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The Riverseed School is the vision of two teachers, designing the school we want to teach in. We are experienced DC educators who prioritize the wellbeing of the whole child: mind, body, senses, and spirit. As teachers, we are committed to education that empowers children to be active participants in their own learning. This is achieved through respect and trust of children. We believe this a revolutionary path to personal liberation for Black children, the children most represented in the neighborhood we seek to embed in. A central guiding question of our work is: what does school look like as a place you go to heal, rather than a place you must heal from? Our students are connected to a larger community. Our regard for the entire community; children, educators, families, and neighbors, as whole is how we will heal, grow, and learn, while experiencing joy and harmony.

What does this look like in practice?

As educators, we employ a framework that prompts us to “follow the child”. A common misconception of this approach is the doubt of children to lead. As Montessori adults it is our duty to provide children with a safe space to learn and construct themselves. This safety relates to the accessible learning environment we curate for children as well as the boundaries we enforce as they grow. In our model, we believe discipline to be most powerful when fostered as an eternal force of regulation rather than something to be implemented upon a child for the sake of maintaining control.

What does it look like to control free people? Why would we endeavor to find out? 

Our Teacher Leaders

Attractive Mature Woman

Ebony Marshman

Founding Teacher Leader and Primary Guide

Ebony is a D.C. educator, and artist who believes imaginations must be nourished. Her career as an early childhood educator spans 9 years, and her teaching practice is rooted in anti-bias, anti-racist (ABAR) principles. She is an AMI certified Primary Guide, who also holds an M.ED. in Montessori Education from Loyola University, Maryland.

Attractive Mature Woman

Zanso (Zani) Dalili

Founding Teacher Leader

Zani is a Ward 7 D.C. Montessorian with over 15 years of teaching experience in the pre-school and elementary levels. She holds an M.ED and Montessori Elementary certificate from Loyola University, Maryland. Zani is committed to sharing educational excellence in the communities she serves.

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