Dear Visiting Families,

We dream of a brand new start
But we dream in the dark for the most part
Dark as a tomb where it happens
I’ve got to be in the room (where it happens)

— Lyrics from “The Room Where It Happens” from the musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Dr. Laura DeLima, Head of School
“When you face an obstacle, dig deep and remember your “why” – it will help you know what to do”

In Washington, DC, we live “where it happens.” Where History has been made, is being made, and can be made there in the future. As an educator, I used to wonder how we could empower our students to understand History and become History makers themselves. How could they be guided to live purposeful lives that bring them joy and serves others? I no longer have to wonder.

At Templeton Academy DC, we encourage our students “to be in the room where it happens” — to position themselves to take an active role in the issues and ideas about which they are passionate. We do this through adoption of rigorous Gold Standard Project-Based Learning, an inclusive and anti-racist curriculum, and a Core Advisory program supports students in developing traits and gaining core skills for success — self-regulation, compassion, agency, and purpose.

I am honored to work with a phenomenal staff and families who help our students matriculate to the colleges of their choice ready to study hard, dream big, take action, and live purposefully. Please accept my warm invitation to join our TADC community! — Laura


Inquire About Washington D.C. Admissions

We’re expanding into Middle School Grades for the 2021 school year!

Templeton Academy seeks a diverse population of students who bring energy and commitment to the learning process. We’d love to share more about attending our Washington D.C. campus.

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Calendar of Events

Meet the Team

AllFacultyStaffAdjuncts
Head of School D.C.

Dr. Laura DeLima

DC Director of Admissions

Nicole Weston

Director of Student Life

Shira Kahan

Math Teacher

Calvin L. Foster

Social Studies Teacher

Bobor Jones

STEM Coordinator

Rachel Stagner

English & French Teacher

Caitlin Towers

College Counselor

Becky Claster

Adjunct Spanish Teacher

Hannah Balcomb

Head of School D.C.

Dr. Laura DeLima

Dr. Laura DeLima is the Head of School at Templeton Academy D.C. An experienced educational leader with 15 years of experience in the field, she has started two progressive secondary schools, the second of which she became one of the most successful campus in the Fusion Academy national network of schools. She balances deep knowledge in adolescent development, education policy, and pedagogy with exceptional skills in strategic planning, personnel development, operational and financial management, and is committed to using her unique combination of knowledge and skills to developing schools that bring personalized, purpose-driven, project-based and empowering education to young people. Dr. DeLima holds a B.A. from Vassar College, a Masters in Education Policy from the University of Wisconsin, and earned her Doctorate in Education from The George Washington University.

laura.delima@templetonacademy.org:laura.delima@templetonacademy.org

DC Director of Admissions

Nicole Weston

Nicole Weston is the Director of Admissions and Outreach for Templeton Academy- DC.  Nicole brings with her a wealth of experience in the field of education spanning over 20 years and across public, private non-profit, and private for-profit settings.  Nicole has served as a high school teacher, director of student support & outreach, assistant director, and head of school. She is passionate about strengths-based education and fascinated by innovative school models that make strengths-based learning a priority and a reality.  In addition to her work in the field of education, Nicole is also a certified expert life coach.

nicole.weston@templetonacademy.org:nicole.weston@templetonacademy.org

Director of Student Life

Shira Kahan

Shira Kahan is the Director of Student Life at Templeton Academy, working with students to nurture positive campus community and culture and providing support for Templeton’s excursion experience. Shira earned her B.S. from Ohio University in TV/Video Production but has spent most of her professional career building community with teens in Informal Education, with highlights at Camps Airy & Louise and Fusion Academy.

shira.kahan@templetonacademy.org:shira.kahan@templetonacademy.org

Math Teacher

Calvin L. Foster

Calvin L. Foster was born in Brooklyn, New York, and became interested in Calculus as a senior in high school. This interest grew to a passion, propelling him to receive his Master’s Degree in Pure Mathematics. Always drawn to tutoring in high school and college, Calvin was hired by his alma mater as an adjunct professor upon his graduation. As the years passed, he found that his passion for math within the classroom drew him to work with elementary, middle, and high school students as well. With profound respect for the pedagogy of the classroom and a true connection to the math courses that he teaches, Calvin strives to facilitate and foster understanding, enthusiasm, and mastery of the math topics he teaches.

calvin.foster@templetonacademy.org:calvin.foster@templetonacademy.org

Social Studies Teacher

Bobor Jones

Bobor Jones teaches history at Templeton Academy. He earned his B.A. in History from Colorado College, where he also minored in Studio Art. He went on to attain a Master’s Degree in Global, International, and Comparative History from Georgetown University in 2015. He has been teaching in the DC area since then, most recently serving as the History Department Head at a small private school. Outside of school, he spends his time reading, hiking, traveling, listening to podcasts, and making art.

robert.jones@templetonacademy.org:robert.jones@templetonacademy.org

STEM Coordinator

Rachel Stagner

Rachel Stagner is STEM Coordinator for Templeton Academy-DC and teaches STEM.  Rachel has a B.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife Management with a minor in Environmental Studies from Michigan State University and dual Master’s Degrees in Science and Education from Portland State University.  She is also a National Board Certified Teacher in adolescent/young adult science.  Previously, she taught science for over 10 years in Portland, Oregon before moving to DC to serve as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at NASA headquarters during the 2018-2019 school year.

rachel.stagner@templetonacademy.org:rachel.stagner@templetonacademy.org

English & French Teacher

Caitlin Towers

Caitlin Towers teaches English and French at Templeton Academy DC. She received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she double majored in Comparative Literature and Russian Language while also minoring in Education. She received her Masters Degree at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, where she specialized in language education and taught graduate-level French courses. Previous to joining the team at Templeton, she taught and served as an English and Foreign Languages Department Head at a middle and high school in Washington DC. Caitlin seeks to integrate interdisciplinary elements and student interests into her teaching, and encourages all of her students to bridge the gap between classroom learning and their own passions and goals.

caitlin.towers@templetonacademy.org:caitlin.towers@templetonacademy.org

College Counselor

Becky Claster

Rebecca Claster is Templeton Academy’s College Counselor and Service Learning Coordinator. In addition, she is an educational consultant who specializes in college counseling. Rebecca previously taught social studies in New York and SAT and graduate school test prep for the Princeton Review. Becky also worked for 17 years in education and youth policy on Capitol Hill and at the Corporation for National and Community Service. Becky holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Secondary Education from Adelphi University, and a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension.

rebecca.claster@templetonacademy.org:rebecca.claster@templetonacademy.org

Adjunct Spanish Teacher

Hannah Balcomb

Hannah Balcomb has over ten years of experience working with children and young adults in a variety of teaching and tutoring programs including in Head Start early childhood education and as a university professor. Her teaching specialties include Spanish, English, anthropology, music, and art. Her aim as an educator is to help students discover and build upon their strengths through an interdisciplinary and creative approach. Hannah has lived abroad in several Spanish-speaking countries including Argentina, Ecuador, and Mexico and draws on these experiences to make learning Spanish fun, vibrant, and engaging by incorporating her knowledge of contemporary Hispanic cultures, art, music, and other traditions into the classroom setting. Hannah holds a B.A. from The Evergreen State College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside. 

hannah.balcomb@templetonacademy.org:hannah.balcomb@templetonacademy.org