4265 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20032
Serving Pre-K through 8th grade
St. Thomas More
Many of our students come to us from a space where they feel defeated, yearning for understanding and validation. It is our goal to create a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere where all feel valued and are given the tools to make success inevitable.
St. Thomas More Academy was founded on September 9, 1957 and we are honored to continue a legacy of education for D.C. youth.
A refuge for students who want to transform their narrative, guided by
education, faith and community.
Welcome to St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
Building an active, strong community
Teaching youth to give back to their community through service
Providing a foundation of faith, drawn from the teachings of scripture
Bestowing students with a love of learning
Teaching students to proceed as if success is inevitable
Giving students and their parents a voice
in addition to a gentleman, humanist and martyr. Born in London in 1478, St. Thomas More led a life driven by faith, family and community. He ensured that his children had a proper education. His heart quivered at the thought of those who fell prey to the social system, lacking property and therefore basic rights. He wished for a utopia that allowed all to live free, working and learning with the rights they deserved. When a series of events led to his arrest, imprisonment and ultimate execution in 1535, he was seen as a martyr, later being canonized in 1935.
St. Thomas More Catholic Academy is honored to have the namesake of a saint who has been considered a scholar himself,
Details sourced from an Article by Fr. John J. Caselot published in The Catholic Standard Jan/Feb. 1978
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Biology with minor in Chemistry
Graduate Degree: M.S. Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Teaching Career: 5 years at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy as a Science Educator 4th-8th Grade; 2 years Bishop McNamara High School AP Chemistry and Physics Educator 9th-12th
Passions: Educating the youth, international travel, reading, cooking
I call the students of St. Thomas More Academy, “scholars,” because I believe that they’re more than students — they’re lifelong learners who deserve a title that matches their ability to change the world. I am deeply invested in making sure that these scholars and the families of our academy are seen, their voices validated and their perspectives considered in all areas of education.
Gerald D. Smith, Jr.
St. Thomas More Academy Principal
“God does not call the qualified,
he qualifies the called.”
While I am unsure what the future holds for my life, what I know for sure is that God has called me to take up this good work to fortify and improve the impeccable St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, and it gives me great honor to lead, teach and inspire the parents, teachers and most importantly, the students of this school community. I am honored and thrilled to work with each of you as principal and look forward to meeting each obstacle with courage and grace.
Mrs. Shuler is married and has 5 children and 4 grandchildren. She graduated from Claflin University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has been an educator at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy for 18yrs and is now the Vice Principal. She is a very caring and lovable person, ambitious, trustworthy and a hard worker.
She enjoys exercising, shopping and spending time with family and friends. In her spare time (which she doesn’t really have) she likes catching up on her favorite shows, and relaxing. She loves listening to gospel music, it keeps her calm and relaxed. To know her is to love her!
DEAN OF STUDENT AND FAMILY LIFE
Ms. D has been working at STM for a little over 5 years. She never imagined that she would be working at herold school and with CHILDREN! She is graced and blessed to interact with some of the most amazing scholars and staff. They're all her family and she loves being a part of the STM community.
Mrs. Nancy Taylor-Williams has been at St. Thomas More for nearly a decade. In her tenure with STM, she has taught middle school math and science and now serves as the Academic Dean. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in Biology from the University of Chicago and will graduate this coming August with her Master's of Arts in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Mrs. Taylor-Williams strongly believes that all children have the right to a quality education that challenges them to think beyond the right answer, emboldens them to question theories, procedures, and systems, and prepares them for a successful, independent, joyful future. When she's not at STM, you can find Mrs. Taylor-Williams playing with her son, spoiling her three dogs, and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes!
Mrs. Sanders is the School Counselor at STM, where she works with helping decrease the rate of truancy, and educational neglect. She also encourages mental health awareness by providing resources for group, individual, and family counseling. She has worked with the community for 5 years! She received a Master of Social Work degree from The Mecca, Howard University and her undergraduate degree in Micro Social Work from Virginia Union University
Ms. Weinman has been teaching at St. Thomas More for 19 years and Pre-
Kindergarten for the past 13 years. . She loves driving across the country with
her dog. She loves exploring two places her home, Washington DC and
Seattle, Washington where she grew up. She finds ,uch joy in teaching the
youngest scholars. They are eager to learn and explore their world. She is an
avid reader and wants to bring that love to my scholars.
My name is Lisa Williams. This is my 26th year teaching at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy. I have over 29 years of Early Childhood experience. I am a native of the DMV area. I attended Norfolk State University undergrad and Cambridge College for a Master's degree.I have a great interest in early childcare and reading readiness. I love teaching young children and supporting them to be independent learners and thinkers. My interests are supporting scholars in children’s church, reading novels, movies, organizing, and eating at fine restaurants.
Paula Nesmith, is the Second Grade teacher at Saint Thomas More Catholic Academy. She has been
a classroom teacher for over 17 years; teaching 1 st – 4 th grades in both public and private schools. Mrs. Nesmith earned her Bachelors in Business Administration from Howard University in 1998. Presently, she is seeking her Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching with an endorsement in Special Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Most recently, Mrs. Nesmith has been recognized as Educator of the Year at Saint Thomas More SY2019- 2020, and SY2018 – SY2019. She
is a faithful worker and currently serves in leadership as the Superintendent of Sunday School at her local church. When Mrs. Nesmith is not teaching, she enjoys reading and gardening.
2ND GRADE TEACHER
Emily Okawara is thrilled to be in her second year of teaching at STM. Originally from Seattle, WA, she loves the outdoors, baking, and music. At the University of Notre Dame, she earned her Bachelor's degree in American Cultural Studies and Education, and she’ll complete her Master's of Education (M.Ed.) this year with the Alliance for Catholic Education. Her teaching specialties are conceptual mathematics, integrated technology, and project-based-learning (PBL). 4th Grade, BEST grade!
4TH GRADE TEACHER
Kimberly Wood is a para-educator at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy. She has been a part of the STMCA family for 27 years. She is an alumni of Morris College, a proud mother of two who truly believes in putting family first. She is a gourmet who enjoys cooking, traveling, listening to music, and watching documentaries. Her motto in life she lives by daily is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
PRIMARY INSTRUCTIONAL AIDE
Mrs. Jones has degrees in K-12 Reading and Secondary English and has been the Library teacher at STM since 2014. She is committed to ensuring our scholars experience the joy of literacy and works to help them become lifelong readers. OR believes in the power of reading and strives to share her love of reading with our STM scholars.
Leah Waldo is our 6th-8th grade language arts teacher. Ms. Waldo was educated at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, NC. There she majored in English and led a poetry club on campus for two years. Her love for writing and language is evident as she creates lessons that are both relatable and engaging for her scholars. Ms. Waldo's favorite quote is "To whom much is given, much is required." She truly believes this quote is applicable in many areas in our lives. Hard work is not only required to accomplish goals, but is also required to maintain those goals. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11.
MIDDLE SCHOOL - LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHER
Ms. Taylor loves everything to do with History! She believes in teaching the true sides of history and giving scholars the opportunity to express things that interest them in class! She’s here to make Social Studies fun again!
MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCIAL STUDIES
Ms. Jones is a native Washingtonian. She attended private schools under the Archdiocese of Washington from K-12th.
She attended Trinity Washington University for her bachelor's degree.
RELIGION AND ART TEACHER
Ashley Gordon. Is new to the St. Thomas More family, but has been an educator for the last four years. She is proud to say that she is a graduate of Shaw University. She believes that learning is not impossible with hard work, resilience, and faith. Her favorite color is purple. She loves macaroni and cheese and spending time with her son.
Mrs. Peasant considers it a great honor to teach and learn with the first grade scholars at STMCA! Before recently relocating to the Washington D.C. area, she spent 12 years teaching kindergarten and first grade in Jacksonville, FL. Mrs. Peasant holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and
Instruction from the University of Florida.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Ms. Stringfellow has been a math educator for the past 5 years. She is a DC native and proud graduate of DC public and charter schools. Her teaching philosophy is to create an environment that promotes growth in and out of the classroom.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH
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