Faculty & Staff

H.D. Cooke is a neighborhood school in the heart of Adams-Morgan, serving approximately 400 students.  As a community eligibility school, all students receive free meals and may qualify for after school program voucher, regardless of income. As a Title 1 school, we receive funding to provide additional services to all students. Approximately half of our students are also English Language Learners. 


We partner with a number of local and national organizations to provide enrichment services for our students including literacy support, developing healthy habits, athletic excellence, and community building. If your organization would like to become a Cooke partner, please contact Jacqueline Alvarado, Director of Strategy and Logistics, at jacqueline.alvarado@k12.dc.gov.

Our staff works hard to provide a well-rounded education to all of our students. Every year we set goals for our school and are continuously reviewing our practices to help our students meet academic standards and to prepare them as productive citizens in our community.

Our Leadership

Ryan Lam, Principal


Ryan Lam began his career teaching 4th grade math at Seaton Elementary School in 2010. From there, he moved into the role of a data coach and in 2015, Mr. Lam transitioned to the assistant principal role at Savoy Elementary School. During his time at Savoy, PARCC scores rose an average of 7% and student satisfaction rose over 25% . Two years later he became the Resident Principal at Whittier Education Campus through the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship where he designed and implemented a school entry plan, increased the level of family engagement and worked closely with teachers to monitor student level data. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater College, and a master’s degree from Liberty University.


Brittany Skipper, Assistant Principal


Ms. Skipper joined the HD Cooke family in 2012 as a third grade teacher. Over the past eight years she has taught third, fourth and fifth grade ELA and served as an Instructional Coach supporting teachers and students in literacy. She became the Assistant Principal in 2020. Prior to her time at HD Cooke, Ms. Skipper taught in Howard County, Maryland and worked in the Child Psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. She holds a B.S from Virginia Tech in Psychology and a M.A.T from Loyola University of Maryland. 


Jackie Alvarado, Director of Strategy and Logistics


Prior to coming to DCPS in July, she was the Permits and Customer Service Manager with DC Parks and 

Recreation and before that she worked for 12 years at The Washington Post in the newsroom. Ms. Jackie is a graduate of Wilson High School and the University of Maryland, College Park. Ms. Jackie was born in El Salvador. She lives in DC with her husband, 2 sons.


Yolanda Valderrama, Parent Engagement


Faculty and Staff

Early Childhood Education

Pamela Egbuniwe | Teacher | PK3

Carolina de Luna | Educational Aide | PK3

Julia Moore | Teacher | PK3

Erika Martin | Educational Aide | PK3

Brittany Ell | Teacher | PK4

Mariann Fuentes Gallo | Educational Aide | PK4

Betsy Lavender | Teacher | PK4

Shaileen Gusain | Educational Aide | PK4

Lauren Moore | Teacher | PK4

Selethia Cain | Educational Aide | PK4

Flora Lerenman |  ELL Teacher


Nicole Birman | Teacher

Treneita Taylor | Educational Aide

Annie Holt | Teacher

Robbie Lewis | Educational Aide

Lyndon Wrighten | Teacher

Gabrielle Hawkins | Educational Aide

Austra Scopino| ELL Teacher

First Grade

Jocelyn Flores | Teacher

Laura Harrington | Teacher

Alexis Leonesio | Teacher

Matthew Krummert | ELL Teacher


Second Grade

Jasmine Childress | Teacher

Hayley Gewolb | Teacher

Margaret Peale | Teacher

Peter Jones | ELL Teacher

Third Grade

Keely Fitzgerald | Teacher

Kelly White | Teacher

Angeles Barrera-Cervantes | ELL Teacher


Fourth Grade

Kate Cable-Murphy | Math & Science Teacher

Megan Greene | Math Teacher

Avalon McOmber | ELA Teacher

Katie Bell | ELL Teacher

Fifth Grade

Brittany Barros-Soares | ELA Teacher

Candace Lai-Fang | Math & ELL Teacher

Debbie Pridgen | Math Teacher

Christina Mitchell | ELL Teacher

Special Education

Kritina Probst | Special Education Coordinator

Isabella Freedman | Teacher | PK3-PK4

Shireka Davis | Educational Aide | PK3-PK4

Aydee Perez-Adams | Educational Aide | PK3-PK4

Ann-Terrel Pratt | Teacher | K-2

Mary Carew | Educational aide | K-2

Andrea Flood | Teacher | 3rd-5th

Hannah Minkoff | Urban Teacher Fellow | 3rd-5th

Kaitlyn Frandoni 

Michelle Lee

Caitlyn Lowther

Amanda Nye

Brian Inghram | Occupational Therapist

Jeffery Chang | Speech Therapist

Lawrence House | Speech Therapist


Jennifer Irvin | Music

Nora Mueller | Art

Marta Rivera | World Language | Spanish

Jonathan McSwain | Physical Education and Health

Roy Mitchell | Physical Education and Health


Instructional Support

Marissa Werner | Math Instructional Coach

William Taylor | Literacy Instructional Coach

Student Support

Mina Sharifi | Bilingual Counselor

Elizabeth Fife | Social Worker

Ramona De Jong | Social Worker

Johnathan McRae | Psychologist

LaTasha Jones | Behavior Tech

Darren Nelson | Behavior Tech

Front Office

Emma Amaya | Registrar


Facilities Maintenance

Vincent Thornton | Custodial Foreman

Marvin Brenes | Custodian

Joshua Johnson | Custodian

Nutrition and Wellness


H.D. Cooke's meal programs are free for all students and are prepared on site by Sodexo Magic! and Revolution Foods. You can find the current menu at the DCPS Nutrition and Meals site.


Children in our Early Childhood program (PK3 and PK4) eat breakfast and lunch in the classroom. Breakfast and lunch are available for free in the cafeteria for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. 

DCPS Nutrition Standards


  • Tree nuts are not served in any meals

  • Vegetarian meals are offered to all students daily

  • Pizza will only be served a maximum of once per week in elementary and middle schools and twice per week in high schools.


  • Milk must be skim or no more than one percent fat;

  • Milk cannot contain added sweeteners or artificial flavorings; and

  • Cheeses and yogurts must be low-fat.


  • All grains must be 100 percent whole-grain rich

Meat & Protein

  • Meat may not contain hormones, antibiotics, Genetically Modified Organism(s), unnatural feeds or have been subjected to irradiation or ammonia in the processing phase;

  • All meat and meat products must be sound, sanitary and free of objectionable odors or signs of deterioration;

  • Meats and proteins must not be fried at any point during their processing;

  • Processed fish must not contact more than five hundred milligrams of sodium per serving;

  • Eggs must be USDA Grade A; and

  • Pork will not be served in any form in elementary schools and education campuses;

  • Fish must be offered at least three times per month; and

  • Beef will not be served more than once per week.


  • Fresh fruits and vegetables shall be offered daily;

  • On average throughout the year, 20 percent of all food ingredients and products used in the making of the meals must be either locally-grown and/or locally-processed*

  • Fruits and vegetables must be naturally-grown, or otherwise grown under sustainable practices as defined by the USDA;

  • Dark green leafy and orange vegetables must be used weekly;

  • Fruits and vegetables are preferably fresh or frozen and must not be contained in anything other than water or natural fruit juice; and

  • Only 100 percent fruit juice may be served. 


*Locally-grown, as defined by the District of Columbia Healthy Schools Act of 2010, means from a grower in: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia. Locally-processed, as defined by the District of Columbia Healthy Schools Act of 2010, means processed at a facility in: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia.