Our School

Our Staff

Angie Zeidenberg

Director

BA, Childhood Education, University of Texas
Masters, Education/Administration, University of Virginia

I love being a member of the BNS family! I have fond memories of when I was a co-oping parent, and now I still get to work every day with such terrific teachers, parents and children.

Before my time at BNS, I spent many years teaching young children – pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and third grade. After taking a break from teaching when my children were young, I was fortunate to find a way back to Bannockburn Nursery School.

When I am not at BNS, I love spending time with my husband, Peter, and my two teenage children, Zach and Rachel, both at Walt Whitman High School – and our dog, Clifford. We enjoy going on hikes/walks, traveling to new areas and to Bethany Beach, watching movies, dining in and out, and exploring new areas together.

Eileen Reyna

Co-Director

BS, Dance, Skidmore College
JD, University of Baltimore School of Law 
Child Development Associate (CDA)

I first came to BNS as a co-oping parent and served on the Board of Directors for four years as Membership Chair and President. I am thrilled to continue at BNS, helping to foster the important relationship between children, their families and our staff; the cornerstone of our wonderful school community!

Prior to joining BNS, I worked as both an attorney and an arts fundraiser. For many years I was also a professional contemporary dancer, and taught dance and yoga for both children and adults.  One of my favorite aspects of our cooperative school is that parents, along with our staff, have the opportunity to bring varied backgrounds into the classroom and personalize their children's first learning experiences. I am thrilled to continue to apply my diverse professional background in this way to my work at BNS. 

I am a Rockville native and now live in Bethesda with my husband, Ruben, our daughter, Isabella, and son, Benicio, and two Turkish rescue dogs, Chloe and Henry. 

Chip Squier

Sprouts Teacher

BS, Elementary Education, Ohio Wesleyan University

Though I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan with a degree in Elementary Education, my first jobs out of college were in special events and fundraising. I knew teaching would always be there for me and was the perfect profession to ease back into the working world once my children grew older.

I have been at BNS for the last six years, teaching the two- and three-year-old class. I have created an environment where both students and parents can feel comfortable with the classroom experience. Through a daily routine of songs, art, circle time and free play, my students learn to feel safe, confident and ready to explore. The children learn to play with others with many opportunities to explore self expression, taking turns, problem solving, and functioning as a group. The mixed age class also gives my little ones the chance to share knowledge and step into a leadership role when they are ready.

I really enjoy teaching in a cooperative school. The students take such pride in sharing their classroom with their parents. Plus, parents really enjoy interacting with their children, as well as their classmates. Every couple of weeks, they get to see firsthand what we are learning.

Outside the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband Mac and I have two children in college. I love walking our dog on the canal, trying new restaurants, baking and practicing yoga.

Reetta Lepistö

Saplings Teacher

MA, English Philiology/Teacher of English, University of Oulu, Finland
Qualified Teacher Status, UK

I always knew that I wanted to become a teacher, just as I always knew that I wanted to travel and live in different countries. I am so grateful that I have been able to combine these two! Following my love for both travel and for my like-minded, nomad husband, I have been teaching around the world for the past 13 years. I have lived and worked in the UK, Ethiopia, Russia and most recently, Hungary. For the past four years I was teaching a pre-K class in an international kindergarten in Budapest, Hungary, where I was also responsible for Literacy provision for the whole school. 

I am passionate about education, and always eager to learn about progressive, child-centred ways of teaching and learning. My practice reflects the methods or Montessori, Reggio and VTS (Visual ThinkingStrategies). I continue to study Special Education Needs alongside work. 

Childhood is such a precious time, and I absolutely delight in the wonder of young learners. I want to nurture the inquisitive and creative spirit of children, and believe that learning through play, discovery and exploration are the best ways for young children to learn. 

In my free time I love to spend time with my daughter Iris, husband Darren and our dog, Maggie. We moved to Bannockburn in August 2017, and have had the warmest welcome to this wonderful neighbourhood. Iris goes to Bannockburn Elementary school. Together we like to spend time in the nature, hike, bike, swim and explore the local area. I also love reading and going to galleries and museums in D.C. 

I am so excited to be joining the Bannockburn Nursery School, and can’t wait to meet my little wonders this autumn! I am very proud to become part of this lovely community.

Suzy Sanders

Mighty Oaks Teacher

BA, Geography, University of Texas
MA, Elementary Education, University of North Texas

Shortly after completing graduate school and a K-8 teacher-certification program, I moved from Texas to the Washington D.C. area to work in the National Zoo’s Office of Education. Subsequent to that position, I continued on the environmental education/wildlife conservation tract, working in the nonprofit sector for Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States and Project WILD. In addition to nonprofit work, I gained much-needed classroom experience by teaching for three years in a first-grade classroom.

I now feel fortunate to be part of the BNS community. I live just down the road from BNS with my husband, Mike, two daughters, Maddy and Michaela, and our dog, Tucker.

When my daughters were preschool age, they attended a cooperative nursery school. It didn’t take long for me to realize the many benefits associated with this type of learning environment. While co-oping, I could observe and interact with the girls, their preschool friends and other parents in a setting that was both safe and welcoming. Equally important, when I was not in the classroom, my daughters learned to rely on their teacher, as well as the parents of other preschool students.

Families become part of a learning community in a cooperative setting; one that provides a safe environment for young kids to develop trust in themselves and others — an important life lesson early in life!

Claire Hearle

Mighty Oaks Co-Teacher

BS, Early Childhood Development and Education, The University of Delaware
MS, Family Studies, The University of Maryland

As a former BNS parent and co-oper, I am thrilled to join the BNS staff as the Lunch Bunch teacher. I taught for MCPS at Bannockburn Elementary for nine years (first grade for six years and kindergarten for three years). In my spare time, I enjoy cheering on my boy/girl twins (Colin & Carleigh) at their various sports games with my husband Jeff.  I also enjoy playing with the family cat, volunteering at school and church, and taking family trips.  It's always fun to see the BNS community around in Bethesda since we live nearby!

Katy Karis

Music and Lunch Bunch Teacher

BS, Government and Japanese Studies, The College of William and Mary

Music has always been an important part of my life both at home and at school. In college, I performed with the Christopher Wren Singers, a co-ed student run a cappella group on campus, and before that, I was active in the high school and church choirs growing up. Additionally, I received the Monbusho Scholarship from the Japanese Government to study abroad for one year at Kanazawa University in Kanazawa, Japan. In March of 2011, I completed my training as a Music Together instructor, before joining BNS as the Music teacher in 2015.

Prior to becoming the music teacher for BNS, I held several different positions working with children, including teaching music for other cooperative preschools, coaching swimming and working with the Fairfax Government Childcare Center. I was also a parent volunteer for my son’s preschool when he was young, teaching Japanese. I really enjoyed using music to teach Japanese and am having even more fun with the children using music to learn stories, develop gross and fine motor skills, have fun and most importantly to spark a lifetime appreciation and love of music.

I am the mother of two sons, and have chosen to be very active with the Cub Scouts through my younger son. I have been the Cub Master of Pack 210 of North Potomac, responsible for planning and leading meetings and activities for over 50 elementary school aged boys and their families and also the den leader for the Webelos in which my younger son, Justin, is a member. We also spend a lot of time playing, watching, living and breathing baseball! My older son, William, plays on a travel baseball team in Olney, MD and on his high school team. Our baseball family is a lot like the BNS family –  we spend a lot of time cheering on our kids!

Natasha Dozorova

Classroom and Lunch Bunch Aide, Camp Teacher

Yaroslavl State University, Russia

Originally from Yaroslavl, Russsia, I have been part of the Bannockburn Nursery School community since 2000. I began at BNS as a cooping parent when my son Vlad was a preschooler, then continued on as an aid at the school. I now enjoy working as a classroom and Lunch Bunch Aide, as well as a teacher during the Summer Fun program.

When I am not at BNS, I also enjoy working with older adults, reading and spending time with my husband, Alexander, and son, Vlad.