New Hope Academy Elementary School Faculty


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

    Beverly Berndt
    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.


    Judy Skarsten,
Fifth Grade Teacher

    Judy Skarsten
    Fifth Grade 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.


    Aileen Liongzon Urbiztondo,
Pre-school Teacher

    Aileen Liongzon Urbiztondo
    Fourth Grade Teacher

    Aileen Liongzon received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Philippine Normal University, an accredited institution of higher education in the Philippines where she was born. She then moved to Maryland to continue her educational career. "Mrs. Aileen" completed her master's degree in elementary education at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD. She currently holds an Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate from the state of Maryland and is certified to teach Elementary, Middle School, and Special Education. With more than 14 years of teaching experience working in both public and private schools, Mrs. Aileen has gained in-depth knowledge on how to engage students with dynamic lessons that include hands-on activities, role playing, and technology.


    Leah Dancy,
Third Grade Teacher

    Leah Dancy
    Third Grade Teacher

    Born in Pennsylvania, Ms. Leah moved to the DMV shortly after completing college. Her first teaching assignment took her to Prince George’s County Public Schools where she taught third grade. The following year, Ms. Leah began her twenty year tenure with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). While working for DCPS, Ms. Leah had the opportunity to teach a wide range of grades and subjects including all early childhood and elementary grades, math, and Spanish. Just prior to joining New Hope Academy, Ms. Leah taught middle school English at a local Montessori school. Ms. Leah has enjoyed working in diverse education settings.
    Ms. Leah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College. She has an earned master’s degree in Multiple Levels of Education from Regent University. She has also completed many doctorate level courses in K to 12 Leadership also at Regent University. Ms. Leah believes traditional instruction is important. But she also believes teachers should be innovative so that learning will be fun and challenging.


    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.


    Samantha Stiles,
First Grade Teacher

    Samantha Stiles
    First 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.


    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.


    Virginia Scazzero, Saxon 7/6 Math Teacher

    Virginia Scazzero
    Saxon 7/6 Math Teacher

    Coming Soon


    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.


    EunJung Kim,
High school Korean Teacher

    Eun Jung Kim
    Korean Language

    Eun Jung Kim teaches Korean language at all levels and for all grades at NHA since 2005. She's from Seoul, South Korea, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Japanese Literature, Language, and Education. She also holds a Master's degree in Bilingual Special Education from the George Washington University. "Ms. Kim" is fluent in Korean, English, and Japanese. She is a recognized author of Dynamic Korean II, a publication of her curriculum that is used across the nation. Ms. Kim's quest has always been to help students enjoy studying and aid them in overcoming their obstacles in learning a new language. She found that bridging curriculum with real-life experiences boosts students' desire to learn. In her upper grades, students have the chance to write essays in Korean to earn a scholarship to a three-week summer program in Korea.


    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
    Music, Choir

    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.


    Tim Cook,
Physical Education Teacher

    Tim Cook
    Physical Education

    Tim Cook loves to stay active, eat healthy, and be competitive. His passion for teaching comes from the belief that teachers are guiding students to be well-rounded, healthy, and responsible human beings. Tim promotes these habits and skill with a PE program that involves working out and cooperative games. As a dedicated participator and lover of athletics, Tim believes that some of the greatest character development can evolve when being part of a competitive team. While not always a PE teacher, Tim got involved in education when he lived and worked in Palestine for two years to teach English and Science to elementary students. He continues to enjoy being involved in students’ lives and watching them grow and learn here at New Hope Academy.


    Concha Marchitelli,
Performing Arts Center Director

    Concha Marchitelli
    Performing Arts Center Director

    Concha Marchitelli is the founder, artistic director and administrator of the Dance & Drama program at New Hope Performing Arts Center. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of the State of New York and two diplomas as a ballet and Spanish dance teacher from the Superior Conservatory of Dance and Music of Murcia, Spain, where she is from. She is certified by the Royal Academy of Dancing, the Spanish Dance Society and Kindermusik International. Her experience includes an additional 12 years as a Spanish dance teacher at The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC., under the direction of Oleg Vinegradov. Since the program was established in 1991,she has produced and directed many dance performances and several musicals; among them The Wizard of Oz, Godspell, Cinderella, Peter & the Wolf, The Magical Land of Oz, Pinocchio, and Beauty and the Beast, all performed at venues like the Publick Playhouse and the Bowie Performing Arts Center. Mrs. Marchitelli adores working with children. "I rejoice when I successfully pass on to the children the love and appreciation for the performing arts," she said. Many of her students go on to pursue careers in dance or musical theater. She is proud to say that one of them performed on Broadway in the musical, "The Lion King."


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