Fort Hunt Preschool is a community of families who believe that children learn best in a safe, nurturing environment, supported by a cooperative partnership of parents and teachers. Through personal experience, discovery, and play, we cultivate children's natural curiosity and foster respect for self, others, and the natural world.
We have classes for two, three and four year old children in a natural, historic setting on Mason Hill, just 3 miles South of Old Town Alexandria.
In 1962, parents worked with Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (MVUC) to establish a cooperative preschool and the first school year began with an enrollment of 28 students. In 1983, the preschool moved into the historic Carriage House on the beautiful grounds of MVUC where it still operates today. In 2002, in agreement with MVUC, the preschool began the process of becoming a fully and independently licensed preschool, no longer under the domain of the church. The name was changed to Fort Hunt Preschool and, in October 2003, the school was granted its full license by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Our Teachers & Staff
Hedgehogs 4s Teacher and Director
Nancy began teaching at FHP 19 years ago, after son, Nate, graduated from our program. The Renner family has a long history with FHP: Curtis, Nancy’s husband, was a member of one of FHP’s first classes! While Nate was at FHP, both Curtis and Nancy were active in the classroom and Nancy served on the Board as Treasurer. Her role at FHP expanded to include Director 11 1/2 years ago. Nancy has a degree from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in American Studies with an Art History concentration. She loves nature and the outdoors, and also has studied landscape design. Nancy is active in the early childhood education community, serving as President of the Virginia Cooperative Preschool Council, and on the Board of the Potomac Association of Cooperative Teachers. The Renner family also includes Alex the English Mastiff, and English Lab Tula.
Turtles 2s and Hedghogs 4s Teacher
This is Karen’s 18th year as a teacher at FHP. Karen has over 6 years of experience in parent helping for her children Sarah and Anastasia, and served on the FHP Board of Directors in the positions of Admissions and Education Policy as an FHP parent. Karen has a graduate degree in Human Resource Development from The George Washington University and a Masters of Business Administration. Karen worked for 15 years in the House of Representatives before realizing her true calling by becoming a 2’s teacher at FHP the same year her youngest daughter graduated from the program. Karen has been married for 29 years to Eric Sapirstein.
Dinosaurs 3s Teacher
Rose graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a Post Baccalaureate in Elementary Education and taught second grade in Philadelphia before having her own children. She also has worked as a substitute teacher in the Fairfax County elementary schools. Rose has been married to her husband, John, for 32 years. They have five children, all FHP alumni. In fact, Rose may hold the FHP record for consecutive years of parent helping, with a total of 11 consecutive years! During her years as an FHP parent, she served as a Class Parent and Education Policy Chair. Rose begins her 17th year of teaching the Dinosaurs this fall.
Bears 3s Teacher
Susan is entering her ninth year as teacher at FHP. Like many others, she began here as an enthusiastic parent helper, then transitioned to assistant in the 4s class before taking on a class of her own. Susan graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as an international journalist and writer before turning her focus to childhood education. She believes firmly in learning through play and peer interaction as a means to help foster children's talents and skills to help prepare them for formal schooling. Susan lives with her astrophysicist husband and two children in the Mt. Vernon area.
Frogs 2s Teacher
This is Monica’s fifth year teaching at FHP. Initially she worked at FHP right after her son Miguel (now age 15) graduated from our preschool and returned shortly after having worked in other local schools. She has a graduate science degree in environmental health and a certificate in early childhood education from NOVA. It is at FHP where she can combine her two passions: her love for nature and teaching young children. The beauty of the natural grounds at FHP and the Mount Vernon area, where she has lived for more than 20 years, inspires her every day. She enjoys hiking, camping, discovering new parks and traveling.
Kaitlin (Kait) is very excited to be teaching at FHP again this year. This will be her 2nd year as movement teacher. Kait has a degree from Catholic University Law School and a Masters in Psychology from the George Washington University. She also spent many years working in the running industry, focusing on movement and fitness. You can regularly find her running the Mount Vernon Trail (often pushing the stroller) and running in many local races. Kait has one child, Teddy, and a husband Zach. Kait believes in a holistic approach to movement and will incorporate that into her classes. Kait is grateful for the opportunity to work with the children at Fort Hunt Preschool and excited to share her love and knowledge of fitness with FHP.
Hedgehogs 4s Teaching Assistant
Robert was born in Detroit, Michigan, lived nearly his entire life in Northern Virginia, and attended Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. For the last 9 years, he has been a stay-at-home father to his son Oliver and daughter Carmella, who are both Fort Hunt Preschool alumni. During his family’s time at FHP, he held the jobs of art assistant, served on the board as fundraising co-chair and finally Touch-A-Truck event coordinator. For the last 5 years, he has also been involved with Alexandria Little League as a coach, league commissioner and now umpire. Robert’s wife Jasmine D’Addario-Fobian works at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home father, Robert was a hotel sales and marketing executive at a variety of properties throughout the Washington, DC area. In his spare time, Robert enjoys following DC’s sports teams, travel and vintage automobiles.
Hedgehogs 4s Assistant Teacher
Stephanie holds an M.A. in Teaching for foreign language pk-12, an MBA, and a B.A. in French and is currently working on an M.S. in Communication Disorders to become a Speech Language Pathologist. She has more than 11 years of teaching experience in a range of content areas with age groups ranging from pre-K to adult. Stephanie is married with one child, Mina, and enjoys genealogy, volunteering, fitness activities, and singing. At FHP, she has served as the Silent Auction Chair and Vice President and is the current President of the board.
Licensed and Accredited
Fort Hunt Preschool is licensed by the State of Virginia and is a member of the Northern Virginia Council of Cooperative Preschools and Parent Cooperative Preschools International