Discovery's 2018-2019 Third Grade TeamMrs. Sarina Marine is thrilled to be returning to Discovery Elementary School’s third-grade team! This year marks her 13th year teaching, and her 11th year teaching third-grade. Her first 7 years of experience were in Fairfax County, but she is so happy to be back home in Loudoun!Mrs. Marine graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. She is also a graduate of Broad Run High School. She was born and raised in Loudoun County, and currently resides in Leesburg with her 6-year-old daughter, and her 2-year-old son.
Outside of school, Mrs. Marine enjoys playing with her kids, spending time with family and friends, walking, reading, listening to music, and helping at Studio Bleu Dance Center (where she danced growing up). Her family also vacations often in Myrtle Beach, as her father and both sets of grandparents live there.Mrs. Marine looks forward to another fantastic third-grade year with her Trailblazer family!
Miss Benteler is so excited to start her third year at Discovery!
Miss Benteler is also a product of Loudoun County, as she grew up in Ashburn and graduated from Briar Woods High School. After graduating from Briar Woods, Miss Benteler attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Disability Services and Special Education. She is also currently working on earning her Masters in Special Education from George Mason University.
She previously served as a teacher at Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, in Pittsburgh PA, as well as serving as a cross-categorical teacher for three years and emotional disabilities teacher for one year in Loudoun County.
She enjoys walking her dog; Heidi, who is a 70 pound Labradoodle, watching Pittsburgh sports, and spending time with her family. Miss Benteler loves teaching, especially Kindergarten, because she loves to make a difference in students lives.
She looks forward to an amazing year with Mrs. Marine, parents, and 3rd graders!Katie Swanson is very excited to start her third year here at Discovery and to get to know each one of you!Ms. Swanson will be beginning her thirteenth year of teaching. She went to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she studied English Literature and Sociology, then to the University of Michigan Law School. She worked as a lawyer in both New York City and Washington, D.C., but then decided she could make a bigger difference through teaching. Ms. Swanson taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, as well as environmental education, for ten years in Maryland. She founded after-school environmental clubs at two schools that received both national and international recognition, and started a new after-school environmental club here at Discovery two years ago!Ms. Swanson lives right down the road in Broadlands with her husband, son (a rising 5th grader at Discovery), and two dogs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!).It’s going to be a wonderful year in 3rd grade!Mrs. Heather Kern
Mrs. Kern is delighted to begin her fifth year as a member of the third-grade team at Discovery Elementary! Mrs. Kern completed her Master of Arts in Education degree through University of Phoenix. Prior to this, she attended George Mason University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with an additional concentration in English. Before teaching in the Loudoun County Public Schools, Mrs. Kern taught preschool and kindergarten students at a local private school and worked as a substitute in the county.
Having grown up in neighboring Fairfax County, Mrs. Kern moved to Loudoun County 18 years ago. She lives with her husband and two girls in Ashburn, where in her free time she enjoys reading, baking, cheering on the Redskins, and attending her daughters’ many dance recitals. Mrs. Kern believes that education is a journey and looks forward to guiding each of her students on his or her own path of learning this year.Please contact Mrs. Kern with any questions or concerns.Welcome Discovery Trailblazers!Mrs. Budenski is thrilled to begin her first year at Discovery Elementary! She is looking forward to meeting her 2018-2019 third grade class! Before joining the Discovery family, Mrs. Budenski came from Georgia having completed her Masters of Arts in Education and Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction from Augusta State University. This will be Mrs. Budenski’s eighth year teaching.Mrs. Budenski was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, and is currently enjoying living in the Northern Virginia area with her husband, Joey and goldendoodle, Duchess. Beyond the classroom, she enjoys outdoor activities, cooking for her family and friends, traveling to new places, and watching college football! Go Dawgs!Communication is one of her top priorities, so please come to her with any comments and questions you may have. Her goal is to create life-long learners and develop independent learners. It’s going to be a fun year full of lots of learning and new adventures. She can’t wait to see what the year has in store for us.
Miss Samantha Finkel is excited to be back with 3rd grade here at Discovery! This will be her fourth year teaching. Miss Finkel completed her Master's degree in Elementary Education at James Madison University. Go Dukes!Miss Finkel believes in creating a safe, comfortable, and hard-working environment for her class. Her goal is to make her students become more independent learners and problem-solvers. Her hope is for all members of the classroom community to learn how to take care of themselves, each other, and the classroom. She cannot wait to start building relationships with her new group of third graders!When she's not teaching, you can find her reading, cooking, working out, or traveling. Any beach is her favorite vacation spot, especially with friends and family there at her side. She lives in Fairfax, VA while her parents and brother still live nearby in Sterling, VA.Please contact Miss Finkel with any questions, comments, or concerns.Hello third grade students and parents! I'm Miss Vucci and I am thrilled to be joining the amazing Discovery staff for another year. This will be my second year teaching third grade and I cannot wait!Here is a little about me: I am a Loudoun County native, and have attended school here since I was a child. I graduated from Radford University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education. Within this degree, I have specifically studied concentrations in Special Education and Social Science. Teaching is truly my passion, and I am ecstatic meet my new students!In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful family and friends, going to the beach, watching soccer, and traveling as much as I can. I also have a huge love for dogs, and own an adorable little Maltipoo named Bino!My ultimate goal as a teacher is to create a safe, enriching environment where all of my students can be successful and enjoy learning. I cannot wait to build relationships with each and every one of my students and help them reach their full potentials as learners. Together, we will work hard, support one another, and have fun as a community!I am looking forward to an awesome year where we can work as a team to help your child grow! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns throughout the year!
I feel that career, as an educator of children is, well, just the best in the world! I am beyond excited to be teaching third grade at Discovery.
My undergraduate studies were completed at Mount Saint Mary’s University, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. From there I went on to teach second grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade and for the last two years, fifth grade. I have a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s in Literacy, both from West Virginia University.
My husband, Joe, and I have five children and four perfect grandchildren. We live in Boonsboro, Maryland, where you can hear us cheering, (loudly) on Sundays, while watching football. Our family is a dog loving bunch and we have a Golden Retriever and two Shichons.
Preparing our children for the challenges in their future, on a global scale, is paramount. Twenty first century citizens require a rigorous, inquiry based, education. The staff at Discovery is more than able to meet this challenge. Along the way, our students will acquire collaboration skills and develop their kindness muscles. These lifelong skills will assist them to be considerate and tolerant members of the global society.