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Name Biography
JER
Cecelia Allison
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.
Dan Belhassen
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.

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
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
Sharon Defonteny
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
William Draves
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.
Barbara Fillip

Barbara Fillip lived in cities all her life, from Paris to New York, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, until she settled in Arlington more than 20 years ago. While enjoying a career in international development, knowledge management, university teaching, and even a stint in aerospace, she developed a personal interest in eco-friendly gardening. This interest and constant experimentation in her own backyard eventually led her to permaculture in 2017, when she started her first Permaculture Design Certificate course. In late 2021, she completed a Permaculture Design Certificate and will complete a Permaculture Educator Certificate mid-2022. As a Knowledge Management professional, she likes to share what she learns. As a permaculturist, she likes to learn from others and is constantly experimenting with an evolving backyard permaculture design. Having lived in urban areas all her life, she focuses on applications of permaculture in urban settings, which she regularly documents in her Urban Permaculture Resources hub website.

Julie Flake
Betsy Flanagan
Betsy Flanagan
Scott Follett
Jackie Frend
Gloria Funes
Lee Gjertsen
Marian Graham
Jim Gray
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
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
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
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.
Barbara Kennedy
Sally Klauss
Amy Klous
Jeff Kritzer
Marcus Lander
Gerda Lane
Conrad Brian Law
Rob Lee
Tammie Lim Harrison
Greg Marsello
Raul Matos
Marion Mattioli
Toni McGuire Toni McGuire teaches piano, violin, guitar, flute, oboe, and music theory privately in Alexandria, Virginia. For over 25 years she has taught in various cities on the East Coast of America and internationally in China. She is a string and piano judge for local contests and an international piano judge for a May Day International Music Festival in Zhengzhou, China, for five years. She is an international performer, recording artist, and composer. She is an inspiring and innovative instructor of piano, violin, and music theory for Arlington Community Learning.
Christina Mitchell
Martha Mothershead
Diane Murphy
Kathy Nadlman
Sabrina O'Neil
Allison Page
Katie Pulver
Samantha Reilly
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
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.
Lyudmyla Scheuchenzuber
Jennifer Selke
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.

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. ?????????????
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.
Jodie Tirana
Zeynep Uruc
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
Susanna Weerth
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.
Yuan Zhai