First Grade Team

For MS Teams and Canvas Homeroom Course Links for STUDENTS, click here

An overview of first grade at Nottingham is below, or click here to learn more about the grade 1 teachers!


Welcome to the wonderful world of First Grade!  This will be an exciting and fun-filled year for your child and we appreciate your support and trust as we begin this adventure.  We value every child and will work hard to make this year memorable and very special.

We are committed to helping each student become a successful and independent learner.  We are dedicated to the education of the whole child–intellectually, socially, emotionally, culturally, and physically.  We believe that First Grade lays the foundation for a lifetime of enthusiastic learning.  We are committed to providing classrooms that are welcoming, exciting, and safe.  Our students should want to come to school each day ready to learn and our goal is to make this happen.

At Nottingham, students in kindergarten and first grade have shared personalized learning Apple iPads assigned to their classroom. Through this integration, and in conjunction with staff training as part of the APS Personalized Learning Program, there are many student benefits of personalized learning, such as:

– Students are challenged to think critically and use higher order level skills.
– Students are more engaged in learning when they are given more opportunities to take control of their learning.
– Teachers are able to offer immediate feedback so that students can make adjustments to their thinking and improve their work.
– Students are exploring more creative ways to solve problems, express their ideas, generate new learning and develop skills to work as part of a team in the classroom and virtually.


Grade 1 Teachers

Ms. Costa

maryanne.costa@apsva.us
Twitter: …

Hello. My name is Maryanne Costa and I am delighted to be teaching another year of first grade. I have an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and my Masters in Education from Marymount University. Teaching is my second career after working many years as a writer/editor for nonprofits. My hobbies include reading, cooking and trying new restaurants, walking and dancing (to work off all that eating!). Fun fact: my two grown-up children, Alex and Shanley, are Nottingham alums.


Ms. Jensen

donna.jensen@apsva.us
Twitter: …

Hello Everyone! My name is Donna Jensen and I teach the Jolly Rogers. I’ve been teaching for 30 years and I especially enjoy teaching 1st graders. Seeing the amount of growth students make in one year is especially satisfying! I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and my Master’s degree from George Mason University. I have two of the best grandkids and I enjoy doing “Grammy” projects with them. In the summer, I love to go back home to Maine and spend time with family and friends.


Ms. DelToro

danielle.deltoro@apsva.us
Twitter: …

Hi there! My name is Danielle DelToro and I am so excited to be joining the 1st-grade team at Nottingham! I earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business at the University at Buffalo as well as a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. I grew up in New York and moved to DC in 2017 to be closer to my now-husband (Brendon). In my free time, you can find me reading a good book, biking, hiking and spending time with friends & family. I am looking forward to a fantastic school year!


Ms. Gargano

lia.gargano@apsva.us
Twitter: …

My name is Lia Gargano and I am excited to be a part of the 1st-grade team at Nottingham! I am originally from Brewster, New York, and moved to Washington D.C. to attend college at American University. I also received a Master’s in Education Policy and Leadership Studies from AU. I have previously taught Kindergarten and 1st grade in D.C. and APS. I am a lifelong learner and I’m ready for a fantastic year of teaching and learning!


Ms. Lewin (Special Education)

dina.lewin@apsva.us
Twitter: …

I started teaching at Nottingham at the start of the 2019 school year, after a 12-year hiatus as a stay-at-home. Prior to that, I provided special education support in kindergarten at McKinley Elementary School and then taught 6th-8th graders in the Life Skills program at Swanson Middle School. I have an undergraduate degree in Family/Child Development & Psychology from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and a Masters in Special Education from George Mason University. Teaching is my second career, after having worked as a social worker serving adults with intellectual disabilities in the City of Alexandria for over five years. My hobbies include cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. I live in Arlington with my husband, our two kids, and our adorable, fluffy mini goldendoodle. I love being part of the Nottingham team!