Siri is passionate about education reform and creating learning environments that focus on the learner. A strong advocate for experiential learning, Siri has traveled the world with groups of students experiencing with them first hand the lives of others. She has taught science and math. She has designed, launched, and nourished many programs in public schools, including arts and music programs that currently reach thousands of students in the Los Angeles area. Her most recent job before moving to Washington, DC was helping to design and launch a K-12 school in South Korea. Siri holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a MA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a MAT (masters in teaching with a focus on technology) from the University of Southern California. Siri is fascinated by how people learn and is currently completing her dissertation on this topic for a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.
Ariel Martinez Brumbaugh is Assistant Head of School at Mysa. Ariel has eight years of experience both teaching and leading in independent schools. She has a MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and she teaches the Connect class and Literature. To her, Mysa is an oasis for kids who need both the freedom to be an individual as well as the support of a school family. Ariel can be found kayaking on the Patuxent River with her black Lab, Tavi, in her free time.
Halley Wheeless is the Director of Teaching and Learning. She has two Master degrees in education, one from the University of New Mexico and the other from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Additionally, Halley is a National Board Certified Teacher, having taught in New Mexico and Istanbul. Her favorite classes at Mysa are the interdisciplinary Connect class and programming, as well as seeing students learn outside of the classroom on Mysa field trips. In her free time, Halley is generally occupied playing with her seven-year-old daughter and her daughter’s dragons.
Ernesto Perez-Chanona, Ph.D., is the science teacher at Mysa and a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Cancer Institute. He received his B.A. in biology from Johns Hopkins University and his doctorate in pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His drive to teach stems from the widening gap between secondary science education and college level science. His vision for fostering the next generation of scientists harmonizes with Mysa’s vision of curiosity-driven learning and the integration of science with other aspects of the curriculum, including history and writing. At the National Institutes of Health, Ernesto is part of a team developing immunotherapeutics against skin cancer. In his spare time, however, he hosts a podcast with his friends dedicated to playing and reviewing board games.
Amy Barden Gualtieri is the math teacher at Mysa School. She has been teaching for nine years and has a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Middle School Math from Salisbury University. Additionally, she has an M.Ed in Education from Clemson University. She thinks Mysa is the perfect place for students to learn as it allows them to master skills at their own pace in a relaxed and friendly environment. When she’s not graphing linear equations, Amy enjoys running on the Capital Crescent Trail with her husband and new baby girl.
Trish is the Lower School Principal and head teacher at Mysa Georgetown. Trish comes to Washington, DC from Krakow, Poland where she was head of primary at a newly launched international school. Prior to this, Trish was the assistant principal at a large public school in Birmingham, Alabama. She has taught science and general elementary at several levels, as well as participated in a variety of leadership and curriculum positions. Trish has a BA from Southern Methodist University in chemistry and anthropology, as well as a MA in educational leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Trish is very passionate about using innovative ideas to create an engaging learning environment for children.
Students engage in a variety of classes within walking distance of the school. Currently students in Bethesda are enrolled in Spanish and Mandarin classes at the International School of Languages , Cross training at Next Phase, Yoga at Pure Om Hotyoga Studio, and kickboxing at Bethesda Boxing Kickboxing Academy.