Teachers at Ambleside are creative, thoughtful, engaged learners with broad interests and expansive educational knowledge. They enjoy ideas, read regularly, and are passionate about faith and learning. They pursue relationship with Christ and are called to shepherd their students spiritually, as well as academically. All our teachers complete training in the Charlotte Mason approach through Ambleside Schools International, with whom we enjoy a formal affiliation.
Kindergarten – Kim Roberts received a B.A. in Human Development with a Teacher Certification from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and has taken additional coursework in Special Education at Old Dominion University. Mrs. Roberts has taught students from Preschool to Fifth Grade.
Mrs. Roberts was drawn to the Charlotte Mason method when her daughter enrolled at Ambleside in 2006 and exhibited a renewed love of learning and joy in coming to school. Mrs. Roberts nurtures this same God–given desire in her students. She creates a calm, inspiring atmosphere in her classroom each day. The students flourish under her thoughtful instruction and kind disposition. Observers note that both outgoing and shy students find their voice in class discussions, as they glean knowledge from their lessons and from each other. She often leads a Charlotte Mason Discussion Group once a week in the winter for Ambleside parents. Mrs. Roberts credits Charlotte Mason’s writings with making a significant impact on her own parenting, giving her a better understanding of children, and knowledge of what is “true education.”
First Grade – Kate Perry holds a B.A. in Sociology from Grove City College where she also earned a minor in Biblical & Religious Studies and a minor in Family Studies. She is passionate about the liberal arts and enjoyed taking extra courses in literature, music, and history. Kate cares deeply about helping students grow in their love of learning and ensuring that all students have access to an education rich in ideas and inspiration. As a first-year teacher, Ms. Perry's greatest hope is that she will be able to help her students experience joy in their education. Once an Ambleside student herself, Miss Perry considers herself a life-long learner; nine years after her own 8th grade graduation, she still enjoys memorizing and transcribing poetry and keeping a nature journal. She enjoys reading C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot's essays on Christianity and culture as well as reading about anthropology. In her free time, she loves backpacking and foraging for wild herbs and berries.
Second Grade – Julia Szatkowski is a graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, with a major in Early Childhood Education. She has a Teacher’s Certification from Massachusetts for K-2nd grade, and a Sheltered English Instruction Certification for teaching English Language Learners. In her first year of teaching, she taught Kindergarten and First Grade at another Ambleside School International.
Since 2016, she has been teaching our Second Graders. She loves the way the students really feast upon the rich ideas we explore in the texts we read, and how eager they are to discuss their opinions and observations.
Mrs. Szatkowski is inspired by the Charlotte Mason method because a philosophy–based education offers structure and continuity from K-8. She also likes the idea that children should be educated through training in good habits, relationship with nature, and exposure to living ideas. She spent her early childhood years going to public school, but started homeschooling in Third Grade when her family moved to Albania to do missions work.
Third Grade – Addie Anderson graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication. She has spent many years mentoring children, from working as a camp counselor at Ligonier Camp and Conference Center to volunteering with her church's youth group. Mrs. Anderson credits Charlotte Mason with her own love of learning and passion for great books, as she spent her childhood in our Ambleside classrooms as a student from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. She continues to delight in living books and the great outdoors, and enjoys sharing these passions with her students. Mrs. Anderson is grateful to teach at a school which centers on Christ and fosters a love of learning in all students. She is especially excited to share her own experience of the Charlotte Mason method with others.
Fourth Grade – Robin Thacker is a graduate of Biola University in La Mirada, CA, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She loves great books and has been an instructor of humanities (logic, writing, theology, philosophy, government, history, and economics) for high school students since her graduation. In addition, she has taught younger grades, all the way down to Kindergarten, in summer and after-school programs.
Fifth Grade – Juliann Tate graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College with a major in Christian Education and Ministry and a minor in Psychology. She has taught low–income minority students after school and over the summer.
Ms. Tate shares her love of ideas and knowledge with her students. She rejoices with each small revelation. One of her guiding quotes from Charlotte Mason is, “Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well–nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education.” She loves being part of a school where students are wholly prepared for life academically, morally and spiritually. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, dancing, and triathlons.
Sixth Grade – Frances Meadows has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters of Teaching in Secondary English Education from the University of Virginia. Prior to her time at UVA, she spent her summers with young people in various contexts. She was a camp counselor and women’s director at Ligonier Camp in Pennsylvania, and coordinated a tutoring program for at–risk middle school students. Since 2013, Ms. Meadows’ enthusiasm for all subject areas has been evident in her classroom. She loves reading and discussing stories in the living books we read at Ambleside. She also enjoys chaperoning First Fridays with our Seventh and Eighth Grade students.
Seventh Grade – Hannah Hargrave was born in England and raised in Connecticut where she and her five siblings were homeschooled using the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. Hannah has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Physics from the University of Durham, England and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from the University of Cambridge, England.
Miss Hargrave has always been passionate about education and has enjoyed teaching all grades from 6th to 12th, working with younger grades at mission conferences and after school clubs. She even taught Math, Science and English in Papua New Guinea. She loves the outdoors, Nature Study, all sciences, reading living books, and learning new things.
Eighth Grade – Krise Nowak studied Biology at George Mason University and has a Master’s Degree in Science Education from George Washington University. In 2012, she completed her Virginia Master Naturalist training and holds a Virginia Teaching License for grades 6-12.
Prior to joining the Ambleside family, Mrs. Nowak taught Geosystems and Biology at Mountain View High School in Centreville, VA, served as the Director of Children’s Ministry at Shepherd Gate Church in Chantilly, VA and was a tutor to many students in the area. Her son is a current Ambleside student.
Mrs. Nowak enjoys encouraging students to have a life of the mind through rich and varied texts, beautiful pictures and music, and rigorous problem solving. No matter the grade, the Charlotte Mason method has people, students and teachers alike, interacting with beauty everyday; beauty in words, music, art, and ideas.
Music & Academic Assistant - Sarah Wilcox graduated from James Madison University with a Major in Music (Voice concentration) and a minor in Jazz. She is trained in the Hungarian Kodaly philosophy, which is the method used at Ambleside. Before coming to Ambleside, she taught music in a public school, was a vocal coach, and a piano instructor for five years. She has sung in choirs during all of her schooling years and currently performs jazz and original music in the DMV area. Her love for sharing the joy of music with children is evident. She is an Ambleside alumna and is eager to return to the enriching Charlotte Mason method.
Spanish – Russell Galloway graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, AL with a B.A. in Spanish. A current Fellow with McLean Presbyterian Church, Russell is excited about his first year of teaching. His time in college allowed him to study, work, and interact with native Spanish speakers both domestically and abroad. He wants to share with our students his passion for Spanish language and culture. He believes Charlotte Mason’s method of retelling and narration cater well to acquiring a foreign language.
Physical Education - Jack Kang graduated with a B.A. in Chinese from the University of Maryland. After several years overseas on missions with Campus Crusade for Christ, Jack returned to the States and is a real estate agent and real estate investor who flips houses. Jack played football for 4 years in high school and has been teaching Chinese martial arts for 16 years. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast and enjoys bow hunting, bush craft and primitive skills and serves as the campsite chairman and rifle and pistol range officer for the Izaak Walton League BCC Chapter. Jack and his wife Stephanie and daughter Abbey live on a hobby farm in Great Falls with their chickens, goats and rabbit.
Art Instructor - Kassandra Laushkin holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from George Mason University with additional certification with Mona Brookes, author of Drawing with Children, and founder of EduArts. This highly acclaimed approach teaches every student to perceive five basic elements of shape. In addition to more realistic drawing skills, teachers have noted an increased ability to focus, concentrate, and problem solve in academic areas outside of art.
Mrs. Laushkin was raised in a family of artists and has always loved drawing and painting. She taught second grade for a year at Ambleside before heading up our art program since 2011. Students thrive under Mrs. Laushkin’s gentle instruction and creativity.
Math Instructor – Leanne Caldwell received a B.A. in Bible and Elementary Education from Agnes Scott College and a M.Ed. in Reading from the University of North Florida. Her former school teaching positions include inner-city schools and high risk students. She has served as a classroom teacher of second, third, and fourth grades, as an elementary Reading Specialist, and as a private tutor/educational consultant. She and her husband Andy homeschooled their 4 children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. More recently, she has taught middle school and high school math classes for homeschooled students.
Leanne’s passion is interacting with students of all ages, and she has done so since an early age. She views teaching as loving and encouraging students spiritually, academically, and personally. She has seen that such teaching sets students on the path to success as youth, adults, and disciples of Christ.
When Leanne first learned of Charlotte Mason’s method of education, she saw it as real education in real life. Leanne was drawn to Charlotte Mason’s view of the child as a thinking, feeling, spiritual being, and the child as a learner when each part of the child is educated and nurtured. Leanne found herself interacting with “living books,” as she shared them with her students. Short lessons and “living books” provided real, engaging, interesting material for students and teacher!
Leanne is excited to be a teacher at Ambleside School and looks forward to being a part of a community which desires to love and stimulate learning and spiritual growth in their children.
Academic Assistant - Kristina Hanna graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, a Minor in Biology and a concentration in Math with Summa Cum Laude Honors. She was accepted to the University of Maryland Dental School on a scholarship but had to turn down the opportunity to care for her family. Family has always been of utmost importance for Kristina and her career goals have been interrupted numerous times by family obligations. She has three amazing kids. Kristina has worked for Ambleside in the past and has returned to help serve our school again. She appreciates the whole-child focus of Ambleside and the school’s emphasis on character development and Christian community.
Head of School - Virginia Wilcox graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA with a major in History. She worked in the fields of journalism and public relations and as Press Secretary of the US Senate Judiciary Committee before her five children were born, and later as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.
Mrs. Wilcox, co-founder of a Charlotte Mason Study Group that now involves over 100 families in the Washington area, has studied this educational approach and educated children using these methods for more than thirty years. She is passionate about education. Mrs. Wilcox’s heart for mentoring teachers and creating a rich atmosphere in which students learn and grow is a tremendous asset to Ambleside.
Director of Administration – Annie Berry is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where she double-majored in History and English and had the opportunity to study abroad in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After graduating from college, she spent a year enrolled in the Capital Fellows Program (a rigorous discipleship program) at McLean Presbyterian Church, devoting her time to discipleship, study, service, and vocational training. Ms. Berry loved teaching Fourth Grade at Ambleside for four years and is excited to now bring this classroom experience into her administrative role. As Director of Administration, Ms. Berry is in charge of school operations and academic administration. She will also be assisting the Head of School in the training of teachers.
Director of Instruction – Barbara Boughton has taken on a new role as Director of Instruction here at Ambleside. Mrs. Boughton has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois. She will be leading all of our teachers in their instruction and work with students in the classrooms. In her years at Ambleside, she has combined her broad understanding of curriculum and instruction from her years as a home educator with a greater understanding of Mason’s pedagogy in the classroom.
Executive Assistant - Isabelle Baucum graduated from the College of William & Mary with a Major in Anthropology and a Minor in Public Health. During her college years, she was a researcher for AidData and box office & house manager for the Theatre, Speech, and Dance Department. In her work with theatre and event promotion, she gained experience in communications, film production, and social media. She also has a passion for Shakespeare!