Bethesda Magazine: September/October Digital Edition

Page 224

Brooke Eby, 34, takes the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease to social media
Meet six risk-takers who are breaking barriers and changing the world
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Tuesday, October 24, 2023 11:00 AM

The Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center

9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

Read more about this year's inductees at

Why support the Montgomery Business Hall of Fame?

All net proceeds benefit scholarships at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), the University System of Maryland’s regional education center in Montgomery County with nearly 80 degree programs from nine Maryland public universities. The same type of vision that led to the creation of USG in the fall of 2000 — to do something truly unique and extraordinary — is the type of vision our honorees all share.

Presented By

Sponsorships to honor these great business leaders are available. For more information, or to register, visit, or contact Lenore Dustin at 301.571.1900 or

Jillian Copeland Founder, Main Street Connect Joseph Craig English Artist & Printmaker S. Tien Wong CEO, Opus8, Inc. David Trone Co-founder, Total Wine & More


Be a part of history and experience the BSO under the baton of classical music’s rising star, Jonathon Heyward in his inaugural season alongside stellar guest artists!



















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LesleySheldon,ateacher atStoneRidgeSchoolofthe SacredHeartinBethesda,with someofherstudents


160 School’s Out

The challenges and revelations of remote learning during the height of the pandemic drove a spike in the number of Montgomery County families exploring homeschooling. Now, many aren’t returning to the classroom.


Extraordinary Educators

They’ve notched countless hours rousing students to do more, whether it’s conquering another language, building a better robot or delivering serious scoops for the school newspaper. Meet six local teachers at the head of the class.

174 College Bound

Here’s where seniors from eight Montgomery County high schools applied to college, where they were accepted and where they enrolled




Fall Arts Preview

Here are 27 of the season’s hottest happenings


Next-Gen Classical

Only 31, conductor Jonathon Heyward is bringing the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra into the community— and into the future

94 Women Who Inspire

Meet six changemakers who are breaking down barriers



The Hunger Cliff

Why more Montgomery County residents are facing food insecurity now than at the height of the pandemic

154 Historic Haunts

Shiver at Montgomery County ghost stories


NationalParkSeminaryisone ofmanylocallandmarksthat cracklewithtalesof ghostlysightings.



Three fresh takes on outdoor escapes


How to incorporate greener living into your kitchen


Real estate trends by ZIP code

245 Business


Notable news from the local biz scene


How local employers are innovating to attract Gen Z and millennial workers


Bethesda small business Ruth & Dottie creates whimsical gifts


Don Bosco Cristo Rey President Mark Shriver on finding jy

20 TO OUR READERS 20 CONTRIBUT ORS 25 Banter 26 SPEED READ Why we love the food hall trend 28 MS. MOCO On how much to tip 30 CULTURE COUNTER MoCo natives doing cool things 36 SILENT BOOK CLUB Consider a reading group that’s not so by the book 38 SHUTTLECOCK STYLE Get hip to a different racket sport (no, not pickleball) 41 Good Life 42 SHOPPING Balletcore takes center stage 44 HEALTH Doula support offers crucial benefis for parent and child 48 TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK A wine and art trail, bucolic B&B and more 52 DRIVING RANGE The sweet burg of Sperryville is on the menu 58 FIELD TRIP Exploring Potomac
dessert shooters and a fieworks final 64 PETS When a pet is dying, at-home euthanasia can be comforting 67 Dining 68 SMALL BITES New arrivals, discoveries and other morsels of food news 70 TABLE TALK A Balkan bonanza at MezeHub, and barbecue, Chinese-style, at Nosh Grill House 74 DINE REVIEW Charley Prime Foods, a gastropub with a steak focus and dazzling cocktail list 211 Home 212 HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS Adding texture to a room
A wedding featuring a gospel choir,
DEPARTMENTS Advertising Sections 109Profiles:WomeninBuisness 189PrivateSchoolGuide 214Long&FosterAdSection 230Profiles:AsktheHomeExperts
64 A PEACEFUL PASSING At-homeeuthanasiaforpets 68 SMALL BITES TacosandKoreanflavors cometogetheratTaKorean
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Inspiration Guaranteed

I WAS ONLY A FEW DAYS INTO WORKING AT THE ORGANIZATION WE NOW CALL MOCO360 when I encountered the inaugural class of Bethesda Magazine’s “Women Who Inspire.” It was August 2021, and I was poring over page proofs introducing readers to such overachieving neighbors as World Trade Organization DirectorGeneral Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and KID Museum founder Cara Lesser.

I came in at the tail end of the process that year, after the women had been selected by editors, profiled by reporter Amy Halpern and photographed for the magazine feature.

I’ve been on the front end each year since as our team selects and introduces a new group of women. We’re serious about the mandate: It’s not enough to show that they’re accomplished and impressive; we have to get to the core of how they inspire.

We’ve also endeavored each year to bring you, our readers and community members, into this undertaking in a more meaningful way.

Last year we created a public submission process for nominations, and you rose to the challenge, suggesting dozens of fascinating people. Among the resulting honorees were Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, and Josie Caballero, director of the 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey.

This year the public nominations increased to 100, and the ensuing class features such luminaries as Donna Westmoreland, chief operating officer at I.M.P., and Brooke Eby, an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis activist.

We’re taking community engagement a step further with the creation of the inaugural Women Who Inspire luncheon Sept. 14 at the Marriott Bethesda Downtown. Our own Ms. MoCo, Rachel Pomerance Berl, will serve as emcee, and I’ll moderate a discussion with our honorees.

For a dash of inspiration, read up on the women starting on page 94. For a whole jolt, consider joining us for lunch. Go to for details.



BACKGROUND: Helfert, a commercial and editorial photographer, grew up in Rockville’s Randolph Hills and now lives in Long Branch.

IN THIS ISSUE: Photographed the feature on food insecurity in Montgomery County, along with the cover story on Women Who Inspire.

FAVORITE MOCO HANGOUTS: Hank Dietle’s Tavern, Kaldi’s Social House and Rock Creek Park.

WHAT INSPIRES HER: “Quiet. I meet so many amazing people, but I need quiet to process and take inspired action.”



BACKGROUND: Sklarew, a freelance writer who focuses mostly on travel and food, grew up in Potomac, where she went to Winston Churchill High School.

IN THIS ISSUE: Wrote and photographed the Field Trip guide to her hometown of Potomac.

FAVORITE MOCO HANGOUTS: “So many, but my gotos are Owen’s Tavern & Garden and Akira Ramen & Izakaya, admiring the flwers at Brookside Gardens, and wandering Glenstone’s galleries and walking trails.”

JUST FOR FUN: “I love reading fiction and nver get tired of wandering around the Smithsonian museums or trying out new restaurants with my foodie family.”


Planning a later-in-life move can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Capital Senior Solutions—a division of Brito Associates of COMPASS—is here to help. Accredited by the Seniors Real Estate Institute as Certified Senior Housing Professionals™ and Certified Senior Downsizing Coaches™, our experts have been voted a Bethesda Magazine Top Producer Team year after year. Our senior-approved services—including community tours and guidance, home preparation, downsizing success plans, and more— keep you informed through every step of the home buying, selling, and moving process.

n Downsizers Club Monthly Meeting: September 1, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. via Zoom

n Moving Mom & Dad: September 12, 4–5 p.m. at Sunrise Rockville

n Retirement Communities 101: September 13, 10–11 a.m. at Ring House of Rockville

n The Truth About Getting Your Affairs In Order: September 20, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. via Zoom

n Avoiding Senior Scams and Other Devious Plots: October 11, 10–11 a.m. at Ring House of Rockville

n Retirement Communities 101: October 18, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. via Zoom

n The Truth About Getting Your Affairs in Order: October 19, 4–5 p.m. at Sunrise Rockville

Contact Our Certified Senior Housing Professionals™ Jan Brito, CSHP, SRES and Laura Quigley, CSHP, SRES
| Powered by Brito Associates of COMPASS | 301-298-1001 office | COMPASS is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All measurement and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. COMPASS is licensed as a COMPASS Real Estate in DC and as COMPASS in Virginia and Maryland.
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“Lilly Singh. Her YouTube videos are hilarious, and she recently did a TV show with the Muppets.”



Anne Tallent


Kelly Martin


Kelly Kendall


Amy Orndorff


Ellen Minsavage


Olivia Sadka


Jeffrey Lyles


Ginny Bixby, Courtney Cohn, Em Espey, Elia Griffin, Akia Kyles


David Hagedorn


Louis Peck, Julie Rasicot, Carole Sugarman


“Dolly Parton. I’d love to hear how Dolly overcame obstacles to be the world-changer she is today.”

Elisabeth Herschbach, Steve Wilder


Caralee Adams, Jennifer Barger, Rachel Pomerance Berl, Stephanie Siegel Burke, Margaret Engel, Dawn Klavon, Christine Koubek Flynn, Dana Gerber, Amy Halpern, Kristen Schott, Jennifer Tepper, Mike Unger, Carolyn Weber

“Monica Lewinsky. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the media’s unfair treatment of her in the 1990s, and I’m interested in how she used those experiences to fuel her anti-bullying advocacy work in recent years.”


Yunyi Dai, Jimell Greene, Gel Jamlang, Tonwen Jones, Deb Lindsey, Brendan McCabe, Julia Patrick, Chelsea Peters, Paul Spella, Ard Su, Brian Taylor, Louis Tinsley, Joseph Tran, Justin Tsucalas, Ellen Weinstein


Jennifer Farkas


Karen Singer


Brendan Martin


Amélie Ward


Arlis Dellapa, Penny Skarupa, LuAnne Spurrell


Jeni Hansen


Amanda McCloskey


Mel Korobkin


Ashley Fletcher


Elizabeth Moseley


James Musial


Rachel Collins


Onecia Ribeiro INTERNS

Q:What inspiringwoman doyouwant to have a cocktail with?

“Right now, I would love to have a drink with Taylor Swift!”

“Martha Stewart! She sure knows how to throw a party.”

“Greta Gerwig! She is the most inspirational female director of this generation and has such a strong grasp of womanhood.”

Jenna Bloom, Nathaly Osorio, Fernando Vasquez


Jennifer Beekman, Ann Cochran, Betty Siegel


Heather Fuentes, Lisa Helfert, Tony J. Lewis, Hilary Schwab, Stephanie Williams, Michael Ventura


Stephanie Siegel Burke


Steve and Susan Hull

Bethesda Magazine is published six times a year by MoCo360 © 2023-2024
ideas and letters to the editor: Please send ideas and letters (with your name, the town you live in and your daytime phone number) to editorial@MoCo360.Media. MoCo360 6116 Executive Blvd., #740 North Bethesda, MD 20852 Phone: 301-718-7787 MoCo360.Media
price: $19.95 To subscribe: MoCo360.Media For customer service: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 205; or send an email to customerservice@MoCo360.Media. For advertising information: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 220; send an email to advertising@MoCo360.Media; or go to MoCo360.Media.
information on events and reprints: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 219; or send an email to marketing@MoCo360.Media.
“Oprah Winfrey. What hasn’t she revealed to the world already? I’ll find out.”


Generosity of time and generosity of spirit are foundational values for our family. My wife, Pam, practiced as a nurse for 10 years and then elected to stay at home and raise our three children. In addition to her role as mother, she sought opportunities to care for others through involvement in local schools, our church, and as a hospice volunteer. I established the Pamela R. Hard General Nursing Scholarship in 2016 to honor and recognize her caring and nurturing spirit. My meetings with her scholarship recipients have only reinforced my desire to help the many deserving future nurses who will enter the nursing program at Montgomery College.

Pam passed away in 2020 and left a legacy of caring with everyone she met. I established the Pamela Hard, RN Nursing Lab in 2022 to support the expansion of the nursing program at Montgomery College. The lab will be open for the fall 2023 semester and will allow future nurses access to hands-on training. For the second time, I found a meaningful gift to honor my wife and support individuals who I know will have an impact through their own work.

Ensuring Pam’s legacy of caring for others is Why I Give to the Montgomery College Foundation. I hope you will join me.

Join others like Bill who support Montgomery College as donors by contacting Joyce Matthews at
“Ensuring Pam’s legacy of caring for others is Why I Give to the Montgomery College Foundation.’’
Bill and Pamela Hard

Let Your SHINE Bright Life

Brightview’s award-winning communities make life extra bright for area seniors and their families.

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Field of Screams and other hair-raising haunts

A Brookeville sixth grader with serious game
(Fromleft):BadmintonpartnersFalkoKoehler,AmerYaqubandZachYaqubattheBauerDriveCommunityRecreationCenterinRockvillePAGE38 MS. MOCO TAKES ON TIPPING / A SILENT BOOK CLUB / FOOD HALL FINDS / BIG EVENTS PHOTO BY DAVID STUCK

The Modern Smorgasbord

FOR GROUPS, FOOD HALLS TEND TO BEAT OUT RESTAURANTS. You don’t need a reservation, and even the most diverse array of vegans, carnivores, gluten-free diners and keto dieters can wander off to order whatever they want, then regroup at the table.

FOOD HALLS ALSO SATISFY A NEED FOR SPEED. Compared with a traditional restaurant, food halls offer “a faster experience for those on the go,” says Chad Sparrow, managing partner and executive chef of Common Plate Hospitality, which is behind the food hall The Heights.

THESE AREN’T THE MALL FOOD COURTS OF YOUR YOUTH. You know, where you’d meet up with friends for an Orange Julius or a slice of Sbarro. For one thing, today’s food halls generally showcase up-and-coming local vendors—rather than national chains—and they often feature flavors from around the globe. A food hall isn’t just a pit stop on your shopping journey; rather, it’s a social and culinary destination.

DINERS GET TONS OF VARIETY—AND AUTHENTICITY—WITHIN ONE LOCATION. A good food hall’s collection of vendors has been carefully and thoughtfully curated, ensuring that concepts don’t overlap, menus are limited to no more than 10 to 12 well-executed items, and the vendors reflect the community they’re in, says Michael Morris, CEO of Cana Development, which created Commas.

COMMAS IS A FOOD HALL SLATED TO OPEN IN SILVER SPRING TOWARD THE END OF 2023. Its name “references [the idea that] there’s always something coming up next,” Morris says. The space, at Ellsworth Place, will encompass about 13,500 square feet and will seat about 325. There will be 12 vendors, including Tokoa (cheesesteaks), J&J Mex-Taqueria, Spice Kitchen and DMV Empanadas.

THE HEIGHTS WAS SLATED TO OPEN THIS SUMMER in Wisconsin Place, next to the Friendship Heights Metro station. The Chevy Chase food hall is bringing together eight food vendors, plus a full-service restaurant (Urbano, which will offer Tex-Mex fare), a full food hall bar, and a Prohibition-inspired speakeasy bar, The Turncoat, with its own private entrance. Vendors include Lebanese-inspired Yasmine, Doki Doki Sushi and Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream. It sprawls across 10,300 square feet and seats 300 (inside and outside).

FOOD HALLS MAKE IT EASIER FOR CHEFS TO TRY OUT NEW CONCEPTS. “We have seen a number of high-quality chefs making the transition to food halls for the inherently low startup costs and labor requirements,” says Akhtar Nawab, coCEO of Hospitality HQ for Solaire Social.

SOLAIRE SOCIAL IS SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN JANUARY 2024 on the ground level of the new Solaire residential tower at 8200 Dixon Ave. in downtown Silver Spring. As of press time, the vendor assortment had not been released to the public, but there will be 10 food vendors plus a bar. The food hall will accommodate 330 occupants indoors, plus an additional 42 outdoor seats (open seasonally).

Food halls offer something for every mood—and every palate
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Tipping Points

How much should you give the next time you’re asked for a gratuity?

Ask Ms. MoCo.

Tipping is so confusing these days. It feels like we’re asked to tip everywhere. I not only resent it, but I also don’t know what’s appropriate. Help me, Ms. MoCo—make sense of tipping today!

A coffee, a smoothie, a self-service sip.

Take it to go—but still give a tip?

15%? 20%? Custom? Or skip?

Reads the ubiquitous screen your cashiers now flip

It’s awkward, unseemly, before baristas so hip

Mulling a tip with our credit card chip.

Alas, no tip jar? A vestige of this predigital trip

We do not like this, not one little bit!

Hello, friends. I’m writing from the Berkshires, from which we recently toured the Dr. Seuss museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, so I couldn’t help but pay tribute to the magic of the maestro in sharing your frustration on tipping.

Overtipping became a gesture of deep appreciation to workers risking their lives during the peak of the pandemic. But while COVID risks have receded, we got used to those services that sustained us, such as restaurant takeout and grocery delivery. At the same time, we’re newly confronted with screens at every purchase point in an increasingly cashless culture. In other words, we face exponentially more opportunities to tip, causing what some have dubbed “tipping fatigue.” A June report from the financial website Bankrate found that 30% of Amer-

icans feel “tipping culture has gotten out of control.” This year, just 65% of adults always tipped their servers at dine-in restaurants, down from 73% last year.

One friend, who runs the e-commerce for the boutique Bellies to Babies, deliberately removed a tip option for both inperson and online transactions. “While the tip would add to our bottom line, as owners we don’t think our store should be adding to the problem of ‘tip culture,’” says Avigail Maddox of Potomac. “The best tip someone can give us is a good review, being a lifelong customer, or a referral.” Another friend, who asked to remain anonymous because this subject is so touchy, says she feels pressured to leave 10% to 15% at quick-service transactions where she used to leave one or two dollars. “They’re staring at you asking for it, and it’s uncomfortable not to.”

Good news. Take back your agency— and common sense. With a quick transaction, say, self-serve fro-yo to go, think of the app like a tip jar for your discretion, says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert from Texas, where we always take our cues for decorum and sensibility. Those folks earn hourly wages and don’t depend on tips like waitstaff do.

So tip your waiters close to 20%—more if you linger at a table for a $6 breakfast,

she says. She suggests 10% to 15% for takeout (news to me) and at least 15% for the sweaty food truck workers and food deliverers, especially those who brave inclement weather or heavy loads.

“Everyone is talking about it like it’s a brand-new game, but it really isn’t,” Gottsman says. We are just getting out again and more exposed to a proliferation of places to tip. If you think the cost is too high to tip your hairstylist, “you’re probably at the wrong hair salon,” says Gottsman, who offers a tipping guide on her website,

Bottom line: We live today in a gig economy, and lots, but not all, of our workforce relies on tips. Whether or not you balk at inflation or low wages or so-called “tip creep,” stiffing those workers only hurts them. A better way to use your two cents: If your restaurant service lacked luster, tip off the manager instead; even better, compliment outstanding service. You won’t believe how good you’ll both feel when that manager, bracing for a lambasting, melts with delight at your recognition. You’ll make anyone’s day with a tip, of course. But sometimes it’s gratuitous.

Got a question about life in Montgomery County? Ask Ms. MoCo by emailing

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Culture Counter


After Chevy Chase’s Dian Seidel returned from volunteering abroad with her husband, friends who’d enjoyed emails about the couple’s adventure suggested she should write a book. Seidel started with essays (one placing fist in the 2022 Bethesda Magazine adult essay contest), and then she got to the book, Kindergarten at 60: A Memoir of Teaching in Thailand (Apprentice House Press, June 2023). “For older adults who have some energy, health, the ability to travel and want to do something useful, maybe this will inspire them to try something similar,” she says.


In September, 10-year-old George Johnston IV will begin his third season as a sports correspondent for NFL Slimetime, a half-hour weekly TV show on Nickelodeon. He records “George Knows Football” segments in his Brookeville basement, veering off script at times to insert some personality with his energetic “G Four Out!” signature sign-off. “This is the perfect opportunity for me to throw myself into being a sports broadcaster and analyst when I get older,” says the sixth grader at Rosa Parks Middle School in Olney.


Caroline Hickey’s middlegrade novel, Ginny Off the Map (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, June 2023), is about a determined 11-year-old girl who starts a geography camp while her dad is deployed overseas. The Chevy Chase author says she likes to write for ages 8 through 12 because books had such an impact on her as a girl. “Reading has the ability to teach kids about the world in a different way,” Hickey says. “Books are so helpful at that age for trying to understand and be empathetic to other people.”


In October, another season of The DC Coaches Basketball Podcast launches with an all-star lineup including Potomac’s Gary Williams, the longtime University of Maryland coach who retired in 2011. The crew banters about college and professional basketball, which Williams says has become an international game and keeps getting better with more athletic players. “It’s guys shooting the breeze about basketball, and I think people like that,” he says. “We’re not solving the world’s problems. We’re just talking basketball.”

READING LIST Here are the most-requested books at Montgomery County Public Libraries


1 Demon Copperhead | Barbara Kingsolver

2 A Very Typical Family | Sierra Godfrey

3 Lessons in Chemistry | Bonnie Garmus

4 Happy Place | Emily Henry

5 Remarkably Bright Creatures | Shelby Van Pelt

6 The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese

7 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow | Gabrielle Zevin

8 Our Missing Hearts | Celeste Ng

9 Mad Honey | Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

10 Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano

In each edition, Bethesda Magazine will present best-sellers from a local bookstore or library. Please reach out with store recommendations or lists at


1 Spare | Prince Harry

2 The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder | David Grann

3 The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times | Michelle Obama

4 American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer | Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

5 Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner

6 Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover

7 Poverty, by America | Matthew Desmond

8 Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora

9 The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates | Wes Moore

10 The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness | Robert Waldinger, M.D., and Marc Schulz, Ph.D.

Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 5471 Wisconsin Ave Suite 300 Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | 301.298.1001 Looking for a strategic partner in your next move? Get Dana Rice Group on your side. With savvy and smart agents, an on-staff designer, not to mention complimentary staging for all our sellers, you have a full-service team dedicated to you from search to settlement. Dana Rice Group has the real estate chops that makes a difference to their clients. Featured on CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and more, why not tap into the expertise of Dana Rice Group for yourself. Go ahead and give us a call. We’d love to partner with you. Scan the QR code for a personalized home value report. Your Next Move Starts Now Dana Rice Group of Compass Realtors® DC/MD
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Oct. 8

Gaithersburg Oktoberfest


Sept. 8-10

Greek Fest

Get your baklava on at this annual party at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in the Norwood area of Silver Spring, where highlights include homemade Greek desserts and other authentic cuisine. The three-day event also features live music, Greek dancing and a market offering food, crafts and jewelry for sale.

Sept. 10

Takoma Park Folk Festival

Expect anything from Americana and bluegrass to world music and choral performances on the festival’s six live music stages. A full range of the area’s cultural and ethnic diversity is on display at the daylong event at Takoma Park Middle School. A juried arts show, international food, and children’s games and activities are all on the agenda.

Sept. 30


Rockville’s annual fall festival features German music on one stage and rock music on another. Sip suds from local breweries and check out food, crafts and other wares for sale

Rockville Town rocktobierfest

Oct. 7

Taste of Bethesda

Forty Bethesda restaurants, from new arrivals to old favorites, set up booths along Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle area for this annual food festival. You can buy tickets to sample food from the eateries and enjoy live music on fie stages, as well as activities for kids.

Tuba players in lederhosen! Dancers in dirndls! It’s the best of all fall worlds at this event in the Kentlands that features traditional Bavar ian Oktoberfest entertainment and autumnal American activities such as pumpkin paint ing and cider pressing. recreation/special-events/oktoberfest

Oct. 14-15

Bethesda Row Arts Festival

Browse an outdoor art gallery at this festival, which brings artists from around the country. Original artwork, including paintings, sculp tures, photography, digital creations, woodwork, textiles and jewelry, is available for sale in the Bethesda Row district.

Oct. 15

Wheaton Arts Parade

Community groups, marching bands and floas kick off this daylong festival with a parade around Wheaton Triangle. The party continues with a community arts festival in Marian Fryer Town Plaza, with live music, performances and food and beverages for sale by local restaurants.

Oct. 28-29

Mid Atlantic Antiques Festival

Aix La Chapelle Farm in Poolesville becomes a shopping village brimming with antiques for this weekend festival that draws dealers from around the country. Highlights include antique and vintage furniture, Americana, military memorabilia, silver and costume jewelry. Landmade Brewery will offer craft beer and food, and an on-site bakery will have sweet treats and coffee for sale.


Sept. 9

Silver Spring Jazz Festival

Expect performances from national, regional and local jazz groups and musicians at this annual free musical event at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. There will also be a beer garden and artist demonstrations. silver-spring-jazz-festival

Sept. 22

Leyla McCalla

Mastering stringed instruments from guitar to banjo to cello, and singing in French, English and Haitian Creole, the Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna makes music that inflecs her Haitian heritage with New Orleans influences Her songs, which she’ll perform at AMP, speak to ideas of memory, history, art and activism.

Oct. 11

Little Simz

The British rapper has been compared to J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. She stops by The Fillmore Silver Spring on a tour supporting No Thank You, her latest album.



Sept. 9-10

Small Press Expo

The premier festival promoting independent comics and graphic novels comes to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, bringing with it a chance to meet artists and creators, participate in workshops and attend book signings.


Sept. 3

Chita Rivera: The Rhythm of My Life

Known for originating some of Broadway’s most memorable characters, including Anita from West Side Story, Velma Kelly from Chicago and the title character from Kiss of the Spider Woman, the 90-year-old Tony Award winner performs songs from her storied career at Olney Theatre Center’s Root Family Stage


Sept. 4

Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

Stake out a good spot to watch as marching bands, dance groups, classic cars and floas parade through the streets of Olde Towne in honor of Labor Day. recreation/special-events/labor-day-parade

Sept. 10

Parks Half Marathon

Join 2,000 runners for this 13.1-mile jaunt through county parkland along the Rock Creek Stream Valley. A favorite among casual and competitive runners alike, one of the county’s largest races is known for its relaxed and friendly vibe.

Oct. 14

Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show

You could spot a 1920s Tin Lizzie, a pasteland-chrome 1950s-era Thunderbird, groovy VW buses and muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s at this vintage car show, which draws enthusiasts and vehicles from around the mid-Atlantic region.

There will be a special display celebrating 75 years of Lotus as well as hundreds of classic vehicles from Fords to Fiats to Ferraris on the grounds of Rockville’s Glenview Mansion antique-classic-car-show


Sept. 21 through Oct. 31

Field of Screams Maryland

If bloody ax murderers and creepy clowns are your thing, head to Field of Screams, which features 50 horrifying stations along its Super Screams Haunted Trail in Olney. Incorporating live actors and special effects, Field of Screams is among the terrifying haunted attractions in the region.

Sept. 23 through Oct. 29

Pumpkin Festival

Grab a gourd, clamber aboard for a hayride, get lost in a corn maze and jump in a hayloft at Butler’s Orchard. There’s also a playground, giant slides and farm animals. Food, pony rides and face painting are available for extra fees. pumpkin-festival/



The Festival Salvadoreñisimo, Sept. 10 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, should spark a sense of nostalgia for El Salvador natives. For others, the festival is a broad introduction to Salvadoran culture. Among the scheduled performers is the 16-member group La Máquina, or The Machine. The El Salvadorbased group has been pumping out dance hits since it formed in 1994; the next year, it was named best new group in that nation. Nearly 30 years later, fans have made La Máquina one of the top tropical music groups in their home country.

We chatted with lead singer Wilfredo España, known for his extravagant costumes and megawatt smile. —Isabella Rolz

Q: Tell us how you started out in music.

A: I come from a humble family. But everything turned around when my brother gave me a “stick guitar” as a gift when I was very young. Since then, I knew I wanted to represent my country differently by breaking [away] from a traditional style.

Q: How do you represent the Salvadoran community in the U.S.?

A: Our goal has always been to transmit the sense of joy and happiness that characterizes Salvadorans. Our [music] allows us to motivate and encourage those Salvadorans who have had to immigrate ... by offering them a little bit of our country’s flavor.

Q: How has La Máquina’s style changed over the years?

A: We have adapted the style to a more modern one, always leaving a Salvadoran touch in what we do. For example, our latest albums have original songs dedicated to El Salvador’s traditional food, beverages and culture. The festival ... will make the Salvadoran community from the DMV area want to dance and sing.

Check out La Máquina’s website at For more details on the festival, go to

To read this story in Spanish, go to


culture watch

World-Class Dance aining


CityDance Conservatory is developing the next generation of dance artists and innovators through its pioneering approach of individual programming and diverse training in ballet, contemporary and culturally specific techniques. The Conservatory persists with its core belief that excellence is achieved when each student’s talents are nurtured, valued, and challenged. An audition is required for entry to the Conservatory and rolling admissions is allowed.


Labor Day Art Show & Echo Arts Festival

Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture

September 2-4, 2023, 12 – 6 PM & October 1, 2023, 12 – 5 PM Celebrate visual and performing arts this fall at Glen Echo Park during our 52nd annual Labor Day Art Show and Echo Arts Festival! Over the holiday weekend, visit the historic Spanish Ballroom to marvel at 300+ works of art for sale, including painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more. Then help us close out our carousel season with live music, dance, open studios, children’s theater, and more at Echo Arts Festival on Oct. 1. Admission is free.

WWW.GLENECHOPARK.ORG | (301) 634-2222

Countryside Artisans is Celebrating 30 Years!

Countryside Artisans of Maryland

Individual Artists’ Studios and Galleries

2023 Tours:October 13-15 and December 1-3

Studios and galleries are open 10 AM – 5 PM each day. Art studios are open year-round (by appointment).

Meet the artists, see where they work, learn about their mediums. Spend the day in the country! Follow our map to reach each unique destination as you explore the beauty of Maryland’s countryside. FREE!


Come Dance with Us!

Train at one of the region’s finest schools of classical ballet.

Maryland Youth Ballet o ers a comprehensive Classical Ballet training program for Children, Youth, and Pre-Professionals ages 2-18 as well as an Extension Program for teens. Classes include Ballet, Pointe, Classical Variations, Partnering, Pilates, Modern, Jazz, and separate classes for boys and/or male identifying students. Train with experienced faculty, perform in professional full-length productions and grow as a dancer in the performing arts. Some scholarships are available. Audition required for new students 8+.


Creative Voices + Cultural Happenings at is a service of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County SCHOOL YEAR 2023-24 ENROLL TODAY

Gershwin, ice & Beethoven

National Philharmonic

Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 PM at The Music Center at Strathmore



NatPhil’s 2023-2024 Season begins with a trio of enchanting works conducted by Maestro Piotr Gajewski, transporting listeners from the height of the Jazz Age to a pastoral countryside. Pianist Michelle Cann opens the concert with George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue followed by the rich melodies and rhythms of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. The concert ends with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6—the “Pastoral Symphony”— celebrating the beauty of the natural world in five movements.  Tickets starting at $19. All Kids. All Free. All the Time.


ain with the best!

Akhmedova Ballet Academy (ABA)

ABA is dedicated to providing the finest quality ballet training utilizing the Vaganova method, a system of training that is consistent, challenging, inspiring and highly successful. Training daily under Jacqueline Akhmedova’s artistic direction, and her professional faculty’s careful guidance and support, students develop the necessary skills to fully discover and realize their greatest individual potential.



Join us this fall for lessons and classes!

Levine Music Campuses at Strathmore and Silver Spring as well as in DC, VA, and online.

Fall programs begin September 5

Whether you’re playing your first notes or coming back for an encore, you’ll find outstanding instructors and a welcoming community at each of our campuses.

Choose from private music instruction in over 22 instruments and voice, collaborative group classes, and ensembles that engage and inspire music lovers of all ages and stages of life.

Imagine all the fun, all the music, and all the memories we’ll make together in lessons and classes this year.

WWW.LEVINEMUSIC.ORG | (202) 686-8000 is a service of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County WHAT WILL YOU PLAY?
Creative Voices + Cultural Happenings at @CultureSpotMC SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Book Club Is Starting

A reading group that’s not so by the book

Late on a Sunday afternoon at Botanero, a restaurant in Rockville’s King Farm, about 20 people are reading silently—some on tablets, most with real books in their hands. Liza Achilles brought Case Study Natasha Shangold is reading The Russian Word for Snow. Michael Ludwig is more than halfway through Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which is even sadder than he expected. Before the group started reading today, he joked, “I’’ll try not to cry.”

At Silent Book Club meetings, everybody gets to read whatever they want. They talk and eat, read, then talk and eat again. “I do not tend to do well in traditional book clubs because I don’t like having assigned reading,” says Achilles, 45, a writer and editor who leads the club’s Rockville chapter. “I always ended up dropping out sooner or later because I wanted to read other books.”

Founded in 2012 in San Francisco, the Silent Book Club started with a pair of friends, both introverted, who enjoyed reading together at their neighborhood bar. Friends saw their Instagram posts, and soon their party of two turned into six or 10. They started posting the time and place on Facebook, and the group kept growing—one event invite went viral and 90 people showed up. The founders came up with a slogan: Welcome to Introvert Happy Hour.

They wanted to eliminate the pressure they’d experienced in other book clubs, where they had to read a certain book and then come up with something to say.

And someone had to host. “Sort of jokingly, we were saying we want to design a book club where there’s no homework and there’s no responsibility to have to set up or clean up,” says co-founder Guinevere de la Mare, 47, who has since moved from San Francisco to Hawaii. They also hoped to ease the anxiety for people who struggled with small talk, like they did. “What we really liked about the idea of showing up at a bar with a book in your hand is that it automatically gave you a conversation prompt.”

Now the Rockville chapter is one of 300plus Silent Book Club chapters worldwide. Sessions run from 4 to 6 p.m., with a half hour of silent reading starting at 4:45 p.m. Every group does things differently, de la Mare says. Some meet in parks, others in libraries or cafes. A chapter popped up in Egypt late last year, another in Sweden this spring.

When Achilles saw Silent Book Club featured in Poets & Writers magazine, she remembers thinking, I have to be a part of this. A former high school English teacher, the Rockville resident organized the first meetup at Botanero in March 2017. “At that first meeting, reading silently among my new friends, I was in literal (and literary!) bliss,” she later wrote in a blog post.

Shangold, 31, who lives in Derwood, joined the club in the summer of 2022 when she was looking for a hobby and wanted to make some friends. “I go through periods of, ‘Let’s read a whole series of 10 books!’ and then I’m like, eh,” she says. “But I like this club because it’s like you can’t have that sabbatical. …Every two weeks you’re like, Oh, it’s book club—I have to find a book.”

At a recent meetup, Shangold sat with two women she didn’t know and ended up telling them why the book she was reading—a mother’s account of adopting her son from Russia—resonated the way it did. She’s on her own adoption journey, she explained, to track down three of her biological brothers. One of the women recommended Kindred, a novel by Octavia E. Butler, and Shangold put it on her reading list.

For Ludwig, 63, an information technology manager who lives alone in Germantown, being in the Silent Book Club has pushed him to start socializing again after the isolation of the pandemic. “This fills a need for me, and it’s helping me,” he says.

Not everyone gets it, though. “I have a friend who’s just as amused as can be about the whole format,” Ludwig says. “She just thinks it’s funny. I suppose it is.”

At Sandy Spring Bank, we care about people, not transactions. It’s why we create banking solutions for your unique needs, wherever you are in life. Give us a call at 800.399.5919 or visit
FDIC. Sandy Spring Bank and the SSB logo are registered trademarks of Sandy Spring Bank. © 2023 Sandy Spring Bank. All rights reserved.

Shuttlecock Style

Get hip to a not-so-new racket sport

During the lockdown days of the pandemic, Amer Yaqub found himself in a pickle Trapped at his home in Gaithersburg, he was desperate to find a physical activity that could provide some exercise and a break from the monotony of quarantine for him and his two sons. He decided to give a racket sport a try.

If you think you know where this story is going, keep reading.

Like millions of other bored Americans, Yaqub, 55, at one point turned to pickleball. But he found it far too slow for his liking. Although he grew up in Potomac, he was born in Pakistan and felt a connection to the heritage of his native country, which is in a region of the world where badminton is a serious sport. So he eventually bought a net, a few cheap rackets and some plastic shuttlecocks, and started playing casual games in his backyard.

Fast forward to a Tuesday night this June, roughly three years later. Yaqub trots onto a court in the gym at Rockville’s Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, one of 15 rec centers throughout the county that offer of free drop-in badminton. (Private clubs, such as the East Coast Badminton Club and Capital Badminton Academy, both in Gaithersburg, also offer court time for a fee.) In one hand he holds an $80 Yonex racket, in the other a sleeve of goose feather shuttlecocks.

The recreational backyard variety of badminton has about as much in common with the world-class indoor sport as a kids’ game of Wiffle ball does with the World Series. Competitive badminton requires exquisite hand-eye coordination, physical stamina, agility and strength. (Search “Top 10 Badminton Rallies at the Olympic Games” on YouTube and prepare to be mesmerized.) It’s often called the fastest racket sport on Earth; Guinness World Records cites the fastest badminton hit in competition by a male at 264 mph.

Its speed can be dizzying, and thus it provides a top-notch cardio workout; Yaqub has shed 18 pounds since he started playing. But he’s also gained something he wasn’t expecting: friendships.

“It’s hard to make friends when you’re older,” he says. “But I’ve made friends who I meet [even] outside of badminton now.”

Falko Koehler, 56, is one of them. He’s been playing since 2009, two years after he came to the U.S. from Germany. He and Yaqub often play doubles together, and they occasionally go to dinner as well.

Mark Schneider, 42, is a Washington, D.C., native who has been playing for about a decade. He appreciates the sport for the physical effort it requires, but also for the social opportunities that it provides.

“I like having that exposure to different cultures,” he says. “You meet a lot of folks from a lot of different parts of the world. The cultural aspect is a good way to get different viewpoints.”

AmerYaqub,left,withsonZachandbadminton partnerFalkoKoehlerattheBauerDrive CommunityRecreationCenterinRockville

Indeed, on this night—like most—it’s hard to find two people who look alike. Most players are of Asian heritage. The sport is popular in China, Indonesia, India and in pockets of Europe. Worldwide, it is played by more than 339 million people, according to the Badminton World Federation. Roughly 6.4 million of those are in the U.S. It became an Olympic sport in 1992; an American has yet to win a medal.

“It’s most popular here with ethnicities that have a cultural affinity for badminton,” says Linda French, CEO of USA Badminton. “The places it’s growing the most are a lot of the tech sector cities. All along the East Coast, there are more clubs being formed and springing up.”

Players whack the shuttlecock over the 5-foot-1-inch-high net, but they also must possess the finesse needed for pinpoint placement. One of the main attractions for Yaqub is the fact that men and women of varied ages can compete against one another even at the sport’s intermediate to advanced levels. One of the regulars at Bauer Drive is PakYee Chan. A native of Malaysia, he started playing in the 1960s. He’s 82 now, lean, limber and surprisingly quick, and can hold his own against players decades younger.

Yaqub’s son Zach is 19 years old and plays baseball at Oberlin College in Ohio. He beat his dad 61 straight times before the old man pulled out a victory.

“When I’m playing, I’m in complete bliss. Adrenaline flows,” says Yaqub, who celebrated his victory over Zach by posting a video on TikTok. “The minute I walk [away], my feet hurt, my shoulder hurts. Cocoon is the movie where old people magically become young. That’s what badminton is for me.”

in the U.S. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2021 Ameriprise Financial, Inc., All rights reserved. Voted Best Financial Advisor by the Readers of Bethesda Magazine 7 Consecutive Times David B. Hurwitz CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS®, RICP®, APMA®, BFA® Private Wealth Advisor 4800 Montgomery Ave, Suite 620 Bethesda, MD 20814 Direct: (301) 263-8509 Email:

Why more parents are hiring doulas


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At Birth and Beyond


For her second pregnancy, Erika McBee of Kensington hoped for a vaginal birth instead of the cesarean section she experienced with her first child, as well as a delivery without drugs or other medical interventions. But things weren’t going according to the birth plan she had worked out with her doctor and her doula—a nonmedical provider who supplies physical, emotional and informational support for parents before, during and after delivery. The baby’s head was tilted toward his shoulder, and he was scraping his way down the birth canal slowly and excruciatingly.

After 18 hours of labor, during which McBee, a nurse, experienced blackout pain, she and her husband reluctantly accepted the idea of an epidural. The decision was made easier by the calm presence of her doula, Jenny Corbett, 47, of Silver Spring Doula.

“Jenny really guided us through that difficult moment of reconciling with the change of plan,” McBee, 35, says. “It felt really good having somebody look me in the eye and say, ‘You’re making a good decision.’ ” After another 18 hours of labor, her son was born healthy—and vaginally.

Doulas are often confused with midwives, but there is a clear distinction: Midwives offer medical care, whether it’s assessing blood pressure or delivering babies; doulas do not. Savor It Studios doula Michelle Cohen, who lives in D.C. and also serves clients in Montgomery County, likes to use the word “companion.” “We … are walking alongside someone in their journey, and each

person might need a little bit [of] something different through that experience,” says Cohen, 43, who has been a doula for 11 years.

Ursula Sabia Sukinik, 54, of Bethesda has been a doula for 25 years and says she has attended 1,500 births. The founder of Birth You Desire, Sukinik describes doula care this way: “A doula meets with a client prenatally to discuss their goals and birth plan, to develop coping mechanisms and address concerns. At birth, a doula will work with the client’s medical team to have a healthy outcome, and coach the client and their partner in a way that makes them feel comfortable. The postpartum visits are to make sure that the infant is feeding well and to look out for early signs of postpartum anxiety or depression.”

The role of the doula stems from the “natural childbirth” movement of the 1970s, which was a reaction against high rates of interventions, such as inductions, epidurals and C-sections, in hospital deliveries. While doctors initially worried that doulas would interfere with medical decisions, research has shown that doulas improve outcomes for parent and child. That is especially key for the Black community, which has a maternal mortality rate more than three times that of white women.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now acknowledges the benefit of doulas, as does the American College of Nurse-Midwives (doulas work with doctors and midwives, and in hospitals, birthing centers and homes). Many mainstream

Doula support offers benefis for parent and child that are crucial— especially to the Black community

pregnancy-planning checklists now include reminders to hire one.

Local doulas say they see more clients who are older, with a higher risk of complications; more clients without partners; and more clients open to pain medication or other interventions.

“I think people are just realizing the value in having that support,” says Alison Knotek, 39, who works with DC Birth Doulas and teaches childbirth and baby care classes at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. “And it doesn’t matter the type of birth that they’re going to have.”

The doulas consulted for this story said services start at about $1,500 in the D.C. region. Because doula care is so pricey and is rarely covered by insurance— though costs can be reimbursed through a pretax Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account—access has mostly been limited to upper-income white individuals.

This is something advocates for doula care are trying to change. A few insurers provide coverage, and one state, Rhode Island, requires them to, according to Amy Chen, senior attorney with the National Health Law Program, which seeks access to health care for low-income and underserved communities. Meanwhile, Chen says, Medicaid programs in nine states (including Maryland and Virginia) and D.C. offer reimbursement (though doulas say it is far lower than the going rate).

It’s unclear how many pregnant individuals avail themselves of the support. The latest national data is from 2012, when 6% of 2,400 women polled by Childbirth Connection said they had used a doula. Joyce Dykema, a spokeswoman for DONA International, the oldest doula certifying organization, says that, anecdotally, the numbers are growing “mostly from increased awareness of the benefits.” Kim James, a doula and birth and parenting educator in Washington state who owns the fee-forservice, agrees, saying searches for doula care have increased steadily since her company was established in 2008.

There are no official databases of doulas in the U.S. James says there are 5,000 active doulas in her database, and she estimates the number of doulas nationally at 12,000. There also are no

formal licensing requirements to become a doula; instead, doulas are voluntarily certified through independent organizations— of which there are now about 100, according to the National Health Law Program. These organizations typically require taking a childbirth education class, completing a two- or three-day doula workshop and attending several births. The cost to become certified ranges from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

While the certification process is unregulated, one aspect of doula care that seems clear-cut is the benefit to parent and child. A 2017 review by the Cochrane research organization of 26 medical trials concluded that doulas reduce C-section rates and the need for epidural anesthesia, while improving the birthing experience and newborns’ vital signs. A 2022 analysis from the University of Maryland found that doulas increased the odds of respectful care, meaning there was good communication and the person giving birth felt supported and heard.

A 2016 study involving Medicaid recipients found that women who were supported by doulas throughout their pregnancies had lower C-section and preterm birth rates. A 2013 study of socially disadvantaged mothers found that those with doulas had higher rates of initiating breastfeeding, while their babies had higher birth weights.

The benefits are especially important for African American women. The maternal mortality rate of Black women in the U.S. is 3.3 times that of white women, and income makes no difference: A 2022 study of California mothers published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the wealthiest Black mothers and their babies had “markedly worse” outcomes than the poorest white families. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a doula pilot program aimed at Black women in marginalized areas in California is showing that the women served have more full-term births, fewer C-sections and lower rates of postpartum depression than the state and national averages.

Local doulas say many Black women in Montgomery County are aware of the statistics and arrange for doula care. Silver Spring’s


Is your obstetrician, midwife or hospital open to doulas?

One indication is if the hospital has a midwifery program. Midwives tend to be more welcoming of doulas.

Where has the doula been certified? There are so many programs that it can be difficultto judge the quality. Check if your state accepts that certification or its Medicaid or community doula programs.

How many births has the doula attended? This is a more reliable indicator of experience than years.

Does the doula’s birth philosophy match yours? You don’t want someone to be pushing a natural birth on you if you are open to an epidural.

Are you comfortable with them? The doula will see you in your most raw and vulnerable state.

123 45
Floydholdsdaughter,Georgina.Sukinikprovided doulacareandtookthephoto.

Giny Acea, 33, who has been a doula for 10 years and whose heritage is Cuban, says the client base has become more diverse in the past five years, and that Spanish-speaking and Black women sometimes seek her out. “They just want someone that they can connect with,” says Acea, who is studying to be a midwife and was inspired to become involved in pregnancy care when she delivered a baby on the side of the road in Cuba at age 17.

Jade Floyd, 41, of Silver Spring says that once she was aware of the dangers to Black mothers such as herself, “I did everything in my power and with the resources I had to change that.”

When she became pregnant in 2019, among the steps taken by Floyd, a senior vice president for the public affairs firm Global Strategy Group, was hiring Sukinik to be her doula.

That delivery, in April 2020, was in the early days of the pandemic, a time when doulas were barred from most delivery rooms because they weren’t considered essential workers. Sukinik coached Floyd and her husband via laptop during a challenging labor as the baby’s heart rate dropped. She then talked them through the difficult decision to have a C-section, and, postdelivery, found Floyd an acupuncturist and a lactation consultant.

“I’m really just thankful for having her as part of my care

team,” Floyd says.

Floyd hired Sukinik again before she delivered a second baby, via planned C-section, in February 2022. Sukinik, along with Floyd’s OB-GYN father-in-law, insisted that Floyd take her high blood pressure readings afterward seriously, an intervention that Floyd believes saved her life and demonstrates how important post-delivery doula care can be.

Besides age and race, the reasons women seek the extra support include preexisting health conditions, family history, anxiety, not having a partner, having a nervous partner, wanting backup for the partner, having a previous miscarriage or traumatic birth experience, wanting to avoid a C-section, and wanting an unmedicated birth, doulas say.

But the element of doula practice that doulas mention over and over is the constant and continuous care. “I think the biggest surprise that first-time parents have is how much time they are just by themselves in the hospital room with nobody around,” says Corbett, who has been a doula for 10 years.

Giving birth, McBee says, can be “the most beautiful and the most terrifying day of your life. And it’s nice to have someone there to…hold your hand through the scary moments.”


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©2023 TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, licensed real estate broker. Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Equal housing opportunity. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Price and availability subject to change. TTRSIR.COM | BROKERAGES: BETHESDA ROW — 4809 BETHESDA AVENUE, BETHESDA, MD — +1 301 516 1212 CHEVY CHASE, DC • THE KENTLANDS, MD • ANNAPOLIS, MD • EASTON, MD • GEORGETOWN, DC • DOWNTOWN, DC • McLEAN, VA • ALEXANDRIA, VA • ARLINGTON, VA • THE PLAINS, VA PALISADES $5,995,000 5811 Potomac Avenue NW, Washington, DC Mark C. Lowham +1 703 966 6949 ALBERO DEL SEGNALE $11,500,000 13320 Signal Tree Lane, Potomac, MD Peg Mancuso +1 301 996 5953 ST MARGARET ISLAND $3,750,000 37201 Gibson Road, Bushwood, MD David DeSantis +1 202 438 1542 EASTER HILL $19,900,000 1175 Crest Lane, McLean, VA Mark C. Lowham
Kimpton’sTheForumHotelat theUniversityofVirginia;below arethediningroom(left)anda guestroom(right)

College Class

Opened in April on the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville campus (nestled between UVA’s law and business schools), Kimpton’s The Forum Hotel is a study in both stately brick Jeffersonian-era architecture and a new build’s state-of-the-art design. Unlike in-town boutique hotels, The Forum’s parklike setting includes a serene 5-acre botanical garden complete with an amphitheater, waterfall, bridges, walking paths and contemplative nooks tucked amid native and global-themed gardens.

Inside, the contemporary decor includes plenty of cozy seating areas in the lobby and throughout the hotel. The navy-bluewalled library room, “The Case Study,” has cognac-colored leather sofas, a long table on which to work, built-ins and an array of intriguing books, including Annie Leibovitz’s Wonderland.

The hotel’s 198 guest rooms and 10 suites feature comfortable beds and a chair (or sofa), minibar with gourmet local treats, yoga mat, and an LED smart TV. And if you neglected to pack something, a “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” list includes everything

from a cellphone charger to a curling or straightening iron, lint rollers and more.

Complimentary coffee and tea are served each morning in the lobby living room (or enjoy your cup from a plump-cushioned chair on the adjacent balconies overlooking the gardens). Don’t miss social hour, held each evening, for a glass of wine or beer and a savory snack (complimentary). Restaurants include the hotel craft beer bar The Good Sport, for brews and a delicious smashburger; and Birch & Bloom, a steak and seafood restaurant, which offers seasonal menus that draw from Virginia’s orchards, vineyards and farms.

While dogs are tolerated at many hotels, The Forum allout welcomes them with plentiful outdoor seating at the restaurants, an in-room dog bed, food and water bowls, and dog treats—for no added fee. Order a “barkuterie” board at Pups on the Patio night (Mondays). Rates begin at $289 per night and include the complimentary use of bikes, binoculars and bird-watching materials.

Kimpton’s The Forum Hotel, 540 Massie Road, Charlottesville, Virginia; 434-365-2600; TOP AND BOTTOM LEFT PHOTOS BY MELODY ROBBINS; BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO BY CRIS MOLINA FOR KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS TheGoodSportbar

Art Pairings

Visit Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for wine pairings of another kind. Launched in October 2022 in collaboration with the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County, the Bucks County Wine & Art Trail features outdoor-friendly art prints, from colorful botanicals to evocative landscape paintings created plein-air style among the vines.

Sip—and savor the art—at seven vineyards and wineries. Just a few of the trail’s highlights: Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery (, home to a popular Dark Bishop cabernet sauvignon and, often, live music and food trucks; Wycombe Vineyards (, a place to glamp among the vines with a private picnic; and Crossing Vineyards and Winery (, which hosts live music on Sept. 1, 8 and 15.

Get the free mobile “passport” at for detailed vineyard information and addresses, plus an opportunity to win one of the outdoor art reproductions. Check in digitally at three or more wineries or vineyards and receive a set of fine art note cards (gratis), featuring works created along the trail.

Bucks County Wine & Art Trail, 215-639-0300,

Toptobottom:SandCastleWinery; pleinairpaintingatTileWorks; BuckinghamValleyVineyards


Pastoral Pleasures

Set on 35 acres of lush landscaping, meadows and woodsy paths full of autumn color, the historic Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has an array of new offerings. David and Hilari Rinehart acquired the Chestertown property in August 2020, retained many on the talented staff (beloved by former guests), and got to work elevating the inn’s outdoor spaces to include an expansive pergola-covered deck, a lovely terrace overlooking the grounds for alfresco dining, and a beautifully landscaped circular patio with a

large firepit surrounded by Adirondack rockers. A shore-to-table feast prepared over a cauldron by acclaimed Eastern Shore chef Kurt Peter is one of the new immersive experience offerings (check Brampton’s website for details and dates).

Relax indoors in the manor house’s book- and game-filled living room, or in one of the seven spacious rooms and suites. Six private cottages (two are petfriendly) dot the property. At edge-of-thewoods Mulberry Cottage, you can nap in a hammock for two, take a soak in the tub on the screened-in porch, and read on the front porch swing (or in the king-size bed with a view of the fireplace). Each guest accommodation includes luxury linens, custom bath products and cozy robes— some have a jetted or soaking tub, and/or a gas (or wood-burning) fireplace, available for use Nov. 15 through March 31. Savor

treats galore, from fresh-baked cookies and pastries to full breakfast offerings that range from croissant French toast to frittatas with homegrown asparagus, plus afternoon small bites with tea (all included). Better still, you can enjoy a new setting each time, whether it’s in the twosided glass dining room, on the peaceful front porch, or delivered to your cottage.

The inn is a 2-mile drive to Chestertown, an artistic haven that’s home to many galleries, restaurants, shops and art exhibits at Kent Cultural Alliance’s new Raimond Cultural Center (kentculture .org), and a collection of 20-plus public art sculptures scattered throughout town. Brampton rates begin at $229 per night.

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn, 25227 Chestertown Road, Chestertown, Maryland; 410-778-1860;

Clockwisefromleft:BramptonGardens walkingpath;MulberryCottage’s bath;BramptonInn’sterraceatnight; homegrowngoods


RappahannockCounty,inthefoothillsof theBlueRidgeMountainsinVirginia,is abouta90-minutedrive(butaworldaway) fromtheBethesdaarea.




I COULD HEAR MY STOMACH RUMBLING, but I was distracted from my hunger by the views. As I was cruising down US 211 on a sunny spring morning, Rappahannock County unfolded on either side in widescreen beauty rich with verdant forests in fine fettle, fields dotted with golden hay bales, and the Blue Ridge Mountains looming in the background and rendered in deepening shades of bluish gray.

My destination was the Mint Cottage, a pastel peppermint Airbnb perched on the edge of Little Washington, Virginia. Recently renovated and artfully decorated with a neoNordic sensibility, the chic country getaway was my home base for the next few days. The spacious one-time church featured everything I could want, including comfy lounge and dining areas in the same main room as the large, well-equipped kitchen. In the back, there was a nicely appointed bedroom with a walk-in closet, a couple’s bathroom with side-by-side sinks and a soaking bathtub, and a back porch.

If I wanted to cook a meal, there were plenty of places nearby to grab fresh ingredients, including ecologically grown produce from Sperryville’s Waterpenny Farm and superb apples at Williams Orchard in Flint Hill. Every Saturday from spring well into fall, the Rappahannock Farmers Market in Sperryville offers the chance to buy Bean Hollow Grassfed’s meats, almost-too-beautiful-toeat breads from Jackalope Ridge, chef-level ’shrooms by Madison Mushrooms and more.

But on this trip I eschewed the kitchen in favor of exploring the Rappahannock’s vibrant restaurant scene. Not long after I


arrived, I addressed my hunger pangs by meeting dear friends at Patty O’s for dinner. A two-minute walk from the cottage, the French- and Americanainspired cafe/bakery from chef Patrick O’Connell is located kitty-corner to The Inn at Little Washington, his celebrated Michelin 3-star restaurant. We began with a squat jam jar of pimento cheese with crackly, caraway seed-studded flatbread that snapped into shards perfect for scooping the iconic Southern dip. For an entree, I treated myself to the half-pound burger topped with a coverlet of gooey

the ridgeline, we found an Instagram-ready overlook where we enjoyed a picnic before beginning a leisurely stroll back down to the trailhead.

That evening I dined at Houndstooth, a romantic one-seating-a-night tasting menu restaurant tucked away inside Glen Gordon Manor in Huntly. Chef Dayn Smith unveiled the five-course meal with toothsome asparagus paired with grapefruit segments and vanilla gelée before moving on to toasted coconut and crème fraîche gingery carrot soup, which was well sopped up with slivers of fresh-baked, butter-slathered

Comté cheese and crispy onions. Between it and the well-executed side of frites, I was beyond satisfied. No dessert required.

The next day, after grabbing an empowering oat milk latte at Before & After cafe in Sperryville, I rendezvoused with a friend for a hike in Shenandoah National Park to burn off the previous night’s indulgences. We chose the challenging Little Devil Stairs trail, which wends its way up the mountains for nearly 1,500 feet along a gurgling stream, past charming waterfalls and over rocky tumbles. Upon achieving

sourdough. For the main, a braised short rib paired with pink-centered tenderloin came with a port shallot sauce that required another round of bread—not that I was complaining. Had I been interested in wine, the restaurant offered an impressive list, 500 varietals strong and stored in its 4,000-bottle wine cellar, which you can tour upon request after your meal.

As I headed back to the car, fireflies blinked over the lawn under the velveteen blue-black sky. Driving back to the cottage along narrow roads dipping and ducking through thick forests and past sprawling

PHOTO BY RONDA GREGORIO TheMintCottage,apastelpeppermint-huedAirbnbontheoutskirtsofLittleWashington,Virginia,makesagreathomebaseduringyourtravels.

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Fresh pop fusion meets old-world flamenco


Thu, Oct 19

Electrified quartet led by jazz piano virtuoso


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fields and pastures, I encountered several deer, their eyes gleaming ghostlike in the darkness. Arriving at the cottage, I took a moment to marvel at the stars glittering above, looking brighter out here than they are when forced to compete with harsh city light.

A few nights later, for a change of scenery, I moved over to Blue Rock, a boutique inn situated in nearby Sperryville. Nestled into 80 pristinely maintained acres, it features a picturesque pond and a vineyard on rolling slopes. There are two dining options: In the more casual tasting room, the staff dishes up share-friendly small bites and a few entrees, including exceptional fried chicken. In the intimate, modern country-minded dining room next door, chef Bin

Lu (an alum of Pineapple & Pearls in D.C.) oversees a four-course tasting menu that revels in showcasing whatever is fresh at local farms, indulgent ingredients, and surprising flavor combinations.

Case in point was a bowl of saffron-accented rice pilaf bejeweled with trout roe that hid sugar snap peas and the gentle zing of preserved lemonlike etrog fruit. Another standout: Parmesan broth punctuated by fiddlehead ferns and agnolotti plump with grits that have been nixtamalized, or cooked and steeped in an alkaline solution to render them softer and tastier. Caviar with hoecakes to mound it on was offered as a supplemental; I couldn’t say no.

There are five rooms upstairs at the inn—plus a chic farmhouse on the property that can sleep 10 guests. The next morning, I brought breakfast onto the small rooftop terrace so I could savor the gorgeous views and splendid weather. A muffin, fruit salad, yogurt,and granola are all included—as well as coffee or tea—but the pro move is to order the cold fried chicken as an addendum. It comes with vinegar-forward hot sauce hiding a slow burn that helped kick-start the day.

After checking out from Blue Rock, on the way out of town, I made a stop at the Sperryville Corner Store, a wonderfully bougie market stocked with everything a gourmand might want. There is an excellent meat counter, cut-above pantry staples, local produce, grazing board goodies, blue-ribbon snacks, strong selections of beer and wine, well-constructed sandwiches, and housemade baked goods, including must-buy oaty Park Ranger cookies punctuated with shredded coconut and chocolate chips.

Turning the car out of Sperryville and back onto the scenic stretch of US 211 heading eastward, I tucked into a mustard-slathered ham and cheese sandwich, a Park Ranger cookie waiting in the wings. This would power me for the ride home, while allowing me to enjoy some Rappahannock bliss for just a little longer.

Top:AspreadoffoodatBlueRockhotelinSperryville,Virginia.Below:Thehulking cheeseburgeratPattyO’s,anoffshootofthefamousInnatLittleWashington.


Sperryville is 75 miles southwest of Bethesda and accessible only by car.

Mint Cottage On the outskirts of Little Washington, the recently renovated, utterly charming neo-Nordic cottage offers an elegant retreat with an extensively outfited kitchen, lots of room for lounging and entertaining, and beautiful countryside views.

Blue Rock Pineapple & Pearls alum Bin Lu oversees an engaging tasting menu experience punctuated with head-turning presentations, electric flaor combinations and luxe addendums.

Patty O’s The Inn at Little Washington’s little sister is both a twee cafe serving up classy casual French and Americana favorites and a blue-ribbon bakery specializing in boules, baguettes, flaky coissants and dainty pastries.

Houndstooth Hunt Country modernism meets Old World technique at this one-seating-a-night, fie-course tasting menu restaurant under the watchful eye of chef Dayn Smith, whose artful plates showcase the season and region.

Before & After The cozy, always-buzzing coffee shop is the de facto heart of Sperryville, a beloved gathering spot serving up strong coffee, excellent pastries and hearty sandwiches.

Sperryville Corner Store The boutique market offers casual grab ’n’ go fare, gourmet grazing board accoutrements, pantry staples, a formidable butcher’s counter and a well-curated selection of beer and wine.

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The Potomac name brings to mind a few things. Television’s “Real Housewives,” for one. Perhaps horse country, for those who’ve lived here awhile. There are also the opulent mansions populated by the likes of Wonder Woman (actress Lynda Carter has lived in Potomac for decades). But whatever you associate this area with, count on one thing: The topography is beautiful. Potomac straddles the banks of the river it’s named after, and the origin of that name is derived from the Algonquin word Patowmack, referring to the region as a “great trading center” by the tribal nations who hunted its shoreline. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was built along the Potomac River to transport goods from Cumberland to Georgetown. Potomac’s natural wonders include a lengthy stretch of the C&O Canal Towpath and the wildflower meadows of the Glenstone museum. The community also caters to the sporting life, with equestrian farms and three golf courses. Potomac has been home to a king (Hussein of Jordan), champion boxers, the Marriotts and the Kennedys. You’ll see that the community’s trading heritage remains alive and well today in Potomac Village, with an array of dining options and retailers.


C&O Canal Trust Park

After Dark is an annual fundraiser to support the C&O Canal Historical Park. Located at historic Great Falls Tavern, the celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 17 includes live music, food vendors and s’mores around the campfie.

The annual Potomac Day at Potomac Village, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 21, kicks off with a parade featuring local equestrians and a float contest. Afterward, the children’s fair opens with rides, games and food vendors.

BROWSE Some longtime residents describe Strosniders Hardware as magical. That’s because the family-owned shop has been a staple in Potomac for 30 years (the original location in Bethesda opened in 1953). Hardware is only a portion of what’s crammed onto the shelves of this retro shop, which stocks goods ranging from gardening tools to designer paint, and seasonal decor to pet toys. 10110 River Road;

DINE Lock 72 Kitchen & Bar in Potomac Village pays homage to the historic lockhouses just a few miles away. Owner and chef Robert Wiedmaier (who operates Marcel’s in D.C.) established this cozy dining room and clubby bar to serve up a midAtlantic-inspired menu. Wiedmaier, who grew up in Belgium, does mussels and frites with equal verve as crabcakes and steak. 10128 River Road;

CARRY When the last thing you want to do is think about making dinner, turn to the glass cases at The Market at River Falls. They sell a wide array of droolworthy housemade dishes, but are especially known for their chicken noodle soup, beef kebabs

This leafy community caters to hikers, golfers, art lovers—and, yes, drink-throwing housewives
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and creamy mac and cheese. Offerings are rotated seasonally; in the fall, find root vegetables prepared every which way. 10124 River Road;

FEAST The hot, savory pies at Potomac Pizza have been a neighborhood staple since 1978. And just because it’s old school doesn’t mean the restaurant hasn’t kept pace with more adventurous toppings. Sure, you can order pepperoni, but don’t miss the broccoli or spinach ricotta, and the gluten-free crust receives raves. 9812 Falls Road;

DISCOVER It may seem unlikely that a world-class art museum is nestled into the forests and hills of Potomac, but Glenstone is all that and more. Whether you’re into exhibits by the likes of Ellsworth Kelly or Faith Ringgold, or looking for a romantic stroll among installations by Andy Goldsworthy and Jeff Koons on the bucolic grounds, Glenstone is a must-see. 12100 Glen Road;

MARVEL The Indigenous people of the region were the first to walk trails that made hiking in Potomac a modern phenomenon. Begin your trek at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center and head to Olmsted Island to behold the extraordinary power of water as it crests over boulders in the Potomac River. Boardwalks over the rapids lead to the mightiest of these cascades, Great Falls, with a spectacular 76-foot drop over less than a mile. The sound of the water crashing over the jagged rocks resembles a freight train. 11710 MacArthur Blvd.;

COMMUNE The babbling fountains and rustic stone walls of Old Angler’s Inn provide ambience for what has been a Potomac institution since 1860. While it’s currently only a restaurant, the historic inn predates the Civil War. Today, people walk up from the towpath to grab a post-hike meal, meet for brews in the beer garden, and settle at indoor tables beside a crackling fireplace. While Old Angler’s spent decades serving classic Continental fare, the menu has modernized with the likes of beef harvest bowls and shredded Brussels sprouts salad. 10801 MacArthur Blvd.;

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Scene Stealers

Eight years after meeting in a high school theater production, this couple brought down the house with a wedding featuring a gospel choir, dessert shooters and a fireworks finale


THE COUPLE: Abby Mullally (maiden name Wallisch), 27, grew up in Bethesda and graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington. She works as a strategic communications consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Jack Mullally, 27, grew up in Chevy Chase and graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. He is the director of finance at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in Florida. Until moving to Florida this summer, the couple lived in Arlington, Virginia, with their dog, Geer, and their cat, Grasshopper.

HOW THEY MET: Abby and Jack met during their senior year of high school in 2014, when they were cast in supporting roles in a Gonzaga Dramatic Association production of Fiddler on the Roof. “Abby was kind of the cool new kid on the block,” recalls Jack, and an offstage romance soon blossomed. “I was just drawn by how genuine Jack was,” says Abby. Just before opening night, he asked her to prom in front of the whole cast. She accepted and later asked him to her prom. They started dating and remained in a long-distance relationship through college, when Abby went off to the University of Maryland and Jack went to Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

THE PROPOSAL: Jack proposed on May 27, 2021, deciding to pop the question at a nighttime spot the pair had visited after Abby’s prom, years prior: the Lincoln Memorial. After dinner at Seven Reasons in Washington, D.C., the couple headed to the landmark. “It took me a little bit to finally muster up the courage, but we had a photographer waiting there, so I couldn’t back out,” Jack recalls with a laugh, and he eventually got down on one knee. “We can’t really remember what we said—thank God, because I was probably blubbering like an idiot.”

THE CEREMONY: Jack and Abby said “I do” on June 25, 2022, at the St. Bridget of Ireland Catholic Church in Berryville, Virginia, with about 135 guests present. “There was just not an ounce of nervousness” walking down the aisle, the bride recalls. “I was just like, Everything’s right.”

THE RECEPTION: The reception took place at the sprawling Historic Rosemont Manor, just a mile from the church. Close friends and family stayed at the on-site bed and breakfast— one of the main draws of the venue for the couple. “It really felt like we could keep everyone there together and just continue the celebration throughout the full weekend,” says Abby. Cocktail hour was held on the portico outside the property’s main house, with dinner and dancing inside the nearby carriage house. Outside, lawn games including badminton and cornhole were set up, as well as a fire pit where guests could gather and tell stories well into the evening.


FOOD AND DRINK: The celebration’s summery menu began with a first course of mesclun greens mixed with strawberries, toasted pecans, feta and balsamic vinaigrette, plus focaccia bread. The main course, served buffet-style, was chicken medallions with a lemon, garlic and herb pesto and flank steak. One of Abby’s best friends whipped up the cake—a three-tier vanilla confection with lemon filling, buttercream frosting and a border of sliced strawberries—and there were also “dessert shooters” of treats such as key lime pie and strawberry shortcake. The specialty cocktails—bourbon and tequila concoctions—were named after the newlyweds’ pets, and the signature beers, fittingly, were two lagers from Jack’s Abby brewery in Massachusetts.

THE DRESS: Upon visiting iCON Bridal & Formal on Rockville Pike, Abby fell in love with a strapless Morilee gown with a beaded bodice and a mermaid skirt. “I just loved the detail,” she says. She paired it with an aquamarine necklace that Jack had given her in high school and a bejeweled pair of heels.

THE MUSIC: Knowing how long Catholic ceremonies can be, the couple wanted to find a way to spice things up—so they called on a gospel choir to lend their pipes to the service. “We really wanted it to be as joyous and happy as possible,” says Abby. For the reception, a DJ spun what the groom calls the “Fourth of July, swim meet and bar mitzvah playlist” the pair envisioned, with “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver proving a fan favorite. “If you were to ask me that day what I was most nervous for, it had to be our dance,” recalls the groom, but the newlyweds succeeded in pulling off the choreography for their first dance, to “When I’m With You” by Ben Rector.

THE ATMOSPHERE: For the big day, the pair aimed for a “summer fun” vibe, “like how you would imagine a pool party summer,” the bride says. Sunglasses affixed with tags served as escort cards, and inside the reception area, string lights and paper lanterns hung overhead. Bouquets of pink garden roses, blue delphiniums and yellow cottage yarrow provided pops of color, with vibrant charger plates to match. The biggest surprise of the day? An overhead fireworks display, courtesy of Abby’s parents. “It was all surreal,” Jack says.

HONEYMOON: Right after they tied the knot, the newlyweds left for a two-week tour through Italy, taking in the Colosseum and the Forum in Rome, cooking classes in Tuscany and the seaside town of Amalfi.

VENDORS: Cake, Baked By G; catering, Celebrations Catering; ceremony, St. Bridget of Ireland Catholic Church; desserts, Simply Desserts; DJ, DJ Terry Bulles of JJ&T Entertainment; dresses, iCON Bridal & Formal and Hello Molly; flowers, Sponseller’s Flower Shop; gospel choir, Nova Y. Payton and the St. Martin’s Catholic Church Gospel Choir; guestbook, Artifact Uprising; hair and makeup, Amina Evans of Bella Jameil Beauty; hotel, Springhill Suites Winchester; invitations, Truly Engaging; photographer, Becca B Photography; planner, Michael Haymaker; rings, Fred H. Straub Jewelers; transportation, Bayside Limousines; tuxedos, The Black Tux; venue, Historic Rosemont Manor.

Say Yes! A stylish wedding begins with us. For more information, please call our Events Team at (301) 657-6420 or reach us via email at One Bethesda Metro Center Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 657-1234

A Peaceful Passing

When a pet is dying, at-home euthanasia can be comforting for animals and humans alike

For about a year, Mike Morrison and Tere Cuesta managed the kidney disease of their cocker spaniel Lexie. To entice her to eat, the Gaithersburg couple gave the dog fresh rotisserie chicken and took her to McDonald’s drive-thru for Chicken McNuggets. But early on Easter morning this April, Lexie started having seizures.

Morrison and Cuesta called Lap of Love, a national network of veterinarians who provide in-home hospice and euthanasia. At 1 p.m., Dr. Karen Meyers arrived.

“She talked the whole thing over with us—our feelings, how it all works,” Morrison says. In a corner of their backyard garden, the couple put Lexie on their laps. They had bought her 12 years earlier as a black-and-white puppy with her brother, Luke, who sat under Cuesta’s chair.

“I appreciated that she let us take our time,” Cuesta says of Meyers, who discreetly turned away for a moment after Lexie was given the first shot of sedation to relax to give them space before the next step. As the second injection was about to be given, Luke growled. Soon after, the vet checked Lexie’s heartbeat and said: “Well, she’s got her wings now,” Cuesta recalls. “The doctor was so gentle and careful all the time. She wrapped [Lexie] in a blanket like a newborn baby and even left a space open for us to have a last look.”

Knowing when to put an animal down can be hard, says Meyers, who walks owners through the decision and also provides hospice consultation. Those who opt for at-home animal euthanasia say they like the privacy and convenience, plus everyone can be present—including other pets. Other benefits: “You don’t have other clients in the waiting room,” Meyers says. “The family is with the pet through the entire process—as much as they want to be.”

Slightly more expensive than going to an animal hospital because of the time involved, at-home euthanasia can cost from $450 to $800, according to local vets. Beyond dogs and cats, endof-life house calls are available for other pets, such as chickens, exotic birds, reptiles and small mammals.

At home, families sometimes play soft music, burn candles or

have a favorite toy nearby to calm the animal. Although it’s sad and there are often lots of tears, Meyers says many owners tell her they feel relieved and are grateful when it’s over.

“It was the most beautiful ceremony,” Janet Taylor recalls. Taylor said goodbye to her 16-year-old wheaten terrier Koko on the couch of her Northwest Washington, D.C., home. She received a clay paw print and a lock of Koko’s fur from the vet, whom Taylor describes as an angel. Koko was taken away in a basket. “At home, we were in very familiar surroundings,” Taylor says. “It was just much nicer.”

Dr. Katherine DeAnna is a veterinarian and co-owner with her sister—Helen McCreight, practice manager and veterinary nurse—of Two Sisters Veterinary Care, a mobile practice based in Kensington. Two Sisters provides a range of care, including in-home euthanasia, which eliminates the stress of transporting older sick pets.

“Many times, mobility is a challenge for these patients, and it can be painful just to get up and walk or just to be carried to the car,” DeAnna says.

Renee Luker says her dog, Chance, a rescue mixed breed, never liked going to the vet, so she was glad to remain at their Takoma Park home at the end.

In early May, when Chance could no longer walk and stopped eating, Luker made an appointment with Lap of Love to come the next day. Luker’s adult daughters came home and joined her and her husband in saying goodbye to Chance as he lay on the cool grass under a shade tree in their fenced front yard.

“This was something I had been dreading ever since I knew he was sick,” says Luker, who described the process as peaceful. “I walked away from the experience in a much better place.”

By Sponsored By Taste of Bethesda 2023 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 • 11AM TO 4PM The Taste of Bethesda food and music festival takes place in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle along Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell and Del Ray Avenues. The festival site is three blocks from the Bethesda Metro.


TaKorean brings fusion flair o the Kentlands


Tacos…Korean. Tacos… Korean. Can’t decide between the two? TaKorean is here for you. The fusion restaurant, which offers Korean tacos and bowls, opened in the Kentlands in May.

This is TaKorean’s fist Maryland location and third in the DMV. It all started as a food truck in Washington, D.C., in 2010. Mike Lenard, the D.C. native who’s the founder and owner, says the business was inspired by the fast-growing popularity of Korean cuisine and his desire to offer something beyond the norm.

TaKorean offers tacos and bowls with various protein options, add-ons, slaw and toppings in quick-service style. The basics include chicken, steak, pork, tofu and pan-roasted

Only in Olney: Salt & Vine

The storied Olney House has gotten a face-lift, Italian-style, in the form of Salt & Vine. The eatery, which opened in May, isn’t only serving up plates of penne alla vodka and margherita pizza, but offering a more upscale dining experience to the Olney community.

Pinch of Wisdom

“When you’re rolling fresh rice paper rolls, people often will soak their paper in water to make sure it’s soft before they start rolling. Don’t. Just dunk [the rice paper] really quick, take it out and put it on a plate; by the time you fill the pape, it’ll be ready for rolling. If you try to soak it, it’ll be way too soft and will tear.”

veggies, all of which can be embellished with add-ons such as “piko” de gallo or “guakamole.” When in doubt, give the owner’s favorite a try: bulgogi steak on a bed of white rice and kale slaw, finished with a poached egg

261 Kentlands Blvd., Gaithersburg,


It was the history of the building, which dates to 1800, that caught the eye of restaurateur Thomas Zippelli, a Howard County native who has worked at Michelin 3-star establishments such as The French Laundry in California and Eleven Madison Park in New York City. Zippelli bought the Olney House in 2019 and has been revamping it ever since, expanding the existing building while restoring the original porch (and adding a few new patios). The restaurant now boasts additional dining space, a new bar and a new kitchen. The building was previously home to Ricciuti’s Restaurant, which lives on in its closely guarded wood-fired pizza recipe. It was a family secret but has been passed down to the new owners of Salt & Vine. The fine dining experience includes charcuterie, housemade pasta, seafood, steaks, oysters and wine.

3308 Olney Sandy Spring Road, Olney,


Astro Lab Brewing, at 8216 Georgia Ave., closed in May after five years of serving up brews in Silver Spring. Now pouring: Third Hill Brewing, which opened in Astro Lab’s place in June …Mark’s Kitchen, at 7006 Carroll Ave., ended its 32-year streak of service to the Takoma Park community in June. … Salt Line has dropped anchor at Bethesda Row, where it opened at 4900 Hampden Lane in July … MotorKat opened at 6939 Laurel Ave. in Takoma Park in May.


Balkan Bonanza

Chasing down a hot tip, I went to MezeHub to check out the burek—flaky, spiral-shaped Balkan pastries stuffed with savory fillings. I got much more than I bargained for.

Baker Nena Djokic makes the burek from scratch in an open kitchen in the middle of this market and cafe specializing in (mostly) Balkan products that opened in Rockville’s Randolph Hills Shopping Center a year ago. After buying one of each burek ($7.99) available that day—beef; mashed potato; cheese; spinach and mushroom—I can attest to their excellence. The dough is extra thin, airy and delicate, the exterior crispy, even after reheating at home. (The meat-filled one didn’t make it out of the parking lot.)

But that’s just the beginning. The market is filled with treasures imported from all over the Balkan region, plus some from Europe. Look for more than 50 kinds of ajvar (pronounced eye-bar, a Serbian roasted red pepper and eggplant spread); somun (flatbread); dairy products such as kefir, labneh, feta cheese and kajmak, a luscious product that is the intersection of fresh cream, cream cheese and butter; chocolates; cevapi (sausage) and salamis from various regions; jellies and jams; wafers; canned fish (sardines, tuna, etc.); baklava; beans, rices, pastas and bulgur grains; and fruit juices. A special section is devoted to products

(including cookies, chocolate and jams) from womenowned businesses supported by a pilot program of the U.S. Agency for International Development. MezeHub also has a superlative selection of wines from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Georgia, Montenegro and Romania, most ranging from $15 to $30.

There’s more. Co-owners Doug Wheeler and Edin Saracevic, who started their importing and distribution business in 2019 (the warehouse is a block away from the market), just opened a cafe and bar in the 5,000-square-foot space, which seats 26 inside and 16 outside. There, with the help of a Marra Forni pizza oven, Israeli-born chef Sagi Levinsky makes pide (boatshaped Turkish pizzas), Turkish flatbread wraps called lahmacuns (pronounced lama-joon), and other Balkan eats, among them burek, burgers (made from Bosnian beef), cevapi sandwiches, meze platters and baklava. Most items are $13.99 to $16.99. Don’t miss the pide with artichokes, pesto, mozzarella and arugula and the “classic” lahmacun filled with spicy beef spread, sumac onion salad, red peppers, tomatoes and parsley.

Co-ownerEdinSaracevicbehindtheregisteratMezeHubinRockville MezeHub, 11508 Schuylkill Road, Rockville; 301-246-0517;
—David Hagedorn

Barbecue, Chinese-Style

As I enter Nosh Grill House, a Chinese barbecue restaurant that opened in Rockville Town Center in May, a Hello Kitty robot carrying trays of sliced meats and vegetables whizzes by me on its way to a table where diners, with the help of a server, will cook them on a gaspowered grill in the center of their table. Availing myself of the basic allyou-can-eat option ($29.95), I’m soon gorging on grilled pork belly, shrimp and spicy cumin chicken and making lettuce wraps with beef bulgogi and a condiment made from garlic chive flowers and jalapeños.

Gaithersburg resident Rebecca Wuren, 23, is the owner. The Bullis

School graduate earned a degree in business administration from D.C.’s George Washington University in 2021 and decided she wanted to go into the restaurant business. She grew up in that world; her parents, Hoong “Nancy” Ren and Zhang Wei, opened East Dumpling House, the restaurant next door to Nosh, in 2013. It specializes in hand-pulled noodles and dumplings.

Wuren and her parents thought the Nosh concept was a good way to introduce diners to barbecue from the family’s native Northern China, where it is popular. She explains that it is similar to the Korean version with which many Americans

Above:Brisketbeforecooking.Below:Porkbellyintheprocessof cookingonthegrill.Thevarietyofsides,spicesanddippingsauces includesvegetablesgrownattheowner’sparents’houseinPotomac.

have become familiar, but with more emphasis on Chinese spices and flavors and less reliance on meat marinades. A lot of the produce used at the restaurant (zucchini, yellow squash, garlic chives, watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, Chinese green beans, peppers) comes from the 6,000-square-foot garden Ren tends at her Potomac home.

Nosh seats 90 at tables outfitted with grills and hood systems. The decor, which includes a karaoke bar (feel free to sing at any time!), is clubby: black walls, exposed ductwork, lots of mirrored disco balls and neon and a spectacular mosaic wall sculpture of a dragon made from multicolored stained glass. The menu includes a few appetizers, such as Chinese sausage and spicy cucumber salad. The basic all-you-can-eat option offers 28 choices (seven beef, five pork, four chicken, two seafood and 10 vegetarian) and comes with a variety of small cold

salads (edamame, pickled daikon, Ren’s homemade kimchi, peanut-and-wasabipea snack mix and shredded scallions) and several dry spice mixes and sauces, including a sesame peanut garlic sauce that is a Northern Chinese specialty. Stainless steel compartments around the grill hold vegetables (sliced yellow squash, zucchini and mushrooms) and corn with gooey melted cheese. Another all-you-can-eat option ($36.95) includes all the basic items plus several premium proteins, such as beef ribeye and tiger prawns, but you can also order grill items a la carte. Nosh offers a full bar with cocktails, boba drinks, sake, soju, beer, wine and Chinese sodas.

Nosh Grill House, 12 N. Washington St., Rockville; 301-296-6228;

OwnerRebeccaWureninthediningroomofherrestaurant, NoshGrillHouseinRockville The12-ounceNewYorkstrip steakfriteswithsauceau poivreatCharleyPrimeFoods inGaithersburg.


At Gaithersburg’s Rio Lakefront, restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum and partners launch Charley Prime Foods, a gastropub with a steak focus and dazzling cocktail list

BEING A GIBSON GUY, I zero in on Anna’s Gibson, one of 35 offerings on the extensive cocktail list at Charley Prime Foods, the steak-centric restaurant that Jackie Greenbaum and co-owners Gordon Banks and executive chef Adam Harvey opened at Rio Lakefront in May. Usually a simple quaff of gin, dry vermouth and a cocktail onion, this Gibson is otherworldly, enhanced with subtle additions of citrus and thyme and garnished with charred homemade pickled onion. Before being filled, the martini glass is washed with onion brine, an added detail that earns a tip of the hat to the drink’s creator, Anna Wonson; she’s the general manager of Little Coco’s, a D.C. Italian restaurant that Greenbaum and Banks own, along with D.C. steakhouse Bar Charley; Mexican joint El Chucho, also in D.C.; and Silver Spring’s Quarry House Tavern, one of the DMV’s most heralded dive bars.

Charley Prime Foods isn’t Greenbaum’s first restaurant


9811 Washingtonian Blvd. L9 (Rio Lakefront), Gaithersburg; 240-477-7925;

FAVORITE DISHES: “Faux” gras mushroom pate; squid ink fettuccine; wedge-style salad; hanger steak frites; hot fudge sundae

PRICES: Appetizers: $12 to $17; Entrees: $18 to $36; Sample steak prices: $25 (8-ounce bavette steak frites), $45 (15-ounce ribeye steak frites), $65 (12-ounce USDA Prime New York strip), $95 (5-ounce Japanese A5 wagyu); Desserts: $12, or $18 for the hot fudge sundae for two

foray into Montgomery County; much-beloved Jackie’s Restaurant and Sidebar closed in 2016 after an 11-year run in Silver Spring. A search in Montgomery County and Northern Virginia for a second location of El Chucho that started five years ago got interrupted by the pandemic. When their broker found out the Tara Thai space in Rio (next to the AMC theater) was available, Harvey encouraged the deal. He grew up in Montgomery County, graduated from Richard Montgomery High School and lives in Olney with his wife and two children. “Rio was near and dear to my heart,” he says. “We come here a lot, to the playground, the movies. My wife loves it. I always said it would be a great location.” Greenbaum and Banks got on board and made Harvey, who started working with Greenbaum as the chef at Jackie’s in 2014 and now oversees all the company’s restaurants, a partner at Charley Prime.

Greenbaum says that other Mexican restaurants had

LIBATIONS: Beverage director Paul Haffert collaborated on Charley Prime Foods’ cocktail list with co-owner Gordon Banks. It boasts 35 offerings—12 hand-batched and on tap—divided into: Mules (spirits + house-made ginger beer); Old Fashioneds (spirits + bitters + sugar); Charley on Vacation

(tiki-style); The Classics (including a Cosmopolitan and daiquiri); “Beyond Definition (such as a Holy Shishito, made with tequila, agave, lime and yuzu juices and a blistered shishito pepper); and Easy Drinking (the Charley Palmer is a blend of peach tea, Calvados, lemon juice and honey.) There are 15 wines by the glass ($10 to $22) and 52 by the bottle ($35 to $175), plus four reserve reds to indulge steak lovers looking for high-end quaffs, such as Shafer Hillside Select 2018 ($525) and Ornellaia Bolgheri le Serre Nuove 2020 ($150).

SERVICE: Friendly but needs polish Fromleft:OwnersGordonBanks,JackieGreenbaumand AdamHarveyinthediningroomatCharleyPrimeFoods

exclusive rights at Rio, so she opted for a beefedup version of Bar Charley with some Little Coco’s thrown in. The menu is a mix of gastropub items, pastas and steaks, among them steak frites made with four different Angus cuts (bavette, hanger, ribeye and strip); wagyu (culotte and Japanese A5); and USDA Prime Angus (filet mignon, New York strip, tomahawk ribeye) from Illinois-based Linz Heritage Angus.

Also beefed up is this project’s size. Greenbaum’s other venues are intimate, whereas Charley Prime covers 7,700 square feet, seating 90 inside and 100 on a vast lakeside patio, half of which is covered by a 12-foot-high pergola outfitted with a louvered roof, retractable mesh screens and heaters to make

Above:”Faux”gras,orwhippedmushroompate withpickledshallotsalongsidegrilledbread. Right:Anicecreamsundaemadeforsharing.

the space usable year-round. Inside, the decor, designed by D.C.-based Edit Lab at Streetsense, is pure whimsy, with blackand-white checkerboard floors, green tufted leatherette booths, pink-and-black floral wallpaper and elaborate pink plaster ceiling medallions around pendant lights on a black ceiling. Many of Greenbaum’s paintings—she’s a talented artist—

adorn the walls, but the scenestealer is an enormous black wood cutout of Greenbaum’s schnauzer Lucy, created by the restaurateur’s friend, artist Trevor Young.

Greenbaum considers Charley Prime as much a drinking destination as a dining one. “There is really no place to go this far out in the county for great imaginative cocktails,” she maintains. “We could have the patio open until 2 a.m. There are no neighbors to worry about.” Twelve of the impressive list’s 35 cocktails are on tap, allowing for speed of service. The list runs the gamut from classics to tikis to clever concoctions, such as a Quack-Quack-Erac (a duck-fat-washed riff on a Sazerac) and a Puttin’ on the Spritz jazzed up with grapefruit-infused Aperol.

Of the starters, the “faux” gras, a whipped mushroom pate enriched with


cream, butter, eggs and Madeira and port wines is a winner, the amalgam smooth, airy, rich and bursting with umami. The long roasting time of its portobello, cremini and shiitake mushrooms heightens the fungi’s flavor. Good shareable items for the table are gooey fontina cheese fritters and cheese bread, rectangles of grilled country bread topped with gremolata (a puree of parsley, lemon zest, olive oil and chili flakes), melted mozzarella, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese and a scoop of whipped ricotta cheese. A caveat, though: An issue I have with certain dishes at Charley Prime is lack of restraint. The fritters are served on top of a surfeit of basil aioli (they should serve it on the side) and there’s too much gremolata on the garlic bread. The same issue pops up with excellent fried green tomatoes, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, but struggling to breathe under a weighted blanket of pimento cheese.

When restraint is exercised, I’m happy. My favorite starter is a simple wedgestyle salad, fluffy leaves of butter lettuce interspersed with chunky lardons (bacon), cherry tomatoes, candied walnuts and chives, the lot enrobed in a cream y, dreamy, tangy gorgonzola buttermilk dressing. An Anna’s Gibson cocktail, this salad and a Linz Prime New York strip steak paired with a tasty vintage—say, another Anna’s Gibson—is my perfect meal at Charley Prime, especially when completed with their enormous hot fudge sundae for two made with homemade vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams and surrounded by an Instagram-ready panoply of confections to satisfy any urges left over from our childhoods: gummy bears, Twix, Reese’s cups, Oreos, M&M’s, marshmallows, etc. (Here’s a good place to not exercise restraint: More hot fudge, please!)

I enjoy the French dip of thinly sliced roasted lamb, Swiss cheese and kicky harissa aioli on a crusty semolina bun at Charley’s and some of the pastas, which are made in house, especially a squid ink fettuccine with large Hawaiian prawns and lump crabmeat, the noodles swathed in a lemony shrimp butter emulsion and topped with crunchy toasted breadcrumbs infused with garlicky ’nduja sausage. But the steak’s the thing at Charley Prime,

whether it’s a bavette or hanger steak frites, the former in a rosemary and black pepper marinade, the latter in a balsamic and cherry marinade and both slightly charred and crusty on the outside and tender and medium rare on the inside. You’re given a steak knife for the Linz Prime New York strip, but it’s hardly necessary because the meat is so divinely silken. When Harvey discovered the Linz brand, he was hooked. “I love wagyu and A5, but I’m an allAmerican, grain-finished, marbled Midwestern beef kind of guy. It’s sumptuous and tender with a mixture of chew and tenderness and great beef flavor.”

The triple chocolate tart with Oreo crust

is another satisfying dessert for this chocoholic at Charley Prime, but I’d be just as content to take my dessert in liquid form— say, a Piña Colada the Way It Should Be or a Tattoine Dream of pineapple, coconut milk, rum, passionfruit and blue Curaçao—as I languish on the patio and watch pink flamingo paddleboats pass by.

Charley Prime Foods has all the makings of a hit—great cocktails, wonderful steaks, reasonably priced pub food, an exciting atmosphere and a beautiful view. With some tweaking on certain dishes and a continued effort to train an eager but inexperienced staff, this Gaithersburg behemoth is primed for takeoff.



Sept. 21

Get Happy! Michael Feinstein Celebrates the Judy Garland Centennial

Feinstein, the “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” and a fie-time Grammy nominee himself, is your host for an evening of everything Judy, toast ing the 100th anniversary of her birth. Movie clips, rare audio recordings, never-before-seen photos and, of course, unforgettable music make up this new multimedia show at The Music Center at Strathmore

Sept. 24 Hiroshima

On the band’s website, koto player June Kuramoto notes that the lifespan of the stringed Japanese instrument is usually about 50 years. That’s almost as long as the Grammy Award-nominated group, which formed in 1974, has been making its blend of Japanese-infused smooth jazz. Despite Kuramoto’s announcement last year that she and her koto would retire from touring, Hiroshima is playing a few select shows this fall, including one at Bethesda Theater

paintings the size of a postage stamp to an army of larger-than-life puppets, we’ve sized up the cultural events of the season.
of the hottest happenings in art, theater, music, film & more! 27

Sept. 28

Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler’s House

Perlman, the renowned violinist, is that rare specimen: a superstar classi cal musician. At The Music Center at Strathmore, he’ll bring klezmer music to an audience in a live presentation of his Emmy-winning PBS special Great Performances: In the Fiddler’s House. You’ll find that the music, 3 years later, has the power to make you stomp your feet and maybe even dance in the aisles.

Sept. 29

Fatoumata Diawara

With a voice that’s been called “agile and forceful” by The Guardian newspaper of London, the Grammy-nominated Malian singer and guitarist thrives on cross-cultural collaborations. Her music blends jazz, funk and folk, layering electric guitar over traditional West African instruments. Singing about respect, humility, love and building a better world, she’s shared stages with David Crosby, Snarky Puppy and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and recorded with Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock and, most recently, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz and Blur. This fall she comes to The Music Center at Strathmore.

Oct. 1

Tablao Flamenco

Amp is transformed into an intimate Andalusian nightclub for a performance that brings together award-winning flmenco musicians and dancers from across the United States and Europe. Their mission: to deliver a dynamic show of improvisation and passionate music, blending various folk traditions from southern Spain.


Oct. 5

Victor Wooten & The Wooten Brothers with Rebirth Brass Band

Today he’s known as a founding member of the jazz/bluegrass group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, with fie Grammy wins under his belt. But Wooten got his start at the age of 5 play ing bass in his family band with his four brothers, each an extraordinary musician in his own right. The brothers are tak ing their show on the road this fall with a stop at Silver Spring. Joining their tour is New Orleans jazz/funk group Rebirth Brass Band.



Conductor Piotr Gajewski kicks off the National Philharmonic’s The Music Center at Strathmore that includes music by George Gershwin, Florence Price and Beethoven. Pianist Michelle Cann opens the concert with Gershwin’s iconic Piano Concerto in One Move, which blends classical and African American musical tradialso known as the Pastoral celebrates the beauty of the natural world in fie move-

Nov. 8

Sir András Schiff

The pianist and conductor is known for his exquisite performances and eloquent musical commentary. Hear his shimmering artistry and intellectual insights at this concert presented by Washington Performing Arts at The Music Center at Strathmore . The program, curated specifically for this performance, will be announced from the stage.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival

Jonathan Franzen, author of some of the most acclaimed novels of recent decades, including The Corrections in 2001, will receive the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. The theme of this year’s Fitzgerald Festival is “Mental Illness in Fiction.” Joining Franzen at the lit fest taking place at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus are fiction wrier David Means, book critic Ron Charles and other local writers. In addition to lectures and discussions, the event features workshops and a tour of “Fitzgerald’s Haunts in Rockville.”


Aug. 30–Sept. 24


Set in London in 1969, the drama Ink tells the story of how Rupert Murdoch transformed the struggling newspaper The Sun—and in turn the entire news media industry—using sex and scandal to lure readers. The play, which was nominated for six Tony Awards, incorporates comedy and even musical numbers. It’s a co-production of Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center, with Olney Artistic Director Jason Loewith directing and Round House Artistic Director Ryan Rilette in the cast. The show is being performed at Round

Sept. 21–Oct. 29

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Adventure Theatre brings the beloved Peanuts characters to the stage with this show of vignettes based on Charles Schulz’s comic strip characters. Meant for audiences of all ages, the production includes the musical numbers “Happiness,” “My Blanket and Me,” “Little Known Facts,” “Suppertime” and “The Kite.”

Sept. 22–Oct. 22

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This gentle show at Imagination Stage for children ages 3 through 8 brings four beloved Eric Carle books to life with spectacular puppetry, colorful sets and original music. More than 70 larger-than-life puppets animate characters and images from Carle favorites Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; The Very Busy Spider; 10 Little Rubber Ducks; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Sept. 27–Oct. 29

The Brothers Paranormal

Olney Theatre Center serves up a family horror story ahead of Halloween with this thriller about Thai American brothers Max and Visarut, who have a struggling paranormal investigation business. Things start to get strange with the arrival of their fist customer, Delia, a Black woman who believes a Thai-speaking ghost is haunting her house.

Oct. 19–28


Witness the feeding of the only Manananggal in captivity in Flying V Theatre’s immersive horror experience. The show, at Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, fuses live and digital performance to reimagine the legacy of the Manananggal, a vampire-like creature from Filipino folklore.


Oct. 11–Nov. 5

The Mountaintop

What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s last evening alive like? This drama at Round House Theatre imagines the night after King gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in 1968—the night before his assassination. Waiting for room service, King meets hotel maid Camae. When their funny, flirt conversation takes a soul-searching turn to life, death and legacy, Camae reveals that she isn’t exactly what she seems.

Nov. 8–Dec. 31

Fiddler on the Roof

Olney Theatre Center stages a reimagined version of this classic musical about Tevye, who is rooted to his traditional life in the shtetl of Anatevka, and his three headstrong daughters, who are determined to forge their own paths. Like the characters themselves, this production knows the value of tradition (unforgettable songs “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life” and “Sunrise, Sunset” are keepers), but promises some new surprises.

Nov. 15–Jan. 7

A Year With Frog & Toad

Arnold Lobel’s treasured characters Frog and Toad get the Broadway treatment in this Tonynominated musical at Imagination Stage. The two amphibious friends learn life lessons as they move through four seasons together, set to a jazzy score. The show is best for an elementaryschool-age crowd.


Dec. 6–31 A Hanukkah Carol or Gelt Trip! The Musical

This world premiere flips the scrip on Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. In Round House’s production of this original musical, Chava, a Jewish millennial influence, is visited by a series of spirits who show her Hanukkahs past, present and future to help her reconnect with her spirit of generosity, Jewish identity and the people who support her IRL, not just her online followers.

Sept. 7–Oct. 1

The Trawick Prize Finalists Art Exhibition

In the 20 years since it was established by philanthropist Carol Trawick, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards has brought artwork by some of the region’s most exciting and cuttingedge artists to Bethesda. The contest awards a grand prize of $10,000 to an artist from Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. See artwork from the eight finaliss of this year’s competition at this Gallery B exhibition. An opening reception is planned for Sept. 8.

Various dates

Deborah Grayson, Joana Stillwell, Reni Gower and Stephanie Cobb

Art by women fills the galleries at VisArts Center this fall. In the Common Ground Gallery, through Oct. 22, Salt Eaters features work by Washington, D.C., artist Deborah Grayson, who uses printmaking to create images that examine the stories of Black women’s lives, past and present. In the Gibbs Street Gallery, Joana Stillwell explores the tangibility and fragility of a family archive in her site-specific ork All the Windows in My Mother’s House. Reni Gower riffs on the sacred geometry of perfect shapes, which are found across cultures around the world in GeoMatrix in the Concourse Gallery from Sept. 8 through Oct. 29, and Stephanie Cobb’s vibrant paintings of people caught in private moments make up her show On Closeness in the 355 Pod Space Gallery through Oct. 29.


Through Oct. 29

Lyrics to Go

In acknowledgment of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, curator Fahamu Pecou presents this two-person exhibition at VisArts’ Kaplan Gallery featuring artwork by Ebon Heath and Tahir Hemphill. Both artists incorporate poetics, writing and literature in their art, but rather than merely speaking or hearing words, they use sculpture and technology to transform words into objects that expand the experience of hip-hop music. A reception is planned for Sept. 8.

Nov. 9

Iconoclasts: Selections from Glenstone’s Collection

Work by some of the most radical art-world contributors of the 20th century will be on display at Glenstone museum this fall. The exhibition features artwork from Glenstone’s foundational collection, including 3D sculptures and large drawings by Ruth Asawa; art by Alexander Calder, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock; and a dedicated gallery housing drawings by Willem de Kooning. The show will also feature newer acquisitions, and pieces from the collection are expected to rotate in and out of the exhibition, which, for now, has no end date.


Nov. 18–Jan. 13

The 90th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature

Fine art in miniature is a unique art form that requires artists to use tiny tools and produce detail so minute that it sometimes can only be seen with high magnification. Thi exhibition at the Strathmore Mansion displays more than 700 miniature masterpieces in media including oil, acrylic and watercolor paint, ivory and stone sculpture, pastels, drawings and collages. The pieces range in size from the dimensions of a postcard down to a postage stamp.

Sept. 21-Oct. 11

Latin American Film Festival

One of the country’s largest and longest-running Latin American film shwcases, this festival features more than 40 films fom more than 20 countries at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring. Celebrating cultural connections between Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, the festival also includes cinema from Spain and Portugal. The movie selection spans international festival favorites and award winners, local box office his, and buzzy debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmaers. The festival also features filmmaer Q&As, receptions and embassy-sponsored events.

Nov. 11

Air Play

Fabric flies, balloons flo and umbrellas pirouette in air in a show that is perhaps more circus than dance. And while the performers are more like clowns than ballerinas, the movement of their props through space and time, set to music, creates a beautiful ballet nonetheless. Circus performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone were inspired to create the performance after seeing kinetic sculptures by artist Daniel Wurtzel. The three collaborated and experimented for years with materials, movement and technology to create the show at The Music Center at Strathmore


Dec. 13

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

From the costumes to the comical dwarfs and friendly woodland animals, this interpretation of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale features many elements that Disney fans will recognize. The State Ballet Theater of Ukraine presents the classic story with a ballet featuring a troupe of 50 dancers and music by composer Bogdan Pavlovsky at The Music Center at Strathmore

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Next-Gen Classical

Jonathon Heyward is bringing the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra into the community—and into the future

Baltimore’s fist professional orchestra, the Peabody Orchestra, bowed in 1866 with overtures by Auber and Bellini, and Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. That the same program would hardly be out of place today says something about the rate of change in the classical-music world.

Jonathon Heyward offers welcome counterpoint.

The 31-year-old South Carolina native is the youngest-ever music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as the fist person of color in the position. Heyward initially studied the cello; when the Boston Conservatory created a student assistant-conductor position in their opera department, Heyward got the nod (“my fist job, really”) and has yet to look back, pursuing further studies in London and going on to conduct leading orchestras in the UK and Europe.

Heyward launches his BSO tenure with a three-concert tour beginning Sept. 22 at Strathmore. Heyward spoke from his home in England and this interview was lightly edited for length and clarity.

You’re opening the season with a fascinating gala program, featuring music and dance. How’s the preparation for that going? The preparation is really exciting. ... We want to be Baltimore’s orchestra, but also the state of Maryland’s orchestra. I think part of our mission is to make sure that we serve the community in as many ways as we possibly can. So to be able to bring the gala for the first time ever to our fantastic other home at Strathmore is really special for us. It’s an intentional practice to serve our community at Strathmore just as much as we do in Baltimore. And I’m thrilled to be able to bring the Dance Theatre of Harlem, this historically amazing dance troupe that I’ve followed for a lot of my career and my life and been inspired by for a very long time. It’s a real treat.

You’ve spent many years working in Europe, where there’s a long-standing tradition of orchestras that are very much part of the community where they are. In America, it sometimes happens that way and sometimes doesn’t. What’s been your experience so far in Baltimore? One of the things that drew

me to the Baltimore Symphony the most was its commitment to serve the entire state. I’m the chief conductor also of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, which is a state orchestra in Germany, primarily funded by the government to play for the northwest region, which is very large. So we’ll repeat a program five or six or eight times in all of these smaller beautiful towns across the region. Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, we had a great orchestra in Charleston, but they certainly didn’t travel and you didn’t get nearly as much music as in a similar city in Germany. So for me, it’s sort of in my DNA—to be able to serve the entire state with classical music on a regular basis.

Have you had much chance to get to know sort of the larger musical community in Maryland—other groups, composers, performers? Yeah! During [the past year] I really made it a priority to get to know musicians and arts organizations, not only in Baltimore, but also in the several different counties that we serve. And it’s been great to collect all this information: where the BSO has been for many years, where it hasn’t been, where we can continue what we’ve been doing, but also where we maybe can think about modifying so that we serve the commu-

nities in better and stronger ways. It’s good to always remember that it was one of the only American orchestras that started out as a municipal orchestra, run by the state. And so, in a way, it has this unique identity of serving its community throughout the state of Maryland.

We have our Music for Maryland tour. We’ve just announced this great partnership with the University of Maryland. The Baltimore School for the Arts, also. We have Baltimore’s James Lee III being our composer-in-residence for 2024-25; we kick off with a piece of his this season to kind of get that going. All of these are really intentional ideas that I and my colleagues in the artistic team have really thought about.

One of the things I think about all the time with classical music is the omnipresence of the past—the predominance of historical repertoire. It can be a positive thing, that this old music can still be so vital and immediate in performance, but it can also be a sign of how slow change can be in the classical-music world. How do you reconcile the demands of the past and the present? Having a living composer on almost every single program throughout the season was so important while I was building my first season as music director. We all grew up loving



WHEN: Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

WHERE: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

PRICE: $75-$125

and adoring the greats! We have to acknowledge that. But we can imagine an evolution of classical music that is parallel with the music that we hear today and the music that is being composed today. This concept and idea that new music is the other, if you will, is something that I basically don’t agree with.

It takes some time to really think about what to pair with this new music. It becomes a whole experience within itself, which is what everyone wants when they come to a concert, I think. And you realize that Beethoven isn’t too far from Missy Mazzoli, whose [music] we’re doing in November, and that James Lee’s Amer’ican, which we’re premiering in September, is really inspired by Dvořák’s Ninth.

Thoughtful programming is the way forward in order to build and create and evolve the art form. Sometimes I get very frustrated about uninspiring programming because I think that that’s where we lose traction and that’s where we lose the evolution. It’s an exciting time because we’ve got some amazing voices at the moment, writing some absolutely extraordinary work.

When you’re on the podium, you get to sort of take in and redirect and channel the energy of whatever ensemble you’re in front of. What’s that been like with the BSO so far?

What’s unique to them and inspiring to you? I’ve been in a fortunate position where I’ve been able to travel the world and work with a lot of different orchestras, and I think the level with which the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra engages with the score is really unparalleled. For me, that’s the key of all of it. If we don’t have a group that is dedicated, flexible, adaptable, we can’t be a part of the journey of the evolution of the art form.

Matthew Guerrieri is a composer, pianist, critic and the author of books about Beethoven and Doctor Who.



Fromleft:Margarita Womack,Donna Westmoreland,Susan Lee,AnneKhademian, AngelaGrahamand BrookeEby

They span fieldsfrom nightlife to higher education. They’re breaking barriers related to race, ethnicity and gender—and shining a light on their own struggles with conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Meet Bethesda Magazine’s third annual class of luminaries.

BrookeEbyhasbroughtawareness toLouGehrig’sdiseasethrough herInstagramandTikTokchannels sincebeingdiagnosedwiththe diseaseinMarch2022.


That’s how Brooke Eby, 34, of North Bethesda starts most of her Instagram stories and TikToks. But the words are hard to reconcile with the vibrant young woman on the screen.

Since being diagnosed in March 2022 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Eby has become one of the most upbeat faces to represent a progressive neuromuscular disorder with few treatments, no cure and certain death. And she has used her positive attitude, charisma and social media acumen to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars—and counting—for ALS research.

“Other diseases have survivors that can go rally the troops. …With ALS, there are no survivors,” she says.

For the first few months following her diagnosis, Eby, a partnership manager at the California-based software company Salesforce, admits she spent her time “crying and shoveling M&M’s into my face.”

But then she started typing into her phone a list of ideas to bring awareness of the disease to a younger generation. She shared the list with her mother, her sister and one of her friends. They were all supportive, she says, “so I just started making videos.”

Eby—who graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania—has since posted about everything from the perils of dating while disabled to videos of her grimacing as she gulps down Relyvrio, her bitter ALS medication. The drug, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, is one of only a handful of ALS medications on the market.

Eby posted videos from her condo every evening in May, during ALS Awareness Month. In many of the clips, she leans in close and answers her followers’ questions, which range from silly to deeply personal.

“She had prepopulated the donation field on Instagram at five dollars,” recalls Carol Hamilton, vice president of development for the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world’s largest nonprofit focused on ALS research. “Within days, she surpassed $50,000 [in donations],” Hamilton says.

That same month, Eby appeared on NBC’s Today show. An anonymous couple saw the interview and messaged her on Instagram to offer a $100,000 match. In about six weeks, Eby managed to raise more than $225,000 toward research for an ALS cure.

In June, the Baltimore Orioles approached Eby and asked if she’d throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “If I can’t throw it really well, then I hope it goes so wrong that it goes viral,” she told Bethesda Magazine the day before the game.

Afterward, she posted a video of herself—in a Lou Gehrig jersey—riding toward the pitcher’s mound in her motorized wheelchair and smiling as she lobbed a very impressive pitch right into the catcher’s mitt.

“Brooke [is] able to reach outside of the ALS community using her humor and her social platform to introduce a whole new group of people to ALS in a nonintimidating way,” says Hamilton, who realized how special Eby is after her own 25-year-old daughter, Jae, saw Eby being interviewed on The Toast, a podcast popular with 20-somethings and 30-somethings, and was overcome with emotion.

To Hamilton, it was impactful because, “It wasn’t me telling my daughter about an incredible young woman with ALS. It was my daughter…being touched and inspired by [Eby] on her own.”

Today, Eby has over 86,000 TikTok followers and over 73,000 Instagram followers—and the numbers are rising steadily.

On a sunny June afternoon, sitting in her wheelchair outside a coffee shop at North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose, Eby is still coming up with ideas to raise awareness—and research dollars. Though the disease has left her legs paralyzed, her upper body and her voice are still strong.

As she sips her tea, she says that maybe she could conduct man-on-the-street-style interviews, like YouTube’s Billy Eichner.

“I’d ask a bunch of different people, ‘Who do you picture when you picture ALS?’ and I guarantee 75% of them will say, ‘What’s ALS?’ ” she says, sitting back in her chair to ponder how she’d bring the video to fruition.

“I support anyone who is raising money for ALS,” she says, whether their focus is on covering the exorbitant cost of their own equipment and caregivers, or whether they are in the position to fundraise for research.

“I’m still working, I’m financially comfortable, so I feel like I sort of checked that care bucket off for myself and I want to focus…[on] research,” she says. “The cure is ultimately my goal.”

“ Other di seases have survivors that can go rally the troops. …With ALS, there are no survivors.”
—Brooke Eby
“Hi. I’m Brooke, and I was given the terminal diagnosis of ALS.”

AngelaGrahamispresident andCEOofanichemanufacturerofcustomreagents usedinresearchfordiseasessuchascancerand multiplesclerosis,anillness shehasbattledsince1997.

Angela Graham has come a long way from the Benjamin Banneker middle schooler and Paint Branch High School student who spent her weekends and summers washing glass bottles at her father’s small biotech company.

Today, Graham, 53, is president and CEO of Gaithersburg-based Quality Biological Inc. (QBI), a niche manufacturer of custom “reagents” used in biomedical research (think the substances that help scientists grow cells in a lab).

Since buying the business from her parents 11 years ago, she’s pivoted away from the company’s previous focus on government work, and toward serving the research and development needs of biotech companies in early-stage treatment exploration for diseases from cancer to multiple sclerosis (MS)—a nervous system disorder that Graham has been battling since 1997.

“I am not a scientist, so I cannot go into the lab and develop a cure for MS or any other disease,” she says. “But [now] my company can manufacture the…tools required for the research and development of new medicines.”

She’s also become a leading voice in promoting Montgomery County as the ideal place for life science businesses to set up shop—not only to encourage innovative companies to locate here, but also to bring high-paying jobs to folks with and without a college degree.

Early in the pandemic, Graham even helped create a Biotech Bootcamp, through a partnership with Montgomery College and WorkSource Montgomery, to provide lab training to displaced hospitality workers, according to Judy Costello, special projects manager of business, innovation and economic development for the county executive’s office.

“Angela’s support of local entrepreneurs always includes a special interest in helping our historically underserved communities,” Costello says.

Pavel Khrimian, co-founder and chief business officer of Germantown-based Deka Biosciences, which devises therapeutics to treat cancer patients, says Graham let him and his business partner “incubate” their fledgling company at QBI for several years before they had the funds to branch out on their own. “We need more leaders like Angela who have the ability to give startups the opportunity to get started,” he says.

Graham has provided mentoring for other earlystage biotech companies too, particularly womenand minority-owned ones, though she says there’s still a shortage of them. “I am always the youngest, the only woman and the only Black [person] in the room,” she says. “The further up you go being a Black female, you definitely get accustomed to not having anyone in the room look like you.”

It was a recruiter from Dow Chemical, while Graham was a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who made her appreciate the unique role she could play in the industry. She was showing him around campus when he told her he couldn’t think of another Black family with a business in biotech. “That made me look differently then at what my dad had done,” she says. “It made me really step back to understand the risks that he took.”

The recruiter ended up offering her a job, but his words inspired her to return instead to QBI—which her father, a U.S. Navy vet who had used the GI Bill to study tissue culturing at the National Institutes of Health, founded when she was 13.

After she spent three years at the family business, Bristol Myers Squibb lured her away, and then Pfizer offered her a high-level management spot. In 1997, shortly after taking that job, she was diagnosed with MS. “That was the first time I remember really feeling alone and afraid,” says Graham, who was 27 at the time. “I don’t think that feeling ever goes away for MS patients, but you learn to live with it.”

Eventually she left the pharmaceutical industry and used her and her husband’s life savings— and a hefty home equity line of credit—to buy QBI. “I learned a lot from my parents, and one of the lessons was that…if something’s given to you, you don’t necessarily have the same dedication or passion for it,” she says.

One thing she hasn’t changed at the company is its longstanding tradition of giving back to the community. Graham, who now lives near Olney, says her focus is on the eastern part of the county where she grew up. “I know that it’s kind of like the forgotten area where economic development has stalled,” she says.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have [had] some opportunities but…I grew up with people who didn’t,” she adds. “I believe that business can do good and…this is how we can make a difference.”

“ I believe that busine ss can do good and… this is how we can make a difference.”
—Angela Graham

AnneKhademianservesas executivedirectorofthe UniversitiesatShadyGrove.


It was nearly 20 years ago when Anne Khademian fist led a class of “nontraditional” students, she says. By then, the recognized scholar and author had already taught at some of the country’s most prestigious universities, but most of her students lived on campus while earning four-year degrees.

Shortly after she joined the full-time faculty of Virginia Tech at its Northern Virginia campus, though, she found herself teaching a graduatelevel evening seminar on U.S. homeland security policy to seasoned individuals, many in lofty government roles. They were people who went home to their spouses and children, not their dorm rooms, and came to class with a wealth of experience.

“I thought, Oh my gosh, what am I going to teach these people?”

Once the class started, she found that she had much to offer, and so did her students. “It was this wonderful collaborative learning opportunity,” she says. “They were so committed, and they were so smart. …I loved everything about it.”

Fast forward to today, and Khademian, 61, who lives in Chevy Chase, is still focused on educating students who don’t fit the traditional fresh-out-of-highschool, four-year-degree model. But now it’s in her role as the executive director of the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville—a campus that partners with nine institutions in the University System of Maryland (USM) to deliver undergraduate and graduate education programs to transfer students, many with limited time or resources.

“This is the job I’ve waited for my whole life,” she says.

Hired in 2020 after a nationwide search, Khademian came to USG with the goal of making higher education more accessible, affordable and better geared toward serving the needs of “fluid” students, as she calls them, who now comprise nearly threequarters of all students in higher education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“They predominantly work, they predominantly have family responsibilities, they often are financing their own education, and oftentimes they are first in their family to go to college,” Khademian says. Many times their life situations dictate that they spread out their classes over many years, maybe even decades, she says.

In her three years on campus, Khademian has partnered with industry leaders and employers across the region to ensure that the skills taught to

these students are the skills employers need.

She’s also led the charge in developing the 23-year-old institution’s first-ever strategic plan— USG 2.0—which lays out USG’s promise to help students attain meaningful employment and sustainable-wage careers. And she’s secured nearly $12 million in grants, gifts and federal funding to help make her vision a reality, according to the USM.

Since she’s taken the helm, the graduation rate among students who transfer into USG—which was already the highest of any campus in USM—has climbed even higher. At 81%, it’s now more than 10 percentage points higher than the statewide average, according to USM data.

“You’ve got a workforce that is in desperate need of educated, degree-holding employees” and an education system that’s geared toward serving students who live on campus, Khademian says. For those who are juggling work and family demands, “the traditional model is not going to cut it.”

Her biggest priorities now, she says, are that every student has an experiential learning opportunity, has access to a coach or a mentor, can use their degree or certificate to build a more meaningful career, and—with the help of scholarships and financial aid—can earn their credentials without taking on additional debt.

“[Anne] not only understands the big picture of where the institution should go and what its main mission should be…she’s also the person who helps bring the people together,” says former County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, her USG 2.0 co-chair, who also serves as a USM regent.

Khademian’s backstory is just as impressive. A star runner on the boys cross-country team at her Michigan high school, Khademian attended Michigan State University on a full athletic scholarship and later entered its Athletics Hall of Fame. She went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy there, then a Ph.D. in political science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She’s since taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She was a tenured faculty member in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia campus for 17 years until USG lured her away.

“All of these places…they are beautiful institutions; they transform lives,” she says of the universities where she’s served. “But we need additional models. Maybe we can do it here.”

“ [Anne] not only understands the big picture … she’s also the person who helps bring the people together.”
Former County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett
MarylandSecretaryof StateSusanLeeinher Annapolisoffice

Susan Lee will never forget the day in June 1968 when her father drove her and her two sisters from their Bethesda home to Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. He wanted his daughters to see the 3,000-person “protest camp” set up as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington—a sixweek-long event that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. orchestrated but didn’t live to see.

“It was a sea of an endless number of tents everywhere,” Lee, 69, recalls. “These people came from all over the country…to essentially fight discrimination and poverty and to bring their cause to national attention.”

The scene had a profound impact on Lee, and so did her father—a second-generation Chinese American who enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 to fight in World War II. He instilled in his daughter a lifelong commitment to defend the rights of the most vulnerable: women and children, people of color, and those struggling to make ends meet.

“He gave me a moral compass,” Lee says of her father, who died in 2014. “He wanted to change the world.”

Today, Lee is Maryland’s secretary of state under Democratic Gov. Wes Moore. Among many responsibilities, she serves as his top foreign affairs adviser and leads the charge to promote Maryland as an international hub for science and technology.

On a sunny midday in June, Lee is sitting in her Annapolis office, taking a short break between meetings. She spent the morning hosting the Argentine ambassador, and now a half dozen staffers are scurrying around her, asking questions and handing her documents to review before a full slate of afternoon appointments.

In her first six months in office, Lee met with representatives from more than 50 countries—encouraging them to expand their operations in the state. “I always feel like there isn’t enough time,” says the longtime Bethesda resident. “I’m always trying to get to the finish line.”

Bringing high-tech jobs to Maryland is just one of many causes Lee has championed over her decadeslong career. As a Maryland delegate and state senator, she sponsored or co-sponsored more than 100 bills in support of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, pay equity, transgender rights, consumer and identity-theft protections, gun safety, expanding Maryland’s hate crime laws and more.

“When I see an injustice, I feel like I’ve got to do something about it. …I refuse to be a passive specta-

tor,” she says. “A lot of times the constituents come to you because there’s a problem. …I want to get all the stakeholders to the table so we can…have everybody air their position [and] pass a bill that’s fair to everybody.”

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park), a longtime friend and colleague of Lee’s, credits her with seeing more bills to passage during her eight years in the state Senate than any other state senator from Montgomery County. “She can always be counted on as an ally of the underdog,” he says.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Lee was 13 when her father took a job with the federal government and moved the family to Bethesda. Back then, many neighborhoods that fed into what was then Leland Junior High School had racially restrictive covenants that allowed for discrimination against Black people, Jews and other people of color, and she suffered tremendous bullying, she says.

When her family moved to Potomac a year later, “my attitude improved, my grades improved, my self-esteem, everything,” she says.

After graduating from Winston Churchill High School and the University of Maryland, College Park, Lee headed to the University of San Francisco for law school and then returned to Montgomery County to take a job with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She eventually left the federal government for private practice but stayed active in local politics.

She never intended to run for office herself, she says. Then she overheard a local elected official say that “the Asian American community doesn’t matter because we don’t vote,” she says. “That made me so mad I couldn’t see straight.”

In 2002, when then-Gov. Parris Glendening asked if she’d fill the state House seat vacated by Nancy Kopp, she said yes—and proceeded to win the next three House elections, before running for the state Senate, where she served until Moore came calling.

Lee has never lost a race, and she’s been a “first” at every political office she’s held: first Asian American woman—and first Chinese American—elected to the Maryland House of Delegates; first Asian American elected to the Maryland Senate; and now Maryland’s first Asian American secretary of state.

“I didn’t mean to be the first of anything,” she says. “What I hope I’ve done is lay the foundations for others who haven’t been represented in government to be able to be elected…and to…change the world for the better.”

“ When I see an injustic e, I feel like I’ve got to do something about it. … I refuse to be a passive spectator.”
—Susan Lee
DonnaWestmorelandatThe AntheminWashington,D.C.

It was the summer of 2017, and construction on The Anthem, the highly anticipated music venue that anchors Southwest D.C.’s District Wharf, was almost complete.

The project had been Donna Westmoreland’s baby. She’d spent nearly seven years working with engineers, architects and designers to make sure the space was state-of-the-art. The interior plans centered on an elaborate and expensive stage on wheels that took more than a year to design. Westmoreland had proudly called it an “engineering masterpiece.”

A few months before opening, though, she and her team were about to sign pop phenom Lorde when the singer’s production manager casually mentioned on the phone to Westmoreland that the interior space of The Anthem was the perfect size and dimension for Lorde’s stage.

In other words, Lorde would be bringing her own.

That meant that the high-tech stage already under construction would need to be hauled away for Lorde’s show or perhaps scrapped altogether.

“Is that a problem?” Westmoreland recalls Lorde’s rep asking after dropping the news.

“Let me call you right back,” she calmly told him, even though she winced at the thought of the time and money already spent, she says.

Hours later, after consulting with her team, she made the executive decision to swap the planned stage for one that could accommodate not only Lorde’s requirements but those of pretty much every act that could draw a sellout crowd of 6,000.

It wasn’t an easy choice to make, she says, but as chief operating officer of I.M.P., Westmoreland, 61, makes critical decisions like these every day. The native Bethesdan is second in command of a regional music empire that includes not only the 9:30 Club and The Anthem, but also The Atlantis and the Lincoln Theatre in D.C., and Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

“What people don’t realize…is that she’s the one doing all the work,” says I.M.P founder and chairman Seth Hurwitz. “She’s really the one who’s run all the companies all these years, not me.”

It was 30 years ago when the University of Maryland grad was hired to be bar manager at the original 9:30 Club—the only venue I.M.P. owned or managed at the time. Within three months, she was named I.M.P.’s production manager, tasked

with booking larger venues around D.C. and Baltimore for acts that could draw more fans than the club could accommodate at its former F Street Northwest location.

As a woman in what is still a male-dominated industry, she remembers security guards demanding to see her backstage pass when she was the one giving out the passes. And being told “no, honey” by those who didn’t realize that she was the person in charge. Hurwitz recalls artists’ reps calling him up and saying things like, “Your girl told me this or that,” flummoxed that a woman could have the authority to make major decisions. “I used to really get a big kick out of it when people would underestimate her and didn’t realize the buzzsaw they were walking into,” he says. “She has no trouble being a bad cop. Believe me she’s not afraid of anyone.”

Under her leadership today, women serve as general managers in four of I.M.P.’s five venues. And Westmoreland has used her platform to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes from breast cancer awareness to women’s reproductive rights to gun safety advocacy.

A triathlete in her spare time, she competes in about five races a year and has competed three times in San Francisco’s notorious Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. These events are her “outlet,” she says, but she has also organized hikes up Sugarloaf Mountain that have cumulatively raised $250,000 for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.

Her philanthropic bent goes back to the late ’90s when she left I.M.P. for a few years to join musician Sarah McLachlan on the West Coast to launch the original Lilith Fair, a traveling music festival that consisted solely of female artists.

Over its three-year run, the Lilith Fair grossed more than $52 million—more than $10 million of it going to charity by directing $1 of each ticket sale to a women’s shelter in each of the cities where the festival was held, Westmoreland says, and one of her jobs was to select the recipients.

“The impact…of these [charities] receiving a check for something like $17,500 that was going to make a real difference…was so gratifying and so powerful that it’s now just a part of me,” she says.

“We’re not curing cancer or solving world hunger, but…there’s something spiritual about music and bringing people together,” Westmoreland says. “And when you are doing [something for the greater] good as well, it’s awesome.”

“ We’re not curing c ancer or solving world hunger, but…there’s something spiritual about music and bringing people together.”
—Donna Westmoreland

MargaritaWomack’s empanadabusinesshasbeen growingsteadilysince2017.


Wearing a lab coat, hairnet, shoe coverings and disposable gloves, Margarita Womack is walking a visitor through her nearly four-year-old empanada plant in Rockville. She stops to make small talk in Spanish with practically every worker she passes, and to share with her guest the backstory behind almost every piece of equipment.

“We put this together ourselves,” she gushes over a conveyer belt designed to cool the empanadas after they are fried.

It’s clear that the Bethesda mother of three is also the proud mom of a burgeoning empanada dynasty. “It’s like my fourth baby,” she says.

In 2020, Womack’s empanada business, Maspanadas, had seven employees; now it has 55. It’s on track to earn revenue of $8 million this year and triple its square footage before the end of 2023.

But business success is only part of Womack’s mission. Just as important, she says, is partnering with churches and nonprofits to provide jobs, training and other support to people who need it most. Currently, 90% of her employees are immigrants, more than 80% are women, and about half are refugees, mostly from Central and South America, she says. She offers her employees wellness classes and instruction in digital and financial literacy.

When you are new to this country, “you need much more than a paycheck,” says Womack, 43, who grew up speaking French in school and Spanish at home and learned English after moving to the United States to finish college.

She requires only that her hires have valid work permits and are “responsible, reliable and willing to learn,” she says. “We do have very often people at the front door looking for a job.”

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Womack came to the U.S. at age 20. At the time, guerrillas in her home country were targeting people at random for kidnappings. Her family, like many others, had started to receive threatening phone calls. She says she’ll never forget the ominous message warning that her family would be declared “a military objective” if they didn’t cooperate. That means, Womack explains, “they are going to kill you.”

Under her mother’s instructions, Womack, then a sophomore in college in Colombia, quickly sent out as many college transfer applications as she could and ended up completing her bachelor’s degree at Tulane University in New Orleans. Then

she headed north to Princeton University in New Jersey, where she earned a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology, began a career in academia, got married and started a family.

After her husband was accepted into a fellowship program that brought them to Washington, D.C., she took a job teaching middle school science at the National Cathedral School. She loved teaching, she says, but after four years, “I [had] two boys, a baby and a full-time job, and [I was] ready to jump out a window.”

She switched gears and started a catering company in 2017 that soon morphed into a manufacturer of frozen empanadas that she sold to restaurants and delis around the D.C. region. She squeezed in an M.B.A. from Georgetown University. When the pandemic struck and restaurant sales ground to a halt, she pivoted to retail sales— mostly packaging her empanadas under large chains’ private labels—and business took off.

The skills required for scientific research aren’t all that different from those required to launch a consumer products line, Womack says. “It’s all [about] problem solving…you generate a question and then have a working hypothesis.”

In 2019, Maspanadas was so successful that it outgrew its space at D.C.’s Union Kitchen—the accelerator where it got its start—and she opened her Rockville plant.

Today, Womack’s empanadas are still sold under large chains’ private labels. But they are also in the frozen-food aisles of more than 2,000 stores around the country, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Stop & Shop and Sprouts, and online via HelloFresh—all in brightly colored packaging that bears the Maspanadas brand.

“I would call her the prototype entrepreneur because she had a big vision, very driven to succeed and…fearless,” says Richard McArdle, a retired food industry executive who met Womack as she was transitioning from restaurant sales to retail. He’s now a Maspanadas adviser and investor.

“She grew the business several hundred percent in a year, and it’s just kept going,” he says. “She [also] goes out and hires and trains and nurtures and raises up people that are out there just looking for a chance. …A lot of people say [they do] stuff like that, but she really lives it.”

“ She [also] goe s out and hires and trains and nurtures and raises up people that are out there just looking for a chance.”
Richard McArdle, retired food industry executive


Emerge ‘ready for’ academic excellence and career success with the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Located in Montgomery County, the USG campus offers local access to nine top Maryland universities offering nearly 80 of their most in-demand undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields like education, business, nursing, digital media, hospitality management, psychology, communications, computer science, engineering, criminal justice and criminology, biological sciences, construction management, exercise science, social work, cybersecurity and more.

Students who attend USG benefit from smaller class sizes, comprehensive student support services and engagement opportunities with regional employer partners. This combination ensures students have everything they need to succeed, so they can be career-ready upon graduation.

9 UNIVERSITIES. 1 CAMPUS. | Learn more:

Women in Business

Advanced Behavioral Health

My top priority is to make ABH, now in five counties, a preferred place for both employment and for individuals seeking mental health services. We demonstrate that we value our wonderful, diverse staff and the communities that we serve by exercising authenticity, humility, active listening, and competence.

16220 Frederick Road, Suite 310

Gaithersburg, MD 20877


Q In your field, what qualities should s uccessful women have?

A As a professional in the mental health f ield, a successful male or female leader must possess certain qualities, such as authenticity, empathy, inclusivity, and kindness. True leadership is defined by your ability to coach, mentor, inspire, and motivate your staff.

As an example, in the past years, Covid humbled our leaders in which they had to make swift but precise decisions. They needed to keep their employees engaged, valued, motivated, and employed while assisting clients through significant life losses and transition.

Q Who is your inspiration?

A Throughout my childhood in Lebanon, d uring the civil war, I watched the incredible strength and determination of my mother raising five children while my

father worked overseas. It was not until I reached adulthood that I truly appreciated the inspiration my family provided. Today, I find motivation and inspiration from different sources, whether it is observing the dedication of my staff, who show up every day or a single parent balancing multiple roles in hopes of a better life. Inspiration surrounds us, all we have to do is look for it.

Q What is an important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

A The most important lesson I have l earned in life, and in business, is not to take anything or anyone for granted, and to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. We cannot appreciate success if we have not experienced failure or disappointment. There are times that despite our best efforts, certain things will not work out, but you will be okay, and the sun will rise again.


Negaar Sagafi, DMD

Dr. Sagafi’s brand is PoshOrtho with two locations Bethesda Orthodontics and SpringVallley Orthodontics. She has four degrees from Boston University, including a doctorate from the School of Dental Medicine and an advanced graduate degree in dentofacial orthopedics. she prides herself on offering innovative orthodontic solutions to even the most complex cases using cutting-edge technology and is the only licensed Brava provider in the D.C. area.

Bethesda Orthodontics by PoshOrtho 4833 Bethesda Ave., Suite 202 Bethesda, MD 20814 301-656-0600

Spring Valley Orthodontics by PoshOrtho 4910 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 319 Washington, D.C. 20016 202-244-3600

Q Why do you do what you do? What motivates and inspires you?

A I work hard every day to be a ‘Game C hanger’ in the industry, and in turn elevate public health. I am able to make an incredibly positive change in my patients’ lives. I treat patients from 6-88 years of age. Our young patients seek confidence and self-seem through beautiful smiles, and our mature patients seek oral health longevity.

Q What woman inspires you and why?

A My mom Dr. Soli Sagafi. She was a t railblazer in her own time. She completed her specialty in pediatric dentistry in the early 1970s while she was one of only four other women in all of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. I admire my mom’s resilience, determination, ambition and drive.

Q What has been a pleasant surprise i n your work?

A A phone call in 2017 from an angel i nvestor. He is best known as an early advisor at Dropbox, and has backed major tech companies, including Facebook, Airbnb, Uber and Zappos. He was seeking my opinion on an incredible innovation at its embryo stage since the co-founders of a tech start up in California were pitching for funding to him for the orthodontic invention. Since my years of involvement with the start up as an expert clinician, we continued FDA approved prototypes and testing, and I became the first orthodontist globally to treat patients with what is now known as BRAVA by BRIUS technologies. The incredible and never imagined way to moving teeth with an invisible appliance, with shorter treatment time, less painful and less frequent visits to the orthodontist was born.


Visionary Eye Doctors

Founded by revolutionary philanthropist & ophthalmologist, Dr. J. Alberto Martinez in 1997, Visionary Eye Doctors (VED) offers comprehensive, leadingedge eye care tailored to each patient's unique needs and lifestyle goals from compassionate, trusted specialists. Reflecting the diverse nature of the Washington Metropolitan area, the VED team speaks over eight different languages.

One Central Plaza

11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1202

Rockville, MD 20852

Additional offices in Damascus, Shady Grove, and Washington, D.C. 301-896-0890

“Advanced Technology with a loving touch.”

Q What's the best advice you've received?

A Dr. Georgina Medina: "Default to empathy. Working in medicine, you often encounter people on edge, sometimes experiencing the worst days of their lives. People in those situations are not always their best selves. Defaulting to empathy resets your demeanor, and you'll ultimately be a better doctor for it."

Dr. Lorena Riveros: "You can do it; be clear on where you see yourself in the future and keep working at it every day. People believing in me and my career path have helped me get to where I am."

Dr. Maliha Saeed: " Remember to have empathy and understanding of different perspectives. It helps strengthen emotional intelligence, an important skill when working as closely with patients as we do."

Q Why do you do what you do?

A Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers: " I have wanted to be a surgeon since I was six years

old and saw my dad (a cardiothoracic surgeon)'s connection with his patients. The "wow" reactions patients often experience when their sight is restored are humbling and inspiring."

Dr. Reena Garg: "A person's sight is 83 percent of their perception of the world around them; to have the privilege to protect that keeps me going every day. As a child, I visited India with my dad, who was volunteering at an eye camp offering free cataract surgery to villagers who never had eye care. I was amazed by the impact one small surgery could have on a person's life and their ability to provide for their family."

Q What advice would you offer women just starting out?

A Carolina Clavijo: "Find and speak your truth, even if you become disruptive. Become a truly independent woman and have your life plan; otherwise, you can inadvertently fall into others' plans. Immerse yourself in your community and serve as much as possible; it always pays off."










Selzer Gurvitch

Selzer Gurvitch Rabin Wertheimer & Polott, P.C. is a leading real estate, trusts and estates, business transactions, tax, land use and zoning, and litigation law firm in Bethesda. Since 1982, the firm has delivered innovative solutions to meet the needs of investors, owners, developers and businesses throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

4416 East West Highway, Suite 400 Bethesda, MD 20814


Q What is the significance of a woman holding a top leadership position in a firm?

A Christine Sorge: Women in leadership roles add great value to our clients, colleagues and the firm. We tend to emphasize collaboration, morale and motivation. Women are inclusive and challenge assumptions. We’re adept at pivoting and adjusting to overcome obstacles. These skills help us create solutions for our clients.

Q What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

A Brittany Oravec: A m entor once told me that when choosing a job, the people you work with are a crucial component of job satisfaction. My co-workers inspire and motivate me to bring out my best self. My women colleagues, especially, are always available to provide formal and informal work and life advice.

Q What qualities do you think a s uccessful lawyer should have?

A London Sneden: A successful lawyer should be kind and empathetic. I have experienced the lawyer-client relationship from the client side where I felt that I was just another file in my attorney’s caseload. Every client’s case is personal and important to them, and they are trusting us to handle their matter with care.

Q What advice would you offer women just starting out?

A Jennifer Blunt: Taking ownership of your career and professional development is critical to your success. The only way to see your career advance is by advancing it yourself. Mentors can be valuable, but being the main driver of your own strategic plan will be the most rewarding.


Eisen Blackstone Group


My daughter, Dr. Carly Blackstone, and I created the DC Children’s Institute (DCCI) that will launch soon to be a resource for families that may not have the funds to access mental health services to guide them through the legal system during divorce or custody disputes.

4910 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 318 Washington, D.C. 20016

Q Why do you do what you do? What motivates and inspires you?

A I’ve always had a passion for children. I i nherited it from my mother, who taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I grew up in the era of Mister Rogers, who spent his time in “make believe” with children who still believed in a perfect world. But the world is not perfect.

We may not be able to create a perfect world for our children, but we can have a signi fi cant positive in fl uence on the lives of children and families in crisis by educating them about mental health and the role it plays in their lives. Children often pay the price for their parents’ lack of mental health awareness related to family con fl ict.

Q What are your top priorities?

A My top priority has been working w ith children and families to find a way to make decisions without family court

intervention in custody and divorce cases. I have worked with thousands of families. Without a mental health professional to preserve and protect the child from the beginning, children and families find themselves at the mercy of the court.

Q What has been a major turning p oint in your career?

A My dream as a mother was to share t his passion with my daughter, and I have. My daughter, Dr. Carly Blackstone, became the clinical director for the Office of Parenting Coordination for the D.C. Courts several years ago. We share a mental health practice that works with families to keep their children out of family court custody battles.


Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery

Awards & Affiliations

Double board-certified; American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery & American Board of Otolaryngology— Head and Neck Surgery

Bethesda Magazine Winner, Best Cosmetic Surgeon, 2021 & 2023; Top Doctor, 2019 & 2021; Top Vote Getter, Best Aesthetic Practice, 2020 & 2022; Top Vote Getter, Best Cosmetic Surgeon, 2017

7201 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 515 Bethesda, MD 20814 301-652-8191 |

Q What's the best advice you've received, and how has it helped you?

A One of my mentors during my residency a t Baylor College of Medicine told me to find my passion. He said, “When you figure out what it is, really make it your thing." His advice was integral to how I shaped my career. I have sharpened my expertise by focusing specifically on facial plastic surgery. Working exclusively on the face and neck, I am well-versed in the many nuances of facial anatomy, enabling me to customize every procedure to fit each patient's unique anatomy and personal preferences. I've honed my skills, training and research on the newest and best techniques within my specialty and keep current with the latest developments to ensure I deliver the best possible patient outcomes.

Q How do you measure success?

A Happy patients and a happy family. I f my girls and my husband are happy, I'm happy. At work, it's following up with patients; I love seeing the excitement in their eyes, knowing they appreciate not looking like a different person, just a better version of themselves. Because of my specialty, I see patients from all over the world with varying ideals of what makes someone beautiful. My goal is to bring out whatever natural beauty they would like to see.

Q What is one thing patients should k now about your practice?

A We've brought on an excellent surgeon w ho specializes in body plastic surgery. Many patients have asked about such procedures, and I'm excited to grow my practice to meet their needs.


Carolyn Sappenfield


Carolyn has been a top-producing agent for over 20 years. Her referralbased business and testimonials tell the important story behind her success in providing real estate guidance you can trust. She and her team are dedicated to their client's real estate journey as if it were their own.

RE/MAX Realty Services

4825 Bethesda Ave., Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814

C: 240-353-7601

O: 301-652-0400

Q What services does your firm pr ovide?

A We are a full-service real estate team s erving sellers, buyers, builders, and investors across the D.C. metro region. As native Washingtonians, we provide unmatched market knowledge and resources, breadth of experience, strong local networks, and deep insights into the local market dynamics to help our clients achieve all their real estate goals.

Q What makes your client e xperience unique?

A We tailor every transaction to our c lients' particular needs, and pride ourselves on providing concierge-level service throughout the process. Our clients become friends, and a majority of our business is based on repeats and referrals. We foster a culture wherein clients come first, going above and

beyond to advocate for them with a focus on creative problem-solving, due diligence, and professionalism.

We provide a plethora of advantages, including access to the resources of the largest national and international real estate network of over 100,000 RE/MAX agents. Our team brings over 30 years of combined experience handling real estate negotiations to ensure exceptional results. Our long-standing relationships with fellow local Realtors provide an invaluable benefit to our clients.

Above all, our goal is to make every transaction as seamless as possible by providing extraordinary service with integrity and professionalism. Our track record of success stems not only from our experience and the lifelong client relationships we have developed, but also our commitment to the community in which we are deeply rooted.


Stein Sperling Family Law Department



Stein Sperling Listed as Bethesda Magazine Top Places to Work, 2021-2023

5 Family Law attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2024 edition

All family law attorneys named 2023

Maryland Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 700 Rockville, MD 20852


Q What qualities do you think a s uccessful attorney should have?

A A successful attorney must recognize t hat the law has a personal impact on individuals, no matter the stakes or complexity involved in their legal needs. Understanding how legal issues affect a client’s family, businesses and future is crucial. Successful attorneys embrace a collaborative approach by working together closely with our clients and colleagues. A successful attorney combines legal expertise, a client-centered focus, empathy and strong communication skills to provide comprehensive representation. These qualities, embodied by all our attorneys at Stein Sperling, are vital for navigating the legal landscape and delivering positive results for clients.

Q What's changed for women in business, if anything, over your career?

A Our firm has seen a significant increase i n the number of female attorneys over the course of our careers. More than half of our attorneys and partners are women and hold leadership positions on various committees and practice groups within the firm. The nine Stein Sperling female principals have each started their career as associates at the firm and been elevated to principals. As such, we are committed to the professional development of our associates and senior counsel. Our achievements within the firm and the legal community have paved the way for other female attorneys.


Burt Wealth Advisors


"We become an ongoing resource to each client, helping them navigate their financial life to best achieve their financial goals," says Maria Cornelius. A Bethesda Magazine Best of Bethesda Top Vote Getter in 2021, the firm was also named in the 12 Best Financial Advisors in D.C., Maryland and Virginia by Advisory HQ.

For information on awards criteria, please see: a nd click on awards criteria.

6116 Executive Blvd., Suite 500 North Bethesda, MD 20852

301-770-9880 |

Q Why choose Burt Wealth Advisors?

A Our boutique firm has served the metro a rea for more than 30 years. Of our eight financial advisors, six are women. If you’re looking for a female advisor, we are your firm.

We keep client numbers low so that we have ample time to get to know our clients. We listen carefully, as money is very personal and lots of emotions come into play when talking about financial goals or dealing with market declines.

All our advisors are Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), which requires education in investments, insurance, taxes, and estate planning, as well as continuing education. We’re a team. When you work with a Burt Wealth Advisor, you’re not only being supported by their knowledge, but also the support of the entire team.

We help with investment management, retirement planning, social security maximization, Medicare filing, LTC

planning, coordinating tax planning and estate planning.

Q How has the increase in women advisors changed your firm?

A We see many women who are in a li fe transition and handling finances or serving as their own advocate for the first time. Many enjoy knowing there’s another woman to speak to. All six of our women advisors are in different stages of life and can help clients through life changes.

Q How do you measure success?

A The underlying goal with everything we d o is creating peace of mind. We engage all clients in the planning and investment process, empowering them when it comes to finances. We encourage questions, as they show that our clients are engaged in the process.


Fallsgrove Center for Dentistry



Sp ecialization

General/Restorative, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Implants, Cosmetic, Invisalign, Botox, Dental Sleep Medicine

Designations, Affiliations & Awards

Washingtonian Magazine Top Dentist

Bethesda Magazine Top Dentist

Consumer Checkbook

Spear Faculty Club, AADSM


14955 Shady Grove Road, Suite 200 Rockville, MD 20850


Q What makes your practice unique?

A Fallsgrove Center for Dentistry has p roudly been providing high quality, personalized dental care to this community for over 30 years—many members of our staff and patients have been with us for decades! We believe our convenient and comprehensive multidiscipline team approach truly sets our practice apart. On many occasions, our entire team— restorative dentist, periodontal and orthodontist—meet and examine a patient during the same appointment to ensure thoroughness. We discuss the patient’s and our concerns and recommend treatment accordingly. Our ability to communicate effectively with each other, and the patient, is especially valuable during more complex treatment plans.

We pride ourselves not only on our commitment to warm, extensive and individualized care, but on utilizing the most modern equipment and cutting-

edge methods available. Our goal is to surpass our patients’ expectations.

Q What is the best advice you have received?

A Our families taught us from an early a ge to treat people as you would like to be treated. And that is how our practice operates. We are diligent in listening to our patients, enjoy spending time getting to know them and building trusting relationships. This affords us the insight to diagnose and recommend the best treatment for each individual patient.

Q What can you expect from our office?

A Experienced, knowledgeable dentists a nd a highly trained and personable hygiene team who work together to educate and motivate patients to achieve excellent oral health. Our of fi ce is full of state-of-theart technologies, which allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages and treat dental issues with precision.


Nazareth Bonifacino Law Benefit LLC

Nazareth Bonifacino Law Benefit LLC counsels companies, schools and nonprofits by providing integrative legal advice to protect businesses, create opportunities and deepen the relationships that matter.

Co-founders Natasha M. Nazareth and Ginny Bonifacino empower entrepreneurs and business owners with practical advice at the intersection of law and business.

401 N. Washington St., Suite 470 Rockville, MD 20850 240-202-4302

Q Why do you do what you do? What motivates and i nspires you?

A We believe in lawyering as a force for good. Serving a s outside general counsel for small business owners, nonprofits and independent schools and colleges, we help clients optimize their business, minimize risk and reduce friction, ensuring they can stay focused on their work and thrive. As a purpose-driven organization, we pushed ourselves to become a Certified B Corporation and are proud to be the first law firm in Maryland—and one of only 25 nationwide—to earn this distinction as a leader in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.

Q What changes or innovations are on the horizon i n your industry? How are you preparing for them?

A Technology is rapidly changing the legal industry to r educe administrative waste and allow law firms who provide client-focused service to shine. We actively cultivate rapport with prospective clients and have built tech-enabled business processes to seamlessly onboard clients, process invoices and manage all legal documents, greatly improving the overall client experience. We are constantly refining our processes and keeping up with the latest technological developments to increase efficiency for ourselves and our clients.

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work e very day?

A Working in a supportive, collaborative environment that a llows us to achieve optimal results for our clients. Our consistently high performance stems from the trusting relationships we build with clients, partnering with each to hone in on their unique vision and create innovative, practical strategies to help them prosper and flourish.


The Hill Law Group


“I measure success by improving each year. I don’t compare myself to others. Rather, I like to look back and see the growth I have achieved.”

7200 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 500 Bethesda, MD 20814


Q What was a major turning point in your career?

A I realized that I could do things my o wn way. In the legal field it’s easy to get drawn into how things have been traditionally done. I was unhappy pursuing my career in the traditional manner. When I decided to step out of the box, open my own firm and practice law the way that I wanted to, I became much happier.

Q What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during your career?

A Don’t be afraid to ask for help! When I w as a younger attorney, I was terrified of asking others for help. As a result, I made mistakes that could have been avoided. Having moved past this fear, I learn from my colleagues and better serve my clients.

Q What advice would you offer for women just starting out?

A Don’t be afraid to speak up. Women’s v oices and opinions are often overlooked or muted. My advice is to remember that you have a voice and use it. You are not where you are by accident; you’re there because you are qualified. The world should hear what you have to say.

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work every day?

A I work in an office full of smart women. I l ove the way we bounce ideas off of each other. I also love that we work to improve the lives of our clients and we all genuinely enjoy the work that we do.


The Banner Team

The Banner Team is an award-winning real estate powerhouse with a national reputation. Specializing in luxury and upper-bracket properties across the DMV, their impressive track record dates back over three decades. Implementing a teamoriented approach to every transaction, The Banner Team's commitment to excellence ensures clients receive unparalleled dedication throughout their buying or selling journey.

Bethesda Gateway Office 7373 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1700

Bethesda, MD 20814

Direct: 301-365-9090

L&F Office: 301-907-7600

Q How have you mentored or i nspired others who are following in your footsteps?

A Leading by example, showing the next g eneration of real estate agents to be collaborative, active listeners, and always do the right thing, no matter what.

Q What qualities do you think a s uccessful real estate agent should have?

A Integrity is No. 1; persistence and r esilience. Building a successful real estate career takes time and perseverance. The best real estate agents are always prepared for challenges, setbacks and market fluctuations. They're motivated, maintain a positive mindset, and learn from both successes and failures. Real estate is a dynamic industry, so keeping current on market trends, emerging technologies and changing consumer preferences is vital. Focused on delivering exceptional customer service,

the top real estate agents can seamlessly adapt to new strategies, technologies and tools to enhance their business and improve client experiences.

Q What advice would you offer women just starting out?

A Go everywhere (in D.C., Maryland and V irginia) and sell in all price points.

Q Why do you do what you do?

A We love being part of our community a nd helping people; our impact is very important to us. Over the years, we've developed deep, valuable partnerships and friendships with clients, other agents and industry professionals. Whether we're guiding friends and neighbors through the home buying and selling process, donating a portion of every commission to local charities through our Pay It Forward program, hosting community events, or serving local organizations, we seek to immerse ourselves in our community.


The McKeon Law Firm



The McKeon Law Firm offers a personal approach and customized solutions for family law matters. Recognized by Washingtonian, Shelly McKeon is included in Super Lawyers (Maryland and Washington, D.C.) and the Maryland Daily Record's Power List: Family Law.

Jessica Kern has received the Client Champion recognition from MartindaleHubbell, and the firm holds the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating.

3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 700-71 Bethesda, MD 20814

17B Firstfield Road, Suite 101 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 301-417-9222

Q Why choose The McKeon Law Firm?

A Working with a family law attorney i s a good investment in your future; we specialize exclusively in all family legal matters, from prenuptial agreements and uncontested divorces to complex divorce cases involving businesses, partnerships, pensions, fi nancial tracing and multiple properties. Our clients bene fi t from our extensive experience with settlement negotiations and litigation involving custody and visitation, enforcement, contempt, modi fi cation of prior orders, domestic violence and child, spousal and retroactive support. Drawing from decades of practice, we offer a knowledgeable perspective and are committed to educating our clients about their options, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Q How do you measure success?

A Many of our clients are referrals from pr ior clients and other professionals, which

we consider an outstanding achievement. It re fl ects the trusted relationships we have built with clients by actively listening to their needs and helping them achieve their goals as best we can. Additionally, our attorneys have worked together for over a decade with many longtime staff members; this continuity helps clients feel more comfortable.

Q What is one thing prospective clients should know about working with you?

A You will have an entire team on your s ide, advocating on your behalf and guiding you through the storm toward better days. We take pride in offering the customized care expected from a boutique la w fi rm—a tailored hands-on approach to each case, prompt communication and attention to detail—while offering the experience, expertise, skills and resources more often associated with a larger practice.


Sandy Spring Builders, LLC


Sandy Spring Builders, the area’s premier custom homebuilder, is an integrated, full-service team with more than 40 years of experience bringing our clients’ vision to life. Our vast portfolio of well-built homes makes a lasting impression, proven by myriad awards, including Best of Bethesda every year since its inception.

4705 West Virginia Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 301-913-5995

Q What motivates and inspires you?

A I fell in love with building homes over 40 years ago. We p rovide homes for people to enjoy with friends and family and make lasting memories. I am motivated every day by the incredible people I work with and inspired by the beautiful homes we build. I love bringing my passion for construction to my involvement with our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. This year 25 women joined me to work on a build site, and we raised over $50,000 for decent and affordable housing.

Q What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

A There are so many lessons, but one of the most important i s knowing you’re not perfect and admitting to your mistakes. We are building someone’s dream home, which has hundreds of details and is a large financial obligation. Mistakes happen, and it’s so essential that your clients and business associates know that you will always make it right. Standing by your work and your word is critical. My business partner Phil Leibovitz and I have always believed that our reputation is paramount.

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work e very day?

A I enjoy working with a variety of people–clients, engineers a nd architects, subcontractors, realtors, lenders and our talented team at SSB. Don’t get me wrong, the work can be very stressful when you’re building custom homes in our area. But the challenges give me energy, and I love the collaborative process.


Potomac Audiology



I opened Potomac Audiology in Rockville in 1998. It was slow going at first, with only one fitting room and one audiologist, which was me! Today, the practice occupies 3,000 square feet of office space with seven fitting rooms and five audiologists.

11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 105 Rockville, MD 20852


Q What has been a recent technological development in your field?

A Something near and dear to our p ractice is called “Real Ear” or “Probe Microphone” measures. This procedure allows us to put a tiny tube that is attached to a tiny microphone in a patient’s ear during the hearing aid fitting. We can measure exactly what the hearing aid is delivering to the eardrum. This procedure is not widely done but we consider it a vital component of a good hearing aid fitting. Without performing this measurement, there’s no way to know whether a patient is receiving the correct amplification on the correct frequencies.

Q What is one of your top priorities i n your work?

A Providing each person with the best h earing healthcare possible. This includes using the best testing equipment, Real Ear equipment and hearing aids from all the major manufacturers.

Q How are you helping others follow i n your career path?

A My daughter, Dr. Tricia Terlep, is our p ediatric audiologist. Together, we have mentored, trained and hired many talented young audiologists from the University of Maryland and Gallaudet University.


Ain & Bank, P.C.

Q What do you love most about what you do?

A preeminent boutique law firm, Ain & Bank's award-winning, compassionate attorneys represent clients with an acute understanding of family law matters. Though they strive to resolve cases amicably, Ain & Bank attorneys are sophisticated litigators, committed to representing a wide range of clients— including those with substantial assets and complex business interests—with discretion and integrity.

1300 19th St. NW, Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20036 202-530-3300

A As family law attorneys, we're helping clients navigate one of the toughest seasons of their lives. While this area of law can be complex and emotional, it's also one of the most rewarding. We pride ourselves on offering our clients the best, compassionate legal representation available and work tirelessly to meet every need. Our principals have over a century of combined experience and applying creative, innovative legal strategies, have successfully resolved some of the nation's most notable, complex family law cases. Though we work diligently to reach amicable, non-litigated solutions, our attorneys are highly-skilled litigators with signi fi cant trial and appellate experience.

Q What advice would you offer women just starting out?

A Embrace the value you bring to your

w ork environment and be proactive in your professional growth. Engaging with colleagues and clients can lead to valuable opportunities to learn from others and grow professionally. Seek mentorship and guidance from women in other practice areas and join organizations that will help you foster those connections, possibly opening doors for future leadership opportunities.

Q What qualities do you think a s uccessful family law attorney should have?

A Aside from legal acumen, the ability t o manage clients' emotional needs. We emphasize dignity, integrity and compassion for individuals enmeshed in family disputes, prioritizing discretion while helping clients navigate deeply personal conflicts. Dedication to continued learning and keeping current on changes in the law is also essential.


Pasternak & Fidis, P.C.


In business for over 40 years representing individuals and families in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia, we focus on client satisfaction. We tailor our representation to the unique perspective of each person walking through our doors, whether we are working with complex families, unmarried clients, same-gendered couples or business owners.

7101 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1025    Bethesda, MD 20814 301-656-8850

Q How do you measure success?

A The attorneys in our Estates and Trusts G roup are consistently recognized for providing outstanding estate planning and estate and trust administration counsel to our clients. Our approach combines essential technical knowledge and skills with personalized and thoughtful advice that recognizes the uniqueness of every client.

In addition to providing effective client service, we are committed to the success of our legal profession and our estates and trusts Bar. Our work with national, state and local organizations keeps us at the forefront of estate planning and probate issues and allows us to lead the Bar to a more inclusive culture and representative membership. Our group includes the immediate past president of the Bar Association of Montgomery County and a past chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Estate and Trust Law Section Council.

Q What are your top priorities?

A The peaceful resolution of family d isputes is the top priority of our Domestic and Family Law Group. We are skilled and experienced in traditional negotiation, collaborative law and mediation. We use these processes to achieve settlements that preserve wealth and family relationships.

Our work includes representation for premarital and postmarital agreements for parties planning for the end of marriage by death or dissolution. Our clients include mature individuals seeking to provide for children and grandchildren, as well as younger people entering into first marriages who want to avoid contested proceedings if their marriage fails. We also represent domestic partners who similarly wish to plan for the future through a cohabitation agreement.


Scout & Molly’s of North Bethesda


Scout & Molly’s team is led by the owner, Wendy Brack Fritz, manager Abby Goldman and assistant manager Michelle Gips. Among the three they have different educational backgrounds in business, fashion and communications along with decades of experience that they employ to ensure that each of their customers has a positive, unique shopping experience.

11882 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda, MD 20852 301-348-5047

Instagram: @scoutandmollysnorthbethesda

Q What do you believe is the reason for your success?

A We have an entire team that is f ashion-forward and a shared culture that empowers and supports our customers. We absolutely “sweat the small stuff.” Every interaction, every chosen piece of merchandise, and every overall experience of each person who enters our store is worthwhile and fun.

Q What makes your store different f rom others?

A We have new, unique and beautiful c lothing and accessories arriving every day. Our incredible staff love styling our customers so that they visit often and walk away with one piece or an entire new wardrobe feeling valued and supported.

Q What has been a surprise after five years?

A Although there’s a lot of work that

g oes into running boutiques, it has been more rewarding than we ever imagined. We created a place where customers frequently comment that it must be so fun to work here. Having many women stop in to see what’s new, pick up a doggie biscuit for their pup, or just to say hello reminds us that we are doing something right.

Q What advice would you give to someone starting a clothing boutique?

A A passion for fashion is not enough. R unning a successful boutique—or two in our case— requires a commitment of time and energy for marketing, budgeting, data analysis and overall due diligence. When owners outsource these tasks, they reduce their ability to create a holistic vision encompassing all facets of their business and they limit the financial freedom to take risks, give back to their community, and reward their team.


Collier Florance Van Scoy



Awards, Honors and Affiliations

Top Divorce Attorneys, Bethesda Magazine; Top Lawyers, Family Law (including Hall of Fame 2022), Washingtonian; American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; Best Lawyers in America, Family Law; Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Women Attorneys, Super Lawyers Maryland

7315 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 250W Bethesda, MD 20814

301-276-4371 |

Q Why did you start your own firm?

A We were all accomplished litigators a nd experienced negotiators who shared a commitment to our clients. We wanted to be able to provide the level of service and attention that we know families need during a tumultuous time in their lives. We understand the importance of being with our clients every step of the way, and we know they value the level of support and guidance we provide . O ur complementary skill sets and perspectives enlarge the scope of our services And we care deeply about serving and improving the legal profession.

Q What makes Collier Florance Van S coy different?

A Our firm exclusively practices family l aw. Whether through negotiation or litigation, we fiercely advocate for our clients. We often take a team approach; each client benefits from our collective skills, strengths and experience . I n addition to representing our clients well, we are each active members and leaders in a variety of legal and community organizations, including local and state bar associations, the Women’s Bar Association, and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers . W e are often appointed by the court to serve as attorneys for children or as divorce mediators. Our reputation for excellence has been recognized many times; we’re routinely listed among the region’s best divorce lawyers in both Washingtonian and Bethesda Magazine


Farnady Interiors


Through a discovery-driven process and close working relationship, Katalin strives to uncover her clients' personal style and tell their unique stories. She believes in starting every project with a strong foundation, honoring design principles, architecture, and history. In doing so, she’s able to push boundaries while honoring traditional design aesthetics and her client’s design vision.

Katalin's bold work is inspired by art, furniture, fashion, and her world travels, resulting in sophisticated, functional design. As a risk-taker, you can expect the unexpected with Katalin Farnady.

Annapolis, MD 443-822-3248 |

Q What is the focus and philosophy of your company?

A I’m always evolving, and that is my g oal. I am very curious and that keeps me wanting to move forward and gain knowledge. I also try to make sure never to give up on trying new things. It helps that I am not afrai d of making mistakes, so I am not afraid to experiment with a new approach. You never know what you might learn, or what might come out of it.

Q What are the most important q ualities in a well-designed space, and how do you achieve them for your clients?

A Spirit and emotions are the qualities I i nstall in every project. As an interior designer, I am a listener, a creator and an interpreter at the same time. I believe that the goal of designing any space should be that each finished projec t i s a reflection of

the clients and their sensibilities. I never forget that their home is their sanctuary.

Q What woman inspires you and why?

A I grew up wit h a v e ry strong and independent single mother who is a pediatrician. She taugh t m e how to work hard and never give up. I am also raising three beautiful daughter s w ho inspir e m e with their determination, commitment to their passions and confidence in what they know they can achieve . T hey, as well as my mother’s influence, make me a better person.


BlueOwl Career Prep + Advising



Q How do you measure success?

A I measure success by outcomes. Success means every o ne of our Gen Z clients secures an internship or job that aligns with their interests, passion and career goals. Young adults today know what they want to do but lack the tools and the path to get there. And college career centers simply are not providing students with sufficient support to navigate the increasingly complex and competitive internship and job market.

At BlueOwl Career Prep + Advising, we empower and advise college students and recent grads so they develop the “About Me” pitch, resume package and the interviewing skills they need to reach their “You’re Hired” moment. We succeed when every college student and recent grad can say, “Hello, Working World!”

CityDance Conservatory


5301 Tuckerman Lane | North Bethesda, MD 20852 301-581-5204 |

Q Why choose CityDance Conservatory?

A In 2007, I founded the conservatory with a vision for p reparing students for 21st-century careers in dance. Our program produces professional dancers of world-class caliber. Alumni are performing with companies including The Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico and Staatsballett Berlin. Whatever path they pursue upon graduation, our program develops talents in and through dance.

Q If you could go back and give advice to yourself a s a young professional, what would you say?

A As a woman especially, you have to put yourself out t here and take up space, unapologetically. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Find them, create them, and then make more for others with the same fire in their belly.


The Spencer Firm, LLC


The Spencer Firm provides legal representation to individuals seeking restitution for employment rights violations. A Panama native raised in the DMV, Deyka Williams Spencer (fluent in Spanish) is an experienced award-winning attorney selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and 40 under 40 and Bethesda Magazine's " Top Attorneys."

1 Research Court, Suite 450-92 Rockville, MD 20850 301-637-2866

Q What brings you the most satisfaction in your work?

A Righting wrongs, helping employees whose workplace r ights have been violated obtain justice, and ensuring people have a legally-sound foundation for their business ventures to avoid pitfalls that can ruin good companies. I recently had a client who abruptly lost her job and struggled to stay afloat. She came to me for help getting her last paycheck. But when I started reviewing her paperwork, I was astounded by how badly her employer had taken advantage of her. We took action and received almost four times more, allowing her time to seek a new employment opportunity. That is why I do what I do

Q What qualities do you think a successful employment law attorney should have?

A Active listening is paramount; unfamiliar with the law, c lients can often inadvertently bury valuable information within extraneous details. A good listener hones in on the golden nuggets that can make a case. Honesty and integrity. Also, treating your clients like people, not just cases, fosters effective communication and drives you to fervently advocate on their behalf to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Q What woman inspires you and why?

A I'm inspired by the hardworking women in my family—my m om, my aunt, my grandmothers—who set the foundation for us. My mom would do anything for my siblings and me. I try to make sure I'm instilling the same values in my three kids: to be good people and make the world a better place.


Paradiso, Taub, Sinay, Owel & Kostecka, P.C.

7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 1400 | Bethesda, MD 20814 301-986-7900 |

Q Why do you do what you do?

A Every day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth. Having experienced divorce and raising two daughters alone, I know what it's like to persevere against all odds. My personal and professional background allows me to help clients make a positive transition to the next stage of their life. I also enjoy mentoring young lawyers, encouraging them to be themselves, to emulate those whom they respect and admire, and to reach their potential.

Q What woman inspires you and why?

A My grandmother was a leader long before women's e mpowerment became a prominent cause. As an activist and nonprofit volunteer — she appeared alongside Eleanor Roosevelt in many newspaper photos — she taught me to be strong and compassionate, to treat everyone equally and to trust my instincts.

North Bethesda Periodontal Group


11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 407 | Rockville, MD 20852 240-483-0775 |

Q What can patients expect from a visit to your office?

A At North Bethesda Periodontal Group, we believe in a t eam approach to care. My husband and I have been practicing together for over 15 years, working closely with referring restorative doctors and dental specialists to provide optimal treatment and results for our patients in a welcoming and relaxing environment. Everything we do is guided by accuracy, safety, comfort and recovery.

Q What advice do you have for women just starting out?

A Maintaining a work-life balance is challenging, e specially as co-owner of a practice, but you can pursue a successful periodontal career without sacrificing other areas of your life. Seeing my work's positive impact on patients' lives, helping them achieve periodontal health and thus, better overall health, makes it all worth it.


MedStar Montgomery Medical Center


Emily Briton joined MedStar Montgomery Medical Center as its first female president in July, previously serving as chief operating officer and senior vice president at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She holds a Master of Health Administration from George Washington University— where she now guest lectures—and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

18101 Prince Philip Drive Olney, MD 20832


Q What woman inspires you and why?

A My mother has always inspired m e, especially with her positivity and determination. She emigrated to the Washington, D.C. area from Southeast Asia just before college. With optimism, grace and grit, she's reinvented herself several times. A small business owner when I was little, she left the workforce to raise my sister and me. She jumped back in a decade later and became a teacher for almost 20 years. Then, in her 60s, she pursued two lifelong dreams, completing her master's degree at Georgetown University and opening an award-winning restaurant in D.C.

Q What was a major turning point in your life and/or career?

A When my daughter was diagnosed with c ancer at age 5, though I had worked in healthcare for nearly 15 years, I realized

I never fully understood the journey our patients and families endure until I went through it personally. That experience drives every decision I make as a hospital president. Our commitment to treating the individual and caring for everyone like family is much more personal now.

Q What are your top priorities?

A Professionally, to build a culture c entered around teamwork and dedication to providing a positive experience for our patients. No patient in the greater Olney area should ever have to leave their community for exceptional, safe, compassionate care. At MedStar Montgomery, we provide phenomenal care and are connected with the best health system in the region. In my personal life, I strive to raise my two girls to be kind and compassionate future leaders who make the world better.


Green & Bean Boutique


1915 Towne Centre Blvd., #120 Annapolis, MD 21401

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work e very day?

A I love when people come into the store for th e fi r st time and say, "I've been looking for a place like this!" Or, "My friend would love this place!” Typically, when we think about sustainable shopping, we think about eco-friendly toothpaste or zero-waste laundry detergent, the household essentials. I opened Green & Bean to tackle a largely untapped side of sustainability and offer people in the Washington, D.C. area a place to go for unique, high-quality, sustainable gifts from ethical brands. Nothing in the store is a 'need;' we have backgammon sets and indulgent (but natural!) bath accessories. It's just gratifyin g to help people discover that gifting and living sustainably can still be fun, frivolous and full of personality.

Grover & Badalian LLC


11 N. Washington St., Suite 630 | Rockville, MD 20850 |

Q What's changed for women in business over your c areer?

A Women ar e i n b usiness more than ever before. Women starting law firms, managing law firms, chairing practice groups and leading committees, is now commonplace . T here are still challenges and some opposition, but the change toward individual empowerment for women has certainly shifted in a positive direction, even over the past 10 years.

Q What qualities do you think a successful woman i n your field should have?

A The most successful female attorneys that I know h ave energy and patience. They give themselves and others grace whenever appropriate. It helps to have a desire to learn, change and grow. Women excel at building meaningful connections and partnerships that not only benefit clients, but also enrich their professional and personal lives.


ABW Appliances



North Bethesda Showroom

5526 Nicholson Ln. North Bethesda, MD 20852 301-770-8579

Q To what do you attribute the s uccess of your company?

A We believe in staying open to change. A t ABW we always seek a better way to do business.

In 2010, after being turned down by another dealer, Kim Calavas, now vice president of sales, pitched the concept of a Builder Development Group to serve multifamily and production builders. The group grossed over $18 million in 2022. Another of ABW’s longest-tenured executives, Kelly Tinsay, leads sales training. Since 2006, Kelly has helped ABW sustain steady growth in the trade market during critical years of expansion. Lisa Dillon, a 20-year appliance veteran, manages ABW’s Jessup Showroom. Her team serves high-end trade professionals in and near Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

Tracy Dhyani, ABW co-founder, led a major rebrand in 2016. Appliance Builder Wholesalers transitioned to ABW

Appliances, making “Appliances a Better Way” more accessible to homeowners. Stacey Renee carries the marketing torch with an industry-leading team on a mission to make appliance shopping better for everyone.

Karla Kafie, along with her sevenperson accounting team, moved ABW to digital records, introduced QuickBooks and implemented an online payment gateway. Carmen Orellana leads a team of skilled craftspeople in repairs, renovations, decoration and events support.

Rookie of the Year in 2021, Amber Andino coordinates logistics for 90-plus appliance orders daily. Her 18-person delivery team utilizes cutting-edge AI, texting and GPS technology. In 2008, Brooke Chandler, senior client services manager, launched a parts, repair and customer service department to replace outsourcing with in-house customer advocacy. ABW now has 30 on staff to solve the toughest appliance problems.


McCabe Russell


Offices in Bethesda, Rockville and Maple Lawn 443-812-1435

Q What qualities do you think a successful attorney s hould have?

A Heather McCabe: " Templates are a dime a dozen in this internet age, but there is nothing cookie-cutter about our work. The most successful attorneys I know are resolute in pursuing excellence for their clients. To me, this means having an unrelenting curiosity about our clients' situations, the law we are applying and innovative ways to best address each client's needs."

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work e very day?

A Emily Russell: " Wo rking with an exceptional team—many of whom are accomplished women leaders in their own right—who are as passionate about advocating for our clients as I am. This sense of teamwork and determination helps buoy our clients through their hardest times."


SUZANNE OSBORN, VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES 1600 Research Blvd. | Rockville, MD  20850 301-251-1500 |

Q What has been an unexpected surprise in your work?

A Westat's emphasis on cross-company collaboration h as been a pleasant surprise. Working for a company that genuinely wants to hear from its employees is refreshing. Cross-functional committees and working groups are the norm; getting feedback from different practices and departments helps us in everything we do. As an employeeowned company, getting feedback and engagement directly from employees is a critical part of our culture.

Q What are your top priorities?

A My top priorities center around employee engagement a nd retention. The pandemic changed how our employees work and engage with one another and our clients. Employee engagement is more complicated with remote work and hybrid schedules; I strive to engage employees in meaningful ways, ensuring an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves and sharing their diverse ideas.


Chevy Chase Trust


Chevy Chase Trust is an independent, privately-owned investment management firm specializing in global thematic research, portfolio management, financial and estate planning, and fiduciary services. The firm is a thought leader and performance leader in global thematic investing.

7501 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1500W Bethesda, MD 20814 240-497-5000

Q What has changed for women in fi nancial management/investing, and how is that reflected at Chevy Chase Trust (CCT)?

A The percentage of women in the fi n ancial sector has grown exponentially over the past few decades to nearly 50 percent. Still, women only hold 15 percent of executive roles. But CCT i s a fi rm that values women—as clients, employees and leaders. With more women in the workforce than ever, many seek advice from professionals who can best understand fi rst-hand their investment needs and broader goals. At CCT, women comprise 54 percent of the overall staff and 65 percent of the senior management team, reinforcing that women bring value to the table.

Q What sets Chevy Chase Trust apart f rom the competition?

A Our global thematic approach to i nvesting is our greatest differentiator.

Thematic investing involves capitalizing on powerful secular trends, disruptive ideas, innovations and economic forces constantly reshaping our world. We build portfolios of individual companies positioned to exploit these transformational changes, and, just as importantly, avoid companies that will be disrupted by creative destruction. Additionally, all new client relationships start wit h a fi nancial plan that informs the investment strategy and asset allocation recommendations for each unique relationship. There is no one-size-fi ts-all offering; every step of the process is personalized.

Q What qualities should a successful p erson in your industry possess?

A In addition to extensive knowledge and experience, the bes t fi nancial professionals listen actively to their clients, are innovative problem solvers—always prepared for the unexpected—and are honest.


Wink Eyecare Boutique


1095 Seven Locks Road | Potomac, MD 20854 301-545-1111 |

Q What made you decide to get into your line of work?

A I’ve had poor eyesight since childhood. Optometry a lways interested me, so I followed that course of study. I'm also interested in fashion, and glasses have become super fun and stylish. So, I combined my medical skills and fashion sense and opened Wink—my own optometry practice with a built-in glasses boutique.

Q How do you employ new technology to help your patients?

A Several new technologies have made a great impact on m y work and patient care. Once exclusive to dermatology clinics, Wink is proud to offer the Epi-C Plus IPL device in our office. If you have chronic dry eye syndrome, over the counter drops are often not enough. This pain free, non-invasive therapy helps to increase the production of oil in the meibomian glands. By increasing the production of oil, the tear film becomes more stable and can better lubricate the eye, relieving dry eye symptoms.

Webb Soypher McGrath, LLC

4340 East West Highway, Suite 401 Bethesda, MD 20814 301-298-8401

Q How do you measure success?

A We measure success by two factors: The favorable o utcomes we receive for our clients and our reputation for providing outstanding legal services. Family law requires the ability to expertly guide clients through a challenging period, helping them make informed and goaloriented decisions and enabling our clients to achieve the best results for themselves and their families, whether concerning custody of children or financial stability and the preservation of assets. We succeed because our clients consistently achieve positive long-term resolutions of their critical family transitions. When someone needs family law services, our colleagues, the judges in the courts where we practice, and our former clients trust and recommend the attorneys at our firm time and time again.


Maryland Oncology Hematology

Board certified in hematology and medical oncology, Dr. O’Connor has a special focus on women’s health: breast cancer, gynecologic cancers and genetic risk assessment. She completed her medical residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center and earned a certification in genetic cancer risk assessment at City of Hope in 2015.

Maryland Oncology Hematology

Rockville | Germantown 301-424-6231

Q What motivates you in your work?

A I am passionate about women’s health. As an oncologist, I f ocus on my patient’s quality of life during treatment. I have an equally strong interest in and dedication to prevention and screening strategies.

Q What was a major turning point in your career?

A Twelve years ago, I joined an all-male practice where I was a ble to leverage my skills as a woman physician to build our breast cancer program and a cancer genetics program. It was rewarding to help grow our team o f f emale physicians.

Q What do you look forward to when you go to work each day?

A Many women with breast cancer and gynecologic cancers p refer to receive care from a female oncologist, therefore the vast majority of my patients are female. I look forward to connecting with them. I love the bonds that we share.

Q What is a recent development in your field?

A There is so much new data in the field of genetics. N ewly discovered genes help guide me in recommending personalized screening protocols. For those patients that meet high risk criteria, I provide a full counseling session followed by a blood test that can determine if they carry a positive mutation.

Anyone with a positive mutation receives a personalized screening plan for prevention and reduction of cancer risk. Even if genetic testing is negative, some women need extra breast cancer screening based on family history. There are medications, lifestyle changes and other cancer prevention modalities that we discuss in full.


Bethesda Conservatory of Dance


8004 Norfolk Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 215-205-8419

Q What excites you about your work?

A Every day, I am certain that I have the best job in the w orld. I go to work where I am privileged with the task of connecting children and families in our community to the beautiful art of dance. Every day, my top priority is creating a safe, fun, kind, warm and welcoming learning environment. It is low pressure but high quality.

As the founding director and owner of Bethesda Conservatory of Dance, I am dedicated to helping students succeed in the studio and beyond. I aim to foster their confidence, develop age-appropriate dance technique, and facilitate lasting friendships. Our ethos revolves around building both artistry and character. Professional dance educators are positive role models guiding our students.

H&H Lawworks, LLC


1 Research Court, Suite 450 Rockville, MD 20850 240-403-2693

Q Why do you do what you do?

A I’ve always loved helping people. Those working t hrough a divorce and/or custody matter are undeniably in need of guidance and support. Helping clients through this stage truly fulfills me.

Q What are your top priorities?

A While zealously protecting their rights and interests, I e ncourage my clients to be calm and focused while we partner toward workable outcomes, explaining what the courts can and cannot do, focusing on their future and helping them land as softly as possible on the other side. Ensuring high-quality legal representation to those who cannot afford it is another priority. I offer a sliding scale fee-structure, a rarity in this field. My firm provides comprehensive representation in family matters, including domestic relations orders and estate planning.


Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics


Dr. Goodman is an orthodontist and past-president of the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists. Dr. Heather is a pediatric dentist and a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. They are both board-certified specialists and have been practicing together in the area for over 10 years.

4818 Del Ray Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 301-664-4220

Q How have you mentored or inspired others who are following in your footsteps?

A Our partnership started through the m entorship of Dr. Amy Light and we wanted to provide the same opportunity to others. Team Harmony includes members of our internship program for those interested in a career in dentistry. Also, the process of starting up a new business as mothers during COVID was taxing but watching our daughters participate with us was both exciting and fun. Our patients can thank them for the Ms. Pacman machine and the cool prizes.

Q How do you measure success?

A At Harmony, we measure success b y how much we can give back to our patients and our community. This is why we have partnered with a local non-profit called City Blossoms that develops kid-

focused green spaces. At these green spaces, toddlers to teens can learn about pollination, composting, plant cycles and growing edible gardens. For every new patient we donate plants to help these gardens grow because we believe that health starts from the ground up!

Q What changes or innovations are on the horizon in your industry? How are you preparing for them?

A One innovation that we are passionate a bout is a shift towards a more teambased approach to care. Research has continued to confirm the strong link between oral and full-body health. Understanding that many factors influence how a child grows allows us to tailor treatment and help them reach their full potential. We have partnered with other local healthcare providers to create a study club that focuses on this treatment philosophy.



ResidentslineupoutsideHughes UnitedMethodistChurchinWheaton foritsweeklyfoodpantry.



Outside the church, a steady stream of people joins those already in line, including many pushing strollers and clasping the hands of young kids, as they wait to enter the pantry run by the Mid County Hub at Hughes United Methodist Church. The Georgia Avenue church oversees the hub, one of eight set up by the county during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide food and other social services to residents in need.

By the time the pantry closes early in the afternoon, Wingeier’s small staff and volunteers will have served roughly 700 people—more than at any time during the pandemic, she says—filling bags and boxes with fresh produce, baked goods and other staples. Even as the pandemic has waned, the number of people who are food insecure in Montgomery County hasn’t abated, county officials and local food bank operators say. While some residents were able to recover a sense of stability as employment picked up, they soon found that the rising costs of food and other expenses resulting from a turbulent economy meant their paychecks didn’t stretch as far as they used to.

“The need is growing,” says Wingeier, who is facing the challenge of feeding more people as donations decrease and pandemic-driven federal funding that helped communities feed residents runs out. “How can I reject all of these people, tell them to go home?”

In October 2022, the county council approved an additional $8.1 million for the county’s Food Staples Program, which provides food to individuals and families in need, to prevent it from running out of money. “The latest pressure on our high-

risk populations is inflation and the high cost of housing and childcare,” noted the request from Democratic County Executive Marc Elrich. The county’s operating budget for the fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2024, which was approved by the county council in May, includes $6.4 million for initiatives to alleviate food insecurity.

The end of the temporary benefit boost to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in late February—and the dropping of thousands of residents from the rolls after waived administration requirements were reinstated—has resulted in residents flocking to food distribution sites in numbers that surpass those during the height of the pandemic, people involved with food assistance programs say.

Manna Food Center, a nonprofit that has been serving the county for 40 years, is facing increasing demand. The organization provided food to a record high of about 5,500 households in June, “well above” the demand at the peak of the pandemic, says Steve Corrozi, deputy director for operations at Manna. With offices in Silver Spring and a distribution warehouse in Gaithersburg, Manna also partners with the county to provide food distributed by smaller local agencies, delivers weekend food bags to students at 53 county public schools and runs six school-based pantries.

“We’re sort of wrestling with what our capacity could be because that’s beyond what we have done in the past,” Corrozi says. “We know that there’s demand there and we’re trying to optimize for how we can comfortably and sustainably increase the food that we’re providing.”

The high cost of living in the county coupled with the income threshold for participation in programs such as SNAP has only exacerbated the problem. The income threshold is 130% of the federal poverty level, which would be just under $30,000 a year for a family of three, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute in Washington, D.C. And yet the self-sufficiency standard in Montgomery County is 400% of the federal poverty level, says Allison Schnitzer, food access initiatives director for the Montgomery County Food Council, a nonprofit that brings together businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and residents around food system issues.

“We have such a high self-sufficiency standard here in Mont-

On a Tuesday morning in mid-April, Hughes United Methodist Church Pastor Diana Wingeier is bustling about the gymnasium at the Wheaton church , moving boxes of mushrooms to the back of the room and bags of leafy greens to a table near the front door as she helps shepherd dozens of Montgomery County residents through a weekly food pantry.

gomery County that you have people who are certainly not making enough to feed their families well enough or consistently enough, but are making too much to be eligible for SNAP,” she says. “So you have a large number of people who fall into that space.”

That’s the case with Carmen Perea, 55, of Silver Spring, who says her job as a fulltime housekeeper pays her too much to qualify for SNAP benefits, but not enough to pay for food and other expenses. The Colombian immigrant supplements what she can afford with a box of food from her Silver Spring church twice a month that includes staples such as meat, produce and canned goods. Meanwhile, she says she worries how she will be able to afford to retire.

Older residents who receive SNAP benefits and Social Security have been particularly hard hit by the benefit reductions, seeing a maximum monthly SNAP benefit cut from $281 to $23, according to Schnitzer. Families also have seen their SNAP benefits cut by hundreds of dollars.

“People are calling us in a panic,”

Schnitzer says. “We’re really seeing this as a hunger cliff that people are facing because their food budgets through SNAP are being dramatically reduced and the price of food is still staying high and there are just fewer resources out there.”

Chelsi Lewis knew she’d be eating oatmeal for dinner again. Feeding three growing teenagers on a limited budget and donations from local food banks, the single mom from Rockville often has to be creative to come up with nourishing meals and also make the family’s food supplies last as long as possible.

So that meant cooking just half of a package of six chicken thighs—one per child—that weeknight in mid-April and saving the rest for another meal. It also meant being evasive with her kids when they asked why she wasn’t having the same dinner as theirs.

When her children were younger and Lewis would struggle to put enough food on the table, she would tell them she wasn’t hungry or that she’d eaten at work. But now that the kids are older— her twin son and daughter are 18 and her other son is 13—it has become more difficult to lie. “They pay attention more,” says Lewis, 50. “And I’m just honest with them, like, ‘Hey, I just don’t have it, guys. Look, I’m fine. As long as y’all eat, I’m good. I’m going to be fine.’ ”

Lewis, who works for a nonprofit in Landover, has had to rely more on local food banks to feed her family. In December, she lost her eligibility to receive $800 per month from SNAP


PastorDianaWingeier,left,helpswithpreparation attheHughesUnitedMethodistChurchfoodpantry.


because her extra work during the holidays had increased her income to just above the program’s threshold. She says she was rejected for the same reason in January and doesn’t have the time or energy to go through the onerous application process again.

In May, Lewis advanced from working part time to full time at the nonprofit after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University. In July, still trying to make ends meet, she was delivering for Instacart and DoorDash in the evenings. August was expected to bring some financial relief when her twins headed off to college at Bowie State.

According to the Capital Area Food Bank’s 2022 Hunger Report, Lewis and her kids were among the 30% of county residents who experienced some sort of food insecurity in 2021, which is defined by the USDA as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” The June 2022 report, based on a general population survey of communities in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, also shows that more than 80% of those who were food insecure in the region were people of color and 48% had children at home. Seventy-seven percent of those experiencing food insecurity were working.

In Montgomery County, most of the residents facing food insecurity live in the eastern part of the area, as well as Wheaton, Aspen Hill, Gaithersburg and Germantown, according to Manna officials. “Those continue to be the places

that were most impacted by the pandemic and they’re most impacted by the current wave” of food insecurity, says Jenna Umbriac, Manna’s director of programs.

Long before the pandemic started, the county had been working with the Food Council and nonprofit partners such as Manna and the Capital Area Food Bank to solve the issue of food insecurity. The goal of the five-year Montgomery County Food Security Plan introduced in 2017 was to reduce the food insecurity rate from 7%, or 78,000 people, to 5.5% by the year 2020 by identifying needs, coordinating local efforts and building capacity, according to the county. The county’s progress toward its goal was interrupted by the start of the pandemic.

Before the plan, “there was no kind of central way of connecting all of those people and organizations and resources so that we could not only connect residents to those services most efficiently, but also connect the organizations to each other for communication and for building partnerships,” says Heather Bruskin, the former director of the Food Council who now heads the county’s Office of Food Systems Resilience. The county established the office in 2022 to streamline and coordinate efforts to


HeatherBruskinheads thecounty’sOfficeofFood SystemsResilience.

address local food system challenges.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, a “really robust” network of 75 organizations coordinated by the Food Council was providing a variety of different food assistance services in the county, according to Bruskin. Those efforts laid the “critical groundwork” for the county to mobilize a response when the number of people seeking food assistance increased by 50% at the start of the pandemic, she says.

The number of organizations providing assistance exploded as well, bolstered by a pivot to food distribution by nonprofits that had been focusing on other missions, such as community service.

During the pandemic, the Montgomery County COVID-19 Food Security Task Force, an alliance involving the Food Council and several county agencies, stewarded the county’s investments in foodbased programs, creating food purchasing partnerships with big distributors, such as Manna and the Capital Area Food Bank, and local farms. Funded in part by county grants, Manna’s Farm to Food Bank program buys produce from local farms that it distributes to its clients and other food assistance agencies.

On the task force’s recommendation, the county council approved legislation in July 2022 to create the Office of Food Systems Resilience to focus on making the county food system more resilient and equitable. With $1.1 million in county funding in fiscal 2024, the office serves as a liaison between government and community food systems partners such as nonprofits, farmers and businesses, according to county officials. In March, the county named the Food Council’s Bruskin, an expert in food security issues, to lead the office.

Those working in food assistance applaud the new office’s creation.

“It would be incredibly helpful for the county office to be able to get a sense of who is doing what where and how can we best get organizations to work together to serve residents, especially as we are experiencing this decrease in benefits, this decrease in funding for different items, decrease in volunteers who are available,” says Annmarie Hart-Bookbinder, food security programs

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manager for the Food Council. “There’s just a lot of opportunity there for organizations to really think about what their strengths are and how they can work together.”

One of the top priorities for the Officeof Food Systems Resilience

will be collecting and analyzing data to determine a clear picture of food insecurity in the county. “There really is no direct measurement of food insecurity at the county level,” Bruskin says, adding that the county can make “guesses” by extrapolating information from census data and state and federal reports. “It’s very difficult to gauge the impact of the investments that we make and the progress that we’re making.”

Compiling accurate and timely data will reduce a “massive gap” of knowledge about available assets and the baseline of issues such as hunger and food production in the county, Bruskin says. Even determining how many residents are eligible for benefit programs like SNAP that have citizenship requirements is difficult in a community like Montgomery County, which has a large percentage of mixedimmigration status families, she says.

Hart-Bookbinder says one way the county can maximize the federal dollars available to help ease food insecurity is to make sure food assistance providers talk to eligible clients about applying for SNAP benefits. The money also benefits the county by trickling down to the grocery stores and markets where recipients buy their food. “It’s providing residents with the dignity they deserve to choose their own foods and those that are culturally relevant to them and appropriate for dietary needs and their family’s needs,” she says.

At the county council’s behest, meanwhile, the Food Council spearheaded the development earlier this year of the county’s strategic plan to end childhood hunger. The plan outlines strategies such as the expansion of SNAP enrollment programs and the free school lunch program. It also calls for ensuring that county schools serving as hubs for wraparound services offer food pantries and distribution, among other recommendations to expand services and benefits to families with kids.

“Everyone now just knows that it’s not only the right thing to do, it is important for our scores in the classroom; it’s important for our economic development; it’s morally right,” Councilmember Will Jawando, chair of the Education and Culture Committee, said in March during a presentation of the plan to the panel and the council’s Health and Human Services Committee.

Jessica, a 21-year-old Burtonsville resident who did not want to provide her full name, packs the trunk of her Honda Civic with bags of food that she selected one April morning at the Manna Choice Market on Old Columbia Pike in Silver Spring. Reminiscent of a grocery store, the converted office space is lined with shelves displaying canned fruits and vegetables, bread and other baked goods. Refrigerated display cases are brimming with bell peppers, eggplant, greens, apples and oranges, while a freezer case holds a variety of meat and poultry.

The setup allows Manna’s clients to choose the food they want and will eat instead of trying to make do with a box from a distribution site that may include culturally inappropriate items, officials say. Manna offers rideshare transportation from the market to those who request it, eliminating another barrier to accessing food.

Jessica, an assistant at a tax preparation business who lives with her parents, says the family sometimes has trouble paying bills, so she comes to the market once a month because it’s an easy way to get food while “everything is expensive.”

Providing people with the opportunity to choose their own food and creating voucher programs so clients can buy culturally appropriate food that Manna doesn’t offer are just a couple of the ways that Manna’s services are driven by its clients, officials say.

“People who are experiencing food insecurity are really the experts on what will help them in that situation. They don’t always have the tools as an individual to get to self-sufficiency,” Manna’s Umbriac says. “That’s where we come in.”

Contributing editor Julie Rasicot lives in Silver Spring. Red Line, North Bethesda station Jim Saah
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These restless spirits and ghostly fiures haunt cherished places with lots of history—or so the stories go. One of the best things about ghost stories is that whether or not you believe in spirits, these tales invite a closer connection to a place and the community of people who were there before. Some of Montgomery County’s most dedicated ghost hunters are local historians who prize spooky stories for offering unconventional angles on history.

“You come for the ghosts and leave with the history,” says Karen Yaffe Lottes, program coordinator at the Gaithersburg Community Museum and co-author with Dorothy Pugh of In Search of Maryland Ghosts: Montgomery County.

Pugh, a former librarian and writer with Montgomery History, once estimated with remarkable precision that there are 42 or 43 reported ghosts in the county. She and Lottes dug deeper and uncovered more than 50 for their book. Who’s to say if that’s a typical census of spirits for a county of more than 1 million living beings? But it’s enough to keep ghost hunters busy for a while.

Here are the stories of a few...


It was about 2 a.m., and Bill Graham was tucked in for the night in a creaky 1898 farmhouse in Olney. He awakened with a start, his eyes riveted on the commotion above the bed.

“These things were swirling over my head,” he recalls. “They were like swirls of smoke with what looked like faces. … They freaked me out, and I made the sign of the cross with my hands. And they went away.”

Graham was terrified—but not completely surprised. This was the mid-1980s and he was the producing director of the Olney Theatre. Since 1938, plenty of ghosts have stalked its stages, from Banquo in Macbeth to Marley in A Christmas Carol. But the farmhouse that served as the actors’ residence, offices and rehearsal space was said to host the sorts of spirits that didn’t stick to a script.

Graham was trying to sleep one floor below what had gained a reputation as the most haunted bedroom in the building—where witnesses had reported seeing figures enter by walking not through the doorway, but through the door; where actors and staff claimed to hear thumping and furniture dragging when no one was there.

Another night, Graham recalls, he heard piano music coming from the enclosed porch used for rehearsals. “It didn’t quite sound like a tune, but it wasn’t merely banging,” he says. “It was ethereal.” He found the rehearsal pianos standing silently, while the music continued to play, receding as he proceeded down the long porch.

The ghosts “were very real for many people,” says Graham, who now runs a communications firm in New Jersey.

The ghosts of what had become known as the Olney Theatre





Center were invited to depart once, in the 1990s. An actor staying in an upstairs bedroom told colleagues the room had a strange presence. The windows would fog up for no reason, and the actor felt the weight of someone sitting on the bed.

Staff members held a kind of new age exorcism of the room. They waved crystals around on thin necklace chains and politely urged the ghosts to be friendly.

“They said things like, ‘We respect you, but leave the people alone,’ ” recalls Weldon C. Brown, director of sales for the Olney Theatre Center. “I kid you not: Right at that time, the lights flickered and the window fogged up.”

The spirits didn’t take the hint. In 2018, an actor appearing in a production of the grief-infused Aubergine was staying in the same room. One day he came downstairs and asked, “Do you guys have ghosts?” The actor told Brown that a window in his room kept fogging, and he felt he wasn’t alone.

Brown himself describes seeing an apparition. Just before a performance of Peter Pan in the late ’90s, he glimpsed a man in a brown suit and brown wing-tipped shoes disappear into the box office. Brown followed him in—and found only two young ticket sellers wearing shorts. That same performance, during curtain calls, members of the stage crew spied a mysterious figure taking a bow in the shadows at one end of the stage. He was wearing brown pants and suspenders.

Theories abound for who these spirits might be. One or more of the golden-era actors who have performed on Olney’s stage—Tallulah Bankhead, Lillian Gish, Bob Fosse, etc.? Mary MacArthur, who contracted a fatal case of polio before she could appear in a 1949 production of Good Housekeeping with her mother, the acting legend Helen Hayes? The couple—Elizabeth C. and Henry Davis—who built the farmhouse?

“Every theater has ghosts; we just happen to have particularly storied ghosts, because of the history of the place,” says Joshua Ford, director of marketing and communications. “Theaters are the repository of a community’s stories. … Not exclusively ghost stories, but we really like the ghost stories.”


Glen Echo Park exudes enchantment at all hours. The vibe is probably a combination of the omnipresent band organ music from the historic carousel; the art deco architecture, dating to the 1920s and 1930s, of the former amusement park; and the ripe imaginations of so many potters, painters and other artists on the premises teaching thousands of students each year.

Over the years, employees have reported strange sounds and doors abruptly opening and closing in the Spanish Ballroom, according to artists in the park.

Other remarkable occurrences have been reported as well. Several years ago, silversmith Blair Anderson expanded her SilverWorks Studio & Gallery into a second studio. She installed space for 12 black tool bins that could be pulled from slots on the wall. Any bin can go into any slot, and she moves them around. Yet, she says, no matter where she puts the scissors bin, on three occasions it has suddenly burst out and spilled its contents. Once, a pair of scissors was driven into the wooden floor like a dagger, Anderson says.

“There are things outside of ourselves that we don’t always understand,” Anderson says, “and that was just one of those things that’s like, Huh?” She named her unseen visitor Edward Scissor Ghost and has woven him into the narrative she tells her students about the special atmosphere of the park.

It’s hard to say who might be haunting Glen Echo, but some bad blood flows through its history. Alonzo Shaw, an early operator of the amusement park, built a ride around Clara Barton’s house to try to drive her out, to no avail, before


begging her for money, according to a 1997 history; she turned him down, and the park soon changed hands. A handful of riders fell to their deaths from roller coasters, according to news accounts, before the amusement park closed in 1968 and the National Park Service took over the property, supporting its transition to an arts and cultural center in 1971.

The most notorious tragedy of the park’s past was the ownership’s policy of racial segregation that kept generations of African American families from enjoying the grounds. In the summer of 1960, students from Howard University picketed. When a demonstrator attempted to


Lennon Gross and Christine Rai were deep into research for their book project, Mysteries & Legends of the Ag Reserve, when they met for lunch at Locals Farm Market in one of Poolesville’s historic houses. Suddenly the attic door popped open, and there was a gust, as if something were floating though the room. They took it as a good omen for their effort to explore the paranormal lore of the 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve in northern and western Montgomery County.

“The history of the Ag Reserve has not been cared for the way I think we would have wanted it to, and there are a lot of stories that remain untold,” says Gross, 27, an artist and public historian who

ride the carousel, he was prevented because “it’s strictly for white people,” a security guard said. Five were arrested. Picketing continued until the end of the season. The next year, the park opened its doors to all.

In her book, Lottes includes the story of a teen in the mid-1960s who crept into the park at night after it was closed. Twice he saw ghostly riders on the carousel. They were African American families, formally dressed in clothes that would have been fashionable decades earlier. They bobbed up and down and whirled round and round on the polished and gleaming wooden animals. They were enjoying themselves. It was as if they were asserting a gleeful, ghostly claim to a simple pleasure that had been denied for so long.


The National Park Seminary campus in Silver Spring looks like a fairy-tale village, with a Japanese pagoda, a Dutch windmill, a Swiss chalet and an English castle. The property started as a resort hotel, Ye Forest Inne, in the 1880s and soon after became a posh boarding school for young women. Its “rolls burgeoned with young women surnamed Hershey, Chrysler, Heinz, Kraft and Maytag,” Bethesda Magazine reported in 2010.

The Army took it over during World War II and made it a rehabilitation center for wounded troops through the Vietnam era. Preservationists and preservation-minded developers rescued it from abandonment in the early 2000s, and now it’s repurposed for its fourth life as a residential community.

“I can see why people would expect ghosts there,” says Bonnie Rosenthal, executive director of the Save Our Seminary advocacy group. She hasn’t seen a spirit but has heard stories. In the early 1990s, when the property was rundown, a visitor told Rosenthal that he had just seen a ghostly fig-

grew up in the reserve. “If framing the stories…as a mystery to unravel is something that inspires people to become interested in local history, then that’s the value for us to really investigate these things.”

“We are a part of the community, and that gives it a different angle,” says Rai, 46, an English professor at Frederick Community College and a folklore enthusiast who leads haunted history tours in Poolesville in October. “People…feel more comfortable discussing this stuff [with us], because it can be hard to talk about strange things that hap-

pen, especially when you live in a small town.”

Gross and Rai chronicle their progress on Facebook as they dig into lore rooted in the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, the C&O Canal and bygone Indigenous communities. One spooky story they’ve uncovered features the Watcher (pictured at left), a grizzled character that residents have spotted over the years. The authors are drafting the fist volume, but the window is still open for folks to share tales at


ure in the window of a house that had been uninhabited for years. He described “a Victorian-era woman with her hair piled up and a white high-neck lacy kind of blouse,” Rosenthal says. The witness was more amazed than frightened, according to Rosenthal.

Another story recounted in Lottes’ book takes place in the ballroom, built in the 1920s with a vaulted ceiling and tiered balconies. The space has the grandness of the Overlook Hotel ballroom, though perhaps without the “Shining” menace.

A visitor in the 1960s attended a Valentine’s Day dance sponsored by the Army. He looked up and saw servicemen sitting in the balconies. They seemed melancholy, maybe a little wistful. Then he noticed that the soldiers’ uniforms dated back to World War II. And their bodies appeared translucent. He realized they were ghosts. He wondered if they were sad they couldn’t join the corporeal fun. Or were they still recovering from their wounds, waiting for their chance to return to the dance floor?


Game Preserve Road winds lonesomely through a stretch of woods west of Gaithersburg until you come to a one-lane stone underpass beneath the railroad tracks. Legend has it that a Confederate cavalry officer was decapitated hereabouts during a skirmish in the Civil War, according to a story in the county Gazette newspapers in 1992. Could he have been one of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s men, who marauded through the county in 1863, or one of Gen. Jubal Early’s forces, who attacked Rockville in 1864?

In one version of the tale, the Gazette reported, a farmer and his family were traveling to Gaithersburg in a wagon on a foggy night after the Civil War and encountered a figure on a steed with glowing eyes. The rider leaned down to leave a message in the dirt road before galloping away into the fog. Curious to read the message, the farmer was horrified to find it was written in blood: “I cannot rest until I become a whole being. Stay clear, or you and yours may suffer a similar fate.”

The Headless Horseman of Game Preserve Road, as he became known, mutated over the years. In March 1876, under the headline “A Haunted Bridge,” the Montgomery

County Sentinel reported on a “mysterious occurrence” that kept happening at 9:30 p.m. around the railroad bridge that crosses Great Seneca Creek: The lantern on the bridge would go out, then “a flame like a flash of lightning” would erupt straight upward and another would shoot across the bridge. Was it a “goblin damned”?

A posse of 50 residents led by young armed men went to investigate. When the flashes burst out, the men fired their guns—and were answered by a shot from the bridge. They withdrew without solving the mystery.

The railroad bridge over the creek is up the tracks from the lonely underpass. Since the railroad didn’t come to the county until several years after the Civil War, was the flashy spirit on the bridge a separate ghost or the Headless Horseman in a new guise?

In the 1980s, according to the Gazette, a ranger at Seneca Creek State Park described hearing hoofbeats and seeing flashing sabers.

A parallel legend grew up about the headless spirit of someone decapitated in a train accident—perhaps rooted in at least two decapitations on the tracks documented by Lottes. A county parks historian in 2001 told The Washington Post that the headless figure has been “a pretty common sight,” and he recalled teenagers looking for a headless ghost killed in a train wreck.

As for the mysterious disturbance on the bridge, in the words of the Sentinel, “You who are not afraid of ghosts would doubtless be repaid for a visit to it. We hope that a solution of this affair will soon be discovered and a cause of terror be removed from the superstitions of that vicinity.”

David Montgomery is a freelance writer who lives in Takoma Park.

S c h o o l ’s

S c h o o l ’s

NoahSimmons,14, learnsorganically byscalinganindoor rockwall.


u t O u t

On a warm June morning, Noah Simmons, 14, is dangling from a rope 40 feet in the air. One of his hands is wrapped around the rope; the other is flapping back and forth the way it often does when Noah feels exhilarated.

After a few moments, Noah looks to the wall behind him and angles his body so that his right foot finds purchase on a small blue rocklike protrusion. Once his other foot lands on another colorful piece, Noah continues his ascent to the top of the climbing wall, about 10 feet above him.

“Great job, buddy!” Noah’s mother, Tracy Simmons, cheers from the floor—five stories below her son—as he reaches the top.

It’s been a year and a half since Tracy and her husband, Mike, decided to homeschool their nonspeaking autistic son and nearly a year since Tracy discovered Movement Rockville, a rock climbing gym. Ever since, she and Noah have become regulars. It’s become his primary classroom, so to speak.

Tracy, a yoga instructor, drives him here from their Bethesda house two or three times a week. Noah climbs for hours. He has learned to tie the complicated knots that keep him attached to the harness. He chooses the walls he wants to climb, and for how long he wants to climb them. It’s a form of homeschooling called “unschooling” that involves learning organically through exploration and discovery rather than through a traditional curriculum-based educational model.

“He makes his own choices,” Tracy says. “Something he couldn’t do in school.”

Tracy says she never would have considered homeschooling her child before the pandemic. The Simmonses’ older son, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, has been in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) since kindergarten, and Noah had been given learning accommodations through the school system since he was 6.

In March 2019, when Noah was in third grade, he began attending the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s school for children with developmental disabilities at what was then its Silver Spring campus. MCPS agreed to pick

The challenges and revelations of remote learning at the height of the pandemic drove a spike in the number of Montgomery County families exploring homeschooling.
Now, many aren’t returning to the classroom.

up the tab, acknowledging that Noah’s needs would be better served there. “We were over the moon,” Tracy says.

For nearly a year, reports from the school showed that Noah was thriving. But when the pandemic arrived, Tracy took a careful look at the worksheets sent home— and then at what was being taught online—and she went from elation to disappointment.

“He wasn’t required to learn. He wasn’t required to listen. …All he had to do was follow the prompts,” Tracy says. “Suddenly those outstanding report cards felt like little white lies.”

She tried supplementing his classwork with therapies that focused on building communication skills that she felt his school program wasn’t addressing. But eventually she concluded that she had two choices: stick with the program she’d tried so hard to get him into, “or follow my gut, which is telling me this isn’t working.”

The morning Noah was due to return to in-person school in March 2021, she made her decision.

Homeschooling across Montgomery County skyrocketed nearly 80% during remote learning, rising from 2,510 students during the 2018-19 school year to 4,505 during the term that ended in June 2021, according to data from the state Department of Education.

Many parents expected their children to return to the classroom when in-person classes resumed. Yet more than 3,400 students, representing almost 45% of those who left MCPS during the height of the pandemic, didn’t return for the 2022-23 school year, according to MCPS.

And as of this July, nearly 2% of MCPS’s 164,000 eligible students had already identified as homeschoolers for the 2023-24 school year. It’s a trend that’s being felt not only across Maryland but nationwide.

There’s no one-size-fits-all reason why, says University of Maryland education professor Kellie Rolstad, founder and director of Goodloe Learning Community, one of more than 300 umbrella organizations registered with the state Department of Education to supervise home instruction for families across the state. She says families have cited reasons ranging from disap-

pointment with the school curricula to bullying. Others say racism and religious intolerance have played a role in families’ decisions to homeschool.

“Many families [feel] that the school system is no longer a safe and inclusive place for faith-based communities,” says Zainab Chaudry, Maryland director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She says dozens of Muslim and other religious families in Montgomery County have begun pulling their children out of MCPS over the school system’s decision to prevent families from opting out of its new rollout of LGBTQ+ books.

More Black families are also homeschooling since the pandemic began—many citing implicit racial bias in the educational system as their primary reason, according to several surveys. Nationwide, the percentage of Black families who switched to homeschooling during the early months of the pandemic rose fivefold, from just over 3% in the spring of 2020 to more than 16% that fall, according to the U.S. Census.

A lot of Black moms, in particular, told Rolstad that they didn’t realize how much better it would be to have their kids at home, learning their values full time rather than what was being taught in school, she says.

Overall, about 3.1 million students were homeschooled across the U.S. in the 202122 school year, representing about 6% of school-age children, versus 2.5 million homeschooled students, or 3% to 4%, three years earlier, according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).

The one universal among homeschooling families, Rolstad says, is that “once you realize that there’s this whole community out here… and kids are doing fun things, you start thinking: What is the benefit that school can offer that makes me want to send my kid back?”

Clara Timme became a homeschooling mother shortly after the pandemic arrived. Her first grader had thrived at Rockville’s Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School, she says, but when programming went online, she realized that the pace was too slow for her child—and for her.

“To be fair, [the teachers] want none of the stu-

TracyandNoahSimmonssurveyaroutetothetopofawallat MovementRockville.

dents to be left behind,” Timme says. But her daughter continually finished the online tests early and would sit and read a book or play video games on her Chromebook while the other students completed their work, she says. “It was tedious to watch the amount of time wasted when we could be, like, going hiking or going camping.”

One month into the 2020-21 school year, the family switched to homeschooling. Now the stay-at-home mom plans field trips and activities with her daughter most days, and every Tuesday during the school year her daughter participates in the Homeschool Naturalist Program run by a nonprofit called Ancestral Knowledge, which offers outdoor educational programs that cater to homeschool families.

Bill Kaczor, the executive director of Ancestral Knowledge, says homeschooling families can meet most of the state’s homeschool curriculum requirements while still having fun. “[We cover] everything from art to English composition, biology, physics, everything…you’d find in a public school but [in] more of a hands-on, experiential, self-motivated journey,” he says.

Homeschooling requirements, as well as services made available to homeschooling families, vary by state, and some are more accommodating to homeschooling families than others, says Goodloe’s Rolstad.

In Maryland, homeschooling families have the option of joining a stateregistered umbrella organization or submitting to periodic portfolio reviews with their local school district to ensure that their child “is receiving regular, thorough instruction…in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age,” according to the state.

scientific studies on homeschooling outcomes and says, “It is thus impossible to say whether or not homeschooling as such has any impact on the sort of academic achievement measured by standardized tests.”

Homeschooling often involves one parent giving up their job, or cutting back on work hours, which can make it challenging for families of lower means. And in Maryland, families that pull their children out of the public school system lose not only their child’s spot in the classroom, but also the benefits that come with it, from access to sports and music extracurriculars to support services, including speech, occupational and physical therapy.

3,400 students homeschooled instead of attending MCPS during the 2022-23 school year



2% of MCPS’s 164,000 eligible students have identified as homeschoolers for the 20232024 school year

Anna Mwangachuchu learned that the hard way after she decided to homeschool her son, Aden, who has Down syndrome. Aden started special education kindergarten at Galway Elementary School, in Silver Spring, in September 2019. But a month in, Mwangachuchu began seeing red flags.

“He didn’t bring anything home,” she says. “I wrote back to the teacher and said, ‘So, what does my child do from morning to evening in school?’ ”


6% of school-age children were homeschooled nationwide for the 2021-22 school year

After getting no response for weeks, she learned that her son’s class was being taught by a series of substitute and temporary teachers. The school eventually started sending her weekly one-page memos outlining what Aden’s class was covering, but it wasn’t enough to make her feel that anyone other than herself was fully invested in his learning.

3% of school-age children were homeschooled nationwide for the 2018-2019 school year


“We want to make sure that students are being instructed,” Brian Beaubien, MCPS’s supervisor of online learning, interim instructional services and home instruction, says in an email. “But…parents have a lot of leeway in how they deliver and the specific curriculum that they use.”

Umbrella organizations cost between $60 and $3,000 annually, according to the Maryland Homeschool Association. Though some have religious ties— particularly those that started in the 1980s and ’90s, when homeschooling was most popular with conservative Christians—many umbrella groups today are secular, even progressive in their focus.

The nonpartisan International Center for Home Education Research notes the dearth of high-quality

Once the pandemic hit and she was working with Aden one-on-one, the Silver Spring mother realized how far behind her son was lagging in reading and math.

When it was time to return to in-person school, she decided to keep him home, though it meant she couldn’t go back to work as a registered nurse. “I [could] see that I [was able to] do more with him at home than when he was at school,” she says. She didn’t realize at the time that homeschooling him would also mean he’d lose access to the speech, occupational and physical therapy that his school provided.

Now, Aden is making progress in reading and math, using programs and resources Mwangachuchu has found online and at the library, but he hasn’t had the support services he got in school because she can’t afford them, she says.

“Unfortunately, if parents choose to home instruct their children…essentially the only county service


to which they are entitled is standardized testing,” says MCPS’s Beaubien. “It is something that parents do have to weigh when they make the decision to homeschool.”

“As a taxpayer, I feel like it’s unjust for my son to be penalized that way,” Mwangachuchu counters. “I don’t know what kind of a community we [live in] if our community cannot support [children with disabilities]…unless [they are] a number in the school system.”

MCPS says student privacy rules bar it from commenting on any specific family.

Caraline Hickman decided long ago that her children wouldn’t go to public school, but she loved the small, private Seneca Academy in Darnestown that her kids attended since they were little, near their North Potomac home.

“We were very heavily invested in Seneca. It was a big part of who we were as a family,” says her husband, John.

But when the pandemic arrived, the

164 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA NATIONAL TOP 10 HAUNT TICKETS OPENING NIGHTS SEPTEMBER 29, 30 OCTOBER 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31 Face the demons in our woods this October BenHickman,11,buildsLegorobotsathisNorthPotomachome.Benhasstartedtolearncodingand toprogramhisrobotsaspartofhishomeschoolingcurriculum.

family discovered that they all enjoyed being at home together even more—and they decided to stick with it even after their school reopened.

On a warm July afternoon, 11-year-old Ben Hickman is holding up a dark gray triangle-shaped item about the size of a silver dollar. “It’s a megalodon tooth,” he exclaims, referring to the prehistoric shark species. He found it on one of his family’s fossil-hunting excursions and came home to research the tooth’s origin.

Since becoming homeschoolers, he and his 13-year-old sister, Sterling, learn at their own pace—which means high schoollevel algebra for Ben and high school-level geometry for Sterling, John says.

Some days they head to the Horizons Homeschool Co-op in Gaithersburg, where dozens of children of all ages learn and play together. On other days, they participate in programs and seminars for homeschoolers offered across the region, including visits to the National Archives and The Phillips

Collection in downtown Washington, D.C.

“Part of the fun for me is I’m learning as much as they are,” says Caraline, who, after years in the corporate world, is now a stay-at-home mom.

The children have even started to enjoy writing, something their mother says they used to fight. Now Ben writes poetry nearly every day, and Sterling is working on a novel—her second.

For John, a tech executive who works from home, the best part of homeschooling is that they aren’t “just exposing [their kids] to rote memorization of ideas or history or facts,” but rather delving into “something that happened in history and [reflect] on how…that applies in today’s social context.”

Tracy Simmons says critical thinking is also at the heart of what made her pull Noah out of school. At Kennedy Krieger, Noah was asked questions about things that were read to him, and all he had to do was point to the right answer, something he could usually figure out because

the prompts were so easy, not because he understood the material, she says.

Now, she says, she can focus on things he’s interested in and help him to think through information at a deeper level. Recently they were reading together about coral reefs, and she turned to him and asked, “Noah, can you tell me something else that lives in the ocean?”

“I could have given him the choice: Is it fish that live in the ocean, or dogs?” she says—something equivalent to what his lessons were like in school. Instead, she says, “I waited a moment…and then he looked at me and said ‘whales.’ ”

And when she followed it up by asking him to look at his letter cards and spell the word whales, he did. “That is huge,” she says proudly. “I am very hopeful that one day we will get to a place where Noah is in more of a school setting, but…where he can be engaged. ”

For now, she says, they are taking it day by day.

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They’ve notched countless hours rousing students to do more, whether it’s conquering another language, building a better robot or delivering serious scoops for the school newspaper. Meet six local teachers at the head of the class.


Lesley Sheldon Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

Framed photos of every homeroom class she has taught in her 24 years at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda sit on a shelf in Lesley Sheldon’s classroom. Many students stay in touch long after they’ve left her class, seeking advice, sharing milestones and becoming friends.

“She was truly one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout my whole life,” says Meghan Zorc, who had Sheldon for first grade in 2003-2004 and remained in contact, texting her on the day she was accepted to dental school. “She’s just one of those people I wanted to tell immediately because she really saw me from the first day. …She makes you feel like the most important person in the room every time you talk to her.”

Sheldon, 46, who is originally from the Bahamas, came to the U.S. to attend a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin, where she met her future husband, David. Zorc’s family threw the couple a wedding shower, and later, before the birth of her third child, parents from Stone Ridge hosted a baby shower, flying in Sheldon’s mother from the Bahamas as a surprise.

It’s because of the tight-knit community and the school’s faith-based approach that Sheldon says she’s spent her entire career there. “I was immediately smitten by this place,” says Sheldon, who lives in Bethesda. “How we educate girls with confidence in a supportive community has always been beautiful to me.”

Sheldon has taught kindergarten, first and second grades, and has been chair of the English/language arts department for the lower school. She likes keeping her curriculum fresh, and last year developed a project-based unit around family cultures that incorporated standards on social studies, geography and human relationships. This past spring, students and their parents filled her classroom with clothing and decorations that reflected their heritage, tied to India,

Korea and Greece, among other places. For instance, one parent brought in Spanish tapas; another hosted an English afternoon tea.

“It’s hands-on, and it’s feeding all modalities of learning,” Sheldon says of the new unit, which spanned two months. “They get to read. They get to touch. They get to research, interview—and they get to eat really well.”

Melissa Netram’s daughter Serena had Sheldon in b oth kindergarten and second grade—both with Sheldon’s daughter Lauren. Now a sixth grader, Serena still talks about studying butterflies in kindergarten and taking a field trip to Brookside Gardens. “She gives them this love of learning,” Netram says of Sheldon. “She is able to constantly look at every child as if they were one of her own.”


After 30 years of teaching at Cold Spring Elementary School in Potomac, Karen McPhaul was set to retire. Then a former student who was a senior at Bullis School stopped by to tell her about a job opening for a seventh grade science teacher at the nearby private school.

“He said, ‘Mrs. McPhaul, you still have some magic in you. Go on and try that interview,’ ” recalls McPhaul, who was also nudged by a colleague to apply before getting the job at Bullis in 2018. “That opened a new chapter.”

McPhaul taught all subjects in upper elementary school, but says she was long intrigued by science and liked the challenge of making seventh grade a happy place for her students.

Profiles of scientists from diverse backgrounds hang around her classroom alongside mini-posters students

made of themselves with their aspirations. Lillian Lee, an eighth grader at Bullis, says McPhaul’s class made her want to become a scientist. “From her believing in her students, to pushing us, to all the crazy, action-packed labs, it’s very exciting and entertaining,” Lillian says.

McPhaul says she embraces the John Keats quote that “nothing is real until it is experienced” and tries to make science come alive with hands-on activities and games. In her forensics unit, McPhaul turns her classroom into a simulated crime scene and then does biology labs. Sometimes kids pretend they are a certain cell organelle and have “speed dating” conversations with “cell pickup lines” to learn about each other. In March, she was the academic lead on a trip to the Florida Keys with 70 students to study marine biology.

When Sarah Cohen became a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher herself, she says she truly appreciated the research and time that McPhaul put into preparing her lessons. Cohen had McPhaul in fifth grade and interned in her classroom while at Thomas Wootton High School. She studied education in college and now, at age 41, is a school counselor at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School in Chevy Chase. “She always guided my life,” Cohen says of McPhaul, whom she considers a friend and peer.

McPhaul, 57, who lives in Bethesda, says that last year, another teacher overheard one of her students about to enter her classroom saying, “I’ve been waiting for this class all day!” That kind of feedback keeps her going, McPhaul says. “We’re trying get to that place where they wonder. They ask the why questions, and they’re excited. That drives everything that I’ve tried to do as teacher—to have them step into the classroom wondering and step out of the classroom still wondering.”

Karen McPhaul Bullis School

Alicia Fuentes-Gargallo

that you will hold their hand, and you’re not going to give up,” says Fuentes-Gargallo, who goes to many of her students’ concerts, soccer games and social events well into high school. “I tell them, ‘Once you have me as a teacher, I’m sorry—you have me for the rest of your life.’ ”

During lunch, Fuentes-Gargallo’s classroom is a haven from the cafeteria for a handful of students—mostly Hispanic girls— who like to be together to speak Spanish, do homework and share the latest news with their teacher.

“They bring me joy. They bring me all this new music, new stories and new games that I didn’t know about,” Fuentes-Gargallo says. “So I’m grateful to them. It’s not that I give and I don’t receive.”

Teaching Spanish from introductory to eighth-grade Spanish immersion classes,


she has high expectations and often has students practice speaking the language in small groups. Fuentes-Gargallo has been known to climb a stepladder in the middle of class to get a bird’s-eye view of the conversation circles.

“It’s always about getting kids talking, and it is the greatest challenge for a world language teacher with 30-plus kids,” says Westland Principal Alison Serino. “They are nervous and hesitant, but she gets them to talk and take risks.”

Alicia Fuentes-Gargallo bikes from her home in the Westbrook neighborhood of Bethesda to work at nearby Westland Middle School, where she has taught Spanish for 22 years. The 49-year-old, who grew up in Barcelona, Spain, says the school community is like family—indeed, her three sons attended Westland, though they never had Mom as their teacher.

Fuentes-Gargallo says she’s in the “talent search business” both inside the classroom and away from it, trying to bring out the best in her students and demonstrate her genuine interest.

“There is a strong connection once they know that you will always help them,

Going into Spanish II in seventh grade, Zion Shelton was less than confident about her language skills but says FuentesGargallo deepened her understanding and made her feel comfortable asking questions. “She just makes class fun and shows us songs from her culture that she incorporates into assignments,” says Zion, a freshman now at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. “She explains Spanish better than any other teacher I’ve ever had.”

Westland Middle School MOCO360.MEDIA | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 169

Jennifer Solove had planned to become a lawyer but first put off law school to teach high school in South Central Los Angeles. Then she joined the Peace Corps, where she taught English in Tonga.

“At that point I thought, Maybe I don’t have to be in a profession that is going to make a lot of money—maybe this is actually enough. If I could live with no running water and still enjoy teaching…my life would be fine,” Solove says.

The classroom won out over the court-

room, and Solove discovered that she really liked working with teenagers. “They crack me up. I love their zeal for life. I love that they’re just figuring things out. I even love their sadness and frustration,” says Solove, 39, who lives in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Solove earned her master’s degree in education at The George Washington University and started at Montgomery County Public Schools in 2011. She was at Winston Churchill High School and Walter Johnson High before taking a position teaching English at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 2020.

Last year, Solove became faculty adviser for The Tattler, the B-CC student magazine. She led a move to an online platform, with stories posted every two weeks in addition

Jennifer Solove ChaseBethesda-Chevy High School

to a print magazine. The students adopted the slogan “Where truth leads, integrity follows” and pursued breaking news stories, covering topics including drug use, lockdowns and antisemitism on campus.

“She trusted us to write about what we wanted,” says Aaron Tiao, editor-in-chief at The Tattler and student government president at B-CC in 2022-2023, and now a freshman at Stanford University. “She was continually pushing us to dig deeper with sources and making sure that we were as professional as possible.”

Former B-CC PTSA President Lyric Winik says Solove knows how to mentor outstanding writers. Her door is always open at lunch and after school to help students—even those who are no longer in her class—edit homework or college essays, Winik says.

Solove has guided student journalists to produce stories in The Tattler that have informed the community and led to discussions about difficult issues. “[The Tattler] has shone a light on problems that need to be addressed at B-CC, and given a very complete look at them,” Winik says. “We hear a lot from the school system, parents and other people, but students are the consumers of school—and this represents their reporting, their perspective. It’s invaluable.”


Rich Scott Wheaton High School

About 20 students on the Wheaton High School robotics team stream into Rich Scott’s engineering classroom after school in late May. Small groups huddle around computers to write code, work on calculations at the whiteboard and use a band saw to cut aluminum parts for a robot, which they build from scratch every year.

“I want them to do as much as they can on their own,” Scott says as he walks around and watches older students helping younger ones. “You don’t really understand something until you are able to teach it.”

Scott has taught math and engineering at Wheaton since 2010, and this will be his 10th year as faculty sponsor for robotics—a club that is a competitive team, but that Scott describes as more of a lifestyle because of the commitment involved. The 57-year-old from Silver Spring volunteers to meet with

students after school during the academic year, working until 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 to 5 during the four-month build season leading up to competitions with other schools.

“Our students thrive in the environment that Rich has cultivated,” says Wheaton Principal Joshua Munsey. “His dedication to STEM education is unrivaled and is exemplified by his dedication to the amount of time he spends in both the classroom and on the robotics team.”

Scott holds students to high standards, says Daniel Echols, a 2023 Wheaton graduate who began attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall. “He knows everyone can do it,” Echols says of Scott working with students on projects in his capstone engineering class. “He helps people find their way.”

Teaching is a second career for Scott, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who spent 20 years in the service as a project manager. After leading his sons’ Cub Scout dens and being involved with youth groups at his church, Scott decided he wanted to work with kids and completed his teaching certification in 2008.

While most teachers prepare two or three lesson plans a day, fellow Wheaton teacher Thomas Siegrist says Scott makes 20 or 30 customized plans to cover all the small groups in his capstone classes. “He’s 100 percent invested in their learning,” Siegrist says of Scott. Even through the slightest interaction—perhaps a raised eyebrow—students know when Scott is pushing them to do more, he says.

“He can do it with a look,” Siegrist says. “You don’t want to disappoint Mr. Scott.”


Outside the doorway of Mandy Joholske’s classroom at Rosemary Hills Elementary School in Silver Spring, a poster greets first and second graders: Dear Students, 1. I believe in you. 2. I trust you. 3. You are listened to. 4. You are cared for. 5. You are important. 6. You will succeed. Love, Mrs. Joholske.

Inside, students move about and socialize a bit before starting the day’s lesson. Some sit with friends in a cozy corner to read books. Others write a Rhino Reward (named after the school mascot) about something special a class-

mate has done and then put it into an orange sand pail labeled “We are Bucket Fillers” to be read every Friday.

Joholske starts class with a call-and-response chant that the students repeat: “Look around. What do you see? I see the best in you and me.” Once she has the attention of the class on this May morning, she dives in with an enthusias tic review of prefixes and suffixes.

“My biggest goal is to get them to enjoy learning,” says Joholske, 55, a resident of Silver Spring and teacher for 28 years, focused for the last three on reading instruction.

Throughout the room, vocabulary words are posted on the walls alongside stations with items to spark the students’ curiosity— coral, foreign money, X-rays, vintage rotary phones and things kids want to share. There is an aquarium with fish and one with geckos. Clipboards with paper and pencils are next to each spot for the kids to write what they observe. There’s even a spot next to the window so kids can write what they see of the work being done on the nearby Purple Line transit project.

Sarah Huxta says her daughter, Laura, who had Joholske for first grade last year, was so inspired to write at the fish and gecko stops that her observations sometimes spilled over to the back of the page. Her reading skills also blossomed, and she’d play pretend teacher at night, mimicking Joholske, Huxta says. “She’ll read a book aloud and stop to ask us, ‘How do think that character felt?’ It’s so precious.”

Colleagues in the building, including first grade teacher Samantha Pino, say Joholske provides “creative inspiration” for hands-on activities, crafts and ways to stay organized. In mentoring new teachers, Joholske says it takes a balance: “I’ve learned that you can be kind and caring and loving, but also be firm and have a routine.”

Mandy Joholske Rosemary Hills Elementary School


THE FOLLOWING IS A CHART of the colleges and universities where 2023 graduates from eight Montgomery County high schools applied, were accepted and enrolled. The chart is based on data provided by the schools. The schools are: Albert Einstein in Kensington; Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walt Whitman and Walter Johnson in Bethesda; Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring; Richard Montgomery and Thomas S. Wootton in Rockville; and Winston Churchill in Potomac. The information sent by the schools is self-reported by students, so school officials could not guaantee its accuracy. For brevity’s sake, we have limited the list to colleges and universities with at least six applicants from the combined high schools.

Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL
Where high school graduates from eight schools applied to college, where they were accepted and where they enrolled
ADELPHI UNIVERSITY 1102202000001101104200001170 ALASKA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY 000200310110000000000000620 ALBRIGHT COLLEGE 0000005302001100000003101150 ALLEGHENY COLLEGE 55041042021011021011042023140 ALVERNIA UNIVERSITY 000100210100110110000000630 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY 351635712159155491032817459277402154714737413235 AMHERST COLLEGE 111251111301020710600121071079102 APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY 0004102101001103203201001570 ARCADIA UNIVERSITY 220110000110220100110000870 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY 4304015116501020121022313115911150131625 AUBURN UNIVERSITY 1001341310410220137182186052233 BABSON COLLEGE 1114200002001111001005001542 BARD COLLEGE 20085075021010054065131034211 BARNARD COLLEGE 2001310710141070021160014006541 BATES COLLEGE 000185122042130042032120036133 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY 0005204101001101102102101670 BELMONT UNIVERSITY 000000100000000210330220860 BENNINGTON COLLEGE 000420000111110000210000851 BENTLEY UNIVERSITY 000000000211100220110100741 BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC 110111000000100111110110652 BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY 22155062043166032011054232254 BOSTON COLLEGE 500477422112141213022512751541542194012 BOSTON UNIVERSITY 610851536412152717019746163481638219445310522 BOWDOIN COLLEGE 000141161141021031111326004685 BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY 1310493120801055320500100200632810 BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY 11014601060420640652740124060322 BRIDGEWATER COLLEGE 000000320100000210000110740 BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 000000000111000443210000764 BROWN UNIVERSITY 15205932752156214100190048337642389169 BRYANT UNIVERSITY 110100110110220000000110760 BRYN MAWR COLLEGE 0001032833411420100753741411810 APPLIEDACCEPTEDENROLLED
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery
BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY 10027428211310932330940165286227 BUTLER UNIVERSITY 110110000110110110100110760 CAL POLY 200114350021010054242040034115 CAL POLY POMONA 000110000000000000530210850 CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS 1002102000001101103102001240 CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 0006002911100030030080014227333 CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH 0001002200000003321104201182 CAPITOL TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY 0002002001004410000001001041 CARLETON COLLEGE 00073242140021153133000025125 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY 400252177965993503128214073801353634520 CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY 21025703190124225712052188039151172566 CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE 00054021020011011133100014102 CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY 2005213114101104004312002583 CHATHAM UNIVERSITY 1102201004100001102200001170 CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY 1101001101112202102201001181 CLAREMONT MCKENNA COLLEGE 00011002003000002112002002211 CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY 00053164120000022000031018102 CLARK UNIVERSITY 211108143041033099073052144303 CLEMSON UNIVERSITY 760471621120164016802513332144401331947612 COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY 32074171122044154110073136205 COLBY COLLEGE 100171030030092200011413004773 COLGATE UNIVERSITY 2102441400810531521711159270216 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 300391836405311211123171209026192134818 COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS 100421110100000000111110952 COLORADO COLLEGE 110156241031010000040022130113 COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES 1114203001003302201002101791 COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY 44083084131095022073021043231 COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO 22031031032011000000053117101 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 5103132686267222900230035217020328167 CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY 100000110000210331110000861 CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 000147193031011031065050041181 COPPIN STATE UNIVERSITY 4302103200001101100000001180 CORNELL COLLEGE 000311000000000110100200721 CORNELL UNIVERSITY 5006484837668108673232005713121231134995235 CURRY COLLEGE 00065010072000000011022017100 DARTMOUTH COLLEGE 20027202500201020007222110320015462 DAVIDSON COLLEGE 20012305006101006205214004181 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY 10052013104102110000005003051 DENISON UNIVERSITY 2226009205001001104105103372 DEPAUL UNIVERSITY 1092622118022000088341043245339 DICKINSON COLLEGE 7501360138111806401072129262078495 DREXEL UNIVERSITY 10904022242192281112319050335211513225324615314 DUKE UNIVERSITY 51047724763526452222742391077933463616 DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY 33211043132077132063033230246 EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY 33194072031010064031010033151 ECKERD COLLEGE 1102000001100003314202111382 ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE 000110320210000100000000740 ELON UNIVERSITY 3303819315711061161242016228180191321499413 EMBRY–RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, DAYTONA BEACH 2221102101100004410001001193 EMERSON COLLEGE 6511131147010506501311284174275447
Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton

This year, the University of Chicago was the most selective college that accepted at least one student from across the eight Montgomery County high schools, with an overall acceptance rate of just 3.6%.

176 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA EMORY UNIVERSITY 1004174242120502920233134114661252384215 FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY 000430000200000100000210940 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY, METROPOLITAN CAMPUS 000000110100110330000000650 FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 1002112000001112001104201352 FLAGLER COLLEGE 110200110000000110111100741 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL UNIVERSITY 3004106203100003210004002361 FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY 0009113002001003203103102451 FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY 0002101001000002001004001110 FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 0003202003101102200002101370 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY 1101220102041022022040031038110 FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE 000100000000110000110310630 FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY 100234062119522192155213311730115318 FORDHAM UNIVERSITY 981271404223614821613221152155110711549315 FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE 111158264011122053111054136246 FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY 9831440206021721191161207411282110589 FURMAN UNIVERSITY 0004212100001100001002201061 GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY 161523017038221361522925251362191114122026016310 GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY 511304227211461417529541254461062044024 GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 520316162834615669103276126114741653407423 GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY 220410124020022052010020030110 GETTYSBURG COLLEGE 43041131044155142031021029183 GOUCHER COLLEGE 5418401140830661107184021058333 GRINNELL COLLEGE 0006304101102103002103212191 GUILFORD COLLEGE 000100310000000220110100840 HAMILTON COLLEGE 100143242162000071062000038103 HAMPTON UNIVERSITY 420870186244111032153276050316 HARVARD UNIVERSITY 3003720653157222800230031215822302116 HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE 0007002001100000003007002010 HAVERFORD COLLEGE 520132151051063150073151151134 HAWAI’I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY 43195092161022011022052038182 HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY 320542310420541107195374046297 HOBART AND WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGES 11032121022033032032011018141 HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY 220750116072133165051164147284 HOOD COLLEGE 6511260951123065022011161054283 HOPE COLLEGE 000310100000000110000100620 HOWARD UNIVERSITY 147246715912029531041205150020762034714 IE UNIVERSITY, MADRID 0003100002000002200003101040 ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 000300420000000110000110940 INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY 000210000000000200000210620 INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON 44244203841211224137541336402927862627720127
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL

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Illuminos has earned praise from parents and students alike. One family called it a "game changer" after trying other services, while another parent highlighted the profound changes it brought to their child's self-esteem, confidence, and motivation for school.

Illuminos' core methodology adapts its curriculum to students' unique needs. Coachescarefully selected and meticulously paired with students, experienced in the research-driven Executive Function program - teach strategies for learning, problem-solving, communication, and self-advocacy.

Rather than mere memorization, Illuminos prioritizes efficient learning. It fosters habits to manage time, workloads, and stress, guiding students to routines that ensure focus and academic excellence.

Amid educational challenges, Illuminos shines as a support system. It ensures academic success and life-skill development, preparing students for today's dynamic world. Learn more about Illuminos by visiting the website or calling (517) 313-5163.


The most popular school this year among the students of the eight high schools was the University of Maryland, College Park, which racked up 2,606 applications, followed by Montgomery College (968), the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (931) and Pennsylvania State University (904).

178 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA INDIANA UNIVERSITY INDIANAPOLIS 110310200110100000100000930 IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY 00021041000022166110010016102 ITHACA COLLEGE 9821210018401041770131211270118292606 JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY 1411032182226025903330151394181014131323615411 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY 51156339973575253423721353380954223420 JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY, PROVIDENCE 0006221104430000001100001285 JUNIATA COLLEGE 11110054040011011000044017111 KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY 110510111110000000000110951 KENT STATE UNIVERSITY 11053121131111011000064119124 KENYON COLLEGE 21097165051000032122021029192 KING'S COLLEGE LONDON 000000000000100210410000720 LA SALLE UNIVERSITY 110110000000111210100000641 LAFAYETTE COLLEGE 610143041061043085275150054193 LE MOYNE COLLEGE 1003301003102200000000001060 LEHIGH UNIVERSITY 310254092014111331103114943451122288 LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE 11144021010011011043000014111 LINCOLN UNIVERSITY 000322110000110000000100642 LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY 220261801031731210151037301610085505 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY 5501551520532000962108031152306 LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO 110117013112332220551320106048375 LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MARYLAND 2523632110411752411377118123640181001719518 LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS 000641000000000000000000641 LYCOMING COLLEGE 2221004100001101111100001063 LYNN UNIVERSITY 1102100000000004304211001271 MACALESTER COLLEGE 220207095122111185263174155297 MANHATTAN COLLEGE 000221100100000000210000631 MARIST COLLEGE 21053083111011010033153026152 MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY 1101100000000003203202201080 MARSHALL UNIVERSITY 110100100000000320100100830 MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY 110210331100110000000000861 MARYLAND INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART 15147940740511982661420531604212 MARYMOUNT MANHATTAN COLLEGE 000000110110000220210321971 MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY 10031021020065163052073032151 MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN 3203102002001100001002101450 MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENC 000210210000000000220100740 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 00015005876351126001200201131321971210 MCDANIEL COLLEGE 161211710217618331083181447508721016516 MCGILL UNIVERSITY 32123135124322231015611153963783918 MIAMI UNIVERSITY 33013814114101616018165161112318197749 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY 33029132125043075112822413219131110638 MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY 000440000000000000000200640 MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE 00032321511112051081012116008994
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL

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Join an honors program or one of our learning communities, where we tackle real-world challenges and make lasting connections. Apply to UMD Smith’s undergraduate program today.

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Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery
APPLIEDACCEPTEDENROLLED MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 000221200100000100110000731 MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY 111110000000210000320220971 MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY 110100210100220000000110850 MONTGOMERY COLLEGE 176176129144144701581586521121110161615415515511713139505043968968588 MOREHOUSE COLLEGE 22000021033132111000033014122 MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY 2117538173441521931861131031006201507015 MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE 31062242132210032043131027136 MOUNT ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY 19182261302515217507601191100421110686 MUHLENBERG COLLEGE 44020053021165265141011030204 NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 11061010030066111110031022102 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 14106151703260144721475262487381424585421 NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY 1106407103100001101002102190 NORTH CAROLINA A&T STATE UNIVERSITY 321520186091053161122042052193 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY 0006504101001102210001001591 NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY 4212550101020809302613110301770121422 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY 1240972056414447606916568226652389826652013134 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 00057116142536337423232444459733432917 NOTRE DAME OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY 421831106231043042010032137195 NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY 000411000100110000110210941 OBERLIN COLLEGE 53213104951640211532983321523614 OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE 000104160051100043143200029115 OHIO UNIVERSITY 54021031032121000022142021132 OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY 000100000100110220000110640 OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY 4401002201100003102001001480 OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY 3216000000000002202102001551 PACE UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK CITY 42014801451840110119053143061352 PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY 000100000000000000220411731 PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY 000221000100221321110000973 PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY 28253124687893261024231421251514911115101699169102890457466 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY 0004100003202101004007202160 PITZER COLLEGE 10010102002000002004101002220 POINT PARK UNIVERSITY 2001002200001101000003001030 POMONA COLLEGE 00011005008002006225115004233 PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY 000100210000000320000100730 PRATT INSTITUTE 75031084210021063011085236204 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 31037216552544425222211380063223071712 PROVIDENCE COLLEGE 10011612001000000004102202191 PURCHASE COLLEGE, SUNY 2103001000001102103005301760 PURDUE POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE 000110110000530000000000750 PURDUE UNIVERSITY 221176031122351933823623813719161351224412426 QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY 2104201100001101001110001061 QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY 1108304102101101102001102090 RADFORD UNIVERSITY 00033052010022032100033017121 REED COLLEGE 10084142032010032032110024122 RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE 00012601030410320853540137055283 RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN 71070071030062151051011105171 RHODES COLLEGE 220210211000111000100110962 RICE UNIVERSITY 000200023211330122290017622671120206 RIDER UNIVERSITY 000100000110000330100210850
Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton

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Salisbury University is an equal educational and employment opportunity institution.
Make Tomorrow Yours Go to ................................. RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN 2200000001112103301002201191 ROANOKE COLLEGE 1002201101000003310004301291 ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY 0002101002101101101104401290 ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 320201012611373114113138116133181221177014 ROLLINS COLLEGE 0003200001001102203211001171 ROSE-HULMAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 0001100001101002112104201161 ROWAN UNIVERSITY 0003101002101103100000001040 RUTGERS UNIVERSITY–NEW BRUNSWICK 4201380138117901081104075063080472 RUTGERS UNIVERSITY–NEWARK 000000000220321000100000641 SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY 22022021121011077400043020175 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY 111110310210000000100110951 SALISBURY UNIVERSITY 413854020348171361552722149395191332311328317526 SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY 111633541100111881111443272211 SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY 100110000000110320000000640 SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY 000156141032000031083273040163 SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE 11064043011000022031041021130 SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN 540630420311331440640119242304
The University of Maryland, College Park is taking the most students from the eight schools, with 611 enrollees, followed by Montgomery College (588) and Towson University (125). Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL

Of the Ivy League colleges, Cornell University will be seeing the most Montgomery County students, with 35 enrollees across the eight high schools, followed by the University of Pennsylvania (26), Princeton University (12), Yale University (10), Brown University (9), Columbia University (7), Harvard University (6) and Dartmouth College (2).

The Expert Care and Exceptional Service You Deserve In-home care specially tailored for everyone’s unique needs. 240-430-1500 182 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA
SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO 55020030020032022021154124142 SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS 3100002101113212220002201394 SCRIPPS COLLEGE 00011711002000002111100001792 SEATTLE UNIVERSITY 220100200000110000000000630 SETON HALL UNIVERSITY 33022042052044011022022023180 SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY 1002002001112204200002101461 SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY 000100300210000210000100920 SIMMONS UNIVERSITY 1003303300001100000002001070 SKIDMORE COLLEGE 2001120115120022063064030043161 SMITH COLLEGE 41083092232140052052063044153 SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY 0004100002002220003104201562 SPELMAN COLLEGE 210931186063000052143133147214 ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE 1104101001001002201004001540 ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY 22132042100000076010000017122 ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY 000220100100200110100100930 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE OF MARYLAND 4338104627164262371822120252312181212212230318422 ST. OLAF COLLEGE 000210000110000100110111641 STANFORD UNIVERSITY 1004011703244222100201037226232295129
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill
STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 10061052033076010021021127141 STEVENSON UNIVERSITY 9711971251027118611611211083093468 STONEHILL COLLEGE 000110000100110210000111641 STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY 3302107101041540540530116148262 SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY 21054010000022032011142018121 SUNY COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND FORESTRY 000210000000100221110000641 SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY 22000031010033153000021016101 SWARTHMORE COLLEGE 31014001531152190012101031150093103 SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY 9205919643124401633516242182411145425132311922 TEMPLE UNIVERSITY 1413152363603551651151435544511833219125517422 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY 0005201230611541300220163049152 TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY 1102101102003201002001001350 TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY 000410000210000000211000831 THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARIS 00011512100000000001110001472 THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA 1613718101251025228611612662014921086421 THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY 000000110100110100100310830 THE COLLEGE OF WOOSTER 11032174110022022000054121153 THE COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND ART 1001003000000004001103111321 APPLIEDACCEPTEDENROLLED
Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL
184 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 157050150591025317257329512311261256925638014135 THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL 000200000000100000100300700 THE NEW SCHOOL 00065192120022030041084334145 THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 0003620525131351734635752348382358357831519937 THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA 11027130631820640840532159176394 THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA 3202410183110521413218122106318611055712 THE UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE 210000320211000100000000841 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 0002202101101003105312101691 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXASAT AUSTIN 21034212921232026632421110069862182312 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXASAT DALLAS 1101102101001000003003201250 THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY 00011053020011000011175017111 TOWSON UNIVERSITY 108921810361191577718136612410389121339815432641026015885564125 TRINITY COLLEGE 1116405112000000001103111883 TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN 1003211113101101001100001162 TRINITY WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 64221075321000011000011019135 TUFTS UNIVERSITY 61052323065243030102963408843722543520 TULANE UNIVERSITY 4213462120016432364125436128531131904625 UNION COLLEGE 0002202102002201104111111482 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY 0002112000001002211002001032 UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY 111111110111111000000311865 APPLIEDACCEPTEDENROLLED
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL

Students across the eight high schools applied to colleges in every state, with two students heading to the Aloha State to attend Hawai’i Pacific University.

DESIGN, MEASURE & INSTALL WHILE YOU TAKE IT EASY! Our experts specialize in color selection, specifying products and window treatments options for your home. UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY 100000100000420111111111953 UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY, SUNY 0001003100002202200002201070 UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO 00033121010011042000044115112 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN 111000000110000300440000961 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON 000000000000100111420000631 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY 2004000472049414830250041106832320133 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS 330127084051010711080950126169412 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE 2001450104153020110107013402110195442 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES 20043424430489346603130434369923263810 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, MERCED 000110000100220000110100640 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE 000210000000110110320100850 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO 3203713129801781301311881223138120194675 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA 200308219501380241331450196233110154567 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ 21014100104052033055196065154362 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA 000112061092051051063171049111
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL

Several students are traveling across the pond for college at schools such as the University of Glasgow in Scotland (2 enrollments), University College London in England (1 enrollment) and Trinity College Dublin in Ireland (2 enrollments).

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 411301152314100170012112511401122186 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI 00086121120043142053063131184 UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER 6507043827100251622624432213533433526127417921 UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER 1117401001101100000001001271 UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT 3202111116701160221701310113601370112662 UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON 110210220110000000000100750 UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE 231826038338152301414840538241432526240534221421 UNIVERSITY OF DENVER 431181215202203205511710142058384 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 310441021860243042163271013060612592497715 UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA 00036126202116102610225832350431611895413 UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 0003300004100001103311111292 UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD 000100200000220000100000620 UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I AT MĀNOA 4200002001101001102002001340 UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON 0002003101000002001112001121 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO 22064021000011011022040018110 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 21015204916426614315111312610066162238699 UNIVERSITY OF IOWA 21052051011010033021042023110 UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS 00043020000022111044000013101 UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY 221851200311210115043152037194 UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE 2112002002102113302200001582 UNIVERSITY OF MAINE 00062122053011032121151024123 UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON 44121031053033044022022025201 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE 21192019100147386243010041061306 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GLOBAL CAMPUS 000000300000200100000200800 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE 000000600000000000000320920 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY 7959119157516968111467316148130291359718422451218018931588113 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK 1547736329149323671577133517610938624313238820499259143443882088826061357611 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST 330382011991271002824228204201611912218211411 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON 11063161062133054011042032172 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI 0005713319412141269225613210138812185410 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 83199124881247414377169577394158154281765110749 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES 210151009604106518821061106064434 UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI 11062110021000065062211023123 UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE 21095052131122065064042037222 UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN 000220000100331330000000981 UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO 000100200200110210110000930 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA ASHEVILLE 220000100000100210210000840 186 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton TOTAL
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL 124072515130701267712541516010399814825917 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHARLOTTE 11064121042011022010032020131 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT GREENSBORO 11022043031022032032121020141 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON 0006301360851320109141072051282 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH FLORIDA 000100300100110000000000610 UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME 20015107007001000620102222007952 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA 000100210110000110210000740 UNIVERSITY OF OREGON 882930166142011012811280103072394 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 700613399548376633343225421108875183026 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH 262121267458733796518109884118855106759151102981952949 UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND 000000210000000110000430750 UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 540105076073165166043021047332 UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND 420202012301540920620810172091180 UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER 2111110258021101117211501811127112126547 UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO 110152061040011041052052041100 UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO 10075051020011042052041029120 UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON 000211210110110210000110961 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA 540351611550271232114340164321344931522411120 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA 000123031051055086211062140193 MOCO360.MEDIA | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 187
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton

The eight high schools are sending a number of graduates to historically Black colleges and universities, including Morgan State University in Baltimore (15 enrollees), Howard University in D.C. (14 enrollees) and Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia (6 enrollees).

TOTAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 60051415030447131742421355367843083614 UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS 000152110072110022163041036103 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA 630261209218631311119134115015100107629 UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE 11017511230134263015511152155190317 UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 100410111000000000000000621 UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO 221220000000211000100000752 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 000181225512212105447511162503511 UNIVERSITY OF TULSA 000420000100110000000110740 UNIVERSITY OF UTAH 33130052122011022085341028165 UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT 10825942723131251831513025185614353419225217425 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA 91012413765627711110651669261411081116166015 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON 310261023160291112914019703211439172208779 UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO 0003101100002102101101001050 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN–MADISON 4308128732126267060231511847930610038443315928 URSINUS COLLEGE 44021022000021011000031114101 VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY 3113161233222202621131035326810221197 VASSAR COLLEGE 11019101110810510951102170070122 VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY 1010313071116101562102022832642137268 VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY 980128025100145010803424364013101123774 VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY 0002205201001100000001001050 VIRGINIA TECH 2017076302551717630489657583876236594591853029244 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY 11122108007201731102017533662118207 WASHINGTON ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY 000210411100000000000000721 WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY 1005101003002001002112001721 WASHINGTON COLLEGE 660431114051144044011054140273 WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY 000400310000000000000000710 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS 1002920331019212832162128325773211209 WELLESLEY COLLEGE 2107119211331300600410173161114 WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY 20033426001311721822123161087137 WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY 1102101000003203100002201270 WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY 550161031351149222024161610105090537 WILLIAM & MARY 1252408622412741288119602211335932055517 WILLIAMS COLLEGE 20021217107005005006117006042 WINGATE UNIVERSITY 220210200211110000000000951 WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE 110431162152022162175063047204 XAVIER UNIVERSITY 11043122031010033242042022143 YALE UNIVERSITY 30035325663611033312410352260323071910 YORK COLLEGE OF PENNSYLVANIA 1102112102203202100001101391 YORK UNIVERSITY 000000100000000320000210630
Albert Einstein BethesdaChevy Chase Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Winston Churchill Thomas S. Wootton


Our area boasts a number of excellent private schools, but choosing the right one for your child may not always be easy. There are scores of good schools to choose from and a countless number of factors that you need to consider. Co-ed or single gender? A school with a religious affiliation or not? What’s the educational philosophy and approach?

Bethesda Magazine’s PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE will help you to find the school thats the best fit. In th following pages, we provide essential information on 22 schools. You’ll find the inormation you need to narrow your search and to start your exploration in a targeted and effective way.

The Auburn School, Silver Spring Campus

9115 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910


Grades: K-8

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 65

Average class size: 10

Student/teacher ratio: 10:2

Religious affiliation: None

Seniors with National Merit recognition: N/A

Languages offered: N/A

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: Please inquire

Students receiving financial aid: 47% Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Teacher retention rate: 90%

Theater productions per year: 1

Accreditations/Affiliations: AdvancEd/Mansef

Founded: 2011

Barrie School

13500 Layhill Road Silver Spring, MD 20906


Grades: 3 months-Grade 12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 375

Average class size: 16

Student/teacher ratio:

Lower School, 13:1;

Middle-Upper School, 10:1

Religious affiliation: N/A

Seniors with National Merit recognition: N/A

Grade foreign language fist offered: 6

Languages offered: Spanish, French, Independent Study

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $21,480

Annual tuition for grade 12: $36,210 (includes books)

Students receiving financial aid 47%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: Yes

Number of AP courses offered: 4

Students scoring 3+ on AP exams: 13 Varsity sports: Soccer, volleyball, cross country, basketball, track & fiel Interscholastic sports (middle): Flag football, track & field, socce, cross country, basketball

Number of art studios: 3

Theater productions per year: 2

Music ensembles: 5

Accreditations/Affiliations: American Montessori Society, Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools

Founded: 1932

The Bethesda Montessori School

7611 Clarendon Road

Bethesda, MD 20814


Grades: 3-6-year-olds, Pre-K & Accredited


Gender: Coed

Total number of students: 80

Average class size: Offering three, multi-age Montessori classrooms

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: Pre-K

Languages offered: French

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $13,300

Annual tuition for grade 12: N/A

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Number of art studios: 1

Theater productions per year: 2

Music ensembles: 3

Accreditations/Affiliations: Montessori Schools of Maryland, Accredited

Kindergarten. Licensed by State of MD, Association Montessori Internationale, American Montessori Society

Founded: 1983

Bullis School

10601 Falls Road

Potomac, MD 20854


Grades: K-12

Gender: Co-ed

Lower School Enrollment: 186

Middle School Enrollment: 221

Upper School Enrollment: 618

Average class size: 15

Student/teacher ratio: 7:1

Languages offered: French, Spanish, Latin, Mandarin

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $41,250

Annual tuition for grade 12: $54,540

Students receiving financial aid 33%

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: Yes, throughout the metro area

AP courses offered: 24

US Varsity sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, field hocey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, olleyball, wrestling

MS Interscholastic sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, field hocey, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, westling

Number of art studios: 4, plus dance studio, 2 makerspaces

Music ensembles: Chorus, chamber singers, concert band, concert choir, jazz ensemble, jazz workshop, string ensemble, winter, and spring musicals and ensembles

LS Arts: Grade-based theatrical productions, 5th-grade musical, visual arts classes & shows, movement classes, general music class and band, string, and choral


ensembles. All groups perform several times during the school year.

MS Arts: Grade 6 & 7 students participate in visual arts classes and shows and one performing arts class (choices: band, strings, chorus, dance, theater). Grade 8 students choose a major and minor area of the arts in which to delve more deeply.

US Arts: Students may pursue an Honors Capstone. Arts students participate in multiple shows and performances during the course of the year. US courses are offered in music, audio engineering, theatre, dance, and visual arts.

Accreditations/Affiliations: Maryland Department of Education, National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, The Secondary School Admision Test Board, The College Board, The Association of Independent Maryland Schools, The Black Student Fund, The National Association for College Counseling

Founded: 1930

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Lower School Campus:


Enrollment: 65

Grades: K-8

Average Class Size: 10

Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:2

Year Founded: 2011

1901 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, MD 20852

Annette M. & Theodore N. Lerner Family Upper School Campus: 11710 Hunters Ln., Rockville, MD 20852 301-692-4870

Grades: Junior Kindergarten-Grade 12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 850

Average class size: 13

Religious affiliation: Jewish

Seniors with National Merit recognition: 10

Grade foreign language fist offered: Junior Kindergarten

Languages offered: Hebrew, Spanish, and Arabic

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: Varies by grade

Annual tuition for grade 12: $22,960 (fist semester only)

Students receiving financial aid: 50%

Uniform: None

Bus transportation: Yes

Number of AP courses offered: CESJDS does not offer AP courses, however, does offer advanced and rigorous courses that emphasize critical thinking, creativity, and allow for flxibility.

Students scoring 3+ on AP exams: N/A

Varsity sports: Cross Country, Dance, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Swimming, Wrestling, Indoor Track, Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field Interscholastic sports (Middle): Cross

Country, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Swimming, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field

Number of art studios: 4

Theater productions per year: 8

Music ensembles: 10

Accreditations/Affiliations: AIMS, Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington

Founded: 1965

The Diener School

11701 Danville Drive

North Bethesda, MD 20852


Grades: Kindergarten-8th

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 75

Average class size: 10

Student/teacher ratio: Elementary School 1:4 Middle School 1:6

Religious affiliation: N/A

Languages offered: N/A

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $51,500

Students receiving financial aid: 12%

Uniform: N/A

Bus transportation: Yes

Teacher retention rate: 7-year average Theater productions per year: N/A

Accreditations/Affiliations: AISGW AIMS

NAIS MANSEF Washington D.C. Small Schools

Association WISER

Founded: 2007

The Auburn School, Silver Spring Campus

9115 Georgia Ave. • Silver Spring, MD 20910 • 301-588-8048 •

The Auburn School grows the social and academic potential of bright students with social and communication challenges.

The Auburn School is an independent day-school with a specialized program that offers a stimulating educational program for intellectually engaged students with challenges in the areas of communication, socialization, language and organization. Auburn’s program simultaneously supports the development of academic skills, social competency and pragmatic language in an engaging educational environment. Our program is appropriate for students who can learn successfully and appropriately in a small classroom setting.

The Auburn School integrates social skills and pragmatic language development throughout the curriculum and school day using research-based programs and educational best-practices, and provides a challenging academic curriculum featuring multi-sensory instruction, research-based curriculum and appropriate student accommodations.

The Auburn School has campuses in Silver Spring and Chantilly, Virginia.

Celebrate HAPPINESS CHALLENGE Unique Minds CURIOSITY Encourage NowEnrolling!

Geneva Day School

11931 Seven Locks Road

Potomac, MD 20854


Grades: 2 years old-Kindergarten

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 165

Average class size: 12-18 – varies by age

Student/teacher ratio: 6:1 – varies by age

Religious affiliation: Non-denominational

Grade foreign language fist offered: 3 years old

Languages offered: Spanish, Chinese, and Sign Language

Lowest tuition for 5-day half-day students: $8,600

Students receiving financial aid 20%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Teacher retention rate: 98%

Accreditations/Affiliations: Maryland State

Department of Education Office f Childcare, National Childcare Association, Maryland State Department of Education Office f

Nonpublic Schools, Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education

Certified Geen School, Maryland State Childcare Association, National Association

Enrollment: 330

Grades: PK-8

Average Class Size: 18

Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1

Annual Tuition (Grade 8): $48,175

Year Founded: 1965

of Education for Young Children

Founded: 1965

Georgetown Preparatory School

10900 Rockville Pike

North Bethesda, MD 20852


Grades: 9-12

Gender: Boys

Total number of students: 500

Average class size: 16

Student/teacher ratio: 8:1

Religious affiliation: Jesuit (Catholic)

Grade foreign language fist offered: 9

Languages offered: 5

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $42,190

Students receiving financial aid: 28%

Uniform: Sport coat and tie

Bus transportation: Available

Number of AP courses offered: 28

Varsity sports: Football, soccer, cross country, basketball, wrestling, hockey, swimming & diving, winter track, baseball, lacrosse, track, rugby, tennis, golf, clay targeting

Number of art studios: 2

Theater productions per year: 2

Music ensembles: 3

Accreditations/Affiliations: Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Maryland State Department of Education, Jesuit Province of Maryland

Founded: 1789

Lowell School

German International School Washington D.C.

8617 Chateau Drive

Potomac, MD 20854


Grades: Pre-K–Grade 12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 530

Average class size: 16 (Elementary and Upper Schools)

Student/teacher ratio: 18:1

Religious affiliation: None

Programs: Strong focus on World Languages and STEM

Grade foreign language fist offered: German starting in Pre-K

Languages offered: German, English, French, Spanish, Latin

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $19,735

2-year-old (half day): $18,530 (full day also available); 3 & 4-year-old (half day): $15,215 (full-day also available); Kindergarten (5-year-old program): $22,500; Grade 1-6: $23,620; Grades 7-12: $ 24,405

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: DC, MD, NOVA

Teacher retention rate: 90%

Number of AP courses offered: 8

Students scoring 3+ on AP exams: 95%

Varsity sports: Soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track & field, ennis

Interscholastic sports (middle): Soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track & field, ennis

1640 Kalmia Road, NW • Washington, D.C. 20012 • 202-577-2000

Founded in 1965, Lowell School is a progressive co-ed prekindergarten through 8th grade school in Washington, D.C.

At Lowell, we believe in authenticity, inclusivity and respect for children. Our faculty and staff honor each child’s individuality, giving them time and space to grow, while challenging them to push themselves and try new things. This results in highly motivated learners with a strong sense of self-worth and efficacy.

Our students engage in active, collaborative learning, with equal emphasis on building conceptual understanding and developing strong creative, critical and analytical thinking skills. We carefully design learning experiences to be integrated across subjects and to draw on student interests and what’s happening in the world around them.

We teach our students to embrace the humanity, dignity and individuality of all, and we partner with families to create a successful, dynamic learning community prepared to change the world.


We believe success starts with respecting children and honoring their individuality.

We believe an engaged learning community has to be authentic, inclusive, and diverse.

We believe in the power of progressive education.

Helping children love learning since 1965. Lowell is a co-ed PK–8th school in Washington, DC.

We are Lowell School.

Number of art studios: 1

Theater/Music productions per year: 4

Music ensembles: Choir and orchestra

Accreditations/Affiliations: Accredited by the Federal Republic of Germany’s Central Office or Schools Abroad and approved by Maryland State Department of Education, Member of AISGW, Part of Network of 140 German Schools around the globe

Founded: 1961

Green Acres School

11701 Danville Drive North Bethesda, MD 20852


Grades: Age 3-Grade 8

Gender: Gender Inclusive

Total number of students: 160

Average class size: 11

Student/teacher ratio: 6:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: Pre-K

Languages offered: Spanish

Lowest tuition for 5-day students:

$21,000 (Half-day Pre-K)

$29,400 (Pre-K)

$35,175 (Kindergarten)


Enrollment: 1,000+

Grades: K-12

Average Class Size: 15


Ratio: 7:1

Annual Tuition (Grade 12): $54,540

Year Founded: 1930

$38,850 (1st grade)

$41,885 (2nd–4th grade)

$41,990 (5th–6th grade)

$43,040 (7th–8th grade)

Annual tuition for grade 8: $43,040

Students receiving financial aid: 40%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: Yes

Teacher retention rate: 82%

Interscholastic sports (middle): Soccer, Cross Country, Basketball, Softball

Number of art studios: 3

Theater productions per year: Multiple Music ensembles: Middle school vocal & instrumental ensemble

Founded: 1934

The Harbour School

11510 Falls Road

Potomac, MD 20854


Grades: PK-2/3–Grade 3

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 70

Average class size: 10-12

Student/teacher ratio: 6:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: Preschool

Languages offered: Spanish

Lowest tuition for 5-day students:

$16,000 (half-day)

$23,900 (full-day)

Students receiving financial aid: 20%

Bullis School

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: For field trip

Number of art studios: 1

Theater productions per year: 2

Accreditations/Affiliations: AIMS,AISGW, WSSA, AISAP

Founded: 1973

The Ivymount/Maddux School

11614 Seven Locks Road

Rockville, MD 20854


Grades: PK-2

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 42

Average class size: 8-10 in PK; 10-12 in K-2nd

Student/teacher ratio: 4:1

Religious affiliation: None

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $38,000

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Specials: Art, library and technology, music, physical education, yoga, plus integrated speech/OT

Accreditations/Affiliations: State approved curriculum

Annual Applications per opening: Please inquire

Founded: 2004

10601 Falls Road • Potomac, MD 20854 • 301-299-8500 •

Bullis Located on 102 acres in Potomac, Maryland, Bullis is a co-ed, K-12 independent school that prepares students to be critical thinkers, joyful lifelong learners, and impactful global citizens. Our student-centered community embraces diversity, honors integrity and fosters belonging. Students develop passions by exploring opportunities in academics, arts, athletics and service. We believe the best education is achieved when students choose from a broad range of options that encourage flexible thinking, cultivate empathy and help build meaningful relationships. Students gain problem-solving skills in an environment where teachers push the boundaries of traditional learning practices to connect curricula to the real world in classes like entrepreneurship, making for social good and design thinking. Every day, Bullis students boldly journey outside of their comfort zones in pursuit of self-discovery.


Lowell School

1640 Kalmia Road NW

Washington, DC 20012


Grades: PK-8

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 330

Average class size: 18

Student/teacher ratio: 9:1

Religious affiliation: None

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $23,115 (half-day, Pre-Primary)

Students receiving financial aid: 1/3

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: Yes

Languages: Beginning in Pre-Primary, students are introduced to the Spanish language, and upon entering Primary School, it becomes part of their regular class schedule.

STEAM: Each division has dedicated science/lab, library, art, and maker spaces and classes.

Physical Education: In addition to other important skills and activities, students in 1st–5th grade have regular swim rotations in Lowell’s indoor pool as part of their PE program, and Middle School students have swimming as an elective option.

Enrollment: 300

Grades: PK-8

Average Class Size: 16

Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1

Annual Tuition: $10,125

Year Founded: 1953

Athletics: Lowell runs a comprehensive nocut program: Co-ed Cross Country (4th–8th grade), Boys and Girls Soccer (four teams, two for 4th and 5th grade, two for Middle School), Boys and Girls Basketball Soccer (four teams, two for 4th and 5th grade, two for Middle School), Girls Lacrosse (Middle School), Baseball (Middle School), Co-ed Jr. Track & Field (Kindergarten–5th grade), Co-ed Sr. Track (Middle School), and Co-ed Swimming.

Founded: 1965

McLean School


11810 Falls Road

Grades 5-8

8224 Lochinver Lane

Potomac, MD 20854


Grades: K-12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 495

Average class size: 10+

Student/teacher ratio: 7:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: Grade 5

Languages offered: Spanish, Latin, American Sign Language

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $44,000

Annual tuition for grade 12: $56,000

Students receiving financial aid: 40%

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: Yes

Teacher retention rate: 90%

Number of AP courses offered: 10+

Varsity sports: Volleyball, softball, lacrosse, track & field, coss country, soccer, wrestling, basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, climbing Interscholastic sports (middle): Volleyball, softball, lacrosse, track & field, coss country, soccer, wrestling, basketball

Number of art studios: 4

Theater productions per year: 1 drama/ comedy per year, 1 musical per year, 2 musical concerts per division, talent shows Music ensembles: Strings Ensemble, Jazz Band, Rock, Pop & Blues Band, Chorus

Accreditations/Affiliations: Maryland

Department of Education, National Association of Independent Schools, Association of Independent Maryland Schools, Association of Independent Schools in Greater Washington,The Black Student Fund, Latino Student Fund, International Dyslexia Association, Learning Disabilities Association, Secondary School Admission Test Board, Association of Independent School Admission Professionals, National Business Offices Association

Founded: 1954

Oneness-Family Montessori School

6701 Wisconsin Ave. Chevy Chase, MD 20815

HIGH SCHOOL: 9411 Connecticut Ave. Kensington, MD 20895 301-652-7751

St. Jane de Chantal

9525 Old Georgetown Road • Bethesda, MD 20814 •

St. Jane de Chantal St. Jane de Chantal is a Catholic, co-ed elementary school in Bethesda, MD. We are celebrating our 70th school year in 2023-24. Throughout the last seven decades, De Chantal teachers and families have educated and raised children as a community and look forward to continuing this tradition. We will use this school year to discover our history and celebrate our future.

The school has two classrooms per grade and an average of 20 students in each classroom. In recognition of academic excellence, The U.S. Department of Education has twice named De Chantal a Blue Ribbon School.

Although academics are a priority and teachers are dedicated to the educational success of each child, we also value and educate the whole child. De Chantal recognizes that our students will spend their childhood with us, and we strive to cultivate a sense of curiosity and discovery in the children.

Through proud traditions and a close, caring community, De Chantal educates students with strong values and academic excellence. De Chantal is the school where your child will grow in spirit and mind, the school where your child will be known and loved and the school where you can be involved.

For more information about De Chantal and our admissions process please contact Catherine Tomsheck at or visit our website



Enrollment: 375


3 months-grade 12

Average Class Size: 16

Annual Tuition (Grade 12): $36,210

Year Founded: 1932

Barrie School

13500 Layhill Road • Silver Spring, MD 20906 • 301-576-2800

Barrie School is a progressive independent school, serving students from 3 months to grade 12, inspiring excellence, intrinsic motivation and responsibility through innovation. Our intentional educational throughline—from Montessori (3 months to grade 6) to Project-Based Learning (PBL) (grades 6 to 12)—cultivates learning that lasts. Our community fosters a deep sense of confidence and belonging within our diverse student body. Lower School offers hands-on Montessori education that focuses on the uniqueness of each child, and supports optimum learning. Middle and Upper School offers a PBL curriculum for students in Grades 6 through 12 engaging students in deep memorable learning, inspiring a love for and personal connection to their academic experience.

Located in Silver Spring, MD, Barrie School provides an extraordinary learning environment integrating local, national and global educational opportunities. Our 45-acre campus is home to the world-renowned Barrie Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies—one of the largest school-based teacher training programs in the country—and Barrie Camp, a Washington, D.C. area tradition since the 1950s.

DECHANTAL.ORG Please register via email: CTOMSHECK@DECHANTAL.ORG October 11th November 10th ST. JANE DE CHANTAL SCHOOL FALL OPEN HOUSE 301.576.2800 Join us to learn more about our Montessori and Project-Based Learning programs. Admission Open House Saturday, October 21 3 Mos to Grade 5 | 9:00 – 10:15am Grades 6-12 | 11:00 – 12:15pm Learn more and RSVP: 3 months to Grade 12 Ask Ask about our Millenium Scholarship & Fall Expeditions!

Grades: Ages 2-Grade 12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 145

Average class size: 20

Student/teacher ratio: 12:1

Religious affiliation: Non-sectarian

Grade foreign language fist offered: PS

Languages offered: Spanish, French, Italian, American Sign Language

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $23,600

Annual tuition for grade 12: $37,250

Students receiving financial aid: 29%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Number of art studios: 2

Theater productions per year: 1

Music ensembles: 2

Accreditations/Affiliations: International Montessori Council, American Montessori Society, NAIS

Founded: 1988

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

17301 Old Vic Boulevard

Olney, MD 20832 240-283-3200

Enrollment: 144

Grades: PK-2

Average Class Size: 9-18

Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1

Year Founded: 1944

Grades: 9-12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 1,200+

Average class size: 20

Student/teacher ratio: 13:1

Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic Tuition: $29,350

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: Yes

Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, STEM, Ryken and Global Programs offered Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman sports: 40+ 12 Science & State-of-the-art STEM labs

Award-winning visual, instrumental and choral programs

Founded: 1958

The Primary Day School

7300 River Road Bethesda, MD 20817 301-365-4355

Grades: PK-2

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 144

Average class size: 9-18

Student/teacher ratio: 8:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: Pre-K

Languages offered: Spanish

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $28,900

Students receiving financial aid: 11%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Number of art studios: 1

Music ensembles: Twice a month

Accreditations/Affiliations: AISGW/AIMS

Founded: 1944

The Siena School

1300 Forest Glen Road Silver Spring, MD 20901


Grades: 4-12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 150

Average class size: 10

Student/teacher ratio: 10:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: 9

Languages offered: Spanish

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $48,462

Annual tuition for grade 12: $49,755

Students receiving financial aid: 43%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Teacher retention rate: 93%

Varsity sports: Soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball, cross country

Interscholastic sports (middle): Soccer, basketball, cross county, softball

Number of art studios: 2

Theater productions per year: 2

Music ensembles: 2

Accreditations/Affiliations: NAIS, ISM, MSACS, IDA, LDA-MC

The Primary Day School

7300 River Road • Bethesda, MD 20817 • 301-365-4355

The Primary Day School is a nondenominational, diverse, coeducational, independent school for children in pre-kindergarten through grade 2. These are the four most crucial learning years of their lives, a time when they are ready for quantum leaps of development. At Primary Day, everything we do focuses on helping young children flourish, both academically and emotionally, during this vitally important time of life.

The Primary Day curriculum is designed specifically to engage young learners. Children gain essential building blocks in reading, writing, phonovisual, mathematics, science, STEM, Spanish, social studies, music, physical education and art, creating a firm foundation for ongoing school success and continued personal growth. Primary Day provides enrichment after-care options for families.

Individual tours and parent interviews with our head of school are offered during the school day and open houses are hosted in the fall and winter. We also invite you to join our popular Ultimate STEM event. For updated information please see our website.

For additional information about Primary Day, please call 301-365-4355, email us at or visit our website at


Stone Ridge School

9101 Rockville Pike • Bethesda, MD 20814 • 301-657-4322

Enrollment: 760

Average Class Size: 16

Student/Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Annual Tuition: $44,900

Year Founded: 1923

SCHOOL PROFILE this is who we are

Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart empowers leaders to serve with faith, intellect and confidence.We are an all-girls grades 1-12, Catholic, independent school, (co-ed program Pre-K through Kindergarten). As part of a 200-year tradition of Sacred Heart education and a global network in 41 countries and 150 schools, Stone Ridge makes a consistent commitment to educating the mind and the heart of our students so that they may grow in wisdom, faith, and grace and with purpose and integrity. We are guided by the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education. With these Goals we commit to educate to a personal and active faith in God, a deep respect for intellectual values, a social awareness which impels to action, a building of community as a Christian value, and personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. Our beautiful 32 acre campus is centrally located in Bethesda, Maryland. Bus transportation is available throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

Empowering leaders to serve with faith, intellect and confidence.


UPPER SCHOOL (Grades 9-12) • Sunday, October 15, 2023

MIDDLE SCHOOL (Grades 5-8) • Friday, November 10, 2023

LOWER SCHOOL (Pre-K-Grade 4) • visit our website for Discovery Days

We are an all-girls grades 1-12, Catholic, independent school, with co-educational Pre-K and Kindergarten, located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bus transportation is available throughout the Washington metropolitan area. WWW.STONERIDGESCHOOL.ORG


Annual applications per opening: 8

Founded: 2006

The Siena School, Virginia Campus

2705 Hunter Mill Road

Oakton, VA 22124


Grades: 3-11

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 50

Average class size: 10

Student/teacher ratio: 10:1

Religious affiliation: None

Grade foreign language fist offered: 9

Languages offered: Spanish

Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $48,462

Annual tuition for grade 12: $48,462

Students receiving financial aid: 43%

Uniform: No

Bus transportation: No

Teacher retention rate: 93%

Varsity sports: NA

Interscholastic sports (middle): Soccer

Theater productions per year: 2

Music ensembles: 1

Accreditations/Affiliations: NAIS, ISM, MSACS, IDA


Enrollment: 165

Grades: 2 years oldKindergarten

Average Class Size: 12-18, varies by age

Annual Tuition (Grade 12): N/A

Year Founded: 1965

Annual applications per opening: 8

Founded: 2021

St. Jane de Chantal

9525 Old Georgetown Road

Bethesda, MD 20814


Grades: PK-8

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 300

Average class size (Pre-K): 16

Average class size (K-8): 15-18

Student/teacher ratio: 16:1

Teacher retention rate: 90% for three consecutive years

Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic Grade foreign language fist offered: Grade 6

Languages offered: Spanish STEM Lab offers weekly interactive science and engineering lessons for all students

Pre-K to Grade 8

Annual tuition (Pre-K): $11,500

Annual tuition (K-8): $10,125

Students receiving financial aid 12%

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: No

On-site after school care available until 6 P.M. daily Interscholastic Sports: Interscholastic CYO sports begin in Grade 3 and continue to grade 8, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, cross country and track & fiel Number of art studios: 1

Theater productions per year: 4

Music ensembles: 5 (beginning band, advanced band, beginning choir, advanced choir, chimes)

Accreditations/Affiliations: Archdiocese of Washington

Founded: 1953

St. John’s College High School

2607 Military Road NW Chevy Chase, D.C. 20015 202-363-2316

Grades: 9-12

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 1,270

Average class size: 20

Student/teacher ratio: 12:1

Religious affiliation: Catholic/Lasallian


Seniors with National Merit recognition: 12

Grade foreign language fist offered: 9

Languages offered: Spanish, French, Latin Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $23,950

Annual tuition for grade 12: $23,950

Students receiving financial aid: 39%

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: Yes

Number of AP courses offered: 24

Students scoring 3+ on AP exams: 77% Varsity sports: Baseball, basketball (boys and girls), crew, cross country/track, equestrian team, field hocey, football, golf, ice hockey (boys and girls), lacrosse (boys

Geneva Day School

11931 Seven Locks Road • Potomc, MD 20854 • 301-340-7704

Encouraging a lifelong love of learning!

As Potomac’s hidden gem, Geneva Day School provides exceptional classes and extraordinary programs for children aged 2 through kindergarten.

Join as a 2. . . This nurturing and innovative school grows with you. Many students maintain lifelong relationships and a number of graduates enroll their children to grant the gift of a Geneva education.

What creates such a following? The Geneva Method, which promotes student-led discovery of traditional pre-academics, stellar instruction from passionate, highly trained staff and inspiring settings in which to learn and play. . . . An irresistible formula.

Geneva’s enriching academic curriculum is powered by STEAM (science-technology-engineering-arts-math) and includes specialized art, environmental education, mindfulness, music and physical education. An “outdoor classroom” presides over gorgeous, Maryland Green School grounds, often visited by the very butterfliesthat serve as the school’s mascot.

Whether skipping stones at the nearby creek, conducting a science experiment, or painting according to artistic inspiration, Geneva students (and campers!) hold a lifelong love of learning in their hands. . . And hearts.



German International School Washington D.C.

8617 Chateau Drive • Potomac, MD 20854 • 301-365-3807 •

Enrollment: 530

Average Class Size: 16

Student/Teacher Ratio: 7:1

Annual Tuition

3-4 years old (half-day): $16,205

Year Founded: 1961

The German International School Washington D.C. is a private, co-educational institution with around 530 students in preschool through 12th grade, set on a quiet campus in Potomac, Md. Our student body is truly international, united by a shared interest in German language and culture. The only full-time German day school in the Greater Washington D.C. area, we offer rigorous academics in a warm, multicultural setting.

The school has a challenging German curriculum mixed with American elements. Graduates receive the globally recognized German International Abitur as well as a high-school diploma from the state of Maryland. We have two academic focus areas: world languages and science. Students gain flueny in at least two languages and achieve mastery of biology, chemistry and physics. Our teachers prize critical inquiry, teaching students how—not what— to think. On graduation, they are prepared to enter any prestigious university worldwide.

The FastTrack Program is a language program for learning German that allows academically strong students up to grade fie with little or no German language skills to enroll. The program is primarily geared toward students who are interested in a bilingual or multilingual education.

The German International School is accredited by the German Ministry of Education and Maryland Department of Education. Open House dates: Nov. 7, 2023 and Jan. 19, 2024


301 340 7704

OPEN HOUSE DATES: Nov. 7, 2023: Preschool

Jan. 19, 2024: Pre-K through 12th gr.

Seven Locks Road Potomac, MD 20854
Readers' Pick Best Preschool 2022, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014 & 2012 Finalist 2023 Enriching curriculum. . . Geneva Method Maryland Green School Hands-on experiences Join us as a two. . . We will grow with you.
GISW our student body is truly international, united by a shared interest in German language and culture. Please contact us to set up your personal tour. 301.767.3807 REGISTRATION: Check out our new FAST TRACK PROGRAM where knowledge of German is not required for enrollment from Pre-K through Grade 5.

and girls), rugby, soccer (boys and girls), softball, swim and dive, tennis (boys and girls), volleyball, wrestling

Number of art studios: 2

Theater productions per year: 2-3

Music ensembles: 20

Accreditations/Affiliations: Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, DENA Brothers of the Christian Schools, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, National Association of Independent Schools, National Catholic Education Association

Annual applications per opening: 4:1

Founded: 1851

Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

9101 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, MD 20814


Grades: Preschool-Grade 12

Gender: Co-ed Preschool, Pre-K, K; All-girls Grades 1-12

Total student population: 760

Avg. class size: 16

Student/teacher ratio: 11:1

Religious affiliation: Catholic

Grade foreign language fist offered: Preschool (3 year-olds)

Languages offered: Spanish, French, Latin Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $31,900

Annual tuition for Grade 12: $44,900

Uniform: Yes

Bus: Yes

Number of AP courses offered: 21

Upper School Interscholastic Sports: Basketball, Cross country, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Golf, Ice hockey, Lacrosse, Swimming & Diving, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Tennis, Track & field, olleyball, Winter Indoor Track

Middle School Interscholastic Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Swimming, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track & field, olleyball

Number of art studios: 9 Theater productions per year: 2 in upper school, 2 in middle school

Music ensembles: Upper school Heartfelt (a cappella), chorus, handbells, instrumental ensemble, band, orchestra, and strings

Accreditations/Affiliations: AIMS, Middle States Associations Of Colleges And Schools, Network Of Sacred Heart Schools, National Catholic Education Association, National Association Of Independent Schools, International Coalition of Girls' Schools, National Association Of Principals Of Schools For Girls, Association For Supervision And Curriculum Development, Independent Education, National Association For The Education Of Young Children

Founded: 1923

Georgetown Preparatory School Prep’s

Founded in 1789, Georgetown Preparatory

is America’s

Prep forms students from all over the world to become men of faith and men for others with opportunities for international friendships, immersion service trips, and global travel.

Washington Episcopal School

5600 Little Falls Parkway

Bethesda, MD 20816


Grades: PK3-Grade 8

Gender: Co-ed

Total number of students: 346

Average class size: 14

Student/teacher ratio: 7:1

Religious affiliation: Episcopal

Grade foreign language fist offered: PK4

Languages offered: Spanish, French, Latin Lowest tuition for 5-day students: $16,000

Annual tuition for Grade 8: $42,000

Students receiving financial aid: 23%

Uniform: Yes

Bus transportation: No

Teacher retention rate: 7.5 years

Interscholastic Sports: Soccer, cross country, basketball, lacrosse, track and fiel

Number of art studios: 3

Theater productions per year: Every grade performs at least once/year for entire school Accreditations/Affiliations: Association of Independent Maryland Schools; Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington; Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association; National Association of Episcopal Schools; National Association of Independent Schools; Independent Education; Black and Latino Student Fund.

Founded: 1986


Open House • October 15, 12:00–3:00 p.m.
Global Education
School WW W. BE THE SDAMO NT E SS ORI.COM LANGUAGE • MATH • FRENCH MUSIC • ART • SCIENCE SPORTS • DAYCARE • CAMP LANGUAGE • MATH • FRENCH MUSIC • ART • SCIENCE SPORTS • DAYCARE • CAMP Ful ly Licensed & Accredited Celebrating 41 years 2023WINNER 3 - 6 yea r olds, Pre -K & Kindergarten 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
oldest Catholic boarding and day school for young men in grades 9 through 12. Situated on 93 acres,
e B ethe sda

Enrollment: 330

Grades: PK3-8

Gender: Co-ed

Average Class Size: 14

Student/Teacher Ratio: 7:1

Washington Episcopal School

5600 Little Falls Parkway • Bethesda, MD 20816 • 301-652-7878 •

Washington Episcopal School (WES) is committed to helping every child become kind, confident, and prepared. It all starts in our Early Childhood program where our youngest students explore, experiment, and problem solve. Handson activities (and ample play time) promote their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.

In the Elementary and Middle School years, students cultivate virtues like courage, humility, and compassion, to help foster a moral and ethical compass. They learn how to take risks and self-advocate as they become leaders.

Our experiential study trips – from the apple orchard to the Chesapeake Bay to the desert southwest, to Italy, and France or Spain –provide unforgettable experiences for our students as they explore the world beyond the classroom.

A strong foundation at WES equips students with skills that foster academic confidenc and adaptability, enabling them to excel and thrive in their future educational pursuits, fueling a lifelong love for learning. WES graduates seamlessly transition to a wide variety of top secondary schools.

The best way to learn more about this life-changing education is to join us at an admission event. Call today to learn more!



Enrollment: 160

Grades: Age 3–Grade 8

Average Class Size: 11


Ratio: 6:1

Annual Tuition (Grade 8): $43,040

Year Founded: 1934

Green Acres School

11701 Danville Drive • North Bethesda, MD 20852 • 301-881-4100 •

Founded in 1934, Green Acres School is among the nation’s foremost—and one of the area’s original—progressive schools. Firmly rooted in the belief that education is the engine for social change, Dr. Alice Mendham Powell envisioned and built a school that would give children a voice, empower them to think critically and inventively about real-world problems, and equip them with the skills they need to participate fully in a democracy.

This legacy of engaged citizenship and academic excellence continues today at Green Acres and is bolstered by the school’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, social justice, service learning and environmental stewardship.

Green Acres graduates findsuccess in high school, college and beyond, using their solid intellectual foundation, creativity and strong ethical framework to emerge as leaders in a wide variety of disciplines.

Located on 15 wooded acres in North Bethesda, learning at Green Acres extends into an oasis of pristine forest, outdoor pathways, gardens and streams—particularly advantageous for STEAM learning across all divisions—as well as playgrounds and athletic fields.Green Acres was named a MAEOE Maryland Green School in 2015 and 2019; the campus also features a greenhouse.

To learn more, go to

The Maddux School

Enrollment: 42

Grades: PK-2

Average Class Size: 10 in PK; 12 in K-2nd

Student/Teacher Ratio: 4:1

Annual Tuition: $38,000

Year Founded: 2004

11614 Seven Locks Road • Rockville, MD 20854 • 301-469-0223

“It wasn’t just about reading, math and science. It was about the whole person.”

– Maddux Parent

The Maddux School teaches young children to recognize and build on their unique strengths and individual learning styles. The Maddux School is a small, private, general education school that provides strong academics, a distinctive social learning curriculum and differentiated instruction to children in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

Our structured classes with low student/teacher ratios are led by highly educated and experienced teachers. A speech language and occupational therapist are also key members of each teaching team to support students with language, social and executive function challenges.

In a recent 5-year alumni survey, parents attributed their child’s increased self-esteem, flxibility, self-advocacy and ability to make friends to their years at The Maddux School.

Our curriculum includes robust academics, plus STEAM activities, an active social learning program, music, physical education and yoga. At The Maddux School, we give our students wings to soar!

MOCO360.MEDIA | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 205 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Pre-K through Second Grade • Unique social learning curriculum • Differentiated instruction • Small, structured classes Building Strong Foundations for Learning and Friendship SCAN TO LEARN MORE TODAY! environment instruction academic different

SCHOOL PROFILE Our Lady of Good Counsel HS

17301 Old Vic Blvd. • Olney, MD 20832

• 240-283-3200


Enrollment: 1200+

Grades: 9-12

Average Class Size: 20


Ratio: 13:1

Annual Tuition: $29,350

Year Founded: 1958


Our Lady of Good Counsel High School is a Catholic, co-educational school that inspires students to excel, serve and love. Rooted in the Xaverian values of compassion and trust, Good Counsel provides a supportive environment in which students grow academically, personally and spiritually.

Enrollment: 145

Grades: Age 2–Grade 12

Average Class Size: 20

Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Year Founded: 1988

Academics: Advanced Placement courses

• Global Programs: exchange trips, classes, clubs • International Baccalaureate Program • Ryken Program for students with mild learning differences • STEM Program: top 2 percent of Project Lead the Way schools nationally

Community: • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program • Service curriculum, local and international • Spiritual retreats and Mass offerings • Small group advisories

Excellence: • 88 percent of faculty hold advanced degrees • 2023 college scholarship offerings > $40+ million • 15 consecutive DC/MD/VA Speech and Debate Team titles • Several WCAC titles in the past decade • Award-winning visual, instrumental and choral programs

Facilities: • 51-acre campus in Olney, MD • 650 seat Performing Arts Center • 12 Science and State-of-the-art STEM labs • New turf field, baseball stadium and track

Oneness-Family Montessori School

Lower School: 6701 Wisconsin Ave. • Chevy Chase, MD 20815 High School: 9411 Connecticut Ave. • Kensington, MD 20895

• 301-652-7751

In 1988, Oneness-Family School (OFS)

Founder and Head of Upper School

Andrew Kutt set out to create a school built upon Maria Montessori’s philosophy — where the center of the educational process is the student. Three decades later, what began with 10 students in a public school library is now a global family with thousands of alumni students following their dreams across the planet.

Oneness-Family Montessori School, which serves students in preschool through high school, and is home to students from more than 60 countries, is a family-focused school that encourages a strong partnership between school and home. Its learning program combines a research-based Montessori curriculum with an emphasis on well-being, community, character and lifelong learning.


Enrollment: 1,270

Average Class Size: 20

Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:1

Annual Tuition: $23,950

Year Founded: 1851

St. John's College HS

2607 Military Rd NW • Chevy Chase, D.C. 20015 • 202-363-2316

St. John’s College High School is an independent, Catholic, co-educational college preparatory school in the Lasallian tradition. Committed to academic excellence, St. John’s prepares students for lives of leadership, achievement and service to the community. Our graduates have a 100 percent college acceptance rate, and the class of 2023 collectively earned over $35,000,000 in scholarships. Recent capital improvements to our 30-acre campus include the Center for Performance and Leadership (2020), the Cap Mona Family Student Center (2017), and the Donatelli Center for the Visual and Performing Arts (2016). Unique to the St. John’s experience are the Cadet Corps Leadership Program, the Entrepreneurial Center for Innovation and Social Impact, and state-of-the-art athletic training facilities.

Throughout the years, St. John’s has become synonymous with excellence, diversity, leadership and service. Our mission and vision emphasize holistic personal growth and innovative thinking, which strengthens and continually transforms our school and alumni community.

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School


Fostering the growth of confident, compassionate thinkers who engage the world through Jewish values.


MIDDLE SCHOOL: Grades 6 - 8

HIGH SCHOOL: Grades 9 - 12

CESJDS.ORG/ADMISSION /cesjdsconnect 0 0
MOCO360.MEDIA | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 209 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION We now have a second campus in Northern Virginia! For bright students with language-based learning differences like dyslexia Silver Spring Campus 1300 Forest Glen Road Silver Spring, MD 20901 301.244.3600 Northern Virginia Campus 2705 Hunter Mill Road Oakton, VA 22124 703.745.5900 Providing a Multi-Sensory Education Kindergarten-8th Grade Motivating Minds Inspiring Capabilities We provide a nurturing yet challenging environment for students with learning differences that supports academic and social needs and inspires minds for a lifetime. Weekly Tours Available 11701 Danville Dr North Bethesda | Kindergarten - Grade 8 (301) 299-4602 |

A unique patina lends lovely texture to a room


Three local backyard oases




Geometric Gem

With a three-dimensional cubist design, the Ezra natural rye wood bar cabinet is a functional piece of art. $2,299 at Crate & Barrel, 4820 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-364-6100;


A mix of finishes and materials keeps a room from looking flat. dd some interest with a little bit (or a lot) of texture.

Blanket Statement

Snuggle up on a chilly fall evening with this handwoven corded throw. $60 to $65 at West Elm, 951 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda; 301-230-7630;

Bowled Over

Handcrafted and hand glazed, the ceramic Frasier bowl adds an organic element to a coffee table, nightstand or side table. $129 at Pottery Barn, 4750 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda; 301-654-1598;



Handmade metal pieces add unique texture and patina to a room. This dome pendant is made from recycled metals and crafted by Mexican artisans. $518 at Arhaus in Westfield Montgomery mall, 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda; 301-230-2973;

Soft Slumber

Cozy velvet bedding is a fantastic seasonal switch for fall. Rich in texture and color, the Delwood quilt is made from washed cotton velvet with channel quilting and features a lightweight linen backing. $348 to $448 at Serena & Lily, 7121 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda; 240-531-1839;

Up Against the Wall

Textured wallpaper—and natural grass clothinspired designs in particular—have made a big comeback in recent years. York Wallcoverings’ Line Stripe, from the New Origins collection, features a metallic thread in a horizontal design. $130 per double roll through Sherwin-Williams, 4809 Auburn Ave., Bethesda; 301-654-7955;


301.365.9090 •


Over $160 Million Sold & Settled, 2022 • Top Producer, Bethesda Magazine, 2023 • Best Realtor® Team, Washingtonian, 2022 • #1 Group in #1 Long & Foster O ce, 2010-2022 • Top Vote Getter, Best of Bethesda Real Estate Team, 2022 • Donated More Than $136,000 to Local Charities, Pay it Forward Program, 2017-2022



Country Club Living with Chef’s Gourmet Kitchen and Elevator

6-7 Beds | 6 Full Baths | 2 Half Baths | Built 2017 | 1 Acre

Contact Wendy Banner 301.365.9090


5 Beds | 5 Full Baths | 2 Half Baths In Merry-Go-Round Farm Contact Wendy Banner 301.365.9090 and Jody Aucamp 240.778.8227


Private, Newly Renovated with Pool, Spa and Screened Porch

4 Beds l 4 Full Baths l 2 Half Baths Contact Michelle Teichberg 301.775.7263


Updated Primary Suite with Expansive Walk In Closet

4 Beds | 4.5 Baths | Beautiful Garden with Covered Pavilion Contact Gail Gordon 301.529.8527

Long & Foster® Real Estate, Readers’
Brokerage for Luxury Homes 2022
Front Row: Gail Gordon, Julia Fortin, Wendy Banner, Michelle Teichberg, Ilene Gordon Back Row: Ashley Vonada, Pat Karta, Emily Moritt, Mireille Pioppo, Jody Aucamp
“A Team Behind Every Transaction” One Bethesda Office 240.497.1700


301.538.9337 | o 301.975.9500


“This team is over the top fabulous! From organizing and overseeing a remodel, to getting all inspections and repairs completed, they did it all and more. They covered every detail and managed our expectations ahead of time . . . all while we were not even in the same state! I would highly recommend them as the team that will get your house sold very quickly and at a price you are happy with.”

Bob has been working in the Maryland real estate industry for 35 years. Having lived most of his life in Montgomery County, he has developed a deep understanding of the local real estate market and has helped numerous clients make life-changing moves. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Bob has successfully helped buyers and sellers navigate the constantly changing market. Whether you are interested in a starter house or a luxury estate, he has the expertise to guide you through every step of the buying or selling process. He is committed to providing his clients with top-notch service and personal attention, ensuring that their unique needs and goals are met.

Bob is a Gold Team member of Long & Foster Real Estate, a liated with North Potomac O ce in Maryland. Najam, a long time Realtor®, is an experienced decorator, stager and creator of special deals for her clients.

Team Member



• Over 12+ years in Real Estate

• Licensed in Maryland and Ohio

• Speaks: Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, English

• Specializes in interior design and nding economical deal for clients

301.537.3328 |

Long & Foster® Real Estate, Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes 2022
CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND $10,500,000 4 Bedrooms | 6 Full Baths, 3 Half Baths | 9,100+ SQ FT on 2 levels Penthouse 20B in Chevy Chase’s Somerset House | Unobstructed Views of DC-VA-MD POTOMAC, MARYLAND $2,000,000 5 Bedrooms | 5 Full Baths, 3 Half Baths | 7,200+ SQ FT on 3 Levels Quiet Cul-de-Sac in Idyllic Avenel | Expansive Deck Perfect for Outdoor Entertaining Zelda Heller | Jamie Coley | Leigh Reed m 202.669.1331 | o 240.497.1700



Three fresh takes on outdoor escapes

Your home’s exterior environment should reflect our life indoors and your style, whether you lean sophisticated and chic or simply want a place where the kids can kick around a soccer ball or play fetch with Fido. The three plots shown here do exactly that. One is a poolside setting straight out of the 1960s. Another, a classic Queen Anne abode, comes complete with a private putting green. The last is a contemporary resortinspired retreat. And they’re all unique, providing one-of-a-kind experiences perfectly suited to the sunny autumn days that lie ahead.


Anthony and Elizabeth Wilder’s Bethesda home feels like it was plucked out of 1960s Palm Springs, California, with a deck and poolside scene painting the backdrop to a Slim Aarons portrait. That was the vibe they were after when the couple, who run Cabin John-based Anthony Wilder Design/Build, embarked on their renovation project.

“We didn’t want to detract from what we feel is a beautifully designed home,” says Elizabeth, president of the company. “We wanted the renovation to enhance it rather than take away from it.”

The Wilders purchased the circa 1960s home, across from Congressional Country Club, in 2014 but didn’t embark on any major changes until 2020, amid the pandemic.

“We used our team’s downtime to finish off the house,” says Anthony, founder and lead architectural designer. “We reinvented it.”

The Wilders started by redoing the deck. “The deck that was added before we were there was not in the original design,” Elizabeth says. “We wanted to give it that midcentury look.”

The Wilders fell in love with the house partly because it had a pool—but the previous design prevented it from being fully visible from the rear sliding doors. The transformation changed all that. “We wanted the pool to be a snapshot,” Anthony Wilder says. “The pool just lights the way.”


More to the point, they wanted easier deckto-pool access for their three dogs (an Australian shepherd/rottweiler mix named Izzy, and two Great Pyrenees/Bernese mountain dog mixes, Conrad and Lulu) and four grandchildren (their two sons are in their 40s), all of whom love to splash in the water.

“When you’re designing a house with a pool, you want it to be visually connected to the inside,” Anthony says. “A lot of people have pools that are far from the house, and they rarely use them because you can’t see the children. It’s unnerving.”

Anthony solved that problem by designing a staircase that leads from the deck, with its sliding glass doors, to the pool. The deck is made with low-maintenance ipe wood decking with Azek trim boards for longevity. The setup is a hit.

“I don’t think we realized how integral the stairs would be,” Elizabeth says. “We do a lot of entertaining, and the staircase ends up being nice amphitheater-style seating.” In addition to the informal seating—plus a bench/storage box the Wilders brought from their previous home and retrofitted for the spa—the couple also outfitted the deck with various furnishings. The sofas are by Philippe Starck, and the gray coffee table is by an Italian designer. The Wilders obtained that table—and the two patio chairs by the spa—from a client who was moving.

In addition to the deck, a small flagstone patio was added adjacent to the pool to provide more space for seating (via three lounges by CB2 plus an Ikea umbrella).

Another component: Upgrading the cracked tennis court. Tilford Jones, who’s a friend of the Wilders and also president and CEO of Rockville-based Sport Systems, did the new court, which features blue outlines to tie in with the pool and lines for pickleball and tennis. A gated fence prevents the pups from chasing balls across the court.

So what’s it like to work on your own home versus a client’s? “Once you get into a house, your objective changes: It becomes subjective,” Anthony says. Adds Elizabeth: “It was good perspective: Designing your own home is emotional.”

But when the home was completed in the fall of 2021, it was picture-perfect and timeless—setting the scene for years to come.


The elegant Chevy Chase Village home of Keeley and Britt Snider, a stay-at-home mom and a principal at D.C.-based real estate company Redbrick LMD, has a secret. The charming Queen Anne-style home has a putting green in the backyard—a draw for kids and adults alike. “Britt loves to golf,” Keeley says. “The putting green was just an idea at first, but then we realized we could make it happen.”

The couple tapped Joseph Richardson, founding principal of Arlington, Virginia-based Richardson & Associates Landscape Architecture, to redesign their backyard—one component of an interior and exterior renovation of the historically designated, circa 1890s abode. (They also worked with general contractor Structure, GTM Architects and Chick Landscaping.) The project sought to preserve the aesthetic while also bringing the home up to date for Keeley, 45, Britt, 47, their daughters, ages 14, 12 and 2, and their dog—a parti-colored Yorkie named Birdie.

“A lot of what we did had to conform to the general design of the neighborhood,” says Richardson, who completed the project in the summer of 2021. “And we embraced that.”

The putting green, for example, simply blends in with the rest of the lawn; it features a synthetic turf designed to mimic authentic greens. Real grass surrounds the play space. “It’s almost indis-


tinguishable,” Richardson says. “There’s no visual seam, really.”

The lawn is an important element for the family—their oldest daughter is a lacrosse player, and she and her sister enjoy knocking around a soccer ball. Of course, Birdie loves it, too.

“He’d be out there all the time if we let him,” Keeley says.

Since they’re a relatively active family, the Sniders didn’t want anything too highmaintenance in their landscaping—though Keeley has a penchant for flowering plants. “I really don’t have much of a green thumb,” she admits. “I want the yard to look beautiful, and I love hydrangeas and peonies. Joe did a great job—he has a passion for finding things that belong locally and using those selections to make your yard shine.”

Richardson and his team used a mixture of low-maintenance flora. Screening trees line the perimeter of the backyard. There are flowering shrubs—hydrangeas, rhododendrons,

While brick was used in public-facing areas to keep with the historical design, the backyard patio features Pennsylvania bluestone in a fairly consistent blue-gray hue. “It’s a little more modern, and we wanted to have some fun with it,” says Joseph Richardson, the pro who redesigned the Sniders’ backyard. He created a paving pattern with varied lines and different widths of stone. “As you get closer to the putting green, there are these interesting projections, so the patio almost dissolves into the grass.”

astilbes, catmints—and European hornbeams, a favorite of Richardson’s, which are adjacent to the garage and the driveway. “It’s a great tree,” he says. “It’s grown to have a columnar shape.” They’re typically planted in a tightly spaced row, much like Italian cypress. Here, Richardson says, “They’re uplit, and it’s a neat effect—a great backdrop to the patio.”

The patio is tucked next to the wraparound porch, adding a modern touch without taking away from the historic nature of the home. There’s a concrete gas firepit for gatherings—depending on a client’s preferences, Richardson suggests gas over wood because of its convenience—as well as a teak dining set and lounge chairs by Kingsley Bate. A standalone Weber grill, rather than a built-in outdoor kitchen, allows for casual cooking. “Unless you’re passionate about cooking and going to use [an outdoor kitchen] a lot, it doesn’t always make sense to invest the kind of money it takes to build one,” Richardson says.

The family makes use of the entire space, from entertaining on the patio to honing their golf skills on the putting green. “We love being out in the backyard whenever weather allows,” Keeley says. “We wanted it to feel very indoor/outdoor—comfortable, welcoming and like our door is always open.”

The larger trees surrounding the putting green and lawn feature moon lighting—little fixtures with deep shrouds in them so you can’t see the bulb. “They cast a [faint] wash of light that mimics something slightly stronger than a full moon,” Richardson says. Homeowner Keeley Snider appreciates the touch. “It just provides warmth and ambience at night while entertaining, or even walking the dog,” she says.

u t


For Lan and Mike Rosenblatt, both 55, dreaming up their new home in Bethesda was an extension of their jobs in the hotel industry: They hoped their dwelling would feel like a contemporary mountain lodge.

“I wanted the woods and that tree house feeling,” says Lan, who, along with Mike, co-founded Acacia Hospitality. Her vision was accomplished by Bethesda-based Sandy Spring Builders and Mark Kaufman, principal of Bethesda-based GTM Architects, in the summer of 2020 on a 2.2-acre plot the Rosenblatts had purchased two years earlier while living in Atlanta. (The couple had previously resided in the area.)

The porch connecting to the kitchen has a TV, fan, fireplace and heaters on the ceiling, plus furnishings selected by Annette Hannon Interior Design. (Included are teak seating from RH’s Balmain line and the Kudo dining table and Forest armchairs from Janus et Cie.) The material on the ceiling and wall is the same as the house’s exterior—a metal longboard siding that looks like wood but is designed to have no visible seams and to withstand the elements.

Today, the contemporary manse sits off busy Bradley Boulevard, but you would never know it. The home is away from the street and backs up to a conservation area, and is practically transparent from the front to the back, with a gorgeous two-story wall of windows and interior bridge that look out on the backyard and forest beyond.

“All you see are trees,” says Ray Sobrino, president of Sandy Spring Builders.

The exterior and interior of the house feel like a continuation of one another, creating an indoor/ outdoor vibe that’s perfect for a couple who loves to entertain, cook and sip wine—one of their favorite ways to unwind—amid a natural setting.

“They wanted spaces that were different rooms within the outside of the house,” Sobrino says. The


The yard is fenced in (great for throwing the ball to the dog, McCrae), with trees surrounding it on every side. Outdoor Illumination, based in Bethesda, installed perimeter lighting on those trees. There’s even a stream that runs through the woods, Booze Creek—which Lan Rosenblatt jokes is fitting, given her and husband Mike’s love of wine. “We nicknamed the house the Lodge on Booze Creek,” she says.

porch, which has retractable screening, features the same Italian flooring that’s found in the adjacent kitchen—Cotto d’Este, a durable indoor-outdoor porcelain paver. The exterior stone is “blazed,” meaning it has a rougher, more slip-resistant finish; the interior has a natural finish. A set of sliding glass doors sits between the porch and kitchen, and connects the spaces when open. Directly next to the porch is a step down into the outdoor grilling area. The charcoal Big Green Egg smoker and Alfresco gas grill are built into stone, with granite counter tops. A set of CB2 Breton chairs surrounds a gas firepit.

“From those areas, the Zen-inspired pool becomes the center point—and also the next room,” Sobrino notes. “It’s a lot of outdoor scenes within a small area that [offer] a different experience.” The pool is a marvel, jutting away from the house. “The first time Mark presented [the idea] to me, I had to sit with it a little bit,” says Lan, who originally thought the pool would be

parallel with the double-height windows. “But the more I thought about it, I really liked it.”

Another unique component of the pool: For the first 9 feet, on the shallow end closer to the house, there’s a Baja shelf where you can set up lounge chairs. “You’re basically lying on top of the water,” Sobrino says. TimberTech decking breaks up the space between the outdoor living areas and the water.

Lan and Mike love the pool. She enjoys taking a break during the day to sit by the water for an hour or so; the first time Mike used it, he remarked that he can watch football while floating.

But perhaps it’s their golden retriever, McCrae (named after a wine from California’s Kistler Vineyards), who enjoys the entire experience the most. “She’ll bound through the pool while she’s chasing her ball,” Lan says. “She’s probably what gets us out there the most. She wants to be playing all day.”




Beyond the compost bin: how to incorporate greener living into your kitchen

When she set out to remodel her 1960s Bethesda kitchen a decade ago, interior designer Sheryl Steinberg was ahead of the green design curve. “My goal was to create a completely clean, sustainable, high-quality, modern and inviting kitchen,” she says. This meant installing an induction cooktop instead of a potentially polluting gas range, choosing cabinets manufactured with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and making other earth-conscious choices.

Sustainable design was important to her then, and it has become more important to homeowners redoing or updating their kitchens in recent years. In fact, the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that 92% of homeowners were incorporating sustainable features during a kitchen renovation, with choices including LED

bulbs (65%), energy-efficient appliances (61%) and water-efficient fixtures (34%). But remodeling or updating a kitchen with sustainability in mind isn’t just bamboo cabinetry and Energy Star appliances. “Green building can encompass everything from the raw materials you use—countertops, tiles—to how you get your supplies delivered, how you install things, and how you use your space,” Steinberg says. “Your entire kitchen doesn’t have to be LEEDcertified products, but maybe choose three or four things to concentrate on.”

Jennifer Owens is the quality director of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Residential program, which educates architects, builders and designers about sustainable building practices. “With a green kitchen, you’ll want to think about energy, water and materials first,” she says. “And then keep in mind indoor air quality and how the room works for you.”

222 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA Here’s how to design a kitchen that’s easy on the planet without sacrificing style or function
TanyaSmith-ShiflettofUniqueKitchens& BathsdesignedthisRockvillekitchen.

Save energy—and your health— with the right appliances. Technological advances in the past 10 or 15 years have made kitchen appliances more efficient and better performing. Think dishwashers that use less water yet clean pots and pans effectively, and “smart” refrigerators that can track expiration dates on your food, cutting down on waste. “There’s no reason not to use energy-efficient appliances all the time,” Owens says.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating program, created in 1992, evaluates appliances and other products according to their energy use and savings. Since the program launched, Energy Star has helped American families and businesses save more than $500 billion in energy costs; a typical family saves about $450 a year when using certified appliances, according to the EPA. And it’s easy to shop for stoves, fridges and other products with Energy Star cred; just look for the program’s blue label.

Pay attention to the great gas stove debate. Choosing a new stove, however, has become more complex. Scientific studies—including a major 2022 report from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health— have shown that gas stoves emit methane, a greenhouse gas, as well as nitrogen dioxide and tiny airborne particles that can irritate the respiratory system and cause health problems. The greener choice? An induction stove, which uses a metal coil underneath a smooth glass cooktop to generate electromagnetic energy that transfers to your cookware, making it hot enough to prepare food. According to Energy Star, induction cookers are about three times more energy-efficient than gas units.

“I’m a huge proponent of induction cooking, since these stoves are easier to clean, require less ventilation and they’re so energy-efficient,” says Silver Spring-based kitchen designer Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design. She also installed a steam oven in her home. It heats food by pumping in steam, not blowing in hot air, which means faster meal prep as well as less energy expended.

Be cabinet-conscious. Cabinetry is usually the biggest expense—and takes up the most space—in a kitchen redo. There are several green ways you can replace it or refinish it.

First, if you aren’t changing your kitchen’s footprint and your cabinets are in good shape, think about simply repainting or refinishing them. “We have several clients now who just want light updates of their kitchen, so we’re sanding down and repainting their existing cabinets and updating the hinges and pulls,” says Allie Mann, an interior designer with Case Architects & Remodelers, which has offices in Bethesda; Falls Church, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. “They’re also keeping things out of the landfill by doing this.”

Whether you’re repainting old cabinets or purchasing new ones, choose or have your refinisher use no- or low-VOC paints. “This means, if you’re redoing cabinets, steering clear of oils and acrylics and going for a water-based paint,” Owens says. Paints with little to no VOC are better for the environment and less hazardous


for whoever lives in your house, she says.

Topcoats are important, too. “After putting on low-VOC paint, we finish all our cabinets with honeybee oil and simple wax,” says Tanya Smith-Shiflett, founder of Unique Kitchens & Baths, a local custom cabinetry company with three area showrooms and frequent projects in Montgomery County.


Creating a lower-impact kitchen often means installing appliances that save energy or reduce the emission of dangerous gases. Here are some innovative solutions that are easier on the environment, available at or the stores listed below.

Minimize the fumes and odors from your gas cooktop with Dacor’s 4-speed, wall-mounted range hood

$2,999 at Best Buy, 10901 Georgia Ave., Wheaton, 301-942-1877,

InthisElizabethReichdesignedkitchen, cabinetsaremadeof sustainablehardwood finishedwithlow-VOC paint,assuringthe cabinetswon'temit dangerousgases.

If you’re opting to replace your cabinets, ask what kind of wood is used in your choices, and where it was harvested. Look for cabinetry with a seal of approval from either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), which signifies that it meets stringent requirements related to air quality, environmental responsibility and product resource management.

Another greener idea is to purchase cabinetry that’s made nearby, eliminating the carbon footprint and saving the costs of overseas or longrange shipping. Local showrooms that offer cabinetry made in America include Unique Kitchens & Baths, which has its own factory in Pennsylvania, and Kitchen and Bath Studios Inc. in Chevy Chase, which carries several U.S.-made lines as well as FSC- and ESP-certified products such as Greenquest Cabinetry by Crystal and Earth Friendly Cabinetry by Christiana.

Consider countertop materials. In her kitchen redo, Steinberg put in countertops made of Silestone, which is composed of natural quartz crystals mixed with polyester resins and color pigments. “They’re Greenguard-certified, which means there’s limited off-gassing,” she says, referring to the release of organic chemicals from products (like when you smell fresh paint or a new mattress). Mann often steers eco-conscious clients toward IceStone countertops. “They take recycled glass pieces and cast them in some concrete,” she says. “If you like the veining of natural stone or marble, it’s a different way to get that.”

Induction ranges, like this Miele freestanding smart range, use an electromagnetic reaction to heat cookware, emit no fumes and are more energy efficien than gas or electric models.

$9,299 at Elite Kitchens, 12115 Parklawn Drive, Ste. J, Rockville, 301-881-2776,

A smart refrigerator such as this Energy Star Frenchdoor model from Samsung helps minimize food waste by tracking what’s inside. $3,399 at Home Depot, 7111 Westlake Terrace, Bethesda, 301-634-3726,

Twenty-one different wash cycles, including an innovative setting for cleaning a single garment, help the Miele frontload smart washer save you water, energy and time.

$2,099 at ABW Appliances, 8951 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, 301-787-4708,

01 03

Other greener choices for countertops include renewable, fast-growing bamboo; stainless steel (typically made of recycled metal); and even PaperStone, a composite material made from post-consumer paper waste and resin. Still, with countertops—and all surfaces going into your kitchen—remember that any adhesives used for installation could be toxic. “For example, bamboo might be renewable, but find out what will be used to attach it,” Steinberg says.

Think from the floor up Like countertops, the way you install floors matters nearly as much as the material that was used to make them. “Think about how materials are going to be laid into place,” Owens says. “Anything that uses adhesive is going to carry more

risks of emitting dangerous chemicals.” You’ll also want to be mindful of popular vinyl flooring, which tends to emit smelly, potentially toxic fumes during installation and for weeks or years to come, she says.

Among the most earth-friendly floors are sustainable hardwood, fast-growing cork, or old-fashioned linoleum—which is made from linseed oil, resin and other natural materials.

But ceramic tiles can also be a good choice. “Tiles are a cement aggregate, and it doesn’t have the need for adhesive,” Owens says. “And the grout you use to install it is a natural-based material in and of itself.” Plus, tiles are durable, meaning a longer-lasting floor, and they can be ground up and recycled into cement if you remodel again.

When shopping for tiles, “look at the manufacturer’s


InthisBethesdakitchenrenovation,interior designerZoeFeldmanworkedwithUnique Kitchens&Baths,whichownsitsowncabinet factoryinPennsylvania,cuttingdownonthe carbonemissionsyou’dgetfromshipping cabinetsfromoverseasoracrossthecountry.

website to see what materials they’re made of and how they’re made,” Steinberg says. For instance, some companies, like respected California tile maker Heath Ceramics, even use recycled water in their manufacturing process; others use recycled glass in their products.

Reclaimed wood is another option and can add a modern farmhouse vibe.

Go with the flo. Kitchen faucets, like bathroom toilets and showers before them, are evolving to use less water.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the standard flow rate is 2.2

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gallons per minute (GPM). More efficient faucets flow at 1.5 or less GPM. Low-flow faucets also have air-infusion technology, which mixes air and water to cut down on water usage. Big-box stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot offer guidance on purchasing water-saving faucets. “It might mean that you fill your pasta pot a little more slowly,” Mann says. “But after all, we got used to toilets that went from flushing with 6 gallons of water to 1.5 gallons.”

Jennifer Barger is a local design and travel writer. Follow her on Instagram @dcjnell.

InthisBethesdakitchen,cabinetsare paintedwithlow-VOCpaintandhave unlacqueredbrassknobsanddrawer pulls,cuttingdownonoff-gassing.

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Home Experts PROFILES

Alco Products Company, Inc.



Family-owned and operated for three generations, Alco Products Company, Inc. is a leading exterior home remodeler servicing the DMV. A James Hardie Elite preferred contractor, Azek/TimberTech platinum contractor and certified Marvin Window retailer and installer, Alco's numerous accolades include "Top 500 Qualified Remodeler" and an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau.

4921 Wyaconda Road North Bethesda, MD 20852 301-450-7881

Q Why choose Alco?

A As a small, family-owned and operated c ompany for three generations, our clients aren't just numbers in a file; when someone picks up the phone in our office, they know who you are. Our slogan is, "We treat your home the way we'd want ours treated," and it's true. We never take a job for granted and are always appreciative when people trust us with their homes. Our last name isn't Alco — our grandfather used our grandmother's maiden name for better positioning in the yellow pages — but it represents our family, the values our grandfather built this company on, and our father instilled in us. We are privileged to carry on Alco's legacy of delivering premium customer service that extends years beyond project completion and expert craftsmanship with the highestquality products and materials.

Q What is the greatest piece of advice you would offer someone starting an exterior remodeling project?

A The most expensive job is the one you d o twice. About 20 percent of our James Hardie Siding customers hired a slightly less expensive contracto r fi rst and then had to pay us to rip everything off and do it again. Most people don't realize that product warranties are only good if the product is installed correctly; we are backed by nearly 70 years of customer satisfaction.

Q What is one thing clients should k now about working with Alco?

A We pride ourselves on clear, s treamlined communication, clean job sites and minimal disruption. We'll register you for all warranties at project completion and send you the necessary papers to keep on file.


Dana Rice Group

Awards & Honors

Bethesda Magazine Top Producer and Best Agent Finalist

Washingtonian Top 100 Agent

RealTrends No. 1 Small Team in Maryland, No. 3 Small Team in the DMV Area, No. 1 Small Team in Montgomery County

5471 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 300 Chevy Chase, MD 20815


Q What makes your client e xperience unique?

A At Dana Rice Group, our clients come f irst. Premium customer service is our highest priority. We're professional, communicative, proactive and reliable, but more than anything, we get people. We delight in the details, however small they may be, and have a knack for anticipating clients' needs. Our mantra is, "New week, new market." Like anything in life, the critical element of buying or selling is timing. The nuances of buyer behavior can change almost weekly, which is why we entrench ourselves in the ever-changing market conditions. For us, expertise results from a continuous pursuit of information, the capacity to apply it quickly and accurately, and an unrivaled instinct that keeps us a step ahead.

Q What is your best tip for people looking to sell?

A We don't typically price a property f or sale until one or two days before it goes on the market because contract activity the weekend before could change strategy for the following week for both buyers and sellers.

Q What do you love most about what you do?

A My favorite aspect of being a Realtor is s haring my knowledge in real-time. I love when a client texts me after dinner, I can just imagine them sitting on the couch with their family, finally getting a moment to peruse the real estate websites, and they want to know the latest. That is a complete vote of confidence in what we do, and we want to be part of those conversations because that's when people are dreaming and making big plans.


Trent & Co. at Compass Real Estate



Licensed in Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia

M: 240-461-3928 O: 301-298-1001

Q How do you use technology for the benefit of your c lients?

A The real estate market is still recovering from the i nventory crisis caused by COVID-19. A g ood home, priced correctly, may see one to three offers. An underpriced home may still see many offers, and an overpriced home will sit.

New to our toolbox as real estate experts is a platform called Final Offer. This adds much-needed transparency to what can sometimes feel like a chaotic process. Sellers can outline what terms are most important to them and buyers can see what it takes to win their perfect new home.

With Final Offer, buyers no longer feel they are missing out . A long with their agent, buyers can submit an offer to the seller on the platform in seconds, start the negotiation in real time, and avoid any guesswork about what the seller wants.

For sellers, the competitive platform drives urgency by alerting everyone, at the same time, that an offer has been made. This prompts other potential buyers to act right away. Sellers work with their experienced agent to set the price and terms in order to take the home off the market instantly using the "Buy it Now" button.

While many have been skeptical about this new transparency in the marketplace, once embraced it really helps agents and their clients with strategy versus stressing over tedious, endless paperwork and deadlines that go nowhere!

*Trent Heminger and Mary Noone have a financial interest in Final Offer.

Rockville Interiors


Honors & Accolades

Designers’ Top Choice-Window Treatments, Home & Design Magazine

Bethesda Magazine Winner, Best Custom Window Treatments and Drapes, 2020

Best of DC Design DC, Modern Luxury Magazine

5414 Randolph Road Rockville, MD 20852


Q Can I operate my blinds through a n app?

A Absolutely! With our motorized shades, w e can install an app on your mobile devices enabling you to move your window treatments with the touch of a button. Operate shades individually, room-by-room or in the whole house simultaneously. The app even has a scheduling feature so you can program the shades to move automatically throughout the day whenever you want. Best of all, the app connects with other smart home platforms such as Alexa so when you walk in the house with your hands full just say “Alexa, Kitchen Shades Open” and live a little easier.

Q What does your design and i nstallation process look like?

A Unlike many other interior companies, w e can set you up with one of our designers for a free consultation either at your home or in our showroom. Our designers bring their deep knowledge of the industry and their great eyes for design as well as their experience with fabric and material options and hardware choices, and work with you to design the perfect look and feel.

When you're happy with your design choices, our installers will measure your spaces and double-check for accuracy. Then, our in-house fabricators put together everything according to your vision and ready it for installation. Installation is scheduled and finished to your complete satisfaction. Our warranties cover you for a substantial time, as well.


Margie Halem

Accomplishments and certifications include the following:

Bethesda Magazine Winner, Best Realtor 2023

Top 100 Realtors in D.C., Washingtonian Magazine

Top 1 percent of Agents Nationwide

Accredited Stager

Certified Senior Specialist

Ranked Among The Wall Street Journal's Top Agents

Compass Bethesda, MD, Founding Agent 7200 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 100 Bethesda, MD 20814 301-775-4196

Q What makes you different from ot her agents?

A My mission is to always do the right t hing and exceed my clients’ expectations. I a m proactive, not reactive, in my approach . I a m dynamic and empathetic. My longstanding local insights are an asset as I navigate often complex, emotionally weighted transactions. Marshaling the extensive resources offered by Compass, I offer clients the best of the best throughout the process.

Q What is one thing prospective c lients should know about you?

A Family is a key priority. I’m a wife, a m other to grown sons, a mother-in-law and grandmother.

My very family-like team includes the following talented, experienced, knowledgeable colleagues: Harrison Halem, Courtney Halem, Lori Silverman, Elizabeth Meltzer, Matthew Gloger, Ashley

Q What has been a significant change during your career?

A With Compass technology, I can utilize a rtificial intelligence to instantly and seamlessly create a marketing video of a property. In minutes, I can launch a digital advertising campaign on our ad platform across Facebook, Instagram and Google, targeting the ideal buyer.

We're able to measure the results on our proprietary Insights report, to see how many online showings we’ve had, how long buyers are spending viewing the listing, and where they are located, down to the devices they're searching on . T his allows me to further target and pinpoint the right buyers . C ompass technology gives me back the time I need to provide my clients with the most seamless experience from preparation to closing.

Townsend, Benjamin Pate, Janet Pitt and Shannon Irlander.

Sandy Spring Builders, LLC

Sandy Spring Builders, the area’s premier custom homebuilder, is an integrated, full-service team with more than 40 years of experience in bringing our clients’ vision to life. Our vast portfolio of well-built homes makes a lasting impression, proven by myriad awards including Best of Bethesda every year since its inception.

4705 West Virginia Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814


Q What are the most important f actors to consider when selecting a lot for my custom home?

A Number one is location. Some clients w ant convenience and walkability, others privacy and a large yard. Price is critical since it impacts overall budget goals. Building restriction lines show the width and depth of the house you can build and the footprint allowed. Topography matters for how much light you can get into the lower level and how usable the yard will be. Light and view are very important factors. As custom builders, we help our clients find the right lot for their needs.

Q What are your buyers demanding t hese days?

A Clients still want great design and p refer open floor plans. Functionality is essential—elevators for empty-nesters or mudrooms with cubbies and informal powder room for families. Many clients

are tech-savvy and desire a smart home where they control lighting, music, security and HVAC systems from a cell phone or laptop. Limited use of solar panels and electric car chargers is still popular. Our team approach helps guide clients through the complicated process, making it less overwhelming.

Q What brings you the most s atisfaction in your work?

A Our beautiful homes and our excellent r eputation. We are incredibly proud to see our projects everywhere and take great pleasure in bringing prospective clients into finished homes and hearing our homeowners speak so enthusiastically about their homes and working with us. We value our clients, love what we do and are proud to give back to our community.


Douglas Construction



Industry Expert, Home & Design magazine

Best Green Builder (only builder ever), Bethesda Magazine’s Best of Bethesda Readers Poll

A Top Vote Getter, Best Builder, Best of Bethesda Readers Poll

8429 Fox Run Bethesda, MD 20814 301-983-6947 |

Q What makes the homes you build unique and d ifferent?

A Every home we build is unique, and well over half of the h omes we build are custom. When having the opportunity to collaborate directly with the homeowner exists, the individuality of each home comes to life, truly taking on our client's personality. Listening in today’s world seems a lost art, but not at DCG–we deliver what our client fancies, not what we think they want.

We have built over 205 new homes in the Bethesda area, all based on a foundation of integrity. Past and current clients are our best ambassadors. They will attest to our exceptional communication, organized and stress-free process with quality craftsmen and vendors involved. Our primary goal is that our clients enjoy their homebuilding experience.

Q What are people asking for in their new and custom homes today?

A Bethesda homeowners are well-informed, setting their o wn standards and trends. We have been adding design and engineering touches in homes for years, as the rest of the industry plays catch-up on lots of elements. The pandemic clearly shifted preferences to more private at home features as more people are working remotely.

We believe that green building should be an everyday standard, and this is important to owners, starting with the building envelope of framing, windows, exterior doors and the insulation package.

Warmer tones are coming back aggressively and wallpaper as accents or a full room is gaining serious traction. Brass, or brush brass and matte black finishes are becoming commonplace. Quartzite of course replaced granite as the go-to. We're building grander mud rooms. Freestanding tubs in the primary bath is the go-to, always an eye-catching design touch.


Gilday Renovations


Led by Kevin Gilday, nationally recognized Gilday Renovations has for 40 years thrilled Washington, D.C. area homeowners with a highly collaborative design-build experience that seamlessly blends the expertise of its seasoned team of architectural designers, interior designers and master builders. The company aims to deliver a transformational home renovation experience to every client.

9162 Brookville Road Silver Spring, MD 20910


Q How do we control renovation costs a nd still get everything we want?

A Everyone starts with a wish list and r arely does their budget cover it all. One of the most valuable services we provide our clients is to help them prioritize and focus their intentions to arrive at a cohesive, buildable scope of work. Once we’ve identified “the heart of the project” as we call it, and guide them to their must-have items, it’s amazing how other ideas on the list decline in importance. We help them focus on what really matters to them so that all their thoughts, efforts and budget dollars support those desires.

Q What are the most requested renovations?

A Kitchens are perennial. No surprise t here. It’s the first deficiency that people notice when they purchase an older home. Home addition projects often start with a kitchen. People want to open the kitchen and reconfigure the main floor of the house to improve flow. We specialize in this type of project. It requires more design specificity and goes beyond a simple kitchen renovation.

What has changed significantly in the last five years is that the desire to open and expand living space with additions has turned into requests for porches. That may partly be in reaction to the pandemic because, for the past few years, the only safe place to be outdoors. We have designed and built a lot of luxurious porches. In fact, we recently won a national award for a porch we did at a Potomac residence.






Data provided by

SALE PRICE: $8.8 million


Address: 4640 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Days on Market: 53

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 7/2

SALE PRICE: $3.35 million


Address: 102 E Kirke St., Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 45

Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties LLC

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 3/1

SALE PRICE: $3.33 million


Address: 5506 Trent St., Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 26

SALE PRICE: $4.75 million


Address: 7423 Hampden Lane, Bethesda 20814

Days on Market: 21

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 5

Full/Half Baths: 4/2

SALE PRICE: $4.75 million


Address: 5045 Overlook Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Days on Market: 27

Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 5/1

SALE PRICE: $4.25 million


Address: 5211 Dorset Ave., Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 2

Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedrooms: 5

Full/Half Baths: 4/1

SALE PRICE: $4.03 million


Address: 5306 Kenwood Ave., Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 2

Listing Agency: Fairfax Realty Premier

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 6/1

SALE PRICE: $3.95 million


Address: 8804 Chalon Drive, Bethesda 20817

Days on Market: 0

Listing Agency: Non-Subscribing Offic

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 6/2

SALE PRICE: $3.6 million


Address: 10525 Alloway Drive, Potomac 20854

Days on Market: 15

Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedrooms: 5

Full/Half Baths: 8/1

SALE PRICE: $3.4 million


Address: 3838 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Days on Market: 2

Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 5/1

Listing Agency: Realty Advantage

Bedrooms: 5

Full/Half Baths: 5/1

SALE PRICE: $3.1 million


Address: 6409 Elmwood Road, Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 2

Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties LLC

Bedrooms: 4

Full/Half Baths: 4/0

SALE PRICE: $3.1 million


Address: 5022 1/2 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Days on Market: 68

Listing Agency: Douglas Elliman of Metro DC LLC

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 4/1

SALE PRICE: $2.9 million


Address: 7726 Brookville Road, Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 45

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 6/1

peek at one of the area’s most expensive recently sold houses

SALE PRICE: $2.88 million


Address: 8220 Custer Road, Bethesda 20817

Days on Market: 46

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 6/1

SALE PRICE: $2.8 million


Address: 6603 Braeburn Parkway, Bethesda 20817

Days on Market: 3

Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 6/1

SALE PRICE: $2.73 million


Address: 10100 Gary Road, Potomac 20854

Days on Market: 4

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 7

Full/Half Baths: 8/3

SALE PRICE: $2.7 million


Address: 5931 Utah Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20015

Days on Market: 6

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 5

Full/Half Baths: 5/1

SALE PRICE: $2.65 million


Address: 4302 Curtis Road, Chevy Chase 20815

Days on Market: 8

Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 4/0

SALE PRICE: $2.65 million


Address: 11704 Centurion Way, Potomac 20854

Days on Market: 101

Listing Agency: KW United

Bedrooms: 9

Full/Half Baths: 8/2

SALE PRICE: $2.64 million


Address: 6 Purcell Court, Potomac 20854

Days on Market: 7

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 7

Full/Half Baths: 6/1

SALE PRICE: $2.63 million


Address: 12616 Tribunal Lane, Potomac 20854

Days on Market: 4

Listing Agency: Compass

Bedrooms: 7

Full/Half Baths: 5/1

SALE PRICE: $2.59 million


Address: 3017 Stephenson Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20015

Days on Market: 12

Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedrooms: 6

Full/Half Baths: 4/1



240 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 | MOCO360.MEDIA 20015 (UpperNWD.C.) Number of Homes Sold 19 18 Average Sold Price $1.6 Mil. $1.7 Mil. Average Days on Market 7 9 Above Asking Price 14 10 Below Asking Price 3 6 Sold Over $1 Million 19 18 20016 (UpperNWD.C.) Number of Homes Sold 18 18 Average Sold Price $2.4 Mil. $2.4 Mil. Average Days on Market 10 22 Above Asking Price 11 8 Below Asking Price 6 7 Sold Over $1 Million 18 18 20814 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold 15 19 Average Sold Price $1.3 Mil. $1.5 Mil. Average Days on Market 11 13 Above Asking Price 8 5 Below Asking Price 4 12 Sold Over $1 Million 9 12 20815 (ChevyChase) Number of Homes Sold 27 31 Average Sold Price $1.8 Mil. $2 Mil. Average Days on Market 9 14 Above Asking Price 19 16 Below Asking Price 5 13 Sold Over $1 Million 25 29 20816 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold 20 20 Average Sold Price $1.5 Mil. $1.6 Mil. Average Days on Market 8 20 Above Asking Price 11 12 Below Asking Price 3 5 Sold Over $1 Million 18 18 20817 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold 54 46 Average Sold Price $1.6 Mil. $1.7 Mil. Average Days on Market 13 18 Above Asking Price 31 18 Below Asking Price 10 19 Sold Over $1 Million 43 43 20818 (CabinJohn) Number of Homes Sold 2 0 Average Sold Price $1.5 Mil. $0 Average Days on Market 7 0 Above Asking Price 2 0 Below Asking Price 0 0 Sold Over $1 Million 2 0 20832 (Olney) Number of Homes Sold 24 20 Average Sold Price $780,558 $741,184 Average Days on Market 9 6 Above Asking Price 17 14 Below Asking Price 3 2 Sold Over $1 Million 3 0 20850 (Rockville) Number of Homes Sold 25 20 Average Sold Price $937,169 $921,632 Average Days on Market 11 10 Above Asking Price 15 15 Below Asking Price 10 2 Sold Over $1 Million 10 5 20851 (Rockville) Number of Homes Sold 14 7 Average Sold Price $532,164 $560,600 Average Days on Market 8 14 Above Asking Price 9 5 Below Asking Price 3 2 Sold Over $1 Million 0 0 20852 (NorthBethesda/Rockville) Number of Homes Sold 14 8 Average Sold Price $1.1 Mil. $963,625 Average Days on Market 13 34 Above Asking Price 8 3 Below Asking Price 3 3 Sold Over $1 Million 7 4 20853 (Rockville) Number of Homes Sold 33 22 Average Sold Price $688,323 $700,290 Average Days on Market 13 7 Above Asking Price 18 14 Below Asking Price 13 6 Sold Over $1 Million 3 2 20854 (Potomac) Number of Homes Sold 60 60 Average Sold Price $1.5 Mil. $1.5 Mil. Average Days on Market 6 12 Above Asking Price 40 34 Below Asking Price 8 21 Sold Over $1 Million 50 46 20855 (Rockville) Number of Homes Sold 15 11 Average Sold Price $746,629 $759,790 Average Days on Market 9 12 Above Asking Price 9 6 Below Asking Price 2 4 Sold Over $1 Million 2 2 20877 (Gaithersburg) Number of Homes Sold 18 10 Average Sold Price $604,818 $607,450 Average Days on Market 15 8 Above Asking Price 12 6 Below Asking Price 4 1 Sold Over $1 Million 0 0 20878 (Gaithersburg/NorthPotomac) Number of Homes Sold 41 33 Average Sold Price $883,917 $924,570 Average Days on Market 7 12 Above Asking Price 25 20 Below Asking Price 8 7 Sold Over $1 Million 12 9 20879 (Gaithersburg) Number of Homes Sold 15 8 Average Sold Price $615,192 $612,750 Average Days on Market 7 10 Above Asking Price 11 5 Below Asking Price 3 3 Sold Over $1 Million 0 1 20882 (Gaithersburg) Number of Homes Sold 18 17 Average Sold Price $841,111 $769,906 Average Days on Market 35 11 Above Asking Price 12 11 Below Asking Price 5 5 Sold Over $1 Million 3 3 JUNE 2022 JUNE2023 JUNE 2022 JUNE 2022 JUNE2023JUNE2023 HOME BY THE NUMBERS

Information courtesy of Bright MLS, as of July 18, 2023. The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve more than 20 million consumers. For more information, visit brightmls. com. Note: This information includes single-family homes sold from June 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023, as of July 18, 2023, excluding sales where sellers have withheld permission to advertise or promote. Information should be independently verified. Reports reference data provided by ShowingTime, a showing management and market stats technology provider to the residential real estate industry. Some sale and list prices have been rounded.

Number of Homes Sold 5 12 Average Sold Price $697,800 $708,466 Average Days on Market 10 10 Above Asking Price 2 9 Below Asking Price 0 2 Sold Over $1 Million 0 0 20895
Number of Homes Sold 28 15 Average Sold Price $991,946 $953,675 Average Days on Market 9 12 Above Asking Price 22 11 Below Asking Price 5 1 Sold Over $1 Million 10 4 20901 (SilverSpring) Number of Homes Sold 30 30 Average Sold Price $631,590 $654,050 Average Days on Market 8 16 Above Asking Price 25 19 Below Asking Price 2 7 Sold Over $1 Million 0 1 20902 (SilverSpring) Number of Homes Sold 49 24 Average Sold Price $595,983 $592,270 Average Days on Market 11 12 Above Asking Price 31 16 Below Asking Price 15 6 Sold Over $1 Million 0 0 20903 (SilverSpring) Number of Homes Sold 7 2 Average Sold Price $519,014 $874,500 Average Days on Market 8 5 Above Asking Price 6 1 Below Asking Price 1 0 Sold Over $1 Million 0 1 20910 (SilverSpring) Number of Homes Sold 23 23 Average Sold Price $833,198 $843,649 Average Days on Market 9 13 Above Asking Price 15 12 Below Asking Price 6 9 Sold Over $1 Million 4 5 JUNE 2022 JUNE 2022 JUNE 2022 JUNE2023JUNE2023JUNE2023
20886 (Gaithersburg)
Nancy Kotarski, NCIDQ•Karen Hourgian, CKD•Jerry Weed, CKD•Jordan Weed, CKBD•Peggy Jaeger, CKD, ABD•Jordan Ringo Call for a free consultation in our spacious showroom. Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 10-3 7001 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD Celebrating 30 years


New Urbanism stands the test of time

Gaithersburg’s Kentlands

neighborhood is a 352-acre planned community that is bounded on the northeast by Great Seneca Highway, on the southwest by Darnestown Road, on the northwest by Quince Orchard Road, and on the southeast by Inspiration Lane. The ZIP code is 20878.

HISTORY Kentlands is significant, as it as the fist non-resort community in the country built in what would become a wave of late-20th-century American developments designed with neo-traditional town planning practices—also called New Urbanism. In 1988, local developer Joseph Alfandre Jr. purchased a large portion of the Otis Beall Kent farm. To create an alternative to the county’s typical postwar suburban enclaves, Alfandre enlisted the team of architects and planners responsible for the famed Seaside, Florida, community. New Urbanist design principles emphasize walkable, high-density mixed-used towns with sidewalks, narrow streets, garages in alleys behind the houses, and a commercial center that’s easy to get to on foot or bike.

AMENITIES Thirty-fie years later, the neighborhood is thriving, with people shopping and enjoying recreation close to home. There are no big backyards, but plenty of

communal places to enjoy the outdoors. The busy community center has a large outdoor pool, sports courts and playgrounds. Kentlands Market Square contains national chain stores and restaurants interspersed with small local businesses and office spaces. A day care center and Rachel Carson Elementary School are located within the community, and Lakelands Park Middle School and Quince Orchard High School are nearby.

VIBE The atmosphere is small-town America, with white picket fences, mature trees and plenty of public spaces for residents to gather. There is a regular farmers market at the Main Street Pavilion, live music, and yoga classes and “Yappy Hours” (for dogs and their owners) on the town green.

There is a purposeful mix of housing types, sizes and prices within the community’s approximately 2,100 homes in the various districts. The residential units include large single-family homes, smaller single-family houses called urban cottages, townhouses, condominiums, rental apartments and senior living apartments.

LANDMARKS The Kentlands Mansion, completed in 1900 by Frederick Tschiffely Jr. and sold to Otis Beall Kent in 1942, now belongs to the city of Gaithersburg and is used as an events venue. Adjacent to it is the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, a renovated and restored horse stable that’s now home to a gallery and theater space.

Showcasing our growing team! $157M+ YTD SALES VOLUME $40B+ CAREER SALES #3 TEAM LEAD DMV +40 YEARS EXPERIENCE LEE ARROWOOD, MANAGING PARTNER + C | +1.301.298.1001 O | 5471 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 300 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Bottom Row: Marc Fleisher (Managing Partner), Lee Arrowood (Managing Partner) Top Row: Travis Fleisher (Realtor), Katherine Pennington (Realtor), Emily Hardie (Social Media Manager), Elizabeth Lawson (Realtor), Stephanie Corcoran (Director of Marketing and Operations)
BeckySher’s“kindnessbuttons”areahitatherBethesda-basedsmallbusiness,Ruth&Dottie.PAGE254 MOCO360.MEDIA | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 245 TOP PLACES TO WORK IN MOCO / BEATING BURNOUT / LOCAL PAYCHECKS ON THE RISE
still sweet in Bethesda
How Mark Shriver finds jy in his work

Meeting of the Minds


Adrienne Prentice was a successful corporate executive when she suddenly found herself in trouble after the birth of her first child in 2016. “I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, and I felt like I was failing, frankly, for the first time—at work and now at home. It also felt really isolating,” says Prentice, 40, of Bethesda.

So she shifted gears and became a leadership coach at a law firm, where she discovered that the attorneys who were parents and caregivers also felt isolated, had little time for self-care and found it difficult to ask for help.

In April 2022, Prentice joined with Claudia Naím-Burt, 37, of Kensington, another parent and former corporate executive, to found Keep Company. The Bethesda firm helps employers combat burnout and attrition by providing groups of employees with shared experiences through “engaging, interactive sessions that live between therapy and happy hour,” according to the company. Guided by coaches and a 12-week curriculum, the virtual sessions focus on the “power of the group” to help employees, Prentice says. Keep Company recently received a $200,000 investment from the Maryland Technology Development Corp., established by the General Assembly in 1998, for the hiring of employees tasked with scaling up its technology. Meanwhile, 95% of the 300 employees who have completed the program report feeling less alone, the company says.


MoCo is the only county in Maryland that acts as the sole wholesale distributor of alcoholic beverages. In addition to selling to stores and restaurants, the Department of Alcohol Beverage Services also has exclusive authority to sell liquor in retail stores. The county owns and operates 27 locations.

Source: Montgomery County government. Some percentages have been rounded.

Local hourly workers may be seeing a bump in their paychecks after Montgomery County’s minimum wage rates increased on July 1. Tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index, the new rates outpace the state and federal minimums of $13.25 an hour and $7.25 an hour, respectively. The county rates are:




Still Baking in Bethesda

Local fans of Georgetown Cupcake may be wondering about the fate of the bakery’s downtown Bethesda shop after the closure of its Boston location in May, which followed closures in New York City and Los Angeles late in 2022.

Not to worry. In an email, the company says it “looks forward to maintaining a long-term retail store presence in Bethesda,” explaining that it didn’t renew its 10-year Boston lease so it could focus more on shipping its gourmet sweet treats nationwide.

That means locals won’t have to drive to Georgetown, home of the company’s first location, which opened in 2008, to get their fix of the $3.95 gourmet cupcakes.

Popular from the start, the cupcakery became a sensation after DC Cupcakes , a TLC reality show starring sisters and owners Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, debuted in 2010 and ran for three seasons.

(up 4.6% from 2021) (up 1.7%) (up 7.3%) (up 27%) NUMBER OF ITEMS SHIPPED TO LICENSED CUSTOMERS NUMBER OF LICENSED BUSINESS INSPECTIONS NUMBER OF VALID LICENSED BUSINESSES REGISTERED WITH ABS 3,997,126 (down 4.7%) 3,645 (down 1.7%) 1,036 (up .3%)
ClaudiaNaím-Burt(left) andAdriennePrentice


A sense of shared values. Dogs by the desk. An emphasis on work/life balance. Here’s how local employers are innovating to attract—and keep—Gen Z and millennial workers.

American Gene Technologies

WHAT THEY DO: Gene and cell therapy

ADDRESS: 9713 Key West Ave., 5th floor, Rockville




Anthony Wilder Design/Build

WHAT THEY DO: Custom architecture, construction and interior design

ADDRESS: 7913 MacArthur Blvd., Cabin John





WHAT THEY DO: Compliance and safety management for business aviation

ADDRESS: 700 King Farm Blvd., Ste. 610, Rockville




Looking to move on after four years at his fist job after college, Alex Frandsen knew what he wanted in a new position: a decent work/ life balance, a mission he believed in, flexibility to work remotely and an employer committed to racial equity.

Frandsen, who grew up in Silver Spring and graduated from Montgomery Blair High School, found what he considered his dream job this past spring as the journalism program manager at Free Press, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that works to transform media through advocacy and activism in pursuit of a more just and equitable democracy.

What sold him on the job was a hiring process in which interviewers emphasized the organization’s commitment to racial equity—a quality highly valued by Frandsen, who is white, and others of his generation. The organization also demonstrated how it values its employees by supplying interview questions in advance, scheduling interviews at Frandsen’s convenience, and moving quickly to a decision.

“They placed an emphasis on racial equity throughout the interview process, which I really valued because I just know there are a lot of organizations, especially in this political advocacy space, that kind of give racial equity lip service and make it a part of the window dressing for their organization,” says Frandsen, who lives in Northwest Washington, D.C. “But this interview process made it very clear that this was a top priority and that it would be a priority on an almost daily basis. That was just important to me from a values perspective.”

Frandsen, who turned 26 in August, is part of Generation Z—defined by the Pew Research Center as being born between 1997 and 2012. This generation makes up 21% of the U.S. population and is the most racially and ethnically diverse of all generational groups, according to Statista, a provider of market and consumer data. Along with millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, Gen Z is driving more change in a business environment fundamentally altered by the shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and a subsequent reexamination of the role that work plays in people’s lives.

A 2023 survey by global financial services firm Deloitte of more than 22,000 Gen Z and millennial respondents in 44 countries found that just under half of Gen Z workers and 62% of millennials say work is central to their identity. According to the survey, in its 12th year, having a good work/life balance remains a top consideration for these workers when choosing a new employer—and they are more likely to be satisfied with their work/life balance than they were before the pandemic.

“They feel they have more flexibility in where they work. They believe their employers have made progress in driving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. And they are slightly more likely to believe that businesses are taking action to address climate change,” the Deloitte survey says.


In addition to flexibility, Gen Zers and millennials are also looking for higher salaries from employers, a sense of purpose, frequent feedback, mental health support and plenty of opportunities to develop and advance, according to the Deloitte survey and others.

“They’re very interested in diversity and social issues,” says Sally Bartas, chief talent and culture officer for Choice Hotels International in Rockville, who adds that 43% of the company’s 1,700 employees are millennials and 3% are Gen Zers. “They’re really focused on their purpose…and really being able to have that visibility to knowing that they have growth in the organization.”

A willingness to change jobs frequently is another factor that separates these younger workers from those of previous generations. “Gen Zers—they’re flighty,” says Danielle McMahon, marketing director at Anthony Wilder Design/ Build, a Cabin John firm named to Bethesda Magazine’s 2023 list of Top Places to Work. “They will job-hop like no one’s business.”

Local employers say they’re adapting to meet the needs of Gen Zers and millennials in ways that include revamping their hiring efforts to make the recruiting process more personal. Businesses also highlight their work culture and values—including a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion—and benefits that appeal to younger workers.

McMahon says her firm turned to a local staffing agency for help when it was having difficulty finding qualified talent about a year ago. The agency’s top advice: Tailor job postings to focus on the candidate instead of how great the company is.

“It used to be about the employer. Now it’s all about the candidate,” McMahon says. “You need to let them know you want them.” That means using “you” instead of “we” and opening with a question that caters to the candidate, such as: Are you looking for a company that can take you to the next level? She says Anthony Wilder also asked employees to post reviews on the job-search website Glassdoor. “It’s a very different workforce out there when it comes to attracting people,” McMahon says.

Charlotte Donati, 25, of Northwest D.C. was hired by Anthony Wilder after a friend who was leaving the firm recommended that Donati apply for her job. Donati, who focuses on business development, says company perks that were promoted during the interview process made the job more appealing, including that employees are allowed to bring their dogs to the office. Having her 95-pound Bernese mountain dog, Beau, at work helps her save on pet care and also improves her work/life balance, she says.

“I’m not rushing home every day to walk my dog, and if I do have to work a little bit later, I do feel more comfortable because I have my dog with me, so it, like, relieves that stress,” Donati says. “So that’s probably to me the No. 1 benefit of this job.”

Another big draw was that employees work nine-hour days from Monday through Thursday, and finish at noon on Friday, Donati says. The schedule is “really nice because if you have doctors’ appointments or if you’re traveling or if you just have errands you want to get done, you have a longer weekend every weekend,” she says.

Aledade, a Bethesda-based network of primary care practices, promotes its workplace culture to prospective hires, including a flexible work environment, generous personal time off, health benefits with low premiums, the ability to purchase stock options, paid volunteer days—and the option to choose your own computer, says Jessica Gladden, senior vice president of people strategy and operations. A one-year program for early-career employees helps them build foundational knowledge and skills.

Gladden says the company has made its hiring process more efficient by “not spreading it out over weeks and weeks.” Recruiters will contact candidates by text instead of email or phone calls if requested.

Aledade, which was named to Great Place to Work’s list of Best Workplaces

Bregman, Berbert, Schwartz & Gilday

WHAT THEY DO: General law

ADDRESS: 7315 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 800W, Bethesda




Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell

WHAT THEY DO: Full-service tax, accounting and advisory business

ADDRESS: 7910 Woodmont Ave., Ste. 500, Bethesda





WHAT THEY DO: Mental health services and support

ADDRESS: 1000 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville





Montgomery Surgery Center

WHAT THEY DO: General and specialty surgeries

ADDRESS: 46 W. Gude Drive, Rockville




Potomac Law Group

WHAT THEY DO: Legal services for businesses

ADDRESS: Office is fully remote




Stein Sperling Bennett

De Jong Driscoll

WHAT THEY DO: Commercial litigation, construction, criminal, estates, family, personal injury and tax law

ADDRESS: 1101 Wootton Parkway, Ste. 700, Rockville




for Millennials 2022, recently introduced “CARE” actions to govern the work of its 1,000 employees. “It’s an acronym for being courageous, being appreciative, being respectful and having empathy,” Gladden says.

The hiring process now includes a “CARE” interview that poses questions about how candidates would handle specific work situations to determine whether they demonstrate those qualities. “It’s evaluating how they approach the people side, right?” Gladden says. “We ask so much in interviews about the skills. But really it’s: How do you kind of show up? How do you treat and interact and collaborate with the individuals that you’re working with or managing?”

In 2019, Brittany Barnes had graduated from college and accepted a job at a firm that managed revenue for hospitals when she was asked to interview for a job at Aledade, where she’d had a summer internship.

During her job search, opportunities for career development and mentorship were her biggest concerns. “I really just cared about: What are my career opportunities? Am I going to feel supported? Am I going to be doing work that is meaningful versus do I feel like I’m just doing busy work or being someone’s assistant and getting them their coffee or whatever?” she says.

Barnes, 26, accepted the job with Aledade because she knew the company’s culture and mission were more in line with her interest in helping decrease health care costs than the job she had initially accepted, where “it didn’t feel like I was doing good work necessarily,” she says.

Source: The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey


According to the Deloitte survey, an employer’s culture and values are among the top drivers for Gen Zers and millennials when choosing where to work. The survey found that 44% of Gen Z respondents and 37% of millennials say they have rejected work assignments because of ethical concerns, while nearly 40% of Gen Zers and 34% of millennials reported turning down employers that don’t align with their values.

Local employers say they recognize the importance of demonstrating their values, acting on issues or concerns that may arise in employee engagement surveys, and providing opportunities for growth—a sentiment shared by Sodexo, a food and facilities management company based in Gaithersburg. “Today’s employees want to know they’re working for a company that is doing the right thing while it’s making money—but they equally want to grow with that company and have a clear idea of what that looks like,” a Sodexo spokesperson said in an email.

Where do Gen Zers and millennials feel they have an opportunity to positively influence their oganization?

55% of Gen Zers and 54% of millennials say they research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job offer

Where Gen Zers and millennials feel they have the most influene
GEN ZMILLENNIALS 35% 36% In the products and services offered to clients/customers 34% 31% 33% 36% In areas related to diversity, equity and inclusion In areas related to personal development/training 31% 34% 24% 24% 15% 16% In areas related to employee workload In areas related to mental health and well-being
areas related to sustainability efforts
Bartas, chief talent and culture officer for Choice Hotels International
49% of Gen Zers and 62% of millennials say work is central to their identity

At Choice Hotels, Bartas says the company’s “diversity, equity and belonging efforts have really shaped the culture of choice and therefore the purpose that we have of making tomorrow better than today. I think that speaks to that culture of Gen Zers and millennial associates and all associates, really.”

Businesses also have found that younger workers, particularly Gen Zers, want frequent feedback and recognition of their job performance. “This is also a group that does like to be recognized,” Gladden says, noting that Aledade holds an all-staff remote meeting on Mondays, provides managers with best practices for recognizing staff, and hands out awards.

In Frandsen’s first job at the nonprofit Friends Committee on National Legislation, he says a strong relationship with his supervisor was key to his job satisfaction. “What I really valued about her is that she was incredibly responsive to my interests and desires. But she also was just a great advocate for me, while also making sure that I was keeping a strong work/life balance,” he says.

Bartas says Choice Hotels recognizes the importance of feedback and of training managers in how to provide it, and employees in how to receive it.

“Folks that are early in [their] career may not always receive feedback well. And so it’s also about training our younger generation to receive feedback in a way that’s objective, and that it’s something that they can work on,” she says. “It’s for their benefit and not personal. And I think that that is an ongoing development area for folks that are younger in [their] career for sure.”

Ultimately, though, it’s the company’s commitment to its mission and its workforce that encourages employees to stay, she says.

“While the perks are always fun, passion is sometimes more important. And I do think that regardless of generation, people want to feel valued,” Bartas says. “They want to work with other folks that bring innovative perspectives to the workplace. I think if we can cultivate that, we’ll be in good shape.”

Contributing editor Julie Rasicot lives in Silver Spring.

TaylorMade Experience

WHAT THEY DO: Event management and fundraising

ADDRESS: 11128 Luxmanor Road, Rockville




Wealthspire Advisors

WHAT THEY DO: Wealth management, advice and planning for individuals and families

ADDRESS: 12435 Park Potomac Ave., Ste. 500, Potomac




The list of winners was generated by Best Companies Group (BCG), based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which conducts employee engagement research on over 1 million professionals from more than 5,000 companies every year. BCG’s proprietary survey methodology determines whether a company makes the “Best” list. In addition to its partnership with Bethesda Magazine, BCG runs over 70 programs worldwide and provides a host of custom research services. For more info, visit

If your company would like to be considered for a future edition of Bethesda Magazine’s Top Places to Work list, please visit

Percentage of respondents who all/most of the time are:

of their ability at work

Exhausted or low energy at work Mentally distanced from job, including feelings of negativity or cynicism toward work Struggling to perform to the best
36% 30% 35% 28% 42% 40% GEN ZMILLENNIALS
Burnout: Persistent stress prompts reprioritization of work
Source: The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey


Bethesda small business

Ruth & Dottie creates whimsical gifts

Becky Sher uses her crafting skills to bring a little color to the world, through customized pencils and whimsical buttons.

“I always joke that my shop is sort of like a window into my soul,” Sher says. “I really only do things that I like.”

The Bethesda wife and mother of two teens sells tiny products with lighthearted messages on Etsy through her craft company, Ruth & Dottie, which is named after her grandmothers. Among its products, Ruth & Dottie creates custom pencils that have earned a huge fan base, especially at the start of each school year. Customers order pen cils with tailored messages or themed around kindness, girl power, chocolate and more. Think “Chase Rainbows” or “Good Vibes Only.”

“There really isn’t one that is the most popular—we literally sell out of all of

them,” says Connie Cissel, owner of The Blue House in Bethesda, which carries the line. “It’s very fun, happy, can’t-walk-out-without-it stuff.”

Sher painstakingly hand-emblazons each pencil message using a hot foil stamping machine in her basement craft room. Six customized pencils go for $10, and six themed pencils are $9, each displaying up to 25 characters.

“They are really awesome,” says Megan Andrew, a psychologist at Bardstown City Schools in Kentucky who hands out Ruth & Dottie pencils to students caught being good. “They all say kindness things on them, so if I see a kid in the hallway doing something, I just pop a pencil out and say, ‘Here. I like how you handled that.’ ”

Sher won’t reveal specifics but says Ruth & Dottie’s revenue has grown significantly over the years, more than doubling since 2021, when she started selling wholesale and in local retail stores. Advertising is practically nonexistent: Sher purchases a few Etsy ads to highlight products in search results, and hands out free pencils to teachers and neighbors. Other than that, the entrepreneur relies on repeat customers for sales of the amusing creations she masterminds.

“It’s just me—designing, assembling, shipping and inventory,” says Sher, 46, who grew up in New Jersey and has been living in Montgomery County since 2001. “I tell people I am a one-woman show—90% of the time, I like it that way.”

TOP PHOTO BY JUSTIN TSUCALAS; BOTTOM & OPPOSITE PAGE COURTESY BECKY SHER BeckySherofRuth&Dottiemakesandsellscustombuttons,pencilsandstickerswithcheerfulmessages.

Ruth & Dottie’s product line includes buttons representing a wide variety of cultural phenomena: fans of ’80s movies, The Golden Girls, quilters, yarn lovers, plant lov ers and more. Button topics run the gamut, but kindness-themed products are most popular. Sher says she has made over 300,000 of them by hand, using a “really good printer and an old-school button maker” machine. Customers clamor for her creations, and pins with cheerful messages such as “Be Nice First” and “Kind People are My Kinda People” are snapped up by school districts, teachers and positive-minded patrons. A package of eight buttons costs $7.50, and a set of 24 is $18.

“The pins are a hit at our middle school,” says Andrew, who has ordered more than 1,000 kindness buttons since discovering the colorful items on Etsy. “They just have such good meaning behind them.”

A former journalist and journalism professor at The George Washington University, Sher started making buttons as a Girl Scout leader in 2016 and realized there might be a market for her wares. She works out of her Bethesda home, usually at her dining room table, coming up with the sayings and artwork on her buttons, which are about the size of a 25-cent coin.

“I’ve become known as the pin lady,” Sher says, noting that her products are available at The Blue House in Bethesda, Locally

Crafted in Gaithersburg, and SW7 in Kensington. Ruth & Dottie products are also sold in over 500 shops in the U.S., Europe and Australia through an online wholesale marketplace called Faire.

“I have purchased several items from Becky, including pencils, stickers, and pins,” says Gwen Brown, owner of Gwen Erin Natural Fibers in Hubbard, Ohio. “Having these clever and affordable items at the counter are a great add-on purchase—folks love to dig through the little dish of buttons to find just the right saying.”

Sher enjoys the autonomy her business allows her, and regularly connects with other local small businesses to swap ideas and occasionally collaborate. In the early days of the pandemic in 2020, Sarah Dwyer, owner of Gaithersburg-based Chouquette Chocolates, contacted Ruth & Dottie on Etsy. Sher agreed to create a button of Dr. Anthony Fauci to coordinate with Dwyer’s Dr. Fauci chocolates, both of which turned out to be popular items for the two small businesses. Sher continues to tap into popular themes, whether they’re about voting, reading, tacos or Harry Potter.

“The buttons and the pencils—they’re very old school—it makes me happy that other people still value those things,” Sher says. “It’s sending little bits of happiness out into the world every time I send out an order.”

October 21st, 2023

‘HowIFind JoyinWork’

Former Maryland state Del. Mark Shriver (D) is president of Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School and Corporate Work Study Program, a private Catholic college prep institution in Takoma Park. The Rockville native and Georgetown Prep grad lives in Bethesda with his wife, Jeanne, to whom he has been married for 31 years. The two are empty nesters now that the final Shriver teen has flown the coop for college (all three opted for Boston College). He is the son of philanthropic luminaries Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, whose legacies as leaders for the marginalized and underprivileged clearly have made a lasting impact.

I never had a “road to Damascus moment” where I got knocked off my donkey, but the framework from which I was born and raised around is a saying from the Scriptures, “That you know to whom much is given, much is demanded.” And I think that speaks to, at least to me, from a place of guilt. It took me a long time to move from that place of feeling like I had to do something; to me it comes from a place of duty and responsibility and not as much from joy. I don’t want to say I was guiltridden, but to find joy, for me, is an ongoing mission.

I believe deeply in a couple of lines from the Scriptures, one from the Old Testament Book of Micah: “This is what Yahweh asks of you; only this: to act justly, to love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.”

I love the word “only,” as if to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly is not that hard. It is, you know. God only asks you to do “only” these three little things as if it’s easy. It’s a great, joyful challenge, and for me, for a long part of my life, it wasn’t joyful. I use that word “joy” because you have to find joy—it’s not necessarily happiness or fun.

I am now trying to come from a place where it is better to give than to receive. And if you can act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God, that’s a lot better place to be coming from.

I think I receive more than I give every day. I don’t feel as guilty about it as I did 20 or 30 years ago. I try to come at it now from a position of gratitude and then share it joyfully, whatever it is.

My job as president of Don Bosco brings me joy. Our students work one day a week at jobs, for example, at Ernst & Young or Children’s [National] Hospital, and they go to school four days a week. (Editor’s note: Two Don Bosco students interned in 2022-23 at MoCo360.) They give up a lot if they must work and miss basketball practice or band practice—these young people are earning their own scholarships. They’re working hard and they’re inspiring. That brings me joy. They’re really pursuing the American dream; the goal is for them to go to college and get through college, and for most of them, nobody in their family has gone to college.

My father always told me the hardest thing to do is listen. If you really listen, it’s exhausting. Most people don’t listen—they judge and give their opinion immediately. They pretend they’re listening, but they’ve already formed what they’re going to say as compared to really listening to where that person is coming from or what they are saying. I try to listen more. I try to be present in the moment. And I try to share joyfully.

—As told to Buzz McClain


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