FoodPrints Leadership

Jennifer MamparaJenn Mampara, Director of Education

Jenn has over 25 years of experience teaching young children how to grow, cook, eat and enjoy nutritious food. Originally from Colorado, she earned her Masters from Teachers College at Columbia University in Nutrition & Education, and worked with a number of non-profits and universities in New York. Jenn is a certified teacher in the District of Columbia and spent four years teaching 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade in DC Public Schools. She helped to launch the program at Watkins in the fall of 2009. Under her direction, FoodPrints has grown from a program serving 200 students at one school to currently reaching more than 7,000 students at 19 DC public schools. She enjoys preparing delicious and nutritious meals with her family of five every day.

Jen Ramsey, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Jen is extremely passionate about science education and ensuring that all students are exposed to opportunities that allow them to be curious and interact with the natural world. As a long-time educator in DC, she found FoodPrints does this for our students.

 

Martine Hippolyte, Community Engagement and Education Manager

From a very early age, Martine was enthralled with how food grew and the delicious ways in which food could be prepared. Now she is energized to be leading community engagement efforts that help create a more just and equitable food system.

 

Beth Bacon, FoodPrints Communications & Development Lead

Beth is inspired every day by the magic of FoodPrints — as she leads efforts to communicate, secure support for, and evaluate all the amazing things happening in our program.


FoodPrints Coaching & Program Support Team

Carrie Hildebrandt, Grants and Finance Manager & Assistant Teacher

Carrie was drawn to FoodPrints because of her love of cooking and good food and her desire to pass that love onto others. This program is so valuable to Carrie because it broadens the opportunity for students across the city to access fresh, nutritious food.

 

Hannah Schiff, Communications and Development Manager & Instructional Coach

Hannah came to FoodPrints because she believes all families deserve to have access to fruits and vegetables, and this program helps nurture students’ and families’ relationships to healthy eating in a positive, fun, and safe way.

 

Ibti Vincent, Lead Teacher & Service Learning Manager

FoodPrints combines everything that Ibti is passionate about: empowering people, building community, growing/preparing/sharing food, and always learning. And the kids are as excited about these things as she is!

 

Jill Peralta, Instructional Coach, Garden Coach & Lead Teacher

Jill believes that all children – regardless of where they come from or their current situation – should have the opportunity to eat healthy, fresh food cooked from scratch. She thinks that one of the best ways to do this is to cook and garden with them, teaching them and modeling for them.


Rebecca Helgerson
, Instructional Coach, Garden Manager & Lead Teacher

Rebecca’s ever-growing love of and connection to nature brought her to gardening; her respect for and understanding of young children led her to teaching; and her own evolving relationship with food made her passionate about what we eat and where it comes from.

 

Susan Bandler, Instructional Coach & Curriculum Developer

As a veteran classroom teacher, Susan comes to FoodPrints with an expertise in curriculum development, teaching, and coaching. Susan leads work to support educators in implementing our experiential food education model. She is inspired by how students gain new understanding, learn new skills, and develop questions and start to answer them in FoodPrints.

Tailor CobleTailor Coble, Food Access & Community Engagement Coordinator

As a native Washingtonian, Tailor believes her city deserves to be well nourished, empowered to grow its own food, and sustainable for everyone. She gives back to the city that helped make her make her who she is today by supporting our food access and food education efforts in schools, early childcare centers, and in vulnerable communities.  


FoodPrints Teachers & Assistant Teachers

Allie Davis, Lead Teacher 

Allie grew up in a family of teachers – which ingrained in her the importance of raising future generations in a thoughtful way – and as she got older she developed an interest in nutrition. FoodPrints is the perfect blend of her values and passions.

 

Alexi Iglesias, Assistant Teacher

Alexi sees herself as a learner alongside the children in the classroom – with the same curiosity and joy that the children hold. Her goal is to inspire children to see themselves as active participants in their own well being, and of those around them.

 

Alexis McKenney, Lead Teacher

Alexis is a community organizer and budding herbalist from Durham, NC, who strives to center community autonomy and healing through connecting with the land. As a FoodPrints teacher, Alexis shares her love and passion for plants and food with her students.

Alicia Gaskins, Community Food Educator

Alicia was born and raised in Washington, DC and was presented the opportunity to become a Community Food Educator, which was perfectly aligned with her goals of expanding food and nutrition education both personally and professionally. Alicia is inspired by witnessing the excitement of students learning to grow and prepare their own food.


Annie Thompson
, Assistant Teacher

As a retired teacher, Annie values staying connected to teaching and learning. She believes that nutrition is critical for a student’s readiness and ability to be focused and ready to learn – and that every child has a right to “bloom” and FoodPrints helps that happen.

Chris Scott, Lead Teacher

Chris’ grandfather was a farmer in rural Illinois and instilled in him a love and appreciation for growing his own food, and knowing where our food comes from. For Chris, getting to share his love of gardening and eating fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables with children is enormously rewarding.


Courtney Lucente
, Lead Teacher

Courtney is passionate about getting kids outdoors to experience the healing benefits of nature. She loves teaching FoodPrints because it provides a unique opportunity to empower young people while connecting with them through the shared experiences of growing food, cooking, and exploring the natural world.

 

Cristina Flores, Lead Teacher

Cristina, an urban farmer with a background in early childhood education, hopes to inspire children on their path to healthy eating while fostering curiosity. Her love of the natural world is ever evolving and she hopes to inspire young people to love and marvel at the natural world so that they may see themselves in the cycles of it.

 

Da’Shawn Covington, Assistant Teacher

As a Washington, DC, native and an educator with The Green Scheme, Da’Shawn is excited to bring positive food and garden experiences to students – experiences that she never had as a child. Her own health journey has motivated her to bring her energy to FoodPrints.

 


Davette Wilson
, Assistant Teacher

With many years working with students across DC, FoodPrints is the best of both worlds for Davette: it combines her love for kids with her love of cooking and journey to eat more fresh food.

 


Jack Ewart
, Lead Teacher

Jack grew up in Washington, DC, and hopes to give back to his home city by inspiring students to be curious about the food around them and to take pride in what they can grow. He is passionate about connecting kids with nature and fresh food.

 

Jerome Nesbitt, Lead Teacher 

As a DC native and graduate of DC Public Schools, Jerome has become a community activist and outreach specialist. With a background in music management and production, he has helped develop and implement new approaches to being healthy and more sustainable in some of DC’s most under-served communities. 


Laura Polvinale
, FoodCorps Service Member

For Laura, many years volunteering in schools; cooking for and feeding folks in need; and volunteering in gardens brought her to FoodCorps and FoodPrints as a second career. She is passionate about food justice, growing food, nutrition, health, cooking, and education.

 

Margi FineranMargi Fineran, Lead Teacher

Margi loves teaching FoodPrints because she wants to help children learn that work and working together can be joyful. And she’s able to share her love of cooking and eating together as well as all things in helping the Earth!

 

Margie Sollee, Lead Teacher 

Margie grew up in a food culture where vegetables were hidden under cream of mushroom soup and cheese — the consequences of which were health problems in people around her. Margie firmly believes that food is medicine and teaching children when they are young to enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to the health of the next generation.

 

Melissa Klein, Lead Teacher

As an educator, Melissa loves to cultivate curiosity, creativity and community-building. She believes hands-on experiences growing and preparing food are meaningful opportunities for learning, as well as building connections to family and social justice.

 

Miki Nakano, FoodCorps Service Member

Miki values the connections with students she builds when teaching in school gardens and cooking with students — and how these allow for deeper conversations about sustainability, cultures, equity, and equality.

 

Raigon Wilson, Lead Teacher

Raigon is passionate about food justice and ensuring BIPOC communities have access to nutritious foods. She has a Nutritional Sciences and teaching background, and enjoys gardening at home.

 

 

Vonnie Love, Assistant Teacher

With experience teaching science to young children and helping middle school students experience problem solving to support their achievement in school, Vonnie has seen the amazing things youth can do – and she strives to help students realize their full potential.


FoodPrints Consultants

Katie Kersetter, Evaluation Consultant

Katie began working with FoodPrints after studying how schools work to meet students’ social, emotional, and material needs and the challenges they face in doing so. Katie values the opportunity to partner with FoodPrints teachers and staff to investigate the ways that FoodPrints enhances students’ academic, nutrition, and socio-emotional learning.

 

Barbara Percival, Volunteer Master Gardener

Barbara came to FoodPrints from the realization that gardens can be a way for teaching children almost anything – and the way she can share her love of gardening with so many students and schools. Trained as a lawyer, she was part of starting the program at Watkins in 1990s and has been volunteering her time and talent with the program for many years. 


In Remembrance of Shana

Through our work, we honor the legacy of our beloved colleague, Shana Donahue, who passed away unexpectedly last spring. Shana’s commitment to racial equality and justice in the District had a profound impact on all of us. In memory of her commitment, we launched the Shana Donahue Memorial Fund for Future Food Educators.