Faculty

 

Our Montessori teachers are all certified by an accredited Montessori training program and our assistants have a depth of experience and great love for children.

Mr. Daniel Clifford

Head of School

imageOfficially, Mr. Dan has been at THE SPRINGS since 2010. However, he has been working at THE SPRINGS in an unofficial capacity ever since meeting his wife, Ms. Maureen, in 2008. He quickly got put to work as a jack of all trades, volunteering his time assisting in the classrooms,  managing the school office, and taking over responsibility for all heavy lifting! Despite being a career Electrical Engineer, Mr. Dan fell in love with working with children and immediately began considering the possibility of jumping into the world of Montessori Education!

Mr. Dan completed his Masters degree at The George Washington University, while simultaneously completing his Montessori Teacher’s Certification at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute. He taught in the classroom before moving into a full time administrative role.

Mr. Dan enjoys bringing a male perspective to our mostly female staff and helping prepare the next generation leaders and innovators! Having grown up in South Jersey, Mr. Dan is also a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan. He enjoys soccer, reading, and spending time with his daughters, Maeve and Nora, and taking advantage of his wife’s love of cooking!


Ms. Rebeccah

Assistant Head of School for Curriculum Development

Ms. Rebeccah joined THE SPRINGS in 2015. She completed her BA in East Asian Studies at Connecticut College before serving in Americorps where she taught swimming, rock climbing, and environmental education to students in Connecticut. Ms. Rebeccah and her husband moved to the DC area where she discovered Montessori as an assistant teacher in 2010. She loved it so much that she completed her Elementary Teacher Certification and Master’s Degree at Loyola University Maryland in 2013. After teaching in elementary classrooms for a few years, Ms. Rebeccah moved to working in Administration after the birth of her daughter.

Ms. Rebeccah loves to read, crochet, and hike with her family. Science and math are also close to her heart. After school, Ms. Rebeccah enjoys coming home to her family and her cat, Kurochi.


Ms. Susan

Assistant Head of School for Personnel

Ms. Susan joined THE SPRINGS faculty as an assistant teacher in 2007. However, her history with our school dates back to when her eldest daughter, who is now a graduate of James Madison University and former assistant teacher at THE SPRINGS, attended preschool and Kindergarten at THE SPRINGS. Since then, Ms. Susan has lived all over the country from Alabama to Florida to Rhode Island and now back to Virginia.  She has worked and volunteered in both preschools and elementary schools throughout her career. She also spent time as an an Editor, a Staff Assistant in the US Senate and an Executive Assistant in the White House. Ms. Susan graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Music and often showcases her musical talents at school.

Ms. Susan is an incredible asset to THE SPRINGS. She has served as the school librarian and in 2010 and revitalized the school library.  After many years assisting the administration with office duties, she was promoted to Assistant Head of School in 2012. Having chosen Montessori education for both of her daughters, Ms. Susan has witnessed first hand the beauty of the Montessori Method and is a true Montessorian at heart.

Ms. Susan lives in Springfield with her husband, Mike.  She enjoys spending time with her daughters, Dana and Meagan, and their dog, Kaya. Dana recently graduated from JMU and Meagan is a recent graduate of George Mason University. Ms. Susan is an avid reader and an accomplished pianist with a great sense of humor.


Ms. Katelyn

Directress of Non-Montessori Activities

Ms. Katelyn joined THE SPRINGS team in the summer of 2016. She comes to us from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Katelyn received her bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice, but wasn’t ready to give up working with children. Ms. Katelyn has been working in childcare for 4 years now in a variety of positions and settings. She has enjoyed working with children, and one of her favorite things about them is their ability to make her laugh, without even meaning to.

When not working, Ms. Katelyn enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. Australia, Alaska and Ireland are some of the more exciting places she’s traveled but there are many others.  She plans to continue her exploration of the world throughout her life.

She’s excited to be starting at THE SPRINGS and getting to know all of you. Stop by the office and say hello!


Ms. Ashley

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House
Ms. Ashley

Ms. Ashley has been a Teacher at THE SPRINGS since January 2012. She joined the school staff as a floating assistant helping out in all of the classrooms. Soon after, she became a Assistant Teacher in Ms. Cindy’s Children’s House Class. After working along side Ms. Cindy for two years, she decided to embark on a new chapter when the opportunity to work in the toddler program opening became available in the fall of 2014.

Prior to working at THE SPRINGS, Ms. Ashley attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Ashley was born in Dale City, Virginia. She is one of eight children, with six brothers and one sister. She graduated from Garfield Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. When Ms. Ashley is not working at THE SPRINGS she likes to travel, taking road trips to see family and friends outside of Virginia. She has family in fifteen of fifty states. Ms. Ashley also enjoys baking desserts. Her favorite dessert to make is her famous banana pudding, which she often makes during the holidays. Outside of traveling and baking, Ms. Ashley also enjoys going to the local museums and antique shops. Ms. Ashley is also a licensed cosmetologist. She is very excited to be teaching at THE SPRINGS and hopes to positively influence all of her students to love learning.  Ms. Ashley recently completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification at the Montgomery Montessori Institute.


Ms. B

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Bhawana or Ms. B, as she is lovingly known to the children, was  born and raised in the beautiful Himalayan country of Nepal.  She came to the United States in 2007 and joined THE SPRINGS faculty as an Assistant Teacher.  Ms. B feels that THE SPRINGS played a very significant role in her journey in the USA so far, so the school is very close to her heart.   When the Lead Montessori Teacher in Ms. B’s class decided to retire, that teacher lobbied for Ms. B to become Montessori trained and take over the class.  Everyone at THE SPRINGS felt Ms. B was the perfect person for the job. With everyone’s encouragement and support, Ms. B completed her Montessori Teacher’s Certification at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute (NVMI). Ms. B has been a Lead Teacher since 2012 and she truly feels that this is an honor and a privilege.

Ms. B has a bachelor’s degree in Education that she received in Nepal.  She also has a diploma in Early Childhood Education from India.  Ms. B has over 14 years of experience working with preschooler’s in a Montessori environment, including experience as a Lead Montessori Teacher in Nepal.   Ms B says, “This is the only job I have done so far and it’s the only one I know. I just love being around young children.”

Ms. B lives in Fairfax with her husband and her two sons.  Ms. B loves spending time with her family, cooking for them, traveling and spending time with friends. As a Montessori parent and  teacher, Montessori education is her passion and she believes that every child in this world should have the privilege of Montessori education, especially during early childhood.


Ms. Beth

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Beth

Ms. Beth joined THE SPRINGS in September 2014.  She holds an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) diploma from the Montessori Education Center of Arizona and a bachelor’s of Science in Sociology.  Ms. Beth has been teaching in the classroom since 2003. Ms. Beth was also a Montessori child who feels that Montessori is a way of life and is such a joyful way to learn.

Ms. Beth is from the eastern North Carolina area and has family in Virginia and feels as though she has come home.  She moved here from Florida and is readjusting to cooler temperatures.  Ms. Beth has a love of books and enjoys sharing her knowledge of books with the children.

In her spare time Ms. Beth enjoys crafting, reading, and playing tennis.

 

 


Ms. Cindy

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Cindy  has been a teacher at THE SPRINGS since August 2005 when she join the school staff as an assistant. She completed the Montessori Teacher Certification program in August 2008 at the North American Montessori Center and became a Lead Montessori teacher in September 2008.  She is currently completing additional Montessori training at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute. Her educational background is in business, but she’s had 13 years experience in teaching before coming to THE SPRINGS.

Prior to her employment at THE SPRINGS, she spent 3 years with the Fairfax County Public School System, 7 years at a parochial school in the Arlington Diocese, and 3 years with a Preschool Mother’s Day Out program. She also has 4 years of experience volunteering with special needs adolescents and adults as well as vast experience coordinating youth programs at parochial schools.

Ms. Cindy is a native of the Washington D.C. area and has one son, who is a graduate of the University of Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, music, cooking, sports, and nature.


Ms. Liz

Lead Montessori Teacher, Infant House

ms-lizMs. Liz has been a teacher here at THE SPRINGS since August 2015 when she joined us as the Lead Teacher in our Infant House. She holds a bachelor’s of science in nursing from George Mason University. While working as a nurse, Ms. Liz felt a different calling to become an early childhood teacher. After taking time off to stay at home with her young daughter, Ms. Liz returned to school and is finishing her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Studies.  She is also currently enrolled in The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies where she is completing her Infant and Toddler Montessori Certification.

Ms. Liz was born in Charleston, South Carolina but grew up right across the street from THE SPRINGS. Her father was a Navy Submarine Captain and was placed here in Washington D.C. for his last deployment in the military. Ms. Liz is the youngest of three, with one sister and one brother. She is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in the heart of Springfield, Virginia. Ms. Liz loves music and has played the violin since the fourth grade. This summer she is hoping to begin learning the guitar to help with the music program in her classroom. In her free time, Ms. Liz loves to go swimming, sitting on her porch reading a good book, and cuddling with her 2 ½ year old daughter.

While Ms. Liz enjoyed her time with the little ones she will be heading our new Toddler House classroom in 2016. Her focus of study has been in this age group and she is excited to take this next step in her career as a teacher. For her, there is nothing better than to watch the mind of a child work and to see the look of excitement on a young ones face as they figure out the world around them, is one of the greatest rewards she could ask for.


Ms. Mary

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

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Ms. Mary hails from India, a country with a strong Montessori heritage and has almost 15 years of teaching experience in the US. She has been a Montessori Infant Toddler teacher for 9 years. She began her Montessori Infant Toddler career at The Boyd School.   She then joined Montessori School of Chantilly where she helped start and grow their Infant Toddler program. Chantilly tapped her again to start a second Infant Toddler program upon the opening of their second school, Montessori School of Gainesville. She has a wealth of experience with the Toddler age group. Ms. Mary joined THE SPRINGS in September of 2014 to launch our new Infant Toddler Program.

Ms. Mary lives with her family in Chantilly.  She completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina.


Ms. Sheridan

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Sheridan recently joined THE SPRINGS in the fall of 2015. She has spent the past 3 years teaching in a Children’s House classroom in Beijing, China. After seeing the Montessori method and philosophy have such a positive effect on her students, Ms. Sheridan decided to pursue an AMS (American Montessori Society) primary certification at the Etonkids Montessori Teacher Training Academy, which she completed in June 2015. While with her former20151109_092813 school, she was head of the music curriculum, the English staff, and taught daily in her own cooking classroom. Prior to working abroad, Ms. Sheridan worked primarily with children and adults with varying disabilities and mental diseases. Ms. Sheridan has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marshall University in her beautiful home state of West Virginia and a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate from the Boston Language Institute.

Ms. Sheridan enjoys traveling and watching “The Office” with her new husband, cooking new recipes, eating new dishes, as well as reading about cooking and eating.


Ms. Stephanie

Lead Montessori Teacher, Infant House
Ms. Stephanie

Stephanie joined THE SPRINGS staff in June 2014 as an assistant for the Children’s House Classes in our summer camp. Ms. Stephanie was planning on working in both the Infant and Toddler Houses but grew to love the littler ones more and asked to stay in the Infant House.

Before coming to THE SPRINGS, Ms. Stephanie was an Assistant Teacher at a Christian school working with ages 1-12.  She is working on her A.S. in Early Childhood Education and recently completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification at the Montgomery Montessori Institute.

 

 


Ms. Valeria

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Valeria was born in Argentina but spent most of her life in Bolivia. She has a 20151109_091336bachelor’s degree in science and communication studies, and before arriving to the United States taught at the elementary and high Sschool levels for over 5 years. She became passionate about Maria Montessori’s philosophy and pedagogy and completed her Early Childhood Certification at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute in July of 2015.

Valeria, her husband Adrian and their two-year-old daughter Alina, who also attends THE SPRINGS, like to travel, listen to music, read, cook and eat. Ms. Valeria loves learning from the children and is filled with gratitude to be able to see and experience wonder through their eyes. 


Mrs. Maureen Clifford

Montessori Resource Specialist/Business Consultant

IMG_0817Ms. Maureen’s journey at THE SPRINGS began in 1996 when she was only 14! Maureen began volunteering on days lacrosse practice was canceled (a.k.a. rainy days when the children were cooped up inside). Ms. Maureen fell in love with children. She continued to work at THE SPRINGS throughout high school and every summer when she was home from college. While she enjoyed working at THE SPRINGS immensely, Ms. Maureen never imagined she would make that her ultimate career path. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Maureen worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a small business communications and outreach consultant before deciding that she missed the children too much.

Thankfully, THE SPRINGS was in need of an Assistant Director, and Ms. Maureen was invited back working both in the office and in the classroom. Ultimately, she fell in love with the Montessori Method, completed her Early Childhood Montessori Teacher Certification in 2005 and became Head of School in 2008.  She recently added a Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification to her list of credentials.

Ms. Maureen has recently scaled back to a part-time role to focus on family and pursue opportunities in the greater Montessori community.  Her role at THE SPRINGS is to support staff development and mentorship, parent education, improving special needs resources and provide business support.   Ms. Maureen’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family: Mr. Dan, Maeve, who is in Ms. Valeria’s class, and toddler, Nora, who will be coming to The Springs soon. Ms. Maureen loves reading, history, creative writing, cooking and the Philadelphia Phillies!