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

imageMr. Dan has been at THE SPRINGS since 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 jumped into the world of Montessori Education!

Mr. Dan completed his Electrical Engineering 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 is currently pursuing another Masters degree in Montessori Education through Xavier University.

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, spending time with his daughters, Maeve and Nora, and taking advantage of his wife’s love of cooking! Mr. Dan and his wife are eagerly awaiting their third and final child (a boy) in October.


Ms. Katelyn

Assistant Head of School

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 over 6 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.

 


Ms. Liz

Jr. Assistant Head of School

Ms. 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 also has a Montessori Certification from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies for Infants and Toddlers

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 daughter, Leah.

While Ms. Liz enjoyed her time with the little ones she will be moving into the Administration for the 2018-19 school year.

 


Ms. Ashley

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

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 the Children’s House Class. After working for two years in the Children’s House, 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 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 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. Deepa

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House


Ms. Deepa has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood Credential. She completed her AMS certification at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute six years ago alongside Ms. B and Mr. Dan. Ms. Deepa began working in Montessori schools 14 years ago and has spent the last six years as a Lead Teacher, first with Dulles Montessori School and most recently with The LePort School, (formerly The Boyd School). Additionally, Ms. Deepa has extensive experience working as a behavioral therapist for children with ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. Ms. Deepa also has a passion for cooking culinary dishes from around the world. She loves to read and enjoys spending time with her family.

 


Ms. Katelyn D

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Ms. Katelyn joined THE SPRINGS in 2016. She holds both Early Childhood and Infant/Toddler Montessori credentials and is in the process of receiving another Infant/Toddler credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Ms. Katelyn has a two-year-old son named Cameron who is also in the Toddler Program at The Springs!

 


Ms. Mary

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

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. Megan

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Ms. Megan was born and raised in Northern Louisiana. She made educating children her life’s work after the birth of her baby brother when she was in high school, and she attended Louisiana Tech University to study elementary education to pursue this dream. While in college, she met her future husband. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in May 2009. After graduating, she moved to Mississippi to teach at an elementary school. In January 2010, she wed her husband, and the two have been on a never-ending adventure ever since. The adventure has taken them to Birmingham, AL, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and now back to the D. C. area. While in Washington, D.C. the first time, she was exposed to and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy while working at The Springs. She decided to pursue a Montessori credential and attended Northern Virginia Montessori Institute for the 2013-2014 school year. In July 2014, she completed her coursework, and she holds an Early Childhood Credential with the American Montessori Society. She has had three years of experience as a Montessori assistant, and she has had three years of experience as a lead teacher in the early childhood realm.  This summer Ms. Megan went back to school to pursue an Infant/Toddler credential under the guidance of Barrie Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.  She is very excited for what this year holds!

In her spare time, she loves to snuggle with her dog, read, watch Korean dramas, scrapbook, paint, and perfect her photography skills. She also enjoys traveling to visit new places with her husband, and they love to watch football!

 


Ms. Nikki

Lead Montessori Teacher, Infant House

Ms. Nikki joined THE SPRINGS in 2016 as an Infant House assistant. She moved into the Toddler House last year to make way for her own son, Jayce, who was a student in the Infant House last year and is now in Ms. Ashley’s class.  Ms. Nikki is now embarking on a new challenge as the Infant House Lead teacher as she completes her Montessori training.  She also brings the unique experience of teaching in the Infant classroom as well as having been a parent in the Infant classroom so she comes with an understanding of the unique challenges and joys of this time in your child’s life.

 

 


Ms. Rowley

Lead Upper Elementary Teacher, Elementary House

Ms. Rowley recently joined THE SPRINGS as the Lead Upper Elementary Teacher. Ms. Rowley has a bachelor’s degree in literature with a minor in Spanish literature and a master’s degree in journalism. She holds a Montessori certificate for both lower and upper elementary and  has worked in an upper elementary classroom for over fourteen years.

 


Ms. Sheridan

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Sheridan joined THE SPRINGS in the fall of 2015. Before working at THE SPRINGS she spent 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. 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 with her husband and daughter, cooking new recipes, eating new dishes, as well as reading about cooking and eating.

 


Ms. Sindy

Lead Teacher, Children’s House

Ms. Sindy joined THE SPRINGS in 2015 as an Assistant in the Children’s House. Ms. Sindy recently completed the academic portion of the Montessori certification at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studied.

 


Señora Baños 

Lead Lower Elementary Teacher, Elementary House

Señora Baños has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She had also started her Master’s degree in Licensed Professional Counseling at Liberty University, but began to see a path leading her towards education. Señora Baños is finishing her AMS Elementary I training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies this past summer. Señora Baños, although from Maryland, carries a dual citizenship from El Salvador since she lived there for a year. It was there where she was also able to work closely with children of all ages.

Señora Baños believes that The Springs has become a place where one can truly soar, faculty as well as students, to which she is very thankful for.
When spare time is available, Señora Baños enjoys painting on canvas, quiet moments, everything that has to do with music, playing volleyball and soccer, and spending as much quality time possible with loved ones.

 


Mrs. Maureen Clifford

Executive Director

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 (7 years old), Nora (4 years old, and Michael (1 year old). Ms. Maureen loves reading, history, creative writing, cooking and the Philadelphia Phillies!