Keilettia joined Capital City in August 2022. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from University of Mississippi, and a Master of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from Howard University.
She brings four years of experience working in education, and has worked for Americorps, Teach for America at Leland Public Schools in Mississippi, and The Children’s Guild. She also has a Professional Crisis Management - Practitioner 2 certification.
Keilettia is from Mississippi, and in her spare time enjoys binge watching reality TV and Marvel movies. She is a foodie and also enjoys the life of being a mom.
Jeff joined Capital City in August 2012. He is certified in HVAC and CPR.
Prior to Capital City, Jeff worked for three years as a Maintenance Technician at the Department of Justice, Thurgood Marshall Building and as a delivery personnel for Staples for four years.
His hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies, figuring out how to fix things, and spending time with his kids.
Chris joined Capital City in August 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Health from Emory University.
Previously, Chris was an Ethics and Leadership Teacher and Residential Advisor for the School for Ethics and Global Leadership. He was also a Research Assistant for Emory's Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning Office. Chris is trained in CBCT.
Chris is fluent in Spanish (Native) and proficient in French and American Sign Language. He enjoys riding a bike or e-scooter and watching movies.
Favorite Quote/Motto: "Our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality." - adrienne maree brown
Sofia joined Capital City in May 2023. She has a Juris Doctor degree from UNITEC Honduras and a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland.
Prior to joining Capital City, Sofia worked as an employment litigation attorney in Honduras and has five years of administrative experience in the United States.
She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and is a native Spanish speaker. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys watching comedy shows, traveling, and spending time with her golden retriever and children.
Favorite quote/motto: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves” -Lao Tzu
Necolaus joined Capital City in January 2023. He has a CompTIA Security+ certification.
Prior to joining Capital City, Necolaus worked as tech support at ViaPath Technologies.
Alba joined Capital City in June 2021. Before joining Capital City, she was a Senior Relationship Banker at SunTrust Bank.
Alba is fluent in Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading literature and fiction, and seeing live music.
Favorite Motto/Quote: “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” - Emma Goldman
Chip joined Capital City in April 2011 as the Upper School's Technology Integration Specialist. He has a Master of Science in Library Science, a Certificate in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland College Park.
Before coming to Capital City, Chip was the Instructional Multimedia Coordinator and Web Editor at the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC for six years. Prior to that, he worked as a library assistant in Montgomery County Public Schools for three years.
Chip is a 2016 Citybridge Education Innovation Fellow, a yearlong program that introduces teacher leaders to the most promising practices in personalized learning,
As part of the library team, Chip, including High School Librarian & Technology Teacher, Kishanna Harley, and former Library Assistant, Brandy Goffigan, designed and prepared Capital City’s winning CTE Makeover Challenge application for a makerspace that will be a hub of experiential learning in the school’s third-floor computer lab starting October 2016.
Chip enjoys reading, watching movies, playing video games, and spending much of his time in front of a glowing screen.
Dominique joined Capital City in September 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical & Computational Sciences from Stanford University.
She brings with her over a decade of work experience that ranges from Direct Marketing at a non-profit, teaching high school math, and working in Development and Communications at a D.C. think tank.
In her free time, Dominique loves to watch and to perform dances (tap in particular) and she enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending time with her niece and nephew.
Victoria joined Capital City in April 2021. She holds a Master in Social Work from Rutgers University and a Bachelors in Child and Family Studies with a minor in Special Education and Spanish from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Before joining Capital City, Victoria worked in Philadelphia charter schools with pregnant and parenting students.
Victoria is fluent in Spanish.
In her free time, she enjoys going to restaurants and trying new food. She describes herself as adventurous and loves exploring new places.
Favorite Quote/Motto: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Laina Cox is a 21-year veteran in the field of education having served as a teacher, administrator, school designer, principal and most recently in 2022, a School Ambassador Fellow for the United States Department of Education, selected as one of only six in the country.
In 2012, she was the founding principal for the Middle School Campus at Capital City Public Charter School, a PreK3-12th grade award winning and model EL Education School, in Washington DC. She remained principal here for 10 years. She returned to Capital City in February 2023 as the Chief of Staff and the Head of School Elect.
Laina received her B.A. in Psychology from Spelman College and an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. She began her career in Boston Public Schools, first as a teacher and later as an Assistant Principal. She worked as a School Designer for EL Education for two years prior to becoming a principal. Laina was a Ted Sizer Principal Fellow through the Coalition of Essential Schools, the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award for Hopkins School, her high school alma mater in New Haven, CT., has served as a member of the Leadership Advisory Board for EL Education, the Trinity University Coalition on Education, and the Principal’s Advisory Committee for the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent’s. Laina has also spoken on a number of panels (Aspen Institute, Educator Writers Association) has been featured in a number of articles, podcasts, and videos (The 2021 Year in Review for the U.S. Department of Education, EL Education,The Hechinger Report, The 180 Podcast & The State of Our Union Podcast) and featured in the book Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race & Racism. In addition to these panel presentations and features, Laina has presented at many national conferences (EL Education, Deeper Learning, Amplify Conference for Educators of Color) and represented EL Education and Capital City PCS internationally at the iOnTheFuture Conference in Sydney, Australia.
In 2018, Laina was the recipient of the Silverberg Leadership Award for EL Education, awarded annually to one exemplary school leader in the nation who raises student achievement through deep implementation of EL Education practices. And in 2022, she was named the Principal of the Year for One World Education, a Washington, DC curriculum program. Laina is a member of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, where she founded the Blueprint Conference for Middle and High School Girls and currently chairs the mentor program for her local chapter.
She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the proud wife of Winston, and Mommy to Jaida (13) and Solomon (10).
Kaely joined Capital City in December 2022. She has experience as a Child Development Associate.
Prior to Capital City, Kaely worked as a front desk manager at a DC area school. She is fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys family time, getting in tune with her creative abilities, traveling, trying new foods, going to concerts and festivals, and giving back to her community.
Favorite mottos: “Consistency over Motivation” and “Honesty is the best policy.”
Michelle joined Capital City in November 2015. She is a certified Medical Assistant and has previous experience as a Security Officer from having worked for Professional 50 States Protection and B&B Security.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys listening to music, reading, and watching movies.
Karen Dresden is the Head of School and co-founder of Capital City Public Charter School, a diverse, high performing PK-12 school of choice in Washington, DC. She is passionate about achieving academic justice for historically marginalized students and developing all students’ capacity to be leaders and changemakers.
Karen has been an educator for three decades, working first as a teacher in DC Public Schools before becoming the founding principal of Capital City in 2000. Karen was involved in all aspects of the school’s start-up as a PK-8 school. She also led the development of Capital City’s high school program in 2008 which now boasts over 600 graduates, a 100% college acceptance rate, and a college graduation rate for first generation students that exceeds the national average.
Under Karen’s leadership, Capital City has been a model for school reform. The school implements the EL Education model, a hands-on approach that supports students in meeting rigorous academic and character standards. The school has been featured in national case studies and opens its doors to hundreds of visitors annually. The school was honored by two separate visits during the Obama administration. President Obama described Capital City as, “an example of how all schools should be.”
Karen has her M.Ed from Harvard University in Educational Leadership. She also has her M.S. Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. She was a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2015.
Outside of school, Karen enjoys hiking, swimming, biking, vegetarian cooking, traveling and spending time with her son, Darian.
Samantha joined Capital City in October 2016 with eight years of experience working in education. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Simmons College and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Lafayette College.
Prior to Capital City, she served as the Education Director of a nonprofit that ran experiential education programs, primarily for underserved students, on a 137' sailboat. Prior to that, she worked as the Education Director and Center Director of a Sylvan Learning Center in Massachusetts. Samantha has also held various teaching positions in elementary classrooms in Boston.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, and cheering on Boston sports teams.
Rodney joined Capital City in June 2022. He has a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from the University of the District of Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies with a concentration in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently pursuing a second Master degree in Information Systems and Technology Management, with focus areas in cloud application development and artificial intelligence from George Washington University.
Prior to Capital City, Rodney worked in several capacities within education around the Washington, DC area. He has taught middle school math, middle school technology, and elementary education. While teaching, he also served in a dual role as an education technology coordinator.
In his free time, Rodney enjoys doing DIY projects, and reading about science, politics, and history.
Favorite Motto/Quote: "One day at a time."
Hayleigh joined the Capital City team in November 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College.
Prior to joining Capital City, Hayleigh worked as a Planning Editor for Spectrum News 1 in Albany, NY, and as a reporter for Eagle Newspapers in Syracuse, NY. She was the 2016 recipient of the A. Brohmann Roth Newcomer award from the Syracuse Press Club.
In her spare time, Hayleigh enjoys reading, baking, traveling, and spending time with her cat, Cleopatra.
Favorite Quote/Motto: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” - Dolly Parton
Jess joined Capital City in January 2023. She has a CompTIA A+ Certification from the University of the District of Columbia.
Prior to joining Capital City, Jess worked as a Teacher Lead Assistant for a youth program in Maryland.
Aisha joined Capital City in 2001 as a Teaching Assistant in Pre-K/Kindergarten and 3rd/4th grades. In 2005, she started working as a 1st/2nd Grade Inclusion Teacher. Later, she coordinated before and after-care as the Director of Out of School Time and moved on to her current position as Director of Operations in March 2017.
Aisha is working on her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Pathology at the University of the District of Columbia. She has received training in Phonographix and supporting English Language Learners.
She has been a member of Capital City’s math leadership cadre and has served on curriculum and hiring teams. Aisha has worked with the P.L.E.A.S.E. after school program and has also coordinated reading intensives and worked with Capital City's summer school program.
Aisha is a baseball mom and has two children.
Jeff joined Capital City in February 2014. Prior to joining the team, he worked in security for more than a decade, and in various positions relating to substance abuse treatment including a facility aid, a house manager, and the supervisor of admission.
He is a self-taught drummer, and enjoys playing and listening to a wide variety of music in his spare time. Jeff said what he likes most about working at Capital City are the people and students he gets to interact with.
Caroline joined Capital City in July 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Leadership from the University of Virginia.
Prior to joining Capital City, Caroline worked as a Public Sector Advisory Consultant at Grant Thornton.
Her hobbies include teaching swim instruction, traveling, playing the piano, and yoga.
Christopher has been part of the Capital City team since the school’s inception in 2000. He first started in a part-time position and moved to a full-time facilities manager role in 2017 when he retired from his job at the Georgetown University power plant after working there 30 years.
He said he enjoys working at Capital City because it feels like family. In his spare time, Christopher enjoys gardening, traveling, and dressing well.
Mer joined Capital City in June 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Oberlin College. Mer is a Certified National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician.
Before joining Capital City, Mer was a health coordinator at Joffe Emergency Services where she provided onsite expertise in COVID Management, ensured compliance with the different guidelines, and promoted COVID vaccination for families, teachers, and students.
Thea joined Capital City in July and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Northwestern University.
Prior to Capital City, they worked for Highland County Public Schools and the Washington Youth Garden. They enjoy spending time with friends and family, being outside, reading, learning, and swimming.
Christopher joined Capital City in February 2023. He has completed several programs through Intellectual Point, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and ITIL Foundation Certificate.
Prior to Capital City, Christopher was a desktop technician for Eliassen Group.
Todd joined Capital City in August 2012. He holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies focused on intercultural communication from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from Ithaca College.
Prior to Capital City, Todd worked as the Director of Development at Ivymount School in Potomac, MD and as the faculty member in charge of outdoor and experiential education at School for Tomorrow in Rockville, MD. He has also co-directed the Counselor in Training program at Valley Mill Camp in Darnestown, MD for three years.
Todd is a Certified Wilderness First Responder and a Wilderness First Aid Instructor. He is trained in CPR and First Aid. In 2016 he was selected as a Fund for Teachers Awardee to complete a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician Training in New Hampshire.
Todd's hobbies include cycling, running, camping, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, tinkering and building things.
Jovon joined Capital City in November 2022. He attended Strayer University Information Systems Management.
Jovon brings more than 10 years of experience in enterprise IT engineering and management. He has certifications in ITILs, DevOPs Foundation, and Jamf Engineering.
Jovon is fluent in Bash, which is the Linux and unix computer program language. His hobbies include church, family, gym, vegan food, tech, and long walks on the beach.
Favorite quotes: “Never let a good crisis go to waste” - Winston Churchill and "That's clean," - Jovon Leblanc
Shannon joined Capital City in January 2021. She holds a Masters in Communications and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelors in Media Arts and Accounting from James Madison University.
Prior to joining Capital City, Shannon worked on a 2-year research project to understand how school networks use data to drive continuous improvement at the Center for Public Research and Leadership.
Shannon is fluent in Chinese.
In her free time, Shannon enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing Sudoku.
Joanna joined Capital City as a founding teacher in 2000. Prior to Capital City, Joanna taught for ten years in the DC Public School system at Hearst Elementary and at the Fillmore Arts Center.
Joanna has a Master of Arts in Drama/Theatre for the Young from Eastern Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts/Theatre from St. Michael’s College in Vermont. She is certified to teach drama for K-12th grades.
Joanna has presented master classes on arts integration at seven Expeditionary Learning national conferences around the country and at several Theatre In Our Schools mini-conferences. She has served on the Instructional Leadership Team at Capital City and has been instrumental in building many school-culture traditions and the development of our arts program.
Joanna has written three musicals for young audiences and is working on several new scripts and a children's book.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and going to Maine every summer.
Kristi joined Capital City in July 2015 as the Registrar. She attended Midlands Technical College and Benedict College in Columbia, SC with a focus in Psychology. She brings to Capital City more than seven years experience working for DC Public Charter Schools and has also worked in the tourism industry.
Kristi loves to travel, especially to places where the water is blue. She also enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles, singing, and cooking.
Elizabeth joined Capital City in September 2022. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in History from Kennesaw State University, and a Master’s degree in Teaching from New York University Steinhardt.
Prior to Capital City, she worked at Center City PCS as a 5th/6th grade Humanities Resident Teacher.
In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys exploring museums and trying new recipes.
Pam first joined Capital City in October 2012 as the Development Associate. She holds a Master in International Development from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Wright State University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Prior to Capital City, Pam worked for Liberty's Promise, a nonprofit that serves immigrant youth, and oversaw two after-school programs while working on the organization's development and outreach initiatives. She has also served on their Board of Directors. She is currently the President of SW Community Gardens in DC.
Her hobbies include running, cycling, and promoting the great state of Ohio. She is fluent in Spanish.
ZsaZsa joined Capital City in October 2016. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix.
Prior to Capital City, ZsaZsa worked as a Discipline Behavior Specialist at Kramer Middle School. She also worked for the Extended School Year program at Watkins Elementary School.
Rene joined Capital City in July 2022. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Salisbury University.
In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano, watching sports, playing video games, and spending time with family and friends.
Darnetta joined Capital City in December 2021. She brings 30 years of experience working for DC Public Schools in the roles of data entry clerk, staff assistant, and registrar.
In her spare time, Darnetta enjoys cooking, traveling, reading, and mentoring teenagers.
Favorite motto/quote: “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” - Robert Louis Stevenson
Celia joined Capital City in September 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a graduate of the College Park Scholars in the Arts program and taught photography for two years.
Prior to joining Capital City, Celia led the communications efforts for six years at Urban Teachers. She was also an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Montgomery County Executive Office of Community Partnerships and Maryland Department of Planning.
When Celia is not thinking about creative ways to communicate, she enjoys playing the drums, listening to music, running, traveling, watching baseball and obsessing over the Chicago Cubs.
Jonathan joined Capital City in August 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Davidson College.
Previously, Jonathan was a Scholar Coach for the Schuler Scholar Program in Waukegan, IL. He was also a Freedom Schools Servant Leader Intern in 2018.
Jonathan is proficient in Spanish. In his free time he enjoys Ultimate Frisbee and looks forward to playing in the DC area.
Wanda joined Capital City in 2004. Prior to becoming Director of Special Populations, she was the Director of Student Services at the Upper School and taught 1st, 2nd and 5th grades at the Lower School campus.
Wanda holds a Master of Arts in Special Education from Catholic University of America and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of the District of Columbia. She also studied nursing at Howard University.
Wanda has over 18 years of experience working in the education field. Prior to Capital City, Wanda taught for four years at Watkins Elementary in Washington, DC. Wanda has been a member of Capital City’s Instructional Leadership Team and has participated on Diversity and Equity Core Committees for the last three years. She was trained at Capital City as a Critical Friends Group Facilitator.
Wanda is currently an Adjunct Special Education Professor at University of Maryland College Park.
Wanda is originally from Charleston, South Carolina and in her free time she loves traveling with her family.
Linda joined Capital City in February 2016. She graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park with a Major in Communications and a minor in U.S. Latino/a Studies plus a Latin American Studies Certificate.
In the past, she volunteered to help wrestling practices at her former high school and she enjoys playing soccer, wrestling and tennis. She also likes the outdoors, traveling and turtles.
Emily joined Capital City as a Business Associate in March 2013 and began to manage the Human Resources department in July 2015. She began the role of Chief Operating Officer in March 2023. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the George Washington University.
Prior to Capital City, Emily worked as the Business Operations Manager for DC Sail, a non-profit community development and outreach organization that provides maritime education to youth and adults through sailing.
Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and taking local art classes.
Glenda joined Capital City in January 2015 first as our Bilingual Office Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Towson University in Electronic Media and Film and is currently pursuing her Masters in TESOL at McDaniel College.
She has more than six years experience supporting our family engagement efforts through her roles as an office manager, development and communications manager, and interim Family Engagement lead in 2020. She is also an ESOL teacher for adult learners with Casa de Maryland.
Glenda is fluent in Spanish.
In her free time, Glenda enjoys crafting, sewing, cooking, and spending time with her daughter.
Miguel joined Capital City in March 2021. He earned a certificate in June 2020 from the George Washington University College of Professional Studies for completing the GW Cybersecurity Boot Camp.
Prior to joining Capital City, Miguel completed an IT internship at Ali Net in Beltsville, MD.
Jemila joined Capital City in August 2016. She holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Howard University. During her studies, she carried out her clinical practicum experience in four schools in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, MD.
Jemila speaks basic Spanish. She enjoys reading, playing music, stepping, and painting.
Aura joined Capital City in 2019. She holds a Bachelor in Communications and Journalism from Universidad de la Sabana in Colombia.
Aura has decades of experience with translation and interpretation, having worked for the BBC World Service, Dow Jones & Co, and as an independent translator for 14 years. She most recently worked at the International Baccalaureate in Maryland. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.
William joined Capital City in July 2019. He is an Apple Certified Mac Technician, Apple Certified iOS Technician, Jamf Training.
Favorite quote/motto: At our core, shine a spotlight, only to stand outside of it.
Carlos first joined Capital City in February 2022 as a COVID Re-entry Operations Associate before transitioning into an Operations Associate. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida Gulf Coast University.
Prior to Capital City, Carlos spent 11 years working in hospitality, and also worked as Diplomatic Security for the State Department.
Carlos also is a coach for the Middle School boys soccer team. He loves Jesus, running, and playing soccer.
Favorite quote: "FC Barcelona is the best soccer team in the world" - Carlos V.
Janet joined Capital City in January 2023. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Colby College.
She brings five years of experience working in education, and previously worked at other schools in DC and Montgomery County, MD.
Janet is a native Spanish speaker, and speaks Portuguese at an intermediate level. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hanging out with her cats, and making candles.
Favorite Quote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle