- Mount Vernon Community School
Mount Vernon Community School Staff
Ms.Tompkins is thrilled to be teaching at MVCS as a kindergarten teacher! From the ages of kindergarten to third grade she was a student at Mount Vernon and graduated from T.C. Williams. She recently graduated from George Mason with a degree in Art History (focus in Northern Renaissance). In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and visiting museums.
Maria Casas was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development and Family Education from Pontifical Xaverian University in Bogotá. She also pursued her master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction with a major in democracy, diversity, and social justice at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. Maria has been a World Languages Coordinator and educator for over 13 years in both private and public schools innovating teaching strategies in diverse populations to achieve high academic success from elementary to high school level. Maria is very committed to promoting the Hispanic culture and global cultural awareness in the school community and beyond. She enjoys producing and directing artistic performances for cultural events. In addition to living in Colombia, Maria has lived in London and Spain. She enjoys traveling and has visited Italy, China, South Korea, and Central America. In her spare time, she enjoys sharing stories to her family and friends, cooking, and listening to music. She loves dogs and horses!
Ms. Roth is so excited to join the team at MVCS this year! She is from Annandale, Virginia, and recently graduated from West Virginia University with a Master's degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. While there, she researched the effects of multilingual and cultural instruction in a rural classroom setting through music and movement. She was also a member of the marching band. In her free time, she loves to figure skate, read, and listen to Broadway musical soundtracks!
Lilianie Castro Garcia
Mrs. Castro is from Ceiba, Puerto Rico. She has two children 11yrs/6yrs, who are also part of the ACPS students. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education K-3, a Minor: Special Education, and a master's degree in Education Teaching in Primary Level. She has 12 years of teaching experience in the Department of Education of Puerto Rico. She moved to Alexandria, VA 3 years ago with her family after Hurricane Maria hit the island. After 2 years of helping her husband and their children in the transition, she resumed her career again in the city that has been her home since they arrived from PR. Mrs. Castro is beginning her 2nd year with the MVCS community as a kindergarten teacher.
Ms. Wendy Morciglio was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has three wonderful children, her oldest daughter Natasha is 22, her second daughter Zuly is 13 and her son Adriel is 11. Ms. Morciglio has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood. She has 17 years of teaching experience, 13 of those were in New Jersey. Ms. Morciglio moved to Virginia 4 years ago and taught in Fairfax county in a Kindergarten Spanish immersion program.
Ms. H is originally from North Carolina but has lived in the DMV for the last 8 years, teaching in and leading a public PreK program in SE DC and starting with MVCS last year. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies and has a Master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Lesley University. She is excited to begin her second year at MVCS and can’t wait to meet, teach, and learn from the new Kindergarteners!
Born in Puerto Rico, Ms. Rodriguez has 12 years of experience as a teacher. She has experience working with the Montessori method, also in Immersion in Spanish, and has taught all grades. Her bachelor's degree is in K-3 and she has a master's degree in Special Education. Ms. Rodriguez likes theater and spending time with her family.
Ms. Romero is excited to begin her 7th year at MVCS. Her family is originally from El Salvador and she has lived in Northern Virginia her whole life. Ms. Romero received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Hollins University. She looks forward to using her knowledge, strategies, and experiences to create successful, fun, and meaningful learning opportunities for each of her students. In her free time, Ms. Romero enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching Disney movies.
Ms. Huber has been a kindergarten paraprofessional at MVCS since 2010. Her three children (21, 7, and 13 years old) all attended MVCS in the Dual Language Program. Before she became a parent, she and her husband spent many years teaching English overseas in countries such as Kenya, China, and Japan. She loves to travel.
Ms. Garrido has been working at Mount Vernon for the past 24 years. For the last 11 years, she has been on the Spanish side of the Dual Language program.
Ms. Guardado is from El Salvador. She has been working in kindergarten at MVCS for 15 years.
Ms. Buten is from El Salvador and she graduated from Universidad Tecnológica. She has been teaching for 13 years. Her favorite part of teaching kindergarten is helping students to have a successful academic beginning.
Almost everybody knows Ms. G, probably because she has been at MVCS for 23 years! Originally from Chile, Ms. G is a T.C. Williams graduate. She has a degree is Graphic Arts. Ms. G enjoys drawing, playing soccer, running and making her famous Chilean empanadas. Whenever she can, Ms. G travels to the beach and to Chile to visit her family
Catherine Mora Roca
My Name is Jennifer Blanco-Argueta I am a Salvadoran American. I am currently attending NOVA and am transferring to GMU the next fall and majoring in Education. I love to experience new things and especially travel and take pictures. I am very excited to work with kindergarten not to only assist them but to learn from them. I'm excited to meet everyone!
Ms. Aspron is ecstatic to be returning to her 7th year at MVCS! She graduated from Salisbury University, located in Maryland, with two bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education as well as a master's degree in English-TESOL with K-12 certification. Prior to coming to MVCS, Ms. Aspron worked as a research assistant at Salisbury University in the Teacher Education Department. Her ethnic roots descend from Spain and Bolivia and she loves visiting both places during the summer. In her free time, Ms. Aspron loves traveling, going to the beach, being outdoors.
email@example.comMs. Córdova is excited to start her third year of teaching at Mount Vernon Community School! Originally from Ecuador, she is the eldest of three sisters, and loves spending time with family. Ms. Cordova is a Double Hoo and in her free time likes to work out, go on hikes, read mysteries and volunteer in the community!
My name is Sarah Johnson and this is my 2nd year teaching first grade. I graduated from UVA with my Master’s in Elementary Education and attending William and Mary for my undergraduate degree. I’m originally from Richmond, VA. When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me thrifting for children’s books, trying out a new restaurant, or spending time with family and friends.
Dual Language English
Mrs. Medina is entering her 9th year at MVCS, and 14th year of teaching. She was born and raised in Alexandria! She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh, received her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and has her English as a Second Language certification from George Mason University. Mrs. Medina loves to travel and spend time with family and friends, and trying new restaurants. She loves being part of the MVCS community.
Dual Language Spanish
Ms. Domenech is from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education (K-3rd) from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has more than 14 years of experience teaching lower elementary grades in the Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico school systems. While in D.C., she taught in dual language programs in both charter and public schools. She relishes in the chance to help students develop literacy skills and reading comprehension in her native tongue, Spanish. She especially enjoys helping low-achieving students reach new levels of reading. In her free time, she loves to spend time with son and two daughters.
Dual Language Spanish
Mrs. Rentas is from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a master's degree in Elementary Education from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has been teaching for more than 16 years in elementary grades in Washington D.C., West Virginia and Puerto Rico. She taught in dual language programs in both charter and public schools. Mrs. Rentas loves and enjoys teaching another language. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters.
Dual Language English
Ms. Moynihan loves teaching at Mount Vernon and is thrilled to be starting her tenth year here as a second grade teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Elementary Education with a specialization in Art from the University of Mary Washington. She is currently continuing her education through a master's program at George Mason focusing on meeting the needs of English Language Learners. This year, she is excited to focus on literacy and language arts instruction to promote enthusiastic lifelong readers and writers. She is looking forward to another year of continuing to collaborate with her dual language partner, Sr. Alfonso to encourage well-rounded, emerging bilingual learners.
Dual Language Spanish
Ms. Anderson has been teaching at Mount Vernon for the last 13 years. She is looking forward to exploring math, science, and literacy with her students this year.
Dual Language English
Ms. Payne has been teaching for 20 years in primary and middle schools in the United States and South Korea. She has taught second through seventh grades and has also been a science and social studies specialist at various schools. Ms. Payne is a highly qualified teacher with a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Reading from Virginia Tech and a certification in International Studies from George Mason University.
Dual Language English
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Mrs. Pfaff is excited to be embarking on her 15th year of teaching with the 2nd grade this year! Mrs. Pfaff is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo and holds a master's degree in Education. An experienced "edutainer", Mrs. Pfaff is passionate about sparking student interest and promoting learning through memorable, meaningful, and inquiry-based lessons. In her free time, she enjoys training service dogs for an organization that helps veterans. Her current service dog in training is an adorable Labrador Retriever named Boomer who goes everywhere with her outside of school. You may see Boomer around town and dressed in his working vest! He may be carrying a small basket in Target, retrieving a yoga mat at the gym, pressing elevator and street signal changing buttons, or accompanying Mrs. Pfaff out to dinner at any one of her favorite Shirlington restaurants.
Dual Language English
Ms. Alleyne-Jones has over 21 years of teaching experience. This is her 4th year in MVCS. I am currently working on my second master's in education. Her area of concentration is leadership and educational Policy.
Dual Language Spanish
Sr. Alfonso is very glad to return to MVCS family as a full-time 2nd Grade DL teacher. He is an experienced international teacher who has taught in his home country of Panama and here in the United States. Sr. Alfonso earned his Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education (k-6) from Universidad de Panama, also a degree in Special Education LD/ED (PK-12) from Southeast Missouri State University, a Masters Degree in Teaching Spanish as Second Language and Its Culture from Universidad de Granada, Andalucía, Spain, and is currently working in his PhD. in Philosophy of Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Caribbean University in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. He is a proud husband of former US Congressman Jim Kolbe and a loving dad of a bichon frise called Preta. His motto is: “All students deserve high-quality educational opportunities!”
Dual Language English
This is Mrs. Needels 24th year at Mount Vernon and 33rd year teaching. She has her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from The Catholic University of America. She enjoys reading, watching TV, going to concerts and sporting events (Go Nats!), and traveling with her husband, son, and daughter-in-law. Mrs. Needels takes pictures and documents her memories by creating family scrapbooks. She has a cat named "Kitty".
Ms. Martin has been teaching for 8 years, most of them here at MVCS! She grew up in Virginia Beach, where she also started her teaching career. Ms. Martin enjoys attempting to grow her own vegetables, traveling, and many creative outlets! At home is her extremely tall husband, Drew, and extremely wide cat, Kimchi.
Dual Language Spanish
This is Ms.Bello’s 4th year officially teaching at MVCS. She is Peruvian but grew up in Virginia until she moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2009. While in Argentina, she studied Elementary Education and Educational Sciences. She is teaching Math and Science in 3rd grade at MVCS. She lives in Virginia with her parents, dog, and two brothers (out of 4). She loves playing soccer, swimming and walking with her dog.
Dual Language English
Ms.Fletcher has been teaching at MVCS since 1995. This is her 27th year in ACPS. She has a Master's in Education from George Mason and absolutely loves teaching children. She lives in Maryland with her daughter, her dog and a cat. Her daughter is the love of her life and graduated high school this past year. She loves bowling. She is also part of book club and enjoys good mysteries.
Yesenia Padilla Gonzalez
Andrew V. Huang
Mr. Huang is new to teaching and to Alexandria! He has a master's degree in Elementary Education from George Mason University.
He has tutored elementary, middle, and high school students in reading, writing, and math. His most memorable experience is the summer he spent teaching English in Taiwan, where he hopes to return one day. He loves language learning, long walks, and the wonder of planetariums and aquariums.
Alejandra Salazar Salame
Dual Language English and Spanish
firstname.lastname@example.orgMs. Salazar Salame is excited to begin her 9th year at MVCS, and 14th year in education. She holds an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Oberlin College, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Education at George Mason University. In her free time, Ms. Salazar enjoys lavishing affection upon her overly-spoiled cats and dog, playing competitive roller derby, weightlifting, and joining her partner at the rock climbing gym.
Dual Language Spanish
Mr. Dougherty is excited to be starting his 6th year at Mount Vernon, and 3rd year teaching 4th grade. Prior to that, he was a long-term sub for Arlington Public Schools at both Key and Claremont Immersion programs. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he studied International Affairs and Spanish. Outside of school, Mr. Dougherty enjoys reading, playing basketball, watching movies, cheering on the Bulldogs, and loves being an uncle to his four nieces and nephew.
Dual Language English
This is Ms.Porterfield's fourth year at Mount Vernon Community School and 24th year in Alexandria City Public Schools. When she is not at school, she loves to read, stay fit, and fill up her passport.
Mr. Stewart is excited to begin his 15th year teaching and his 2nd year at MVCS! He was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Mount St. Mary's University where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education. Mr. Stewart has spent the last 14 years teaching 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade in both Fairfax County and Charles County public schools. Married, with 2 boys, age 5 and 9, Mr. Stewart loves roller coasters, all Philadelphia sports teams, and most importantly spending time with friends and family.
Dual Language Teacher
Born in the Republic of Panama and raised in New York City should have described my personal and professional background. Instead, my husband and I relocated to Panama in 1995 to introduce our children (and me) to Panamanian culture.
For the next 26 years, I worked at the International School of Panama as a Language Arts and Math teacher. Having studied Spanish at Fordham University with a minor in Biology provided me the experience for both jobs; however, I ultimately leaned towards Math and Science as the years progressed. Later, I worked at Balboa Academy, a US Embassy-sponsored school as its High School Assistant Principal for four years.
In 2019, my husband and I relocated to NYC. The greatest learning curve was to become reacquainted with teaching in the United States and at a Public School in NYC teaching fourth-grade math and language arts alongside an ICT (Special Ed.) Teacher. The experience was wonderful as it expanded my professional knowledge base. A final relocation steered my husband, a Construction Project Manager, to Virginia and here I am.
My professional preparation includes a Permanent Teaching Certificate for NY State; Professional Teaching Certificate for Virginia; B. A. in Spanish Literature from Fordham University; M.S. in Education from CUNY at Lehman College, and an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. I enjoy learning how to improve student engagement, touching student and parent lives to enjoy the school journey of 12 years, and being a resource for my colleagues.
Finally, I have three adult children: Javier Andres, Technical Sergeant in the Air Force; Jorge Emilio, Maritime Engineer and soon to complete Civil Engineering degree; and Tatiana, a banker. Our family has also been blessed with two grandchildren: Nathan Cole and Katherine Elise who live in South Carolina.
Dual Language Teacher
Originally from California, Ms. Fishbeck fell in love with learning at an early age and knew she wanted to work in education. After graduating from the education program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, she taught preschool for two years in California. Ms. Fishbeck then took her love of language and learning in Spain where she taught English to children and adults while practicing her Spanish. For the next 13 years, she worked as an ESOL lead for third, fourth and fifth graders here in Virginia. Ms. Fishbeck is truly looking forward to be a part of the Mount Vernon community for the 2nd year in its dual language classrooms!
Mr. Stanford is thrilled to be coming aboard as a 5th-grade teacher and to be joining the Mount Vernon community! Before arriving in Alexandria, he taught for 6 years at an international school in Lima, Peru where he fell in love with the local culture and, more importantly, his wife. He holds a Master of Education in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A proud Fulbrighter (Malaysia, 2015), Mr. Stanford loves traveling and exploring new cultures. In his free time, he enjoys running, supporting Everton Football Club, and playing with his son, Samuel. You'll always be able to spot Mr. Stanford from afar by looking at his feet: check out his crazy sock collection for yourself!
Dual Language Teacher
Ms. Hall is very excited to begin her 2nd year at Mount Vernon Community School. She grew up overseas, moving every three years as the child of Foreign Service parents. She studied Elementary and Special Education and has had the pleasure of spending the last two years teaching in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic with Peace Corps. During her free time she loves biking, baking and painting.
Dual Language Spanish
Srta. Elizondo has over 15 years of teaching experience at different levels of education. She's starting her fourth year in MVCS, and is excited to be part of this great school family! She's originally from Texas, but was raised and lived most of her life in Mexico. Virginia is her second home since she moved here, 7 years ago. Part of her experience includes working as an ESL teacher in Mexico, Preschool teaching in Texas and Virginia, and tutor for students between 5 years old to adults in Spanish. She earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood education to 6th grade, Bilingual Generalist, back in Texas on 2011. She loves to take pictures wherever she goes, hot weather, dancing, going to beaches, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Dual Language English
Mrs. Peace has over 23 years of experience in education. Her career includes administrative positions at the school site and division level in Southern California and Baltimore City. One of her first positions was as a teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School in ACPS. Mrs. Peace returned to ACPS as the Testing Coordinator at John Adams Elementary School where the Dual Language Program and GLAD strategies got her attention. She is excited to be teaching the English side of Grade 3 Dual Language which includes Language Arts and Social Studies. Mrs. Peace and her US Air Force veteran husband, Dwight, celebrated their 29th year of marriage. They have two sons, Ian, a medical student, and Evan a college sophomore majoring in Business and Chinese.
Ms. Avelar graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish. She received her Master's in Special Education from Liberty University. Ms. Avelar looks forward to her fourth year at MVCS. In her free time she enjoys rooting for the Virginia Tech Hokies, spending time with family, friends, and her dog Kobe.
Mrs. King is starting her 13th year of teaching. She has degrees from Georgetown University and George Mason University. Mrs. King is a native of Arlington but now lives in Alexandria with her husband and two children. She loves reading and being outdoors.
Ms. Mauro is now Mrs. Willoughby! She is happily returning to Mount Vernon for her 11th year as a special education teacher. She is originally from New York (she misses New York-style pizza), where she graduated from Hunter College with two master's degrees in Education. She is an avid bike rider and hiker who enjoys the outdoors.
My name is Ms. Ventresca and I am very excited for a 2nd year to continue as a 5th grade special education teacher! Ever since I was in second grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher but it wasn't until high school I became very motivated to start working with kids who have special needs. Throughout high school and college I was involved in Best Buddies and always had a passion for working with people who have Autism. Growing up I lived in Columbus, Ohio and just recently moved to Arlington, Virginia. I majored in Special Education and Elementary Education at Indiana University where I received my Bachelors degree. During my free time I am usually in the kitchen trying my hand at making up a new recipe or following one of the many that I have come to love, growing up in an Italian family. I also enjoy traveling around the world and exploring all of the things that Arlington and the DC area have to offer.
Erica Karapetyan is excited to join the MVCS staff as a 1st grade Special Education Teacher. She was born and raised in Miami, FL, graduating from Florida International University. Erica has experience working with children and families in the Alexandria community through various organizations. In her free time, Mrs. Karapetyan enjoys weightlifting, cycling, and outdoor activities.
Ms. Marcum is thrilled to be joining the MVCS team! She holds a B.A. in dance from Oberlin College, as well as master's degrees in special education and curriculum and instruction. This is her eighth year in the special education field, and she loves finding new ways to help her students engage in learning. When she's not teaching, Ms. Marcum volunteers with cat rescue and is an active member of DC's circus community!
Talented and Gifted (TAG)
Ms. Phennicie was born and raised in Southwestern Pennsylvania, so obviously she’s a die hard Steelers Fan! She has an appreciation for family, setting goals and giving back to the community. After Ms. Phennicie graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Elementary Education, she moved to the Washington D.C. Area where she taught students in grades 2nd, 3rd and (K-8) Gifted Education for over 20 years. She brings integrity, dedication, compassion and professionalism into the teaching world. When Ms. Phennicie isn’t working, she is spending time with her three beautiful children and their two fur babies. (Steph “Curry” and “Klay” Thompson). Together they watch sports, go on adventures and explore the unique parts of the world.
Sra. Irene Arevalo was born in Lima, Peru, and came to the U. S. in 1987. She got her elementary education degree from Universidad Católica del Peru and she got her master's at UVA. Sra. Arevalo taught at Key Elementary school in Arlington County before joining MVCC. She is married and has six kids. Sra Arevalo enjoys cross stitch, cooking, traveling, and reading in her free time.
English Learners (EL)
Ms. Santos has been teaching for 18 years. She has taught PreK, second and third grade in the Philippines and the United States. She is excited to be the EL teacher of the first grade students this year. Ms. Santos finished her graduate degree at Bowie State University. When she is not in school, Ms. Santos enjoys traveling, reading, and watching movies.
Grades 1 and 2
Mrs. Hadsell will be entering her 16th year of teaching at Mount Vernon. Formally, a kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hadsell is an EL teacher in 1st and 2nd grade and very excited for the new opportunity. Mrs. Hadsell spent her childhood living in the Middle East and dreams about one day taking a trip down memory lane and visiting. In her "spare time," Mrs. Hadsell chases around her toddler and also has a 2yr old son. She loves working at Mount Vernon and looks forward to another great year!
Miss Dawson, a product of the Alexandria schools, is excited for her 24th year with ACPS and her 22nd year at Mount Vernon Community School. She holds a master's degree from Saint Michael's College (Winooski, VT) in Teaching Second Language Learners and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education in Reading Education. She is excited to return to 2nd grade this year supporting English literacy.
As an EL teacher, Mr. Joiner has worked in all grade levels, K-5. He is thrilled to be returning to third grade in his 12th year at Mount Vernon. He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology from George Washington University and his master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. During his free time, he enjoys watching movies, reading, and traveling.
Mrs. Christian is starting her 24th year of teaching experience having taught grades kindergarten through fourth grade in both the DC and Alexandria School System. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in English from Hampton University and a Master’s degree from George Mason where she studied Teaching as well as Multicultural/Multilingual Education. Mrs. Christian is excited to be working at MVCS this school year as an English Language Teacher working with the 3rd grade and looks for to a fantastic year!
Ms. Brodsky is a 10-year teacher at Mount Vernon. She previously taught English in Spain to first through sixth grade students. She graduated from Connecticut College, where she was a member of the women's crew team. Ms. Brodsky earned her master's degree in Multicultural Education from George Mason University. In her spare time, Ms. Brodsky likes to read, hike, travel, and do craft projects.
Dual Language English
Ms. Raugitinane grew up in Alexandria and is a graduate of ACPS. She studied at the University of Connecticut, where she obtained Bachelor's degrees in Elementary Education, Spanish, and English, along with her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. Raugitinane conducted her Master's research in London, England, studied abroad in Seville, Spain, and taught English in Quito, Ecuador. She enjoys traveling and photographing her travels. Ms. Raugitinane has been a former 5th-grade teacher in DCPS and was a 4th-grade teacher at MVCS for four years. She is looking forward to continuing working with 4th grade, but now as an English Language teacher.
Ms. Hilditch begins this year with 28 years of teaching experience (kindergarten and first grade), a Master’s degree in the diverse learner, and an EL certificate. She is excited to use this knowledge and experience in her new role as the K-2 Instructional Coach.
Mr. Weir grew up in Alexandria, attending Maury, Lyles-Crouch, George Washington, Minnie Howard, and T.C. Williams. He went on to James Madison University, where his undergraduate studies concentrated on philosophy and religion. At JMU, he enthusiastically learned about different modes of thought and belief from across the world. During the summer of 2015, Mr. Weir completed his graduate studies and earned a master's degree in international education, with a focus on curriculum and instruction for learners of English as a second language. He joined Mount Vernon in November of the same year. Mr. Weir enjoys playing guitar, cruising on his longboard, and running on the beach.
Instructional Support/Coaching Team
My name is Denise Cabrera, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, I am married and have a beautiful daughter.I love to travel, read and spend time with my family. I have a BA in K-3 Elementary Education, an M.Ed. with a concentration in Literacy Reading Specialist and I am currently continuing my education through a PhD in Philosophy in Education with a specialty in Curriculum and Teaching. I have 9 years of experience as a teacher, experience working with Spanish Immersion Programs and writing curriculum.
Mrs. Reynolds has lived in Virginia her whole life. She has 14 years of experience in immersion programs and is excited to collaborate with the amazing Mount Vernon Community School teachers to support students in her role as an instructional coach. She and her husband have two young children and a dog. Mrs. Reynolds enjoys gardening, baking, and reading.
Laura Annett Siminski
Ms. Annett has been a school counselor for 19 years in Virginia and in Honduras. Most of her work has focused on supporting elementary-aged children and their families. Ms. Annett earned a degree in Psychology from James Madison University and a Master's of Education in Community Counseling from The College of William and Mary. Ms. Annett holds a license as a Professional Counselor in the State of Virginia.
Mrs. Waters is so excited to start her 18th year at ACPS working with the scientists at MVCS! She is a native of Northern Virginia and holds a BS from Longwood University and a MA from George Mason University. She loves supporting students as they investigate and explore the world around them. At home Mrs. Waters enjoys cooking, running, and spending time with her son and daughter.
Ms. Bryson loves teaching and has worked at MVCS for more than 20 years. Each day is precious because it provides a new opportunity to encourage a child towards his or her endless possibilities.
Ms. Lovelace is excited to be starting her tenth year teaching visual art here at MVCS! She is an Alexandria native who enjoys living, working, and being part of her community here in Del Ray. In both summer 2021 & summer 2019, Ms. Lovelace was chosen as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national pool of applicants to participate in National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes and Workshops for teachers, learning about Indigenous perspectives related to the study of archaelogy (2021) and of the history of Lewis & Clark’s journey (2019), and the importance of incorporating Native voices into our teaching and our view of history. It is one of her professional passions to educate other educators about this important topic. She has most recently presented at the 2020 & 2021 fall conferences for the Virginia Art Education Association, and in March 2021 at the National Art Education Association annual conference. When she is not teaching or learning, Ms. Lovelace enjoys creating her own mixed media artwork, spending time with friends and family, and exercising. Ms. Lovelace views art as an innate, healing skill in each person, and admires the artwork of her students for their honesty, confidence, and bravery. Her degrees include: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design; Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Art Education from George Mason University; Master of Education (MEd) in Curriculum & Instruction, with a focus on Multilingual & Multicultural Education, from George Mason University.
Sr. Sierra originates from Mexico. He is starting his 6th year as art teacher at Mount Vernon Community School. He previously worked for 10 years in the ESL department in Arlington County. He holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, Mexico. He is also an active exhibiting artist under the pseudonym “Sergio Olivos.” He currently exhibits widely nationally and internationally. Together with his wife, he has been involved in the local arts community with various projects through his private studio, varying from working with youth at risk to leading workshops for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, to painting backdrops scenery for local theater and dance companies and several mural paintings in schools in the DC area. His work can be found in private and public collections across the DC are as well as places like Mexico, Chile, England Australia, Japan and others. As an Artist Educator Sr. Sierra believes that creativity is fundamental for the healthy development of children and learning to appreciate art can help create a better world.
Library Media Specialist
Mrs. Nilda Rivera was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She studied to be a teacher first, then later decided to study to become a Librarian. Mrs. Rivera has been working in elementary education as both a teacher and librarian for 18 years. This is her seventh year teaching at Mount Vernon. She is very excited to continue enriching the Dual Language program by supporting with lessons, activities and resources in Spanish and English.
Mr. Loza has been teaching health and physical education for 8 years. This is his second year with ACPS. He will be at John Adams on Wednesday and Thursday. He will be at MVCS Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Mr. Loza graduated from George Mason University and grew up in Falls Church, Va. Some of his hobbies include Brazilian Jiu jitsu, cars, and watching his favorite team...the Dallas Cowboys!
Ms. Tiernan has been teaching physical education at Mount Vernon for 21 years. She is the mother to a beautiful little girl who keeps her busy and active. She enjoys bowling and playing softball and being at the pool or beach. She loves teaching and sharing her love of sports and activities with her students. Ms. Tiernan is a product of ACPS and is proud to have returned as an educator at the school she attended in kindergarten.
Ms. Swanberg will begin her 9th year at Mount Vernon. She has a bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at El Paso. She is certified in Orff Schulwerk, a music teaching method that includes movement, singing, playing instruments, and improvisation. She firmly believes all students have the gift of music in them and wants to inspire them to a lifetime of enjoying and creating music. In her spare time, she enjoys writing songs and performing at local venues across the DMV area.
Mr. Joven is entering his 24th year at ACPS. He has a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the Juilliard School.
Sra. Quesada has been teaching general music classes and directing the MVCS Chorus since 2016. Before joining the MVCS team she taught both music and English as a foreign language for 19 years in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain where she was also the director and teacher-trainer of a regional language learning center. Sra. Quesada grew up in southern Pennsylvania and Minnesota and graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both K-12 vocal choral music education and Spanish language studies. She is passionate about travel and world cultures and she enjoys exploring new places in Virginia and DC with her husband and two daughters in their free time.
I am a Physical Education Teacher and Soccer Coach at Mclean Soccer Club and Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach at the Alexandria City High School. I possess over thirty years of teaching and soccer coaching experience both in the UK and here in the DMV from collegiate to recreational levels. I have an MAT in teaching from the University of the District of Columbia and have a U.S.S.F A license. I enjoy live music, traveling and staying in shape through cycling, golf and soccer while living in Alexandria with my wife Meredith and Labrador Troy. Whether on the field or in the classroom I look forward once again to serving the community needs of MVCS as we enter this coming school year.
Mr. Bratcher is entering his fifth year teaching at MVCS. He has as B.S. in Music Education from Messiah College and a M.M. in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University. He is an active performer touring and teaching all over the world. He is also Associate Chair of Piano at Levine Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Georgetown University.
Special Education - Paraprofessionals
I am working on my Masters's in Elementary Education online through Grand Canyon University. When I am not working I love to cook, hike, read, and meet new people. I look forward to meeting you.
School: City College of New York (CUNY)
Hobbies: Reading, Sports (basketball, baseball, football), video games, drawing, learning about stocks.
My name is Jeremy and I am so excited to be joining the Mt. Vernon team! I went to Mary Washington for my BA in French and Geography before getting my Masters's in Special Education. I also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali! I was born and raised in New Jersey. In my spare time, I love to run on all the local trails, play soccer and travel the world!
I am starting my 18th year teaching, and I am thrilled that I am in my third year at MVCS as an Instructional Assistant working with Special Education. My two boys are young adults. When I am not at work I enjoy running, reading, and dreaming about being back at the beach!
Student Support Team
email@example.comAround the world and back again. Ms. Ford is returning to Mount Vernon Community School (MVCS) after taking some time for worldly educational adventures. This native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is starting her 25th year as a professional educator. Her first eight years were as an elementary school teacher in Prince William County Schools (PWCS), Virginia. After receiving her Master's Degree in School Counseling from George Washington University (which included internships at Hammond Middle School and TCW High School), she began working as an elementary school counselor(PWCS). In 2008, she enthusiastically transferred to ACPS to take on the role of School Counselor at MVCS. Those were four amazing years, and instilled an interest in working internationally as she engaged with staff and students who had lived and/or worked abroad. When an opportunity arose for her to join her son (TCW'14) in 2012 for his final years of secondary school, she said "hasta luego" to MVCS to support the class of 2016 from their freshman year through high school graduation. This was a very special time because she was able to work with MVCS students she first met as fifth graders. After the class graduated, she took her first overseas position through the ACPS Foreign Leave policy and worked at Dubai American Academy in the United Arab Emirates. In 2018 she returned from leave to serve the Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy community. The world called again, and Ms. Ford took Foreign Leave to work at the newest United World College in Moshi, Tanzania where she supported students, parents, and staff as the University and Social Emotional Counselor. Returning to MVCS this year, Ms. Ford is thrilled to bring her international insights as she hopes to inspire others to expand their global horizons the way hers were during her first stint here. Onward and upward!
School Counselor (3-5)
Mrs. Morales was born in Texas and raised in Northern Virginia. She holds degrees in Psychology and a Master of Education with a concentration in School Counseling from George Mason University. She has worked at ACPS since 2012. Mrs. Morales loves reading nonfiction books, spending time with her family, and hanging out in the sun.
Mr. Intagliata is bilingual (Spanish) and has been a school psychologist at Mount Vernon Community School (MVCS) since his days as an intern school psychologist in 2011. As a school psychologist, he works with teachers, staff, parents, and students to address the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of all students. Mr. Intagliata obtained a Masters and Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and maintains certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), as recognized through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Mr. Intagliata also provides supervision to intern school psychologists assigned to MVCS, whom have been valuable resources to MVCS students and the school community.
Shannon E. Southard
firstname.lastname@example.orgMy name is Shannon and I will be starting as the new Social Worker here at Mt. Vernon. I worked with Alexandria Child Protective Services (CPS) for the past three years as a Bilingual Family Services Specialist. Prior to working in CPS I lived and worked in San Jose, Costa Rica. I have a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Contemporary Latin American Studies from the Universidad de Costa Rica. I speak English and Spanish and am an American Sign Language (ASL) user. Outside of work I enjoy running, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors. I am a nature and animal lover and a lifelong vegetarian.
Bilingual Parent Liaison
Ms. Landeros has been delighted to be a Bilingual Parent Liaison at MVCS for the past 18 years. Originally from Mexico City, she received her social worker education there. Her personal and professional background helps her support and advocate for individuals and families. She sits on the board of the Parent Leadership Training Institute which educates parents to be active in community and government issues for the benefit of children. Ms. Landeros is the proud mother of two young adults. She enjoys spending time with her family.
Technology Integration Specialist
Speech Language Pathologist
Ms. Farrar is beginning her 7th year as a speech language pathologist and her 5th year at MV. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Speech and Hearing Science and Spanish from the University of Buffalo. She also holds a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY Buffalo State and her bilingual extension from Teachers College Columbia University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and cheering for the Buffalo Bills!
Mrs. Gilman begins her 13th year at ACPS having worked in a variety of settings in the United States and in Tokyo, Japan. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy. Mrs. Gilman loves to travel and spend time with her family. She loves to read and enjoys creating “Ikebana” flower arrangements. Mrs. Gilman loves training and caring for her Golden Retriever named “Kodo”.