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

Nicole Bruno (Preparing for Childbirth) is a certified Doula and childbirth educator supporting the DC area. Nicole opened her business, Sacred Journey Birth Services, in 2012 and has helped dozens of families attain their birth vision through support and education. Her hands-on birth experiences bring a unique perspective to her classes and provide a wealth of knowledge and experience about the various choices, obstacles and solutions surrounding birth in the DC area. When Nicole is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Return to top
Dr. Heather Diamond (Beyond the Bump)
 is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in downtown Washington, DC.  She earned her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from The George Washington University and has several years of experience working in community mental health, college counseling centers and court settings.  She completed her residency at The Catholic University of America counseling center, providing psychotherapy to the undergraduate and graduate student population.  As a mom of three young children herself, Dr. Diamond has a special interest in adjustment to parenthood concerns and in developing a sense of community for young families. 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
Dave Greenfieldboyce (Music with Mister Dave) is a stay-at-home dad, musician, puppeteer and artist. He has been performing "Songs, Stories and Puppets" at Bloombars in Columbia Heights since 2012 and is the mastermind behind the Mount Pleasant Children's Puppet Hour. He completed "Music Together" training with the Center for Music and Young Children in 2013.   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.  Return to top
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.
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Danielle Lasley (Art for Tots, Getting Ready for Preschool) believes that the best teacher is a guide to the artist within every student.  She graduated from O'More College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee with a concentration in fashion illustration and merchandising. She has taught fashion illustration in Tennessee and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She also taught English language at Sunshine Kids Elementary School, and the Somali Education Center, both in Ethiopia.  When she is not teaching, Danielle is reading to, singing and dancing with, and generally trying to keep her one year old son out of trouble in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 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

Rachel Simmons (Music & Me) is the Preschool Art Teacher for the DCJCC.  She earned her BA in Linguistics from the College of William and Mary in 2009 and has taught English in Austria and Costa Rica.  In addition to teaching, Rachel is an experienced artist and singer as well as a piano and guitar player.  She has written and recorded songs in English, German, and Spanish. Return to top

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
Parenting Center Director
p. (202) 777-3263
f. (202) 518-9420