At WES Since: 2009
What is your favorite thing about being part of the WES comunity?
My favorite thing about WES is the sense of community and caring that I share with my colleagues. It is a joy to walk through the doors, especially now that my grandson is a Dragon!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
SOMD girl who loves baseball (Nats, of course!) crabs, old-bay, and the water. Happiest with a good book and my feet in the sand. Married to Tim, mom to Cody and TJ, and “Nammie” to Wyatt Jayce and Zoey Rose.
At WES Since: 2021
What excites you about teaching Nursery?
I love to see the milestones each child accomplishes over time and the huge smiles on their faces every day.
What is one of your goals as a teacher?
A goal of mine is to model that it’s okay to make mistakes and there is no such thing as being perfect.
Lauren originally hails from the DC metro area. After graduating from Whitman, she lived in New Zealand for a year as an au pair. She then earned her B.A. from Salisbury University, and most recently served as a lead pre-k teacher for the Goddard School in Bethesda. She loves teaching and seeing the milestones children accomplish from the start and end of the school year. She can’t wait to see the progress of each child this year! In her spare time, she loves to hike the great outdoors with her puppy sidekick, Jasper, when they’re not baking up cookies in her kitchen.
At WES Since: 2018
What is your philosophy on teaching?
My philosophy is character first. I believe it is important that I take the time to help students build their character within the space they are in—guide them to understand their potential and identify their level of success; after that, the learning of everything else easily falls in place.
I joined WES in 2018 after 16 years of service in DC area schools, where I held multiple leadership roles, served as department chair twice, and was part of instructional leadership teams. Most recently at WES, I served as the Elementary Art Teacher and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have a deep passion for effective teaching practices. I enjoy all things art – including sewing and making my own garments. I live in Maryland with my husband, who is a full-time artist, and our two children – also WES Dragons! I earned my bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and my Master of Science Administration in nonprofit management from Trinity Washington University.
At WES Since: 2019
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I always knew I liked languages and teaching. When I realized that it makes me feel proud when someone is speaking my language, it was a natural choice to teach French to foreigners.
What is the best book you have ever read?
I have never been a big reader, but when I read Candide (by Voltaire) in high school, I loved the book. It was interesting, about travelling, meeting different people, and already discussing about differences and prejudices society has (or had at that time). Everything is written with a satirical touch which made it even more enjoyable.
I am a native Parisian who has been in the DC area for the past 5 years. I have over 8 years of experience teaching French to students of all ages and levels. I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching French as a Foreign Language (FLE) from La Sorbonne Université in Paris. I am passionate about sharing my culture and getting students excited about learning French. My teaching style involves creating a dynamic, interactive environment in which students feel engaged and confident. I love sports, especially American football (go Ravens!) and soccer, and I have experience playing and coaching both. I enjoy travelling, experiencing new cultures, and cooking (mostly eating). I am so happy to be part of the WES community!
At WES Since: 2022
Why did you become a teacher?
I love teaching art because this special subject has the ability to boost a kid’s confidence. I like showing my students that there are many, many ways to be an artist.
What excites you about teaching elementary art?
It makes my heart grow to work with a bunch of fearless artists. Children this age live in the moment and can enjoy the process of artmaking as much as the final product. It’s a magical time in a kid’s art career, and I’m excited to be a part of it!
I’m an alumna of Pratt Institute, where I received my bachelors’ in Fine Arts and my master’s in Art and Design Education. For the last several years, I’ve taught art in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and now Bethesda. I also enjoy teaching art so much that I began my own summer camp where I run week-long art programs throughout the summer with children ages 6-16 years old. Outside of work, I continue to enjoy art with oil and acrylic painting! I’ve also begun my journey with olympic weight lifting and I’m excited to participate in competitions in the future.
At WES Since: 2019
What is your philosophy on teaching?
One of the reasons that I am here at WES is our school’s focus on kindness, confidence, and preparation. These three traits will enable a child to thrive both academically and personally. I am proud to be at WES, where we hold these traits up and work towards instilling them in our students every day.
If you could talk to any living person now, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet our First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden. Dr. Biden’s presence in the White House, as both a teacher and First Lady, is an incredible opportunity for all educators, as I believe that she will help to raise up the platform of education and spotlight the incredible work that all educators are doing every day.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and since then have lived in Philadelphia as well as here in Maryland for the last 20 years. I married my high school sweetheart and have two fabulous children. I graduated college with a degree in Art History and wanted to work for MTV more than anything (it was the 80s!) But marriage and family led me to pursue teaching. A career middle-school teacher, I cannot imagine being with any other group of students. I enjoyed teaching and leading students so much that I became an Academic Dean, then a Dean of Students, and now am a Middle School Director. I am so grateful every day to be with people I love to work with – both students and faculty!