Berna Artis, Head of School
Berna became the new Head of School for Friends in July 2017.
She has been dedicated to the field of education for more than 17 years, having held various roles and taught middle and high school students prior to her work in early childhood education. Berna has been involved in various volunteer work, to name a few, serving on the DCAEYC Board, providing professional development trainings at conferences and being part of a workgroup for NAEYC initiative “Power to the Profession”. She believes in lifelong learning and in cherishing each other’s experiences.
Edryce Rogers, Office Administrator and Database Manager
Edryce joined School for Friends in October, 2016.
LEATHERBACK TURTLE CLASSROOM, Two Year Olds
Yasmine Brooks, Lead Teacher
Yasmine was born in Washington, DC, raised in Chicago, and currently resides in Montgomery County Maryland. She attended Howard University in Washington, DC where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and also attended Columbia University in New York City, where she earned a Master’s of Social Work. Prior to joining School for Friends, Yasmine worked at another early childhood center in DC as the lead teacher to young toddlers. She has worked with children of different ages and abilities and continues to develop her knowledge in early childhood by taking online courses to obtain her CDA credential. In her spare time, Yasmine enjoys painting, baking yummy treats, writing, and spending time with loved ones.
Treasure Blakeney, Assistant Teacher
Treasure Blakeney grew up in Washington D.C. She has worked as a camp counselor and at a pediatric dental office. She started as a substitute with School for Friends over the summer and then gladly accepted a position as an assistant teachers. Treasure is currently working to obtain her CDA credential. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Marisa Goldberg, Assistant Teacher
Marisa grew up in Washington, DC and got a B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Curry College, in Milton MA. She joined School for Friends in 2016 after having taught at a preschool in Maryland. Marisa has worked with children in various capacities from summer camp counselor, student teacher, childcare provider, and volunteer worker since her teenage years. Marisa has learned about multicultural and diverse life experiences from past travels to Israel, Costa Rica and Peru. She worked at a preschool in the Peruvian mountains teaching the local underprivileged children. Marisa is passionate about working with children. It is fulfilling for her to help nurture children through the process of growth. When she is not working with children you can most likely find her kayaking, hiking, taking her two dogs for walks, or traveling.
RED PANDA CLASSROOM, Two Year Olds
Magy Youssef, Lead Teacher
Magy was born in Egypt and is half Ethiopian. Her family came to America when she was six years old. She grew up in California and decided to move here, to Virginia, to expand her education on Early Childhood development with school-age child specialization. She feels working as a Lead Teacher at School For Friends is a blessing! She loves seeing children get inventive and so excited about the smallest things that adults can forget to practice and pay attention to. She loves the outdoors, going to museums, cooking, and swimming.
Wesley Allin, Assistant Teacher
Wesley is originally from Van Nuys, CA but has been in the Northern Virginia/DC area since 2004. She graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and immediately began working at a preschool in Alexandria. Working with children has always been a passion of hers. She’s also a big fan of taking yoga classes and spending time with her family and friends.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY CLASSROOM, Two Year Olds
Jacqueline Whiting, Lead Teacher
Jackie was an assistant teacher in the Blue Room from 1984 to 1991. Between 1991 and 1993 she worked at Just Us Kids as a floater and as a teacher coordinator. She also was a certified childcare provider in her home for 11 months. She completed her Child Development Associate credential in 1991. She worked at First Baptist Church Child Care Center during the 1983-1984 school year. She holds a certification in childcare from the Logan Community School. She earned her AA Degree in early childhood education May 13, 2006.
Jemmael Joseph, Assistant Teacher
Jemmael was born and raised on the island of Dominica. She moved to the United States in 2009. Initially residing in New York, Jemmael moved to Washington, DC and earned an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Montgomery College. She joined the School for Friends community in 2013 where she worked with the young twos (formerly known as Blue Room) for two years. She is currently the Assistant Teacher in the older 2s classroom. She is married and has an amazing daughter who is currently in the Leatherback Turtle room. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, collecting collectible toys and watching TED Talks.
EAGLES CLASSROOM, Three Year Olds
Patricia Acadia, Lead Teacher
Patti was born in Tokyo, Japan, and raised in Rochester, New York. She now lives in Greenbelt, MD. Patti joined School for Friends in 2017 after two decades of teaching at many levels, from toddlers to senior citizens. Patti has also been a one-on-one classroom aide, summer camp director, biology tutor, and theatre technician. She has Master’s degrees in education and in English. Her research interests include gender identity development, autism inclusion, and nature education. Patti spends most of her down time with her two children, reading, hiking, and watching science fiction programs.
Darren Allen, Assistant Teacher
Darren is originally from New Orleans, La. and has lived in Richmond, Va. for several years before coming to Washington, D.C. Darren has lived in Washington, D.C. for six years. Darren attended and graduated from VCU with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Darren worked in the child care and mental health fields for 17 years where he served school aged children and teens. Before becoming a Teacher Assistant in the Eagles’ classroom, Darren worked as a part time Teacher aide in the Blue room for a year and then as a floater in the beginning of the 2016 school. Darren enjoys listening to music, coloring, writing poetry, and walking.
SEA LION CLASSROOM, Three Year Olds
Makai Kellogg, Lead Teacher and Equity and Diversity Coordinator
Makai Kellogg attended D.C. Public Schools until she began high school at Sidwell Friends School. Makai graduated from Trinity Washington University with a Masters of Art in Early Childhood Education in December 2010 after completing Trinity University’s undergraduate program with a B.A. in History. She completed her student teaching requirements in the Quaker House classroom. She is the Head of Nursery at Friends Meeting of Washington where she has been providing childcare for over a decade. Makai has a strong interest in international affairs, social justice, and anti-racism work. She also created and leads the Parents of Multiracial Children group at School for Friends and the school Equity and Diversity Coordinator.
LaJuan Celey, Assistant Teacher
LaJuan was born and raised in Washington, DC and attended DC public schools. After High School, she completed nearly two years of education at the University of the District of Columbia with a concentration in the nursing department. She worked at First Baptist Child Care Center for two years. LaJuan accepted the position at School for Friends in 1986. She would like to pursue further education in the teaching field. She has also participated in multiple workshops over the years and she received her CDA credential. LaJuan is married and is the proud mother of three children, Jamar, Daevon and Jacqueline.
TIGER CLASSROOM, Four Year Olds
Sabina is from the coastal town of Bremen, Germany, where she lived most of her life. She was born in Calcutta, India, where she spent her early childhood. She studied in Germany and received a degree in occupational therapy. She has worked with children with special needs, ages three to ten years old in private practice and in preschools. Sabina joined the School for Friends staff in Spring of 2003. She has earned her CDA credential. In her spare time, she loves to spend lots of time with her son Laurence and enjoys literature and yoga as well as art and painting.
Julie Baron, Assistant Teacher
Julie was born and raised on the island of St Thomas, Virgin Islands and came to the US in 2003. She graduated from Trinity University with a degree in psychology and a minor in fine arts. Julie has been at SfF for three years and has earned her CDA credential. She loves working with children and couldn’t see herself doing anything else. In her spare time, Julie enjoys creating art, swimming and trying new foods.
Elsy Blanco, Assistant Teacher (Floater)
Elsy was born in El Salvador. She came to the US at age fifteen, and finished high school here. After that, she took English and Computer courses to polish her skills. In 2002, she took the 90 hour course in early childhood education. Two years later, she received her child development associate (CDA) bilingual credential. She started working with RCIS (Rock Creek International School) in 2001 as a bus driver, assistant teacher and summer school Spanish teacher until 2007. She is married and has two beautiful daughters, Emily and Valeria. She loves to spend time with her family. Her hobbies include fishing and reading a good book.