Meet Our New Faculty & Staff!

Laura Krentel

Upper Division Reading Specialist
BA, West Chester University
MA, Liberty University


I love my work as a reading specialist, because I can share my love of reading and writing. I can still remember my favorite series from elementary school. Over the years, I have explored instructional methodology that would support all learners to achieve a love of reading and writing. In class, I call my students readers, writers, authors, and leaders because I want them to feel empowered and confident in their skills.

NPS has always had a special place in my heart. I appreciate the school's ability to foster a love of learning and care for the whole child and their families. The community and compassion between faculty, staff, and students is the first thing I noticed when I started at NPS.

When I am not at school, I love being with family or friends outside in the mountains or at the beach. I also like reading, using technology, playing piano, and listening to some great music!

Recent PD:
- Associate Level Certification: Association of Orton Gillingham Educators (AOGPE)
- Classroom Educator Level Certification: AOGPE
- Structured Word Inquiry Course & Latin for Orthographers

Jack Devlin

Grade 6
BA, Georgetown University


I am honored to work with sixth grade students in their final year at NPS. Sixth grade is an exciting year as each student begins to think critically, develop their sense of independence, and reflect on their identity. I look forward to seeing my students through the joys and challenges in their socio-emotional and academic journey.

I was drawn to the sense of community at NPS and the focus on the educating the whole child. I am excited to teach in a school that understands and values the holistic education of children in their formative years.

When I am not at school, you will likely find me rowing my single on the Potomac River or cheering on the Nationals and Capitals.

Recent PD:
- Google Certified Educator Level 1
- Ron Clark Academy PD

Laura Foster

Grade 1
MEd, University of Kentucky
BA, Pomona College


The first grade transition of moving from early-childhood to mid-childhood is a wondrous and inspiring time. Students are beginning to experience their world differently with rapidly developing cognitive and social skills, and it is an honor to support and guide this development. The kindness, professionalism, and dedication of each staff member keeps encouraging the team as a whole to accomplish new heights. I am grateful to be part of a collaborative and compassionate community.

When I'm not at NPS, I enjoy hiking with my toddler, Theodore, because the woods are full of little treasures and surprises. We like to walk slowly and explore the sights, sounds, and textures of nature's playground. We know it has been a good day in the woods when we come home tired, hungry, and muddy!

Recent PD:
- Foundations of Education Research, Loyola Maryland Graduate School of Education, Instructor--Summer 2020
- NPS Diversity Institute--Summer 2020

Eliana Matos de Gutierrez

Lower Division Spanish
BBA, Universidad Militar de Ingenieria, La Paz


I love teaching Spanish because I want my students to learn how to communicate and connect with a larger and more diverse group of people. I also enjoy sharing about my culture and seeing how students appreciate the traditions, arts and history of Hispanic countries.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking and experimenting with different ingredients and recipes from around the world. By cooking different flavours, I celebrate the cultures of the countries I have lived in and can share these with my family and friends at the dinner table.

Recent PD:
- Game-based Learning with Google
- 3 Activities a Day to Keep Reading Difficulties Away Workshop

Stephanie Hyman

Grade 3 - Science
BA, MEd, Marymount University


I love teaching third graders because they are enthusiastic, uninhibited learners with lots of energy! Third graders have curious minds and have the tools to express themselves both creatively and analytically. Teaching science is exciting because it engages students in a meaningful and practical way.

I love NPS because it is a happy place filled with people who work hard, who care, who are eager learners and who are supportive of one another.

When I am not at school I love to hike, play tennis, bake blueberry crumble, spend time with my family and walk my Labradoodles. I like to be outdoors because I can think more clearly, step away from the screens and absorb my natural surroundings.

Recent PD:
- FOSS Webinar
- Seesaw workshop

Linda Nnaji

Nursery - Teaching Associate
MA, Bowie State University


I love being a part of the learning process of little ones. They have such an eagerness to take in the world around them which can turn each interaction into a teachable moment.

NPS takes great pride in its five core values. By doing so, they are able to create a nurturing and loving environment for each and every student to strive for greatness.

When I’m not at school I love to cook, practice my calligraphy, and get lost in a good book!

Recent PD:

- Cut the Cooties! Communicable Disease Prevention in Child Care (May 2020)
- Safe Sleep & Sweet Dreams for Infants (April 2020)

Asha Simon

Nursery - Teaching Associate
MA, The College of New Jersey
AA, Montessori Teacher Training Center: London


I love being an early childhood educator because I often get to witness many groundbreaking moments. I understand that there is no particular 'one size fits all' style of teaching. I like the challenge of applying different methods of instruction to suit the individual child's needs. When I'm not at NPS I like to engage in arts and crafts activities, especially creating colorful floral pop up greeting cards because this activity helps me to not only relax and unwind, but also bring joy to those who receive my special greeting cards.

Recent PD:
- MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference (Washington Episcopal School)
- Project Zero Classroom (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Cindy Huang

Kindergarten - Teaching Associate
MSEd, University of Pennsylvania
BMgmt, Sun Yat sen University


I love children and believe every child has own unique life, spirit and meaning to the world. They all have their own paths and commitment to the world. I enjoy learning, growing, helping them explore their potential, while exploring mine too.

I LOVE NPS's community. Everyone is so kind and open-minded. I am very grateful to be part of the team and learn from amazing educators.

I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, gardening and taking care of my fish tank. Cooking is a kind of meditation for me. Hearing the sound of food cooking brings me so much joy and excitement. Food is an expression of my love and happiness, and helps me convey those feelings to everyone.

Recent PD:
- Project Zero workshop
- Emilia Reggio approach workshop

Tessa Bratton

Grade 1 - Teaching Associate
BA, American University


I love teaching First Grade because so much growth and change happens from the time they enter our room until when they leave. They learn to love reading, strengthen their relationships with their peers and their teachers, develop a lot of confidence in their school work, and figure out some of their greatest interests and passions! I will be teaching Science for First Grade, and I am so excited to engage the students in fun experiments, and tap into their curiosity about the world around them.

NPS is such a special little community that I have observed has helped me to grow as a person and an educator, as well as facilitating growth and learning for its students. There is a genuine care for every student and their needs. Students are welcomed and encouraged to be who they are, and learn in their own unique ways. There is so much kindness and love at NPS!

When I’m not at NPS I love to visit places that I have never been before, because I enjoy having new experiences, and learning my way around the DMV!

Recent PD:
- Completed Google Teacher Certification
- Finished a course on Family and Community Engagement


Joshua Gaines

Grade 2 - Teaching Associate
BA, Brown University


Second grade is such a wonderful year of growth for students. As they experience and learn more about the world, their personalities blossom, their passions develop, and they are so full of wonder. One of my favorite moments when teaching is seeing students' faces light up as they make connections between new ideas for the first time.

When I'm not at school, you would likely find me at home listening to all kinds of music. If I'm not doing that, I also love to cook. I try to learn a new recipe each week!

Recent PD:
Facing History - Working for Justice, Equity, and Civic Agency in our Schools

See the full faculty and staff directory here.