Faculty Bios

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. Beth

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

I am Ms. Beth, and I joined The Springs in 2014. I hold an AMI diploma from the Montessori Education Center of Arizona and a BS in Sociology from Presbyterian College. I started at a Montessori school in North Carolina.

As a Montessori teacher, I enjoy seeing the children gain skills that will help them in life and carry over into their future. I enjoy teaching in all classroom areas, but the Sensorial area resonates with me, and I hope with the children too. I enjoy reading, playing tennis, fishing, and spending time with my family.

Ms. Deepa

Lead Montessori Teacher, Elementary House

My name is Deepa Sinha and if you’ve been around the schools with children in primary class you may know me as Ms. Deepa. My journey of teaching started when I started tutoring at the age of sixteen and soon realized that teaching was not only my work but my passion. I was introduced to Montessori when one of my own kids entered the school and I just fell in love with its philosophy.  I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood Credential, AMS in Lower Elementary and currently finishing up my AMS in Upper Elementary through CGMS. Additionally, I have extensive experience working as a behavior therapist for children with ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. I have been in the field of Montessori for the past 20 years and as a lead for the last 16 years. I am starting my 6th year at the Springs, after 4 years of teaching Early Children House, I embarked on my new journey at the Springs as an Elementary Lead Teacher. I am very excited to start my 2nd year of teaching the Springs. When I am not working at school, I am busy entertaining my huge extended family and friends with my love of cooking, working out, or hanging around with my family.

Ms. Fernanda

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Ms. Fernanda moved to VA from Mexico in 2015, where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences.
She started at The Springs as an Assistant Teacher in February of 2016. She completed her Infant/Toddler Certification at MMI (Montgomery Montessori Institute) in Maryland.
Ms. Fernanda has 2 children, they both attend The  Springs, one in the Children’s House and one in the Toddler’s House.
In her free time, Ms. Fernanda likes to go to the park and enjoy watching movies with her family.


Ms. Jongema

Lead Lower Elementary Teacher, Elementary House

Ms. Jongma is excited to join The Springs Community as an Elementary guide!  Ms. Jongema has always loved working with and teaching children, her first experience was as a teaching assistant in a dance class at the age of 14. She has a Bachelors of Science in Arts Management with a concentration in dance and is a lover of the arts.  Her Montessori journey began in Philadelphia in 2012, working in a Montessori school as an assistant teacher and eventually an office administrator. She completed her Montessori training for upper and lower elementary at The Washington Montessori Institute in 2016, and has a Masters in  Elementary Education from Loyola University in Maryland. She has been guiding a classroom of 6-12 year olds since completing her elementary training. 

When she is not in the classroom she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, and being from the Garden State of New Jersey, she loves to garden! She also enjoys going on adventures and spending time with her son, Joseph-Roan; who will be joining her at The Springs, her husband Matthew, and their two cats.

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 Children’s House 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 20 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. Muíridé

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Bio coming soon…







Ms. Nikki

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Ms.Nikki joined THE SPRINGS in 2016 as an Infant House Assistant Teacher. She then moved to the Toddlers House the following year. She knew she had a passion for Montessori and wanted to be a Lead Teacher here at THE SPRINGS. Ms.Nikki completed her AMS certification in 2020 and she is now embarking on a new challenge as the Toddler House Lead Teacher.

Ms.Nikki has two children of her own who have also attended The Springs.

Ms.Nikki is excited to welcome each child as her own and is always willing to learn more every day.


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 is entering her third year as a Lead Teacher within her five years at The Springs Montessori School. She has been working with children since volunteering at her mother’s in-home childcare since 2008. Ms. Sindy has an Early Childhood Career Studies Certificate and is completing her American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood Credential (3-6) at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. One of Ms. Sindy’s many hobbies include baking. Surprise! She’s a self-taught baker. She enjoys decorating cupcakes and making chocolate covered strawberries most. On her free time she likes to thrift shop and shop too much on Amazon, bake, spend time with her five dogs, and wind down with Netflix watching the latest series or movie. Ms. Sindy is half Peruvian and she has been exploring her culture more by cooking the most traditional Peruvian cuisine and desserts.


Ms. Stephanie 

Lead Teacher, Toddler House

Bio coming soon….







Mrs. Maureen Clifford

Executive Director

Ms. 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 (2 years old). Ms. Maureen loves reading, history, creative writing, cooking and the Philadelphia Phillies!