CHARACTERISTICS OF PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

Congressional School’s remarkable faculty demonstrate Characteristics of Professional Excellence that reflect our mission, uphold our core values, guide our work, and ensure that we hold ourselves to the highest of standards in service of our students.

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OUR TEACHERS...
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Create Highly Effective Learning Environments

  • maintain high expectations and challenge students
  • exhibit knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the concepts they are teaching
  • clearly establish and communicate expectations for student academic performance
  • create flexible and versatile learning environments that meet students’ needs
  • foster a learning environment in which students feel safe, happy, and supported
  • employ dynamic and engaging teaching techniques
  • are knowledgeable and up-to-date on new teaching methodologies and best practices

Have a Deep Connection to their Students

  • are dedicated to each student’s intellectual and personal growth
  • encourage and inspire students to be confident risk takers
  • employ student-centered, child-empowering methodology
  • make teaching relevant by seeking connections to student experiences
  • respect and value the open exchange of ideas

Model the Portrait of a Graduate

  • are creative problem solvers who demonstrate resilience in the face of challenge
  • are open and effective communicators
  • pursue professional growth and a passion for lifelong learning
  • encourage student integrity and self-advocacy
  • cultivate community and world-engagement in a way that inspires students to make a difference
  • are positive role models who lead by example
  • foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration
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Advanced Degrees Among Our Preschool - Grade 8 Faculty

49%

Preschool - Grade 8 Teachers with Tenure of 5 or More Years

22%

Preschool - Grade 8 Teachers with Tenure of 10 or More Years

11%

Preschool - Grade 8 Teachers with Tenure of 15 or More Years

100%

of preschool - 8th grade faculty participate in professional development and engage with higher learning institutions including:

Harvard University
Stanford
MIT
Columbia University
George Mason University
Georgetown University
University of Virginia

Susie Welty

Preschool Teacher

"I love being there when my students first comprehend an idea or
concept that we are exploring. They get so excited-it’s just adorable.
The best part is when they take that concept and start applying it
independently! Their faces light up with pride. It really is the best
part of my job."

Stephanie Phillips '04

Kindergarten Teacher

"While I was a student at Congressional School, I remember being drawn
to learning because of the enthusiasm demonstrated by my teachers.
I try to model the same excitement in my classroom in hopes that my
students will be eager to explore new things, take risks, and push
themselves to always try their best."

Derek Bowley

Middle School Speech and Drama Teacher

"Having Speech & Drama built into the curriculum at Congressional
School is important for two reasons. It introduces students to the
art form of drama. This means a lot to me as a drama educator because
I was not exposed to drama as a middle school student, just music
and visual art. More importantly, the public speaking aspect of the
class provides students the opportunity to build a skill that they will use
for the rest of their lives, no matter what path they take."

Tim Smith

Grade 4 Teacher

"I enjoy teaching science every year, but this year, some changes have
made it even more rewarding. The science curriculum this year is
structured so that class is three out of every six days. On two of those
days, we focus on the traditional curriculum (units on geology, chemistry,
and physics). On the third day, we have design class, during which
students are engaged in various hands-on engineering challenges."

Sabrina Enders

Early Childhood Teacher

“I am such an advocate for the ‘it takes a village’ mentality when working
with children. Remembering that a child’s development is impacted by 
so many people and experiences from every direction is critical in
guiding that child toward success and resilience. The school, the family,
the community: we all have to work together in order to see the greatest outcomes.”

Tavis Laws

Director of Athletics and Physical Education

"I enjoy being able to teach students meaningful life skills,
through sport that will help them no matter where they may be."

Denise Yassine

Grades 5 and 6 Social Studies Teacher

"Perspective-taking is a key skill in fairly and accurately understanding
history and the world. I want my students to shrewdly ask for the other
story (stories), not just the single story that is easiest to come by or told
in the country in which they live. Being able to take on multiple
perspectives provides them with a more well-rounded viewpoint,
compels them to practice kindness, and encourages a more informed
understanding of history, the world, and each other."