Amy Symonds, Pre-K Teacher
Laura 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 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!
Martiza 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.
Lisa 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.
Juan Caballero just moved from Santa Fe Mexico and is excited to be working at Powell Elementary! He is currently attending Montgomery College to further his educational goals. Juan’s objective is to be a bridge between cultures and languages.
Monica Rizo, Pre-K Teacher
Ms. Rizo is a lead teacher in pre-kinder. She has taught pre-kinder for five years. She holds a Regular II license and a Master in the Arts of Teaching from Trinity Washington University. This is Ms. Rizo’s second year teaching with Powell Elementary, previously, she taught in a charter school in DC. Ms. Rizo is a folkloric dance performer and mother of a young girl. Ms. Rizo enjoys building great relationships with her students and families. She believes it is her responsibility to encourage the students to be creative, express themselves and prepare them academically, socially and emotionally for a bright future. Ms. Rizo looks forward to making a positive impact on the students.
Jessica Feldman, Pre-K Teacher
This is Ms. Feldman’s second year at Powell and third year teaching in DC Public Schools. She is from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 2010. In 2011 she moved to Washington, D.C. and in 2014 she received her Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education from the George Washington University. Ms. Feldman loves to read, travel, hike, and to bake and cook (especially with friends). She is excited to build a classroom where students get to shape their learning experiences and are able to play, explore, and create!
Rosy 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.
Kira Moore, Pre-K SPED
Kira Moore currently serves as an Early Childhood Teacher Leader at Powell Bilingual Elementary School where she has been teaching for 8 years. Through the different aspects of her role, Kira supports holistic child development of all young learners by providing individualized instructional coaching to pre-K and special education teachers, leading collaborative meetings of the early childhood teaching team and facilitating student learning in the classroom. Before taking on the role of Teacher Leader, Kira served as a pre-K teacher and a special education teacher in DCPS. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Teaching from George Mason University.