Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Community,

As the Chancellor shared on Monday, we will not begin in-person learning as originally expected on November 9.  The Chancellor shared that the in-person learning seats will become CARES seats and that all families previously offered in-person learning seat would be the first families offered a CARES classroom spot.  However, this plan also depended on a school’s ability to provide staff to cover CARES classrooms.

At this time, it does not look like Janney will be able to offer CARES seats – or any in-person options – due to staffing constraints. We are still exploring ways to partner with Janney Plus or to find a way to host some form of in-person support.  I will keep you updated as we learn more.

Please know that I am sincerely sorry that we are not moving forward with in-person learning.  I know that many children and families were looking forward to this opportunity.  We will continue to work hard to find a way to welcome children back to the building.

We hosted the Building Readiness Walkthrough today.  A video recording of the walkthrough and all relevant materials will be posted on the Janney Sharepoint site soon.  We are still working to prepare the Janney building for a return of students at some point in the future.

LSAT Elections: 11/4-11/25
Thank you to the nine parents who have graciously volunteered to serve a 2-year term on LSAT.  This year we have four positions open.  Please read the bios below, listed in alphabetical order.  The voting window will remain open through Wednesday, November 25.  You can vote here.

The candidates running are: Denitsa Apostolova; Emma Chanlett-Avery; Isabel Friedenzohn; Marc Laitin; Paul Levine; Tracy Loh; Hilary Oat-Judge; Sara Poehlman; Kathleen Quinn

Candidate Bios 
Hello, my name is Denitsa Apostolova, and my husband and I have three kids at Janney – Katarina is in Mr. Savang’s third grade class and our twins – Sebastian & Matthias – are in Ms. DiCrosta’s Pre-K class. My family and I are proud to be part of the AU Park and Janney community and we are constantly impressed at the kindness we encounter in our neighborhood every day. I am originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, but spent a lot of my childhood at my grandparents’ home town in the mountains. It was there that I learned the importance of a close-knit community at a very young age. I came to the US for college and graduate school where I studied Computer Science. Even though my background is in software engineering, I have a passion for education and the important role it plays in a child’s life. I spent almost a decade earlier in my career at an education non-profit (AIR) building software systems for teachers, administrators and students across thirty states.

My volunteer experience within Janney has been mostly focused on helping class events, the Janney 5K and of course – International night. Currently, I am a software development manager at AWS and hope to explore, facilitate and connect Amazon’s various outreach programs with the Janney community. For fun, I enjoy hiking, cycling, and I love traveling with my family and immersing myself in new cultural experiences and foods. I am also a total science geek and enjoy reading books on physics, genetics, and anthropology. I hope to represent Janney’s vibrant community and I would be honored to serve as an LSAT parent volunteer in this challenging time.

Emma Chanlett-Avery: My interest in serving on the LSAT as a parent representative is grounded in the outstanding experiences my two daughters–Cora and Sasha Ogden–have  had as students at Janney. Every year my husband Pete and I are astounded at the dedication of the teachers and staff in not only meeting their needs but allowing them to thrive. As a special needs 4th grader, Cora has enjoyed the support of many different providers and specialized instructors, while also being embraced by her general education peers in the classroom setting. Sasha, in 3rd grade, has received excellent academic instruction while still being able to have fun and develop her creativity. Each year I have served as a room parent for at least one of their classes, usually taking on the role of communication with the parents and teachers. During this unprecedented and uncertain time, I am looking to expand my help to the Janney community through service on a broader, school-wide scale.  Professionally, I work full-time as an analyst in Asian security issues at the Congressional ResearchService at the Library of Congress, serve as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Japan-American Society of Washington, DC, and am president my alumni class at my alma mater Amherst College. Outside of work and kids, my hobbies include running, cooking, and mixology. I look forward to getting back to my pre-pandemic habits of eating out, hosting friends for inside gatherings, getting professional beauty services, and traveling for both work and leisure.

Isabel Friedenzohn is the mother of Nava (grade 2) and Idan (grade 5) Kumin. Originally from the Detroit area, she has lived in DC for 19 years – five of them on one of the best blocks in the neighborhood! Professionally, Isabel works in public health and has been consulting for several years.  For better or worse, Isabel is also a ‘poster child’ for the sandwich generation and dedicates a lot of time taking care of her elderly parents who moved to the area 3 years ago. The importance of a school LSAT is not new to her as she previously served on the LSAT for Cleveland Elementary in Shaw. While we find the community in profoundly challenging circumstances, Isabel would be honored to help support Principal Lutz and the Janney staff.

My name is Marc Laitin and I would be honored to serve on the Janney LSAT. I am the father of two current Janney students (Ida 5-T and Louise 4-G), and a former Middle School and High School math teacher. I am particularly excited to join the Janney LSAT at this moment as a way to work with the Janney community, including parents, teachers, staff and leadership to find a safe and equitable path to in-person learning. Professionally I run the ideas42 Venture Studio, which builds behavioral science informed, software powered businesses, including EveryDaylabs, working to reduce chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools, Nickels, helping people stay out of delinquency on their student debt, and Vergil, supporting individuals departing incarceration to reduce recidivism. I look forward to serving the Janney community, and thank you for your support.

My name is Paul Levine, the proud father of Lila (3W) and Oren (K-Mesh).  I have lived in DC for nearly twenty years, including the last seven in AU Park. I’m a partner at a national law firm, specializing in International Disputes and Arbitration. I regularly do pro bono for clients, including on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club and for people with worthy cases that cannot afford an attorney. Prior to law school, I graduated with a degree in engineering.

We love being at Janney, even more so during this pandemic year where the Janney administration, teachers, parents, and students have all pulled together to help make this year a success for our children. Covid will be an issue that continues to define how all of society looks going forward, regardless of whether there is a vaccine.  I am used to dealing with difficult issues and helping make complex decisions based on engaging a wide range of views. I believe these skills will allow me to further the mission of the LSAT to ensure Janney remains the best environment possible for all.

My name is Tracy Loh and my day job is unrelated to education. However, I served as the secretary of the PTA at PS124 in Gowanus, Brooklyn for the 2018-19 school year, and was engaged in onboarding a new principal. I am a habitual public servant. I served a two-year term on the city council of a small municipality in Prince George’s County, as well as two terms on the board of directors of the Riverside Condominium Association in Southwest DC, including one term as president, and one term as an elder on session at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church. I am currently the secretary of the board of directors of Greater Greater Washington. I reliably attend and sit all the way through meetings, and follow up on action items in between.

My daughter Mayzie is in Ms. Meshberger’s kindergarten class. I am a graduate of DC public schools myself, though I went to Lafayette and not Janney, and I have been interested in school governance since observing the No Child Left Behind-era restructuring process at Wilson. That’s why I want to serve on the LSAT.

Hilary Oat-Judge I am a parent of two Janney Jaguars, Callum (3-A) and Owen (1-L) Barr. Our family has felt very fortunate to be part of the Janney community and to benefit from the knowledge of the incredible teachers and staff as well as the hard work of the many dedicated parent volunteers. I am currently serving as a room parent in Miss Anderson’s class after volunteering in many other capacities over the last four years. I am a licensed landscape architect with my own practice, and have managed many large-scale projects from design to construction, including major new gardens at the New York Botanical Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  I am also committed to improving the green spaces of our neighborhood through my role as Co-Chair of the Tenleytown Main Street Design Committee and as founding Chair of the Friends of Fessenden Park.  I have an MLA from UPenn and studied History and Art History at Williams College.

During this challenging time, I am increasingly appreciative of the LSAT’s role in ensuring that our children have a safe, engaging, and equitable school community. I appreciate the LSAT’s efforts this fall to help parents understand the implications of the reopening plans and the challenges facing Janney. If elected, I am committed to listening and contributing to the important, complex discussions on how best to safely reopen our school for in-person learning. The students, parents, teachers and staff are all facing tremendous challenges during this time, and I look forward to the opportunity to help with a safe transition back to in-person school when appropriate.  I have faith in the strength and resiliency of the Janney community, and I hope to have the opportunity to help with the important decisions that we face together.

Sara Poehlman is mom to Amara (3Sa) and her two-year-old sister.  She has worked in education for more than 20 years.  In the US, she taught bilingual kindergarten, worked with homeless families, served as an anti-bias education trainer.  Sara spent 17 years living abroad  – a decade working at UNICEF in Sri Lanka, India, and Niger, leading national education and early childhood programs and advocacy for children. In The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Benin and other West African countries, she worked in education, emergencies and peace promotion.  Most recently, Sara served as Senior Director, Early Childhood Development at Save the Children – overseeing a portfolio of 70 countries and providing thought leadership for the largest children’s NGO in the world, and as an advisor on a number of global initiatives. Sara studied International Education Development at Columbia University Teachers College.  In addition to her native English, she works in French, Hindi, and Spanish and speaks several other languages. Sara is currently taking a break from professional life to have daily dance parties, go hiking, do animal yoga, plan family fun and adventures, learn to write in Bengali and teach Amara to bake.  Sara has helped Governments set up systems for school development plans in many countries and would be honored to serve on Janney’s LSAT, especially bringing to bear experience of working on education through protracted crisis.

Kathleen K. Quinn: I’ve been part of the Janney community since the fall of 2012 when my eldest, Nolan Quinn, began as a kindergartener. He’s younger brother, Patrick, is currently a boisterous third-grader at Janney.  It’s almost impossible to put into words what Janney has meant to our family and while I’ve given back in a number of ways, now more than ever I’m hoping to contribute.

I’m hoping to bring my 25+ years (yes, I’m getting old) of experience in public health and communication to the LSAT in order to navigate this extremely challenging time in our lives, especially when it comes to education.

And because it wouldn’t be a bio without the requisite hobbies and interests, I love watching movies, reading thrillers, going to the beach, and trying to stay sane as the parent of 2 boys!


Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    April 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • End of Term / Half-Day PD & Half-Day Records Day / No School for Students
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • Janney Meeting re New Ward 3 Schools
    • Dining Out at Potomac Pizza
    • DCPS Office of School Planning Meeting with Janney re New Ward 3 Schools

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