Staff Directory | Directorio

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School  STAFF for the 2015 – 2016 SY

Mayra Canizales, Principal
Rosa Berrocal, Assistant Principal (Primary)
Peter Meliotis, Assistant Principal (Intermediate)
Christina Morado, Assistant Principal (Intermediate)

Matthew Mitchell, Dean (Intermediate)

Tekia Stokes, Director, Strategy & Logistics (Primary & Intermediate)

Instructional Support

Sandra Gutierrez

Katie Bunger


Student Support
Fran Arch, Counselor (Primary)

Susan Gonzalez, Counselor (Intermediate)
Aisha Martin, Social Worker (Primary)
Melissa Shaw, Social Worker (Intermediate)
Andrés Nuñez, School Psychologist (Primary)


After-School Programming
Connie Artiga, OCA Director
Silvia Segovia, OCA Assistant Director
Sally Hunsberger, Athletics Director

Office Personnel
Susana Oviedo, Administrative Assistant (Intermediate)
Kiery Viera, Administrative Assistant (Intermediate)
Evelyn Viera, Administrative Aide (Primary)

School Nurse
Maureen Hooker, Primary Campus
Danielle Chapman, Intermediate Campus

Cafeteria Staff
Lisa Cabell
Shirley Barno
Ms. Bell

Custodial Staff
Gary Moore, Foreman (Primary)
Enriqueta Baez

Paul Jordan
Countereno Huntley, Forewoman (Intermediate)
Clendon Wooten

Anthony Scott, Jr.


Instructional Staff (Primary Campus)

Early Childhood Center (ECC ): Melissa Grant

Pre-K A:  Magdalena Saavedra, Spanish/ Roxane Kovin, English
Pre-K B:  Veronica McKillop, Spanish/ Melissa Grant, English
Kinder A: Carolina Clarens, English & Spanish
Kinder B: Mawilcri Santos, English & Spanish
Kinder C: Melissa DaCosta, English/ Jamie Solano, Spanish
1A/B: Lindsey Colton, English/ Elisa Landa, Spanish
1C: Alexis Leonesio, Spanish/ Pilar Martinez, English
2A/B: Mike Benson, English/ Sonia Canales, Spanish
2C: Nilda Ramos, English/ Margarita Ruiz, Spanish
3A/B: Caroline Finn, English/ Vanesa Gracia, Spanish
3C:  Ana Lopez, Spanish/ Alex Capestany, English


Targeted Academic Goal Teachers (TAG)
Roxana Bustios

Tamara Crespo-Posso
Julia Hainer

Special Education:

Jonathan Melmed

Genevieve Markey

Nelka Negron

Becky Sachs (SpEd Support)




Johanna Janssens, Art
Laura Kleinman, Library

Sylvia Zwi, Music
Adolfo Hernandez, Physical Education (PE)


Instructional Aides:
Sandra Fridley, Maria Fuentes, Maritza Hernandez, Ofir Hurtado, Laquoshea Jackson, Juan Larios, Karen Morales, Lindsay Pohlman

Instructional Staff (Intermediate Campus)
4A/B: Pam Ross, English/ Jane Vicens, Spanish
4C:  Missy Alden, English/ Damarys Rios-Vargas, Spanish
5A/B:  Amanda Wharton, English/Pablo Giron, Spanish
5C:  Rick Quinones, English/Maria Caceres, Spanish

Middle School
English Humanities:  Carrie Roling (6), Anna Sebastian (7), Camille Burden (8)
Spanish Humanities:  Oscar Orlando (6), Alba Hidalgo (7), Robert Ames (8)
Math:  Kristin Douglas (6), Patrick Phippen (7), Eva Mazier (8)b
Science: Ryan Sim (6), Laura Dronda (7), Sarah Riggen (8)

Chinese Language: Hanru Li
English Language Support: Brian Muldoon
Spanish Language Support: Marga Ruiz 4th grade
Special Education: Kristen Witkop (4/5), Vicki Chrea (6), James Murphey (7/8), John (Ed) Dixon (ELA)

LEA/ Read 180: Iris Ferrufino


Art: Yanitza Tavarez
Library: Steven Burch
Music: Michael Bowie
PE: Ricardo Zeno-López
Instructional Aides: Gina Medina, Cindy Morales, LaQuesha Jackson, Sahara Artiga-Oliver, Kristen Witkop


Staff Bios

Nancy “Missy” Alden is a fourth grade teacher who came to Oyster-Adams in 1998. She earned her BA in 1976 from Winthrop University and her MAT from Trinity University in 1998. Ms. Alden’s mother is very proud that her daughter was confirmed in the Episcopal Church-in Hyde Park, New York-in the presence of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. To contact Ms. Alden, please email


Sr. Robert Ames attended schools in the Panama Canal Zone. Sr. Ames matriculated to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his BA and JD. He worked in law for five years before earning his MAT at American University. Sr. Ames has taught 11 years, and is licensed in Spanish (K-12), ESL (K-12), and Elementary Education (1-6). Sr. Ames lives with his wife, Noemí Rodríguez, and two daughters, both of whom are enrolled at Oyster-Adams. Sr. Ames enjoys SCUBA diving, cooking, traveling, reading, photography, Latin dancing, biking, and above all, spending time with his family. To contact Sr. Ames, please email


Fran Arch has been the school counselor at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School since 2008. A native Washingtonian, she was raised in Maryland and comes to us from Montgomery County Public Schools. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Maryland in College Park. She lives in Maryland with her husband Larry Arch, a Rockville attorney, and her daughter, Nicole, who is 20 and a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park. She also has two dogs, Cuppy and Duffy. To contact Ms. Arch, please email


Michael Benson has taught 2nd grade English at Oyster-Adams since 2010. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Philosophy and earned his teaching credentials at the University of San Francisco. He taught for nine years in the public sector near San Francisco, CA. Before moving to Washington, he and his wife, Hilary, traveled for 17 months in Latin America visiting 15 countries. To contact Mr. Benson, please email


Rosa Berrocal has served as assistant principal of Oyster-Adams since 2012.  She started her teaching career as an elementary teacher and Catholic University professor in Lima Peru, South America.  In 2001, she taught as an immersion teacher and played a pivotal role as exemplary project coordinator of the STEM program, testing coordinator, and instructional lead teacher at Key Elementary in Arlington for eleven years.  Rosa is a graduate student of Catholic University and George Mason University School of Education, and holds master degrees in Special Education, English as a Second Language, and educational administration.  She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education and Learning Technology Design Research at George Mason University.  Her dream is to “make a difference in the lives of our Oyster Adams tigers” and help them become multi-linguals and creative problem solvers.  Inspired by the love for her husband and kids, Rosa is committed to accomplishing a better balance between her personal and professional live. To contact Assistant Principal Berrocal, please email


Anne Brainard has taught 5th grade English at Oyster-Adams since 2008. She has a BA in American Studies from Trinity College and a master’s degree in teaching from American University. Mrs. Brainard loves seeing sports flourish, especially girls’ sports. She says that as a Title IX veteran, it is great to see legacy! To contact Mrs. Brainard, please email


Katie Bunger began teaching 7th/8th  grade English Humanities at Oyster-Adams in the fall of 2008. Before joining the Oyster-Adams community, she attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Public Relations. She also attended American University where she received a Master’s Degree in teaching. When Katie is not in the classroom, she enjoys running, trying new recipes, practicing Spanish with Sr. Gamarra and cheering on the Oyster-Adams sports team.  To contact Ms. Bunger, please email


Steven Burch began with Oyster-Adams (intermediate) as the school librarian in 2014. Mr. Burch comes to us from Pittsburgh, where he served as a school librarian for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Before perusing a full-time career as a librarian, Mr. Burch served as a substitute teacher, traveling public librarian (in both urban Pittsburgh and rural Chuquisaca, Bolivia), preschool teacher, handyman, set carpenter, electric bass player, and strawberry picker. Mr. Burch received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. To contact Mr. Burch, please email

Camille Burden joined Oyster Adams as the 8th grade English Humanities teacher in 2015. She is a proud native of “the motor city”, Detroit, MI. There Ms. Burden was an English language learner coordinator. Camille has taught for 13 years to elementary and middle school students in both Arizona and Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education with three minors: middle level education, language arts, and bilingual education from Central Michigan University. She later earned two master’s degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy and a JD degree from the University of Detroit Mercy school of law. When Camille is not teaching or otherwise championing for children’s rights, she enjoys traveling, reading, dining out, trying out new recipes, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.   To contact Ms. Burden, please email


Roxana Bustios has taught at Oyster-Adams since 2008 and now serves as one of our TAG teachers at the primary campus.  She received her BA from the Catholic University of Lima, Peru and a master’s degree from George Washington University. Sra. Bustios was born and raised in Peru in a bilingual home. Her mother was American and her father, Peruvian. To contact Sra. Bustios, please email


Srta Cáceres is a native of Seville, Spain, and joined Oyster-Adams this year to teach Spanish and math in 5th grade, after having taught for nine years in three different schools in Madrid, Spain. Srta Cáceres has served as a homeroom teacher and also earned a specialization in music, which took her to become a music and arts teacher in her latest school. She was one of the first accredited bilingual music teachers in Madrid and has written and conducted several musical shows as well as various school projects in education through values and arts integration. Srta Cáceres loves travelling and getting to know new cultures. To contact Srta. Cáceres, please email


Sonia Canales is from El Salvador and is a 2nd grade Spanish teacher at the Oyster-Adams primary campus. She obtained her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1995 at University of the District of Columbia, and her master’s in business administration at Strayer University in 2007. In addition, she obtained a second Masters Degree in teaching and learning at the University of Granada, Spain 2010. Ms. Canales enjoys cruising around the world, literally. She believes that every child should have the opportunity to attend college; therefore, she always calls her students “Mis univesitarios.” To contact Sra. Canales, please email


Mayra Canizales is originally from Nicaragua and was raised in Hayward, CA.  She received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in American Studies, Urban Educational Policy. She also has a master’s in elementary education from Boston College.  She served as seminar leader for The New Teacher Project for first year teachers seeking teaching credentials, and as a faculty member for the Institute for Recruitment of Teacher at the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.  This is her 7th year with DCPS having previously been a 6th grade English teacher, instructional coach and assistant principal.  She is part of Cohort 13 of New Leaders, a principal preparation program.   She is a native Spanish speaker and is a balanced bilingual and bi-literate. To contact Principal Canizales, please email


Vicki Chrea is a second year teacher at Oyster-Adams. She is a recent transplant to the Washington area from the sunshine state, California. She completed her undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach. Prior to joining DCPS she worked for the San Francisco Unified School District, and the Long Beach Unified School District. Ms. Chrea enjoys traveling and some of her favorite places are Siem Reap and New Orleans. She also enjoys studying Krav Maga, cooking and exploring new eateries in her spare time. To contact Ms. Chrea, please email


 John”Ed” Dixon has taught at Oyster-Adams since 2006. This year he is working in Middle School as an ESL and reading support teacher.  He has a B.A. in US and African History from Earlham College and two master’s degrees, one from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in South Asian Studies and in Bilingual Special Education from George Washington University. Mr. Dixon recently starting diving and sailing and he is looking forward to retiring to the Caribbean. To contact Mr. Dixon, please email


Kristin Douglas has been at Oyster Adams for 4 years. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a B.A. in urban studies. She then earned her M.A. in teaching at American University. In addition to her love for math, Ms. Douglas also enjoys yoga, hiking, summer travel, and her book club. She is passionate about architecture, other big feats of engineering, and foreign currencies and enjoys connecting these to the middle school math curriculum. To contact Ms. Douglas, please email


Laura Dronda joined the Oyster Adams faculty as a middle school science teacher in 2012. Prior to becoming part of the OA community, Ms. Dronda taught in Spain for 3 years, as both a middle school and high school science teacher. Ms. Dronda has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (her hometown) and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In her spare time, Ms. Dronda enjoys traveling, getting to know different cultures and people, film and going to concerts and listening to music. To contact Ms. Drondo, please email


Carolyn Fado is excited to join the Oyster-Adams community as a fourth and fifth grade math and English teacher. She previously taught English and American studies on a Fulbright grant in Bulgaria. She also has experience providing instructional and administrative support at an independent school in Richmond, Virginia. Carolyn loves studying languages and trying food from all over the world. En su tiempo libre, le gusta practicar español. She is a graduate of the College of Wooster, Ohio. To contact Ms. Fado, please email


Caroline Finn is a 3rd grade teacher in her fifth year at Oyster-Adams. She attended schools in Europe and in South, Central, and North America. She has taught SpEd, elementary, and adult learners in New Mexico, Florida, Spain, and Maryland. Carol has undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary, special, and multicultural education, and Healing Arts from the University of Denver, the University of Florida, and Tai Sophia Institute. With her two children, she loves to travel, hike, climb, read, and laugh. To contact Ms. Finn, please email


Hola, mba’éichapa, kaixo, bonjour, hello! Susana Gonzalez was born and raised in Washington, DC and serves as the school counselor at the Adams campus. Did you know I am an alumni of Oyster and graduated from a DC Public School? I received my B.A. in family studies and my M.S. in school counseling. I enjoy my role in encouraging all children to strive for their personal best. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, watching martial arts movies, and traveling. P.S.- Can you guess what languages were spoken in my home? To contact Ms. Gonzalez, please email



Vanesa Gracia began her journey with Oyster in 2007. She left and returned to Oyster-Adams in 2009 as a third grade Spanish teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in languages. Sra. Gracia has taught in several countries, mostly in Europe. She says that knowing how things work in different countries has been a great experience. To contact Sra. Garcia, please email


Melissa Grant is the ECC English and SpEd teacher, and this is her eighth year at Oyster-Adams and in Washington DC! Prior to moving to DC, she taught early childhood special education and early intervention in New York City. She earned an undergraduate degree in theatre at the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education and Child Life at Bank Street College of Education. Ms.Grant loves discussing and debating education issues, New York City, and her family. To contact Ms. Grant, please email


Julia Hainer-Violand is excited to be back at Oyster Adams Bilingual, serving as the English TAG (Targeted Academic Growth) teacher for K-3.  She is back from getting her second Master’s degree from the University of Toronto, in Curriculum, Teaching, & Learning.  Julia is passionate about supporting language learners, and has an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from American University. She also attended the College of William & Mary, where she majored in Women’s Studies & Economics (hence her love of teaching content with a social justice lens).  In addition to teaching, Julia has experience in curriculum design, and worked as a curriculum consultant for Authentic Education (Understanding by Design) & edCount.  If not talking about curriculum or kids, she’s probably biking around with her husband, Henry or spending time with her mamá & abuelita. To contact Ms. Hainer, please email


Johanna Janssens teaches art at the primary campus. Previously, Ms. Janssens taught art at Francis Stevens EC in Washington, DC and at the Friends Community School in College Park, Maryland. Prior to teaching, Johanna lived overseas in Cairo, Nairobi, Jerusalem and Tokyo, where she worked as an art director in publishing and advertising. She holds a master’s degree in art education and a bachelor’s degree in communications media. To contact Ms. Janssens, please email


Alba Hidalgo has taught Spanish Humanities at the Adams campus since 2012. Prior to becoming a part of the OA community, Mrs. Hidalgo taught in Colombia for 10 years, as both a middle school and high school Spanish teacher. Mrs. Hidalgo loves the annual Spanish Festival de Poesia and her favorite celebration is the Spanish Heritage month. To contact Ms. Hidalgo, please email


Laura Kleinmann has been the librarian at the Oyster campus for 20 years. She finds her job to fit perfectly because she loves children and books (don’t ask her in which order), and is bilingual. Ms. Kleinmann attended Smith College, the University of Mexico and the University of Maryland. She has a master’s in library science but considers her 6 years in Mexico to have provided her with the best part of her education. To contact Ms. Kleinmann, please email


Roxane Kovin has taught at Oyster for over 36 years! This was her first teaching job after graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She also has a Masters of Education in educational computing from University College. Mrs. Kovin initially got hired as a substitute teacher for a 2nd/3rd grade Spanish teacher who was on maternity leave. She just happened to hang her coat in the principal’s office a month before graduating from college, and the principal, Mr. Frank Miele, hired her on the spot. He offered her no future guarantees, yet 36 years later she still teaches pre-K! To contact Ms. Kovin, please email


Elisa Landa is a first grade Spanish teacher. This is her 10th year at Oyster-Adams and has taught kindergarten and first grade. She was born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico. She graduated from Universidad Veracruzana and received her master’s degree from George Mason University. She worked for the “Secretaria de Educacion Publica” and was a founder of a public school in her country. To contact Ms. Landa, please email


Alexis Leonesio is a first grade English teacher at Oyster. She transitioned into teaching as a kindergarten teacher from a nearby charter school in the fall of 2009. She received a B.A. in history at the University of Maryland College Park, and M.A.T. from American University. After college, “Ms. L” worked as a grant writer for a small non-profit called the Student Support Center. This job offered her many opportunities to visit different schools in the D.C. area to help students get the resources they need. After being inspired by so many “superhero” teachers in their classrooms, Ms. L got the calling to teach early childhood and has loved it ever since. To contact Ms. Leonesio, please email


In 1991, Hanru Li got her bachelor’s degree at Chongqing Normal University, China, with a major in Foreign Language Education (English). She has 16 years of experience as a foreign language teacher in secondary and elementary schools in China. Ms. Li got her master’s degree at the University of Maryland in 2011, with a major in Foreign Language Education (Chinese). Since 2009, she has been teaching at Oyster-Adams, and now has more than 80 students who are in three different learning levels. To contact Ms. Li, please email


Ana López grew up in New Jersey speaking Spanish and Gallego with her family from Galicia, Spain. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I., receiving a B.A. in human development (education studies), and a Masters of Arts in teaching in elementary education. She has a passion for languages and also knows French and American Sign Language (ASL). Ms. López joined Oyster-Adams in 2011 and she’s very excited to be a part of this bilingual community. To contact Ms. López, please email


Eva Virgina Mazier Alvarado. She is 100% catracha! Born and raised on the beautiful coast of La Ceiba, Honduras. Ms. Mazier teaches 8th grade algebra at the Adams campus.  Ms. Mazier is an Industrial Engineer with a Master’s in Education from Framingham University. She has been teaching pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus for the past six years. Previously, she taught high school social studies, middle school English and was a third grade teacher. In her spare time she likes to play sports such as basketball, soccer, and softball; she also enjoys drawing. To contact Ms. Mazier, please email


Veronica McKillop has been the Early Childhood Center teacher and the girls’ middle school volleyball coach since 2010 (go Tigers!). Prior to moving to DC, Ms. McKillop earned her degree in Childhood Special Education from NYU and taught in a middle school for four years in Massachusetts. During her free time, Ms. McKillop enjoys running, spending time with family, and eating delicious food. To contact Ms. McKillop, please email


Peter Meliotis has been with Oyster Adams and with DCPS for two years. Prior to DCPS, Peter worked for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland for six years.  While with PGCPS, he worked as a teacher in second, fifth and sixth grades.  He also worked as a testing coordinator, science coach, math coach and resident principal during his time with PGCPS.  Peter has degrees form Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. and Trinity University in Washington, D.C.  He enjoys cooking, playing soccer, traveling and rooting on the Baltimore Ravens. To contact Mr. Meliotis, please email


Jonathan Melmed was born and raised in Washington, DC. This is his seventh year as a DCPS teacher. He was previously a special education teacher at Columbia Heights Education Campus, Lincoln Middle School. Jonathan attended Vassar College where he received his B.A. in English Literature in 2003. After living in China for 2 years, Jonathan earned his M.Ed. in Special Education at George Washington University in Washington, DC. At Oyster Jonathan will be teaching 2nd and 3rd grade special education students reading. He will also be serving as the LEA representative as well as the case manager for 3rd grade special education students.  In his spare time Jonathan likes to read fiction and non-fiction. To contact Mr. Melmed, please email


Matthew Mitchell, Dean of Students. Matthew J. Mitchell is a native Washingtonian. Mr. Mitchell grew up playing competitive baseball in the metropolitan area, where his love and passion for baseball landed him a scholarship to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Mr. Mitchell returned to Washington D.C. and accepted a position in case management servicing the homeless population. After two years in case management, Mr. Mitchell decided to pursue a career in education, this would allow him to positively impact the lives of the youth in the District of Columbia. Mr. Mitchell began teaching in the District of Columbia Public Charter Schools (DCPCS), where he taught for three years. While teaching middle school, Mr. Mitchell earned a master’s degree in education, with a focus in school counseling (Adlerian Theory), from Bowie State University. In the summer of 2014, Mr. Mitchell accepted the position of Dean of Students with Oyster Adams, where he developed a young men’s group, which focuses on the holistic development of middle school male students. Currently, Mr. Mitchell is studying for the National Counselors Exam and plans to become a licensed counselor in 2015 that will allow him to service at-risk youth in the metropolitan area. Mr. Mitchell spends his leisure time reading, playing and coaching baseball, and attending world-class boxing events. To contact Mr. Mitchell, please email


Christina Morado joined the Oyster-Adams faculty as an instructional coach in 2008 and was appointed assistant principal in August 2012. Prior to becoming a part of the OA community, Ms. Morado taught in New York City and Los Angeles for 9 years, as both a middle school and high school English and social studies teacher. Ms. Morado has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia University. Morado’s spare time includes crafty pastimes, looking for and consuming good reads, and biking around the capital. To contact Ms. Morado, please email


Cindy Morales is an instructional aide at Adams where she works with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Education from Trinity Washington University. She also works at the Oyster campus with OCA as a first grade afterschool counselor. She has been a part of OCA (Oyster Creative Activities) for about 3 years. Ms. Morales has a passion for learning and helping others. During her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and doing outdoor activities such as playing soccer. To contact Ms. Morales, please email


Brian Muldoon joined Oyster Adams in January 2011 and this year is serving as the ESL for grades 6-8. Brian graduated from American University’s School of International Service. He has a master’s degree in International Development from George Washington University. Brian has taught in Washington, DC for 12 years. Before moving to Washington, Brian was a Peace Corps Volunteer. When he is not teaching English, Brian enjoys improving his Spanish, German, Filipino, Japanese and American Sign Language. To contact Mr. Muldoon, please email


Mr. Oscar Orlando joined Oyster Adams in 2014 as the 6th grade Spanish Humanities teacher. In the 10 years prior to teaching at Adams, Mr. Orlando taught in both Florida and DC. As a teacher he was trained at Florida International University and received his master’s in science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. As a former ESL student and as a current student of Polish, Mr. Orlando has first hand experience in learning new languages. To contact Mr. Orlando, please email


Prior to taking the position as an instructional coach in 2010, Rick Quinones was a classroom teacher at Oyster for nine years, teaching grades 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Rick has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a Masters of Teaching Elementary from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. During his free time, Rick likes to take classes at his gym, try new cooking recipes, and watch documentaries. To contact Mr. Quinones, please email


Sarah Riggen began teaching 7th and 8th grade science at Oyster Adams in the fall of 2013.  Sarah is a National Board Certified Teacher who has taught middle and high school students at several schools in DC and Boston. She graduated from The College of William and Mary with a B.S. and was an environmental consultant before entering an urban teaching M.Ed. program at Boston College. Her professional and personal passions include sustainability, racial equity/equality, all kinds of fitness (especially dance), travel (especially to 27 Charcos in the Dominican Republic), singing with the St Augustine Gospel Choir, and living a healthy lifestyle. To contact Ms. Riggen, please email

Carrie Roling loves teaching 6th graders because they understand so much about their world and yet are able to envision change. Roling grew up in Missouri and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Truman State University and a master’s degree in TESOL from American University. She has taught ESL for DCPS since 2001 and joined Oyster Adams in 2007, the same year her son, Solomon, was born. Carrie’s family grew from two to five when she married Juan, last summer. Writing is a personal hobby and one of her favorite subjects to teach. To contact Ms. Roling, please email


Pam Ross has taught since 1989 and has taught at Oyster-Adams for twelve years.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College with a major in Russian Language (1984), and Masters of Science in education with a specialty in early childhood education from Bank Street College of Education (1991). She has also completed course work at George Washington University in the area of Bilingual/Special Education. In 2005 she was a recipient of the ING Unsung Heroes Award and in 2009, she became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). She loves gardening, science and hiking. To contact Ms. Ross, please email


Marga Ruiz joined Oyster-Adams in August 2014 as a 4th grade Spanish teacher. She was born and raised in Spain. Prior to becoming part of the O-A community, Ms Ruiz taught at elementary schools in Spain for 3 years, in the US for 3 years (Arlington and Delaware) and in England at high school for 1 year. Ms Ruiz has a master’s in Secondary Education (ESL) and a bachelor’s in Elementary Education (Foreign Languages) from The University of Malaga. She finished her studies in Sheffield University, England. Ms Ruiz has a passion for running and hiking, snowboarding and working out.  She enjoys learning and teaching foreign languages, and connecting her experiences abroad to the school curriculum. To contact Ms. Ruiz, please email


Magdalena Saaverdra Nació en Puerto Rico donde estudió su Bachillerato en Educación Elemental de la UPR. Su familia, iglesia y Tuna Universitaria apoyaron su talento y pasatiempo: el canto y guitarra. Es miembro fundador de Coral Cantigas. Casada, madre de 3 ex-alumnos de DCPS, suegra y abuela . Vivió en Bogotá, Puerto Rico, Maryland y Washington, DC. Obtiene su maestría en Trinity College. En 1989 llegó a Oyster. Ahí publicó su proyecto Canta Conmigo, 2 CD’s para niños. Para ponerse en contacto con la Sra. Saavedra por favor envie un correo electrónico a


Mawilcri Santos has worked as a Spanish teacher for four years and has taught kindergarten for two of those years. She has an MAT from Regent University. Señora Santos is a passionate believer in bilingual education who says she is a “life-long learner” and “always trying to find ways to enhance her profession.” To contact Sra. Santos, please email


Anna Sebastian is starting her second year as part of the Oyster-Adams community. Her past experiences include teaching Social Studies at Alice Deal Middle School and Creative Writing at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Ms. Sebastian has an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and Spanish/Latin American Studies and hopes to pursue her Master’s in the next couple of years. Ms. Sebastian’s free time includes plenty of reading, yoga and movie watching. To contact Ms. Sebastian, please email


Melissa Shaw has worked as a Social Worker at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School since 2008. After a few years of working across both campuses, she now works full time at the intermediate campus with grades 4 through 8.  Melissa was born and raised in NYC and moved to Washington DC in 1999.  Melissa was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Dajabón, Dominican Republic. She is a graduate of the College of Wooster, Ohio and has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. To contact Ms. Shaw, please email


Jaime Solanocardoso tiene una gran pasión por la educación. Él trae más de nueve años de experiencia trabajando en programas de educación en Colombia, España, México y América Central. Él tiene una licenciatura y maestría en Humanidades de la Universidad de San Pablo-CEU de Madrid, España; donde también trabajó como coordinador de programas extracurriculares para niños y niñas migrantes. Cuando Jaime regresó a su natal Colombia, él ayudó a poner en marcha programas educativos para niños en comunidades marginadas. Posteriormente, se trasladó a Washington DC y durante cuatro años trabajó como consultor en el parea de educación en la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), apoyando en el diseño y ejecución de proyectos para niños y jóvenes en América Central y México. También, él ha colaborado en diversas publicaciones sobre el tema de educación para la participación de los jóvenes. Antes de unirse a Oyster-Adams, trabajó en la Escuela Pública Charter Bilingüe Mundo Verde como maestro de Kínder en español. Durante su tiempo libre, le gusta jugar fútbol y pasar tiempo con su esposa y su hijo de 3 años. Jaime está muy emocionado de unirme a Oyster – Adams como un maestro de Kínder en español este año. Para ponerse en contacto con la Sra. Saavedra por favor envie un correo electrónico a


Tekia Stokes joins Oyster-Adams this year as the new Director, Strategy & Logistics. She has worked for DC Public Schools for 6 years in various capacities, and is happy to join the families and community of Oyster-Adams. Ms. Stokes’ favorite pastimes are vacationing with family, discovering new books, and keeping up with her two small children (7 and 5 years old). To contact Ms. Stokes, please email


Damarys Rios is one of our fourth grade teachers this year at Oyster – Adams Bilingual School.  She is originally from Puerto Rico where she studied her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. This year Mrs. Rios is our lead teacher for the fourth graders in 4C and is the co-teacher for one of our fifth graders, group 5C. She is a really easygoing person who enjoys quality time with her family and loves traveling. To contact Ms. Rios, please email


Ryan Wee Sim teaches 6th grade science in Spanish at the intermediate campus. Mr. Sim previously taught high school Biology and AP Environmental Science in south Los Angeles for the past 4 years. Mr. Sim also taught English and Service Learning courses to first-year university students during his 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. Before entering the formal classroom, Mr. Sim worked as a Community Organizer and Program Manager for local non-profit organizations. Mr. Sim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University. Mr. Sim enjoys collecting fossils and passport stamps, preferably in mild, Mediterranean climates. To contact Ms. Sim, please contact


Yanitza Tavarez has taught art (in Spanish), 4th-8th Grade at Oyster Adams since August 2009. A native New Yorker (with parents from the Dominican Republic), she attended New York’s renowned Pratt Institute (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theory, Criticism, and History of Art, Architecture and Design; Masters of Industrial Design) and is currently completing a master’s in Secondary Education at George Washington University. Bringing an exciting variety of professional work experiences to Oyster-Adams, find out more about Sra. Tavarez at To contact Ms. Tavarez, please email

Jane Vicens
 is one of the fourth grade Spanish teachers at Oyster Adams. Ms. Vicens joined Oyster Adams in 2014 after moving from her home state of Florida where she attended the University of Florida. Ms. Vicens served as an academic interventionist working with students learning English as a second language. When not in the classroom, Ms. Vicens enjoys being active, meditating, and getting to know her new home. To contact Ms. Vicens, please contact


Amanda Wharton is joining Oyster Adams as a 5th grade English teacher.  She previously taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida.   She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland where she played for the Varsity Soccer Team. Mrs. Wharton also has a master’s from George Washington University.  Outside of the classroom Amanda enjoys playing soccer, spending time with her family and being outdoors.  To contact Ms. Wharton, please email




Ricardo Zeno-López joined the Oyster Adams faculty as a PE Teacher in August 2012. Prior to becoming part of the OA community, Mr. Zeno-López taught in Puerto Rico and Orlando for 9 years, as an elementary school, middle school and high school PE teacher. Mr. Zeno-Lopez has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and Caribbean University. Zeno’s spare time includes cross fit, sports and family outdoor activities. To contact Mr. Zeno-López, please email