Denise Recinos, 3rd Grade Math Teacher
While growing up in Connecticut, Denise was involved with social justice issues in her community. She advocated for the awareness of dating violence, human trafficking, and the rights of day laborers by becoming involved in a youth leadership organization known as Peace Project. She continued her passion for social justice at Georgetown University by majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Social Justice and Violence and double minoring in French and Sociology. During her time at Georgetown, she studied abroad in Paris and was also involved in DC Schools Project, a literacy organization that serves Washington, D.C.’s low-income immigrant community. As a volunteer for the organization, Denise taught English as a second language to adults in DC. After graduating, Denise received a teaching fellowship and worked for Blue Engine, a non-profit organization that partners with public high schools in New York City serving low-income communities to increase academic rigor and prepare students for postsecondary success. After working for Blue Engine, Denise decided to further pursue her interest in education and will be teaching third-grade math at Powell. She is excited to be a part of the Powell community and wants to ensure that every student receives a high-quality education.
Jacquie Alexander, 3rd Grade ELA Teacher
Jacquie Alexander is a third-grade teacher at Powell Elementary school in Washington D.C. She grew up in New Jersey with her parents and younger sister. Jacquie attended Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio, where she majored in Early Elementary/ Special Education, as well as minored in Dance. Jacquie knew she wanted to be an educator ever since she was a small child, and always begged her sister to be her student while they were growing up. Jacquie has taught first grade the past two years in Ohio, but is excited to be a part of the Powell team! Jacquie believes that all students are able to achieve their dreams when learning is tailored to their individual needs, and she plans on instilling that here at Powell. In her spare time, she loves to teach and take dance classes. Jacquie’s favorite book is the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and she believes in the morals and values the story teaches all who read it. Jacquie looks forward to a positive and fun-filled school year!
José Martin Patiño, 3rd Grade SLA Teacher
José Martin Patiño was born and raised Cartagena, Colombia. He learned English while in high school. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a one-year degree both from Fundación Colombo Internaciónal University in Cartagena, Colombia. Before joining the amazing Powell team, he taught English to children, teenagers and adults at the Centro Colombo Americano EFL school in Cartagena for 25 years. He also taught at Fundación Colombo Internaciónal University for three years. He is convinced that every child deserves the best education they can get. As soon as they have it, they can reach amazing goals. Mr. Patiño is passionate about teaching and learning. His long-term goal is to be able to look back and say he was able to impact lives as a teacher. He looks forward to having an unforgettable experience with the 3rd grade dual language scholars at Powell ES. His favorite book is The art of sacrifice in chess by Rudolf Spielmann.
John Alexander, 2nd/3rd Grade Math Teacher
I am a native of Washington, DC and a product of DCPS. I love sports, music, and learning about other cultures. Crabs are my favorite food and orangutans are my favorite animal. I have worked in many different places throughout my life, but I am happiest when I teach. I went to Keene State College in New Hampshire, where I studied education. My favorite book is ” The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay. When I grow up I want to write and illustrate children’s books.
I believe that education is the great equalizer in our society. I believe it should be available to all, but the reality is that it is not. With that in mind, I encourage our students to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. I recognize that education works both ways, which is why I come to school ready to teach as well as learn from my students and peers.
Andrea Eccles, 2nd/3rd Grade ELA Teacher
She was raised in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with her parents and older brother. Andrea followed in her brother’s footsteps and attended the University of Maryland where she received a Bachelor of Arts in History. A friend asked her to be a substitute teacher at the school where she taught and it changed her life. Andrea decided to go back to school to get her Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. She has been with the District of Columbia Public Schools system for nine years and has taught grades ranging from first to fourth. Andrea believes all children are able to achieve especially when they are learning in a warm and positive environment where learning is catered to their needs.
Natalia Fuller-Walker, Special Education Teacher
Natalia Walker is a wife and mother of 4 wonderful boys. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, relaxing and observing nature. She is also a professional face painter and has face painted at professional sporting events, community days and birthday parties. Natalia gained her passion for working with children from her experiences as a Recreational Support Counselor in high school. As a counselor, she gained the opportunity to support the inclusion of children with varying needs into various recreational programs. She loved this work so much, that she decided to pursue a degree in Psychology. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she was offered a position as a Behavior Specialist/Support Staff Trainer. In this position, she supported staff and recreational programs with creating inclusive environments, behavior management and communicating with parents. While Natalia loved her position as a Behavior Specialist, something was pulling her towards education. While completing an alternative certification program for special education and elementary education certification, Natalia earned her Master’s degree in Leadership in Teaching with an emphasis in Special Education. Natalia has experience teaching children of varying abilities in a variety of settings. Natalia is currently completing training that will equip her with leadership skills to support her colleagues in Literacy. Natalia believes that education is on-going, which is why you will rarely see her not participating in some form of training. “You can always move towards being the best, but in order to get better, you must have the understanding that becoming the best always has a moving bar.”