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Staff/Faculty Bios

Camrei Adams – Educational Aide

This is Ms. Adams' second year working as an educational aide at Jefferson Academy, and she is absolutely thrilled about continuing to work with students in humanities. She is currently studying to earn her Bachelor's degree in English, and hopes to continue her education and get her Master's degree in secondary education. Ms. Adams' goal is to become an English or Humanities teacher in DCPS and she hopes to accomplish this goal by the end of the next two years. Ms. Adams also has a daughter who is two years old and will be starting preschool this year. 

Melissa Altemose   - 8th Grade Science Teacher

Ms. Altemose is excited to be joining the Jefferson Academy team this year.  Ms. Altemose has taught middle school science for the past 4 years in both North Carolina and D.C.  She is from Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2011 with a Biology Degree.  Ms. Altemose joined the Eastern North Carolina Teach for America Corps after graduation and taught in North Carolina for 2 years before moving to D.C.  Last year she began her Master’s in Science Education at George Mason University.  Ms. Altemose is looking forward to meeting the Jefferson staff, family and students and having a great year.

Kate Alwon Brenner – Instructional Coach

Ms.Alwon has been working in DCPS for the past 7 years as a teacher and instructional coach. She is originally from Massachusetts, but graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 and entered DC Teaching fellows that year. Ms. Alwon earned her Masters of Education at the George Washington University.  Ms.Alwon has worked with students in grade 6-11 and has taught both ELA and Special Education. She has worked with DC Teaching Fellows as an Observation Specialist, observing and supporting new teachers and as a Seminar Leader for The New Teacher Project facilitating an English Teacher Certification course for first year teachers. Kathryn is excited to start her third year as an Instructional Coach at Jefferson and can't wait to collaborate with the staff, new Jeff students and families, and celebrate our gains at the end of next year.

Toni Atkinson-Williams -School Psychologist

This will be the 4th year that Mrs. Atkinson-Williams has been working at Jefferson Academy as a school psychologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Clark College. She matriculated to Ohio State University before transferring to Howard University where she received her master’s degree in school psychology. Having served many schools in DCPS over the years she had a chance to return to her  elementary school (Shepherd Elementary), junior high school (now Paul Charter School), and high school (Wilson High School) to work as a school psychologist.  She enjoys reading, going to plays, concerts, movies, and participating in her reading and women’s investment clubs.  She is looking forward to another year at Jefferson Academy.


Travis Brenner – Physical Education and Health Teacher/Teacher Leader

Travis is originally from a small town in the state of Michigan. He has been active in athletics throughout his entire life, and played baseball, football and wrestled in high school. His love for sports and activity led him to Central Michigan University where he studied to be a Physical Education teacher.

After college he moved to DC and taught PE and Health at Shaw Middle School for 4 years. Following this he moved on up to Jefferson Academy by accepting a PE and Health position there. During his time he has coached a multitude of sports and is currently running a wrestling club at the school. Travis has since pushed his practice by becoming a member of the Teacher Leadership Innovation (TLI) pilot where he coaches other teachers throughout the building, as well as recently accepting a Physical Education Emerging Leaders (PEEL) fellowship where he will learn best practices from great teachers around the District.

Travis is focused on pushing students to prepare themselves to be healthy, wealthy and happy for the rest of their lives by learning to make healthy choices, positive decisions, and always having high expectations for themselves. He is excited to help make Jefferson the highest achieving and most loved middle school in the District!

Tumeka Brooks – Educational Aide

Tumeka Brooks is an Educational Aide who will be joining our team here at Jefferson Academy for the 2014-15 school year.  Ms. Brooks has worked with children throughout her life in many roles from Nuture for Life Respite Care, Various Early Child Care Centers, Teacher's Aide At Hope Christian Academy, and as a Substitute Teacher for Prince George's County Maryland Public Schools. It was while working as a Teacher's Aide at Hope Christian Academy in Beltsville that her love for children grew and she knew she would always be surrounded by children. She held that position for five years. Ms. Brooks moved to Washington, DC in 1989 from Lake Providence, Louisiana. She later graduated from Cardozo SHS in 1992 and went on to pursue higher education at Grambling State University. Ms. Brooks is eager to began her career with us in hopes that her southern and city upbringing, along with her experience as an educator, will allow her to guide children to be productive adults in society.

Jennifer Cersasoli – 6th Grade Math Teacher

This will be Jennifer Cerasoli's 3rd year working at Jefferson Academy. She started as a 7th grade Math and Special Education Teacher Resident and was a 6th and 7th grade math teacher last year. She also taught a reading intervention class! Additionally, Jennifer worked as a 5th and 6th grade Math Teacher for Higher Achievement for two summers in Baltimore and D.C. Jennifer is originally from the Philadelphia Area, but moved to DC two years ago to start her teaching career. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a dual Masters of Secondary Math and Special Education from Lesley University. She is honored to be a part of the JA community again this year. She hopes that her excitement for teaching Math gets the students excited about learning Math. She looks forward to working with the JA staff, students and families to make the sure this school year is an amazing one filled with fun and lots of learning!

Ashley Cobb –8th Grade Mathematics Teacher

Mrs. Cobb is a native Washingtonian growing up in the NE section of the city and was herself a product of DCPS, having attended Burroughs Elementary, Taft Junior High and Dunbar’s Pre-Engineering School. After graduating high school, Mrs. Cobb relocated to Philadelphia where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Social Work and spent many years advocating on behalf of children and families. Mrs. Cobb then earned her Masters of Education at Drexel University. This is Ashley Cobb’s first year working in DCPS. She spent the past year as the 8th Grade Math and NFTE instructor at Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy. Prior to Friendship, Mrs. Cobb spent two years teaching 6th and 7th grade math, social studies and upholstery in Philadelphia, PA. When she has free time, Mrs. Cobb enjoys reading and traveling with her family. Mrs. Cobb is extremely excited to return to DCPS as a teacher and is eager to embark on a new and rewarding journey with the entire Jefferson community.

Sabrina Collins- 6th Grade Humanities Teacher

Sabrina Collins is thrilled to join the JA faculty as a sixth grade Humanities teacher. Originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, Sabrina recently moved to the DMV to work at Jefferson Academy. She has a BA in African American Studies from Emory University in African American Studies, a MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University and a Juris Doctor from FAMU College of Law. Sabrina has taught at schools throughout the state of Florida. She began her teaching career at Miami Dade College and has taught every grade level down to fourth. She is excited to share her passion for literature, culture and justice with her students at Jefferson Academy. 

Brandie Crump - 6th Grade Humanities

Ms. Crump is ecstatic to be returning to Jefferson as a 6th grade Humanities teacher!  ​​Originally from Oakland, CA, she prides herself in bringing a culturally rich and rigorous experience to the classroom. She graduated from Spelman College in 2009 with a BA in English. She then went on to join the program, Urban Teacher Center (UTC) where the motto is, "A great teacher every time" and earned a Dual Masters degree in K-12 Literacy and Special Education. As the first one to attend college in her family, she values hard word and maintains high expectations for all learners. She has thrived teaching 5th-9th grade over the past three years through her creative teaching style, data-driven lessons and interpersonal relationships. This year, students will have the privilege of participating in Georgetown's program, "One World Youth Project (OYWP),​ where Ms. Crump's students communicate via skype with other middle schoolers in another country. In addition, her classroom will also have a partnership with an embassy through the Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) this year. Ms. Crump is proud to have spent the summer revising a district-wide social studies test as well as writing curriculum for DCPS' new Cornerstone program - an initiative to bring equity in the classroom.  The very first Cornerstone of the year, that every 6th grader in DCPS will be completing, was designed and created by Ms. Crump, herself, with Jefferson students in mind. This is just one example of how Ms. Crump is intentional about setting her students up for success not only in the classroom but also in society and life. Ms. Crump is eager to work with another group of 6th graders and make strides in reading, writing and critical thinking.

Greg Dohmann - Principal

Greg Dohmann is in his first year as the principal of Jefferson Academy. Prior to coming to Jefferson, he taught 6th and 7th grade Math at Friendship Tech Prep Academy in Southeast D.C. Mr. Dohmann is originally from Centreville, Va., and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Following college, he spent two years working at a production researcher at ESPN in Bristol, Ct. But he soon realized that his true passion lived in the classroom, and while making that transition earned his Master's in Secondary Education from American University. Mr. Dohmann has been named his school's Teacher of the Year on two occasions, and in 2013, received the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching. Mr. Dohmann completed his leadership training from New Leaders, an organization that develops transformational school leaders to drive student achievement. Mr. Dohmann is excited for his new role and even MORE excited to continue working with Jefferson students, staff, and families!


Kathryn Douglas - Math Teacher & Special Education TLI

Kathryn is excited to be back for her second year with the JA family! She has worked in DCPS for the last five years as a math, science and reading special education teacher.  Prior to working at Jefferson, Kathryn spent four years at Shaw Middle School working with grades 6 - 9. Kathryn grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she developed a love for learning and Michigan football. She received her bachelor’s degree in finance at Miami University in Ohio before moving to DC to pursue her Master’s in Special Education from George Mason University. Kathryn lives on NE DC with her husband, Chris, and her puppy, Cooper, and enjoys reading, running and puzzling.

Shanita Edwards – Assistant of Strategy and Logistics

Shanita Edwards was born and raised in Washington, DC. She received her education in DCPS, graduating from HD Woodson. This is Ms. Edwards first year at Jefferson Academy and she couldn't be more excited. She has previously worked with United Negro College Fund, as well as Democracy Prep Congress Heights PCS and looks forward to continuing her career in education with Jefferson Academy. Ms. Edwards will be joining the team as the Assistant of School Logistics. She enjoys spending time with family, writing poetry, cooking, going to concerts, and watching football while cheering for the Dallas Cowboys! Ms. Edwards is eager to establish and build new relationships with JA staff, students and families.

Amber Fournier - 8th Grade Humanities Teacher

Amber Fournier is excited to return for her second year at Jefferson in her new role as an 8th grade Humanities teacher. Ms. Fournier is originally from Massachusetts, where she attended Assumption College and graduated with a degree in English and Spanish. She also studied abroad at the University of Salamanca, where she had plenty of time to practice her Spanish, watch soccer (futbol!) games, and eat delicious Spanish foods.  After college, she had the pleasure of teaching high school Spanish and remedial English in Greenwood, Mississippi for three years as a Teach For America corps member.  In her free time, Ms. Fournier enjoys reading as many books as she can get her hands on and traveling to foreign countries (next up - Mexico!). She is super pumped about teaching Humanities this year because she enjoys helping students develop a love for reading!

Sarah Garner – School Counselor

Sarah Garner has been volunteering and working in urban schools since high school.  She has been dedicated to working with youth to promote their emotional well-being to ensure academic success. She is originally from Wisconsin, but graduated from Western New England University in 2009.  She then went on to be an Americorps volunteer in DCPS.  After completing her term she completed her Masters at Johns Hopkins University.  The past two years she has worked at SEED Public Charter School as a counselor during the evening boarding program.  She has worked with many individuals and groups to overcome emotional challenges so that her students could focus on their academics.  Sarah believes in addressing the needs of the whole child, not just the academic student in order to prepare the student with life skills.  Sarah is excited to be joining the Jefferson Academy team for her second year and is looking forward to building relationships with the students, families and Jefferson community. 

Michelle Green (formerly Alexander) – Art and Digital Media Teacher

Michelle Green has been working in DCPS for the past 3 years as a Math and Science General and Special Education Teacher. Born in Taiwan, China, she immigrated to the USA at age 2 and spent several years living in Maryland. At age eight Mrs. Green moved with her family to Beijing, China, where she remained until high school graduation. Mrs. Green graduated from McDaniel College in 2009 with Studio Art and Digital Design majors. After managing a retail camera store, Mrs. Green entered DC Teaching fellows. She has worked at Jefferson Academy since its creation in 2011, teaching Math and Science for incoming 6th graders. This year Mrs. Green will begin teaching her favorite subject: ART! She is excited to be educating the entire JA community in all things art and design! She can't wait to collaborate with the staff, meet the new Jeff students and families, work with the returning students, and celebrate our gains at the end of next year!

Jessica Harris – Band Teacher

This will be Ms. Harris’ 2nd year teaching band at Jefferson. Ms. Harris was born in northern California and moved to Washington State to earn a Masters degree in Music Education from the University of Puget Sound. She taught middle school band for three years in Washington State before moving across the country to DC. Ms. Harris is extremely proud of the Jefferson band and cannot wait to see students continue to grow their technical skills and artistic expression!

Daniel Hawes – Spanish Teacher

Mr. Hawes is excited to be returning to Jefferson Academy to teach Spanish!  This will be his third year teaching at Jefferson.  After 13 years of working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality, he became a Spanish teacher following a successful two-year stint in Argentina teaching English as a second language to adults.  His experiences living abroad with everything from empanadas to tango to soccer solidified his love for the Spanish language and culture, and he is thrilled to bring his first hand experiences to the classroom to help our Trojans become lifelong second language learners.  In addition to his time in Argentina, he has travelled extensively throughout Latin America and Spain.  Mr. Hawes has lived in D.C. for over 20 years.  He enjoys cooking, reading, travelling, and of course, listening to Spanish pop music. He can't wait to meet our new Trojans and to get them communicating in Spanish!  ¡Con el español, adelantamos!  ​




Trilby Hillenbrand - 7th Grade Science and Project Lead the Way

Trilby Hillenbrand has been working in DCPS for 7 years as a middle school Science teacher. She grew up in New York and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology at the University of Rochester in 2008. After college, Trilby moved to DC, joined the DC Teaching Fellows program, and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Science at American University. Trilby is passionate about teaching students to read, write, think and problem solve like scientists! Last year, Ms. Hillenbrand assisted 3 Jefferson Academy students with projects for the DC STEM Fair and they earned multiple awards for their excellent work. This summer Ms. Hillenbrand is working with a team of teachers to develop rigorous classroom assignments that will be used in middle school science classrooms across the city, and she is getting ready for the birth of her first child in September! Trilby is excited to being returning to JA for another great school year!​

Crystal Hines – Assistant of Strategy and Logistics

Ms. Hines is originally from Brooklyn, New York. After spending most of her formative years between Brooklyn and Boston, she moved to the DC area in 1994.   For 7 years she worked for George Washington University Health Plan as Member Services and Benefits Explanation Supervisor. In search of a more exciting career, Crystal then went to work for the National Association of Home Builders as a Conference and Special Events Manager for 9 years. During this time she juggled a busy travel schedule and coursework towards earning her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certificate. Most recently Crystal has worked as Program Manager for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and has volunteered as an LSAT member, office assistant and PTA President here at Jefferson Academy. Crystal is proud parent of Robert, an “A” honor roll student and member of the founding class at Jefferson Academy. She enjoys walking, traveling, reading, dancing, outings with friends, music, movies, and animals.

Caroline Hunt – Physical Education and Health Teacher

Caroline Hunt has been working in DCPS for the past 5 years as a Physical Education and Health Teacher. She is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but graduated from East Carolina University in 2008 with a BS as a Health Fitness Specialist. After working in a physically therapy clinic creating exercise prescriptions for people of all ages, she decided to go back to ECU to earn a Masters of Arts in Teacher with a concentration in Physical Education. She started her teaching career at Maury Elementary School and transferred to JA last year. Caroline completed the Physical Education Emerging Leader program during the 2014/15 school year and is currently working on the district wide Corner Stones project. Along with her teaching partner Mr. Brenner, she is looking forward to another successful year teaching our students how to life healthy and active lives!

Larissa Jakubow-- 8th Grade Humanities Teacher

Larissa started at Jefferson Academy last January as a Special Educator, Social Studies, and Math teacher. Although she grew up in Wisconsin, Larissa has spent the past ten years living in the Commonwealth of Virginia, growing up in the nation's colonial capital. Larissa attended the University of Virginia, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in History in May of 2013, and finished her Master's in Teaching the following December. While in college, Larissa had the opportunity to conduct research with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, tutor students at the local high schools and elementary schools, and work as a tour guide at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Prior to working for DCPS, Larissa was a student teacher and substitute for Charlottesville City Schools and Albemarle County School district, teaching Math, Special Ed, Government, and Economics/Personal Finance. Larissa cannot wait to work with our rising class of 2024 and make sure we make our JA Big Hairy Audacious Goals!



Tita Jones - Attendance Counselor

Ms. Tita Jones is the Attendance Counselor at Jefferson Academy Middle School.  She has been employed by DC Public Schools for 25 years.  Ms. Jones is a native Washingtonian and attended DC Public Schools.

Ms. Jones graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree in 1985.  Ms. Jones loves to listen to gospel and classical music. Ms. Jones has been afforded the opportunity to travel out of the country.  Her furthest destination was to South Africa in 2002.    

Ms. Jones’s position as the Attendance Counselor is now included in Jefferson Academy’s School Operations Team.  Ms. Jones is looking forward to another year of collaborating with colleagues and providing attendance support to students and their families.   

Ms. Jones has lent her support to some of Jefferson Middle School’s student activities, namely the student government association where she served as a co-sponsor.  However, Ms. Jones devotes most of her time and energy to Jefferson’s attendance program.

Ms. Jones believes in the vision that Jefferson will be the “highest” achieving Middle School for all students.

It is her ultimate goal to achieve 95% or better In- Seat student daily attendance at Jefferson.

Lang Kanai – Advanced Writing Teacher and Librarian

This is Mr. Kanai's first year teaching at Jefferson Academy and he couldn't be more thrilled to serve as JA writing teacher and school Librarian. He has five years of teaching experience working in both DC Public schools and area private schools. Mr. Kanai graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in English, and in 2011 received his Master's degree in English Literature from Georgetown University. He has been living in D.C. for the last three years and loves playing pickup basketball, listening to live music, and of course, reading! Some of his favorite books are The Hobbit, The Old Man and the Sea, and of course, all the Harry Potter books. He is always excited to talk about books new and old!

Julia King - 7th Grade Math Teacher

Julia King is a seventh grade math teacher at Jefferson Academy.  Julia graduated from The George Washington University and received her Master’s in Education from Dominican University.  An educator for the past seven years, Julia is deeply committed to educational equity and social justice.  She began her career as a third grade teacher in Gary, Indiana through Teach for America.  After teaching in Gary, Julia moved to Washington, DC and taught for four years at DC Prep.  Throughout her time at DC Prep, she served as a middle school math and reading teacher as well as a grade level chair and founding assistant principal.  In 2013, she was awarded the honor of DC Teacher of the Year.  Most recently, Julia served as the founding Upper Academy Director at Democracy Prep Congress Heights.  She is eager to continue to serve students in Washington, DC and is thrilled to join the Jefferson Academy team.  




Keith Kirkland – Behavior Tech

Keith Kirkland, a native Washingtonian, has served DC Public Schools since 2010 in the capacity of Instructional Aide in both Early Childhood and SPED classrooms. Mr. Kirkland holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in music therapy from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and is pursuing a Master’s of Science in education from Walden University. He enjoys roller skating, running, bike riding, reading comic books, and cooking. This is his first year here at Jefferson Academy and he is ecstatic about the serving its intelligent students.  

Christina Lee – Assistant Principal

Mrs. Lee graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Spanish and Drama.  At UVA she was a proud member of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, and worked as a scenic artist when she wasn't busy studying!  Following graduation, she moved overseas where she taught English to students ranging from Pre-K to adult learners. She later taught Spanish at Collegiate Academy in NE, and completed a Masters in Teaching at American University.  After two years at Collegiate she transferred to teach Spanish and Drama as a founding team member of Tech Prep Academy. In 2010 Mrs. Lee was nominated Tech Prep's Teacher of the Year, and in 2011 became a National Board Certified teacher. She recently completed a Masters in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

On a more personal note, Mrs. Lee has seven siblings and loves to spend time with her family including her husband, darling daughter, baby son, dog, and cat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, learning languages, and rock climbing.  

Mrs. Lee is truly excited to continue her work with the staff, students, and parents of Jefferson Academy, especially the wonderful 8th grade!

Meredith Leonard – College Literature Teacher

Meredith Leonard is in her eighth year teaching within DC Public schools as an English and Advanced Writing teacher.  Though she is originally from New Jersey, Meredith has lived in DC for the past twelve years.  She attended the Catholic University of America and graduated in 2008 with a BA in English Language and Literature and Secondary Education.  During her time at CUA, Meredith tutored in DCPS and became very invested in the students and the school system, so she made the decision to stay and teach in the District.  Meredith has taught at Shaw Middle School, Hart Middle School, and is excited to begin her third year teaching at Jefferson Academy.  She has also collaborated with the District to create Common Core Curricular documents and will be working with the Teacher Leadership Innovation this year at Jefferson to ensure that all students, staff and family members love school!  She can't wait to meet her new Advanced Writing students and families and work with all JA students!

Britany Locher - 7th Grade Humanities

This is Ms. Locher’s 3rd year at Jefferson Academy and she could not be more delighted! She will be teaching 7th grade Humanities at JA. Ms. Locher got her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.  After working in D.C. for a bit, Ms. Locher decided to go back to school and get her master’s degree in public health with a focus in community and health education from East Carolina University. She enjoys reading, being outside, hiking, spending time with her family and puppy, trying new places to eat in D.C., watching TV series and going to concerts.  Ms. Locher lives in D.C. and is looking forward to exploring the area and meeting her neighbors. She is excited to see new faces at JA and reconnecting with familiar ones. ​




Morgan Markbreiter – Globaloria Teacher and Math Specialist

Morgan Markbreiter is joining the Jefferson Academy Community from Noyes Education Campus where she taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade math. She is originally from New York, and graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Statistics. Immediately after graduating, Ms. Markbreiter joined the DC education community as a Teaching Fellow. Ms. Markbreiter is currently pursuing her Masters of Education with a focus in Educational Leadership at American University. In her free time Morgan enjoys dancing, and hopes to offer her many years of experience to Jefferson in an extracurricular domain. She can’t wait to collaborate with the staff and meet the students and families of Jeff. Ms. Markbreiter is so excited to be joining the JA community as the seventh grade Mathematics teacher!

Tierra Matu – Assistant of Strategy and Logistics

Tierra Matu comes to Jefferson with a strong background in sales and customer service. Her experience working at Ricoh and NIH has equipped her to implement creative, solution-oriented systems and build meaningful working relationships with various stakeholders. Ms. Matu thrives in supporting roles and she looks forward to working with parents, teachers and students to provide a warm, welcoming and efficient front-office experience. Ms. Matu holds a B.S. degree in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising.

Michelle Mays – Director of Strategy and Logistics

Michelle Mays joins the staff at Jefferson Academy as the Director of School Operations with more than ten years of experience in operations, human resources, facilities, janitorial, and quality assurance management. She recently held positions with government contractors as the Supervisory Quality Control Manager at the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agency and as the Supervisory Quality Assurance Specialist for more than four years at the Library of Congress (LOC). Her career in operations began at DC Preparatory Academy- Middle School as the founding operations manager. She holds a law degree from the University of Baltimore and a BA in Law and Society from Hood College. Michelle is excited to join the team at Jefferson Academy and return to the educational setting.

Justin McKee - 7th Grade Humanities

Justin McKee has been teaching in the DC area for the past 4 years as a History, Religion, and English Teacher.  He is originally from upstate New York and went to school at SUNY Plattsburgh where he earned a B.A. in History and his Masters of Science in Teaching.  After graduation, he moved to the DC area and worked in real estate and substitute taught in Montgomery County Public Schools.  He started teaching at a private school in Prince George's County teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade History and Religion.  After two years, he moved to a public charter school in Washington, D.C. teaching 7th History and 5th ELA.  Mr. McKee lives in Washington, D.C. and is an avid sports enthusiast currently playing for a local rugby club, the Washington Irish RFC, which plays teams all up and down the East Coast.  He is a huge fan of the Miami Dolphins and also enjoys exploring the DC area, especially all of the museums that it has to offer.  Mr. McKee is excited to start his first year at Jefferson and looks forward to having an excellent year with the staff, the students, and their families.

DeAngelo Moody – Lead Behavior Tech

DeAngelo Moody is going into his second year with both DCPS and Jefferson Academy. DeAngelo has been developing his skills in education for the past 4 years. He is originally from Denmark, South Carolina, but graduated and received his undergraduate degree in Education from Howard University here in Washington, DC. He has worked at the former Maya Angelou Public Charter School and Paul Public Charter School working with grades six through eight. DeAngelo is enthused and ecstatic to be a part of the Trojan family for a second year and is looking forward to meeting the new Trojans their families and making the upcoming 2015-2016 school year a great one as the Lead Behavior Tech.  


Latisha Nero - 6th Grade Math and Science Teacher

Ms. Nero is beyond excited to begin her 2nd year at Jefferson Academy as a 6th grade Math Teacher.  Ms. Nero has been an educator for the past six years.  She served as a member of the Fairfax County Public Schools system for five years and joined DCPS last year.  Ms. Nero is originally from Long Island, New York and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education and Chemistry from SUNY College at Oneonta in 2008.  She moved down to Northern Virginia in 2009 and taught first grade for one year and sixth grade for four years at Graham Road Elementary School.  In addition to having a love for teaching, Ms. Nero is very passionate about technology and obtained her Master’s Degree in Technology Integration from Nova Southeastern University in 2013.  In her free time, Ms. Nero enjoys reading, going to the movies with friends, and working out.  She is also a life-long NY Giants fan who is highly anticipating the start of the 2015 NFL season.  Ms. Nero cannot wait to continue to build upon the success at JA and help to ensure that Jefferson is the highest-performing middle school in DC!       

Brittani Ogden – Special Education Teacher & Special Education Chair

Brittani Ogden has been working at Jefferson Academy for 3 years as a special education teacher. Ms. Ogden graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2012 with a BS in Biology. Upon graduation, she entered the DC Teaching Fellows and has been at JA ever since. In addition to her role as a special education teacher, Ms. Ogden is the LEA Representative at Jefferson. Brittani is very excited for all the wonderful things happening at Jefferson Academy and cannot wait for this upcoming school year!  

Shanita Proctor-Marshall, MS – Wrap Care Coordinator

Mrs. Marshall recently earned her Master's Degree at the University of the District of Columbia in May 2015. Graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.90, Shanita was involved in many student activities such as being a member of the Counseling Department Advisory Board and served as the President of the Graduate Counseling Club for two consecutive years. Shanita also belongs to several professional organizations such as Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society (Chapter Vice President), and the American School Counselor's Association (ASCA). Prior to her position as a Care Coordinator, Mrs. Marshall worked as a Day Treatment  and Intensive In-Home Counselor for Therapeutic Interventions in Alexandria, VA from 2012-2015. She enjoys reading, traveling, art, and spending time with family. Shanita is excited to become a part of the Jefferson family and is eager to start fresh for the 2015-16 school year!

Ashley Shepherd – 7th Grade Humanities Teacher

Ashley Shepherd is a first year teacher in DCPS.  She was born, and spent most of her life, in Radford, Virginia before attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, otherwise known as Virginia Tech.  After graduating, she entered Urban Teacher Center where she began pursuing her Masters of Education and Special Education.  This past year, Ashley was lucky enough to spend her resident year with the program at Jefferson.  She is very excited to continue her journey at Jefferson Academy as a seventh grade teacher and get to know more of the students and the staff.  She can’t wait to see everything we accomplish in the next year!





Alyce Shields - 7th Grade Math Teacher

Alyce Shields is so excited to be officially joining the JA Team this year as a 7th Grade BOOST & Inclusion Math Teacher after having spent the past year as a Math Teaching Resident at Jefferson. She loves this community and cannot wait to work with such amazing students, families, and staff! Alyce graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelors degree in Management Information Systems before moving to Washington, D.C. Her passion for young people and education inspired her to join Urban Teacher Center, where she is pursuing her Masters of Education in Secondary Mathematics and Special Education from Lesley University. Alyce lives in DC with her husband, Nicholas, and their dog, Liberty. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the city, a nice adventure with her pup, and making Pinterest crafts. Alyce is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love for mathematics with her students, and she cannot wait to be amazed by the growth this upcoming year will bring!

Tanisha Smith – CustodianTanisha Smith has been working in cleaning services for the past one in a half years as a janitor. She was born in Washington, DC, she graduated from Oxon Hill High School in 2007. She then progressed and rapidly entered the work field,  her first job was as a sales associate at Lady's Foot Locker because of her good work ethics she became an assistant manager in 1 year. She work there for 3 years then went to explore better opportunities. She started working for the W Hotel position was to valet park and was there for 2 years. Then sooner proceeded to work as a janitor for Sanatronics Cleaning Services at the State Department Building for 1 1/2 years, as of now trying to pursue a job where she can move up in her position as well as earn more benefits. This is a little about Tanisha Smith and her work experiences, and hopefully this may give you an idea on the work she's done throughout her years and how she have the experiences that's possibly needed.

Langston Tingling-Clemmons – 8th Grade Humanities

Langston Tingling-Clemmons Is a native Washingtonian who graduated from DC Public Schools.  He graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academia High School and attended Bucknell University, where he earned a degree in History and Spanish. Currently he is in a Graduate School program for a master’s degree in Education Leadership.  He has been an English teacher in DC for the past five years.  This year will be his second year at Jefferson Academy on the 8th grade team.  He cannot wait to help transition the second graduating class of JA to high school!

Gabriel Webster – 6th Grade Math and Science Teacher

Mr. Webster can't wait for another exciting year teaching 6th grade math and science! He is entering his 3rd year teaching at JA, and 4th year teaching math on the district. Growing up in Boston, Mr. Webster attended Union College in New York before moving to DC to get his Masters in Teaching at American University. He is also a Math for America DC Fellow.  

When he's not exploring the wonderful world of mathematics Mr. Webster loves playing ultimate frisbee, hiking, reading, and cooking delicious food. He can't wait to help his kids become the best mathematicians in DC!




Udean Mars Williams Life and Environmental Science Teacher

Udean Mars Williams will be joining the Jefferson Academy family this academic year as a Life and Environmental Science teacher.  A graduate of  Howard University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and from Trinity University with a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration.  She served on the leadership team for Prince George’s County and assisted in revising the 9th grade science curriculum.  She was also a writer for the conceptual physics and chemistry curriculum for the County.  Mrs. Mars-Williams is one of the educators who worked on the script for the Smithsonian Museum of National History exhibit Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code.  ­­­­Outside of professional interests, she travels widely, plays the tenor steel-pan and crocheting. 


Hope Witherspoon – Community Affairs and OST Director

Hope Witherspoon is the Community Affairs and OST Director here at Jefferson Academy. Hope is a native Washingtonian and a Mother of two precocious daughters.  She received her undergraduate degree from Benedict College, where she majored in English Literature.  Hope Witherspoon went on to receive her graduate degree from George Mason University where she received a Masters in the Art of Teaching.  The program that she embarked upon while attending George Mason University was entitled “Initiatives in Educational Transformation.”  Her graduate program was aligned with her aim to inspire and disseminate hope in the minds of the students that she taught.  As a teacher she was driven to teach children to change the world.  She believes that education is our great equalizer.  She knows that education can and does provide a pathway of ascension for every child facing obstacles that they can’t see their way around. She knows because education provided that for her.   She believes that education is a transformative light.