher

Robyn Nelson came to Janney in 2015 as a First Grade Partner Teacher. She worked as partner teacher for 2 years and became a First grade homeroom teacher in 2017. Robyn hails from Huntington, NY, but has been in DC for over a decade. She received her Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Human Development from Howard University and her Master’s in Teaching from American University. When she is not at Janney, Robyn loves to cook, travel, create, and enjoy live music with friends and family.

Morgan Parent: 1st Grade Teacher

Morgan Parent began teaching kindergarten at Janney in 2013 and joined the first grade team in 2015. She is a West Virginia native who attended West Virginia University’s five-year Teacher Education program, and she has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Special Education. Mrs. Parent’s passion for teaching has come from her parents who are both teachers in West Virginia. Mrs. Parent moved to DC in August 2011 and currently lives in Adams Morgan with her husband Alex. In her free time she loves to travel, read, ride her bike, cheer on the West Virginia Mountaineers in football, and explore new restaurants in the area.

Roslyn Peaks: Nurse

Roslyn Peaks, RN, BSN, MS, has been our Janney School Nurse since August, 2006. Her nursing experience includes: Charge Nurse-Shock Trauma Unit, MIEMSS, University of MD Hospital; Head Nurse, Operating Room, Johns Hopkins Hospital; Administrative Director Surgical Services, Georgetown University Hospital. Nurse Peaks is a Children’s National Medical Center nurse (CNMC). The school health Program is managed by CNMC. In addition to managing the health care of our students, Ros is a member of the Janney Garden Committee, Healthy Foods Project, and Emergency Response Team. Ros lives with her family in Gaithersburg, Maryland.   To contact the Janney Health Suite call 202.282.0063 or Fax 202.282.0140.

Amanda Quirin Pavetto: 4th Grade Co-Teacher (ELA)

Amanda Quirin Pavetto joined the Janney community as a 3rd grade teacher in 2010, and she has been teaching the 4th grade since 2013. After taking the 2017-18 school year off to be with her daughter, she returned to the 4th grade team as an ELA co-teacher. Prior to coming to Janney, Ms. Quirin Pavetto taught 2nd grade, reading support, and 5th/6th grade autistic learning support in Pennsylvania. She holds dual certifications in Elementary and Special Education. Originally from Pennsylvania, she moved to the DC area in 2010. She currently lives in the Silver Spring area with her husband Chris, daughter Penelope, and cats Max and Roo.

Gillian Ramsey: Performing Arts & PE

Ms.Ramsey LOVES working at Janney and introducing her students to all types of performing arts. Ms. Ramsey graduated with honors from Shenandoah Conservatory with a degree in Dance Education with an emphasis on Musical Theatre and Choreography and was a three-time recipient of the Robyn Hart Schroth scholarship for excellence in dance and theatre education. Ms. Ramsey was instrumental in developing Virginia’s first Standards of Learning for Dance in Public Schools as well as creating the curriculum that has been adopted throughout the state. As a titleholder in the Miss America Pageant Organization, Gillian was able to share her dedication to the performing arts with her platform “the Importance of Arts in Education” where she was a keynote speaker throughout the commonwealth on how classroom teachers can use dance and music to enhance their curriculum.

She has studied under some of the most well-respected names in the dance industry and with teachers from The Washington Ballet, NYCB, and Broadway Dance Center. As a young performer, she performed at Carnegie Hall (3 times!), Disney World (twice!) and with The New Jersey Ballet’s Summer tour. In addition to competing both regionally and nationally, she has been invited to dance in 3 Olympic Opening ceremonies and Macy’s Day Parades as well as in Spain, Russia, and Taiwan.

Before coming to Janney – Ms. Ramsey taught Kindergarten and First Grade in Fairfax County and at Holy Trinity School in Georgetown. When she isn’t at Janney – Ms. Ramsey teaches at a competitive dance studio in Arlington where her students range in age from 2 – 83 years old! She and her husband live in Arlington with her stepson Jack and their daughter – Ginger. Ms. Ramsey’s husband grew up on Albemarle Street and she enjoys seeing her students whenever she visits his family for the fall block party, trick or treating or just having fun in the neighborhood!

Rebecca Reuter: 5th Grade Teacher (MATH)

Rebecca Reuter grew up an hour north of New York City in Harriman, New York, and has slowly worked her way south in a futile effort to escape the winter. She graduated from York College of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in History degree, but after working at a local daycare throughout college, she decided to pursue a career in education. Ms. Reuter joined the DC Teaching Fellows as a member of the Summer 2010 cohort and has been teaching ever since. She joined the Janney team in 2012 and graduated from American University with her Master’s Degree in Special Education in the spring of 2015.

Mark Royster: 3rd grade co-Teacher

Mark Royster has been a resident of Washington, DC, his entire life. After graduating from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania he returned home to DC where he became a Dedicated Aide. Mark began his work as a Dedicated Aide in March 2018 at Janney. As of August 2019, Mark is a Partner Teacher with Janney as well as a student at the Relay Graduate School of Education. When he is not in the classroom he loves to spend time with family and friends, bowl, and write in his journal.

Natalie Santos: 3rd Grade Co-Teacher

In 2015 Natalie Santos joined the 2nd grade team at Janney as a partner teacher and became a co-teacher in the 3rd grade in 2016. A graduate of the College of William & Mary, Natalie is is working on a Master’s degree in Education at George Washington University. In her free time, Natalie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and watching documentaries.

Tiken Savang: 3rd Grade teacher

Tiken Savang joined Janney in 2016 as a partner teacher and became 3rd grade teacher in 2017. He is originally from Atlanta, GA, and graduated from Emory University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology. After graduating, he moved to DC in 2013 to work for City Year, an organization aimed at supporting local schools through community engagement, tutoring, and after-school enrichment. It was at City Year where he developed a passion for education and has subsequently worked in a variety of classroom settings with elementary, middle, and high school students. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Teaching in elementary education at American University. Tiken is thrilled to be a part of the Janney community and is looking forward to meeting all the amazing and wonderful students this school year.

Amanda Sellinger: 3rd Grade Teacher

Amanda Sellinger grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Education. In 2020, she joined the 3rd grade team at Janney with 8 years of experience teaching kindergarten through 3rd grade in New Jersey.

Amanda was inspired to teach by her 4th grade teacher, who helped shape her passion to create a comfortable and safe classroom environment in which every student can develop academically, emotionally, and socially. Her goal is to inspire students to feel confident and take risks to become the best version of themselves. In her free time, Amanda enjoys cooking, exercising, traveling, photography, and spending time with her family, friends, and Cooper (her bunny!).

Jaclyn Seward-Clements: 3rd Grade co-Teacher

Jaclyn Seward-Clements began teaching at Janney in 2006 on the 5th grade team and has been teaching 3rd grade since 2010. She loves watching her students grow academically and socially throughout the year. Ms. Seward-Clements grew up in Freehold, NJ, and her parents still live there in the same house. Her husband, Chris, is a Janney alum. Ms. Seward-Clements attended The Catholic University of America where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She was a student-athlete throughout her time in school, and her sport of choice is lacrosse. During her senior year of college, Ms. Seward-Clements was a substitute teacher for DCPS. She also coached the St. John’s High School junior varsity girls’ lacrosse team for three years. Ms. Seward-Clements graduated from George Mason University with a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration as a Reading Specialist.

Valerie Sewell: 4th and 5th grade science

Valerie Sewell began teaching 4th and 5th grace science at Janney in 2020. Prior to that, she had been teaching second grade at Janney since 2012, and before that she taught fourth and sixth grades. Ms. Sewell holds degrees in elementary education, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership. In her free time, she mostly enjoys traveling, reading murder mysteries, going to the beach, and watching basketball.

Hannah Shapiro: PRE-K Partner Teacher

Hannah Shapiro joined the Janney School team as a kindergarten partner teacher in 2016 and transitioned to a Pre-K partner teacher in 2019. Hannah moved to DC in 2015 from California to serve as a Pre-K assistant teacher at Two Rivers Public Charter School. She is currently a graduate student in Early Childhood Education at American University. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys volunteering, visiting bookstores, baking, and exploring the District.

Rebecca Sherman: PK Teacher

Rebecca Sherman has been an educator at Janney since 2000 and has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Mrs. Sherman graduated from American University (GO EAGLES!) with a bachelors degree in History and received her MAT from Simmons College. Rebecca resides in Bethesda with her husband Robert, two young sons Benjamin and Jacob, and two crazy cats Thumbs and Miss Prissy. Mrs. Sherman roots for her Boston sports teams, enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling.

Jordan Simon: PK/K Science Teacher

Jordan Simon originally joined the Janney team in 2017 as a term teacher in fourth grade and she is thrilled to be returning in her new role as the PreK and Kindergarten Science teacher. Ms. Simon holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from George Washington University. During her Master’s program she held student-teaching positions at Somerset Elementary School and Lafayette Elementary School. After finishing her degree, Mrs. Simon took some time to be home with her two young children, while still volunteering and substituting within DCPS. Most recently, Mrs. Simon taught third grade at Brent Elementary School in Capitol Hill. Originally from Connecticut, Ms. Simon has been in Washington, D.C. for 20 years and currently lives in Capitol Hill with her husband Lee and their two sons Jacob and Thomas.

Danielle Singh: Principal

Danielle Singh is a passionate educator with more than 20 years serving students in Washington, D.C. She has experience teaching in grades K-8 and leading in grades 6-8. Ms. Singh possess a strong track record in improving not only student achievement. She developed strong practices to engage her families including student-led conferences, home visits, school communications through multiple channels. She has a strong commitment to teacher and school leader development through cognitive coaching, training, and support around leading adult learning. Ms. Singh’s experience as a mentor teacher, assistant principal, and principal have prepared her for the work ahead. Moreover, Ms. Singh’s find the “third way” approach as well as her ardent respect for teachers and school community will be evident as you get to know her.

Education is very important to Danielle Singh, beginning with her Pre-K through 12th grade education in DC Public Schools. She continued her studies at Cornell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in human development. Ms. Singh also has master’s degrees in special education from George Washington University and educational administration from Columbia University, and she is currently a doctoral student at Drexel University.

Oda Solms: Kindergarten Partner Teacher

Oda Solms joined the Janney community in 2019 and is looking forward to her first year in the classroom. With a background in print and digital publishing, she will bring her creativity and love of stories to her students. Ms. Solms considers herself a life-long learner and especially enjoys food, art and nature. Currently, Ms. Solms is completing her Master’s in Teaching in Early Childhood Education at American University. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their two energetic boys.

Sara Solomon: Social Worker

Sara Solomon joined the Janney team in the 2017-2018 school year. Ms. Solomon holds a BA in Anthropology from The George Washington University, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). Prior to coming to Janney, Ms. Solomon supported students and families in DCPS for four years, and for 11 years in the social work and education fields overall. Ms. Solomon loves cooking and eating, hiking in the wilderness, biking around the city, and hanging out with her adorably goofy mutt, Jupiter.

Lelia Spears: PK and Kindergarten Co-Teacher

Lelia Spears has been educating students young and old, from pre-K to retirement, for more than ten years. She comes to Janney most recently from New York, where she completed a Reading Specialist Master of Arts degree at Teachers College, Columbia University’s School of Education. Ms. Spears loves dancing, riding her bike, and reading a good book. Ms. Spears works with students on reading, writing, and math in whole class, one-on-one, and small group settings.

Robin Spence: 4th grade Teacher (ELA)

Ms. Robin Spence joined Janney in 2016-17. She began teaching in 2012 and has taught public policy, writing, and research at the high school level in a Washington, DC, public charter school. She has also consulted for nonprofits, foundations and state and local governments to design and evaluate education and training programs. Ms. Spence holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University. A resident of Washington, she lives with her husband and two children.

Mary Thomas: 5th Grade Teacher (Reading)

Mary Thomas is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but considers Washington her adopted home. After working as a television reporter and in social science research, she became a DC Teaching Fellow earning a Master’s in Teaching degree from American University. She began her teaching career with DC Public Schools more than 12 years ago, initially teaching grades 3-5 at Shepherd Elementary School. She has a passion for reading and writing that she would like to share with her students. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and an MBA specializing in marketing and advertising management. She is married with two children.

Jolan Williams: 3rd grade Teacher

Jolan Williams was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Newark, Delaware. In 2013, Jolan graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She then began her career in education in Boston, Massachussetts serving as a third-grade City Year Corp Member. After her time at City Year, Jolan joined Teach for America teaching third and fifth grade students. Jolan concurrently earned a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University while apart of Teach for America. For a year, Jolan relocated to New York, New York and obtained a Masters of Arts in Educational Policy from Teachers College at Columbia University. In 2018, Jolan relocated to Washington DC to expand her career in education and to be closer to family. She joined the Janney community in 2019 as a third-grade teacher. In her spare time, she cares for her newly adopted kitten, Chubbs, and enjoys trips with her close girlfriends — their favorite being Martha’s Vineyard.

Toni Carroll-Wills: Speech-Language Pathologist

Toni Carroll-Wills has been the Speech-Language Pathologist here at Janney for over 15 years! Toni is a graduate of Howard University-Go Bisons, School of Communication, where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the area of Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to working at Janney, Toni is also the Speech Pathologist at both Mann and Ross Elementary.

Toni is originally from sunny, Los Angeles California and often returns to visit family and friends. Toni and her husband, a native Washingtonian have two beautiful and active boys-William and Drew. Toni enjoys spending time with her family, traveling abroad, and trying new restaurants (Millie’s is one of her favorites).

Francesca Woo: Partner/Term Teacher

Ms. Francesca Woo joined the Janney community in 2018 as a partner teacher while completing her M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education at American University (AU). Originally from California, she came to the East Coast to attend AU where she completed a B.A. in Elementary Education accompanied by an Asian Studies Minor. Outside of school, she enjoys visiting museums, taking photos, and exploring new places with friends.

Shellie Wood: Student Support Services Coordinator

Prior to joining Janney, Dr. Wood worked for three years as a school psychologist for the International School of Prague in the Czech Republic. Before moving overseas, Dr. Wood worked as a school principal at the Kennedy Institute where she was hired to develop mental health programs. She became Educational Director for the Institute and eventually served as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Wood also worked as a crisis intervention specialist for DC Public Schools and adjunct professor at American University. She received her Masters Degree from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her Ph.D. from The American University in Washington DC. Before joining the Janney staff, she was a proud Janney parent as all three of her children attended Janney Elementary!

Blake Yedwab: 4th Grade Co-Teacher (MATH)

Blake Yedwab’s career path has been a winding one. After graduating from the Stern School of Business at NYU with an undergraduate degree in Information Systems and Management and a minor in Hebrew, she had the opportunity to work for a consulting firm that allowed her to work and travel throughout the United States and Europe, designing and building database systems. Mrs. Yedwab then decided to move to Israel where she spent time studying and eventually working again in hi-tech. Three years later she made Washington, DC, her new home, enrolling in The George Washington University and completing a masters in Political Management. After working on the Hill and at a trade association, Mrs. Yedwab discovered that her favorite two hours of the week were teaching a fourth grade Hebrew school class in Silver Spring. Mrs. Yedwab headed up to Boston, MA, where she received her masters in Teaching at Simmons College. Coming back to DC, she taught third grade at Lafayette ES for thirteen years before joining the faculty at Janney in 2017. Mrs. Yedwab lives in the area with her husband Dennis and three children, Audrey, Mallory, and Charlie.

Shana Zallman: Digital Communications & PE

Shana Zallman began teaching the Digital Communications class at Janney in 2014. Prior to teaching Digital Communications, Ms. Zallman was a 2nd grade teacher for a long time.

  • Janney Calendar

    September 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • Pre-K Family Conferences
    • All students at school!
    • Enrichment Fall Session I Registration Closes
    • No school - Labor Day
    • JAC After Care Services Begin
    • Language Services Begin
    • Pre-K - K Coffee (outdoors)
    • JAC October Registration Closes
    • JAC November Registration Open
    • 1st-2nd Grade Coffee with Principal Singh (Mulch playground)
    • Enrichment Fall Session I Begins
    • 3rd-5th Grade Coffee with Principal Singh (Mulch Playground)
    • PK-3 Back to School Night (Virtual)
    • 4th-5th Grade Back to School Night (Virtual)
    • Politics & Prose book sale
    • Politics & Prose book sale

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