Staff Directory

Maria Kelly, Principal

B.S. in Elementary Education, Old Dominion University, Endorsement in Middle School
M.Ed., Marymount University Endorsement in Educational Leadership
Satisfied requirements for the National School Leaders Licensure Assessment for Principals
VA State Post Graduate Teaching Certificate, Education Administration PreK-12, Middle School Education
Advanced Religion Certification
Middle School Science Educator: 10 years
Nativity School Principal since 2001

Richard Godwin, Assistant Principal

MA Leadership Academy, Administration & Supervision, George Mason University
BA, Elementary Education, Catholic University of America
Public School Educator – 18 years
ELL Adult Education Teacher – 13+ years
Preschool Teacher – 5 years
VA State Collegiate Teaching Certificate, Early Ed(NK-4) and Middle Ed (4-8)

Shannon Murphy, Registrar/Administrative Assistant

Northern Virginia Food Manager Certified
Nativity Registrar/Admin Assistant 2018 to present
Nativity Secretary 2016-2018
Nativity School Lunchroom Director since 2006-2017
PTO Board member since 2004

Mary Helen Chapman, Secretary

Nativity Secretary 2017 to present
Worked in Non-Profit Industry for 24 years
BA in Political Science from University of Georgia

Colleen Jarvis R.N., NCSN, School Nurse

AAS in Early Childhood Education – Youngstown State University
AAS in Nursing – Youngstown State University
BS in Community Healthcare Administration – George Mason University
Nationally Certified School Nurse – September 2008
Professional Nursing Licensure in OH, MD, DC and VA
Nativity School Nurse since 2002

School Counselor

Kim Vu, Business Manager

BS in Accounting – George Mason University, Strayer University
Certified Food Manager, Fairfax County

Michelle Sidebottom, Lunch Room Director

Northern Virginia Food Manager Certified
BS Computer Science from Mary Washington College


1st through 8th Faculty

Crystal Giddens, Kindergarten Teacher

BA, History, George Mason University
M.Ed, Early Childhood Education PK-3, George Mason University
Postgraduate Professional License from the Commonwealth of Virginia
Substitute Teacher (Kindergarten and 4th Grade) and Tutor, Nativity Catholic School, 2013-2014
Extended Care Teacher, Nativity Catholic School, 2003-2010 and 2013-2015

Emily Steiger, Kindergarten Instructional Assistant

Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Grand Canyon University, 2014
B.A. English, Grand Canyon University
M.Ed. Early Childhood Education Birth-3rd grade, Grand Canyon University
VCEA Certification

Debbie Gorham, 1st Grade Teacher

MS, Elementary Education and Curriculum Development, George Mason University
BA, Elementary Education, Mars Hill College
AS, Elementary Education, Chowan College
Va. State Post Graduate Certification, Education Administration PreK-12, Early Childhood NK-4
Religion Certification
Assistant Principal from 1999-2008, public school system
School Board Recognition Award for implementation of Language Arts Program
Kappa Delta Honor Society for Academic Excellence
Phi Delta Kappa Society for Dedication to Service

Rita Kazarian, 1st Grade Aide

Bachelor Degree Accounting/Executive Assistant, Immaculate Conception College, 1987 Beirut Lebanon
Minor in Language Translation. American International School 1988, Beirut Leban

Janet Basselgia, 2nd Grade Teacher

BS, Human Development and Learning, Endorsement in Early Childhood, University of Memphis
M.Ed, Education, George Mason University
Elementary School Educator: TN for 4 years Advanced Religion Certification
Nativity School Teacher since 2002

Joanne Lewenhaupt, 3rd Grade Teacher

BA Journalism/Advertising, Spanish Minor, San Diego State University
German Volkshochschule Graduate, Kaiserslautern, Germany 2010
Nativity Catholic Church RE Volunteer Catechist since 2013
Life Teen Youth Minister, Holy Family Catholic Church, Ramstein, Germany 2011-2012
RE Volunteer Catechist, St. Stephen Catholic Church, Florida 2009
1st Grade Instructional Assistant, Nativity Catholic School 2016-2018

Katy Colella, 4th Grade Teacher

MA, Elementary Reading Specialist, Grand Canyon University
BS Early Childhood Education, Boston College
Public Elementary School Educator: Arizona, California, Michigan, Virginia
4th Grade CCD teacher: Nativity Church, Holy Spirit

Chris Smith, 5th Grade Teacher

B.S.Mathematics from Georgia State University
7 years experience as a Middle and High School Mathematics Teacher in Public and Parochial Schools
Substitute Teacher at Nativity since Fall of 2018

Jean Burneo, 6th Grade Teacher

BS, Mathematics/Education, Bucknell University
MS, Mathematics, Virginia Tech
Virginia State certification Middle School Math
10+ years experience IT consulting and software development in the Energy Industry

Melissa Rodriguez, 7th Grade Teacher/Homeroom/Spanish/7th Grade Religion

BA, Spanish Randolph- Macon College, Ashland, VA
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, George Mason University
Graduate Certificate for Designing Digital Learning in Schools (DDLS)
VCEA Certification
Virginia State certification in process
Nativity School Spanish Teacher since 2009

Christina Slifko, 8th Grade Teacher

BA, Integrated Curriculum and Elementary Education, GMU.
MS Ed, Reading. UVA
Virginia State Certification Pre-K through 6, Reading Specialist
Advanced Religion Certification
Teaching experience in private, parochial and Fairfax County Public Schools


Specialty Teachers

Denise Thomma, Librarian

MA, Communication, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
BA, English/journalism, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Work in Education, University of Virginia
VCEA Certification
Twenty years editing/writing/public relations experience

Tania Dee, Spanish Teacher

BA, Spanish language, Education – UCCH, Peru
BA, Economics -Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Peru
VCEA Certification
Religious Education Certification
Nativity Church CCD Catechist since 2015
Member of the ACTFL, FLAVA and SCOLT

Middle School Science and Makerspace Teacher

Melissa Sinclair, Technology Specialist/Computer Teacher, Middle School Math Teacher

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Tulane University
VCEA Certification
16 years experience Mechanical Engineer for Dept. of Navy contractor
Nativity School Teacher since 2001

Roberta Plumb, Art Teacher

B.A., Studio Arts/Photography (Minor in Childhood Education), Mount Vernon College, Washington, DC
University of Virginia Continuing Education, Graduate courses
VCEA Teaching Certificate
Former summer workshop instructor, Art League of Alexandria

Landon Fulmer, Music Teacher

B.A. Tabor College
VCEA Teaching Certificate
CCCU Oxford Honours Programme Participant
Former member, Oxford University Chamber Choir
Former professional singer, Washington Master Chorale
More than a dozen Kennedy Center appearances
Church musician/cantor for 14 years

Phil DiNunzio, Physical Education

BS, Sports and Recreation Management – James Madison University 2017
Minor in Business
Four years as Athletic Director at ACA accredited Camp

Resource Teachers

Kimberly Watson, Learning Resource Director

BA Elementary Education and Special Education, Boston College
Masters in Students with Emotional Disturbance, George Washington University
Virginia License in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Emotional Disturbance
Massachusetts certificate in Elementary Education, Special Education and Early Education
Religion Certification – Initial License
7 years FCPS teacher of Learning Disabilities
4 years experience in the Arlington Diocese

Nancy Boscia, Learning Resource Instructional Assistant

MBA – Kent State University
BA, International Studies/Spanish – The University of Dayton
Substitute teacher at Nativity School – 2013-2014
Nativity Church Religious Education Catechist since 2012


Preschool and Extended Care Staff

Mary Jo Mazzella, Preschool Director/Pre-K Teacher/

Extended Care Director

BS, Special Education – Brooklyn College
Media Specialist, Child Find – NYC
Dept. of Mental Health Counselor, Massachusetts
Fairfax County Educator – Flex Program
Kindergarten Teacher – Private School
Nativity School Pre-School Teacher since 2004
Advanced Religion Certification

Dawn Delaney, Pre-K Instructional Assistant

BA, Health Sciences and Policy, and Medical Sociology, University of MD, Baltimore County
VA Beach Department of Recreation
School Volunteer since 1995
Nativity School Pre-School Aide since 2003

Jennifer Behan, Preschool Teacher

BS, Health Sciences – Bridgewater College
Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center, 1998-2001
Classroom Volunteer and Substitute teacher from 2008 to 2013
Bishop Ireton High School Varsity Coach for 2 years Member of the NAEYC, VAECE, SECA

Currently working towards VA Certification and Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education

Gaylene Arnista, Preschool & Pre-K Assistant

BS, Elementary Education, University of Maine
1st grade Teacher in Maine – 2 years
Nativity Kindergarten Aide 2005-2015
Nativity Preschool Aide 2016 to present