Congratulations to our 2014-15 PTA/LSAT Boards!


Phoebe Hearst Elementary School

2014-15 PTA/LSAT



Elizabeth Stuart-I am happy to be running for PTA co-President.  I served as the PTA Room Parent Coordinator during the past year, and was heavily involved in the new and improved after school enrichment activities.  I have also assisted with special events, such as the e-cycle, teacher appreciation week, and the school holiday luncheon, and have helped spread the word about our wonderful school, through open houses, the Northwest Current dispatches, and an annual open house my

husband and I hold at our home.  

I have greatly enjoyed my interactions and experiences on the PTA board, and in the coming year I look forward to continuing to work with other parents, teachers, and staff to help grow the programs even more, particularly after school enrichment, professional development for teachers, and other instructional supports (such as after-school tutoring).  

On a personal side, my husband Brian Doyle is also actively involved in the school, particularly with the auction and fundraising (and the ongoing boundary discussions).  We have 2 children, Clara, who is currently in K, and Paul, who will be entering pre-K in 2015.   When I'm not spending time on PTA matters I am a faculty member at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (yes, in Baltimore, which is why I'm not physically around Hearst that often), with a focus on statistical methods for mental health research.  We feel very lucky to be a part of the Hearst community and are happy to give back to help improve the school even more.  


Dina Dajani- I am interested in continuing my service as co-president to the PTA executive board.  I have been a Hearst parent

and a member of the Hearst community since 2008 (12 student-years to date!).  During these years, in addition to acting as co-president, I have served the Hearst Community in a variety of capacities, as an LSAT member (2011-2012), Room Parent (on

five occasions), and as an athletics coach (for DPR soccer in 2010).  Additionally, I have been a regular classroom volunteer, active participant in PTA events and worked closely with others in the Hearst community on acquiring the needed funds for

the school expansion. As PTA co-president, I have been committed to supporting the teachers and staff as they continue their already superb instructional activities, to promoting more parental involvement in school activities and committees, and to being a positive force promoting the development of the school as it grows and changes. I am currently working as an independent consultant providing a variety of services on global public health issues, refugee health

and international humanitarian response.


Vice President

Jacqui Settles-

My husband and I were talking the other day about the fact that transferring our children to Hearst was one of the best gut decisions we have ever made.  We have been a part of this incredible community for two years and my children have never been happier.  They have made a ton of friends, they are thriving academically, and they are growing as individuals.  

The school has certainly progressed forward during our time here, but I think we would all agree that Hearst elementary has yet to reach its full potential.  I want my children, and all of Hearst’s children to have the best educational experience possible.  That is why I made the commitment last year to serve as VP of the PTA as well as, chair the Enrichment committee.  It is also why I would like to continue investing my time and energy to work as part of the Hearst community to help ensure that this wonderful little school not only meets its potential, but exceeds it!”

Background:  Jacqui Allen-Settles is a multimedia specialist with over two decades of professional experience in broadcasting (radio & television), public relations and advertising.  She holds a Master of Arts in Communications from American University and has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Communications at Savannah State and Temple Universities. Currently she works as a digital media specialist creating eLearning and Computer Based Training related videos.  


Corresponding Secretary

Beth Prince-Kindergarten Teacher

I have worked at Hearst for the past 14 years and have taught over 300 children in my career as an educator. I have served on numerous committees at Hearst, within DCPS, as well as national education advisory boards, but I find the PTA to be one of the most enjoyable to participate in. I currently serve as the Corresponding Secretary and would greatly appreciate your support in electing me to continue with this position for next school year. If I earn that support you will continue to receive updates on school wide events & PTA meetings on our website & listserv; you will enjoy our Owl Newsletter throughout the school year; you will see our name and our students’ articles in local papers; and you will stay informed about the school's needs and accomplishments.  I hope I can count on your vote.

Recording Secretary

Susan Pultz - I'm the mother of a rising first-grader at Hearst.  I'd like to assist the school, and therefore the PTA, in being as successful as possible and am happy to contribute next year by serving as recording secretary.  I believe my writing and organizational skills will enable me to undertake this responsibility successfully.


John Bernards-I wish to maintain my role as Treasurer on the PTA Board so that I can continue to play a direct role in the success and growth of Hearst E.S. and the Hearst Community.  I feel that I have the professional skills to provide valuable input as financial issues arise.  Over the past year I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the operations of the PTA and have Chaired the Fundraising Committee.

On a personal level, my wife and I feel that part of our children’s education is parents who are visibly part of the process.  I am fortunate that I have a career that will allow for me to contribute significant time to volunteering.

Background: I have been in Financial Planning for over 13 years, seven of those as a Certified Financial Planner™.  I actively advise clients in responsible investment management, as well as provide assistance with personal finances.  I feel that this experience equips me with the necessary understanding to fulfill the listed duties of the position.  In addition, I believe Hearst parents and faculty can have confidence in my abilities and character to successfully handle the finances of our school’s PTA in a trustworthy manner.

Room Parent Coordinator

Keri Sikich-I am mom to Luke, a Pre-K student in Ms. Dawkins’ class, and to Mark, a (hopefully) future Hearst Owl of 2016 (or 2015 depending on how that PK3 class goes!).  My husband, Adam, and I live in Glover Park and have lived in Washington, DC for over 13 years.  We feel so lucky to have literally “won the lottery” with Hearst.  It is such a fantastic and welcoming community of educators, parents, and kids.  It has been a lot of fun working with Liz Stuart, Jacqui Settles, and Tosha Terry on the Enrichment Committee.  I have been able to see firsthand how dedicated the parent volunteers are and what amazing things we can accomplish when we work together.  I am hoping to continue that quality of service to our great little school as next year’s room parent coordinator.  

Book Keeper

Craig Cunningham-Craig Cunningham has worked as an information technology consultant for the federal government for the last 14 years.  Previously, he worked for three years for the Intel Corporation.  Craig has lived in DC for 14 years.  He has served on his Condominium Board for the last 13 years including 4 years as President. He currently lives with his wife, Mary O'Neill, and two daughters, Maeve (Kindergarten) and Maura (pre-K 2015-16), in the North Cleveland Park neighborhood.



David Dickinson-My wife, Sarah Stoll, and I are the parents of Nicole in 2nd grade and Natalie in kindergarten. We want the best for them while at Hearst and the best for all the children at the school.


While serving as the PTA Co-President in SY 2012-2013, and the LSAT Co-Chair in SY 2013-2014, I’ve witnessed how Hearst continues to evolve as a community. We have overcome challenges relating to our physical building, various classroom issues, and helped to advise Dr. Bergeron on a variety of curriculum changes and the creation of certain staffing positions. In addition to new classrooms in the coming school year and a new gym/cafeteria, library, etc. in the following school year it is apparent that as parents we want our children to well-exceed the common-core requirements and extend critical thinking to actually being curious, engaged, and creative with the intellectual world around them.  With the addition of a new full-time music teacher and Spanish teacher, as well as additional instructional aides we continue to move forward, but frankly I hope we can strive for more in the context of using some of the common core principles to build real world skills as our kids grow.


I hope we all continue to support Dr. Bergeron and our teachers, but I challenge you to think about what it is you want your kids to be learning and experiencing at Hearst, and bringing that forward.  Thanks.

Tosha Terry-I am Tosha Terry, parent of Madelynn Martin who will be entering the 3rd grade at Hearst next year. I’m currently teaching at Murch Elementary and working as the Enrichment Coordinator at Hearst.  My professional background is in the area of Psychology, Education, and my innate talents are in the Arts. I am a published author, accomplished musician, and visionary. It is my desire to contribute my thoughts, ideas, time, and energy to making Hearst a better place for ALL students. 

Jen Leonard-Hi, I'm Genevieve Poirier's mom and proud member of Hearst community.  As a K parent, this is our family’s second year at Hearst but between my early involvement in the advocacy campaign to secure funds for the expansion/renovation, my work on this year’s LSAT, general school activism, and a sibling waiting to join her big sister at Hearst, our family is proudly invested in Hearst’s present and future.

I originally ran for LSAT because after the experience with the renovation/expansion shortfall, I saw LSAT service an opportunity to learn more about the practical challenges we face, and play a constructive role in addressing them.   I was right and I’m proud to have played a role in a LSAT ‘revival’ where our members came together to tackle key issues early, strategically, and thoughtfully and to our school’s benefit.   As a fully engaged member of the team, I played a direct role in key strategic and operational decisions with a very real impact on our community of students, teachers, and staff.  In addition, strategic and effective coordination with PTA helped maximize opportunities – for example, the provision of targeted after-school math and literacy instruction and teaming up on finding creative solutions to get our kids real language instruction (i.e. next year’s Spanish teaching fellow).

 Beyond next year’s ‘usual’ budget matters, I have several issues on my radar that I believe the LSAT can and should engage on:  effectively managing the transition into Building B; tracking the progress of our hard-won Spanish language offering; progress on addressing discipline; and enhanced engagement with an expanded autism program.  Finally, a longstanding concern (and one we worked on this year’s LSAT to address in the short-term): establishing safe, sustainable, sensible solutions to school driveway/building access issues.

 Thanks for considering my candidacy!


LSAT (Continued)

John Settles- 

I have three children at Hearst and a long-term interest in making our wonderful little school even greater. I co-chaired the LSAT this past year and know -- first-hand -- that if the leadership is strong within this group, the school can make great strides.  LSAT is not a throwaway. It is an important piece of the greater effort to create the best educational experience for our children. I believe LSAT must work as a cohesive, committed group to address the difficult decisions that have to be made regarding budgeting, staffing and school policy.  I am not afraid of leading the courageous conversations that must happen to find innovative approaches and right solutions so that we can achieve the goal of Hearst standing as one of the top elementary schools in the District."

Background: John Settles is a finance professional and advocate for public education in the District of Columbia.  He currently serves on the board of the SE Children’s Fund.   John is a native Washingtonian who graduated with a degree in finance from Howard University.  In addition to working as a Realtor and Mortgage Banker, John founded his own real estate development firm in 2002.  He is currently a renovation mortgage specialist for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. 








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