MEET THE PARENTING CENTER TEACHERS
Luciana earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. Specializing in opera, she sings with both local and national vocal ensembles. Luciana has been teaching music and movement classes to children ages newborn to five years old in the DC Metro area since 2015.
Originally from Haiti, Ms. KC grew up in Boca Raton, FL and moved to D.C. to attend Georgetown University. She developed an appreciation for mind-body-centered fitness in 2002 when she became an ashtanga yoga practitioner. After a decade of working with adults as a personal trainer and Pilates and yoga instructor, she began to teach children in 2012 and has since taught at numerous schools and early childhood centers. Kéthia works with children on a foundational yoga practice to instill a mind-body-spirit connection that can be transferred to all areas of their lives. She encourages everyone to become the best that he or she can be mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Ms. Iana has always had a passion for working with babies and children. She has a Masters Degree in Education and has taught several different ages. When she had her first daughter in 2015, she used baby signs and saw the tremendous value in helping her communicate at a young age. She is really excited to work with other families who are interested in using baby sign language too!
Ms. Lindsay has worked in early childhood education throughout her career. In addition to degrees in developmental psychology and education policy, Lindsay is a certified pre-kindergarten classroom observer, providing feedback on dozens of DC pre-k, toddler, and infant programs. Outside of her work at the EDCJCC and spending time with her young son, Lindsay conducts classroom evaluations and presents seminars for parents on navigating the DC pre-kindergarten lottery.
Ms. Nina is a native Washingtonian who has been enjoying reading, singing, creating, and exploring alongside her two boys since the first was born in 2014. Nina graduated from Dickinson College in 2003 with a BA in Art and Art History and later completed a Masters program at the Corcoran in the history of decorative arts. She has been taking art classes at the Corcoran and Glen Echo Park ever since she was young child, and she loves making all forms of art, especially sculpture and mixed media. Nina is excited to bring her passion for creating and her love of early childhood into the Getting Ready for Preschool classes this year.
Ms. Michelle has been educating and entertaining young children since 2002. She spent 8 years as Director of Operations for musiKids Inc. in Bethesda, MD. She is the music specialist for a number of area preschools and also leads musical programs for toddler and preschool birthday parties. Michelle performs all over the DC area and is very proud to be a part of the musiKids cd “Gilly Good Morning” which was nominated for a 2012 Wammie for Best Childrens Recording.
Ms. Janet joined the Power Tots team in November of 2015. She attended school at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA, where she studied Biology Pre-Med. Janet is originally from Washington, where she started her dance career studying at Washington Contemporary Ballet. She has traveled across the country and overseas as a dance instructor, dance company member and entertainer, along with coaching dance at universities and high schools in Virginia, Ohio and Florida. She has also spent a few years coaching cheerleading and mini-gymnastics in Mt. Pleasant and Dallas, TX. Janet received her Kidding Around Yoga Children’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2017. Her hobbies are cooking, reading, meditation and fitness training. Janet loves working with, mentoring and teaching children and continues to manifest this love as an enthusiastic, upbeat member of Power Tots! She dedicates herself to the betterment of child development in hopes to encourage and inspire children to be their best.
Mr. Ari has been working with young children since he was in high school, and loves to combine his early childhood educational background with his fifteen years of guitar experience to provide the musical enrichment he truly believes is essential to a well-rounded education (not to mention having a rocking great time). After a varied career as a camp songleader, substitute teacher, toddler music provider, hebrew school musician, and private guitar instructor in both NYC and Massachusetts, he is now the EDCJCC Preschool music specialist as well as teaching various classes and lessons all over the DC area.
Lara Kassoff, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, D.C. She works with adults with a range of presenting issues, individually as well as in couples and group therapy. She particularly enjoys working with new mothers, helping them navigate this exciting and challenging time.
Dr. Taylor Lerner is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Dupont Circle and earned her doctorate and masters degrees in clinical psychology at The George Washington University. Prior to private practice, Dr. Lerner worked in a variety of mental health settings, including community mental health facilities, children’s and psychiatric hospitals, university counseling centers, and schools. She completed her residency at The Psychiatric Institute of Washington and her post-doctoral fellowship at Georgetown University Counseling Center. Dr. Lerner works with individuals from all backgrounds but is particularly passionate about supporting those navigating reproductive mental health concerns. As a mother of 2 preschool-aged children, Dr. Lerner has a deep appreciation of the challenges and joys associated with the transition into parenthood and beyond. Read more at http://www.drtaylorlerner.com/
Ms. M.C., who joined Power Tots in September 2017, took gymnastics lessons as a child and remembers the rush of flips and somersaults. As an adult, she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a focus on children. She is also a behavioral therapist, providing behavioral consulting in preschools. She has also worked as a Special Education Teacher, supporting many therapies, including occupational therapy, sensory therapy, speech therapy, and has taught a movement program for three years in a school for children with special needs.
Miriam Szubin is the Director of the Children and Family Programming and the Director of Preschool Admissions at the Edlavitch DCJCC. She has an M.A in Education and decades of experience as an educator of all ages. Formerly a teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, she has taught tots and adults at the EDCJCC since having her first child back in 2007, and has been running Children and Family Programming since 2010. Her three boys have grown up at the EDCJCC and have loved participating in the Parenting Center, Preschool, Afterschool, and Camp programs.