7009 Varnum Street, Hyattsville, MD, 20784   (301)459-7311
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    New Hope International High School

    Faculty and Staff



  • Joy Morrow, Principal,
high school Health & Family, Culinary Arts Teacher

    Joy Morrow
    Principal, Culinary Arts

    Joy Morrow is the school's principal and president of the NHA board of directors. Her academic background in psychology and in social work informed her practical experience with group homes for delinquent teenagers as well as her extensive work with preschools. In 1990, she co-founded NHA with a group of like-minded parents and has served as principal since. Mrs. Morrow wants to help create "a school community transcending religious, cultural, and racial barriers, where families with shared common values can support each other to raise moral children. This involves big challenges but also big opportunities." Her straightforward style, especially with teenagers, helps them stay on track or get back on track. She's good at helping people see a vision of what's possible, and helping children see what they're capable of, moving in the direction of their dreams. "When I'm working with a class of students I try to make sure no one falls through the cracks," said Mrs. Morrow. "My goal is to work with each child." Her personal approach finds especially satisfying those times when she can really connect with a student in a moment of discovery.

    Dolores Muhammad,
High School Science Teacher

    Dolores Muhammad
    Vice Principal

    This Maryland native has been with NHA since 2001. Her experience includes interning and working in different science fields and local institutions; including The H.B. Owens Science Center, The Beltsville Agricultural Research Institute, and the National Institute of Health. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Towson State University in Medical Technology and worked in labs for 8 years before branching into the field of education. Her education experience began in 1994 and includes all levels from preschool through high school; where she taught Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and AP Biology. She has also been the director and administrator of a private school previous to NHA and has worked and directed summer camps. In 2008, she became the high school student administrator while still teaching before her current transition back to a full administration position.


    Tiye Phoenix,
Director of Education, School Counselor

    Tiye Phoenix
    Director of Education, Counselor

    Description coming soon.

    Angela Tallak
Math Director, Assistant Administator to the Principal

    Angela Tallack
    Math Director, Assistant Administrator to the Principal


    Angela Tallack joined New Hope Academy as a part time teacher for Algebra 1/2 and grade 5 math in 2017. Originally a Vice-Principal and math teacher in England, Mrs Tallack moved 6 years ago with her husband to Bowie to be with their son, daughter-in-law and 4 grandchildren and the view of retiring. Once the 3rd youngest grandchild started day care, Mrs Tallack decided to return to teaching and was delighted to be given the opportunity to work at New Hope Academy. The vocabulary may be different but students' passion for learning and inquiry is the same. She is enjoying her new role as Math Director and Assistant Administrator to the Principal.

    Shirley Robinson
Main Office

    Shirley Robinson
    Main Office

    Shirley Robinson joined the New Hope Academy staff in 2015 as a substitute teacher. Shirley's passion for the school and their philosophy had such a big effect on her that she wanted to stay with the school after her granddaughter graduated from New Hope Academy in 2018. Shirley is a math assistant , the Early Care Supervisor /Lunchroom Supervisor.and Main office staff and a Certified Medical Technician.. Shirley studied at Prince George's Community College and University of Maryland. She is very pleased to be part of the New Hope Academy staff.


    Melanie Sumpter, Main Office

    Melanie Sumpter
    Main Office

    Description coming soon.


    Janelle Hartley,
Office Manager, Registrarr

    Janelle Hartley
    Office Manager, Registrar


    Janelle Hartley is the "hub" of New Hope Academy. A native of Guyana, raised in Brooklyn, NY, and married to a Jamaican, her multi-cultural background and family exemplify NHA's diverse school culture. She attended Pace University to pursue accounting and spent the majority of her career working for financial institutions. This allowed her to develop her strengths in management and customer service while fostering her desire to help those in need. "Mrs. Janelle" joined the school in 2006, along with her son, after transitioning her family to Maryland. "To be in a state without any relatives nearby is difficult," she said, "especially when you have a child. However, being at New Hope fills that void and has helped instill rare qualities in my son that are hard to find in today's society: respect, unity, ambition, and compassion. Everyone here is our extended family and has treated us as such." Mrs. Janelle wears many hats at NHA. She is the office manager, registrar, medical technician, international student representative, host family contact, and more. She is always willing to answer any questions or provide assistance when needed. If she doesn't have the answer, she will find it!


    Nicole Mehmedovich,
								accounting

    Nicole Mehmedovich
    Chief Operations Officer


    Nicole Mehmedovich joined New Hope Academy as the Chief Operating Officer in June 2021. She grew up in France in a military family and came to America in September 1984. Her parents did not encourage her to pursue her education, thinking that she would get married, have children, and stay home like her mother, and great-grandmother. But upon arriving in the USA, Nicole discovered she could study evenings, weekends, and online. While having five children and a full-time job, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Database Technology from Strayer University, a M.S. in Technology Management and a CIO certificate in Federal Executive Competencies from UMUC, and an MBA in Information Systems from Strayer University. Though she says she could not have done it without a great husband on her side. She loves birding, martial arts and MMA (having two black belts and a brown belt in France), gardening, motorcycle riding, and learning new things. She hopes to be of great service to all the staff, teachers, and parents at New Hope Academy. Her favorite sentences: “The important thing is not to stop questioning” from Albert Einstein, and “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything” from Theodore Roosevelt.


    Aisha Faison,
Saxon Math, Golf Teacher

    Aisha Faison
    Math, Health, 11th and 12th Grade Homeroom, K-7th Grade Computer,


    "Ms. Aisha" teaches Saxon Algebra 1/2, and Computer Technology, 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).


    Carlton Johnson,
English, 10th Grade Homeroom

    Carlton Johnson
    10th Grade Homeroom, 8-12th Grade English

    Carlton Johnson teaches English Literature and Writing--8th through 12th grade. Born and raised in Richmond, Virgina, Mr. Johnson attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia; then on to Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology, with a focus on Comparative Religion. He taught English Language Arts and Social Science Electives for middle and high school for over 20 years, in Japan and Korea--before returning stateside to teach the same in Richmond Public Schools; then at Kirov Academy of Ballet, in DC. He is now beginning his first year here at New Hope Academy and looks forward to helping every student find and nurture a more and more creative and expressive voice with which to participate confidently (and "Leave The Plus" for Heaven's sake) in the global marketplace of ideas.

    Starre Williams,
Science, 9th Grade Homeroom

    Starre Williams
    9th Grade Homeroom, 8-12th Grade Science

    Starre N. Williams is the Science Teacher for NHA (2021). She has mentored and tutored scholars in science for several years. Her passion is Science; propelling her to serve in serval aspects of the scientific field. Ms. Williams graduate, and undergraduate studies include Physics, Materials Science and Engineering.

    Jalisa Hardy,
US History, Geography, 8th Grade Homeroom

    Jalisa Hardy
    8th Grade Homeroom, 8-12th Grade Social Studies

    Jalisa Hardy is a doula, historian, artist, and educator originally from Alexandria, Virginia. Jalisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a B.A. in History and a minor in Sociology then went on to pursue an M.A. in Latin American/Latinx Studies with a concentration in Black Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Most of Jalisa’s teaching background is arts education, working with K-12 at both the New Orleans Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago for the last 5 years. She also has experience teaching and lecturing undergraduate students at different universities in the South, Midwest, and East Coast. Jalisa has been a lifelong advocate for social justice and empowerment, and has most recently been doing work to provide childbirth education and accessible safer birthing options for Black and Indigenous expecting parents in the DMV as a full-spectrum doula. Ms. Hardy is excited to be teaching history at New Hope Academy this year and cannot wait to connect with everyone!

    William Pointer,
Algebra ½, 7th Grade

    William Pointer
    Algebra ½, 7th Grade

    William Pointer is excited to be at New Hope Academy as the 7th grade teacher. Although recently joining New Hope Academy, he has been teaching for over 18 years in public schools in Detroit and Washington, DC. His interests include non-profit organizations, community building, sports, chess, and role playing games. He is looking forward to discovering the gifts uncovered throughout the year with his students and having them advocate for what is important to them.


    Beverly Berndt,
High School Algebra 1, Gambia Project

    Beverly Berndt
    Algebra 1, Gambia Project

    Beverly Berndt teaches high school Algebra 1 as well as core subjects for the sixth grade. 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.


    Vondale Mack
Fifth and Sixth Grade Teacher

    Vondale Mack
    Fifth and Sixth Grade Teacher


    Vondale Mack joined New Hope Academy as a substitute before becoming a teacher in January 2018. Vondale received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a Criminal Justice minor from Bowie State University. Vondale is passionate about childhood education and empowerment, and has worked for over 20 years providing wrap around services for youth and families who suffered trauma ranging from child abuse, sexual assault, bullying, domestic violence, and homicide. Her motto is learning should be both educational and fun.

    Melissa Olsen
Third and Fourth Grade Teacher

    Melissa Olsen
    Third and Fourth Grade Teacher


    Miss Olsen grew up in Texas and attended college in Florida before moving to Maryland where she taught for 25 years at a private school in Prince George's County. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pensacola Christian College. She has a passion for reading and her desire is to instill a love of reading in all her students.

    Justin Green
Second Grade Teacher

    Justin Green
    Second Grade Teacher

    Justin Green comes with over 10 years of experience in Education. He graduated from North Carolina Central University with a degree in Recreation Administration and a minor in Business. Following college, he began to work at a Boys and Girls Club as a Group Leader/Teen Director. Soon after, he began his semi professional basketball career. He played in the ABA league for 4 years. Since ending his basketball career, he has furthered his educational background being a Teaching Assistant, as well as Site Director/Area Manager for before and after school programs. In his free time, he enjoys producing music/instrumentals, spending time with his family, and his dog Nina.

    Karen Wilkening,
 Literacy Specialist

    Karen Wilkening
    First Grade 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.


    Elisa Hack Morris,
 Kindergarten Teacher

    Elisa Hack
    Kindergarten Teacher

    Description coming soon.


    Mary Oben, Pre-school Teacher

    Mary Oben
    Pre-school Teacher


    Mary Oben has taught the preschool class for 4 and 5 year olds since 1994. She is also the preschool director. This Minnesota farm girl realized early in life that she wanted to be a teacher. She received her bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in home economics with a child development emphasis. Known as "Mrs. Mary", she believes that preschool children need to be able to play freely choosing from a wide range of materials that stimulate and teach in developmentally appropriate ways. "Over the years I've come to appreciate the special opportunity it is to work with 4 and 5 year olds. They are extremely open, and I am able to witness their tremendous growth," she said.


    Kim Dadachanji,
Pre-school Teacher

    Kim Dadachanji
    Pre-school Teacher

    Kim Dadachanji teaches the preschool class for 3 year olds. She joined NHA as a substitute before she began teaching preschool in 1996. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and she attained her bachelor's degree in elementary education from APEX, an innovative teacher education program for developing experiential education. "Mrs. Kim's" experience includes working at The Vicarage School of Montessori/KinderCare in Hamden, CT. The school's founders were Montessori teacher trainers, and Mrs. Kim was exposed to a variety of Montessori materials and training. Her knowledge enables her to provide a joyful environment that stimulates her student's innate sense of wonder and develops their enthusiasm to discover, learn, and grow.

    Soo Jung Park 9-12G

    Soo Jung Park
    Korean Language 9-12G

    Soo Jung Park has general erudition and intimate familiarity with both Korean and American cultures, having been proximate to both communities throughout the years of her life. For many years she taught Korean language and history and culture to non-Korean speaking students and helped them overcome the difficulty and fear of trying to learn Korean as their second language. She is very excited to be a new Korean language teacher at New Hope Academy to see her students learn Korean and experience Korean culture.

    In Ku Marshall
Korean Language K-8G

    Dr. In Ku Marshall
    Korean Language K-8G

    When I left Korea almost 50 years ago to study in Germany I had a goal to promote Korean as a globally used language. A few years after I received my Ph.D. degree from Hamburg University, I began to teach Korean at Bochum University in Germany. In 1986 I moved to the United States with my family and began to teach Korean at New Hope Academy from 1991. While teaching at New Hope Academy, I focused on adapting Montessori’s language theory for teaching Korean as a foreign language and developed many hands-on teaching materials. In 1994, I joined Georgetown University as a Korean instructor in the department of East Asian languages and cultures. In my 22 years at Georgetown, I developed the Korean program into a Minor and offered more than 12 courses including ‘Studies on North Korea,’ and ‘Korean diaspora in Northeast Asia including Russia.’ Now I am returning to New Hope Academy as head of the Korean Program. In the process of promoting the Korean language, I recognized the importance of the Heritage Korean schools. For five years, I gave workshops to the Korean teachers in the Washington area on effective Korean language teaching. In addition, I developed the Korean language program at the Korean Cultural Center of the Korean Embassy in 1995. I developed their curriculum for levels I, II, and III, and taught in the program for almost ten years. The Korean language program at the Embassy continues today, with more than one hundred adult learners per session (they offer 5 sessions a year). Education: Ph.D. Hamburg University, in Comparative Education as major, Linguistics and German literature as minor in Germany B.A. Seoul National University, in German Language and Literature in Korea.

    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. Nominated by her students, Mrs. Hughes has been recognized in Who's Who for making a difference in the lives of children.


    Jathan Wright
Computer & Information Technology

    Jathan Wright
    Computer & Information Technology

    Jathan Wright teaches Computer Science to 8th grade and high school students, and also works as a hardware and software technician at NHA. He received his bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Web Technology in May 2015, and became the official web designer for the Georgetown-Howard Universities Translational Biomedical Science Program in August 2015. Mr. Wright also knows graphic design, computer programming, video game programming, animation, and more. He is an alumni of NHA who graduated in December 2010 and is determined to help the school become the best that it can be.


    Noelle Manfredi,
high school Art Teacher

    Noelle Manfredi
    Fine Art

    Ms. Manfredi is a lifelong artist and learner. At a young age she taught herself how to draw through trial and error, drawing her favorite movie characters and relatives. Art was and continues to be her happy place, a time and place for self expression and reflection. She is now enjoying her fourth year of teaching art, and is very excited to teach middle and high school students for the first time at NHA. Ms. Manfredi graduated from VCUarts in May 2018, with a BFA in Kinetic Imaging. She focused on 2D animation and video production. In her spare time, Ms. Manfredi enjoys reading, gardening and exercising.


    Joseph Jamaal
Music

    Joseph Jamaal
    Music


    Joseph Jamaal is a World-Class "Teaching Artist", who started his musical journey at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. (2002). As a Music Education/Performance Major at Howard University (2007), Mr. Joseph received the educational training and performance experience to share his knowledge and skills on a high level with people from all walks of life. Mr. Joseph has also served our country as an Army Bandsman from 2009-2012, since then he has consistently contributed to the community as a Private Music Instructor and Trumpeter teaching all brass instruments, beginner piano and performing at venues such as The Duke Theatre (NY 2017), The Kennedy Center (DC 2018) and Harlem Stage (NY 2019). Mr. Joseph is honored to have the opportunity to serve here at New Hope Academy and looks forward to sharing the gift of music with the entire community for many years to come.


    Shaun Houston,
Physical Education, 6th Grade Math Teacher

    Shaun Houston
    Physical Education, 6th Grade Math

    Shaun Houston has been an educator, athletic director, and coach for over 20 years. At New Hope Academy, he teaches Health, Physical Education, and Math. He is dedicated to teaching young people how to maintain healthy and fit lifestyles because of the importance it has on fitness levels, academic performance, and behavior. Coach Houston has taught at private, public, and charter schools throughout the region including DC Public Schools, Friendship Public Charter School, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Fusion Academy Private School, and Rock Creek Academy. He is regarded as consistently reliable by his colleagues, and professionally committed by parents and students. In addition to success in the classroom, Coach Houston’s leadership and organizational skills positioned him to manage the entire New Hope Academy sports program as a former athletic director. He also coached several sports including basketball, football, soccer and baseball. His success as a coach earned him Coach of the Year in 2001, 2003, and 2004. He continues to mentor former students who have gone on to play in competitive college sports programs, serve in the military, and begin their careers; all of whom attest that Coach Houston’s influence on their lives as an educator, coach, and role model have helped them to succeed. In his free time, Coach Houston enjoys spending time with his family, watching football, and he is an avid golfer.


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Board of Directors


Diallo Crenshaw

Diallo Crenshaw has been on the Board of Directors since 2015. His two children attended New Hope Academy from Pre-K through 8th grade. Mr. Crenshaw is an intellectual property attorney whose firm specializes in obtaining patent, trademark, and copyright protection for its clients.


Beverly Berndt

Beverly Berndt teaches high school Algebra 1 as well as core subjects for the sixth grade. 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

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Kim Dadachanji

Kim Dadachanji teaches the preschool class for 3 year olds. She joined NHA as a substitute before she began teaching preschool in 1996.

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Aisha Faison

Aisha Faison teaches Upper level math and Computer Science classes along with elementary & middle school technology courses. She also coaches after-school robotics and engineering teams. “Ms.Aisha” has been with NHA since 2006.

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Joy Morrow

Joy Morrow is the school's principal and president of the NHA board of directors. Her academic background in psychology and in social work informed her practical experience with group homes for delinquent teenagers as well as her extensive work with preschools.

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Karen Wilkening

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.

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