Symonds Amy Symonds, Pre-K Teacher

Amy Symonds joined the Powell team in 2013 as a Preschool teacher. Previously, Amy worked as a Preschool teaching resident at the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School and in various Early Childhood settings in her native Connecticut. She has a B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Development and Education, along with Spanish and English minors, from the University of Connecticut.


RamosDadee Ramos, Instructional Aide/Asistente


She was born in Washington DC but grew up in Maryland with both her parents, an older sister and a younger sister. Her parents are from El Salvador, so she grew up with the Salvadoran culture. She speaks both English and Spanish. Dadee graduated from Montgomery Blair High school and is now attending Trinity University and majoring in Early Childhood education. She is now happily married and enjoying her new journey. Her beliefs are that all children should learn in a warm, family friendly environment and love school. She hope they become successful, kind citizens in the future and to follow their hopes and dreams.

SteinmetzLaura Steinmetz, Pre-K Teacher

Laura joined the Powell team in 2011. She was a student-athlete at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) competing in four NCAA national championships in Tennis and graduated with a B.S in Business and Finance.  She began her teaching career as a DC Teaching Fellow. Laura believes in creating a classroom community where children love learning, developing strong relationships and engaging families as partners in learning.  To develop professionally, she participated in the 2015-16 STEM cohort that focused on developing inquiry skills and facilitating curiosity and motivation in young children. 

Karina Ventura, Instructional Aide/AsistenteVentura


Karina Ventura is a pre-school educational aide at Powell Elementary. She started working at Powell in 2014 and so far her experience at this school has been great. She loves working with kids (our future) and families at Powell. She was born in Houston, Texas but grew up in Washington, DC. Karina speaks both English and Spanish. She graduated from Albert Einstein High School in Rockville MD. Karina has a 5-year-old son named Hector.


Cheryl Nicely, Pre-K Teacher

Originally born and raised in Michigan, I spent 18 years living in Ohio then moved to Washington DC in late 2007.  I worked in the marketing/business field for over 20 years before going back to school to become a teacher.  I have been teaching for over 10 years and for the 2016-2017 school year, am celebrating my 9th year teaching at Powell!  I am married to Fred and have a dog, Pepper, a cat named Sparky, chickens Sweetie and Phantom, a pond with fish and a hive with bees!  I enjoy bike riding, reading, cooking, gardening, camping, traveling and learning.  I love being a teacher and living in Washington DC!


Dallas-14Martiza Dallas, Instructional Aide/Asistente

My name is Maritza Dallas, from Medellin Colombia . This is my second en Powell year. I worked for 4 years in Kigsbury Day School (Kids with learning disabilities). During this summer I was in Medellin, the city that celebrates one of the most representative cultural festivals of Colombia including the Silleteros Parade, enjoying the Fair of Flowers. This tradition of flowers being held for 59 years attracts tourists from the city and the world. This celebration is full of color and aroma and I am so proud to be part of it. My favorite hobbies are playing tennis, painting and dancing. My goal this year is to make my team and my students feel like they have a teacher who will give the best of herself to support them to be better citizens in the future.


GrossLisa Gross, Pre-K Teacher

Lisa was delighted to join the Powell team in 2015. Before coming to Powell, Lisa taught mixed-age Preschool/Pre-K at DCPS’s Burrville Elementary School, and Pre-K in Arlington, VA. Lisa also taught art in Detroit to elementary and high school students. Lisa received her B.A. in Art and Design from the University of Michigan.

Diana Mesa, Instructional Aide



MossMelissa Moss, Pre-K Teacher

My name is Melissa Moss and I am from North Carolina. I will be joining the Powell team as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher. Before teaching at Powell I worked as a teaching resident in a Kindergarten classroom at the Inspired Teaching School in Washington, DC. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelors of Arts in Exercise Sport Science and Music in 2016. I am now working on my Masters of Arts in Teaching, focusing in Early Childhood Education, from Trinity Washington University.


Sonia Garcia, Instructional Aide


HolmanCatherine Holman, Pre-K Teacher

My name is Catherine Holman, but you can call me Cat. I will be teaching a mixed age three and four year-old classroom this year at Powell Elementary School. I taught for 5 years at Hearst Elementary School in DC Public Schools. I spent one year teaching third grade, and four years teaching pre-kindergarten. For the last 2 years I have been teaching a classroom of two and a half year-olds at the Rosemount Center. I received my undergraduate degree in International Relations from American University, and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University. I am looking forward to joining the Powell community!

Bonilla-7Rosy Bonilla, Instructional Aide/Asistente

Since being at Powell my ways of thinking have changed. Education is very important for all children. I have enjoyed learning along with all my students. I believe in making a comfortable, confident, and trustworthy environment for all my students and families. I love communicating with families about child’s progress throughout the year. I graduated from Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC). I am currently attending Trinity Washington University, majoring in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Spanish. I enjoy dancing. Moreover, I love the beach and pools. I am surrounded by many children all day. I am an bilingual instructional aide for Pre-School and Pre-K during the day, and participate in the after school program. Once my day is over at Powell, I go home to my 3 lovely daughters Alytza, Yezley, and Yarelyz. It’s a joy to be part of the Powell family.

HarrisJason Harris, Senior Educator

Jason previously worked as a Pre-k Lead teacher at Powell from 2013-2016 and has now returned as a Senior Educator supporting the Pre-k team. Before teaching at Powell he taught kindergarten in Southeast Washington D.C. He holds undergraduates degrees in Urban Studies and International Relations from Brown University.

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