SCHOOL Leadership

Alison Auerbach, Interim Head of School

Alison has two decades of experience in school leadership, including having served as Principal at Bancroft Elementary School, Founding Principal of DC Bilingual Public Charter School, and on the leadership team at other educational institutions.

Sabina Zeffler, Education Coordinator

Sabina is from the coastal town of Bremen, Germany, where she lived most of her life. She was born in Calcutta, India, where she spent her early childhood. She studied in Germany and received a degree in occupational therapy. She has worked with children with special needs, ages three to ten years old in private practice and in preschools. Sabina joined the School for Friends staff in Spring of 2003. She has earned her CDA credential. In her spare time, she loves to spend lots of time with her son Laurence and enjoys literature and yoga as well as art and painting.

Brittney Yates, Operations Specialist

Brittney is an operational and human resource professional with a master’s degree in Human Relations. She has worked in early childhood settings by providing operational support for most of her career. Her experience includes developing organizational strategies and cultivating a positive workplace environment.
As a native Washingtonian, she enjoys sightseeing and spending time with friends and family.

Makai Kellogg, Lead Teacher and Equity and Diversity Coordinator

Makai attended D.C. Public Schools until she began high school at Sidwell Friends School. Makai graduated from Trinity Washington University with a Masters of Art in Early Childhood Education in December 2010 after completing Trinity University’s undergraduate program with a B.A. in History. She completed her student teaching requirements in the Quaker House classroom. She is the Head of Nursery at Friends Meeting of Washington where she has been providing childcare for over a decade. Makai has a strong interest in international affairs, social justice, and anti-racism work. She also created and leads the Parents of Multiracial Children group at School for Friends and the school Equity and Diversity Coordinator.

RED PANDAS, (12 months to 24 months)

Carla Vasquez , Co-Teacher

Carla is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Human Development. Prior to that, she completed an associate’s degree in general studies. Carla is Salvadorian and Mexican and has enjoyed two different traditions and cultures her whole life.  She used to babysit when she was younger, was a camp counselor during most summers and interned at a private school in early childhood classrooms. In her free time, she loves to bake, cook and draw. 

LaJuan Celey, Co-Teacher

LaJuan was born and raised in Washington, DC and attended DC public schools. After High School, she completed nearly two years of education at the University of the District of Columbia with a concentration in the nursing department. She worked at First Baptist Child Care Center for two years. LaJuan accepted the position at School for Friends in 1986. She would like to pursue further education in the teaching field. She has also participated in multiple workshops over the years and she received her CDA credential. LaJuan is married and is the proud mother of three children, Jamar, Daevon and Jacqueline.

LEATHERBACK TURTLES, (12 months to 24 months)

Jacqueline Whiting, Lead Teacher

Jackie was an assistant teacher in the Blue Room from 1984 to 1991. Between 1991 and 1993 she worked at Just Us Kids as a floater and as a teacher coordinator. She also was a certified childcare provider in her home for 11 months. She completed her Child Development Associate credential in 1991. She worked at First Baptist Church Child Care Center during the 1983-1984 school year. She holds a certification in childcare from the Logan Community School. She earned her AA Degree in early childhood education on May 13, 2006.


Eunice comes from La Paz-Bolivia, one of the highest cities in the world. She holds a CDA Certificate in addition to a Degree in General Accounting. She has worked for over 13 years in the Emergency Child Care Center at Fannie Mae, which served roughly about 735 children ranging from 6 months to 13 years old. Most of her experience has been with special needs children. Eunice is interested in Agriculture specifically in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).


Elsy Blanco

Elsy was born in El Salvador. She came to the US at age fifteen and finished high school here. After that, she took English and Computer courses to polish her skills. In 2002, she took the 90-hour course in early childhood education. Two years later, she received her child development associate (CDA) bilingual credential. She started working with RCIS (Rock Creek International School) in 2001 as a bus driver, assistant teacher, and summer school Spanish teacher until 2007. Elsy has worked with young children at all ages. She is married and has two beautiful daughters, Emily and Valeria. She loves to spend time with her family. Her hobbies include fishing and reading a good book.


Malori-Naomi Wallace Wyche, lead teacher

Malori-Naomi is an early childhood educator who has been teaching for the past 5 years. She has been in Washington, D.C since 2012 and has graduated from Howard University with a BA in Radio, Television and Film and Johns Hopkins University with MS in Education. Malori-Naomi is an Urban Teachers alumnae and believes in teaching the whole child — her goal in education is to work towards creating more equitable and joyful learning spaces.  She believes education is at its best when children are stimulated physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You can find her reading, binge-watching her favorite show, and planning dates for herself & her friends.

Mykia Dohawk, CO-TEACHER

Mykia has a passion for working with young children and loves to spend time with them as she guides and nurtures their growth and development. She attended the Cardozo Education Campus and is currently working towards earning her CDA credential, developing a plan to further her education in early childhood. Throughout high school, Mykia volunteered to care for and tutor younger children at a local recreation center. Exploring children’s curiosities and learning from them each and every day is one of Mykia’s favorite aspects of working at School for Friends. During her free time she enjoys being with her family and eating and binge watching her favorite tv shows.


Katie Gosselin Lead Teacher

Katie is from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Catholic University of America in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She loves children and spending time with them.  Katie worked with young children for the the last five summers as a camp counselor and Assistant Camp Director in Pennsylvania. As an educator, she believes in contributing to the development of a high-quality early learning program that provides unique educational opportunities for children. In her spare time, Katie loves to read and spend time with her family and friends. 

Shelbie Fowler Co-Teacher

Shelbie brings a diverse experience, shares our values and philosophy of educating young children and approaches their work with professionalism. They are from Marshfield, Massachusetts. In 2016, they graduated from Emmanuel College in Boston with a BS in Health and Counseling Psychology. After graduating, Shelbie pursued a career in teaching English as a Second Language abroad. They have worked with students of all ages and recently spent three years as a Lead Teacher at Laurus International School in Tokyo. Shelbie loves cooking and trying new foods and finds nothing more relaxing than sitting down to read.

Multi Age Co-Teacher

TARYANA WALLACE Multi Age Co-Teacher

Taryana grew up in Clinton, Maryland. She is currently pursuing an Associate degree in Business Management. She is grateful for the opportunity to help play a role in guiding the next generation of leaders and thinkers here at School For Friends. Taryana is enrolled in the CDA certificate program to continue to guide children and help them reach many milestones. Taryana enjoys music, spending time with her family, and reading.

Raena Miller - Multi Age co-Teacher

Raena has been working in the education field for 10 years. She has a CDA and an AA in Education with a concentration in preschool. Raena is currently a student at UDC working on her BA in Human Development. She hopes to open her own school one day. Until then she will continue to enjoy using her gifts to educate young children on their path to becoming productive citizens.  Raena loves spending time with family and friends. She enjoys cooking and traveling as she want to see the world!