Chloe Amore Kaplan is a fourth generation Washingtonian - a graduate of NCRC, Horace Mann Elementary, and Sidwell Friends. With a Bachelor's in Child Development from Tufts University and a Master’s Degree in Childhood Education from NYU, Chloe is a former classroom teacher who brings her hands-on experience with her to work with other teachers, students, and families. She lives in Georgetown with her husband, son, and dog, but considers the Amore office her second home!
Valerie Westney was born in raised in the Washington D.C area. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree and Kinesiology and later earned a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University. Valerie has always had a passion for teaching and working with kids. Prior to getting her Masters, Valerie served as a volunteer teacher in early education for 3 years. Today, in her free time Valerie continues to volunteer with a local organizations to prepare high school students for college.
Khail Toi Bryant discovered her love for acting and the arts at age four, and is committed to inspiring a love of learning in kids at a young age. Khail, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University, has starred in roles on the screen and on stage. She has performed at both the White House and in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Alvin Ailey School and starred in over 50 national commercials––one of which she received an Emmy for at the age of 6. Additionally, Bryant has starred in films such as, “The Perfect Holiday” for which she was featured in Elle Magazine, “Alex Strangelove” and “See You Yesterday” both of which can be found on Netflix, as well as The Lion King on Broadway for 3 years. She now joins us as a Broadway teacher!
Ellen Walker, a native of Akron, OH, has lived and worked in the Washington, DC area for over 10 years. She received her Masters in Public Health, concentrating on Physical Activity in the Public Health Context and Epidemiology, from GWU in 2014. Ellen currently works as a mixed methods researcher who focuses on leveraging community voices for health equity and systems change. She conducts most of her research and evaluation in the areas of maternal and child health, health disparities, and reproductive health. Ellen resides in Washington DC’s Park View neighborhood and enjoys bike riding, hiking, and finding fun cultural events around the city.
Emily (Emi) Erickson is an actor, teaching artist, voice coach, and multi-instrumentalist new to the Washington, DC area after nearly a decade in New York. She received her BFA in Drama and a BS in Mathematics from NYU before completing her MFA in Classical Acting at GWU. Emily has worked as a teacher and tutor for all ages across a variety of organizations specializing in standardized test preparation, theater arts, sports and athletics, music, and more. This fall, she can be seen performing in People, Places, & Things at Studio Theatre. When not teaching or performing, Emi can be found running races or hiking in nature, noodling on any one of dozens of instruments she plays, or watching hockey.
Angela Vlad is a recent graduate of The University at Albany, and a Westchester native. Angela has over five years of experience in childcare and camp counseling, and currently serves as a one-to-one aid at BMP Ridge Street School. Because of her dedication, compassion, and commitment to providing a fun and educational environment, Angela has become an instant favorite amongst her students and campers.
Marti Jo Jackson is delighted to join the Amore team supporting children and their families. With decades of experience working in education, including teacher and school based administration, Marti Jo is eager to continue working with students. Her work experiences include elementary, secondary and university level education. Marti Jo earned a Master’s in K-12 Special Education, as well as a Master’s in Education Leadership. Beyond her work in education, Marti Jo strives to prioritize time with family, as well as time for travel and fitness.
Coach Michael Johnson is a DC native who received a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and Fitness Management from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. His hobbies include reading, being physically active, traveling, watching comedy shows, going to sporting events and spending quality time with friends and family. He has taught Physical Education in Washington, D.C. for 5 years. He has a tremendous passion for teaching children how to be actively engaged in learning different sporting activities, as well as a passion for inspiring and encouraging men of color to stay in the classroom. He is extremely excited to join the Amore Learning family as a Soccer Coach in April, and we could not be more excited to welcome him!
Meghan Bracewell, a native New Englander, has called Washington D.C. home for almost 20 years. A graduate from Amherst College, Meghan worked in state politics in Massachusetts before moving to DC to attend law school at Georgetown. Community involvement is very important to Meghan. She has served as a Girls on the Run coach, on the Board of the DC Library Foundation, PTA President Horace Mann Elementary, Chair of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) at Congressional, and lots more. In her free time, Meghan loves to play tennis, read, cook, and spend time with friends and her family, which includes her husband, Patrick, a native Washingtonian, three children, and field spaniel George.
Anna DiGiovanni has been with the Amore team for several semesters as an academic tutor and Creative Writing, Acting, Yoga, and Improv teacher at schools across DC. Anna is a classically trained actor born and raised in Oakland, California. She has an MFA in Classical Acting from George Washington University and The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Anna is passionate about sharing her love of learning and finding different ways we can all tell stories. She continues to bring her passion and enthusiasm to all her students, big and small!
Tyler Brown is a native of the DMV area. In 2019, she received her masters in Public Administration with a concentration in management consulting from American University. Later in the same year, Tyler began her career with a management consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia. Today, Tyler continues to support federal clients as a specialist in human capital, change management, and communications. Tyler enjoys encouraging creativity within students!
New York City Lead
Sophie Thurschwell (she/her) is a New York-based teaching artist and actor. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, her degrees in Drama and Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience helped her to nurture her passions for theatre, education, and neurodiversity advocacy. As a kid growing up in DC, she discovered her excitement for learning through programs like the ones that Amore offers. She hopes to continue sharing this love of all different types of subjects with her students! In her spare time, Sophie likes to crochet and (attempt to) re-learn different coding languages.
Laura M. Grant is a native of Silver Spring, MD, who earned her BA in Psychology and Africana Studies with minors in Social Justice and Dance from Rutgers University. She later attended John’s Hopkins School of Education during her time at Teach for America in Baltimore. Laura has a passion and love for the power of education and is dedicated to developing that in each student. With three years of classroom teaching and tutoring in Baltimore and Washington, Laura is committed to being an agent of change through her educational service. As a 2023 Peace Corps Literacy Resource Volunteer, she is excited to make Amore Learning her home before she embarks!
Sophia Jacobs grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut and is now at American University studying Elementary Education. She found her passion for education through her work with the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI). She was awarded the Angela R. Anderson Award by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal for her work with CIRI and the creation of the club. Sophia strongly believes that education is power and allowing students to get excited about it is the first step to success!
Born and raised in Chicago, Tahirah Shider holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and more than a decade of teaching experience. Tahirah has served as a classroom teacher, Girls on the Run coach, and workshop leader, creating and facilitating workshops ranging from homework strategies to math engagement. In addition to teaching, Tahirah is a personal stylist. She loves to incorporate her passion for teaching into working with clients on how to express their individuality through color!
Lana Bernandez, a student at American University, joins us as an intern. She loves to play the piano, run, and spend time with family, friends, and her dog Mochi. She also loves to travel, and speaks three languages, English, Filipino, and Spanish.
Originally from Manhattan, Liz Rosenberg comes to Amore with over a decade of experience teaching in DC charter schools. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Teaching and is a Phi Beta Kappa member from her undergraduate experience at Oberlin College where she studied sociology. Liz is fluent in Spanish and Italian, and continues her work as a polyglot studying French, Hebrew, and ASL. In her free time, you can find Liz deepening her yoga practice as a certified instructor or fiercely cheering on the Washington Nationals with her husband Mike and daughter Rose.
Mostafa Darban has over ten years of experience as a teacher and educational consultant. Originally from overseas, Mostafa has lived in Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, and now the US for the past decade. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and is fluent in Persian. Now he teaches K-9 math, science, English, and social studies, specializing in comprehension, retention, and test-taking. He also supports students with special needs such as dyslexia, ADHD, and ASD. With these students, he focuses on reading accuracy and fluency by combining phonemic awareness and orthographic memory strengthening. He loves seeing his students walk away feeling confident and proud of themselves. Outside of work, Mostafa enjoys playing with his dog Wellington, reading philosophy, and training for his next marathon!
Annie Brown is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she majored in Writing. Annie previously worked at Fun Factory Random House as a writer and researcher. She is an avid writer herself and loves teaching writing to others. Annie also has a passion for fashion - you can even catch her teaching our mini fashionistas to sew! Annie previously lived in Madrid and enjoys traveling, music, and spending time with family. She is currently teaching herself Italian in hopes of attaining not only fluency but also citizenship!
Juliette Fratto grew up in Washington, DC and is now based in New York City. Beginning her studies in France, she studied graphic design at Paris College of Art, but completed her degree in Textiles and Costume History at Parsons School of Design here in New York. During the pandemic she discovered an interest in knitting and fiber arts after spending time in the Pennsylvania countryside. Despite being new to teaching, Juliette is extremely excited to join the Amore team to run Fashion Design classes!
Fabiolla Da Silva is super excited to be joining the Amore team! She is a professional theatre and film/tv actor with a Performing Arts BA from James Madison University. Born in Brazil, Fabiolla is passionate about using her multicultural skills to make every child feel welcome and celebrated in the classroom. She has a background in teaching PreK-12 as well as guiding adult workshops in the DMV area. In her spare time, she loves taking her dog to the park, going on hikes, and spending some good quality time in nature.
Bridget Lilly, originally from Connecticut, received a bachelor's in Elementary Education from Catholic University and master's in Special Education with certificates in The Autism Spectrum Disorders and Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She has taught for seven years at Murch Elementary School (2 years in third grade and 5 years in first grade). We are excited to welcome Bridget to the Tutoring Plus team!
Starr Foster received her first tennis racket from the late great Arthur Ashe when she was four years old, and has had a passion for the game ever since. She joins us not only to teach kids (and adults!) how to crush it on the courts, but also the importance of being a true "Starr Player" through a curriculum she has developed in honor of Ashe. The curriculum combines on-court tennis skills and drills with court-side journaling and conversation about bravery, sportsmanship, respect, and kindness. We are so lucky to have Coach Starr on our team to inspire the next generation of tennis pros! Starr also leads Amore for All tennis clinics with students from our nonprofit partner, the Washington Jesuit Academy.