Notes of Gratitude 2011 Page 2 

“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Angela Benjamin, Woodrow Wilson High School [Photo by James R. Brantley]
“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Roaenetta Mayes Browne, Sharpe Health School [Photo by James R. Brantley]
“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Sylvia Ewing, Kelly Miller Middle School [Photo by James R. Brantley]
“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Charles Feeser, Benjamin Banneker High School [Photo by James R. Brantley]
“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Deborah Flanagan, Barnard Elementary School [Photo by James R. Brantley]
“Excellence in Teaching” award winner Maria Samenga, Harriet Tubman Elementary School [Photo by James R. Brantley]

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Take the opportunity to publicly thank your favorite DCPS teacher in one of two ways:

  1. Complete the form on the Share Your Gratitude for a DCPS Teacher page.
  2. Tweet your gratitude on Twitter. (Be sure to include #DCTeachers in your tweet!)

Be sure to check out all the other ways we're celebrating and showing gratitude to our teachers.

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Teacher Kathleen Bergin at Murch Elementary School

Dear Ms. Bergin,

Thank you very much for the wonderful job you have done with your first grade class at Murch. I have noticed a continuous improvement in Sierra's reading and writing skills. You seem to have found the right balance of discipline and warmth to create an effective learning environment keeping the children engaged, challenged and focused.

This past year you have helped to build not only a strong academic foundation for Sierra but also helped to mold her social skills and I thank you.


DCPS parent: Phyllis T

Teacher James Perry at Eastern Senior High School

I would like to say Mr. James Perry, Director of Bands for Eastern Senior High School wears many hats.  He is a teacher of instrumental music and a keeper of tradition at our school.  If one would have to count the minutes that he has taught invaluable lessons to his students, it would be exhausting.

As we know instrumental players practice to perform and with each outing as the Blue and White Marching Machine, accolades are abound.  Therefore, by exposing our students to travels, life-experiences and educational fundamentals just makes Mr. Perry, worth his weight in gold.

Everytime our students are in uniform and perform they are serving as ambassadors for DCPS.  It goes without saying that Mr. Perry is well respected among his colleagues and has the work-ethic of a scholar.  His reputation in association with those in the music-educator genre goes without saying, that we have the best band director.

His ability to assemble a cross-section of interested people who love music and have them work towards the common goal of supporting our children is phenomenal.  I couldn't go on without saying his smile is welcoming, his energy is contagious and his knowledge of instrumental music is mind-boggling.

During his years affiliated with Eastern Senior High School, he has brought a sense of  pride, excitement and enjoyment to the instrumental music program.  His motivation has spear-headed others into jump-starting their respective instrumental music programs; which makes the DCPS music program an appreciative success for everyone.

Our gratitude for Mr. Perry is evolving but our APPRECIATION is perpetual.  We are musically motivated to support Mr. Perry in all of his endeavors for the future of Eastern Senior High School's "Blue and White Marching Machine"

Now, everyone together say "FEEL THE MIGHT OF THE BLUE AND WHITE!!!"

Community Member: Mark R.

Teacher Mrs. Janice Hylton at Benjamin Banneker High School

We're thinking of you and appreciate all you've done!  From Desta & Max.

Community Member: Desta D.

Teacher Ms. Morrell at Walker-Jones Education Campus

I would like to thank Ms. Morrell for welcoming Damien into her class and making him feel like part of the team. She was very instrumental in his smooth transition to Walker Jones Campus. Ms. Morrell is a very efficient and dedicated teacher and we appreciate her very much. She is a tremendous asset to the DCPS system

DCPS parent: Stephanie D.

Teacher Janet Murphy at Watkins Elementary

Ms. Murphy is an excellent educator who is focused on children's academic and life skills learning.  My daughter has flourished under her instruction.  I like working with Ms. Murphy because she often talks to me about my daughter's progress and about issues regarding children's interactions and my daughter's behavior.  I am grateful for our partnership and for her expertise.

DCPS parent: Jennifer Y.

Teacher Sarah Guiheen at Marshall Elementary

Thank you to Mrs. Guiheen for her patience and diligence in educating my daughter Kalea. I think that the responsibility of educators is enormous and working with children has it's share of challenges and rewards.

DCPS parent: Diane C.

Teacher Ms. Barbara Lucas at Leckie Elementary

My son is fortunate to have a person like you to help continue the legacy, and keep the 'porch light on' regarding our fond memories and prospects for Leckie. Thanks you Ms. Lucas.

DCPS parent: Desta D.

Teacher Mr. Assael at Alice Deal Middle School

Thank you for being AWESOME!

DCPS parent Nancy V.

Teacher Mr. Bangura at Woodrow Wilson High School

Thank you for your support of Sam!

DCPS parent Nancy V.

Teacher Mr. Kirschenbaum at Alice Deal Middle School

Thank you for inspiring Jules to work harder in school by expecting more.

DCPS parent Nancy V.

Teacher Ms. T. Massenburg at Woodrow Wilson High School

Thank you for inspiring Sam!

DCPS parent Nancy V.

Teacher Lisa Conezio at Hyde-Addison Elementary


Thank you so much!  We really appreciate how you challenge our daughter to do her best and to keep trying no matter what.  We have seen her blossom in so many ways this year and your kindness and support have had a huge impact on her.  Thank you for your daily updates not just on your website but the emails that you send to us directly with updates regarding her progress. Those updates help us parents to feel connected throughout the day and allow us to share in the classroom experience.

Many thanks to you and all DCPS Teachers for all that you do.

DCPS parent: Jennifer J.

Teachers at Cluster 1

"A teacher affects eternity; he/she can never tell where their influence stops" - Henry Adams

Thank you for all the work you do for our students. They are much better off for passing your way!

DCPS employee Barbara Adderley Instructional Superintendent Cluster 1

Teacher Janet Murphy at Watkins Elementary

Ms. Murphy,

Jim and I wanted to thank you as publicly as we could for the incredible school experience you have given our two children.  We are amazed daily by their development and by your commitment to teaching.  And it's not only our kids who we have seen shine under your tutelage - your individualized approach to every child in your class is amazing.  Keep on doing what you are doing!

With sincere gratitude,

The Roberts Family

DCPS parent Paula C.

Teacher Janet Murphy at Watkins Elementary

Our son Liam started in the Montessori program this year in Mrs. Murphy's class. He had a tough time transitioning to his new environment and Mrs. Murphy was there to help him, and us, every step of the way. She went above and beyond - calling us at home to check on him, talking to us at length during pickup and drop-off and generally doing everything she could to be sure that we felt good about how things were going. He is now doing great - we see more evidence of the maturity and growth that has happened under her tutelage every day!

DCPS parent: Emilie S.

Teacher Ms. Christine Bennett at Watkins Elementary

Thank you, Ms Christine Bennett, for nurturing Grace's independence and academic achievement.  Her time is your primary Montessori classroom has set a wonderful foundation for her learning and development. You are recognized as among the best #DCTeachers, and we are fortunate to have benefited from your excellence.

DCPS parent: Victoria D.

Teacher Jeffrey Daniels at Watkins Elementary

Mr. Daniels 

Jim and I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank you for the incredible learning experience you are sharing with our son and all of the other children in your class.  Our son comes home every afternoon talking excitedely about what he is learning in your class.  We are thrilled that he is in such an incredible environment and look forward to learning with you and our son in the future.

Many thanks.

The Roberts Family

DCPS parent: Paula C.

Teacher Michael Benson at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School

Mike Benson is a quietly inspiring teacher to his entire 2nd grade class, and in particular to my son. He has managed to grab hold the attention of this large and diverse class, serving each student as is most appropriate for each. For my son, he has offered a great amount of freedom to pursue independent projects in English studies. My son has blossomed on his watch.

Thank you, Mr. Benson!

DCPS parent: Kat S.

Teacher Eleanor Palm at Key Elementary

Ms. Palm, just like all of the Key School Teachers is a wonderful educator.  She teaches with so much love and respect.  My daughter is thriving in that classroom and loves going off to school every morning.
Thank you for the tireless effort you put into teaching!

DCPS parent Jen M.

Teacher Mrs. Haese at Key Elementary

Ms. Haese, just like all of the Key School Teachers is a wonderful educator.  She teaches with so much love and respect.  My daughter is thriving in that classroom and loves going off to school every morning.

Thank you for the tireless effort you put into teaching!

DCPS parent: Jennifer M.

Teacher Ms. Gordon at Ludlow Taylor Elementary
Ms. Gordon is a great 3rd grade teacher and my daughter enjoys learning in her class.  Ms. Gordon has help make the transition from a small private school to DCPS a wonderful experience for my daugher and her level and skills are still at or above average, thank you Ms. Gordon and keep up the good work.
DCPS parent Kia B.

Teacher Sarah Bogan at Murch Elementary

We have had the pleasure of having Ms. Bogan for two years, first as a pre-K teacher for our daughter, and now as a kindergarten teacher for our son. She rocks! With her loving support and confident skills, our son has blossomed at Murch. We were so proud to share his very first "book" about American symbols with our friends and family. His great work even motivated our family to visit the Statue of Liberty. Our son knew more about its history than we did! Thank you, Ms. Bogan, for being an important part of our children's lives.

DCPS parent Jeff T.

Teacher Janet Corbitt at Whittier Education Campus

I am a first year teacher, and a close co-worker of Mrs. Janet Corbitt. I am truly honored to have this highly-effective teacher as a partner.  She immediately took me under her wing when she identified with me as a first year teacher.  I can honestly say that I do not know where I would be without her.  She has mentored me throughout this year and we have been in close collaboration to provide our second grade students with the best education possible.   To have her as a partner has made me a stronger teacher for my students.  I have seen videotapes of her lessons and routines and have been able to model my classroom from her techniques.  She has guided me through the troubles of classroom management and has made herself open and available to me at any time. I am truly grateful for her! Thank you Mrs. Corbitt!

DCPS employee: Megan D.

Teacher Sally George at Murch Elementary

Thanks for letting me read as much as possible!  Thanks for helping me learn!

DCPS student: Ethan B.

Teacher Merlyne Graves at Shaed Educational Campus

Ms. Graves is an outstanding teacher! She is well organized, prepared, and engages the students. She encourages her students to be the best students they can be. She ensures that she is engaging and interacting with every student. She's an asset to any school.

Community Member

Teacher Ann Dullea at John Eaton Elementary

I am always  thrilled to walk into my daughter's classroom  and see  the walls covered with the the creative and inspired lessons and art projects Ann Dullea and her assistant Rose Tali assign to her and her classmates.  I could not ask for  better, creative or more committed teachers.  My daughter leaves school every day smiling and laughing.  And every day I pick her up knowing she's found her place in a very special educational community.

DCPS parent: Jane L.

Teacher Ms. Lisa Miller at H.D. Cooke Elementary

Ms. Miller has done an outstanding job with helping my son adjust to some pretty traumatic changes w/in this year. His other parent has been called to serve in Nigeria for 2 years, so the absence showed up with some behavior issues before and after visits from the traveling parent.  Ms. Miller has worked diligently with me and her assistant, Ms. Vives, to provide a safe place to express his frustrations, coordinated support for him, and showed him the power of using his words to convey feelings and meaning. 

As a result, Roberto has grown tremendously and has achieved a much better way of expressing himself with this very challenging circumstances. Ms. Miller has also given me concrete suggestions as to how to work with Roberto so that there is consistency among work, play and home. Roberto is now very well adjusted and has adapted quite well.

The support, empathy, dedication, diligence and professionalism that Ms. Miller has shown me, and Roberto has moved me beyond words. I am eternally grateful and for this, I want to nominate Ms. Miller.

DCPS parent: Sandra R.

Teacher William Rope Hearst Elementary

I just wanted to give kudos to Mr. William Rope the third grade teacher at Hearst Elementary.  I appreciate him pushing my son to write more effectively and to further enhance his math skills.  While I am not pleased that DCPS appears to only be concerned with children's tests scores, Mr. Rope prepares his students beyond a passing test score, he prepares them for their next grade level and beyond.  Thank you Mr. Rope....

DCPS parent: Kim W.

Teacher Ms. Lee-Hill at Smothers Elementary

Dear Ms. Hill,

Even though this is your first year @ Smothers I am very impressed. I really do appreciate the way you go the extra mile for your students and parents. Thank you for continuing to encourage and support my child and the children that you are responsible for on a daily basis.

DCPS parent: Robyn D.

Teacher Ms. Sarah Bogan at Murch Elementary

Ms. Bogan has provided my son with a fabulous Kindergarten experience this year.  Her classroom is warm, organized and fun!  Since August my son has grown remarkably as a student and he loves coming to school.  In my book a superior teacher has the ability to impart on his/her students knowledge and critical thinking skills, while at the same time fostering a love of learning.  Ms. Bogan has hit every one of these marks.  Thank you for a great year.

DCPS parent: Lisa S.

Teacher Mrs. Elston at Smothers Elementary

Dear Mrs. Elston,

I don't think I can muster up the words to describe your greatness. Even though my Son is in the 4th grade now and you were his kindergarten teacher, he still praises you. Smothers Elementary has a jewel and you are it!

DCPS parent: Robyn D.

Teacher Mrs. Blanks at Leckie Elementary

I would like to thank Mrs. Blanks, Ms.Parker, Ms. Pagett, and Mrs. Mercer! these are my daugther's Kindergarten, and First grade teachers. They have taught my daughter so much, they push her to her limits, which encourages her to  be the best that she can... she has learned and retained a level of education I did not know a 7 year could. She reads at an outstanding level! [she] does simple math with such ease and just all around loves learning [from] her teachers. The teachers at this school work as a team, they take a sincere interest in the children and I'm grateful that I chose Leckie Elementary for my daughter's education!

DCPS parent: Rochelle S.

Teacher Carol Betts at Miner Elementary

I would like to thank the best teacher that DCPS has, Ms. Carol Betts. She is very patient, kind and loving. She takes the time with each and every pre-school child that she teaches. Ms. Betts has been very instrumental in my son's life. She is a one of a kind jewel. You do not find too many teachers that will get down on the floor with her students if needed to comfort them. I just want to say "THANK YOU".

DCPS parent: Mineto C.

Teacher Amy Harding-Wright at Brent Elementary

We are SO luck to have Ms Harding-Wright teaching my son in Pre K 4 teacher! She tireless, loving, patient and creative and keeps 21 kids engaged every day! I don't know how she does it! She is amazing.

DCPS parent: Jessica S.

Teacher Mrs. Feinblatt at Smothers Elementary

Dear Mrs. Feinblatt,

Under your leadership, I personally feel that Smothers has excelled. You are an excellent leader! You have assembled a fantastic team of teachers and counselor's. Please continue to do the work that you have been doing, and just know that I am very proud to say that my son is a student at Smothers Elementary.

DCPS parent: Robyn D.

Teacher Joanne P. Green at Miner Elementary

Ms. Green is a wonderful instrument at Miner Elementary School. She takes the time with her class and is always there to lend a helping hand when needed. She does a wonderful job with the preschoolers at Miner. Keep doing a wonderful job Ms. Green. We Love You.

DCPS parent: Mineto C.

Teacher Mr. Ulrich, Levi-Goerlich at Jefferson Middle School

Mr. Levi- Goerlich is one of the most relaxed and engaged teachers I have ever worked with. His caring does not begin at 7:45am nor does it end at 3:15, he works with upcoming teachers as well a students. He is dedicated to nurturing to the educational process from supporting the students to supporting the teachers.

Community Member: Colleen M.

All Teachers & Aides at Miner Elementary School

I would like to give a special thanks to all the teachers, aides at Miner Elementary School. You have been very instrumental in my son's day to day life. I feel very safe and satisfied nowing that I've picked a place where he will be nurtured and taught the skills he will need to move him on to the next level.  "THANK YOU" for all the long hours that you put in and your hard work does not go unnoticed.

DCPS parent: Mineto C.

Teacher Christine Bennett at Watkins Montessori

Mrs. Bennett is one of those teachers you wished you had when you were younger. Delaney has gained so much confidence in trying new things thanks to Mrs. Bennett. We really *did* win the lottery when we were selected for a slot in the Watkins Montessori program and assigned to Mrs. Bennett and Ms. Beachell's class.

DCPS parent: Vanessa S.

Teacher Mr. Turner at Brookland Education Campus at Bunker Hill

I would like to thank you Mr.TUrner for been a very good  teacher for my daughter Xiomerlyn, thank you for your support and understanding...thank you very much!

DCPS parent: Xiomara G.

Teacher Ms. Rebecca Beachell at Watkins Elementary

Ms. Beachell is a fantastic assistant teacher and my daughter can't stop talking about her at home. She is so helpful, and attentive to the kids. Whenever I have a concern, be it large or small, she is always willing to stop what she is doing and listen fully to my question. Ms. Beachell is a wonderful complement to Mrs. Bennett's wonderful teaching style.

DCPS parent: Vanessa S.

Teacher Ms. Perrotti at Whittier Education Campus

While I do not yet have a child attending Whittier, I have already heard great things from my neighbor's children about Ms. Perrotti. I know that she is cares deeply about her students, and puts an immense amount of effort into each day. I hope she knows how much she is appreciated, even if no one has told her. Thank you, Ms. P!!

Community Member: Leonardo D.

Teacher Mrs. Ghamarian at Lafayette Elementary

Dear Mrs. Ghamarian,

I know Molly can't write you a letter yet, but if she could , she would say: I love you Mrs. Ghamarian! This has been a wonderful first year of school for her at Lafayette and in DCPS, and you are absolutely the linchpin for that being the case. She just beams when she talks about school, or when we say it is time for her to go to school. You show so much care in everything you do, whether its reminding parents about important events or calmly encouraging children to follow valuable rules that will guide them throughout their lives. 

Molly is full of stories every day of the things you have taught her, from Farsi alphabet to dances to good lessons in nutrition. Somehow, and I don't know how, you have done this year after year without ever apparently tiring, wearing out, and getting frazzled. In short, thank you for everything you do. Molly is going to remember you forever, and so will we.

DCPS parent: Carol R.

Teacher Ms. Robyn Alston at Barnard Elementary School

Ms. Alston is a stellar teacher! I am very often pleasantly surprised at the concepts and information that my son can tell me he has learned. Ms. Alston does a great job of making the information relevant and impactful to the students (which can be challenging for 4 year olds). Ms. Alston genuinely partners with parents and encourages feedback, input, etc. to make the learning experience as effective as possible. I am so thankful my son had Ms. Alston as a teacher.

DCPS parent: Valerie C.

Teacher Mrs. Gereau at Langdon Education Campus

Dear Mrs. Gereau,

I would like to express my gratitude for the great work ethic, the professionalism and the creativity that you display in the classroom that fosters enthusiasm for learning in our children each day.  Thank you!!!  You are truly appreciated.

DCPS parent: Christina T.

Teacher Michael Benson at Oyster Adams Bilingual School

Dear Mr. Benson,

Thank you for reading Wayside School. Thank you for teaching me about prefixes and suffixes.


Luke (2nd grader in Mr. Benson's class)

DCPS parent: Margaret L.

Teacher Rebecca Nathan at Eaton Elementary School

Ms. Nathan is a wonderful teacher.  My daughter, Camille, just entered Kindergarten in DCPS this fall after years in a Montessori program.  I was not sure how she would adjust to the change.  With Ms. Nathan it took no time at all.  She is just amazing.  Every day she can find time to individually greet each child and the parent who accompanies them.  She can easily perform three tasks at once and always has a big smile.  She is comfortable down on the floor with the children and talking with parents at conferences.  She has a robust curriculum but is willing to deviate from it when spontaneous learning opportunities arise. The children adore her and with good reason.  I just hope Camille's future teachers in DCPS can be half as good.

DCPS parent: Penelope L.

Teacher Alva Abdusalaam at Prospect Learning Center

Alva, thank you for being a consistent and joyful presence in the lives of your students. You are greatly appreciated!

Community Member: Janine R.

Teacher Ms Christina Phelps at Payne Elementary

Ms Phelps has been a wonderful teacher to my son.  He is so excited about the new things he is learning from her and he strives to do the best at all times.  I will also like to commend her aide in class Mr Hippolyte and also The Principal Mrs Scott-Marcus they are wonderful assets to DCPS.

DCPS parent: Keeshea R.

Teacher Mrs. David-Martinez at Janney Elementary

Mrs. David-Martinez,

You are kind, creative and inspiring. My son comes home excited about learning. He asked me to make up extra Lattice (math) problems so he could practice. He looks forward to science and reading. He likes writing Haiku. He even told me he had to get some extra exercise and go to bed early the night before the DC-CAS tests, because Mrs. David said it would be a good way to prepare for the tests. He tells me about how nice and funny you are. In his words "you are awesome!"

DCPS parent: Cynthia S.

Teacher Carissa Harrison at John Eaton Elementary

Ms. Harrison,

You are an intensely committed and dedicated, natural educator who gives above and beyond to her students in every way. Every interaction with you is thought out, professional, caring, honest, and authentic.  Your patience is unprecedented and your students know they are loved.  Thank you for doing this for our children, it will never be forgotten.  Your job is critically important and the impact of what you do will carry on for years to come.  I APPRECIATE YOU!!!!!!  Thanks!

DCPS parent: Marisa P.

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