Encore Team

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Lauren Dykhuis

 

Lauren Dykhuis is excited to be an Art teacher at John Adams!  Prior to teaching art, Ms. Dykhuis taught kindergarten both in Alexandria and Shanghai, China.  

She was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Moscow, Russia.  Ms. Dykhuis graduated from high school in Malaysia and went to Radford University for undergraduate studies and George Mason for a master’s degree.

Growing up in exciting and diverse parts of the world has been a transformative experience.  Ms. Dykhuis feels incredibly fortunate to teach at a school that celebrates learning and diversity daily. 

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Kristen Finnegan

 

Kristen Finnegan earned her undergraduate degree in Art History and Studio Art and a Master’s degree in Art Education and Art Therapy from Florida State University.  She started her career doing art therapy in a residential psychiatric hospital with adolescents. Ms. Finnegan moved into special education schools and started teaching art along with doing art therapy.  She has been teaching art for 14 years to students of all ages.

Finnegan enjoys spending her free time with her husband, daughter and their cats.  She also enjoys making jewelry and reading.

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Emily Godfrey

 

Emily Godfrey has been a librarian at John Adams Elementary school since 2018.  She has spent the past 12 years as a school librarian serving students and staff at the high school, middle school, and now at the elementary level.  Before becoming a school librarian, Ms. Godfrey worked as a public librarian in Ohio, Connecticut and Virginia for 6 years.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in Art History, a Master's Degree in Library and Information Sciences, and a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Literacy instruction. 

Emily is an enthusiastic library educator with a strong commitment to equity. She also believes that every child can become a great reader, when given the opportunity to find just the right book for themselves.

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William Heresniak

William Heresniak is better known as Mr. H at John Adams. Mr. H has been teaching PE at John Adams and coaching for TC Williams High School for 26 years.

Mr. H has an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education with a Minor in Adaptive Physical Education from Slippery Rock University of PA.  He also has a Master Degree in Educational Administration from George Mason University.  

Mr. H is originally from Clinton Corners, NY. In his spare time he runs his own fly fishing company and spends his weekends and summers floating on rivers throughout Virginia and Maryland.

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Patrick Horner

Patrick Horner is currently in his fourth year of teaching elementary band in Alexandria City Public Schools.  Patrick was born and raised in Alexandria, VA and feels grateful to be able to teach in the school system that helped him pursue his passion.  He began playing percussion in 4th grade and continues to play in different capacities to this day.  Patrick earned his Bachelor’s of Music Education from George Mason University and participated in many different ensembles while there.

Patrick looks forward to sharing his passion for music with every student that enters his classroom.

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Nicholas Ro

Nicholas Ro has been on the music team at John Adams since August 2017.  Prior to joining the John Adams’ family, he completed undergraduate and graduate courses at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.  He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Education and Saxophone Performance, and a Master of Arts in Teaching.

A passionate musician and educator, Mr. Ro teaches general music classes, the JA Orchestra program, and the Xylokids ensemble as a member of the ASO Sympatico team. He believes every student has a voice and every student should be allowed to express that voice in whatever way they choose. Creativity is something everyone is capable of in some way, shape, or form, and Mr. Ro encourages all students to think creatively wherever they are.

Born and raised in Virginia, Mr. Ro can often be found practicing his instruments, writing new music, or teaching various marching band programs throughout the state. He is very excited for the 2020-2021 school year!

 

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Emily Stewart

Emily Stewart is originally from Norfolk, VA.  During high school, she played soccer, ran track and cross-country and enjoyed photography/art classes. She attended James Madison University, where she received a Masters of Education in Physical Education.

Ms. Stewart has been in Alexandria City Public Schools for 11 years and this is her fourth year at John Adams.  She loves helping students learn about new sports and creating excitement for physical activity outside of school.  Her favorite activities include soccer, hiking, listening to live music, and cooking for her friends.

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Kyle Tilman

Kyle Tilman is in his tenth year teaching general music at the elementary level.  He has previously taught in Fairfax and Albemarle County.  Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Kyle is excited to be back in the Northern Virginia area teaching music.  He began playing trombone in the second grade, played all the way through his years as a student in Fairfax County, and continues to play today. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At LSU, Kyle participated in numerous ensembles including their Wind Ensemble, Tiger Marching Band, and Trombone Choir.

Kyle has completed his first level of Orff Schulwerk, a method of teaching that includes music, movement, drama, and speech.  Orff Schulwerk is an engaging way for students to learn not only about music, but about being creative, being able to work with others, and being able to problem solve.

Outside of the classroom, Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife and new son, playing basketball, and watching football.

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Justin Wood

Justin Wood has been teaching at John Adams Elementary School since 2016, and he has been teaching for a total of 7 years.  Before moving to Alexandria, he taught Elementary PE and Middle School Health in West Virginia.

Mr. Wood is originally from Fluvanna County, Virginia. During high school, he played football, basketball, and lacrosse.  He went to college at West Virginia University where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at West Virginia University.

Mr. Wood loves to workout, listen to music, and drink Starbucks coffee