Board of Directors
Margaret Weiss Behrns
Margaret serves as the Founder, Program Director, and President of the Walk In My Shoes program. She holds an M.A. in community health education and a B.A. in sociology. She worked for many years in multicultural outreach, bilingual communications, and youth development. Margaret is currently a preschool teacher and serves on the Fairfax County SEPTA Board of Directors as the Underserved Populations Committee Chair. One of her greatest passions is creating WIMS activities and providing technical assistance and training to schools.
Joanne Walton serves as the WIMS Vice President, Education Advisor, Social Media, and Fundraising Manager. Joanne is a Special Education teacher at a Title 1 school in Fairfax County. She received a Masters in Education from Bank Street College and a Masters in Special Education from George Mason University. She is the mom of two children with special needs. Joanne enjoys volunteering in many capacities and is passionate about equity and inclusion. She believes that in order to truly have equity and inclusion, students, parents, and teachers need to be able to share in the perspective of others.
Minneh Bennett is a CPA and Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual. She lends her talents to the Walk In My Shoes Program by serving as our treasurer and accountant. Included in the many reasons she is passionate about the WIMS mission are her two children.
Tina Bates Baldera
Tina is the founder of Tristal Educational Consulting LLC which offers academic, ADHD, and Executive Functioning (EF) coaching, mentoring, and tutoring, and small business consulting. She is also a yoga instructor for children with special needs. She holds an MA in education with a community education concentration and a BA in interdisciplinary studies. Tina is passionate about increasing understanding of the challenges facing diverse populations and sees the Walk In My Shoes program as offering a realistic lense of the daily experiences of our students and the staff that support them.
Anna is a Strategic Communications Consultant based in the DC metro area with clients throughout the US. Anna specializes in marketing and communications for nonprofits and purpose-driven startups with an expertise in branding, strategy, mission alignment, and messaging. Anna advises nonprofits on the phases before launch including mission, clarity, and objectives. Anna held various policy analyst and strategic communications roles in the financial services sector before pivoting to nonprofit management. Anna holds a BA from Penn State University and an MA from George Mason University.
Soraya Galeas is the Program Director of Task-Tarea, a U.S. – based charity whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty in the Maya villages of Guatemala through education empowerment. Soraya and Task-Tarea are huge fans of the Walk In My Shoes program and they successfully adapted and translated the activity scripts and worksheets into Spanish and trained hundreds of Guatemalan teachers using the Walk In My Shoes program activities.
Jennifer holds an EdD from Drexel University in Educational Administration. The Walk In My Shoes program served as the basis for her dissertation and she has adapted the activities for high school and workplace settings, and is creating a classroom curriculum based on the Walk In My Shoes Program. Jennifer currently works in Fairfax County as a special education department chair. Prior to coming to Fairfax County Jennifer worked in special education in Pennsylvania and taught in St. Maarten. She received her undergraduate and master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education and Special Education: Autism from West Chester University of PA. Jennifer is part of the Fairfax County Special Education PTA.
As the Leader of the Northern Virginia Food Allergy Group for the past fourteen years, Brett has been a guest speaker at noteworthy conferences, was a founding member of the Fairfax County Food Allergy Task Force, and won the 2018 “Visionary Award” from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). She is the Development Director at Hopecam, a non-profit that virtually connects kids with cancer to their classrooms. Brett is honored to work to further Walk In My Shoe’s mission.
Students who have experienced the Walk In My Shoes Program
Rhea experienced the Walk In My Shoes program at Floris Elementary for several years before joining the Walk In My Shoes Youth Ambassador team. She served on our team and met with us weekly throughout the entire pandemic. She has participated in several projects, including the bullying article.
Sarina is a tenth-grader who participated in the Walk In My Shoes program in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In eighth grade she returned as a youth ambassador to teach others about empathy and inclusion. She loves having the opportunity to impact the world while learning more about issues she cares about.
Annika is a tenth-grader who participated in the Walk In My Shoes program in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In eighth grade she returned to help lead activities for third graders and became a youth ambassador to help kids learn how they can become more empathetic towards others.
Arjun is an 8th grader at Rachel Carson Middle School who has experienced the Walk In My Shoes program while in elementary school and then joined the program as Youth Ambassador in the summer of 2022. Arjun helps with website development and outreach.
Thara Venkatesan is a high school sophomore who experienced the Walk In My Shoes program while in elementary school and then joined as Youth Ambassador. Thara helped with many projects, including the development of the website and the 5K Walk, Run, and Roll event.
Ananya has participated in the Walk In My Shoes program as an elementary school student and then as a Youth Ambassador where she worked on several projects, including the promotion of a successful 5K Walk, Run, and Roll event for WIMS.
Graphic Design Intern
Graphic Design Intern
Aamani is a high school student who participated in the Walk In My Shoes program when she was in fifth and sixth grade. She returned to help us grow and serves as our graphic design intern.
Aamani loves designing and creating graphics, presentations, websites, and apps, and she created the graphics for our 5K Walk, Run, and Roll! She hopes to pursue mechanical or computer engineering in the future.