Meet the Parenting Center Teachers 

Michelle Brady
Baby Signs®: Sign, Say, and Play) is a Certified Baby Signs® Instructor, Prenatal/Postnatal/Children's Yoga Teacher, HypnoBirthing Practitioner® and childbirth educator. She has been teaching baby sign language classes for five years. Michelle is a mother of three and has used the Baby Signs® Program with all of her children. She has seen and experienced the many benefits of baby sign language and loves to share this knowledge with growing families who are interested in communicating with their babies.Return to top
Audrey Engdahl (KidSongs with Ms. Audrey) is a local performer and teacher. She and her husband Rick have appeared at area cafes and festivals and garnered multiple Washington Area Music Award nominations both as the children's music duo Rick & Audrey and in their contemporary folk band Sense of Wonder. Their 2007 children's CD, Imagine That! is a Parents Choice award winner. Return to top

Rebecca Gitter
(Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Babies, Tots, and Tykes) is a registered yoga teacher, completing her training in 2006 at the Yoga Center, Columbia, MD, following her facilitator training as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga teacher. She is certified for Itsy Bitsy Baby, Tots, Tykes and Little Families. She has continued her studies by completing courses with Radiant Child, Budding Yogis, Yoga for the Special Child, YoKid and special training in pre and post natal yoga. Rebecca brings a sense of humor to her classes and focuses on meeting her students - of any age- exactly where they are. Sharing yoga with kids and caregivers in the DC metro area in studios, schools and community centers, as well as with her own children and parents, always leaves her smiling and inspires her personal practice. Return to top
Jay Gruber
(Infant and Child CPR, Pediatric First Aid) has been an American Heart Association instructor for over 20 years.  He has taught hundreds of classes and has been the CPR instructor for the Washington DCJCC Pre-School and Summer Camp for the past several years.  He has served the Montgomery County community for over 25 years as a volunteer EMT-B.  He is also the Chief of Police at Georgetown University. 
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Carrie Haynes (Pre-Primary Ballet, Dance Together) has been dancing since the tender age of three and believes dance is an integral part of life. Her whimsical bent makes her a natural with kids and her improvisational teaching style cultivates the imagination above all else. Carrie studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts in her teens and performed with the Dance Company of Virginia Tech while in college. She now teaches hundreds of children in studios across the Washington DC metro region, where she hopes to instill a lifelong love of the arts.
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Michelle Hessel (Makin’ Music with Ms. Michelle, Movin' with Ms. Michelle) has been educating and entertaining young children since 2002. She spent 8 years as Director of Operations for musiKids Inc. in Bethesda, MD.  She is the music specialist for a number of area preschools and also teaches for My Gym Bethesda/Potomac/Chantilly.  Michelle performs all over the DC area and is very proud to be a part of the new musiKids cd "Gilly Good Morning" which was nominated for a 2012 Wammie for Best Childrens Recording. Return to top

Kit Leininger (Getting Ready for Preschool) graduated from The College of William and Mary, where she received a degree in Early Childhood Education as well as a BA in Psychology.  She taught elementary school for 10 years, most recently 1st grade at Beauvoir, before becoming a full-time mom to her 3 year old son, Jack.   She is a strong advocate of a structured and organized classroom environment and believes children learn best when they are familiar with the routine and feel comfortable with what is expected from them.  She also loves incorporating books, songs, and stories into her classes.  Kit taught Art for Tots at the DCJCC from 2012-2013 as well as the 2013 summer session of Getting Ready for Preschool, and is thrilled to be back! Return to top

Maia Magder (Talking with Tots, Tots at the Table, Baby Signs Workshop) is a Speech-language pathologist and has worked with children and adults with communication disorders for nearly 15 years. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami in English Literature and Marketing, and graduate degree at Emerson College in Boston in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her clinical and research interests are in adult neurogenic acquired communications disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and communication disorders in psychiatric patients. Maia currently works in a hospital setting, and has a private practice. She provides trainings throughout hospitals to medical and nursing staff members about communication disorders, and has developed a social communication curriculum for private schools.  Return to top

 Joshua Rosenberg (Shir Musical Fun) holds a B.M. degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music and is currently an elementary general music teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools. He also serves as the cantorial soloist at Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus, MD and as the music specialist for summer camps right here at the DCJCC! A lover of opera, jazz, and food, he has a passion for getting kids to sing, move, and play musically. 
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Becky Samuel (Art for Tots, Getting Ready for Preschool) is the DCJCC Preschool Atelierista (art teacher). She  graduated from Alfred University with a BFA degree with a heavy concentration in both ceramics and photography.  During the summers she is the head of the arts & crafts department at Camp Louise in Cascade, MD, and she also serves as a USY Advisor in the greater DC Jewish community. She loves working with children of all ages and enjoys watching them grow.  Return to top

Rachel Scheer
(Baby Lap Time) is a certified Reading Specialist with classroom teaching and children’s library services experience. She has worked in a variety of settings teaching babies, children, and adults to become lifelong readers.  She grew up in the Washington, DC area and belonged to Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, VA.
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Jessica Smith
(Little Chefs Cooking Class) started cooking at a young age with the help of her mother and grandmother, and her love for culinary exploration has stuck with her. She received her master's degree in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan where she discovered her passion for hunger relief and nutrition education. While in school, she studied nutrition, childhood obesity, and the effects of early education, confirming her beliefs that proper eating habits start young.  She loves teaching little ones about food and nutrition and showing them how fun it is to cook healthy food. 
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Sara Smith
(Music & Me) has a B.A. degree in Music from the University of Texas at Austin, and is an experienced music teacher for young children.  As a trained singer, Sara has performed in musical theater and operas for 15 years, and she loves entertaining children and her own little girl with dance and song.
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Miriam Szubin
(Getting Ready for Preschool, Musical Infants) is the Director of the Washington DCJCC Parenting Center.  She has an M.A in Education and many years of experience as an educator of all ages.   Formerly a teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, she has taught tots and adults at the DCJCC since 2007 and also works in the Education Department of the National Portrait Gallery.  She enjoys singing and doing art projects with her own three little boys and is a proud former and future DCJCC preschool parent.
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Jamie Weaver
(Power Tots Gymnastics) is a Managing Instructor at Power Tots and has been with the company for 7 years. She has a Safety Certification with USA Gymnastics, is CPR certified for infants, children, and adults, and also has a KarmaKids Yoga certification. Jamie loves helping little kids develop their motor skills, and cognitive ability. She has really enjoyed meeting and working with the families at the DCJCC!
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Miriam Szubin
Director of the Parenting Center
p. (202) 777-3263
f. (202) 518-9420