Jennie Kroeger is the lead teacher in the Puppy and Kitten Class. She started at St. Andrew’s in 2011 as the assistant teacher in the Lion Class and became the assistant teacher in the Puppy and Kitten classroom in 2018. Prior to working at St Andrew’s, she was the lead teacher for the 3 and 4 year olds at Carousel Learning Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. She also spent about 10 years working in the private industry, primarily for publishing firms. Jennie was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Southeast Asia, as her father worked in foreign service. She graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. Jennie and her husband have two daughters. She enjoys scrapbooking and going to the beach.
Jamie Jacobs is the assistant teacher in the Puppy and Kitten Class. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Clemson University with a degree in finance. Jamie moved to Springfield, VA in 2018 with her Air Force husband and three daughters, the youngest an alumna of St. Andrew’s Preschool. Jamie has enjoyed traveling all over the world, most recently living in Abu Dhabi and Korea. She enjoys reading, traveling, going to the theatre and spending time with her family.
Karolina Smith is the lead teacher of the Fish and Frog class since 2019. She led the Puppy and Kitten class in 2018. She earned a B.S. in Biology at Santa Clara University and certification at Colorado State University in elementary education. Prior to her husband’s retirement from the Army, Karolina has taught kindergarten, first grade and preschool for a cumulative five years. She has been certified to teach in Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia before becoming a teacher at St. Andrew’s. Karolina and her husband have a daughter and two sons. In her free time Karolina enjoys caring her for pets (a dog, cat, and guinea pigs) and DIY home improvement.
Nandita Rebello grew up in Goa, India. She has lived in Northern Virginia since 1998. She assists Karolina Smith in the Fish and Frog Class. Nandita has a bachelor’s degree in Textiles and Fashion and master’s in Computer-Aided Application of Interior Design. Starting in 2015 she has been teaching sewing to kids at the Burke Centre Library and at home. Nandita has been substituting at the preschool since 2014 and became an assistant to the Fish and Frog class in 2018. Nandita and her husband have three girls, the youngest an alumna of the preschool. “I love teaching”, she says. “Nothing is more satisfying than making a difference in the lives of these kids.” Nandita enjoys sewing, singing, dancing, playing the piano, reading, and traveling with her family.
Tashia MacArthur has been at St. Andrew’s since 2013 and is a co-teacher in the Penguin and Polar Bear Class. A native of San Jose, California, she earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. She and her husband moved to Virginia in 1997 for his job with the Smithsonian. They have two daughters and a son. When her son was preschool age, Tashia was involved in a co-op preschool with a few friends, where she taught for a week at a time every 5 weeks in her home. She is active in her church and with her kids’ school activities. She loves to read, travel, exercise, hike and spend time with her family. Tashia is excited for another great year with the Penguins and the Polar Bears!
Kris Kockler grew up in western NY, traveled around with her husband in the US Air Force and settled in Burke in 2011. Kris has been at St. Andrews since 2015 and is a co-teacher in the Penguin and Polar Bear Class. She has a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband have 3 sons, the youngest is an alumni of the preschool. She loves watching the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. Her hobbies are reading and working out. Kris is looking forward to having a fun and successful year with the Penguins and Polar Bears.
Kelly Nyman has been at St. Andrew’s since 2010 and is the lead teacher of the Lion Class. A native of Stony Brook, New York, Kelly has lived in the DC area since 1998. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Kelly moved to Arlington right out of college and started working in event planning and marketing. She returned to school, earning a master’s in education from George Mason University. While teaching at St. Andrew’s, Kelly became certified in the Handwriting Without Tears program. She and her husband are the parents of two children – both alumni of the preschool. “I love teaching because every day is a new adventure and every child can always teach you something new about yourself or how to see the world.” Kelly enjoys baking, reading, exercising and spending time with her family.
Lisa Winand is a retired military spouse with a long history of teaching and working with young children in preschool and Catholic education settings. Her husband, Tim, is a Naval Academy graduate and a Marine Corps officer with 28 years of active service. Lisa and Tim have lived all over the United States, to include North Carolina, Hawaii, California, Alabama, and Georgia. Lisa has been a member of the St. Andrew’s family since her son, Luke, was in preschool here starting in 2011. Following a two-year Marine Corps posting in Hawaii from 2013 to 2015, Lisa returned to the Fairfax area and became an Assistant Teacher with the Lion Class. She also worked as a substitute teacher, a Shadow for a child, and an assistant in the Frog Class. Lisa and Tim have two children, Lily and Luke. Lisa was born and raised in Maryland and graduated from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland
Tami Phillips has been at St. Andrew’s since 2012 as the Discovery Room Teacher, and previously had been a school parent, board member, and substitute teacher. Tami began her teaching career in Miami, where she was an elementary teacher for fifteen years. Tami earned a master’s degree in Reading from Barry University in Miami, Florida and was an adjunct professor. She and her husband have two children, both alumni of the preschool. Tami says that preschool science “is not only exciting but necessary…discovering, inquiring, and experimenting develops life-long learners.”
Amy McCurdy has been at St. Andrew’s since 2014 as the General Music Teacher at St. Andrew’s Preschool. She has a degree in Music Education from Shenandoah University, located in Winchester, VA, and she has been teaching music in the DC area since 2000, both in the public and private school systems. Amy also owns and operates Clariphone Studios, LLC, which offers private instrumental instruction for all ages. This year, Amy is looking forward to exposing the students at St. Andrew’s to music movement, different instrumental families, and contrasting genres of music.
Robyn Toppall has been at St. Andrew’s since 2013 as the administrative assistant for the preschool. Robyn grew up in Orlando, Florida and came to the Washington DC area for college. She received a BA in Communications from Mount Vernon College and began a career in advertising and marketing; working at an ad agency and an internet company, as well as an Operations Manager for a short-term office Suite company. Robyn and her husband, Jeff, have called Northern Virginia home since 2004 and have two children, Ian and Samantha. She enjoys reading, going to the movies, and taking long walks early in the morning. Feel free to stop by the preschool office and say hi!
Tami Phillips is the preschool director and has been at St. Andrew’s since 2012. Previously at St. Andrew’s, Tami was the Discovery Room Teacher for 7 years, a school parent, board member, and substitute teacher. Tami began her teaching career in Miami, where she was an elementary teacher for fifteen years. Tami earned a master’s degree in Reading from Barry University in Miami, Florida and was an adjunct professor. She and her husband have two children, both alumni of the preschool. Tami says that preschool science “is not only exciting but necessary…discovering, inquiring, and experimenting develops life-long learners.” You can reach Tami in the preschool office at (703) 455-8458.