Meet Our Staff
Aashima started working at Green Acres in 2019 as an assistant teacher in 1st and 2nd grades. In addition to teaching, she is a mom of two children and a mini Goldendoodle. Before becoming a parent, Aashima taught 1st grade for a decade—at Fields Road Elementary in Gaithersburg for eight years, and then at Garrett Park Elementary in Kensington for two. Aashima earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University. Having been out of the classroom and home with her kids for eight years, Aashima was thrilled to get back into teaching and to work with children at Green Acres!
Ali is in her ninth year at Green Acres. In addition to teaching, she is a mom to four children. Prior to having children, Ali taught Kindergarten at Winchester-Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA, 1st–3rd grade students at Miller Elementary in Holliston, MA, and 1st and 2nd grades at The Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, MA. Ali holds a B.F.A. from New York University, where she majored in drama and minored in classics, and she earned her M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Like many at Green Acres, Ali is concerned about the “recent move towards the drilling of skills and test-based teaching” and believes that all students can love school and love learning. As she wrote in her statement of educational philosophy, “Academic exploration can only happen in an environment in which children feel safe, supported, and valued for who they are.”
Beth is an enthusiastic and committed early childhood teacher who has been a member of the Green Acres faculty for 20 years, after having taught Pre-K and Kindergarten for seven years at other elementary schools. Her passion for working with young children is evident from the laughter emanating from her classroom, as her humor is contagious, along with her love of books and art. Beth’s vast experience in the classroom enables her to provide a safe, comfortable environment for young children to explore and learn. She holds a B.S. from Iona College in New York and has begun study towards a master’s degree in early childhood education at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Recently, Beth attended Harvard’s Project Zero Program, where she honed her skills at creating a classroom environment and instructional materials that encourage students to fall in love with learning. When she is not engaged in her professional endeavors, Beth spends her time caring for her two dogs and two cats.
Debbie joined our Pre-K team in 2016. Debbie came to us from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda, where she taught Pre-K beginning in 2001 and served as the Director of the Pre-K program for four-year-olds and the “Little Group” program for three-year-olds beginning in 2009. Debbie was born in London and had the good fortune to live in Switzerland, Australia, Argentina, and Japan before attending college at Tufts University in Boston. After graduating with a degree in Spanish, she pursued a career in hotels in New York and Washington before finding her true passion for teaching young children. Debbie holds a master’s degree in teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University, as well as certification in Handwriting Without Tears, and she recently attended Washington International School’s Summer Institute Project Zero. She believes in educating the whole child and that the best learning takes place through meaningful play and exploration. Debbie also serves as a staff trustee for the school. She and her husband John have two grown children, Robbie and Maggie. When not engaged in professional undertakings, Debbie likes to travel, read, cook, and take walks with her three dogs.
Emily joined the Green Acres community in 2014 and is our Learning Coordinator for Pre-K–8th grade. She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland in speech language pathology. In addition to maintaining her private practice for 10 years, Emily has served as a speech language pathologist at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School and at the Lab School of Washington. Using the Phono-graphix program, Read Naturally, and aspects of other reading programs, she provides students with the tools they need to open the door to literacy. Emily has been trained in the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center’s Multisensory Math I. Over the past few years, she has developed an interest in understanding ways to support students struggling with executive functioning deficits and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. When Emily is not engaged in professional efforts, she very much enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids; her summers with them at Camp Echo; running; and baking.
Gwen is a native to this area, having been born in Washington, DC and raised in Silver Spring. She holds a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and a teaching certificate for Pre-K through 8th grade from Evergreen State College in Washington. Gwen has been a fixture at Green Acres School for 23 years, and, during that time, she has held many positions. Initially, she worked in the front office as the assistant to both the Lower and Middle School heads. Subsequently, she taught and co-taught classes in drama, computer, language arts, math, and ABC Soup (Pre-K and Kindergarten). She directs the Extended Day Program, now in its 20th year, and currently teaches Lower School library classes.
Jenn is our primary ECU and Lower School PE teacher for grades Pre-K to 4. She works closely alongside Derek Edwards in PE classes for grades 5-8 and as a Middle School athletic coach. Jenn most recently taught at My Gym in Potomac. Prior to that, she served as a PE teacher at St. John’s Episcopal School in Olney. In addition to her years of teaching movement and physical education to young children, Jenn has experience coaching basketball and soccer at the middle and high school levels. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education recreation and dance from Frostburg State University. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and enjoying the outdoors.
Kara currently teaches 7th and 8th grade language arts and is the director of service learning. She started teaching in 2001, and her Green Acres journey began in 2006 as a 5th and 6th grade language arts teacher. In addition to teaching, Kara has enjoyed coaching basketball and soccer in our Middle School athletics program. She is a former staff trustee and has worked on countless committees pertaining to all facets of this school that she loves. She prides herself on building strong connections with students and families. Kara earned a B.S. in recreation and leisure/sports management from Shepherd University and an M.A.T. from Trinity College. In her free time, Kara enjoys basketball, writing personal memoirs, and hanging out with her children, Amber ’20 and Owen ’24.
Marjie has been connected to Green Acres since 1998, having had two children attend. She was one of the first staff members to start the the Extended Day Program (EDP) in 1999. After a few years, Marjie went on to pursue her first love, social work. She worked in the field for more than fifteen years and served as residential director at a homeless shelter in Bethesda Maryland. Marjie has two granddaughters and leads Zoom family discussions every week centered around current events, such as systemic racism. In 2017, she returned to Green Acres as an Assistant Teacher in EDP. Marjie is excited to have been back and enjoys working with the children and their families.
Marylouise joined the Green Acres School community more than 35 years ago as a student teacher. After graduating from Catholic University of America, she was hired as a Kindergarten teacher. Throughout her tenure, Marylouise has taught in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade. Currently, she is a 6th grade math teacher and advisor, Auxiliary Director, and staff trustee on the Green Acres Board. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Loyola University of Maryland. A passion of Marylouise’s is baking with children. Both her students and campers have made mummy pizzas, ice cream in a bag, and Texan sheet cake. Through these hands-on experiences, she can combine a student’s love for baking with key lessons in math, science, and teamwork.
Nina, Head of ECU and Admission Director for Pre-K, K, and 1st grade, came to Green Acres as a Pre-K teacher in 1990. As she starts her 29th year, this community feels like a second home to her. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Nina received her bachelor’s degree in child psychology from Bombay University. She moved to Buffalo, NY, where she received both her B.S. and master’s degree in education at SUNY at Buffalo. As a lifelong learner, Nina has added Harvard’s Project Zero, Reggio Children, SEED, Welcoming Schools, and Responsive Classroom training to her list of continuing education and professional growth. She says, “Children see the world unfiltered, filled with wonder, curiosity, and joy. As educators, we are the keepers of a precious commitment to the wellbeing and uniqueness of children. At Green Acres, learning is joyful, robust, dynamic, engaging, and transformative, for sure!” Nina resides in Gaithersburg with her spouse, Bakul, and they have two daughters, Tarah and Maia. For fun and relaxation, she likes to meditate, read, cook, listen to music, and watch BBC detective series.
Peter grew up just around the beltway, but he spent most of his 19-year teaching career in overseas schools in Belgium and Brazil. He joined the Green Acres community as Middle School Head in 2014 and added the role of Assistant Head of School three years later. He has also taught language arts classes in 5th grade and 8th grade at different times. Peter was born in New Orleans, LA, but grew up in Arlington, VA. He attended Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1993. He loves to read and cook, and he tries to keep up with his jogging, but struggles to find the time to do so! He has three kids at Green Acres, two in 5th grade and one in 8th. His wife Leca is also a teacher.
Head of School Rebecca Geary's core values are simplicity, peacemaking, integrity, community, equity, and service. Her personal commitment to social justice and multicultural and global education led her to pursue her master’s degree in global education/multicultural curricula from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, retains a direct marketing diploma from New York University, and a bachelor of science in textile marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is well regarded as an experiential educator and international businessperson, and is a strong advocate for the rights of underserved communities, for education innovation, for volunteer fundraising, and for strategic planning.
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Sarah, our Divisional Assistant, joined the Green Acres community in 2008 as a homecorner teacher. During her time at Green Acres, Sarah has taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades, spending most of her time as a 2nd grade homecorner teacher. Before coming to Green Acres, Sarah received her M.Ed. with a focus on language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While attending Harvard, she worked as a reading specialist with the Amigos Elementary School, a bilingual school. Sarah loved school as a child, and she knew that she wanted to be a teacher from her first day of 1st grade at the Frankfurt International School in Germany. Her desire to share her love of learning with her own students one day never changed, and she received her B.S. in elementary education and child development from Vanderbilt University. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 2002, she returned to the Frankfurt International School (now expanded to include a campus in Wiesbaden, Germany) to become a 1st grade teacher and a mathematics coordinator. Sarah loves to travel, especially internationally; just ask her about her expedition cruise to Antarctica! Sarah also enjoys listening to audiobooks, walking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends, especially with her 2-year-old twins and her three cats.
Abbey is a native Washingtonian and a “lifer” from Georgetown Day School, although she spent much of her professional career in Eugene, Oregon. In her last role there, Abbey served as the Director of College, Career, and Counseling Services for the Lowell School District. Prior to Green Acres, she was an upper school guidance counselor at Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville. She holds a master’s degree in social studies education from New York University and a master’s degree in school counseling from Northwest Christian University. When not working with your fabulous children, you can find Abbey at the farmers’ market with her children or walking through the woods while listening to a book on Audible (all-time favorites include: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and House of Glass by Hadley Freeman).
Ann joined Green Acres School as a substitute teacher ten years ago. As a valued substitute, she was offered the opportunity to become a full-time teacher in Kindergarten in the fall of 2015. Ann moved to Pre-K in 2016 and taught there for the past four years. She is excited to once again be teaching in Kindergarten. Ann’s career began at Vanderbilt University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. After teaching at the DC Jewish Community Center Child Care Center and the World Bank Children’s Center, Ann served for a decade as the Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Child Development Center. She has since added to her repertoire: training in Harvard’s Project Zero; annual continuing education in the field of Early Childhood Education, including a focus on multi-age groups and social-emotional growth and development; and inclusion, diversity, and equity in the early childhood setting. Ann is dedicated to sparking curiosity in young children through experiential learning. She believes that providing an enriching and stimulating environment where children are encouraged to explore, make choices, solve problems, express themselves freely, and respect one another is essential for learning.
Bevin joined the Green Acres community more than 20 years ago, when her son Ira ’04 entered Kindergarten. She volunteered in classrooms, admission, and the library before joining the library staff in 2003. She became Head Librarian in 2016 and also co-taught 5th grade language arts from 2016–2018. Bevin is passionate about diversity, justice, and exceptional literature, and the library collection reflects these priorities. Bevin leads one of the 3rd grade book clubs, instructs 3rd through 8th graders on the use of research tools and strategies, leads Middle School social justice book clubs, and collaborates with teachers and IDEA to incorporate social justice literature and activities into classroom curricula and the school community.
Derek has been teaching at Green Acres since 1996 and has been a teacher since 1991. He is currently a physical education teacher, our athletic director, and a 5th grade advisor. Derek began his teaching career in 1991 and holds a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of Maryland. His passions include reading, athletics, cooking, current events, coaching, and spending time in the outdoors.
Eric, the new art teacher at Green Acres School, is an experienced art educator who has taught art for over 20 years in the Washington, DC area. He has taught at Laurel High School, the Art Institute of Washington, and the Yellow Barn Studio. Eric paints landscapes and portraits in watercolors and pastels, and his work is featured in many local and national collections. He earned an M.F.A. in painting and drawing from American University and an M.Ed. in art education from the University of Maryland. In his philosophy statement, Eric wrote, “As a child, art was always my favorite activity, and I was fortunate to have supportive parents and teachers who encouraged my talent. My goal as a teacher has always been to nurture that same love of art that I possessed when growing up.” Eric is married and the father of three children, ages 12, 17, and 19. He enjoys gardening, woodworking, hiking, traveling, and reading books about far-flung places.
Farzona is currently a Pre-K assistant at Green Acres School. A junior at the University of Maryland-College Park, she is majoring in early childhood and early childhood special education and her “true passion is working with kids.” Farzona has been at Green Acres since 2018, when she first joined as a Camp counselor. She also works in EDP. Farzona is fluent in Russian and speaks conversational Spanish.
Irene is an enthusiastic teacher who has been at Green Acres for 13 years. She taught Kindergarten for six years at Stoddert Elementary School in Washington, DC before joining the Lower School faculty at Green Acres in 2007. Irene has a strong background in elementary education, and, in her time at Green Acres, she has taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Irene is a leader among her colleagues, having been chosen to serve as a faculty member on our Board of Trustees, as well as serving on various school committees. Additionally, she is the Assistant Service Learning Coordinator, focusing primarily on service learning in Lower School. She holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from Trinity University in early childhood education, specializing in reading. When she is not teaching, Irene spends her time with her husband and three sons, all of whom have attended Green Acres.
Judy joined Green Acres as a consultant in February 2017 and officially assumed the role of Accounting Manager in May 2017. Having been a self-employed CPA-Daily Money Manager for over twenty years, she was attracted to the school environment, with the opportunity to interact with students, parents, and staff. She was particularly allured by the camaraderie within the Business Office and their mutual love of rescue dogs. Judy was born and raised in Maryland and is happiest in the company of her family, including her two Pit Bull mixes, Enzo and Stella.
Marcia joined Green Acres 11 years ago, first in a long-term substitute teaching role and later as a full-time 3rd and 4th grade homeroom teacher. For the last three years, she has taught Middle School language arts to 5th and 6th graders. Last year, she added the Techxplorations course to her repertoire, and she loves having the opportunity to teach and learn computer programming alongside her students. Marcia’s first teaching job was in 1993 in the newly opened city of Vladivostok, Russia. There weren’t any schools for dependents of Americans working at the end of the Trans-Siberian railroad, so she picked up young children from their residences, traveled on the electrichka (electric train) into the city, and taught from her apartment. Sixteen years, six countries, four international schools, and two children later, Marcia and her husband Rich returned to the U.S. in 2009 to introduce their third-culture kids to life stateside. A native of Buffalo, NY, Marcia earned her bachelor’s in theatre from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s in curriculum design and elementary instruction from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She lives with her family and Cambodian cat in Columbia, MD.
Mary is in her 13th year at Green Acres. Her teaching experience has spanned 40 years. She taught Kindergarten through 2nd grade at Potomac Elementary, 3rd grade at Our Lady of Lourdes, 3rd grade at Holton-Arms School, and then arrived at Green Acres to teach 3rd grade once again. She graduated from Saint Francis College with a bachelor’s degree and began a master’s degree in counseling at American University. In addition to teaching, Mary has three grown children and eight grandchildren. She believes in the education and celebration of the mind, spirit, and soul of each child. Mary’s educational philosophy is succinct: Learning should involve wonder, magic, and joy.
Merita teaches 7th and 8th grade science and engineering classes. Born and raised in Albania, she moved to New York in 1998 after seven years of experience in journalism in her home country. In 1999, she started teaching middle school science in a DC private school. Her journey at Green Acres began in 2007. Merita holds a bachelor's degree from University of Shkodra, Albania in mathematics and physics education. She also holds an AS degree in linguistics and journalism. Merita has attended various graduate courses in education, technology, and astronomy at American University and University of Maryland. She loves to read, cook, spend time with family and friends, and, lately, experiment with woodworking. Many of her weekends are spent in soccer fields watching her son Kir ’21 play and catching up with her two college daughters, Ujana ’14 and Buena ‘16. Green Acres has been a really special place for her family, as her children learned the value of good education, gained a sense of wonder and exploration, and discovered their own passions.
Ryan is delighted to be starting at Green Acres for her 15th year of teaching. Before joining Green Acres, Ryan taught Pre-K and Kindergarten in both New York City and Virginia. She received her bachelor's in art history from Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and her M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where she earned a dual degree in early childhood general and special education. Ryan has presented original research at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Conference: First, about Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and how it can support the many ways students learn; second, sharing documentation to support the claim that Vivian Paley’s storytelling and story-acting curriculum can help students develop their voices and confidence as writers, as well as build empathy. After years of developing a personal yoga practice, Ryan received a grant to become certified as a children’s yoga teacher through Little Flower Yoga in the summer of 2017 and has found tremendous value in practicing yoga and mindfulness with her students. Ryan enjoys spending time with her wife, three stepchildren, two cats, and Golden Retriever.
Sherianna just started her career at Green Acres in September of 2020. After graduating from Tuskegee University she went on to working at many prestigious universities such as Harvard and Tufts University. She left Tufts to attend graduate school at Northeastern University which is where she began her career in the registrar office. Sherianna worked in the registrar office at Northeastern University for just over 4 years. She is an author of 5 books and a lover of funky glasses. She has over 20 pairs of glasses and plans to own 20 more.
Susan has worked at Green Acres for nine years, beginning in the EDP program and now as the Administrative Receptionist, Transportation Director, and Daily Substitute Coordinator. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to be in a classroom as a teacher, work in extended day programs, tutor, be a parent volunteer, and now work in the front office. Coming from a traditional educational environment, Susan was intrigued by the progressive school model and was thrilled to be able to join a community that is so welcoming. Sitting at the front desk, she gets to interact with parents, students, and visitors, and she often shares what a wonderful place Green Acres is. In the past, Susan has served on the AIMS steering committee, SEED, the inclusion and diversity committee, and the summer task force committees. Susan has three children and one granddaughter. When not at school, she can be found at home with her husband, reading, playing games, and spending time with her three dogs, who have been known to make appearances in Zoom and Teams calls.
Trish is in her 11th year of teaching at Green Acres. This will mark her 15th year as an early childhood educator, following a career in organizational development consulting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins, and a master’s degree in Montessori education from Loyola College. Recently, she added Harvard’s Project Zero, Erikson Institute Early Math Program, Erikson Institute Early Math and Social Emotional Learning Problems, and Responsive Classroom training to the list of continuing professional development programs she has completed. In her statement of educational philosophy, Trish wrote, “Teaching is far more than a profession to me. It is a belief in the potential of each child. It is integral to my value system; it is my daily life that I take on with passion and purpose. Teaching is a lifelong commitment to making a difference in the lives of children.” Trish grew up in this area and is the mother of two daughters.
Tracey, Lower School Head and Director of Professional Development, came to Green Acres in 1995 as Lower School Head and returned to that position in 2018. She enjoys collaborating with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to create challenging and enjoyable experiences for children. Tracey received a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Brown University, an M.Ed. from Lesley College in elementary education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland. As Director of Professional Development, Tracey works with teachers to promote excellence in teaching, align teaching practices with the progressive philosophy, develop teachers’ professional learning experiences, and facilitate a culture of lifelong learning. In 2009, she created a teacher mentoring program to support teachers new to Green Acres. Since 1987, Tracey has taught in independent and public schools in urban and suburban settings in grades 1–5. For years, she was a university supervisor at American University, teaching education students how to become effective teachers, and she taught undergraduate and graduate education students there for four years. Tracey is the proud parent of four children, all of whom attended Green Acres.
Alison is in her seventeenth year of teaching 4th grade at Green Acres. In addition to her teaching duties, she previously served as a staff trustee on the Board and as the 3rd and 4th grade liaison. Alison earned a bachelor’s degree in education and drama from Hull University in England, and she taught grades 2 through 5 in England for nine years. She then worked as the year-round office manager for Camp Greylock, a boys’ sleepaway camp in Massachusetts, for three and a half years before marrying her husband and commencing her tenure here at Green Acres. She still returns to Greylock every summer. Alison feels fortunate to have her two boys attend Green Acres during the school year and Camp Greylock during the summers. Her passion for working at Green Acres is rooted in the opportunities to respond to children’s curiosity and spontaneity, which she believes are central to creating a love of learning. She was proud to be recognized as one of Bethesda Magazine’s Extraordinary Educators in September 2020.
Annie has spent nearly her entire life in independent schools either as a student or staff member. In fact, she attended the only high school in the country that has an AZA accredited zoo: Millbrook School. Annie has worked in educational fundraising for her entire career. After graduating from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in psychology, she moved to New York City. She started in development at The Calhoun School, a progressive school in Manhattan, then moved to Brooklyn Heights Montessori School. In 2011, Annie and her family moved from Brooklyn to join the Green Acres community. It has been a great thrill for Annie to have both of her daughters (Grace ’19 and Julia ’21) attend school with her daily. In addition to her work at Green Acres, Annie serves on the Board of Trustees at Greak Oak Equine Assisted Programs.
Chip is in his fourth year at Green Acres, and his 24th in education, teaching music for Pre-K through 8th grade. He has also taught music at Green Acres Camp during the summer and is a staff trustee on the Green Acres Board and a member of the Staff Inclusion and Diversity Committee. As a guitar player, he performs in pit orchestras around the DC area and studies jazz with a private instructor. Chip believes it is important to approach students with flexibility, understanding, and positivity in order to engage their growth and be part of shaping new ideas and skills. He believes that we are all born composers and improvisers and works to create an environment in which a shared experience leads to new creations. He also brings a background in general and special education at the high school level. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology with a minor in music from Ohio Wesleyan University. He also holds a master’s degree in education and human development from George Washington University. When not working, Chip enjoys spending time outside with his family, running, reading, and watching movies.
Diane joined the Green Acres community in 2019 and enjoys teaching 5th and 6th grade science and 5th grade math. Originally from Maine, she began teaching science in 2005 at Christ Episcopal School in Rockville. In 2009, Diane returned to work as a physician assistant and nutritionist for nine years. Before returning to the classroom in 2019, Diane completed the MC Alternative Certification for Effective Teachers program in Middle School Science to enhance her teaching skills. She also holds an MPH in health education and an Ed.D. in nutrition education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Diane loves incorporating health, nutrition, and cooking into middle school math and science classes! She believes that young people bring a natural curiosity to learning science and math that can be fostered as they participate in scientific practices. When she is not teaching, Diane and her husband Frank enjoy visiting her college-age son and three daughters, as well as weaving, hiking, practicing martial arts, and trying not to be last in triathlons!
Georgia started at Green Acres as a Pre-K student and is now the Staff Accountant and Purchasing Manager, working alongside many of her former teachers! Georgia was born and raised in Maryland and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Maryland. Her love and commitment to Green Acres is only matched by her love and commitment to senior dogs and animal welfare.
Jeff has been teaching in various capacities since 1984. He spent 27 years teaching 3rd grade science and social studies at Casady School in Oklahoma City. While at Casady, he was awarded an endowed chair, the Nell A. Sutton Master Teaching Chair, for his excellence in teaching. Prior to Casady, he taught Middle School science at Aiken Prep in South Carolina, and he taught outdoor/environmental education at several programs in New England and New York. He lives with his wife Joanne, 16-year-old daughter Gillian, and dog Callie, a Cockapoo. When not teaching, he enjoys time with family, reading, fitness activities, and ice skating.
Julie teaches Pre-K and Kindergarten Spanish, in addition to teaching 7th and 8th grades. She has been teaching since 2015, and her Green Acres journey began in 2016. Since then, she has become known on campus for her ability to relate to students with warmth and humor. Originally from Cuba, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology from Mt. Vernon College. When not at Green Acres, Julie enjoys traveling, hiking, and fishing.
Marissa started working as the Admission Assistant at Green Acres in August 2020. Originally from Rhode Island, she moved to Washington, DC in 2016 to attend school at the Catholic University of America. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Music in musical theatre in May 2020. While in college, she also studied abroad at the London Dramatic Academy, worked as a peer writing tutor at her college’s writing center, and completed a liberal studies honors track, allowing her to continue exploring her passion for writing and history. When not at Green Acres, Marissa loves exploring museums and coffee shops in DC, having movie nights with her roommates, and expanding her ever-growing collection of Shakespeare scripts.
Mary came to Green Acres in 1997 to teach creative movement for ECU students, and she is excited and a bit awed to be in another amazing year with the incredibly creative and joyful children in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Mary received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, a K–6 teaching certificate from Lesley College, and a master’s degree in movement therapy from Antioch New England Graduate School. Prior to working at Green Acres, Mary was the dance/movement therapist at St. John’s Child Development Center in Washington, DC from 1982–1995. Since 2012, Mary also has worked in the Extended Day Program at Green Acres. Both positions allow Mary to engage directly with children and support their development as joyful, curious, confident, and compassionate learners in and out of the classroom. Mary also serves as the Diversity Coordinator. She brings years of experience with the staff SEED group and, for the past few years, has played a key role in the Board’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action (IDEA) committee. Her strong leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as her deep relationships with students, staff members, trustees, GASPA volunteers, and parents across the school, make her perfectly suited for diversity’s vital and multi-faceted work.
Michael teaches 5th, 6th, and 7th grade social studies. He is also a 6th grade advisor. Michael joined the Green Acres community in 2017 after having been a teacher since 2011. Originally from Philadelphia, Michael earned a B.A. in classics from Howard University and an M.A. in history from Villanova University. He enjoys sports and has appeared as a sports radio correspondent and columnist. Michael also enjoys history, cooking, music, and traveling.
Paul has been teaching at Green Acres since 2019, but he started teaching in 1996 and has taught in five countries on three continents. At Green Acres, Paul teaches 7th grade pre-algebra, advanced algebra, and advisory, as well as 8th grade algebra, advanced algebra, and geometry. His hometown is Silver Spring, MD, but he was born in the Netherlands. Paul attended Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands for a combined undergraduate/graduate degree in industrial engineering and management science. After working in industry for several years in the U.S., Paul attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and earned a master's degree in instructional systems development. Paul holds a Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate in mathematics and technology education, as well. On a personal note, Paul enjoys long walks, great books, good food, and interesting people.
Sara started working at Green Acres in 2015 and currently serves as our Director of Communications and Associate Director of Admission for Grades 2–8. Before joining the community, Sara graduated magna cum laude from Haverford College with a bachelor’s in French and French studies and earned a master's in French language and civilization from New York University in Paris. In addition to having taught high-school French at a private school in northern New Jersey for several years, she also served as a teaching assistant in French at Bryn Mawr College and taught French at the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy at Swarthmore College. She is grateful for her work at Green Acres, as it provides her with a unique opportunity to meet many families, spend time among the enthusiasm of children, and learn from colleagues who are passionate about education, child development, and the art of parenting. Outside of work, Sara enjoys exploring France, reading literature and collecting books, discovering the world of interior design, and spending time with her husband, her little one, and her two sighthounds, Juliet and Tiger Lily.
Talia’s Green Acres journey began in 2018 as Assistant to the Lower School Head. After working in this role for two years, she moved to her current position as Advancement and Communications Associate. Talia holds a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in literature, rhetoric, and cultural studies from Chapman University (2018) and a master’s degree, also in English, from University of Maryland, College Park (2019). Before coming to Green Acres, her work was deeply rooted in her passion for both educational advocacy and writing. Within the Orange Coast Community College District in Orange County, CA, she worked with students in English readiness courses, delivering supplemental lessons and providing resources to support student achievement. She also authored two peer-reviewed articles, one on the topic of social justice elements in hip-hop music and one on the American Dream in the wake of 9/11. After coming to Green Acres, Talia’s passions for education and writing were given the opportunity to blossom as one, allowing her to find a niche in communications and advancement work for the school. Now, she enjoys helping to develop content and strategy for Green Acres’ digital media, communications, marketing, and fundraising endeavors. Outside of work, Talia is a book connoisseur and a chai latte enthusiast.
Victor is a native-born Texan and received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas in communications and social science. He taught overseas in El Salvador and Italy for six years in international schools while traveling extensively and learning Spanish and Italian. He arrived at Green Acres in the fall of 1984, expecting to teach here for a few years while earning a master’s degree. He did earn the master’s degree from American University in international communication and development, but found it hard to leave a school that he loved to teach at. Additionally, he pursued a fine arts degree in photography at the old Corcoran School of Art. He currently teaches 8th grade world studies, 7th grade algebra, and 7th and 8th grade photography. He created and has run the school’s Model United Nations program for 12 years and has led many field trips to places such as New York City, Mexico, Charleston, Orlando, and the Shenandoahs, as well as many photography field trips. In his many years at Green Acres, Victor has developed a passion for progressive teaching and the many subjects that he teaches. He believes in educating the whole child and supporting their passions about world issues that motivate and inspire young teenagers. He has been a professional photographer and loves bicycling, gardening, traveling, camping, hiking, and water sports. He and his wife Susan have raised two boys who were educated at Green Acres.
Born in Tajikistan, Zulia moved to the United States in 2011. Zulia started working at Green Acres in 2015 as an EDP staff member, and she has been a Pre-K assistant since 2018. Zulia also has worked at Green Acres Camp over the years. Zulia has three children, one of whom attends Green Acres School. She is fluent in Russian, Uzbek, and Tajik. A musician at heart, Zulia has played the piano since she was in first grade and even attended school for piano in Tajikistan. She also loves to cook.