Get to know our Special Subject Teachers

Did you know Ms. Rincon roots for Real Madrid? Or that Mr. Wieand is a certified snowboarding instructor and sushi chef? These Special Subjects teachers bring their diverse experience and expertise to our kids every day. Take a moment to learn more.

Here staff profiles for our fabulous Special Subjects teachers at Lafayette!

Maddie Howes is one of our uh-mazing PE teachers working with grades 1-5. She and Margie McClure are teaching kids how to kayak, draw a bow, ride a bike, and develop lifetime fitness goals. She is also one of the Cross Country coaches; she ran her first half-marathon this fall. A native of Long Island, NY and graduate of SUNY Cortland, Maddie currently resides in Alexandria, VA and braves I-495 each day. In her spare time Maddie sings Broadway tunes for koala bears (they find it soothing). She got engaged this summer and is planning on exchanging vows while water skiing.


Carmen Rincon, the Spanish teacher working with grades 1st-5th, is a graduate of Salamanca University and a native of Spain. On the weekends Carmen dabbles in acrylic painting and likes testing out new recipes. She also loves going to the movies and getting crafty with three sons. During fútbol season, Carmen cheers for Real Madrid with a pitcher (or two) of sangria, which all her friends agree is the best. This summer she went on a whirlwind tour of her home country, visiting four different cities in just three days.



Margie McClure is Physical Education teacher working with grades 1-5. She has been working at Lafayette for decades and is even an alumna of the school. A longtime resident of the D.C. area, Margie was born in Southern California. She and her family live outside of Baltimore. When not teaching (or commuting) Margie plays tennis and golf, and sometimes hustles hipsters who think they can best her in a match of cornhole. Last summer Margie was honored by the USA Rugby Association — she played in the first US Women’s International Match. She also traveled to Ireland to wish the current US Women’s Olympic Rugby team luck as they headed off to the Word Cup.

Joel Holmes is the music teacher working with 1st-5th grades. He also organizes the school band and has a special knack for hearing the melody a cacophony of recorders. Originally from Baltimore, Joel currently resides in White Plains, Maryland. He is a graduate of Howard University and is an accomplished artist and musician. When not spending time with his family, he performs with several local bands. As a pescaterian, Joel opts for fish and veggies; despite this, there’s a few vegetables that the make him cringe. Last summer, on a trip to the Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Joel met and danced with Jali – a Senegalese griot.

Nate Wieand teaches students in grades K-5 some serious life skills in Technology. Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he now calls H street home. He is a graduate of both American and George Washington University. On the weekends, Nate can be found playing with boards of all kinds: skate, surf, snow, wake, and cutting board. He is a certified snowboarding instructor and sushi chef. A former member of a punk band, Nate still plays the guitar, bass, and drums. He can often be found hosting karaoke nights. This summer he traveled around Cuba.

Linda Ryden guides students in grades 1st-5th towards greater self-awareness during Peace class each week. She is a Washington D.C. native and current Chevy Chase resident; although, she called Connecticut home while earning her degree from Wesleyan University. When not teaching, Linda sings in a choir and a band. This summer she wrote a book, Henry is Kind, which was recently picked up by a publisher.


Laurie McLaughlin Ward sparks creativity in students in grades 1-5 each day during Art. She is from the area and lives only a stone’s throw from where she grew up. She is a graduate of George Mason University’s Initiatives in Educational Transformation program (with Andrea Perll). When not teaching or mounting artwork, she enjoys good food, good wine, and good company. She grew up in a house of musicians and artists in the Vietnam War protest hippy generation. She’s been living with and loving her husband for almost 43 years. She can often be found dancing, gardening, and creating pottery in the Glen Echo pottery yurts.

Rachel Leese, Lafayette’s Librarian, manages the library and teaches students in grades PK-5th how to access the school’s vast collection. Rachel is a native of Pennsylvania and alumna of Pennsylvania State University and University of Pittsburgh. Her visits home include spending time with her family’s sheep. When she is not at Lafayette, she is a reader, hiker, biker, and singer. Rachel is our resident craftsman; she has built several houses, hiking structures, and worked on multiple renovations. Last summer, she experimented with fermentation when brewing kombucha (fermented tea) for her sister.

Richard Foley, one of our maravilloso Spanish teachers, grew up in southern Spain. He is number six in a family of nine brothers and sisters. He lived in Florida while he was going to school, graduating from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. He went on to get his Master’s Degree at American University in Washington, DC. He enjoys reading whenever his kids let him, and watching his favorite sports teams on TV- Real Madrid and the Dallas Cowboys. He is the proud dad of Maria (7) and Mario (5).

Andrea Perll, our peppy Pre-K and Kindergarten Art, Music, and P.E. teacher, grew up in New Jersey and Connecticut. She is a graduate of UCONN (go Huskies!) and George Mason University. Andrea has lived in Israel and Boston, and now resides in Silver Spring, MD. When not entertaining the little ones in our school she enjoys hiking, checking out interesting exhibits at museums, creating photo scrapbooks, and shopping. Andrea is also a huge fan of traveling and taking photographs of her travels. Some of her favorite places she’s visited include Costa Rica, Switzerland, Petra, and Greece. This December she is going to Panama and can’t wait for winter break!