MCS STAFF

Please reload

Karen Graziano

​Director, MCS - karen@mcsherndon.com

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 Director and then for 3 years at Loudoun County Public schools. She returned to the MCS family as the Director in August 2017. Karen lives in Lovettsville with her fiance Greg. She has 2 sons, 3 soon to be step daughters and 3 step grandchildren. In her free time she likes to relax with a good book and be by the water.

Linda Weiner

​Toddler Teacher and Assistant Director

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.

Mariza Akkawi

​Lead Montessori Teacher

Mrs. Akkawi grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and later moved to Greece during the civil war in Lebanon. She studied Sociology at the American University of Greece in Athens. She moved to Viriginia in 1992 and pursued a Montessori degree. She received her AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas at the Washington Montessori Institute. She also received a Masters in Education at Loyola college in Baltimore. Mrs. Akkawi has worked with upper elementary, lower elementary and primary aged children, but her preferred age group is the 3 to 6 year old children. She was privileged to be trained under Mrs. Hildegard who was trained under Mario Montessori, the son of Maria Montessori. Mrs. Akkawi has lived in different countries including Lebanon, Egypt, Dubai, Morocco and Greece which has helped her understand different cultures. She can also speak 5 languages - Arabic,English, French, German and Greek and is an avid traveler. Her hobbies include traveling , cooking, listening to music, reading, hiking and  swimming . Her goal is to help every child reach his/her full potential.

Rehana Kashif

​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.

Dottie Wilson

​Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Wilson has been teaching young children at MCS for the past 40 years. This year she is working with the Primary class. She finds working with young children both rewarding and exciting , especially when a child says "I can do it myself!"

Madame Sihem

French Teacher & Teacher Assistant

Madame Sihem was born and raised in Algiers, Algeria. She did all her studies in French and graduated from Algiers University as a pharmacist in 2010. She grew up speaking French since her Mother was a French teacher. She started her journey of teaching kids between 2 to 12 years old in Algeria for 7 years before moving to the US in 2012. Madame Sihem joined MCS in 2013, where she taught French for 3 years and left the school for 2 years to become a licensed Pharmacist. She is very excited to be back and share her love to the French language with the children at MCS. Madame Sihem speaks 4 languages - Arabic, French, English and Berber. Her hobbies include traveling, reading and cooking. She lives in Leesburg with her husband and her 5 year old son.

Bridget Olson

Music Teacher & Aftercare Lead

Bridget Olson teaches music in Fairfax and Loudoun counties through The Music Loft, LLC and now at MCS! She studied Music Education at Shenandoah Conservatory and maintains an active studio of  viola, violin, and piano students. She believes all children possess an innate musical ability, and it is her responsibility to foster that natural ability. Her classroom is a welcoming, safe space where all students are free to explore and discover a lifelong love for music. 
Ms. Olson comes from Falls Church where she worked in preschool-aged classrooms for 7 years. She currently lives in Berryville, VA with her boyfriend and their house plants. When she finds spare time, she enjoys reading comics, eating ice cream, and exploring outdoors. 

 

Sally Tran

Aftercare Toddler Lead Teacher

Mrs. Tran was born and raised in Arlington Virginia where she started her Montessori education at Hoffman-Boston.  Mrs. Tran attended Radford University and studied Business, graduating with a Marketing Degree.  Throughout her high school and college years, Mrs. Tran volunteered every summer with her former Elementary school’s art program.  She loves to help students express their individual personalities through all forms of artistic expression.  Recently, Mrs. Tran returned from living overseas for three years in Vienna, Austria where she taught English to native primary children associated with Montessori schools.  She now lives in Ashburn, Virginia with her husband.  For fun she likes to stay active by going to the gym, being outdoors, hiking, traveling to different countries and loves to ski in the winter.

Leyra Fiedler

Toddler Assistant

Mrs. Leyra was born and raised in Panama.  When she was 17, she moved to the United States to continue her education in Fort Hood, Texas.  Soon after, she moved to Puerto Rico where she graduated with a degree in Human Resources.  After school, she became a private school teacher helping high schoolers.  This is where she found her passion for teaching and working with students.  Mrs. Leyra moved to Virginia in 2007 where she became a full time teacher at Chesterbrook Academy in Herndon, Virginia for seven years.  Mrs. Leyra joined MCS in 2017 where she continues to work with the toddlers. She loves the Montessori perspective and works hard everyday to further her understanding and education in the Montessori philosophy.  She spends free time reading more about Montessori practices and works on broadening her experience in the classroom.  For fun, she likes to be active by riding horses and traveling.  She returns to her home country of Panama often to visit family and friends.  She is also a very big NAT’s fan!

Sonali Chitre

Aftercare Assistant

Ms. Sonali was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She received her Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Mumbai. She came to United States in 1998 and lived in Connecticut for 13 years before moving to Richmond. She moved to Chantilly in 2015. Her passion for kids started when she was in college, where she tutored kids. In Connecticut, she babysat infants and toddlers. In Richmond, she took care of after-care kids. For the past 1.5 year, she has been a tutor at Eye Level Learning Center in Herndon, where she teaches Math to Preschool and Elementary kids. Ms. Sonali joined MCS as an Assistant Teacher for the aftercare class. She speaks English, Hindi, Marathi. Her hobbies include reading English and Marathi novels as well as cooking new cuisines. She loves classical and latest Bollywood music. She is curious and stays abreast with the latest trends in STEM. She lives with her husband, 2 kids and a naughty but cute Labradoodle, Lucky.

Please reload

info@mcsherndon.com - 621 Alabama Drive, Herndon, VA 20170 - 703-437-8285

© 2019 by Montessori Country School.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Yelp Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon