Welcome to Fourth Grade
The Ashlawn Fourth Grade team would like to welcome you to Ashlawn Elementary School.
Ms. Katie Avila
I am originally from Long Island New York and decided to move to Virginia to pursue my dream to be a teacher. I got my undergrad in Elementary Education at York College of Pennsylvania and furthered my education with a masters degree in reading from Queens College. One of my all time favorite books is Thank You, Mr. Falker because it reminds me of so many of my teachers that helped me when I was in school. When I’m not teaching I enjoy spending time with friends and family, exercising, traveling and listening to live music. Working at Ashlawn has truly been a dream come true for me. The staff, the parents and the community are so supportive and have become my second family. I am truly thankful to be a part of the Ashlawn staff.
Ms. Margaret Bleicher
I graduated from Vanderbilt University studying both elementary and special education, and since then I have taught in grades K-4 in various parts of the country during my time as a (now former) military spouse. This is my 6th year at Ashlawn, and I’ve worked with 4th graders for the last 4 years. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family- most weekends you’ll find me on the sidelines of my 3 kids’ various games! I also like to read, cook, travel, and do DIY projects around the house. Ashlawn is a wonderful community and I’m looking forward to another great year as a Global Citizen!
Ms. Amy Fong
I grew up across the continents of Africa, Asia, and North America which developed in me a love for cultures and learning from others. I love working with students from other cultures and places. I have been an EL teacher at Ashlawn for six years (going on my seventh year) and I have been teaching for a total of 14 years. Prior to working at Ashlawn, I worked as a classroom teacher (various grade levels between 1st-3rd grade) at a private school. I have an MSE degree in early childhood education with an ESOL endorsement from John Brown University and an Med in reading education from the University of Virginia. I love spending time with my husband, 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son, reading, exercising, eating tasty food from all over the world, and exploring new places. My favorite children’s book is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I love working at Ashlawn because of the people. It’s such a supportive and inclusive community which I’m so thankful to be a part of.
Ms. Michelle Grant
Hi! My name is Michelle Grant and this is my 8th year teaching special education, and my 5th year teaching at Ashlawn. I grew up in Potomac, Maryland, just across the bridge. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a B.A. in Advertising, and received my Masters in Special Education from American University. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephew, and hanging out with my dog, Mac. As a child I adored Shel Silverstein books, especially Where the Sidewalk Ends. Ashlawn is an incredibly supportive community and welcoming to everyone. I am so proud to be an Eagle! I look forward to building relationships, building student’s confidence, and celebrating milestones!
Hi! My name is Montana Riley and this is going to be my 5th year teaching. I’m originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and I graduated from East Carolina University in 2016. This school year is going to be amazing and I’m so excited to see what this year has in store! One of my favorite parts about teaching at Ashlawn is the incredibly supportive community here and how welcoming everyone is. Ashlawn is an amazing place to teach and I feel so lucky to be surround by such supportive staff, parents, and students. Some of my favorite things include Target, Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, school supplies, my dog Whitlow and my cat Ollie! One of my favorite hobbies is reading and I am always looking for a new book to read. Some of my favorite books include Henry’s Freedom Box, Wonder, Say Something, and Each Kindness.
Ms. Amy Slavin
Hello, Eagles! I grew up pretty far away from where we all live now — all the way on the other side of the country. I am from northern California, so if you find San Francisco on a map, you’ll be pretty close to where I used to live. I went to the University of California at Davis, which had a really special program. You could sign up to live in Washington, DC for a semester with an internship (which is like a part-time job for college students) in our nation’s capital. I did that and I loved it! So after I finished college in California, I moved back to Washington and went to work on Capitol Hill, where Congress meets. I worked for two representatives from my home state. I love talking about how our government works and can tell you all about it! But eventually I decided to be a teacher… just like my mom and my grandma! I moved to New York City for a special teaching program. We were called the NYC Teaching Fellows, and we got to learn how to be teachers while living in Brooklyn for two years. Then I moved back to Virginia, and I’m so happy that I get to be a teacher here. Now I live in Alexandria (right next door to Arlington) with my husband, our two daughters, a big shaggy dog, and a cat who climbs on everything. We really like checking out all the special places and things to do around our area, especially the ones that are special in Virginia history. I enjoy going to the Bay Area to visit my family when I can. gardening, reading… and I love teaching and learning as part of the Ashlawn community!
Ms. Maria White
After growing up in DC, I attended Denison University where I majored in Political Science and minored in French. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years teaching English in Cameroon and, shortly thereafter, I earned my Master’s degree in Education from Boston College. From there I taught second grade French Immersion for six years in Massachusetts as well as third grade in Amman Jordan. In 2008 I moved back to the DC area and began teaching at APS and in 2014 I joined the Ashlawn team. As a child, my favorite author was Shel Silverstein and I adored his books The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends. My favorite part of teaching at Ashlawn is its commitment to community service and the GCP program. Also, I truly enjoy being able to foster a love of reading and writing each day while using books to promote the ideas of tolerance and acceptance in our classroom and school. When I am not teaching, I enjoy cycling, reading and spending time with my husband and two kids. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year at Ashlawn!
Ms. Wendy Ward