As a school that from its founding has valued the worth and integrity of each individual, GDS is especially proud of our faculty and staff's commitment to teaching and working in a diverse, multicultural setting.
A former consultant and statistician, Jason began working at GDS in 2017. Jason is a graduate of Colorado School of Mines, University of Miami, and SUNY Stone Brook with degrees in economics, operations research, and applied mathematics.
Yanira Aleman joins the High School history and social sciences department after teaching gender studies, conflict resolution, and social sciences at the University of Puerto Rico and Creighton University. She received her PhD in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University following a BA in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and JD from Pontifical Catholic University. When not at GDS, you will likely find Yanira outdoors in nature or at a museum or theater with her husband.
Prior to coming to GDS, Selma worked as a French teacher at the Edmund Burke School. A graduate of the Ecole Normale De Kassasr Said in Tunisia with a BS in physical education, Selma has also taught science and has been a substitute physical education teacher at GDS.
High School Dean of Students; High School History Teacher; Coach
Joan joined the Lower/Middle School in 2017 from the Dance Conservatory—where she continues on the faculty—and Dana Tai soon Burgess Dance Company—where she is an active performing artist. She received her BS in interior design from Assumption College San Lorenzo in Manila, Philippines. Her mission and vision as an educator have found a home with the GDS community. When not at GDS, Joan can be found teaching or rehearsing with Dana Tai soon Burgess Dance Company.
Matthew Bachiochi joins the High School in 2018 after 17 years teaching technology and computer science at The Buckley School in New York City. He received a BC in computer science from James Madison University and an MA in childhood education from Hunter College. He enjoys cooking, hiking, and family time. Matthew is proud to have sung for the pope when he visited New York City in 2008.
Jorge Baez-Mora, one of two new Spanish teachers in our Lower/Middle School, received an MA in teaching/learning Spanish language and culture at the Universidad de Granada, Spain following a BA in Spanish language and culture from the University of Maryland, College Park. When not at GDS, he enjoys playing soccer, spending time with his family, and teaching Spanish at a community college. Jorge loves the GDS mission and history and has a special affection for the school because it was the first school in which he taught Spanish.
Third Grade Math Teacher and Lower School Math Specialist
Holly has worked at GDS since 1994, and came to DC from a teaching job in Spain. She has a BS in elementary education from DePaul University, and a master's degree in special education from Mount St. Mary.
Lower/Middle School Music Teacher, Sixth Grade Advisor
John came to GDS in 2013, following nine years of teaching in Loudoun County Public Schools. John teaches music at the Lower and Middle Schools, and loves to sing, play the saxophone, run, spend time with his partner Tom and dog Maddie, and explore new restaurants. John earned his BS Music Education from Duquesne University, and MM in Saxophone Performance from the University of Florida. John loves working at a school where students and faculty are free to be their full selves as they seek to make the world a more just and moral place!
Khalid started at GDS in 2016, after working for a boarding school in central Massachusetts. During his undergraduate career at Williams College, Khalid spent his free time broadcasting and providing color commentary for basketball, baseball, softball, and football games. He is an educator because he wants to ensure children have the opportunity to see a variety of faces and diverse approaches to education and critical thinking.
Elisse came to GDS in 2014, after working in the Arlington Public School System for three years. Elisse loves to work out, both at SoulCycle and through dance, and used to be a comptetive dancer! Elisse finds at GDS a community that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Third Grade Teacher and High School Track, Indoor Track, Cross-Country Coach
Andrew began his professional career as a graphic artist, but soon realized that his true vocation was in the classroom. He earned his MA in elementary education at Trinity College, where he received the Coluzzi Award for Student Teacher of the Year. Andrew graduated with a BA in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon. He previously taught 1st grade at Takoma Park Elementary School.
Meg came to GDS from a boarding school where she worked for ten years as a science teacher, water polo and swim coach, and dorm parent. She graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia with a Master's in Conservation Biology. A world traveler, Meg has swum on six out of seven continents, and has been licked by a giraffe!
Christal R. Boyd is a theatrical and event lighting designer who looks forward to conjuring up spectacles in the High School Black Box, as our new theater tech teacher. She received an MFA in lighting design and technical direction from the University of Arkansas following a BA in music and vocal performance from Wake Forest. Growing up, she was a competitive gymnast, and she now enjoys performing aerial silks. Christal is eager to pass on her love of technical theater to the next generation of leaders.
Marjorie came to GDS in 2011, after teaching at DC public charter schools, American University, and at a school in Japan. She graduated with a BA from UCLA, a Master's from American University, and a doctorate from George Washington University. When she isn't at work, Marjorie can be found hanging out with her three kids or juggling bowling pins!
Judy came to GDS in 2003 from The Owl School, another northwest DC day school. Judy is a graduate of Hampton University and an active member of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
High School Physical Education & Health Teacher, Department Chair
Barbara began teaching at GDS in 1992, after working at the National Child Research Center and the American University Child Development Center. She has also taught in Philidelphia and Corpus Christi. Barbara has a BS in early childhood education from Chestnut Hill College and an EdM (early childhood concentration) from Concordia University.
Ethan began teaching at GDS in 2017, returning to the states after teaching in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. During his undergrad at Sewanee: The University of the South, he studied geology and watershed sciences.
Rhona came to GDS in 2011 from the DC Public Library System, where she worked as a children's librarian. She continues to write book reviews for the School Library Journal. Rhona has a BM from Oberlin College University in percussion performance and musicology and an MLS from the University of Maryland College Park.
Middle School Latin Teacher, High School History Teacher
Erika is a writer of historical fiction and plays, inventor of desserts, former professor of mythology, and a local activist. Since 2010, she has also been a Latin teacher at GDS. Erika graduated from Bryn Mawr in 2008, with a degree in classics, and a Master's in Latin and Greek from the University of Maryland, College Park. She works at GDS because it's one of the few places where one can take a progressive approach to teaching Latin.
Todd joined GDS in 2006, coming from Beauvoir, where he taught 2nd and 3rd grade. Before teaching, he was a reporter for a small news service, and he has written a book for adults called The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob. He is also a street artist and took part in DC's Art All Night in 2017. Todd has a BA in political science and an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University.
In 2002, Johanne came to GDS from the Dominican Republic, where she developed curriculum and trained teachers. Johanne earned her master's degree in education (curriculum and instruction) from Columbia International University. She spends her free time with her husband and daughter and enjoys cultivating orchids.
Lower/Middle School World Languages Teacher (Chinese)
Yi-Na began her journey at GDS in 2014, after teaching English and Chinese in Taiwan, Cambodia, and America. Yi-Na is a proud graduate of Clemson University, where she earned an MEd in Teaching and Learning, with a minor in ESOL. Yi-Na also has a BA in Interdisplinary Social Science from the University of West Florida and a BA in Applied Foreign Language from the National Quemoy University in Taiwan. At GDS, she loves being with students who also love learning new languages.
Clifton Coates is thrilled to be joining the High School History Department. He received his BS in history with minors in political science and philosophy from Bowie State University and then taught social studies and history for 18 years in public and private schools in the DMV area. When not at GDS, he enjoys spending time with his family and reading. Fun fact: He reads 2-3 books every week. Clifton was drawn to GDS because of the way its mission resonates with his personal and professional philosophy of education.
Cori came to GDS in 2006 from the Field School. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2001, and Washington University in 2011. When she's not at work, Cori enjoys walking her dog, designing the garden of her dreams with her husband, and tinkering.
Michelle started her journey at GDS in 2005 after a career in art and communications, serving as a designer and illustrator for Time-Life Books, the communications director for Sanford School, and as the first African American promotion art director for Sports Illustrated magazine. Michelle is also an AP studio art reader for the College Board. She has an MFA from George Washington University.
Kevin joined GDS in 2002. Previously, he has served as an AVP at George Washington University, a VP at Grinnell College and American University, a deputy director at the United States National Resource Council, director of the United States Senate Nuclear Regulation Subcommittee, an associate professor of physics at American University, and a post-doctoral fellow in physics at Wayne State University. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys tending his family's farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore and making wooden bowls and furniture. He has a BA from Swarthmore College, an MS and PhD from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Fifth Grade Teacher; Lower School Science Department Chair
Greg began teaching at GDS in 2016, previously teaching chemistry alongside his father at Wabash College, in his hometown of Crawforsville, IN. A graduate of the College of Wooster and University of California, Berkley, Greg is also a dancer. He performed in thee professional ballet productions as a child, and was the first male member of a high school dance team in the state of Indiana.
Kathleen began teaching at GDS in 2014, following teaching jobs in environmental outdoor science and middle and elementary school science. She has a BA in sustainable development from Appalachian State University.
Yka began working at GDS in 2002 after teaching across the western hemisphere, including at a Spanish immersion program in DC, the American Nicaraguan School, the British School of Costa Rica, Maya School of Guatemala, and the National University of the Peruvian Amazon. She worked as an associate professor of applied linguistics at the National University of the Peruvian Amazon. Yka herself is a graduate of the National University of Trujilo.
Middle School English & History; Middle School History Department Chair; Seventh Grade Advisor
Perry came to GDS in 2001, after teaching for 19 years at the Greenhill School. Perry spends his time helping his two children with their homework, responding to student work, or restoring wooden boats.
Eighth Grade Science Teacher; Middle School Science Department Chair
Michael graduated with a BS in Botany from University of Florida and with a MEd from Johns Hopkins University. Michael has run two marathons, and he loves seeing GDS students getting excited about science and going on to pursue scientific careers.
Charles earned his BA from Oberlin College and EdM from the University of Pennsylvania. He came to GDS in 2001 and appreciates how the school serves as a brave space where questions are asked and norms are challenged, with the intention of making the individual experience and community experience better. Outside of GDS, Charles administers a five thousand-member Facebook group.
Angie started teaching at GDS in 2017 and has taught in the DC area at St. Albans School, National Cathedral School, and Fairfax County Public Schools. Prior to teaching, Angie spent 10 years working as an environmental engineer and has a master of science from The Ohio State University. She meditates daily and is passionate about creating a safe and compassionate environment where students can take risks and uncover the best versions of themselves in math and in all walks of life.
Lisa came to GDS's library in 2006, after serving as a TFA teacher in Houston, working in North Carolina public schools, and graduating from Catholic University with an MLS. Lisa originally grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and has found GDS to be the school where she has learned the most about how her identity as a white, cisgender, Christian woman has an impact on how she teaches and experiences the world.
After graduating from GDS in 2009 and serving as a long-term substitute teacher in 2014, Julia returned to GDS in 2018 as a full-time teacher. Julia has her BA from Yale University and her MA and an expected PhD (2019) from the University of Virginia. She once built a six-foot wall of snow blocking the doors to the main library in college!
Lower School Science Teacher, Lower School Science Department Chair
Before coming to GDS in 2006 and currently serving as the PK/K and third grade science teacher, Eric taught middle school math and science at a bilingual school in the Costa Rican cloud forest. He likes to spend time exploring the outdoors, which is evident in his classes, where students head outdoors whenever possible. You can often find him hiking with his dogs along the Potomac River or canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding with his children down the rapids near Great Falls. Eric earned a bachelor's degree in government and a master's in environmental management at Cornell University. He once slept on the beach with 15 foot crocodiles and had to swim through a shark-infested river to escape them! Eric believes it’s so fun to teach at GDS because it is a great community of people, educators, and administrators always trying to find ways to engage students in better, more creative, and more inclusive ways.
Amanda arrived at GDS in 2017 after teaching biology at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School for three years, and living and teaching at a secondary boarding school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for three years before that. When she isn't teaching or travelling, Amanda is a consumate runner, having completed three half-marathons and a Spartan Race.
Kathleen Glines comes to GDS after a long career as a teacher and administrator at Maret. Following a year of traveling, Kathleen is eager to return to the classroom full time. She enjoys reading mysteries, and if she looks familiar, you may have seen her featured in a commercial for Walmart. Kathleen was drawn to GDS because of its mission. She received her BS in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame.
Lee comes to GDS most recently from the American International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she taught math and served as department head. Prior to moving to Dhaka, she taught math at the Madeira School for 17 years, where she also coached cross-country and sponsored the math team and the Black Student Union. She earned a EdM in math from George Mason University and a BS in math from St. Lawrence University.
Eduardo started working for GDS in 1992. He had previously taught in college and public and private high schools in Puerto Rico, as well as at high schools in Cumberland and West Virginia, and the University of Maryland. Eduardo earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and his graduate degree from the University of Maryland. If he hadn't taught, Eduardo could have played center field in professional baseball.
Suzy started at GDS in 2016. She came to DC to teach math from St. Louis. She has a BA from Augustana, and an MS and PhD from the University of Iowa. She has travelled to 47 states, teaches spin classes, and loves to challenge her students.
Middle School Science Teacher, Sixth Grade Advisor
Stephen, a self-described "full-fledged Cajun from southern Louisiana," came to GDS in 2003. Stephen loves science and used to work as a lab assistant at Georgetown University. He also loves the outdoors and can often be found playing with his dogs, driving with the top off his jeep, camping, gardening, or canning jams and sauces.
Azuree came to GDS from Horace Mann Elementary School in 2016. She has degrees in elementary education from Western Governors University and health sciences from Howard University. Outside of school, Azuree competes in obstacle races and spends time with her wife and two daughters.
Trisha started her journey at GDS in 2015, and has taught at other independent schools. Outside of GDS, she enjoys listening to podcasts, walking her dog, learning to be a mother, and eating chocolate and drinking coffee.
Lower/Middle School Visual Arts Teacher
Director of GDS 360
Lower/Middle School Drama Teacher, Eighth Grade Advisor
Brooke started with GDS in the after-school program in 2005. Prior to joining GDS, she was an actress, acting teacher and private coach, and a children's party entertainer in Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Theater Arts from UMD College Park, and an MFA in theater arts from UNC-Chapel Hill. Brooke can juggle, knows a little magic, and can make balloon animals.
Larry has been with GDS since 1987, and she has enjoyed a prestigious career throughout the DC metro area. Beginning as a TA, then as a professional lecturer, Larry has taught at two high schools, the University of Maryland, American University, and Georgetown University. Larry has a BA in Spanish literature from Tufts University, an MS in linguistics from Georgetown, and a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature from the University of Maryland. In addition to teaching, Larry has also been involved in social justice advocacy, specifically in immigration and animal welfare.
Anna has taught at GDS since 2012 and previously taught at independent schools in San Francisco and Alexandria. She is a mother of three and loves to write. Anna grew up in French schools and never took an English class (except for English) until undergrad.
Kathy has taught at GDS since 1995, previously working for GDS neighbor Sidwell Friends School. She has a BE with a major in physical education (pre-k-12th) and minor in health education (7th-12th), and an EdM with a specialization in athletic administration from Bowling Green State University.
Lower/Middle School Music Teacher; Lower/Middle School Arts Department Chair
Keith started at GDS in 2005, continuing his career in private school education from St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School. He has a bachelor of music in vocal performance from UNC Charlotte and a master of music in vocal performance from Rice University. Keith has sung professionally along the east coast and loves riding and showing horses.
Sue joined GDS in 1984. Previously, she taught at a junior college, ran a community center, planned non-credit courses for the Columbia Association, and won a position on the Democratic Central Committee for Howard County. Susan has also worked for a Congresswoman in Howard County and on Capitol Hill. Sue attended Sidwell Friends School, Vassar College, Brandeis University, and has a master's degree in American history from Johns Hopkins University.
Jodi is a graduate of Howard University, and played varsity basketball at National Cathedral School. Jodi has been invited to play a basketball game at the Capital 1 Center (formerly the Verizon Center). When Jodi isn't coaching or playing basketball, he's spending time with his family.
Originally from Michigan, Denise has enjoyed DC and has taught in the public schools here: first at Friendship Edison Academy where she incorporated differentiated instruction for all students and developed inter-grade activities and then at Garrison Elementary where she taught PK/K. Denise graduated with a BA in anthropology from Howard University and an MA in early childhood education. She has a passion for education and for applying current research in the classroom.
Lower/Middle School World Languages Department Chair
Aicha came to the United States from Montpellier, France in 1992. She graduated from the University of Sciences in Nice for undergrad, and completed her graduate and post graduate studies at the University of Sciences and Medical School in Montpellier, with a focus in parasitology. Aicha's entire family is invested in GDS: her daughter is an alumni, and her husband has taught alongside her at GDS for over a quarter of a century.
Lower/Middle School World Languages Teacher; Eighth Grade Advisor; High School History Teacher
High School Dean of School Life; High School Science Teacher
Mandy joined GDS in 2014, following teaching engagements at Burgundy Farm Country Day School and at Knollwood Community Church. She has a BA in English (world literature) from George Mason University, an EdM in curriculum and instruction (early childhood education), and an Orton Gillingham comprehensive certification. When she's not at school, Mandy enjoys urban exploration and riding her horse.
Lauren Kinnard received her BA in Spanish from the University of Tennessee and an MS in social foundations of education from Georgia State University. She is an avid "sketch noter," producing vivid infographics about literature, social justice, and education. Before coming to Georgetown Day School, Lauren taught 2nd-6th grade Spanish in Atlanta, Georgia. She was drawn to GDS by its mission to honor individuals while holding each other accountable within a diverse community. Lauren will be teaching Spanish in our Lower/Middle School.
Joni came to GDS most recently from the Lowell School, where she taught 4th and 6th grades over the course of her five-year tenure. Prior to Lowell, she taught in the California Public School System, including ten years teaching at the Niguel Hills Middle School in Laguna Niguel. She earned a BA in liberal studies along with her teaching certification from California State University at Fullerton.
Middle School History Teacher, Sixth Grade Advisor
Toussaint Lacoste, the new Middle School history teacher, comes to GDS after teaching in public charter schools in Boston, Massachusetts. He believes in using education to motivate, inspire, and empower young people to understand and challenge their circumstances and society’s ills. Toussaint received a BA in Africana studies at the University of Massachusetts. He loves to travel, perform spoken word, and eat Caribbean food. Along with his wife and two sons, he has been enjoying exploring the DMV area.
Emily Landau comes to the High School History Department after teaching at the University of Maryland, College Park and then St. Albans School for Boys. When not at school, she enjoys running on the DC Mall, watching old films, and spending time with her family. She loves the idea of teaching history to young people. “The mission of GDS,” she says, “meshes well with my personal philosophy regarding teaching and life.” Emily received her PhD in American history from Yale University following an AB in history from the University of Chicago.
Denise started teaching at GDS in 2015 and has been a GDS parent since 2002. (Both of her children are now alumni.) Before coming to GDS, Denise served as the associate dean of Georgetown University's graduate journalist program and spent 22 years as a producer at CBS news for Charlie Rose, Lesley Stahl, and Bob Schieffer. Denise also taught at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins. Denise has a BA from Barnard College, an MA from Georgetown University, and can speak four different Chinese dialects.
Brad started his GDS career in 2015, after serving as an adjunct at both Northern Virginia Community College and Carroll Community College. Additionally, Brad curated the jazz series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street in DC and founded and co-led the award-winning Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra in residence at the historic club. Brad continues to lead the 17-piece Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, teaches music at Levine, leads performance and recording projects in DC and New York, and tours with various bands. Brad earned his BA at Elon, and his MM from University of Maryland College Park.
Prior to joining GDS in 2002, Laura was the technology training coordinator at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta. Laura’s free time is taken up with chauffeuring her son (who is on his way to being a GDS lifer) to all of his activities, humble-bragging about GDS on social media, and serving at the beck and call of her cats. She also loves to cook, read, and Netflix. Laura has a BS in English from Illinois State University, an MA in English from Northern Arizona University, and an MS in instructional design from Georgia State University. Laura says, “I’ve stayed at GDS for so long because every day our students remind me that our future is in good hands. Not many people can say their job helps make the world a better place, and I get pretty excited about that. If you don’t believe me, just ask my friends how much I post about GDS on Facebook!”
Susie began teaching at GDS in 1999, after working as an elementary school teacher in Rockville and as a preschool teacher in Potomac, as well as teaching music and piano. Susie has a degree from American University and lived in five countries by the age of five.?
Qing Luo will be teaching Chinese in our Middle School, having taught in both public and private schools. She received a BA in English from Sichuan University and an EdM in foreign language (Chinese) curriculum and instruction from George Mason University. Qing was drawn to GDS due to its emphasis on diversity and inclusion as well as its desire to engage teachers in exploring new pedagogical approaches to language learning. When not at school, Qing enjoys listening to music, watching historical films, going for walks in the park, and spending time with family and friends. It may be important to note that Qing is afraid of mice but not snakes.
Jim Mahady started his career as a teacher in 2003, after acting on screen and stage in New York and Los Angeles. In LA, Jim also worked as a security guard for Barbara Streisand, Marlon Brando, and Carol Burnett. When not at GDS, he enjoys spending time with his husband, seeing theater and film productions, performing solo shows, and teaching as an adjunt at Catholic University. Jim is a graduate of Northwestern.
Vinay joined GDS in 2017. He has a BS in biological sciences with a specialization in cell biology and molecular genetics from the University of Maryland and an MSEd in secondary science education from the University of Pennsylvania. Besides teaching, Vinay has also worked as a semi-professional Indian classical vocalist and percussionist and teaches weekend Hinduism classes to local youth.
Middle School History Teacher and Department Chair, Sixth Grade Advisor
Kate is a "boomerang" GDS teacher, starting her GDS career in 1989 and then returning once again in 2014. She has taught 1st through 8th grades and on four different continents. She has travelled to every continent besides Antarctica.
Polly started working at GDS in 2002, coming to DC after teaching at a boarding school. She has an undergraduate degree from University of Richmond, and she completed her graduate degree at UT Austin. Polly enjoys spending time with her Bernese Mountain Dog and two cats.?
Liz joined the Lower School in 2017 where she has taught 1st and 4th grade. Previously, she taught kindergarten and 2nd-3rd grade ELA at a DC public charter school. Liz received a BA in biological foundations of behavior from Franklin and Marshall College followed by a teaching certification in early childhood education from The College of New Jersey. She loves musical theater and has directed several musicals for children. Liz leads GDS running clubs and when not at GDS enjoys riding her bike.
Veronique came to GDS from New England in 2011. After developing a love for world languages early on, she has travelled throughout the United States, France, and through the Panama Canal. She has taken her love for travelling and channeled it into an opportunity to support students into becoming global citizens.
Aimee Mavragis (LMS PE): Aimee holds a BS in Special Education from Ohio University and an MA in Physical Education from Springfield College. She has been teaching PE and Special Education in Fairfax County Public Schools for nine years. She also served as an instructor at Springfield College and a cross country and track coach at Langley and Falls Church High Schools.
Tricia joined GDS in 2010. Previously, she worked as a long-term substitute elementary strings teacher in Howard County, MD. She has a bachelor's degree of music in clarinet performance and a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Outside of school, Tricia enjoys training for marathons and performing aerial silks.
Lower/Middle School Physical Education Teacher; Athletics
William came to GDS in 2001 from teaching in the DC Public School system. He is a graduate of University of Abidjan in Cote D'Ivoire. He represented Cote D'Ivoire in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as a sprinter on the 4x100m relay team.
Susan Mols began teaching art at GDS in 1973. She left in 1977 but returned in 1985. She is a graduate of the University of Buffalo and Buffalo State Teachers College. She shares her passion for art through exploration and creativity with her students, encouraging them to see how their art can impact the school community as well as the world around them.
Fifth Grade Math Teacher, Lower School Math Specialist and Math Department Chair
Luisa joined GDS in 2014 after teaching at another independent school in Connecticut. She has a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and an MEd from Lesley University. Luisa enjoys running and spending time with loved ones—including her twin sister.
Githa came to GDS most recently from John Eaton Elementary School where, over the course of her 11-year tenure, she taught grades kindergarten through 3rd grade. She was awarded the DC state Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. She holds a BA in linguistics from York University in Canada, a BA and MA in education from Canisius College, and TESL certification from the University of Toronto.
GDS 360 Staff
High School Science Long-Term Substitute Teacher
Lower/Middle School Dance Teacher, Sixth Grade Advisor
Felipe joined the Lower/Middle School in 2016 even as he has continued to perform professionally with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBC). He received both a BFA and MA in dance from the University of Chile as well as an MFA in dance from George Washington University. Felipe has taught in independent schools and nonprofit dance centers. He was drawn to GDS by its history of inclusion and equity and is committed to the work of our school’s mission. When not at GDS, Felipe is likely dancing with DTSBC, choreographing his own projects, playing video games, or swimming.
Abe has worked at GDS since 2014. Prior to joining us he worked with DCPS and in the nonprofit sector. Outside of school, he trains in competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Abe has an undergraduate degree from University of Maryland - College Park and a graduate degree from American University.
Kim is a GDS "boomerang," starting in both 2008 and 2016. In the interim, she served as the director of student support at the Lowell School. Kim has degrees from the University of Maryland and American University.
Director of Community Engagement and Experiential Learning
Catherine came to GDS in 2011. She loves finding opportunities to connect students to advocacy and service. Catherine has volunteered as a docent at the National Museum of American History and worked at a neighborhood bookstore on Capitol Hill. If she wasn't working at GDS, she'd want to be an automotive journalist.?
First Grade Teacher, First Grade Level Coordinator
Julia Penn is excited to join the High School math department after several years as a math teacher in DC public and charter schools. She received her EdM in secondary mathematics from American University following a BA in mathematics from Wesleyan University. Julia enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dog, practicing yoga, and cooking. She also enjoys traveling, an interest fueled, perhaps, by her time studying abroad in India during college.
Elvin Peprah is a former program manager/maker educator at KID Museum in Bethesda who joined the Lower School in 2018. He received a masters in integrated innovation for products and services from Carnegie Mellon University following a BA in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Outside of GDS you might find him building his own version of something he could easily buy or enjoying the board game renaissance. On campus, he hopes to ensure that future entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have the tools and skills to create amazing human-centered solutions to real world problems.
Mary Petras received an EdM in math education from Duquesne University and returned to graduate studies at UMD in 2018 with a focus on measurement, evaluation, and statistics. In between listening to audiobooks, cooking healthy dinners, and watching movies nominated for Oscars, this statistician loves sampling every new flavor of Oreo cookie. Mary is excited to be teaching math in the Middle School and believes educating the whole person, across all content areas, can prepare learners to become great citizens of the world.
Heather joined the GDS team in 2017. Prior to GDS, she worked for Fairfax County Public Schools for four years as a music teacher and chorus director. Before teaching in school, Heather taught voice lessons, sang operas in Rome, had a brief career in hotel management, and spent three months travelling Italy and working on organic farms via the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program. Heather is also an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and a graduate of Longwood University.
C.A. came to GDS as a coach in 1991. She began teaching in 1996, after working in the environmental policy field. C.A. was previously the high school principal at GDS, but has committed to her love of teaching. In past years, C.A. has taken ten high school kids on a cross-country bike trip with no cell phone or support vehicle.
Maribel has had a long career in the DC area -- she started working for GDS in 1993, has also taught at the University of Maryland and at Frostburg State University, and worked at the Smithsonian and the Inter-American Development Bank. Maribel has degrees from Rutgers and the University of Maryland.
Nina started teaching at GDS in 2001 after living in Hong Kong, teaching art and ESOL at a summer camp in southern Switzerland, and writing a PhD dissertation on the 18th-century English novel. Nina attended Yale University, loves dance, and was an avid participant in DC's Argentine tango scene.
Katie came to GDS in 2005 from the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. She holds a BA from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Katie has coached women's soccer at the middle school, high school, and women's club levels.
Sarah joined GDS in 2009, after stints teaching at the Barrie School, the International School of Perth in Australia, and also as a museum educator at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. In her free time, you can find her singing with the 18th Street Singers and playing with her daughter. Her claim to fame: she knows all the words to the movie version of The Sound of Music—not just the songs. All. The. Words. Sarah has her B.A. from Harvard University, her M.A. from Georgetown University, and her M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jana came to GDS in 2016, after teaching in Albuquerque, Mexico, and China. She has a mathematics degree from Benedictine College and a master's degree in education from Framingham State College. In Mexico, Jana played ultimate Frisbee on a team called the Nomads. At GDS, Jana enjoys the opportunity to work with inquisitive, creative, and passionate students and colleagues.
Nicholas started teaching at GDS in 2000. Before coming to GDS, Nicholas taught all over the country, working at Chase Collegiate School and Telkiyo-Post University in Waterbury, CT; St. Edwards School in Vero Beach, FL; and The Winchedon School in Winchedon, MA. He has a BA from Connecticut College, and an MFA from Pratt institute, and was born on Fort Luke AFB in Glendale, Arizona.
Nicole started working at GDS in 2013, after living in Brazil for seven years and teaching at Alliance Francaise and the University of Brasilia. Nicole has a BA in art history from the Univsersidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, an MA in museum studies from the City University of New York, and an MA in art management from NYU.
Regina Saifee is the newest member of our High School learning services department. Previously a high school learning specialist and English teacher at a DC charter school, she also taught 6th grade social studies and was a ELA teacher at a magnet school in Philadelphia. In Philly, she managed to lead twenty class trips in a single school year. When not at GDS, she is likely to be found “thinking about, planning, or eating [her] next meal.” As a high school student, she reached the “Poetry Out Loud” NJ state competition. Regina values the way that “actions match words [at GDS]” and faculty members pause for meaningful reflection when they have missed that mark. Regina earned a BA in literature and secondary education from American University and her masters in teaching, learning, and leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
Peg earned her BS in human kinetics and leisure studies at George Washington University and her master's degree in education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. At National Cathedral School, she was the director of athletics and physical education, and prior to NCS she was the head women's volleyball coach at Columbia University.
High School Debate Coach & High School History Teacher
jon may have joined GDS's debate program in 2011, but he has been involved in debate as a competitor or coach since the 9th grade. He even competed against GDS in high school! jon has a BA in history from Emory and an MA in communication from the University of Southern California. He is an anarchist and an eagle scout.
Evan came to GDS in 2005, after teaching Latin and Greek in college. Evan exemplifies the GDS value of embracing risk... almost failing Latin 1 wasn't enough to dissuade him from pursuing a career teaching the language. He is a graduate of Northwestern.
Sasha came to GDS in 2000, after a decade of working in the record industry at both Columbia and Epic Records. Outside of GDS, Sasha enjoys performing around the city with various bands and orchestras, and he played in a band that was a"one-hit wonder." Sasha is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Cally joined GDS in 2014, after substitute teaching and coaching at The St. Stephen's St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys the outdoors, dancing in zumba classes or taking a yoga class, and decorating her home. Cally has both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical and health education from James Madison University. Cally says she loves working at GDS because, “I love my colleagues and getting to work and collaborate with them daily.”
Beth Stafford, part of the GDS community since 2015, is a writer and teacher. She has a BA from Stanford, an MFA in fiction from Johns Hopkins, and an MA from American University. Beth has taught college-level creative writing, played field hockey, and loves the creative community at GDS.
Julie started teaching at GDS in 2013. Before coming to GDS, she earned her PhD from UC Berkley, where she studied U.S. history. Her research focused on women, gender, and sexuality, and she wrote a dissertation about the history of teenagers in the United States. Julie also has a BA in humanities from Yale and is a GDS alumna - kindergarten through graduation!
With a strong background in physics, chemistry, and rocketry, Aden came to GDS having taught most recently at H.D. Woodson High School in DC. In college, Aden was an All-Conference soccer player and continues to hone his athletic skills as the captain of a local frisbee club team, Renegade. Aden earned his BA in physics from Grinnell College and an MA in teaching from American University.
Jason Strunk joins the High School Performing Arts Department as director of vocal studies. He brings considerable choral leadership experience in independent schools and professionally; most recently, he worked at the Bullis School as their director of choral activities. This spring, Jason will defend his dissertation to complete his doctorate in choral conducting from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Among the many highlights of his choral work, he has performed with Bocelli at the Hard Rock Live Theater in Hollywood, Florida and conducted Liz Callaway of Anastasia fame in a cabaret in Florida last February. Jason loves that GDS is a place where ideas are freely exchanged and dialogue about our society is welcomed.
Long Term Substitute Teacher Lower and Middle School Arts
Annie began teaching at GDS in 2008, continuing a 15-year long teaching career. She earned a degree from the University of California Berkley and has worked as a professional chef in New York, California, and Colorado.
Laura came to GDS in 1979. After graduating with a degree in ceramics at Kansas City Art Institute, Laura returned to Great Falls, built a kiln in her backyard, and taught private wheel work lessons while selling her pottery in Ellicott City, Maryland and Herndon, Virginia. Laura also has psychology and art degrees from University of Maryland. Laura has stayed at GDS for decades because of the community's value on growth, knowledge, and nurturing education.
Julia Tomasko, a lifer from the GDS class of 2005, returns to her old stomping grounds to teach math to 4th graders. Since graduating GDS, she received her BA in psychology from Middlebury College and EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julia has taught 1st–5th grades at progressive charter schools in DC and Jersey City, NJ. Julia is inspired by the social mission of GDS and wants to help students cultivate their love of learning.
Lower/Middle School Physical Education Teacher; Athletics
Jay came to GDS in 2013 from E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Before coming to DC, Jay worked on President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, as a financial analyst with Halakar Real Estate in Indianapolis, and on a permaculture farm in Israel. Jay has a BS in real estate from Indiana University.
Victor came to GDS in 2003. Previously, he taught English in Madrid and Spanish in North Carolina public schools and at the Brunswick School in Connecticut. Victor has a BS in Spanish and English from the University of Madrid.
Bill joined GDS in 1989, after heading neuroscience research labs at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Bill has a BS from University of Maryland, a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, and post doc fellowships from Yale and the Rockefeller Universities. During his two years in northern Sweden, Bill learned to speak Swedish partially through practicing with Torsten Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate in the neurosciences.
Min Wang comes to the GDS language department after teaching positions at Swarthmore College, Harvard University, Boston University, and the Chinese Summer School of Middlebury College. Min did her postdoc in literature and linguistics at Harvard following her PhD from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She also studied linguistics at Lancaster University, UK. Min teaches Chinese at the High School, drawing on her ample research into the challenges of second language acquisition. Min is a GDS parent, as well, with a son in 8th grade.
Cristina Watson is the Middle School learning specialist. She received an EdM in language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, following a BA in English and Spanish from Haverford College. She is currently working toward a doctorate of education in special education at George Washington University. Previously, she has worked as a reading specialist in Baltimore and a learning support specialist in Italy. Cristina was drawn to GDS by its strong, welcoming community.
Maria started at GDS in 2002 as part of a long career as a director, choreographer, actor, dancer, singer, artistic director, and producer. Maria completed her education at the University of Utah and The Acting Studio in New York City. A cinephile, Maria runs a carbon arc movie projector.
Jody began teaching at GDS in September 2001. Before coming to GDS, she served as a founding faculty member of the River School. Jody has an undergraduate degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College and a master's degree in special education from Hood College.
Bryan was a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Beauvoir before coming to GDS in 2008. He earned his bachelor's degree from Catholic University and completed graduate school at the University of Maryland. During his time at Catholic, Bryan played on the football team.
Oveta started her GDS journey in 1982 teaching fifth grade, and has been teaching sixth grade since her 2007 return to GDS. Prior to her most recent term at the school, she served as the diversity coordinator at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Oveta has a BS in education from the University of Maryland and a EdM in leadership from Georgia State University. Oveta loves GDS because of the ability to be creative with lessons and colleague collaboration.?
Lauren Wines comes to the Middle School Math Department after teaching High School and Middle School math in Philadelphia. She received an EdM in teaching and learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, following a BA in mathematics from UNC Chapel Hill. She has taught cryptology and problem solving at a summer camp in Hong Kong and, closer to home, teaches her border collie incredible tricks. Lauren is committed to “the power that education holds to create a more just world.”
4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007
Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.