Anna Bernanke

Anna Bernanke

Founder and Executive Director

A seasoned bilingual education leader, Anna holds 30 years of diverse and varied teaching experience ranging from pre-kindergarten to college level.  She taught Spanish at the National Cathedral School and served as Foreign Language Department Chair at the César Chávez Charter High School, Capitol Hill Campus, in Washington DC.  She is the Founder and Director of Chance Academy, a private educational organization in Washington, DC running for 10 years and serving a diverse population through integrating social emotional and academic learning. Anna is experienced in teaching, education administration and management, and visionary leadership.

Recognized for her fluency in Spanish, she received  a “superior” rating from ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and was selected to participate in structuring  Foreign Languages Standards for the District of Columbia.  Anna is trained in Mind Body Medicine, is a regular speaker and guest on local television and radio shows, was featured as a speaker for the Jump$tart Coalition and served as the Keynote Speaker for the Gateway CDC 20th Anniversary Gala, which encompasses Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood, Maryland (located in the Greater Washington, DC area).

Anna is currently finishing modules and curricula in Social Emotional Learning for teachers, parents and students based on her 30 years of experience. Anna is a former Foreign Language Department Chair in both private and public schools, a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a MA in Latin American Literature from Stanford University. Anna was born in Rome, Italy, and raised in Denver, Colorado.

Leadership, Staff and Administration

Anna Bernanke, Founder and Director

Issa Lara Combs, Accounts Manager and Financial Liaison

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson – Science Instructor, Leadership Team Member, Director of Programming and Schedule
Barbara Owens – Lead Mentor, Leadership Team Member
Geeta Raj – Leadership Team Member, Advisor for Global and Cultural Literacy


Crystal Adair, Upper level English Language Arts Instructor, Creative Performing Arts Director
Robert Butler, English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Visual Arts instructor
Shaheed Dixon, Physical Education, Capoeira, Tai Chi, and African Drumming Instructor
Caleb Fabio, Assistant Instructor for Children Ages 5-8
Virginia Fabio, Upper level History Instructor, Restorative Practices Facilitator
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Science Instructor, Leadership Team Member, Director of Programming and Schedule
Jessica LaGarde, Arts and Mindfulness Instructor, Scholars Ages 5-8
Edwin Spinks, Lead Instructor, Scholars Ages 6-8, Restorative Practices Facilitator
Susan Spring, Mathematics and Science Instructor
DeLeon Ware – Upper level Mathematics Instructor
Marquita Williams – Lead Instructor, Scholars Ages 5-6

Guest Instructors

Dr Nadarjan Sethuraju, Restorative Processes consultant, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University, School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (Guest Instructor)

Dr. Sabrina N’Daiye, Consultant, Center for Mind-Body Medicine (Guest Instructor)
Jared Parks, Lead Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor
Albert Nimley, Videography Instructor
Heather Santiago – Nature Studies Coordinator, Scholars ages 5-8, Field Trip Co-facilitator