Kindergarten Bios

Mrs. Connole Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Connole began teaching Kindergarten at Coates in 2011. She was born in Ohio and graduated from Miami University. She and her husband enjoyed the adventures of living in Cincinnati, Chicago, New York City and London while working in publishing. After settling in Falls Church she discovered her life's decisions had been leading her to her true vocation and she became certified to teach. Prior to Coates, she taught as a K-1 Instructional Assistant in Falls Church City for 10 years. While at Coates she has had opportunities to be a team leader as well as a mentor for several GMU teacher candidates and fellow team members. For fun, she enjoys Nat's games, reading, movies, and being with her husband and two adult-aged children. She is grateful to be able to enjoy her second career choice every day.

Mrs. GazulisMrs. Gazulis Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Gazulis is thrilled to be on the Kindergarten team again this year at L.L. Coates. Mrs. Gazulis grew up in California and earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s and teaching credential at U.C. Santa Barbara. She began her teaching career in Santa Barbara, California before moving to Northern Virginia and teaching fourth grade at another school in FCPS. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Gazulis enjoys spending time with her family and friends, taking pictures and exploring new places.

Mrs. GrandeMrs. Grande Kindergarten Teacher


Mrs. Grande has been teaching Kindergarten at Coates Elementary for 10 years. She started her teaching career in FCPS nineteen years ago at Hutchison Elementary in the Kindergarten classroom and then worked at McNair Elementary in Kindergarten for eight years. Mrs. Grande obtained her BA and MA from George Mason University. I love spending time outdoors and vacationing at the beach with my husband and two children.

Mr. VargasMr. Vargas Kindergarten Teacher

Mr. Vargas joined the Coates team in 2014. He started his teaching career as a long term kindergarten substitute teacher and has been a fourth grade teacher at Coates Elementary for four years. Mr. Vargas graduated from Strayer University with his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and obtained his masters from George Mason University in Elementary Education PreK-6. Mr. Vargas loves spending time with his wife and son, especially when it is at the beach.

Ms. WernerMs. Werner Kindergarten Teacher

Elizabeth Werner has been teaching kindergarten for more than 20 years, the last nine of which at Coates. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree and earned a Master’s Degree in Math Education Leadership from George Mason. When not at school, she can be found riding her bike, playing tennis, or curled up on the couch with Georgie the cat and a good book.

Ms. WheatonMs. Wheaton Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Wheaton is beginning her first year at Coates, and second year teaching Kindergarten in FCPS. She was raised in the suburbs of Miami, Florida. She studied International Relations at Florida International University and earned her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University. Her teaching experience includes being an Instructional Assistant, teaching English in Japan, and teaching at a private preschool. She spends her free time with her husband and son going on adventures.

Instructional Assistants 

Mrs. ChunMrs. Chun Instructional Assistant

Mrs. Chun has been working at the Coates from 2009. She is one of the original members of the Coates. Since then, she's been working as a SPED IA with K, 1st, and 2nd grade mostly. Mrs. Chun graduated from Kyung Hee University(Seoul, Korea) with Bachelors in English major, and minor in Education. Mrs. Chun has a wonderful husband and two beautiful grown up kids - daughter and son. They have studied in FCPS and are working as professionals in the community. Mrs. Chun is a choir member of Korean United Methodist Church in McLean, VA. She loves to sing and listening to music. 

Mrs. KethuMrs. Kethu Instructional Assistant


Mrs. Kethu is one of the original members of the Coates ES. This is her 10th year of working as kindergarten IA. She holds a Bachelor degree in Sciences from Osmania University, India and a computer programming diploma from New Jersy. She has worked as software Programmer for several years in PA and TX states and finally found her love of teaching! Mrs. Kethu has a wonderful husband and two beautiful grown up daughters. Her hobbies are reading books, traveling and shopping!

Mrs. KulkarniMrs. Kulkarni Instructional Assistant

My name is Smita Kulkarni and I have been working as a Kindergarten IA in Coates Elementary for last 6 years. I did my Bachelors and Masters from Bombay University, India. I have two sons, one at Virginia Tech and the other one is in 8th grade. In my free time I love to read and go for walks. I love working in Kindergarten and I am excited to start the new year with kids.

Mrs. MorrisMrs. Morris Instructional Assistant

Ms. Morris has been with FCPS for eight years as a Kindergarten Assistant. She lives close by in Herndon, has two grown daughters and when she is not in the classroom she can found on the driving range practicing her golf swing.

Mrs. SatyshurMrs. Satyshur Instructional Assistant

Mrs. Satyshur has been at Coates Elememtary School since the opening, September 2009. She is a mother of four (three which are the same age...triplets!). She loves to travel, especially to the beach. Her favorite sports to watch are swimming, football, and golf.