Sharon Baglyos joins Aidan as the longterm substitute in the Mulberry Primary Community. Sharon served as a pastor in congregations in Pennsylvania and Chicago and was deeply engaged in ministries with children and families. More recently, she taught at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, directed AGORA, a ministry equipping leaders for new immigrant congregations in the Twin Cities and worked with refugee resettlement as an Assistant Director at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. In 2014 she earned the Association Montessori Internationale diploma and taught in private and public Montessori schools.
Sharon and her husband Paul Baglyos are the parents of two adult children, who both live with their families in southern California. She loves to garden, is an avid reader of fiction and historical fiction, and is currently sewing a quilt! Sharon enjoys hiking in Maryland and California.
Aidan Montessori School is thrilled to welcome Vithusha Balachandran as the lead guide in the Mountain Silverbell Toddler community. Vithusha has worked with young children since graduating college. She originally attended Montessori schools from age 2 to 6. As a young child, Vithusha and her family traveled and lived in various cities across the world and her Montessori upbringing was one of the few constants in her early life. Vithusha volunteered in South Asia--particularly India--at schools that served under resourced communities. This experience inspired her to look back at her own Montessori foundation and re-discover it as an adult, and guide on the other side. Following this, Vithusha lived and worked in New York for six years, where she supported children below the age of 3 and their families in the Young Children's Community (0-3). She started off as an assistant and after a year and a half pursued her 0-3 training to become a lead guide in the same environment for the years that followed. Being a Montessori teacher now has led Vithusha to explore the world of education more holistically, and fuelled her passion for the need to create more accessible education for all children. To support this curiosity, Vithusha is currently enrolled in a Master's in Educational Policy and Leadership at American University beginning this Fall.
Thanks to her upbringing, travel, cross cultural exploration, storytelling and learning are passionate parts of Vithusha’s life. While she speaks three languages fluently (English, Tamil and Sinhala), she is also in the process of learning Spanish. Beyond the classroom, Vithusha enjoys reading, staying active, watching basketball, water sports and discovering new cities through their food, art, and coffee scene.
Aidan is delighted to welcome Ryan Behr to the ASP team as our new After School Program Associate. Prior to joining Aidan, Ryan spent three years as a lead teacher for the before care and extended day program at Wonders Learning. He also completed an internship as a Kindergarten support teacher at Bethesda Elementary. Ryan is currently in school and studying early childhood education.
In his free time, Ryan loves to explore the outdoors. His favorite things include hiking, camping, swimming, and nice long walks with his dog. He is also an avid sports fanatic, and loves playing soccer, baseball, basketball, or almost any sport when he has the time. Ryan speaks Spanish fluently and also enjoys cooking.
The Magnolia and Aidan Community are thrilled to welcome Sean Collins as the newest Lower Elementary Guide. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in political science, Sean worked for a renewable energy non-profit on climate issues before switching careers to teaching in 2014. After moving to Chicago, Sean had his first experience with Montessori when he worked as an assistant teacher in an Upper Elementary classroom at Near North Montessori. That experience led Sean to pursue a certification in Montessori and he completed his Montessori training at the Washington Montessori Institute. After completing his Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland, Sean worked at Lee Montessori Public Charter School here in Washington DC, where he led an Upper Elementary classroom.
Sean lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife Dana and small dog June. He enjoys biking around the city, taking his dog on nature walks, playing chess, and supporting the Ravens and Orioles from his hometown of Baltimore.
Aidan Montessori School is pleased to welcome Courtenay Labson as our new School Counselor. Prior coming to Aidan and completing her Master’s in Social Work, Courtenay spent ten years practicing law in the DC area. She recently completed a two year internship as middle school counselor and social/emotional learning educator at private school in Potomac, MD, specializing in students with learning differences. Courtenay also served as a volunteer mentor and counselor working with adolescents in crisis for several years.
Courtenay is an avid cyclist, both on and off pavement, and also loves long hikes, skiing and cooking. She has three teenage children (including twins), a hound and a cat.
Jahanna Schwab joins the Aidan Community as the new Communications and Advancement Associate for the 2021-22 school year. Before joining the team at Aidan, Jahanna worked as a Staff Writer and Editor for Rise25, one of the world's leading podcasting agencies. Prior to this, she served as the VP of Communications for her college's chapter of International Justice Mission, the world's largest anti-human trafficking organization, and worked as a member of the Nursery and Children's Ministry Staff at Clemson Presbyterian Church.
In her free time, Jahanna loves to read books of all genres and sizes, write everything from poems to memoirs, and explore both the nooks and crannies of the city and hike and backpack in the great outdoors. She and her husband, Tim, live in Central D.C. and enjoy eating delicious food, watching movies and sitcoms, and generally living day-to-day life side-by-side.
Bio coming soon!
Aidan Montessori School is delighted to welcome Mariana Vicéns as its new Director of Education and Head of Lower School. As a Montessori child, Mariana knew from an early age that her passion was working with children, helping others, and making a difference in the world. After graduating, she attended the University of Florida, where she got a bachelor's in Sociology and Latin American Studies. Mariana continued her education at The Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico earning a master’s degree in Special Education. During this time, she worked as a Teacher Assistant at a local Montessori school. Mariana returned to the United States for Montessori Training and graduated with a master’s degree in Montessori Education from the Washington Montessori Institute (AMI) at Loyola University Maryland. After 5 years of teaching at the Primary level, she decided to continue her education and received her Assistance to Infancy Diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver Colorado.
Mariana loves her Caribbean roots and incorporates the Puerto Rican rhythm, love, food, and language into her daily life andinteraction with her students and families. With each passing day, the children inspire her to become a better person. In her spare time, Mariana enjoys doing outdoor activities, traveling, learning about other cultures, and spending time with her family and friends.