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Name Biography
JER
Henriette Azimi Born in the Netherlands, I arrived in the US in 1980 and worked at the Netherlands Embassy in DC for nearly 10 years. I was taught how to knit and crochet at an early age and I always enjoyed it. In 2013 I became a Certified Knitting Teacher through the Craft Yarn Council of America and have taught knitting (beginners and intermediate classes) at ACL since 2014. Knitting with other people is one of the great joys of life.
Joseph Barone

Joseph S. Barone has been in the learning/training field for over 35 years, working as a high school social studies teacher, for the NYC Dept. of Records, and The World Bank.  When he started his own consulting business (A Fool for Learning, LLC) in 2019, he decided that one way to market his skills/experience was to podcast.  So, his channel FOOLISH THOUGHTS was born, in which he speaks about training/learning, networking, management, and whatever other foolish thoughts come to mind.   With over 140 episodes under his belt, his goal is to share his thoughts and insights on the things you need to consider, if you decide to embark upon the podcasting adventure.

Dan Belhassen
Gail Benkert
Michael Bromley
Mariaelena Bucelli

Maria Elena Bucelli was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but moved to Milan, Italy, at a young age, where she completed her education. Later in life, she moved to the United States and obtained a Master’s degree in Foreign language and literature and a TESL certificate. She taught at Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University, where she was the faculty director for the Study Abroad Programs in Spain, Italy and Latin America. She taught English to Italians, Italian to foreigners, and Spanish to Italians while she lived in Milan for fifteen years. Now a retired teacher of Spanish and Italian of Arlington County Public Schools, she has been teaching for the Community Learning Center for six years.

Jim Cassatt After retiring from government service, Dr. Cassatt turned his lifelong passion for photography into a successful second career. He has been taking pictures since high school and learned the basics of photography before anything was automatic. Since dismantling his darkroom he has fully embraced digital technology. He maintains a well-equipped residential studio in Crystal City. He has been teaching with Arlington Community Learning since 2012.
Luis Castellanos

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Luis is an eLearning, Security and Technology Expert, that has worked in the Systems Engineering and Military fields, developing a successful career as a professor and spokesman in several Venezuelan universities, in undergraduate and graduate programs, in subjects related to Information Technology and Math. He also obtained an eLearning expert, Teaching Component and Accelerated Learning Facilitator Diploma. In his personal web page writes and publishes papers about personal growth, humor, quotes, management, security, and travel. He is Honoris Cause Doctor, awarded by the Iberoamerican Council in Honor of Excellence in Education. Father of two kids and a poodle. Feels great passion for the good food, photography, meditation and outdoor activities. Jon has over 20 years of experience as a financial advisor and is a co-founder of KCBP, LLC. He focuses on holistic financial planning by reviewing investment, insurance, tax, retirement and estate planning strategies with his clients. He has taught adult education financial planning workshops at various universities, high schools, and businesses in the Washington, DC area. Jon has also hosted a weekly retirement planning radio show. The Financial Times has recognized Jon on their FT400 list as one of the top 400 financial advisors nationwide*.

Cecilia Cevallos
Simon Contreras

Simón R.  Contreras is a native Venezuelan.  He earned a B.A and a Master in Education from George Washington University. He taught Spanish for 34 years at the high school level, He teaches Spanish  at Nova, the University of Maryland and The U. S Senate Page Program. He is the author of a novel (Las Hijas del Mastranto, 2005) and a flamenco and ballroom dancer. He also taught Spanish for Educators to a national audience via satellite.

Jane Coonce-McElvany McElvany Coonce, Jane Jane McElvany has been teaching in Arlington County for 28 years and has been with the Adult Education Program for 21 years. She was awarded her Bachelor's degree from High Point University and did her graduate work at the University of Virginia. As an artist, Jane works in pastel and in oil paints, but also does portrait sculptures and figures. Her works are held by the National Institute of Health and by private collectors. Her Key Bridge painting appeared on the cover of the Washington Post Magazine.
Noa Cuadra
Asta D'Errico
Dave Daly Daly, Dave Dave Daly has been the building trades instructor for Alexandria City Schools since 1975. He received his BS in Education and a Master's in Vocational Education. Dave worked as a home improvement contractor in Chicago and Northern Virginia from 1971-1979.
Bob Davidson Bob is the CEO of BDA Financial, where he leads his clients’ investment management and planning. He has been in the financial services industry for 35 years and before that, he had a career as a biologist. After spending a decade in developing countries, often without running water or electricity, he was looking for a stable career where he could still give back to others (he spent time in the Peace Corps, as well!). He found financial planning and never looked back. In his time in the industry, Bob has earned many top designations, including being a Chartered Financial Consultant, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and Chartered Life Underwriter. These three designations show his enthusiasm for learning and serving his clients to the best of his ability. He considers himself a constant learner and always enjoys learning new things and being an important resource for his clients. He is also a natural problem-solver and enjoys learning about his clients’ life experiences, families, and hopes.Outside of the office, Bob enjoys spending time with his close-knit family, including his wife, three children, grandson and granddaughter. He enjoys traveling (even after so many years living abroad) and working on his Spanish.
Massimo De Bernardinis
Richard Delos Reyes

A native Arlingtonian, Richard has been performing professionally since the age of thirteen. With multiple shows under his belt, he started to privately teach guitar and bass to friends in his neighborhood. Since then, Richard has taught numerous classes, workshops and camps. Back in the fall of 2014, Richard was approached by the pre-production team of Andrew Lloyd Webber to help their lead Alex Brightman to play and sing guitar for the fall 2015 musical “School of Rock”. The musical opened to rave reviews, and Alex Brightman received a Tony nomination for best male performance. Richie has been teaching for over twenty years and loves to interact and have fun with his students; his bohemian approach to teaching guitar is both infectious and viral.

Mary Dereshiwsky
Omnia El-Hakim Dr. Omnia ElHakim was born, and raised, in Cairo, Egypt, in the land of the Pharaohs and Ancient Civilizations. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, she moved to the United States- 40 years ago-to obtain her graduate education. Dr. ElHakim received a PhD in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a Professor and Researcher, Dr. ElHakim has taught many courses in Engineering while simultaneously raising millions of dollars to create sustainable diversity programs designed to reach and support diverse students in the STEM fields. Dr. ElHakim has worked at Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College and National Science Foundation as Professor, Department Chair and Assistant Dean, and is keen to enhance equity and diversity among students while providing opportunities to advance their research excellence and innovative thoughts. Dr. ElHakim joined the Arlington Community Learning Education Team in 2014 as a Mathematics and Arabic language Instructor. She believes in the value of diversity and enjoys meeting people and teaching mathematics to many students, as she feels a good understanding of mathematics is a key to success in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
Coreen Endo
Ellen Farnham A resident of Arlington, VA for 30+ years this is ‘home’. For the past 18 years I have been teaching skin care and color cosmetics (using Mary Kay products). My business has allowed me both financial freedom and flexibility. Originally from NH I graduated from Southern New Hampshire University (formerly NH College) with a degree in Accounting. I then went on to achieve my CPA. Along with teaching skin care and color cosmetics I work as a Controller for an international nonprofit here in VA. I enjoy both careers and love the balance they provide in my life. In addition, I enjoy sharing my love for taking care of your skin at any age and applying color cosmetic techniques you can use.
Harper Franklin Harper Franklin is a dress and fashion historian who is passionate about bringing history to life. She first earned a bachelor’s degree in Theatre, focusing on costume design, from James Madison University in Virginia. Soon after, she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she received her master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice with a curatorial concentration. In May 2018, she completed her master’s thesis covering the American theatre hat problem of the late nineteenth century (her article covering this research was recently published in the Journal of Dress History). Since graduation, Harper served as a researcher on the 2019 CNN documentary film Halston, spoken at academic conferences, and continued personal research on topics such as contemporary dress codes and the 20th century department store designer, Sophie of Saks Fifth Avenue. Most recently, Harper researched and wrote all ten 19th century “decade overviews” for the FIT Fashion History Timeline (available online). She is currently working as a Digital Archivist at Condé Nast.
Gloria Funes
Tom Gutnick Tom Gutnick is the owner of Sunny Banana IT Consulting, with decades of experience in information security, enterprise architecture, web-site design, and more. His clients have ranged from Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses and non-profit organizations. He has taught everything from junior high science as a Peace Corps volunteer to high-level computer seminars for corporate audiences. In addition to personal technology classes for Arlington Adult Education, he teaches information systems classes at Northern Virginia Community College.
Aida Haddad

Aida graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Arabic literature and a Teaching Diploma. She taught Arabic as a native and foreign language in Lebanon, Greece and the US.Aida published her short stories and translations in various outlets (Annahar, Alhayat newspapers, Ghurba magazine, Cultural Studies Quarterly, Al-hakawati, Almukhtar, Mitra, World Bank blogs and others). Together with Mishka Mojabber Mourani, she co-authored a bilingual book of poems, “Alone Together”, and a short story “Hiatus” published in Lunch Ticket literary magazine, Fall 2019. Aida started teaching at Arlington Community Learning in 2018.

Jean Haefner
Will Hahn
Lamine Hamdad
Andy Helmi
Aaron Herrera
Sandra Hill Ms. Hill has been painting nearly all of her life and has taken many workshops and classes from local and nationally known artists. Ms. Hill has 15 years of experience teaching art, and has taught at ACL for 3 years. She teaches two watercolor classes, one of which focuses on learning about fun watercolor techniques. The other is a workshop class for more advanced watercolor students. She teaches an acrylic class on “Painting like Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh.” Besides creating her own art, her passion is having the opportunity to share her skill and knowledge with others.
Amanda Hine
Craig Hirai Craig Hirai was a civilian computer specialist for the Army and Marine Corps in the Pentagon and Navy Annex and helped support some of the over five thousand Macintoshes in the world’s largest office building. When he left government service, he became the owner and president of MacUpgrades, an independent Apple Computer dealer in Bethesda and Gaithersburg, MD. He is currently the President of the Virginia Macintosh Users Group which has individuals with a common interest in Apple’s and other companies’ electronic and service products, including computers, tablets, cell phones, watches, TVs, music, and so on! He’s had many years of experience teaching primarily senior students how to enjoy their newfangled electronic devices and stay out of trouble!
Diane Hunter Diane N. Hunter’s love for sewing began in a Home Economics class as a senior in high school. She went on to graduate from Virginia State University where she earned a Vocational Home Economics Degree. Diane is a recently retired teacher from Arlington County Public Schools. She has been an instructor in the Arlington County evening program for the past few years, where she has served as the Beginning Sewing Class teacher, as well has taught more advanced sewing classes. She also gives instructions on the purchase, use and care of the sewing machine. She makes sewing fun!!!
Susan Hurrell
Mary Beth Izard
Veronica Jackson
Darrell Johnson I’m a native of the state of Georgia. As a graduate of Columbus State University with a B.A. in Communications, and with work on an M.F.A. degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C., I have over twenty years of experience as an author, screenwriter, independent filmmaker, educational television producer, and technology coordinator. My current projects include a screenplay adaptation and a tv pilot script adaptation of two original Y.A. fantasy series. When it comes to writing, I’m motivated to help others realize their creative dreams with practical, results-oriented methods
Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones is a classically trained pianist who received her Master’s in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2016. She has taught private piano lessons since she was sixteen. In 2018 she began teaching through Arlington Adult Education discussing music theory, piano technique, music history and playing great music in the Intermediate Piano course. She finds studying music with others to be intellectually stimulating, spiritually fulfilling, and full of joy.
Adriene Jordan
Bolormaa Jugdersuren
Kate Kalis
John Kauffman John has 20 years’ experience explaining concepts of technology to both specialists and wide audiences. He has taught several hundred courses on four continents and has presented numerous lectures at professional programmers’ conferences. From 1995 to 2005 he wrote six books on the techniques of integrating business data into web sites. His current technology interests include teaching Visual Basic as an introduction to programming, advanced features of Excel, embedded micro controller systems and artificial intelligence in small-scale robotics. Away from the computer he spends time swimming, sailing, drumming and objecting to the use of statistics to lie.
Johanna Kehoe Kehoe, Johanna C. Johanna C. Kehoe, CFP is Vice President for Investments with A.G. Edwards & Sons and a nineteen year veteran in the Financial Services Industry. Johanna provides personalized investment planning and management to help individuals, businesses and institutions build and preserve long term wealth. Johanna received her BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from George Mason University. She attended the College for Financial Planners, where she received her CFP designation in 1990.
Barbara Kennedy
James Kirchenbauer
Amy Klous
Karunya Krishnan
Jeff Kritzer
Marcus Lander
Ellen Law Ellen recently retired from 23 years of Federal service and 12 years in the private sector as a professional writer. In parallel, she has consulted on resumes and essays for private and public sectors, with a high success rate. She wrote the first brochure on computer careers to distribute at Epcot Center. At the same time, she studied Chinese and Korean martial arts and has developed a practical self-defense class for women that she has presented in companies and through community education programs. She believes that awareness and preparation are fundamental to not being a victim.
Rob Lee
Tammie Lim Harrison
Andy Livingston Andy Livingston has over 20 years of sales, business development, marketing and technical experience in the commercial, consumer and government markets. He enjoys helping students get up to speed with technology to help them in their everyday life be more connected to their family, friends and community. He has the following qualifications: DCJS Certified (Department of Justice – electronic security); Department of Defense Secret Clearance; Hewlett Packard University certified in desktop/network; Sonitrol Security University certified in security system design; AT&T Wireless Management Training Program; and CompTIA A+ through FCPS ELearnIT program.
Barbara Longnecker
Greg Marsello
Raul Matos
Marion Mattioli
Lawrence McCarthy Lawrence McCarthy has been working in the Arlington woodshop for over 35 years. He has worked professionally as both a civil engineer and a teacher. He enjoys introducing new students to the wood shop and the basics of transforming rough lumber into a finished project. He enjoys collaborating with students on project design and on woodworking strategies and procedures to bring their ideas to fruition.
Cressida McKean
Lada Mnatsakanova
Carmelita Montesa Montesa, Carmelita Carmelita Montesa has been teaching cake baking and cake decoration classes for several years at Arlington Adult Education. She learned cake decorating at the Wilton School of Decorating and Confectionery Arts in Chicago as well as in other cake decorating schools throughout the US. As a member of the International Cake Exploration Society (ICES), she attends annual conventions and keeps well abreast of the latest techniques in the field. A native of the Philippines, Carmelita won several baking contests in her native county.
Martha Mothershead
Pamela Muir Ms. Muir started practicing and researching swordplay and medieval European martial arts in 2003. She continues her research and personal training by attending workshops and symposiums across the United States and Canada and expanding her library of reprinted and transcripted medieval fencing manuscripts. In 2015, she established the Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts to promote the study of historical swordplay and related arts. She has been with Arlington Community Learning since 2017.
Diane Murphy
Yoshimi Muto
Kathy Nadlman
Stephanie Norris
Jenlene Nowak
Sabrina O'Neil
Rosenia Peake 9/99 7+3
Samantha Reilly
MariaLuisa Rohde
Adelaide Ruble Adelaide Ruble holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in Communications. For over twenty years, she has held professional positions in communications. As a former university instructor in public speaking, interpersonal communications, media literacy, she incorporated and taught power point and fundamental computer research skills. She is a former newspaper reporter and as a writer for the internal publication for the American Red Cross. Currently, she teaches English to immigrant women and is writing a book on Mothers and Daughters. "An avid researcher, I strongly encourage and recommend the use of technology and the internet to keep oneself abreast of knowledge and current events across all disciplines."
John Rutledge
Carmen Santos Santos, Carmen Carmen Santos has over twenty years working in education and administration. While at the Universidad del Tachira-Venezuela she was an English Professor, Coordinator of Education, Coordinator of Public Relations, and an Executive Officer. Carmen earned her masters in Education Administration from the University of New Mexico in 1992 and bachelors in Education from ULA Venezuela, 1980.
Josefa Sarmiento

Sarmiento, Josefa Josie Sarmiento was born in Venezuela where she attended college and earned her bachelors in Spanish. She taught at several language schools before coming to the United States. She has also received an associate degree from NOVA. Her teaching experience includes all levels and all ages. She has taught Spanish for the Oakridge Elementary School After School Enrichment program and was a regular substitute for the Spanish for Educators program. Josie has been teaching Spanish for Arlington Adult Education since 1993.

John Schelble John Schelble (pronounced “Shelby”) worked in the Congress for over three decades, fulfilling a childhood dream of public service. He then went back to graduate school and earned his Virginia teaching license, fulfilling an adult dream of educating young people, helping them to develop their skills, grow into intelligent, responsible adults and take their rightful places in our country, and in the world. For the past ten years, he has been doing just that, for middle and high school students in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. He feels strongly that learning new skills and acquiring knowledge is fun, interesting and useful, and makes you feel good about yourself. His interests include fishing, bee keeping, clock making, song writing, farming, guitar, construction, basketball coaching and writing.
Jennifer Selke
Dee Shirley
Angelo Sibilla Angelo Raffaello Sibilla was born in the most beautiful country in the world, La Bella Italia ! He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the Italian Army where he served for more than 35 years. Following retirement, transitioned to life as a language instructor and program manager. He also worked as a Lead Interpreter and Host Nation Liaison for the US Army in Europe and Down-range.In 2018, he moved to Arlington, VA, following his wife’s transfer to the Pentagon. Upon arrival in the DC area, he started to work as an Italian Language Instructor for several Arlington and DC language schools. He easily transitioned to virtual instruction following the onset of COVID and has shared his passion for the Italian language to hundreds of students all over the globe.Due to his wife’s promotion , he moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where the buffalo roamed and the “ Trail of Tears “ ended. This location is rich in history as it was an important military outpost during the expansion West and the conclusion of the Indian wars. The installation has seen and hosted many important historical figures including Geronimo, Quanah Parker, General George Custer and a host of other important figures in American history.Angelo attended the Italian Military Academy and holds an advanced university degree from the University of Torino and an American BA from UMUC. Married to Julia , from Detroit, he has three daughters, Lisa, an executive at an Italian furniture company, Sasha who just completed her time as a Surface Warfare officer with the US Navy and currently enrolled in a MBA program , and Kiki whos’ graduating from WFU and commissioning as reservist in the US Army.
Steve Siekkinen With a belief that it’s never too late to begin exploring the art of making music, Steve’s classes are stimulating, fun, and can even be therapeutic. Born and raised in Hibbing, MN, he began playing guitar at the age of 10 and later graduated from Musicians Institute (GIT) in Hollywood, CA. With his project, questions in letters, Steve has performed on stages across the US and has officially released two collections of original material. He has been teaching for over 30 years and for Arlington Community Learning since 2015.
Nicole Siscaretti
Staff Staff
Carol Stevens

Carol Stevens has spent more than 30 years involved in all aspects writing and editing — both nonfiction and fiction works. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications including USA Today, the Baltimore Sun, and Washingtonian magazine where she has written about subjects ranging from health care to presidential politics. She currently runs the communications division of a major trade association where she is involved in all phases of media relations from speech writing to media training. Carol graduated from Syracuse University with a major in communications and international relations.

Renate Stewart

Renate Stewart has provided coaching and transition services for more than two decades. Her favorite client is facing a decision — whether it be professional, academic, or personal — with all the associated actions. She wants her clients to find success using interests, values, and validated resources. She works with people from college students to executives and from parents returning to the full-time workforce to individuals planning a fulfilling retirement. She understands and embraces the power of volunteering, networking, and unique work/life recipes. She has an M.S., Counseling from Kansas State University and several certifications including: Certified Career Services Provider, Global Career Development Facilitator, and Professional Certified Coach. Her previous work has spanned the federal government, employment assistance programs, and corporate relocation programs for spouses. She accomplishes this through individual coaching, project management, and workshop facilitation.

Robert Stoss Stoss, Robert "Roberto" Stoss was born in a small Adriatic coastal town in central Italy. He moved to northern Virginia at the age of 6 weeks. Later, he lived in Naples, Italy for almost 5 years, beginning at the age of eight, and learned the meaning of "vedi Napoli e poi mori." He is a full-time ethics counselor and has taught Italian part-time for Arlington Adult Education for two years.
Gregory Stuart

Gregory Scott Stuart, a music professor at Frostburg State University, came to his love of foreign language learning through his exposure to languages as a singer. Fortunate to have had an intensive language study experience on a semester abroad in France, where he earned a prize for the most outstanding student in French at the Institute pour les universités américaines, he brings to the table a keen ear (he speaks French without an accent) and a thorough understanding of the rules of French diction. He delights in deepening daily his knowledge of the subtleties of French grammar, of idioms and of French slang. He has worked in francophone environments. He now also concurrently studies several other languages. As an educator he has trained to teach not only foreign languages, but also singing, theatre and yoga. He has broad artistic experience, encompassing professional engagements as a singer, actor, church musician and stage director. He has sung leading roles in operas locally and regionally and directed several operas and plays including Sadko for Bel Cantanti and the US premier of a French musical, Bigoudi (which he directed in French) at Atlas Performing Arts Center in DC. He was a soloist in world premieres of three oratorios by Paul Leavitt in Washington, Paris and at Lincoln Center, NYC and on CD. As an actor, he’s tread the boards in theatres up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest and performed in many musicals including a national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College, and an MFA in Classical Acting from The Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.

Bill Sullivan Bill Sullivan has two passions, writing and the outdoors. He has self-published books on practical landscape design and the founding of the New York Mets baseball team. The latter is currently on sale at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The book won the SABR (Society of American Baseball Research) award for the best writing/research on the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. When not writing, you will find him busy with his own residential landscape design/installation business he founded almost 30 years ago. He holds a graduate certificate in the field from the U.S.D.A. Graduate School in Washington, D.C. Bill has taught classes at the City of Alexandria Adult Education Program and for Northern Virginia Community College in the Workforce Development Program. He joined the ACL staff in 2017.
Jennifer Swanson Jennifer Swanson – Jennifer grew up in Los Angeles, CA and studied at UC Diego, earning a BA in Sociology and Master’s certificate in elementary school education. She lived in Japan for 7 years teaching and consulting, first with the JET program and then other Japanese companies. Jennifer has a private tutoring business and teaches Japanese and ESOL to adults and children. She is Vice President and Japanese Education chair of local non-profit SJA (Study Japanese in Arlington) and has been teaching Japanese at Arlington Community Learning for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys cultural events, traveling, gardening, and adventures with her Jack Russell Terrier, Suzu. ?????????????
Maki Takamatsu Maki Takamatsu was born and raised in Japan. She holds a master’s degree in Economics. For seven years, before moving to Arlington in 2013, she worked for a Human Resource company in Japan where she taught Japanese and business protocol to non-native speakers. Cultural exchange is her life’s work. She loves traveling within the US and abroad. Ms. Takamatsu started teaching Japanese for Arlington Community Learning in 2015.
Claire Tamburro Tamburro Interiors, LLC is a full-service Interior Design firm specializing in the development of singular concepts for the Retail, Food Service, and Hospitality industries and Residential Interior Design. With more than 30 years of experience in the Interior Design, Retail, and Food Service industries, Ms.Tamburro brings a unique perspective to each project with both Front-of-House and Back-of-House experience having worked as a Hospitality and Residential Interior Designer, Director of Design, Educator, Store Manager, Showroom Assistant, Sales Associate, Server, and Hostess to better serve her clients.
Leslie Tierstein Leslie Tierstein has worked in computer technology for several multinational companies. Her duties have included technical translation; developing and delivering computer-based training to international audiences; and writing and editing books and articles on computer programming and methodologies. She has a BA degree in Comparative Literature and MAs in French and Linguistics.
Claudia Tordini Claudia Tordini, artist, executive coach and organizational consultant, brings together her background in business, art and creativity to provide coaching and consulting services on leadership and organizational development, team building, and creativity and innovation. She is particularly focused on including art as a powerful tool of communication and learning in non-traditional areas. Claudia’s research on art and learning won her the Faculty Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Organizational Dynamics Program at the University of Pennsylvania.Claudia holds a Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from The Wharton School and an Industrial Engineer from the University of Buenos Aires.
Zeynep Uruc
Katrina Van Duyn Katrina Van Duyn spent her principal career years as an editor to support her work on Metro area stages. She learned French as a child living in Normandy, and earned B.A. degrees in French literature and theatre before continuing on to complete an M.A. in theatre. Over years of acting assignments, she managed to bring these interests together a handful of times, to play a Carmelite prioress, a French sailor-song-singing damsel, and a Québecois village elder. It’s always been a tug of war! Katrina now enjoys teaching and tutoring French to adults for their grownup purposes of travel and work and to children more interested in playing les jeux de Minecraft et Rocket League. Vive la différence !
Larissa Vassikova

Larissa Vassilkova was born and grew up in Kazakhstan, her family originated from the Central Russia region where they settled down almost two centuries ago. Her family immigrated to the USA in 2000, she has lived in Virginia since. Larissa continued to share her knowledge of Russian language and culture with the students of Arlington community. She is a graduate of The Kazakh State University and has more than 25 years of teaching experience. Larissa was an instructor in the Technology college and taught a variety of subjects for Food Processing, Bakery and Brewery specialists. Larissa is dedicated to prepare, motivate and encourage students by getting them ready to work. with full level of responsibility in the real life situations and the workplace. Her life experience in the different countries, her hobby to travel around the world, and love of teaching give her exceptional tools to help students to learn more languages and cultures. Larissa has a belief that one of the ways to learn more about the culture of people from different countries is to work or cook together and get knowledge about food, traditions and terminology.

Julie Vu
Dagmar Waters Dagmar Waters started out as a Virginia high school teacher for German and French and went on to teach diplomats, serve as tester, arrange international meetings, and take on assignments as translator and interpreter. Having had experience with functional German, Mrs. Waters teaches beginning students how to survive with geographical and in-country knowledge, as well as communicating basic requests.
Yoshiko Weick

Ms. Yoshki Weick was born in South Korea, and later moved with her parents and sisters to Japan in 1971.She lived there for 34 years with husband and daughters. She is fluent in Korean and Japanese. In 2004 she accepted an invitation from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC and began her residency as an Artist. She has taken part in numerous group shows in Japan, China, India, France and throughout the United States. She has exhibited individually in Tokyo, New York, Washington DC and Chicago. She has received a number of awards for her artwork. She is an author of numerous publications. She teaches oriental brush art (sumi) and Japanese & Korean languages.

Myia Welsh
Dale Winchell Dale Winchell is a full time automotive instructor at the Arlington Career Center. He holds an Associates Degree in Automotive Technology from Northern Virginia Community College. He is ASE Master Certified and also Advanced Engine Performance (L1) Certified. He has 28 years of experience in the automotive industry working at JKJ/Koons Chevrolet Chrysler as an Intern, Technician, and then Shop Foreman.
Tonya Wright
Maria Yang

Maria Yang is a knowledgeable and experienced Chinese language instructor, with more than 40 years of teaching experience in both college and government. She received her BA in English Language and Literature and her MA in Chinese Language and Literature and completed coursework in a Ph.D.Program in Applied Linguistics. The education she received has prepared her to be a qualified Language and Culture Instructor.She has taught beginning-, intermediate-, and advanced-level Chinese language courses at Georgetown University, George Mason University, the University of California at Davis, San Francisco State University and as a government contractor through Centra Technology Inc. She is currently teaching Mandarin Chinese language at Arlington Community Learning Program and Chinese literature at George Mason University.

Cynthia Young Cynthia Young is thrilled to be the Director of The Arlington Community Chorus! Motivated by a passionate belief in the power of collective singing to build community and create joy, Cynthia has founded and directed community choirs around the world, including in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Gabon, Turkey and Virginia. Cynthia believes that choral singing is one of the most fun, healthy, and life-affirming activities there is for all ages, and she loves to bring people together to experience the beauty and joy of singing in community with others. Cynthia is a private voice and piano teacher, and is the music director at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston. She holds a master of arts degree in music from The American University and a bachelor of arts degree in music from Wake Forest University. Cynthia has two adult daughters and is married to David Young, a wonderful bass singer in the ACC!
Jay Young Gerard

Jay Young Gerard received her BFA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, and holds graduate degrees from The New York School of Interior Design and from The New School (film studies). She has taught art and design at every level including elementary school, college and graduate programs, and private tutoring. Career highlights include her role as VP of Visual Communication for a social marketing firm where projects included the creation of brands and identities, developing strategies and visuals for advertising campaigns, and designing displays and installations for an international clientele; Creative Director for The American Red Cross based in DC; and Art Director for Macy’s New York. Her paintings, collages, photographs and fiber arts have been in numerous solo and group shows, and are held in collections in Canada, Chile, Israel, England and France as well as in the U.S., including the territory of Guam.

Robert Zambrano Dr. Zambrano for 38 years taught at Gallaudet University, the only college for the Deaf to award a Liberal Arts degree. Retired, he now provides interpreting services for Arlington County and churches in the area. He has introduced children and adults to the world of the Deaf and taught them to use American Sign Language to communicate in it.