• Third Grade


    Meet The Team

    Shannon Almand | salmand@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter

    Mrs. Almand is a rare WES alum who is thrilled to be back at her former elementary school as a classroom teacher! She is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has had many years of experience in the classroom. She is originally from New Jersey but has lived in Cary the majority of her life, so North Carolina has always been home. Mrs. Almand is married to her high school sweetheart, Will, who works in software sales at Citrix.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, training for races with her husband, spending time with her nieces & nephews, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.

    Karen Dasanaike | kdasanaike@wcpss.net | Website

    Mrs. Dasanaike is very happy to be a part of the Weatherstone family. Originally from the great little state of Rhode Island, she has been living in Raleigh since 1997. She is married and has two children whom she finds singularly wonderful. She also has a well-loved golden retriever named Trixie Rose. Mrs. D. enjoys reading historical fiction, traveling to New England, and challenging her kids to word games and trivia quizzes. She received her degree in elementary education from Nyack College (located on the west end of the Tappan Zee Bridge) and her master's in reading education from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She has taught both middle and elementary grades, as well as literacy intervention and English as a Second Language.

    Jessica Costero | jcostero@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter

    Ms. Costero grew in up the Kendall area of Miami, FL. She is the oldest of 4 siblings: Danny, Chris and Kristina. She has a large Cuban family that still lives in Florida. Her Cuban family is on her dad’s side and she grew up speaking both English and Spanish. During elementary school, she began swimming competitively and continued to swim all the way through college. She also played water polo during high school and some in college. She attended college in Tampa, FL and earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida (GO BULLS!). She is an extremely proud alum and rarely misses a football game! Currently, Ms. Costero lives in Cary, NC with her crazy dog, a Corgi named Jorge. She loves to spend her free time with her family and friends just being outdoors doing things like hiking, swimming, barbecuing, going to the beach, watching sports and listening to music. 

    Michelle Finnamore | mfinnamore@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter

    Mrs. Finnamore’s oldest son completed kindergarten here at Weatherstone Elem. in 2004; while a great deal of time has passed I am happy to say I loved the school then and still do. Cary has been my family’s home for 2 decades. We have loved the schools, parks and proximity to the beaches and mountains. Our winter weekends are spent watching my youngest son play hockey. We love to bike, scuba dive, generally stay very active. My older boys are now in College and loving this new experience. Recently our family moved onto 4 acres where we happily tend to our dogs, cat, and chickens.

    Katie Hodgkins | khodgkins@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter |

    Mrs. Hodgkins and her husband Drew are both native North Carolinians, growing up in eastern North Carolina. Although Mrs. Hodgkins received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from N.C. State University, she and her entire family are huge UNC fans. Go Heels! Besides teaching, Mrs. Hodgkinsloves to travel, be with friends, and take long walks with her labrador retriever , Jack. Mrs. Hodgkins has three siblings who currently all live in different states. Her oldest brother just had twins in February, 2018, her first niece and nephew. She enjoys visiting with her brothers and sister as much as possible and spoiling her new niece and nephew.

    Cindy Johnston | cjohnston2@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter

    Ms. Johnston was born in California, but has lived most of her life in North Carolina.She received both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from East Carolina University in Elementary Education. Aaarrgghh, Pirates! Although, her blood runs purple she is also a Duke Basketball fan! She has two grown children and one dog. Although, she has become an empty nester she still loves spending time with her family. She also enjoys going to the beach, gardening, painting, reading, volunteering and walking.

    Hillary Strengholt | hstrengholt@wcpss.net | Website | Twitter

    Mrs. Strengholt started her career at Weatherstone as a third grade teacher in 1998! She moved from the Washington, DC area to NC to attend Meredith College. Mrs. Strengholt is a huge NC State fan and loves cheering for the Carolina Hurricanes. She is married to Phil Strengholt who works for Citrix, loves the Wolfpack too, but Michigan (GO BLUE) and the Detroit Lions are his true loves! Mrs. Strengholt has two amazing children MaryWest and Reid and a Maltese named Jasper. She loves spending time with her family, training for half marathons, vacationing at Topsail Island, visiting family in DC, and team teaching with Mrs. Finnamore!

    Samantha Tartaglia | startaglia@wcpss.net | Website |

    Mrs. Tartaglia is native North Carolinian. She was born and raised Hope Mills, NC. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from East Carolina University, GO PIRATES! She is currently earning her master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Mrs. Tartaglia is married to her wonderful husband Chris. They were high school sweethearts. When not in school Mrs. Tartaglia can be found close to an airport! She loves to travel and see the world. Mrs. Tartaglia has traveled to Italy, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and many more places! She is very excited to be a WES explorer!