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Our Staff

Maria Montessori called the adult in her classroom a Directress. Since this term is not commonly understood outside of the Montessori environment, we refer to our adults as Teachers and Assistants.

Susan Fletcher, Director 

Mrs. Fletcher holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.  She is a PMI Certified Project Management Professional, in addition to her certification in Early Childhood Development.

Mrs. Fletcher first became acquainted with Montessori education when her children attended Montessori schools.  Now she is dedicated to providing a quality Montessori experience to children of working families. 

“Maria Montessori developed her program in a housing project for working families, but today’s Montessori schools do not focus on providing full day care for children.  I am proud that our program provides the highest quality learning environment for the whole day.”


Megan Didavi, Primary Montessori Teacher 

Mrs. Didavi decided to become a Montessori teacher when she worked as an assistant in the same Primary Montessori classroom where she was a student many years earlier.  She was working on her Master of Arts degree at that time, but after graduating she took the AMI Montessori training.  For the past 15 years, Mrs. Didavi has taught at three Montessori schools in Maryland and Virginia.

"I love the concept of a Montessori teacher being a guide to the children.  There are so many wonderful things in the world for them to discover; so many skills for them to acquire!  Learning is an adventure, and I feel privileged to be part of that experience."


Gislene Andrade, Primary Montessori Co-Teacher

Joining us in September 2013, Mrs. Andrade was educated and began teaching preschool in Brazil. She received her Montessori Teaching Diploma at the North American Montessori Center in Canada in 2010, and has completed a variety of additional training programs in child care and Montessori preschool. With over twenty years of experience, we are excited to have Mrs. Andrade bring her energy and experience to our Toddler program.


Linda Miller, Toddler Montessori Teacher

Miss Miller taught for 17 years at The Village School in Waldwick, NJ and is excited to be working in our Toddler program. Having relocated to Gaithersburg in the Summer of 2013, she is enjoying getting to know the area. Miss Miller has taught at the Toddler, Primary, and Kindergarten levels, as has taught Music as well. We are excited that she can also bring her interests in nutrition and yoga to our program. Miss Miller is a certified adult and child yoga teacher, having completed training through The Vibhuti Yoga School in Berkeley Heights, NJ as well as the Radiant Child Yoga teacher training program.

Mis Miller's Montessori training is from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in NY, and her college training in Early Childhood Education is from Passaic County Community College in NJ. She has also attended many Montessori conferences, workshops, and teacher training courses over the years. Mrs. Miller applies her gentle manner to our Toddler program, helping the children learn basic life skills as they explore their environment.

"Whoever touches the life of a child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future." -- Maria Montessori


Ana Paula Panesi-Watkins, Infant Montessori Teacher

Ms. Panesi-Watkins is applying her Montessori training in our Infant program while she pursues a degree in Nursing at Montgomery College.  She received her AMI Montessori certificate for Primary age children in Dublin, and her Montessori Infants and Toddlers certificate from the North American Montessori Center in Vancouver, Canada.  Mrs. Panesi-Watkins is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English.


Lilia Clavijo, 
Infant Teacher

Educated in Columbia, Mrs. Clavijo has cared for young children in this area for the last 13 years. She has completed specialized training in caring for infants, including training on SIDS. She also has and maintains current CPR and First Aid certifications.  Mrs. Clavijo is especially valued for her gentle manner and genuine concern for the infants in her care.