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Director, MCS -

Ms. Graziano has been in the education field for over 20 years, having started as a preschool teacher.  She taught at a top private preschool in Lowe's Island for 4 years and then moved onto another preschool to start their part time program. She grew the program from one class with 15 kids to 3 distinct classes with 15 each. She worked at MCS for 7 years as Director of Admissions and Assistant Head of School and then for 3 years at Loudoun County Public schools. She returned to the MCS family as the Director of Operations and Head of School in August 2017. Karen lives in Lovettsville with her fiance Greg. She has 2 sons, 1 granddaughter, 3 step daughters and 3 step grandchildren. In her free time she likes to relax with a good book and be by the water.



Lead Toddler Teacher 

Linda grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, moving to Connecticut at the height of the Lebanese Civil War. She received her BA in Philosophy from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Linda’s love of Montessori education began as a high school student volunteering in a Montessori classroom. She was impressed with how curious and eager the children were about exploring and learning. She vowed that her own children one day would go to Montessori schools, and they did! Linda has two grown children who attended Montessori schools from Pre-school through the 8th grade. Linda was a parent volunteer in her own children’s Montessori schools in Northern California and Florida; but, her passion for Montessori deepened when she was offered an Assistant Teaching job at Summit-Questa Montessori in Davie, FL where she worked for 6 years. Linda has since moved to Virginia with her husband, and is thrilled to be back in the Montessori classroom. Linda is also both a certified Peace Educator since 2005, teaching children of all ages about the dynamics of conflict, raising awareness around self and others, and empowering children with non-violent problem solving skills, and a certified Parenting Coach since 2009, sharing parenting skill-building strategies with families seeking more peace and cooperation at home. A favorite quote of hers from Mohandas Gandhi is, “If we are to teach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with the children.” Linda’s hobbies include cooking, reading, traveling, learning, and most of all time with family.

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Lead Montessori Teacher

Ms. Akkawi was born in Lebanon and lived there till she was 19. She then moved to Greece because of war in her country. In Greece, she studied Sociology at the American University of Greece. She was inspired to explore the Montessori system of teaching after seeing how much her niece loved her Montessori school in Athens. She worked with little children as a tutor, an ESOL teacher, volunteer in private and public schools in KG - 6th grade and always knew she wanted to be a teacher.
She moved to Virginia in 1992 after she got married. She earned both  her Primary(3 to 6 ) and Elementary Montessori (6-12)  diplomas from the Washington Montessori Institute and a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore. Since then she has taught upper elementary, lower elementary and primary classes.
Ms. Akkawi loves teaching young children and her goal is to reach every child and bring out the best in them. She wants to see every child reach his/her potential as a whole child, academically, socially and emotionally. As a parent, she believes the best decision was to send her own two daughters to a Montessori school. She can see the benefits of their early education till now. Her goal is to help other children achieve the most in their three year cycle of education in our Montessori classroom.
Her hobbies are traveling , cooking, listening to music, reading, hiking and  swimming.

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Lead Montessori Teacher

Mrs. Kashif grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and received her Master’s degree in Political Science from the University Of Karachi in 2001. In 2004, she attended the Association Montessori Internationale Institute where she received her AMI Diploma. She has 12 years of experience in education all together which includes 2 years of teaching abroad, 10 years of teaching young preschoolers at Montessori Country School. Mrs. Kashif is currently the lead Montessori teacher in the primary class at Montessori Country School. Her teaching Philosophy is to follow the child, providing a prepared environment while encouraging independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. She currently resides in  Herndon with her husband.  In her spare time, she likes to spend time with close friends and family.



Primary Teacher Assistant

Ms. Normi grew up in the Philippines where she received her Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering. She worked for a large multi national company that provided her the opportunity to travel to different countries and form a deep understanding of many cultures. A key part of her job was to develop standards and training employees and suppliers. While living in Japan for 7 years, Ms. Normi was able to combine her teaching experience and love for kids by becoming a Sunday School teacher. Ms. Normi believes in the Montessori's philosophy that the goal of early education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn. If we can nurture this as teachers, then we are setting our children up for success. Ms. Normi and her husband are blessed with one child. She enjoys reading parenting books, connecting with friends, traveling, and most of all being with her family.

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Pamela Alarcon

Toddler Teacher Assistant & Aftercare

Ms.Pamela grew up right here in Herndon, Virginia. She went to Herndon High School where she later joined the Teachers For Tomorrow program in collaboration with The University of Shenandoah and was able to work with children in all age groups. Ms. Pamela has wanted to be an educator since she was younger due to her having many younger siblings, and teaching was something she was always doing in her own home. Ms.Pamela loves the Montessori philosophy as she uses it at home with her younger siblings. She wants to give them the confidence of being independent at a young age. 


Sarita Garcia

Toddler Teacher Assistant

Ms.Garcia grew up in Peru, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Communication from The Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas institutionally accredited by WSCUC in 2013. She moved to Virginia in 2015 and lives in Fairfax with her son and daughter.


Ms. Garcia was able to build experience with kids by becoming a teacher at LifeTime in the Kids Academy where she developed a new passion for leading kids to be independent, strong and confident. Ms. Garcia loves the Montessori philosophy as she applied it for her own kids since birth and she is always looking after kids to succeed in their daily life activities. She wants to show kids how far they can go if they follow their own curiosity, creativity, and thinking. Her hobbies are photography, running and traveling. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially quality time with her kids.

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Samantha Tippen

Music Teacher

Samantha Tippen is a viola and violin specialist who instructs all ages from elementary through adult. Samantha's interest in music started at the age of 7. Samantha attended different programs such as Hartford Youth Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Peabody Performance Academy. Samantha sat as principal violist in multiple orchestras over the years, including Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Samantha graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory with a bachelors in music.

 Samantha enjoys teaching all ages and abilities. She believes in a healthy balance of technique work, scholarly pieces, and explorative pieces. Her goal is to instill passion and kindness through instrumental study and to help students reach their true potential. Although she primarily teaches classical, she also branches out into jazz and contemporary works, as they are extremely musically rewarding. She loves inspiring and encouraging students as they grow with their music. Samantha believes it is the responsibility of the teacher to work tirelessly to ensure the love of music is instilled in students of all ages

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