Staff Biographies


Ingrid Zimmer  |  Executive Director,  Inner City – Inner Child

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 Ingrid holds a BA from Pomona College in Dance/Theater and has been in the vanguard of early learning through the arts in the Washington, DC area for over two decades. During her 10 year tenure as the Director of the Dance Department at the National Cathedral School and St. Albans Ingrid was also a Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. As one of ICIC’s founding teaching artists, Ingrid was instrumental in developing ICIC’s centerpiece program, Dancing with Books. While she continues to work with teachers and children as a Teaching Artist, Ingrid also directs all day to day aspects of ICIC and works closely with funders and child development centers to implement ICIC programs. 



Chalis Waizenegger  |  Associate Director,  Inner City – Inner Child 

Chalis brings experience in grant management, writing, philanthropy, and teaching to ICIC. She taught Humanities and Journalism at School Without Walls, a high-performing magnet high school in the District, and was also an Assistant Teacher in a pre-kindergarten classroom in the D.C. Public Schools.  At Public Education Network, she served as a Program Officer for Champions of Active Learning, a national grant program that supported active learning as a strategy to improve the academic achievement of middle school students.  Chalis is a published writer whose work has appeared in publications such as The Black Scholar and Journal of Race and Ethnic Relations


Teaching Artists Biographies


Magpie (Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner)  |  Teaching Artists

Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, educators and musicians, are mainstays of the Inner City-Inner Child early education program. Terry holds three degrees in early childhood education, including two in special education for children with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances from Kent State University. In addition to being award-winning, renown singer-songwriters, Terry and Greg are Master Artist Teachers for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning and pioneers in the use of American Sign Language to promote literacy for low-income early learners.


Sylvia Soumah  |  Teaching Artist

Sylvia, an ICIC Teaching Artist  since 1995, has been dancing and teaching African dance in Washington since 1992.  She is Founder and Director of Coyaba Dance Theater, D.C.’s  critically acclaimed & award-winning African Dance company. Sylvia’s extensive West African Dance experience has lead her to tour with some of the best artists of the National Ballet of the Republic of Guinea. Coyaba Dance Theater performs Outreach/Inreach dance and drumming workshops for the Dance Place, Smithsonian, Washington Performing Arts Society, The Concoran Gallery of Art and The Washington Ballet at the Arc. Ms. Soumah studied Modern Dance and Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati.


Marcia Daft  |  Teaching Artist

Marcia is the Founder and Artistic Director of Moving Through Math and Moving Through Science. Her company produces and publishes children’s books, instructional materials, and videos that bring arts integrated learning to life in the classroom. Marcia is a national workshop presenter for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  and  a Master Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Ms. Marcia has also developed museum exhibitions and educational programs for the Smithsonian Institution. She has written more than twenty children's educational booklets with CD’s for The Smithsonian Institution and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Daft graduated Phi Beta Kappa in bio-medical engineering from Duke University. She was a Century Fellow at The University of Chicago, where she earned a Master’s Degree in music. She studied piano performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and holds both a Certificate and License in Dalcroze Eurhythmics - a technique of integrating music and dance.


Sylvia Zwi  |  Teaching Artist

In addition to leading ICIC Family Literacy and Professional Development workshops, Sylvia is a Master Teaching Artist for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and Fairfax County Office for Children. She is a performing arts instructor, with an emphasis on early childhood music at the SITAR Center for the Arts, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School (DCPS), Levine School of Music and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. A graduate from the Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sylvia also has credits in early childhood education and psychology from Nassau Community College in New York.


Kofi Dennis  |  Teaching Artist

Kofi Dennis started as a middle school teacher in his native country of Ghana, West Africa in 1981 after graduating from Komenda College. Then, after studying Creative Dramatics at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, his focus shifted to Early Childhood Arts Integration. He has been a Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist since 1998 and continues to train Teaching Artists and teachers, conducting several residencies and workshops both locally and nationally. As the director of Playing for Concepts and a member of the duo Anansegromma, he has performed professionally in schools, libraries, museums, and fairs nationwide. He holds African Djembe Drumming classes for adults and children, and frequently facilitates many workshops and seminars at conferences. Some of his popular workshops are “Finger Plays Are Not Enough: Let’s Get Physical!”, Bringing Books to Life Through Storytelling, Drama, Music, and Dance)”, “The Beat Goes On: Young Children Learning Mathematics through Beat, Rhythm, and Melody”, and “Call and Response: It’s More You Think”. Kofi lives in Burke, Virginia with his family.


Diane Macklin  |  Teaching Artist

Diane Macklin is a Storyteller who has delighted audiences for over 15 years, sharing tales through a dynamic style seasoned with rhythm, sounds, and movement. Her interactive style is engaging for listeners of all ages. Diane has performed from Massachusetts to California for venues such as the National Air and Space Museum, Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, National Association of Black Storytellers Festival and Conference, Wolf Trap’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and the National Storytelling Festival’s Exchange Place. She specializes in audience participation, character education, and developmentally appropriate programming with a talent for telling stories to young listeners, ages two and up. Diane was selected as the Taft Museum’s 2013 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence and received an apprenticeship fellowship through the Maryland State Arts Council, in addition to their Solo Theatrical Performer Award. As a performer, certified educator, and teaching artist, Diane believes in “Making a difference, One Story at a Time.”


Literacy Trainer’s Biographies


Lindsey Agnamba  |  Literacy Trainer

Lindsey T. Allard Agnamba  is the founder and director of School Readiness Consulting. Lindsey works extensively with school, program and district leaders to design and implement instructional initiatives, including building teacher and school leader effectiveness, improving the quality and measurement of early childhood curriculum, instruction and assessment, integrating pre-K into K-12 systems, building capacity for early childhood leadership in schools, and evaluation of education initiatives. Lindsey holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, an M. Ed. in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College.


Kimberly Pearson Cooke  |  Literacy Trainer

Kimberly is the Partnerships and Development Director at School Readiness Consulting. Kimberly was the Director of Talent and Operations at Teach For America-DC Region, and a preschool teacher at DC Prep. She earned a master's in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in Secondary Education English from the University of St. Thomas. As a first generation college graduate, Kimberly is passionate about advocating for students, families, and teachers.


Katherine Rowell  |  Literacy Trainer

Katherine supports Practice Initiatives for School Readiness Consulting and currently works with Program for Parents in Essex County, New Jersey to develop Professional Learning Communities in a range of early learning settings. In addition, she organizes and facilitates professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals and volunteers in the District of Columbia. Katherine earned a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in children and adolescents at risk for problems in school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Katherine completed graduate level courses on Supervision of Infant and Toddler Providers and Infant/Toddler Environments at Wheelock College.


Deitra Nealy-Shane, Literacy Trainer

As an Advisor for Professional Learning at School Readiness Consulting, Deitra specializes in early childhood professional development and organizational development.Deitra has served as a teacher, assistant director, Head Start education coordinator, Head Start Fellow, Region III Head Start technical assistance specialist and director of professional development at Teaching Strategies, Inc.   Deitra received her M.S. in Early Childhood Curriculum Development from Emporia State University and her M.P.A. in Non-Profit Management from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  


 Ingrid holds a BA from Pomona College in Dance/Theater and has been in the vanguard of early learning through the arts in the Washington, DC area for over two decades. During her 10 year tenure as the Director of the Dance Department at St. Albans and the National Cathedral School Ingrid was also Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. As one of ICIC’s founding teaching artists, Ingrid was instrumental in developing ICIC’s centerpiece program, Dancing with Books. While she continues to work with teachers and children as a Teaching Artist, Ingrid also directs all day to day aspects of ICIC and works closely with funders and child development centers to implement ICIC programs.