Katie Clear, Director
A long way from her home in Ireland, Katie now happily resides in Arlington with her husband, John. An elementary-school teacher with more than eight years of teaching experience, Katie moved into the director role at River Farm after teaching in our Upper Elementary classroom. With her background in mentoring and supervising other teachers, her intimate knowledge of the River Farm community, and her experience with helping to build a young progressive school program in Ireland, Katie was the natural fit for the director position.
Katie’s history with education began with a love of schooling and learning both as a child and a teenager. This love motivated her to become a teacher; in 2009, she earned a bachelor's degree in education from St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. Her teaching career then began at St. Bridget's primary school, the school which she herself had attended as a child. She wanted to see other parts of the world, however, so she and John soon embarked on a journey across the globe to teach English in Taiwan for six months. They then had the opportunity to travel across Southeast Asia – a trip that created everlasting memories.
Upon returning to Ireland, Katie started a position at Newbridge Educate Together, a progressive, democratically run school where Katie also played an integral role in expanding the young program. Throughout this time, she taught children in the four- to 11-year-old age range. Katie loved her five years at Newbridge and still has strong links to the school.
Katie has also taught in a variety of settings beyond the classroom: working at sports and cooking camps, coaching, conducting after-school enrichment classes, tutoring in Special Ed., teaching English as a foreign language, and mentoring newly qualified teachers. Along with her teaching experience, she shares her worldly curiosity and her passion for cooking and staying active with the students and parents at River Farm.
Katie Derloshon, Middle School Teacher
We are excited to welcome Katie Derloshon back to the River Farm community after a year of graduate studies. During her year away, Katie earned her Master of Arts in teaching at The George Washington University with a focus in museum education. As part of her studies, Katie interned at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she led early-childhood learning programs that served over 200 visitors, and developed more than three years' worth of curriculum for two separate programs for their early childhood programming. She is also currently a weekend museum educator at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and a museum teacher at Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens.
Prior to earning her master’s degree, Katie spent two years at the River Farm Cooperative School as our beloved Upper Elementary teacher. During that time, Katie helped River Farm develop much of the curriculum, field trip themes, and policies that continue to serve the school today.
Katie spent her undergrad years at Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education while also studying and completing research in astronomy/astrophysics. A research assistant for two different astronomy professors during that time, she helped contribute data to studies and presented at the 2009 Women in Science Conference in Bloomington, Indiana, and the AAS 2010 Meeting in Washington, D.C. Katie’s love for science often leads to exciting experiences in the classroom!
Outside of academics, Katie imparts her love of yoga, language, and travel to her students. Her practicum teaching experience in 2010 led her to Istanbul, Turkey, where she taught English to 4th and 5th grade students through the Global Gateway for Teachers program, and she has spent two volunteer stints working in an orphanage in Romania. For the past three years she has taught English to Chinese students of all ages via an online program, hosting several of these students when they made their first trips to the U.S. Katie has completed an RYS 200-hour yoga certificate and a Yoga 4 Classrooms training, and she is a Prison Yoga Project teacher currently working with an inmate population in Fairfax, Virginia. With her background in yoga, she helped River Farm establish its morning yoga practice, which has since become a time-honored school tradition. Welcome back, Katie!
Charles E. Howell, Upper Elementary Teacher
A veteran educator, Charles began his teaching career in New York City as a Teach for America Corps member. The program moved him to New York City, where he taught in elementary schools in Harlem and the Bronx, taking on collateral duties in the after-school tutoring program and as an advisor to the Black History Club.
From New York, Charles made his way to the Washington, DC area, where he spent the next 17 years teaching in public schools in Maryland and Virginia. During this time, Charles founded Project A.D.A.M (Aiding Developing Achieving Men), a program providing mentoring, tutoring, and community service opportunities for boys; the program went on to become one of the largest after-school programs at both George Washington Middle School and Frost Middle School. Charles also held roles as team leader, mentoring other teachers and helping integrate instructional programs; as student mentor for at-risk children; and as staff advisor for both the Multi-Cultural Assembly and the Black Saga / Black History State Competition.
More recently, Charles was a program instructor for the Close Up Foundation in Alexandria, where he led student workshops in politics, civics, and history, bringing students to historic sites and to meetings with elected officials. Charles brings this passion for history, civics, and social justice to the River Farm community, along with his passion for African American history and culture.
Charles received a Bachelor of Arts in history and education at Clark University, where he was inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta honor society. He went on to earn his Master of Divinity at Virginia Union University, and he is currently working on a Master of Arts in counseling from George Mason University. An avid music lover and sports fan, Charles spends the winter months cheering on his favorite basketball team, the L.A Lakers. His other hobbies include attending music festivals, swimming, landscaping, visiting museums, traveling, watching Sanford and Son, and being a diehard Trekker. He currently resides in Bowie, Maryland with his wife, Lisa, and his two cats, Marley and Lia.
Ricardo Padilla, Lower Elementary Teacher
Certified in the American Montessori Society (AMS) method, Ricardo is a veteran teacher with many years of classroom experience focused mostly on the lower elementary population. Growing up in the classroom with a father who was a preschool teacher at a private school in Manhattan, Ricardo worked as a teacher’s aide at another New York day school before heading to Phillips University, where he met his future wife, April, and earned a B.S. in business. After college, Ricardo and April settled in Texas, where Ricardo earned his AMS Montessori certificate and began interning at a Montessori school, working his way up to becoming lead teacher. Seeing children reach that "aha moment” proved to him that he was in the right place: Ricardo had found his true home in the classroom. Since then he has led many classes, with his first group of children now in college!
When it comes to a teaching philosophy, Ricardo believes that children with a strong educational and emotional foundation will grow up to become the next generation of engaged young adults who can effect meaningful change. A typical classroom with Ricardo as the guide is full of happy, independent children who are at their best while learning and playing in an organized environment. By offering children freedom within limitations, along with clear and positive behavioral expectations, a classroom begins running smoothly on its own – almost as if a teacher is not even there!
Today, Ricardo and April live in Bristow, VA with their two high-school aged children, Diego and Monet (named after their favorite artists), and their cats, Chubb and Fluff. The ability to be outside and explore nature is important to their family and was a driving force in Ricardo’s decision to become a part of the River Farm school. In his free time, you'll find Ricardo pursuing his dual passions of acting and slow pitch softball. Ricardo also enjoys hiking, yoga, guitar, and gardening.
Raime Masket, Co-President
Raime Masket and his wife, Kate, joined the River Farm Cooperative in the Fall of 2015, where currently two of their three children are enrolled.
Raime has been a full-time dad for several years. Before that, he was Chair of the social-studies department in a public high school in Rochester, New York. He also was a professional development leader, a yearbook advisor, and a faculty advisor to the gay-straight alliance. After four years of dealing with outdated curricula and teaching to tests, he and Kate felt strongly that they wanted their children to have a different experience. They participated in two other cooperatives in the DC area before joining River Farm.
An avid traveler in his youth, Raime now spends as much time as he can bringing his children to the mid-Atlantic's beautiful places and instilling in them a love of exploring. He enjoys numerous outdoor activities, and is a fan of live music.
Kate Masket, Co-President
Kate Masket and her husband, Raime, have been members of the River Farm community since Fall of 2015. Their son and daughter are enrolled in the Lower Class and their toddler attends preschool nearby.
Kate is a practicing physician and researcher. As Kate and Raime were homeschooling their oldest child, she imagined an ideal school for her kids. When she visited River Farm, she was amazed to have found that place. Their kids' experience has only confirmed that this ideal is actually a reality. After two years of commuting almost an hour each way to River Farm, their family moved from Maryland to Virginia to be closer to this amazing opportunity .
Lindsey Vick, Admissions Chair
As River Farm's former president, Lindsey Vick brings both her institutional knowledge and her experience with managing large organizations to her role as admissions chair at River Farm Cooperative. Together with her husband, Mark, Lindsey owns and manages the Sunflower Healing and Wellness center, which provides a wide array of healing arts services for the entire family, including hypnotherapy, Reiki, HypnoBirthing, and doula services. Prior to founding her own company, Lindsey worked in management consulting for the North American Management firm for 12 years, where she was the director of housing and community development and managed a team of 100 employees.
The Vick family has been a part of the River Farm community since 2015, and they currently have a child in both the Upper Elementary and Middle School classes. The Vicks were drawn to the River Farm philosophy after experiencing several years in a public school setting with minimal outdoor time and parental involvement.
Lindsey holds a bachelor's in economics and urban studies from Wellesley College, was trained as a Birth Doula by Birth Arts International, and is a Certified Practitioner of HypnoBirthing.®