Front Office Staff

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Carrie Broquard

Principal
About

Carrie Broquard, known as Dr. B to Lafayette students, has led Lafayette as its principal since 2014. Carrie Broquard began her career in education as a science teacher in Los Angeles, California. Within the Los Angeles Unified School District, Dr. B later served as a chemistry teacher, gifted and talented education coordinator, and an assistant principal. In 2008, she relocated to Normal, IL where she has served as an assistant principal, an emotional-disabilities coordinator, and a clinical assistant professor in educational administration. Dr. B holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in education from Bryn Mawr College, as well as both a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles. On the weekends, Dr. B can be spotted spending time with her two daughters and prepping her camper for upcoming adventures.

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Kenneth Brown

Assistant Principal-Special Education
About

Dr. Kenneth Brown received his bachelor’s in special education and master’s in educational administration. He also received his Ph.D. in curriculum studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He previously served as a special education coordinator. Prior to that, he worked as a special education teacher for several years, instructing students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. Dr. Brown enjoys working out. He is a huge NBA fan with the Chicago Bulls being his favorite team.

Madison Bosurgi

Assistant Principal
About

Madison Bosurgi began her career at Lafayette as a third grade math and science teacher before transitioning to Lafayette assistant principal. Prior to Lafayette, she taught first grade for seven years in west Philadelphia. Ms. Bosurgi holds a bachelor’s of science degree in both elementary education and early childhood education, and a minor in psychology. She also has a master’s of education in school leadership. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her jack russell, Mikey, and traveling back home to New Jersey and Philly whenever she can.

Stephanie Mayhew

Assistant Principal
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Donna Beck

Administrative Assistant
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Afsheen Benab

Administrative Assistant
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Kenneth Hover

Administrative Assistant

Pre-K Teachers

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Laura Pajor

Yellow Base
About

Laura Pajor is a Pre-K teacher, a children’s book aficionado, and former “bad speller.” Although she moved to several states during her childhood, she thinks of North Carolina as home. An avid biker, Laura often spends her weekends biking with her sons.

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Dina Shapiro

Silver Base
About

Dina has been teaching at Lafayette for more than 20 years. She spent 17 as a Kindergarten teacher and the years since as a Pre-K teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Skidmore College and a master’s in early childhood special education from George Mason University. She lives in Silver Spring with her son, her parents folks, some dogs, and an occasional turtle.

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Irene Taguian

Blue Base
About

Irene Taguian is originally from the Philippines, but now lives in Capitol Riverfront in Southeast DC. She studied at the University of the Philippines (where she performed with one of the top Filipino choirs) and later George Mason University. When she’s not at Lafayette, Ms. Taguian enjoys traveling, eating exotic food and cheering on the Nats.

Pre-K Aides

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Janet Carr

Yellow Base

Nardlyn Gabbidon

Silver Base
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Jerrett Wright

Blue Base

Kindergarten Teachers

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Asha Abraham

Gold Base
About

T Asha Elizabeth Abraham (yes, there is a “T” before her name, it’s a family thing) is originally from southern California and currently lives in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Asha is a graduate of the University of California. She recently traveled to New Orleans, Dubai, Nepal, and seven states in India. When not teaching, Asha enjoys planning parties, planning trips, and visiting new restaurants. She has been to six of the seven continents and has co-piloted a plane twice! She is also very crafty and can make anything out of paper.

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Lakeisha Brown

Purple Base
About

Lakeisha Brown was born in Monterey, CA, but grew up in the very small town of Oxford, PA where there were only three traffic lights. Lakeisha went to Albright College in Reading, PA and currently lives in Hyattsville, MD. She loves her favorite music group, TLC and got to see them in concert. She even went backstage to meet them and almost lost her mind, she was so excited! Lakeisha’s favorite sports team is any team LeBron James is playing for. She does not like to wear white below the waist or anything that is all white, so much so that she wore a black dress to an all white party. Lakeisha has not seen a scary movie since she was a child. She has lived and taught in South Africa, China, Malaysia, and South Korea.

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Keisha Harris

Pink Base
About

Keisha Harris was born in Washington, D.C. She lived briefly in Rochester, NY during middle school and went to boarding school in Culver, IN for high school. Keisha attended Xavier University of Louisiana and started her Master’s at George Washington University.  After college, Keisha spent two years with City Year in Washington, D.C. and fell in love with teaching and being in the classroom.  After teaching Pre-K for seven years, she was ready for a change and came to Lafayette to teach Kindergarten. When she’s not teaching, she can be found spending time with her family and friends.  She likes to read, watch movies, and research what her next nail color will be.

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Emily Burst

Orange Base
About
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FraNita Kelly

Green Base
About

FraNita Kelly was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Her name is a combination of her mother’s and father’s names Frank and Benita Kelly. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virgina and has been teaching Kindergarten in Price George County for the past four years. When FraNita is not at work, she enjoys traveling, hiking, painting, and spending time with her family and dog.

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Sophie Levinsky

Red Base
About

Sophie Levinsky was born and raised in the Boston suburbs. She lived in Chicago for ten years, DC for less than a year, Germany for two years, and is now thrilled to call DC her home once again! While Ms. Levinsky will always cheer for the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs also hold a special place in her heart! She loves traveling with her husband and was lucky enough to visit many European countries while she lived abroad. Ms. Levinsky enjoys cooking vegetarian recipes that are inspired by her travels.

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Patricia Selzer

Rainbow Base
About

Patricia Selzer, born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the youngest triplet in a family of six. She began her college career at The Catholic University of America before transferring to The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and concentration in Language Arts. She began her teaching career in Charlotte, N.C. and is thrilled to return to her favorite city, Washington, D.C., to continue teaching Kindergarten. Outside of the classroom, she loves to spend time with her large Irish family of over 40 cousins. She also loves traveling, DIY projects, and enjoying all the things the city has to offer. She can’t wait to spend time this year with her students, growing and learning together!

Kindergarten Aides

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Andi Ding-Chong

Purple Base
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Carmen Stewart

Orange Base
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Marquita McBride

Rainbow Base
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Fatoumata Goodwin

Pink Base
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Lynda Henderson

Gold Base
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Diyale McLane

Red Base

First Grade Teachers

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About

Erin de Jonckheere Briggs is a first grade teacher, Girls on the Run coach, and sommelier in training. She is a proud Michigander (Go Blue!); however, grew up in Brazil and Venezuela. Her first language was Portuguese. Erin is a graduate of Indiana University. When she is not teaching, Erin enjoys running and snuggling with her kitty. She may have a slight obsession with pineapples too!

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About

Alycia Hallock is a first grade teacher and Girls on the Run Coach. She is from College Park, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. Alycia can beat anyone in Harry Potter trivia (watch out Ms. Bauer!). In her free time, she enjoys listening to 90’s pop music and going to concerts. A former kickboxer, Alycia still enjoys time in the gym. 

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About

Kelly Paton has been teaching first grade at Lafayette since 2018. Prior to Lafayette, Ms. Paton taught for two years in a different DCPS school. Ms. Paton graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Elementary Education and received her masters in Early Childhood from the Relay Graduate School of Education. Ms. Paton is originally from San Francisco, California, but made the move to DC in 2016. Outside of teaching, Ms. Paton loves spending time with her three sisters, one brother, and many nieces and nephews. She also loves indoor cycling, traveling the world and trying new coffee shops!

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About

Ashleigh Goodwin is from a small town in North Carolina and graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She has been teaching for more than five years. In her free time, Ashleigh enjoys trying new food, traveling and shopping.

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About

Liz Bauer is a first grade teacher. She has lived in several states including Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr University. She can beat anyone in Harry Potter trivia (watch out Mrs. Hallock!). When not teaching, Liz enjoys cheering for the Nationals, hiking with her dog and cooking.

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About

Karla Otto is a first year teacher at Lafayette. Prior to teaching at Lafayette, Karla taught for another school in Maryland where she was a classroom aide and worked with first and second grade students. She graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2020 and earned her degree in early childhood education. When Karla is not teaching, she enjoys going on walks in her neighborhood, trying new restaurants, spending time in her garden, and cooking a meal for friends and family. 

Second Grade Teachers

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About

Maura Barry grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ and spent five years teaching in Chicago, IL. Maura is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and also a children’s yoga teacher. Maura’s favorite part about teaching is learning along with her students and reading fun picture books; her favorite book is called The Good Egg. When Maura is not teaching she loves spending time at the Jersey shore with her family and taking fun workout classes. 

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About

Otis Burnett is from beautiful island of Jamaica where he taught second and third grades for six years.  He moved to North Carolina in 2014 as a part of Participate (formally Visiting International Faculty) and taught first grade there for five years. Otis is an alumni of the University of the West Indies where he received a BA in literacy studies and elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration. In his free time, Otis loves shopping at the mall, listening to music (soca and reggae), eating at different restaurants and visiting museums. He also loves to travel – New York is his favorite city and he desires to unearth the beauty of Japan and Singapore.

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About

Annie Campbell is a native Washingtonian. After graduating from Elon University in North Carolina, she taught kindergarten for three years before returning to D.C. She has spent many years at Lafayette teaching fifth grade English language arts and social studies as well as second grade. 

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About

Abby Daley is originally from Cleveland, OH and currently lives in the NoMa area of D.C.and attended the University of Mount Union for her undergraduate and graduate degree in Early Childhood and Special education.Outside of teaching, Abby enjoys hiking every summer in the Adirondack mountains. She is also into rock climbing, wine tasting, shopping, riding her bike, and rooting for the Cleveland Browns. She loves to bake and watch “The Great British Baking Show.”

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About

Emma Dodson is a second grade teacher at Lafayette. Previously, she has taught special education and kindergarten in both DC and North Carolina. Emma grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey and always cheers on Philadelphia sports teams. Outside of school, she enjoys spending quality time with her dog, cooking, running, yoga, and taking advantage of everything DC has to offer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and completed her Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University in Spring 2020.

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About

Lindsay Field grew up in Washington, DC and recently moved back to our nation’s capital after teaching in New Orleans for four years. She graduated from Penn State and recently received her Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins. While living in New Orleans, Lindsay fully embraced the culture of the city and even participated in a Mardi Gras parade. Outside of teaching, Lindsay can be found watching football and spending time with her dog, Suga Mama.  

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About

Ms. McKee has been a part of the Lafayette family since 2015. She is a graduate of Virginia State University. Ms. McKee believes in teaching our students HOW to think. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Dominique enjoys getting lost in 90s music, reading and fitness. 

Third Grade Teachers

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About

Charlie Howard was born and raised in DC, playing his little league baseball games and learning to ride his bike in the Lafayette fields.  He is thrilled to be coming back home to Lafayette to teach third grade math.  He graduated from Denison University with a degree in Education and from American University with his Master of Arts in Teaching. When he is not in the classroom, Charlie enjoys rooting (often in vain) for every DC sports team, trying new spicy recipes, watching cooking shows, running through DC neighborhoods, and playing soccer. 

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About

Steven is from Michigan where he grew up with his seven sisters and three brothers. He lives in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of D.C. – you can often see him going for a run along Connecticut Avenue. Our resident car mechanic, Steven once worked at a GM factory building Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Cadillacs. He is a music aficionado, which is evident during drama club performances.

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About

Syreetta McArthur grew up on military bases throughout the country and Germany, but considers North Carolina home. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College. Ms. McArthur is currently working on a masters in curriculum and instruction for social justice from Loyola University Maryland. In her spare time, she enjoys karaoke, playing tennis, tending to one of her 27 plants, and discussing the greatness of the Duke University Blue Devils basketball program.

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About

CJ Rosas is originally from Southern California where he enjoyed living near the beach, and is still missing the amazing food.. He moved to DC 7 years ago. He graduated with a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. CJ has a background in Bilingual education and biliteracy, project-based teaching, and sustainability. In his free time he enjoys watching true crime and learning to cook. 

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About

Cara Skubel is originally from the DC area and also attended Lafayette as a student! Ms. Skubel graduated from Wake Forest University. In her spare time she’s been known to tackle jigsaw puzzles and anyone that speaks ill of the Nationals. 

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About

Mallory Vessa is originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She has taught in the DC area for the past six years. Her love for The District grew while studying education at The Catholic University of America. Mallory is a firm believer in inspiring her students to, “be who you are; and be that well.” When Mallory is not teaching she adores being outside, spending time with her family in Delray Beach, Florida or traveling to new and exciting places.

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About

Carrie Willimann is a proud fourth generation Washingtonian! Through travel to over 20 countries, she has learned the language and culture of Japan, played badminton with monkeys in Southeast Asia, and collaborated with educators in Africa to improve reading outcomes in elementary schools. Carrie has a deep commitment to making a positive impact in the world, which inspired her to return to the classroom in her hometown. On most days, you can find her spending time with family and friends on her front porch swing!
 

Fourth Grade Teachers

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About

Donna is a native of Louisiana and graduate of Louisiana Tech University. In fact, she was crowned Little Miss Dubach at her home town’s famed Chicken Festival. Despite growing up in rural Louisiana, Donna has never been camping and is happy to never attempt it. She loves spicy foods and is known to eat jalapenos with every meal (even breakfast). On the weekends, Donna enjoys eating out, wine tasting, swimming with dolphins, and perusing the racks for good deals.  

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About

Ali Dalton was born and raised in New York. She graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Special Education. Ali is excited to take on her new role at Lafayette teaching 4th grade. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking with her puppy, and reading a good book.

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About

Carly DeLorenzo spent the last six years in Bozeman, Montana where she graduated from Montana State University and then began her fourth-grade teaching journey. She spent this summer road-tripping over 4,000 miles to move from Montana to Washington, D.C., as she explored 5 national parks, 12 states, and countless types of cuisines. She is beyond excited to continue teaching fourth graders in D.C. this year. In her free time, you may spot her enjoying the outdoors, hiking, or searching for the best homemade ice cream in the DMV area!

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About

Candace Doria was born, but not raised in Heidelberg, Germany. She is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana, where she played college soccer. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Education, she went on to get her Master of Educational Leadership degree from Northwestern State University.  Candace has a house full at home: a wonderful spouse, two energetic sons, three rather large dogs, and a cuddly cat. When she’s not keeping her children alive and laughing, they can all be found at UMD, watching college softball, and cheering on The Terps.

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About

Davian Matthews is a native of Huntsville, Al where he began his career teaching sixth grade and coaching multiple sports. After relocating from his hometown, he taught second and fourth grade for the past five years in Arlington, VA. Mr. Matthews is a proud graduate of Alabama A&M University “The Hill” (Go Bulldogs!) In his free time, Davian enjoys drawing and watching movies. On the weekends you can find him somewhere in the DMV area trying to figure out a way to play a quick round of golf whenever its not to cold.

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About

Meg Ratliff is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. A former resident of the garden state, Meg spends her summers at the shore. On the weekends, Meg enjoys running and brunching, preferably with friends and/or her beagle Lana. At exactly 5 ft tall, was hoping to not be mistaken for a leprechaun while exploring the Emerald Isle during last spring break.

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About

Sheena Styles is a D.C. native who is honored to be teaching students in her home city. She is a graduate of Messiah College (go Falcons!) where she originally studied theater. These days, Sheena keeps her performance skills sharp, waiting for the day she’ll receive an audition invitation to become the sixth member of the Spice Girls and/or *NSYNC. When she is not practicing her dance moves or wowing audiences at karaoke, Sheena is on a quest to find the tastiest ramen and pho on the planet (suggestions are welcome.)

Fifth Grade Teachers

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About

Jennie Taylor Calhoun is happy to return to DC and join the Lafayette community after spending the last 15 years living and working around the globe. She and her family just returned from 5 years in Kigali, Rwanda where she worked at an
international school teaching 4th and 5th grades. Years ago, Jennie operated the largest sweet potato farm in East Africa but now has trouble getting anything to grow in her personal garden. She loves traveling, reading, cooking, listening to
podcasts while multi-tasking and doing crafts with her kids (or on her own). Jennie has a knack for remembering useless pop culture facts and would be a great addition to any trivia team.

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About

This will be Lucy Cantu’s 15th year as an educator. She is originally from Texas, where she earned an Associate of Arts from Laredo Community College, and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M International University. Lucy earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Penn State. Her daughter, Amber Nicole, attends the University of William & Mary in Williamsburg, and her son, Jace, will be a rising junior in high school. Although she has left the state of Texas, Lucy still roots for all of her Texas teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys!

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About

Kerry Cassidy is a fifth grade teacher. A former tax analyst, Kerry is a master of record keeping. She enjoys crocheting, singing, and goofing around with her two daughters. Kerry is originally from Elmira, New York; she now lives in the Petworth neighborhood of D.C. with her family. Kerry is a graduate of Union College, American University and George Washington University.

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About

Lauren Di Renzo teaches fifth grade. She grew up locally in Bethesda and is a graduate of Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She has been teaching for close to 20 years and (before kids) enjoyed playing tennis regularly. Now she tries to watch the major tournaments whenever possible. She even high-fived Andre Agassi once – her favorite player! These days when not in school, she spends all her time with her two daughters. Mrs. Di Renzo looks forward to another year of teaching math and science at Lafayette!

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About

Brittni Martin is new to the DC area, and is excited to be joining the 5th grade team. She grew up in Sacramento, California and spent the past two years teaching 6th grade in her hometown. She attended San Diego State University, where she graduated with a degree in liberal studies, elementary education. Aside from teaching, Brittni loves to go on adventures and explore new places. Her life-long goal is to travel to all seven continents.

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About

Kinga Wojtas is originally from Poland, but she also lived in D.C., Texas, Washington, and Hawaii, and she is currently residing in Bethesda, MD. She began her college career at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and continued her graduate studies at the American University School of International Services in Washington D.C. Kinga taught 8th-grade social studies in Honolulu, HI, over the last seven years, and while there, she grew fond of Hawaiian history, music, art, and beautiful nature. Kinga is passionate about building her knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures, travel, environment, reading, and maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Special Education

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Ben Lookner

SPED Resource
About

Ben Lookner was raised in New Jersey. He left for DC to attend the George Washington University and decided to stick around after earning his BA in history. This is his 13th year as a DCPS special educator. Ben lives in the Petworth neighborhood with his fiancé, Amy, and their dog, Fred. Outside of school, you can catch him hiking, biking, or in the kitchen cooking and baking. Ben is a fan of fun shirts and an avid traveler. He particularly likes long road trips during which he can listen to audiobooks and explore our national parks, monuments, and other public lands.

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About

Christine Popadich graduated from Grove City College in 2006 with a degree in psychology. She worked as a special education teacher in Massachusetts as she earned a Master’s in education from Simmons College in Boston. Christine moved to the DMV in 2009 to work at Alice Deal Middle school as a sixth grade inclusion teacher before going to Murch Elementary School to teach and lead in the autism classrooms. In 2015, she earned a certificate in behavioral intervention and in 2016 she earned her board certification as a behavior analyst. Mrs. Popadich enjoys spending time with her family, husband, three kids and a dog. She loves being out doors hiking and swimming–and especially a good cup of coffee.

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Ashley Swartz

SPED Resource
About

Ashley Swartz is a special education teacher, semi-professional party planner, and an adventure seeker. She is a southern New Jersey native and current resident of Davidsonville, Maryland. She is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. On the weekends Ashley can be found enjoying life with her husband and daughter. She loves road trips, golf, kickboxing, and country music. She is an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan and supports the USNA (Go NAVY–Beat Army)!

 

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Holly Nantais

SPED Resource
About

Holly Nantais is a special education teacher and Girls on the Run coach. She lives in Rockville, Maryland and can often be seen biking to school. Holly regularly participates in adventure races clad in self-designed costumes. She’s a skilled home-renovator and can frame and dry-wall entire rooms. In her youth, she was in all the bands (the German marching band, jazz ensemble, and concert band) because she can play all the saxophones (alto, soprano, baritone, and tenor). Holly worked as a Disney World cast member for many years.

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Rebecca French

CES Autism 
About

Mrs. French is Maryland born and raised. She earned both her Bachelor’s of Science & Master’s in Education from the University of Maryland. This is Mrs. French’s 12th year teaching, her 8th year in a classroom working primarily with students with Autism and the 2021-2022 school year will be her first at Lafayette! Outside of teaching, Mrs. French loves running, cooking, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with her husband and their two puppies, Lulu and Kaia.

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About

Erin Scott grew up in Kensington, MD and began her teaching career in Pittsburgh, PA. Erin taught for 5 years in 5th and 6th grade as a full inclusion special education teacher. Erin moved back to the area in 2015 and began teaching at Lafayette. This is Ms. Scott’s 7th year at Lafayette and first year teaching SLS. Outside of school, Erin loves to spend time with her husband, Brian and their two kids, Harper and Liam.  

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Kiyaira Rush

SPED Paraprofessional
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Keandra Garner 

SPED Paraprofessional
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About

Tiana Stewart is a D.C native and a proud graduate of DCPS (elementary, middle, and high school). She received her bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University and master’s from American University. She enjoys cooking, interior design, football ( Philadelphia Eagles), and spending quality time with family.

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About

Keva Smith was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. She spent a lot of my childhood at her grandparents house on the weekends riding for karts, eating crabs and fishing. She has also played basketball since middle school. Teaching has always been a passion of hers since 5th grade. She always wanted to make a difference in children’s lives just like her 5th grade teacher did for her. When not teaching she enjoys all things that come with being a new mom, making candles/wax melts, drawing and attending outdoor concerts/festivals. Keva is excited to be apart of Lafayette Elementary School!

Special Subjects

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About

Meaghan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education and spent the last five years teaching at a nonprofit choral organization in Chicago. When not teaching, she loves to spend time with family and friends. You can also find her singing, dancing and playing piano.

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Richard Foley

World Language
About

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 and Mario.

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Carmen Rincon

World Language
About

Carmen Rincon, the Spanish teacher working with grades 1-5, 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 her 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. 

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About

Maddie Dunleavy is one of our amazing PE teachers working with grades 1-5. She and Margie McClure are teaching kids how to draw a bow, ride a bike, and develop lifetime fitness goals. A native of Long Island, NY and graduate of SUNY Cortland, Maddie currently resides in Alexandria, VA . In her spare time, Maddie sings Broadway tunes for koala bears (they find it soothing). 

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About

Margie McClure is a physical education teacher working with grades 1-5. She has been working at Lafayette for decades and is even an alumna of the school. Margie was born in Southern California. She and her family now live outside of Baltimore. When not teaching (or commuting) Margie plays tennis and golf, and sometimes hustles hipsters who think they can beat her in a match of cornhole. Margie has been honored by the USA Rugby Association, as she played in the first US Women’s International Match. 

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Laurie McLaughlin

Art, Grades 1-5
About

Laurie McLaughlin Ward sparks creativity in students in grades 1-5 each day during art. She is from the DC 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 more than 40 years. She can often be found dancing, gardening, and creating pottery in the Glen Echo pottery yurts.

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Rachel Leese

Librarian
About

Rachel Leese, Lafayette’s librarian, manages the library and teaches students in grades PK-5 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. 

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Andrea Perll

Art, Music & P.E. (Pre-K/K)
About

Andrea Perll, our peppy Pre-K and Kindergarten art, music, and PE teacher, grew up in New Jersey and Connecticut. She is a graduate of U Conn (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. 

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Linda Ryden

Peace of Mind*
About

Long-time peace teacher, Linda Ryden, is the creator of the Peace of Mind curriculum which integrates mindfulness with conflict resolution, neuroscience, and social emotional learning. Linda teaches grades 1-5 and also leads Peace Club, Kaleidoscope Kids and Mindful Mentors. Linda has published four children’s books and has a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing peace education to children in Washington, D.C. and around the world. Linda lives with her husband and dog in D.C. where she raised her two kids who are both Lafayette graduates. When Linda isn’t teaching, she is playing music in her band and singing in a choir.

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About

Jocelyn Braswell was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University. Jocelyn has taught Physical Education to students in grades K through 10 and coached a variety of sports. She loves being a mom, enjoys the outdoors, trying new food and spending time with family.

*supported in part or full by parent contributions to Lafayette Home & School Association

Content Specialists

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Erin Duchinsky

Math Specialist
About

Erin Duchinsky is a math specialist working with grades 1-5 and mathletes of all ages. She is originally from Pennsylvania and attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut before moving to the DC area. She lives in Petworth with her family, one member of which is a great dane named Maude. She enjoys puzzles of all kinds: logic, jigsaw, and crossword. Erin also enjoys listening to and talking about music; she hosted a radio show in college and can often be found strumming a guitar.

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David Gregal

Math/Technology Specialist
About

David Gregal is from the DC area and attended Penn State University. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked at National Geographic as a cartographer. Outside of school, David draws illustrations for a children’s art magazine, Root and Star. He can also be found reading Dune to one (or all three) of his boys.

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Edith Stanton

Math Specialist
About

Edie Stanton is a math specialist that works with students in grades 1-5. Her favorite part of the week is math team on Friday mornings where students discuss challenging math problems. She is from the Chevy Chase, MD area and currently resides there with her family. Edie attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. When not at school, Edie enjoys hanging out at the beach with her wife and daughters. She also loves playing games and puzzles.

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About

Jasmine LaCue is originally from New Jersey. She earned a Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science Degree from East Carolina University in Speech and Language Disorders. Jasmine has 17 years of teaching experience, six of those years teaching second language English learners in Dubai. Her goal is to inspire children to question the world and give them the tools to express themselves in written and spoken language. Outside of teaching Jasmine loves traveling to exotic islands, shopping, and candle making.

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About

Cassidy Martinez has spent several years as an English Language Learners teacher at Lafayette. Before this position, she was a Pre-K teacher at Lafayette for ten years. In her free time, Ms. Martinez loves to read, swim, and travel. She is always ready for a new adventure with her two daughters and her dog, Nora. 

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About

Megan Tribble earned her Master’s degree in elementary education from University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a master’s in reading from UVA and has earned certificates from the reading and writing project at Columbia University. She just moved back to the DC area from Brooklyn, New York. She previously taught in Fairfax County Public Schools for six years and New York City Schools for one year. Ms. Tribble enjoys yoga and hiking. 

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Dawn Cottman

Reading
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Deanna Cruz

Reading
About

Deanna is a native of Prince Georges County, MD and currently resides in Anne Arundel County, MD.  She is a proud alumna of Alcorn State University, where she received an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Masters’s degree in reading. Deanna is married with one son and an extremely spoiled dog named Faith. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, attending spin classes and reading. 

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Emily Glassman

Reading

Resource Staff

Melissa Hulton

Occupational Therapist
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Jillian Diesner

Counselor
About

Jillian Diesner is originally from Florida and is a graduate of the University of Florida. After leaving Florida, Jillian lived in Italy and still loves everything Italian. In her spare time she enjoys goofing around with her family by perusing thrift stores and making sock puppets. Despite the event being officially cancelled, Jillian ran in the first D.C. marathon in 2002.

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Rashida Mosby

Counselor
About

Rashida Mosby is a DC native, a Redskins fanatic and graduate of Howard University. She is the proud owner of many a Holiday Barbie which she arranges (still boxed) to populate a holiday village each year. Rashida loves checking out new spots in the District and frequently attends live music events. A novice astronomer, Rashida loves to star gaze and learn about the awe inspiring events of our universe.

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Sophia Carre’

Social Worker
About

Sophia Carré is Lafayette’s clinical social worker and resident hallway dancer. She enjoys reading, traveling, and coloring books (they’re so soothing). She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Howard University. Sophia is from New York City, but came to Maryland so she could be closer to Assateague Island; there is nothing better than wild horses on the beach. Her favorite song is, “I’m a survivor;” she wears her survivor ribbons proudly. Making costumes for and attending Comic-Con are the highlight of her year.

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Beth Schneider

Speech-Language Pathologist
About

Beth Schneider has been the speech-language pathologist at Lafayette since 2012.  After growing up in New York, she went to Tufts University in Boston where she earned her B.S. in computer science.  After realizing she missed working with kids, she pursued her master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Emerson College. Beth has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, early intervention and outpatient clinics, but her true passion is working with kids in their school environment because it allows her to see the needs and successes of her students on a daily basis. When not at Lafayette, Beth can be found exploring DC with her two girls, Hannah and Naomi, her husband and her dog.

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Erin Ayers

Social Worker
About

Erin Ayers is a clinical social worker at Lafayette. Erin is originally from Long Island, New York. She is a graduate of Fairfield University and New York University (MSW). She has been a social worker in the DMV for more than a decade. Erin has experience working in non-public day schools, charter schools, and with DCPS. Erin enjoys running with her two children, reading and going to the beach. 

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Randi Stone

ELA Instructional Coach
About

Randi Stone is originally from Chicago where she also began her teaching career. Randi taught Pre K, first, and second grades while working on her master’s degree in early childhood education. She served as a community organizer in the Chicago Public Schools and went on to earn a degree in school leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She spent two years as the director of instruction at a small school in Boston where she nurtured her love of early literacy and project-based learning. In her spare time she runs, reads, and enjoys new restaurants. 

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Jenni Marques

Psychologist
About

Jenni Marques was born and raised in New York and is excited to begin a new adventure in DC! She is a graduate of Stony Brook University (BA), Teachers College- Columbia University (MA), and St John’s University (MS). In spring of 2022, Jenni will earn her doctorate (PsyD) in school psychology from St John’s University. Jenni enjoys reading, board games, and cuddling with her kitten! 

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Cheryl Farley

Physical Therapist
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Danielle Beard

Psychologist
About

Danielle Beard moved to the D.C. area in the Fall of 2021 from Kentucky where she completed her undergraduate degree in psychological sciences at Western Kentucky University and is currently completing her graduate studies through the University of Kentucky. During her time in KY, Danielle cultivated both a personal and academic interest in understanding the impact of factors such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and early childhood education on the expression of externalizing behaviors in children. In her free time, Danielle can be found (lightly) running at a nearby trail, listening to her favorite podcasts on repeat, or waiting in line at the closest Starbucks. Danielle is excited to work with the students, families, school team members, and community leaders of Lafayette Elementary to support the academic and social-emotional development of our Bears this upcoming school year!

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Caitlin McDonnell

Speech/Language Pathologist
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Megan Marrinan 

PreK/KDG Instructional Coach
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Helaine Terry

Math Instructional Coach

Operations Personnel

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Andre Bonner

Custodian
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Desmond Burwell

Custodian
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Lola Gray

Custodian
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Heindroff Martin

Custodian

Darrell Smith

Custodian Foreman