New Hope Academy Elementary School Faculty

  • Beverly Berndt, Sixth Grade, 
middle & high school Algebra 1, Gambia Project

    Beverly Berndt
    Fifth and Sixth Grade Teacher, Gambia Project

    Beverly Berndt teaches core subjects for the sixth grade as well as HS Algebra 1. She was born in Massachusetts where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology at Northeastern University in Boston. Berndt has taught at NHA since 1990. She loves the school and had her four children also attend. "To me this is the greatest testimony to our school," she said, "that all the teachers want to have their own children here, because we know the quality of education they receive." Not only is "Mrs. Bev" a dedicated teacher, she deeply believes in helping others, a trait she instills in her students. With the support of the NHA families, staff, and principal, Mrs. Bev and her husband have developed "Side by Side in The Gambia," a service project in The Gambia, West Africa.

    Samantha Stiles,
First Grade Teacher

    Samantha Stiles
    Third and Forth Grade Teacher

    Samantha Stiles is the instructor for First Grade at New Hope Academy. Ms. Stiles is a native to the state of Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. Ms. Stiles has experience teaching Kindergarten, First, and Second grade in Baltimore County Public Schools. Also, Ms. Stiles has 14 years of personal experience working with children with Special Needs. She plans on furthering her own personal education within the field of Education in order to fulfill her own constant desire to learn. Higher level questioning and thinking are key aspects in Ms. Stiles’ teaching style. Teaching children to explain their reasoning and thinking not only help children to develop their verbal communication skills but also to develop a strong sense of self.

    Monica Watkins,
Second Grade Teacher

    Monica Watkins
    Second Grade Teacher

    As an educator, Monica realizes the gift of teaching isn’t a job but a vocation given to her to pass on and encourage young minds. This she doesn't take lightly. Educating a student isn’t just about the mastery of subjects, but educating the whole student; this includes the intellect, creativity, character, emotion and “selflessness” that is paramount to a student’s overall success. Monica's goal is to provide a safe and comfortable environment that allows students to progress, and more importantly, to make mistakes as they navigate the discovery of learning. Her academic background in management, public administration, and education has resulted in a dedicated, resourceful, and goal-driven professional, who has a solid commitment to the social, academic and emotional growth of every student.

    Leah Dancy,
Third Grade Teacher

    Tanganika L. Swann
    First Grade Teacher

    Tanganika L. Swann has taught core subjects for NHA's first grade since 2009. This local native of Maryland graduated from Morgan State University with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and Language. Ms. Swann has 15 years of experience in education, including as an elementary school teacher, reading specialist, and assistant principal. She has conducted workshops teaching educators about effective teaching strategies and building a positive classroom community. She strongly believes that both components are crucial to student achievement, but above all, she knows that educators must genuinely care about children. Ms. Swann loves working with children, and she possesses a passion for teaching and learning.

    Karen Wilkening,
Kindergarten Teacher

    Karen Wilkening
    Kindergarten Teacher

    Karen Wilkening has taught kindergarten at NHA since 1992. She was born in Denver and spent most of her adolescent years in Kansas City, MO. Known to all as "Mrs. Karen," she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She continued her education receiving a Master's degree in Divinity with a focus on Education. Mrs. Karen is a founding member of NHA and has been on the Board of Directors since 1995. As a testament to NHA's solid academic curriculum, both her children attended NHA, and they now attend top universities. Mrs. Karen believes that Kindergarten is a foundational year and that NHA addresses the education of the whole child.

    Judy Skarsten,
Fifth Grade Teacher

    Judy Skarsten
    Kindergarten to Secound Grade Reading Teacher

    Judy Skarsten is no stranger to NHA. She has been with the school for a total of 6 years. She is a native of the San Francisco Bay area of California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Art, a Master's degree in Arts Therapy, and a Master's degree in Education with a Montessori certification to teach the Montessori methods for 3-12 year olds. Ms. Skarsten's early experience working in a crisis center prompted her decision to work with youth. She was given a book entitled, "The Secret Life of Childhood", written by Maria Montessori which changed her outlook on education. She started a small school and tutored and homeschooled teenagers for three years. She has taught both in public and private Montessori programs in New Hampshire, New York City, and Maryland.

    Angela Teacher,
High school Art Teacher

    Angela Eisenbart
    Fine Art

    Angela Eisenbart teaches art at all grade levels at NHA since 1998. Originally from Italy, she studied commercial and graphic art at the Art College in Genoa, Italy, graduating with honors. She is a career artist and graphic designer with an impressive list of professional credentials from her decades of work in Milano, New York, and Washington, DC. But Mrs. Eisenbart always longed to express herself in the fine arts, and turned that passion to teaching. She exhibits a remarkable ability to draw out the talents of her students. Her basic approach to teaching is that artistic ability is not just an innate talent but can be learned or improved just like other activities.

    Luz Hughes,
High school Spanish Teacher

    Luz Hughes
    Spanish Language

    Luz Hughes has been teaching Spanish to grades K-12 at NHA since 2005. She was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and minored in Liberal Arts from the University of the District of Columbia. She is a candidate for her Master's in Education & Language. Mrs. Hughes' experience includes teaching for eight years in PG County and six years in DC (Spanish and AP Spanish Language & Literature). She believes it is important to "connect with the students" in order for them to learn and appreciate what is being taught. She takes responsibility to mentor her students, hoping to impact their lives. Mrs. Hughes has been recognized in Who's Who for making a difference in the lives of children. Her students nominated her.

    Sung Shim Choi,
High school Korean Teacher

    Sung Shim Choi
    Korean Language


    Aisha Faison,
Elementary school Computer Teacher

    Aisha Faison
    Elementary Computer Technology

    "Ms. Aisha" teaches Saxon Algebra 1/2, as well as the Golf elective. She also teaches LEGO and VEX robotics. She has been with NHA since 2006. This San Francisco native began coursework in math at U.C. Berkeley, then applied this skill to receive her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at Tuskegee University. Her experience includes working as a project engineer for a local construction company: She managed construction for the Turkish Embassy and the U.S. Justice Data Center, as well as renovations to the Australian Embassy (among others).

    Emily Tevault,
High school Music and Choir Teacher

    Emily Tevault

    Emily Tevault teaches General Music to grades K-8, and a "show choir with a twist" music elective, C3 (Composers Choir Club) for grades 8-12. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of The Johns Hopkins University. Mrs. Tevault also loves to sing! She has sung in her Church choir for 15 years, has directed the Junior Choir at her Church for four years, was the Singing Coach for New Hope Academy's production of Cinderella, and assisted her daughter's class at New Hope Academy with preparing to sing songs for their Holiday Performance. Mrs. Tevault's goal is that every child is exposed to a variety of styles of music, enjoys and appreciates music, and that they learn to express the music they feel in their hearts.

    Tarik Muhammad,
Physical Education Teacher

    Tarik Munahhad
    Physical Education / Six Grade Math Teacher


    Teya Green,
Physical Education Teacher

    Teya Green
    Math 8/7 and Fifth Grade Social Studies


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