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Third Grade

Meet the PES 3rd Grade Team

buchanan Ms. Courtney Buchanan is excited to be a part of the 3rd grade team this year! It is my 5th year of teaching, my 2nd at PES. I graduated with a bachelors degree in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and completed my masters there in instruction and learning in 2013. I was born and raised in western PA but love living here in Virginia. I have a cat named Rocky (a.k.a Rocket Cat), I love playing the drums, and I am a HUGE Pittsburgh sports fan.
carlson Mrs. Carlson is excited to begin her second year as part of the third grade team at Providence ES. She earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education at James Madison University. Outside of the classroom she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She is so excited for a new school year at PES!
gray Mrs. Jenn Gray, has been a teacher for fifteen years. Before transitioning to the role of an ESOL teacher, she spent 10 years teaching in the classroom. She was born in Indiana and graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and from George Mason with a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction and, recently, with a M. Ed. in Educational Leadership. In her free time she loves cooking and spending time with her family and friends.
james Mrs. James will begin her ninth year teaching at Providence Elementary and her fifteenth year in Fairfax County. She has received her degree in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She is married, has two adult children and one adorable dog! Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and cooking. She and her husband enjoy spending time at their lake house. Mrs. James enjoys maintaining a large vegetable garden and searching for new recipes in her free time. She likes to spend time near the water has learned how to drive a boat! Mrs. James is looking forward to and excited about beginning a new year with a new group of students!
murray Mrs. Murray is excited to be joining the 3rd Grade team here at Providence Elementary school. She has taught both Kindergarten and third grade and is entering her sixth year as a teacher in FCPS. She is a Buffalo, NY native and began her teaching career while serving as an AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education member in her hometown. Mrs. Murray has Masters of Science in Education from Canisius College as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Public and Corporate Communication from Valparaiso University. Prior to earning her masters she worked for a non-profit in Buffalo. In her free time Mrs. Murray enjoys hiking, traveling and cheering for Buffalo sports teams!
whitis Mrs. Whitis is excited to begin another year at PES as she begins her 19th year of teaching in FCPS. Mrs. Whitis grew up in Fairfax, VA and attended school in FCPS. She graduated from The College of Charleston in South Carolina where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Later she attended George Mason University and received her Master's. Mrs. Whitis has taught kindergarten through fourth grade. Outside of school Mrs. Whitis is a mother of three. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.
zuidema Ms. Zuidema is thrilled to begin her sixth year in third grade at Providence. She earned a Bachelor's degree at the College of William and Mary, and a Master's in Elementary Education at George Mason University. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Zuidema can be found running, reading, walking and caring for dogs, and spending time with friends and family.