Lan brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as Chief Financial Officer at Aidan. She has over twenty-four years of experience working at independent schools and has held multiple positions in the business offices of Sheridan School and Lowell School. Before joining Aidan, Lan most recently served as the Accountant for Sheridan School in Washington, DC. We are happy to welcome Lan to the Business Office, where she will be working closely with our Senior Accountant, Zelalem Geberu.
Originally from Vietnam, Lan came to the United States with her siblings at the age of 15. Despite not knowing English nor anyone in the States, Lan soon found her place and officially made the U.S. her home. She is proud of the education she received and for the challenges she has overcome. When she’s not busy in the Business Office, Lan enjoys spending time with her husband and two college-aged children at their home in Virginia.
Nicole joins Aidan Montessori School as our new Director of Communications, Marketing and Advancement. Prior to joining Aidan, Nicole spent six years at Oneness-Family School in Chevy Chase, Maryland where she most recently served as Director of Communication and Fundraising. A native to Silver Spring, Maryland, Nicole attributes her lifelong love of learning to her own experiences as child in the Montessori classroom. She is thrilled to be a part of the Aidan community and looks forward to getting to know all of our Aidan families.
Nicole currently lives in Maryland with her poodle puppy, Luna. In her free time, Nicole loves catching a concert, spending time browsing local bookstores, and exploring new restaurants in and around DC. She is an avid solo traveler and is always planning her next adventure.
Julia eagerly steps in as our new lead teacher for the Sweetgum Upper Elementary Class. Prior to joining Aidan, Julia was a Lead Teacher in a 6-12 Montessori Elementary classroom for four years. In addition to teaching, she is a founding member of the Washington Montessori Institute Alumni and Friends, an organization which aims to: reach out to and connect with past WMI graduates, unite and support AMI trained guides in the Washington, D.C. area, acclimate and mentor newly-trained guides, and welcome and inform future trainees of WMI. Julia is also an enthusiastic member of AMI-EAA, a member-run professional affiliate of Association Montessori Internationale elementary teachers and trainers providing a supportive community for the exchange of ideas that promote the principles of Montessori education. Most recently, she participated in the annual summer conference, which draws international Montessori teachers to learn about the fiber arts and handwork (knitting, crochet, felting, and calligraphy).
Julia and her husband are big fans of car camping. Each summer they enjoy plotting out road trips to hike, swim, fish, and explore various national and state parks and connect with friends and family along the way. This past summer, they traveled from D.C. to Banff, AB, Canada, hiking and exploring 12 US states and one Canadian province along the way. Julia looks forward to sharing many of her travel and nature stories with the Upper Elementary community this year, and doing a bit of camping with the children too!
Aidan is pleased to welcome Ashley Kareithi as one of our new After School Program Assistants! Ashley began her Montessori career in a small private school in Arlington, Virginia. She found that the Montessori philosophy aligned with her own personal values of respect, honoring people's strengthens and individuality, commitment to a diverse and inclusive way of life, and adaptability. Ashley quickly realized that working in a Montessori environment was her calling. After completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology, Ashley has attended several trainings at the Washington Montessori Institute. She is a firm believer that in order to give one’s best self to one’s students, one can never stop learning. Therefore, Ashley hopes to continue her professional development and complete her Primary Guide Training in the coming years.
Originally from the DC-area, Ashley lived in several different countries while growing up. She enjoyed summers in Ireland with her maternal grandparents, where she spent most of her time soaking up the natural splendor and becoming an amateaur gardener. Ashley’s childhood passion for gardening has carried through and she hopes to become a Master Gardener by Spring 2019. In addition to gardening, she practices yoga and is currently training to complete her 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Certificate.
In her spare time, Ashley enjoys hiking Rock Creek Park with her Golden Lab, Marshmallow, road trips, and cooking for family and friends. She also loves traveling abroad and experiencing different cultures and cuisines.
Phillip is Aidan's Director of Auxiliary Services, a new position established for the 2018-19 school year. Phillip’s work in education began at the Sheridan School in DC, where he served as camp teacher at their Creative Arts and Summer Adventure Camp (CASA) while home from college during the summer. After several years as camp teacher, Phillip accepted a full-time role as the Program Manager for CASA and was ultimately promoted to the Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs at Sheridan. As Sheridan's Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs, Philip oversaw all after school and summer programs. He brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role at Aidan.
Phillip and his family are DC-natives and all still reside in the area. Phillip loves playing sports, especially ice hockey. He also enjoys exploring the great outdoors, biking, camping, and hiking. Philip spends his free time training his two Newfoundland dogs, who not only love to swim but are water-rescue certified.
Rainier “Ray” LeBlanc began his career at Aidan over the summer as an After School Program assistant and will continue in this role for the upcoming school year. While working at Aidan’s Village of Choice, Ray had an opportunity to meet many of our students and looks forward to working with them again throughout the year. Ray is currently attending American University in order to complete his Bachelor of Science in Public Health.
Ray is originally from Long Island, New York. When he’s not studying or working in ASP, Ray enjoys exploring Washington, DC with his friends. Ray is also a track and field enthusiast and loves to swim.
Heather joins Aidan as one of our new After School Program assistants. Heather’s passion for working with children stems from her experience working education projects for the World Bank and USAID. Her background is originally in international development, where she spent a considerable amount of time working on projects related to democracy and governance, health and education in the Middle East, north Africa, Latin America, sub-Saharan African and the central Caucasus region. After completing a number of education projects in the MIddle East and north Africa, Heather realized that she loved working with children and wanted to play a part in their growth and development.
Before joining Aidan, Heather served as the After School Coordinator at Washington International Middle School for three years and the Director of After School Programs at St Bernadette. Heather is excited to provide an enriching after school experience for all of our students is ASP and looks forward to a great year!
In her free time, Heather enjoys binge-watching Game of Thrones, the Twilight Zone and other television shows on Netflix. In addition, she loves to read, dance, and sing karaoke.
Aidan is excited to welcome Dalis Nava as a new Toddler Assistant in the Mountain Silverbell class. Prior to joining Aidan and the education field, Dalis spent twenty years practicing law as an attorney and specialized in federal immigration law. After making partner in a law firm, Dalis sought a new career path and used her legal experience to become a teaching assistant at her alma mater Santa Maria University in Caracas, Venezuela. Dalis began working with children initially as private tutor and later a Spanish Teacher at Grandma’s Daycare in North Potomac, Maryland.
Dalis is native Spanish speaker who originally hails from Venezuela and currently lives in Maryland with her husband. She has two grown children who attend university. In her free time, Dalis enjoys reading books, cooking, and hiking. Dalis and her husband also love to travel, watch baseball and hockey games, and take in the occasional movie or show.
Before joining Aidan as our lead teacher in the Magnolia Class, Grace taught Lower Elementary at the Montessori School of Tokyo. She was first introduced to the Montessori community in 2009 at Crossway Community Montessori School, where she initially served as a volunteer and later worked. Grace took a hiatus to teach English at the Assumption University of Thailand, then on to work as a project manager for a media company. Her vocation, she discovered, truly lies in teaching. We are thrilled to welcome Grace to Aidan's Lower Elementary program!
Grace has traveled to several countries and has plans to continue exploring. When she's not presenting lessons or observing her class, Grace enjoys watching stand-up comedy, yoga, Taiko drumming, hiking, singing, dancing, visiting museums, and cooking.
Vernon joins Aidan as the Assistant in the Red Oak Lower Elementary Classroom. Vernon is actively engaged in the Montessori community and Montessori remains a big part of his life both in and outside the classroom. He recently served as a presenter at the AMS conference in Denver, where he spoke about Peace and Cosmic Education. He has also served as the program coordinator for the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) and the coordinator for the Monthly Peace Pole Gatherings. Before joining Aidan, Vernon established his own after school program, P3 (Power, Poise, Presence), which focused on building self-confidence, self-worth, leadership skills and promoting principles of scholarship and diversity among adolescents.
Born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Short Hills, NJ, Vernon is most passionate about his work with youth. Vernon’s mission is to help foster positive, productive global citizens and he works to achieve this goal daily. He enjoys incorporating the Montessori Method into his Sunday school classes and serves as a deacon at his church. When he is not in the classroom, Vernon enjoys traveling, socializing with friends and family, and long walks with his poodle, Korden.