Feynman School is a unique educational environment that brings together academically gifted children with a talented group of faculty and staff. The school’s personnel are passionately committed to their work. They come from varied educational backgrounds with outstanding training and experience in gifted education. These factors come together to provide Feynman teachers a diverse and stimulating environment to build a successful career in gifted education.
Lead Teacher, PreschoolElizabeth Rich joined the Feynman School team as the Preschool teacher in 2013. Mrs. Rich has been teaching young children for 20+ years and most recently taught in Montgomery County. She grew up in New Jersey and received her B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut. She had the opportunity to attend the Instituto International in Madrid, Spain where she studied Spanish language, politics, culture and art. Mrs. Rich continued her education at Lesley College where she received her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education.Associate Teacher, Preschool; Lead Teacher, After CareAshley Jousse started at Feynman School during the 2015-2016 school year as the early childhood aftercare teacher. The following school year she moved into the Preschool room full-time as the Preschool assistant, as well as continuing to lead aftercare. She studied early elementary education at University of Maryland and has been working in child care with young children for 13 years. She has chosen to work with young children as her career over any other because of the indescribable joy she gets from watching each unique child grow, learn, and discover new things, in their own way, about themselves and about the world around them.Lead Teacher, KindergartenSarah Reynolds has over ten years of experience teaching in international, public, private and gifted settings. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University, a Master of Education in Elementary Education from The George Washington University, and a Master of Arts in International Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. In addition, Mrs. Reynolds is also specialized in Peace Education and Literacy.Lead Teacher, Grade 1Kelsey Karpman, a Maryland native hailing from Prince George’s County, completed her Bachelors of Arts degree at Vassar College in Educational Studies and Psychology, focusing on developmentally and culturally appropriate pedagogical practices and the influence of standardization and high-stakes testing on school communities. She worked at Wimpfheimer Nursery School, a laboratory nursery school on Vassar’s campus, under the direction of Dr. Julie Riess for her entire college career, assisting in classrooms, implementing original curriculum and conducting research. Kelsey spent a semester student teaching at Scoil Mhuire, a primary school in Clifden, Ireland. The summer prior to her senior year at Vassar, she worked as a teaching fellow through the Partnership for After School Education at WHEDco, a community support organization located in the South Bronx, where she implemented a maker space, developed a cooking and nutrition club in addition to teaching language arts. Prior to teaching in a formal classroom setting, Kelsey expanded upon her own love of swimming and dancing by teaching lessons in both disciplines.Lead Teacher. Grade 2Allison Brill is a founding faculty member of Feynman School. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vassar College. She is completing her Master of Arts Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut, focusing on Gifted Education and Talent Development. Ms. Brill has presented at the National Association of Gifted Children Conference.Associate Teacher, Grade 4Originally from London, Lauren Cassani Davis graduated from Princeton University in 2015 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Neuroscience. She has worked as an editorial fellow at The Atlantic magazine, as a research assistant in the Georgetown University psychology department studying altruism and empathy, and as a research assistant with the American Psychological Association. Lauren has been working with children since college, and before Feynman served as a tutor and volunteer in DC public and charter schools, teaching writing through the nonprofit 826DC. In addition to an insatiable fascination with all things language, mind, and brain, Lauren loves to write, create art, practice yoga, and make music.Lead Teacher, Grade 4Mr. Koenig is passionate about learning and education, and believes strongly that everyone can train their brain to grow using a Growth Mindset. The only things we don’t know are those we haven’t learned YET! He has a diverse background in the engineering and architecture, legal, and manufacturing fields, and has been an educator for the past five years. Before starting at Feynman, Mr. Koenig worked as an educator at a public charter school in the Harlem Park neighborhood of Baltimore. There, Tom learned that an education is the primary driver for an equitable and just future, and that all young people can achieve with high expectations. Setting achievable goals and helping young people build strategies to attain their goals is a real blessing of Mr. Koenig’s life. Mr. Koenig graduated with a BA in literature from the University of Baltimore and is working towards his MAT from Western Governor’s University. He lives in Frederick with Jessica and three feisty cats.LEAD TEACHER, GRADE 6/7Jon Bismut graduated from the University of Maryland with a Masters of Arts in Teaching and became A National Honor Society Member in recognition of his academic success. He has been working in education since 2012 and has been involved in many nonprofit foundations including the Maker Education Initiative, Abel Foundation, and YouthWorks. He spent four years teaching for Sci Kidz summer camps and after school programs with a specialty in robotics. Most recently he taught English in a Baltimore Public Middle School. Although he was born in Israel and is fluent in Hebrew, he has lived most of his life in the DC suburban area.Music Teacher | Levine School of MusicElizabeth has been on the Levine faculty since 2014 teaching First Music and in 2016 she began teaching voice as well. Past teaching engagements include Baylor University, the Salvation Army, and Shining Star Academy of the Arts. She received her M.M. in Voice Performance from Baylor University and B.A. in Voice Performance from Stetson University. Elizabeth's notable roles include Marie in The Bartered Bride and Pamina in Die Zauberflote both with Stetson Opera. As a concert soloist, Elizabeth has been the soprano soloist in Poulenc Gloria and Carmina Burana with the Baylor University Orchestra. She has also been the soprano soloist in the Rutter Requiem, the Faure Requiem, the Beethoven Mass in C and the Mozart Coronation Mass. Elizabeth has an avid passion for modern music and has performed several major modern works with bands and orchestras including Music for Mallet Instruments, Voice and Organ for the composer Steve Reich.Lead Teacher, Grade 7/8JP is a recent graduate from Dartmouth College with a masters degree in Earth Sciences. At Dartmouth she worked on an cosmochemistry project funded by NASA, where she developed a method to measure Osmium in Solar wind obtained by NASA's GENESIS mission. Originally from India, she has a background in geology and experience working with artificial neural networks, climate data and remote sensing. Her passion for teaching rose from teaching assistant-ship at college, volunteering with a Teach for India fellow and exposures to effective science communication at Dartmouth. She is fascinated by problems in earth sciences that are always interdisciplinary and hopes to convey that intriguing interconnected-ness of sciences to students at Feynman.Associate Teacher, Pre-KAlicia Levin is thrilled to be teaching in the Pre-K classroom at Feynman School. Before joining Feynman School full time, she subbed for three years and enjoyed working with all the students in the preschool, pre-k and kindergarten. Previously, she was a preschool teacher at the Washington Hebrew Congregation Binderman Center's Early Childhood Center for 22 years. She graduated from American University with a BA in history.Art and Aftercare Teacher
Talia Rizzo received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Montserrat College of Art located in Beverly, MA in 2002. She has been teaching since 2003 in both early childhood education and youth art programs. She has had the privilege of teaching at The YMCA, Kentlands Children’s Center, Chesterbrook Academy, Maryland College of Art & Design, The Metropolitan Center for the Visual Art, Renaissance Art Center, Thomas Jefferson Preparatory School, and Feynman School. As a teacher and artist Talia enjoys creating art in many mediums from drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, and jewelry design. She also has a love for music and dance. Talia thrives in providing a creative, hands-on learning environment and experiences for her students to blossom through creative learning. A few of her goals as an art teacher are to bring to life the love for the arts within her students along with guide them to building their self esteem, express their thoughts, ideas, and their emotions.Associate Teacher, Grade 1Erika Berg attended St. John’s College in Annapolis Maryland where she received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts. St. John’s has a Great Books curriculum, so she was fortunate enough to be able to read about and study a wide range of topics in the fields of math, science, music, literature, and philosophy. Erika went on earn her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Literacy from the College of William & Mary. She has worked with students as a tutor, camp counselor substitute teacher, park interpreter, and most recently as a First Grade teacher in Prince William County Virginia.Associate Teacher, KindergartenAngela Ha received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 2015. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Technology at Johns Hopkins University. She was born and raised in South Korea and later moved to Pennsylvania. She started off her career as an academic coordinator in a private school in South Korea and worked as a 3rd grade teacher in Virginia. She really fell in love with teaching younger children and watching them learn and grow. She is looking forward to starting her new chapter in life at Feynman!Associate Teacher, Grade 2Hannah Halpern graduated with a BA from Oberlin College. She has worked in numerous educational settings, primarily beginning when Hannah was in high school and a member of the DC Youth Slam Poetry Team. She taught the art of performance poetry, and its relationship to hip-hop and other art forms, to children across the DMV. Her team won second place in the international slam poetry competition, Brave New Voices. Hannah has worked in childcare, working both at the Jewish Community Center and at her college's local church, First Church. Hannah has tutored young people with dyslexia, and has worked in the field of sex education at Namibia's Planned Parenthood, where Hannah studied abroad in college. Hannah also has a love of art education and has interned for an art therapist, where she taught fine art classes to children and worked with several adult groups that have disabilities. Hannah hopes in the future to attend graduate school for art therapy, focusing on working with children in pediatric hospitals. Hannah is so excited to join the Feynman community and is ready to learn and grow with her kids!Co-Lead Teacher, 3rd GradeAmy Tedder completed her graduate studies at the London School of Economics in Organizational Behavior with a focus on independent schools in 2017. Prior to her time in London, Amy taught Kindergarten, First, and Second grade at Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School here in Washington, DC. She has worked with children since 2006 through coaching and teaching gymnastics. Amy has a passion for travel and spent a summer teaching in various village schools on a remote island off the northern coast of Madagascar in 2015. She enjoys knitting, exploring, and hiking, and is excited to learn and grow with the Feynman community.Spanish Teacher