Meet Our FoodPrints Teachers
Jennifer Mampara, FRESHFARM Director of Education, FoodPrints Founder and Director
Jenn has years of experience teaching young children how to grow and eat healthy foods. Originally from Colorado, she earned her Masters from Teachers College at Columbia University in Nutrition & Education, and worked with a number of non-profits and universities in New York. Jenn is also a certified teacher in the District of Columbia and spent four years teaching 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade in DC Public Schools. She helped to launch the program at Watkins in the fall of 2009. Under her direction, FoodPrints has grown from a program serving 200 children at one school to currently reaching over 3,000 children at nine different public schools. She enjoys preparing delicious and nutritious meals with her family of five every day.
Barbara Percival, Master Gardener
Barbara has been volunteering her time and talent with the FoodPrints program for many years. She supports the FoodPrints school gardens and teachers in building, maintaining and expanding flourishing gardens. Trained as a lawyer, she began working with the garden program at Watkins in the 1990s, when her children attended Watkins. Since 1999 she maintained the several outdoor learning gardens at Watkins, including the large vegetable garden that was installed in 2007 with the advent of the FoodPrints program. For the past several years, she also served as sous-chef for the FoodPrints classes at Watkins. Read her reflections on 10 years with the FoodPrints program.
Ibti Vincent, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at School Without Walls at Francis Stevens Elementary
In the spring of 2009, when Ibti was as a public high school teacher, she set out on her bicycle to learn more about how food is grown and what different programs around the country were doing to teach people about growing, eating, preserving, and sharing food. After 14 ½ months on the road, Ibti returned to her hometown of Washington, DC, and began teaching groups of students ranging from elementary schoolers to senior citizens. The friendly neighborhood food educator has managed farmers markets, built school garden programs, and conducted healthy, seasonal cooking classes and demonstrations around the DC metro area ever since. She works with health clinics, schools, and community groups to help our neighbors shop for, prepare, and enjoy the best food our local farmers and producers have to offer. Ibti has been with FoodPrints since 2011, beginning at Watkins Elementary. Get healthy recipe ideas and see what Ibti is up to on her blog, A Bikeable Feast.
Margi Fineran, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at School Within School
Margi began her Pastry career as a student at the Culinary School of Johnson and Wales University, where she twice earned the “Outstanding Pastry Arts Student” award. After Culinary school, Margi spent a year in Germany doing additional culinary training, and working in bakeries and chocolate shops. Upon returning to the US, she began her career as a Pastry Chef, working at various venues in DC, including Lespinasse at the Carlton and the Four Seasons Hotel. Margi then spent two years in London working as the Pastry Chef for the American Ambassador’s residence. Over the past decade, Margi has also been very active in the area of connecting school children with gardening and nutrition. She helped found and manage an extensive school garden program in Vermont, created a “Rooftop Garden Classroom” at Thompson Elementary in DC, and has developed a worm composting program at SWS.
Martine Hippolyte, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary and Simon Elementary
From a very early age, Martine was enthralled with how food grew and the delicious ways in which food could be prepared. Originally from Southern California, Martine moved to Washington, DC, to attend Howard University. After graduating, she had many jobs in the food industry then landed a job in Social Services teaching homeless women and children life skills for success. Although Martine adored the four years she spent working in the community, she decided to “follow her bliss” -- educating children...and food, of course! Martine assisted and taught in DCPS schools until she started with FoodPrints in 2015. Martine thoroughly enjoys making children feel loved and important while teaching them about the origins of food and healthy eating.
Kealy Rudersdorf, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Watkins Elementary
Kealy has a passion for using food for a tool for wellness promotion. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s in Education and worked for two and a half years as a structural engineer. Afterwards, she farmed on a cocoa farm in Costa Rica for two years where she deepened her love for nature and understanding of plants. Most recently, Kealy taught garden science at Stoddert Elementary School in Washington, DC where she became the first full time garden teacher funded by DCPS. When she's not traveling, Kealy spends her weekends at famers' markets, visiting farms, or hiking.
Rosa Ramírez-López, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Kimball Elementary
Rosa has been an Assistant FoodPrints Teacher at Watkins Elementary School and procured local produce (from FRESHFARM Markets) for all FoodPrints schools. Rosa hails from California where she was born and raised. Rosa's interest in public health issues as a lever for social change first grew out of her volunteer efforts to ensure that young women had access to health care services. She has served as a community organizer and health services specialist in a variety of community based, nonprofit organizations and in both city and county government. With the County of Santa Cruz in California, she worked closely with elementary schools to develop and present nutrition education programs in the classroom through partnerships with school gardens, cafeterias, after school programs and local farmers. From leading cooking demonstrations in the classroom utilizing produce from local farms, to pursuing her passion for cooking by enrolling in culinary school classes, Rosa enjoys helping children discover new foods and the joy of cooking fresh local produce. Rosa lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and her two elementary school aged children.
Jill Peralta, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Tyler Elementary
With several years' teaching experience at the middle and high school levels, Jill is now working with young students at Tyler to bring together her experience as an educator with her recent Masters degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health. Also an avid gardener, Jill believes that it is important for children to learn about gardening so they understand the connection between planting, harvesting, and preparing healthy, nutritious meals. Originally from New York, Jill lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she volunteers in a neighborhood school and community gardens.
Rebecca Helgerson, FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Peabody
Rebecca grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and was lucky to get to spend weekends at her grandparent's farm in southern Maryland where she first learned that veggies taste best when freshest! She worked in a preschool while studying sociology at George Mason University, which inspired her to pursue a Master's in Education also from GMU. After a decade of classroom teaching experience in early childhood and special education, Rebecca's passion for getting kids outside and into nature led her into garden and food education. She started a gardening program at Harriet Tubman Elementary and at Creative Minds PCS here in DC, and is now honored to be continuing the great things happening at Peabody Primary Campus. She spends time outside of work with her three year old daughter Jean, who already loves eating food fresh from their garden at home.
Meet our FoodCorps Service Members
Four FoodCorps Service Members are working in FoodPrints partner schools during the 2016-17 school year.
Kaamilah Mitchell is a recent graduate of Howard University with a degree in Nutritional Sciences. After working in a hospital in Southeast DC, she started to notice the health disparities between affluent and low income communities firsthand. She began to realize most of these chronic illnesses stemmed from unhealthy eating habits, so she decided to make a change. After teaching her first nutrition class in an elementary school, she knew she had found her calling. As a FoodCorps member at Kimball Elementary this year, Kaamilah hopes to inspire children to make healthier eating choices. When she isn't in the kitchen, Kaamilah enjoys finding new shows on Netflix, reading a good book, and going on road trips.
Alex Olson is a Washington, DC native with years of experience working in DC Public Schools’ after school and summer camp programs. After graduating from Keene State College in New Hampshire with degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology, Alex spent four months working on an organic farm in central Oregon. After learning about FoodCorps, Alex realized it was a perfect opportunity to combine working with kids and growing food. Alex is working with FoodPrints at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary.
Jen Glen, a native of Boston, MA left home to pursue an education in rural Pennsylvania at Allegheny College, a community with a robust farming and local foods culture. Enamored with the process, she changed her major to Environmental Studies early on. After becoming more involved with the community, she noticed that certain people didn't have access to a thriving food culture, and she wanted to know why. She went on to research food access through the lens of psychology, social justice, and the environment. As a FoodCorps member at Tyler Elementary, she brings her teaching skills and her curiosity to learn more about addressing food access in an urban environment.
We are grateful for contributing support of our FoodCorps members from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.