Specialists Bios

Mrs. BurchMrs. Burch Band Director

This is Mrs. Burch’s third year teaching band at Coates and it is her 12th year teaching in Fairfax County. She teaches band at three elementary schools in the Reston/Herndon area. Mrs. Burch was born and raised in Reston, VA and attended James Madison University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2007 and started teaching in FCPS right out of college. She completed her Masters of Arts in Curriculum from Virginia Tech in 2016. Mrs. Burch enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats. Her interests include bicycling, baking, and traveling.

Ms. Capurso General Music Teacher

Ms. Capurso joined the Coates Elementary staff in 2019. She grew up in Central New York and attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where she earned a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in music education. More recently, she completed a certification program in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy at George Mason University. She began her music teaching career in 2009 and joined FCPS in 2016. In her free time she enjoys singing with the Loudoun Chorale, contra dancing, and spending time with her husband and her dog.

Mrs. ClaessenMrs. Claessen Art Teacher

Mrs. Claessen began teaching art for Fairfax County in 2011 and joined the staff at Coates Elementary School in 2013. She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo for her Bachelor of Arts and graduated with a major in Environmental Design. After working many years in the private sector, she changed careers. She took additional fine art and teaching courses at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), University of Phoenix and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to become an Art Teacher. Mrs. Claessen enjoys spending time with her husband and their three daughters. Her interests include painting, ceramics, travel, and volleyball.

Mr. Crosson Technology Support Specialist


Mrs. DinkovMrs. Dinkov General Music and Chorus Teacher

Mrs. Dinkov has been teaching music and co-directing the chorus at Coates Elementary since 2011! She earned her Bachelor's Degree from the University of South Carolina in Music Education and Piano Performance in 2009. She earned her Master's Degree in Education Leadership from George Mason University in 2019. She is excited to share her musical skills by playing piano for performances at Coates. Mrs. Dinkov enjoys teaching music to all students, but especially loves to teach students how to play the Orff Instruments, perform folk dances, and studying famous composers. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband, gardening, and traveling.

Mrs. DugganMrs. Duggan Physical Education Teacher

Mrs. Duggan is a physical education and health teacher and has been teaching in FCPS since 1994. She originally from Pennsylvania and have lived in the Pittsburgh suburbs and the Philadelphia suburbs. She attended the University of Delaware for my undergraduate degree in and also attended West Chester University for Athletic Training Sports Medicine). I has taught at several FCPS high schools and elementary schools. Her husband also works for FCPS and is the Head Boys Basketball coach and Assistant Director of Student Activities at South Lakes High School. They have 2 daughters. She loves spending time with her family, who are definitely a sports family, and enjoys watching them as they are involved in basketball, lacrosse, and swimming. She also loves doing many activities that involve being outdoors, as well as enjoying listening to music and cooking for family and friends. She is excited to share her enthusiasm for being healthy through exercise and lifelong healthy habits!

Mr. GardinerMr. Gardiner Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Gardiner has been at Coates since it first opened in 2010. He started as an instructional assistant, then was hired as a PE teacher in 2011. Mr. Gardiner graduated from George Mason University with an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education (K - 12). He cherishes spending time with his wife and 2 young daughters (1 and 4). He is passionate about his faith and considers it central to his life. His family is heavily involved at the church they attend. Mr. Gardiner loves learning and being outdoors in nature. He enjoys all kinds of physical activities including hiking, basketball, tennis, skiing, and chasing his ever-energetic daughters throughout the house.

Ms. GioseffiMs. Gioseffi Art Teacher

Ms. Gioseffi is excited for her first year at Coates! She recently graduated from Longwood University in 2017 with a BFA in Art Education with a concentration in Crafts and Art History. She especially loves to build sculptural work and paint. Ms. Gioseffi grew up in Fairfax County Schools and is excited to help her community grow. In her free time you can find her doting over her dog, trying new foods, and reading a good book.

Mr. JohnsonMr. Johnson Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Johnson will be entering his 3rd year as a Physical Education teach at Coates Elementary. He has taught Physical Education for fifteen year, thirteen of which he has taught in Fairfax County Public Schools. He spent 2 year teaching Physical education in his home town of Prince Georges County Maryland. Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from Lincoln University. Currently, he is working on his Masters of Information System. He finds joy mentoring students, watching and playing sports, and spending time with his family.

Ms. ManiMs. Mani Advanced Academics Resource Teacher

Ms. Mani joined Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary in 2016, having taught for twenty years, both in the classroom and as an Advanced Academic Resource Teacher. A product of FCPS herself, Ms. Mani earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s in Education from the University of Virginia. Ms. Mani was recognized by the Virginia Association of the Gifted (VAG) as an Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted in 2009. She has written for the VAG newsletter about her research on student perseverance and has presented for educators in FCPS and Virginia. Her favorite way to spend time outside of school is with her husband and two teen-aged children.

Ms. MeehanMs. Meehan Librarian

Rosemary Meehan joined the Coates staff in 2014. Ms. Meehan has been a media specialist since 1988. She has eight years of experience as a Media Specialist and 10 years as a Children's Librarian in the public libraries. Ms. Meehan has her BFA in Drama from Catholic University, an MLS from the University of MD and an MSIST from GW. She has an AAP certification from FCPS and 24 credits in Special Education. She has three children in UVA, VA Tech, and NOVA. Ms. Meehan loves to use technology to create formal and informal learning experiences.

Mr. RenneMr. Renne Strings Teacher

Mr. Renne has been teaching at Coates Elementary School since 2012. He also teaches orchestra at Rachel Carson Middle School. Mr. Renne has always lived in Virginia and even attended Fairfax County Public Schools. He graduated from Westfield High School and then received his Music Education degree from George Mason University. Mr. Renne enjoys making music and is a member of the American Prize winning Manassas Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. WaldrenMr. Waldren Technology Specialist

Mr. Waldren joined the Coates team in 2015. After teaching a mix of general education and special education for many years, he spent 5 years as a technology specialist at Waynewood Elementary before joining the Coates team. Mr. Waldren graduated from The State University of Geneseo with his undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Master's in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. When he's not at Coates, you can find him spending time with his wife, his 2 year old twins, and his friends.  In his free time, he enjoys concerts, traveling, hiking, and camping.