Meet the MKU Ashburn Staff


My name is Amanda Romero. I have always had a passion for the development of young children and have been an educator for over 10 years. I have an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Sociology, with many of those credits in child development. After being in different child care settings, I wholly believe that the Montessori Approach is the most effective way for children to grow, develop, and become creative, critical thinkers. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Virginia in 2013, I am married to my best friend, Rodolfo, and we have a wonderful son named Blake. I am so proud to be leading the MKU Family as Head of School and look forward to getting to know your family.




My name is Riley Draper. I have been taking care of my siblings and babysitting since I was very young! My first job was at a daycare center in Gainesville, VA.  It was located behind my house and I worked there before I could drive! Since then, I have had extensive customer service experience in a child care setting and I’m looking forward to putting those skills to use in such an amazing childhood education environment.  I was born and raised here in Northern Virginia and I live with my family in Sterling.  My daughter Keegen is two and a half years old, but we love to joke that she’s a “Threenager”.   I am thrilled to be a part of the MKU family and I look forward to getting to know you and your children.




My Name is Absi Oumelkheir. I was born and raised in Algeria. In addition to English, I speak French and Arabic. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from M’Hamed Boukarra University of Algeria in 2004. I moved to Virginia in 2005. My introduction to the Montessori philosophy began when I was looking for high-quality education for my son. After having the opportunity to be an assistant teacher in a Montessori classroom for one year, I earned my Early Childhood Montessori Teacher Certification in 2013. I enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening, interior design, and listening to music. I am married to wonderful husband and have four beautiful children.




Hello! My name is Donavi Bland. I am an enthusiastic person that loves to take care of infants and young children.  My inspiration for teaching was my mother who was always encouraging independence in me. Growing up, I loved the idea of teaching and understanding the influence a teacher has on the student, which made me passionate about pursuing child care as a career. I believe the Montessori Nido Program is the perfect fit for me. I love to see children’s independence flourish before my eyes, which is why I have decided to pursue the 0-3 Montessori Certification!




Hi, my name is Angelica Bland. I enjoy taking care of infants and toddlers. I enjoy seeing toddlers learn new things every day in a positive environment and helping them grow. I’m very motivated to see each child succeed on things they need to work or want to improve.




I’m Mrs. Nahida and I’m an Assistant Teacher in the infant’s class here at Montessori Kids Universe. I live in Ashburn, Virginia. I’m a wife and mother to six children. The oldest is 23 and the youngest are 13. I have 1 girl and 5 younger boys including 2 sets of twins. Besides taking care of my family, I enjoy taking time to relax, go shopping and go to the gym. I have worked in schools and substituted at a private school in the past for many years. Just with my children alone I have plenty of experience with kids and I love all ages! I’m happy to be working here and look forward to taking care of your kids.




My name is Vandana, I was born and raised in India. I finished my bachelor’s degree in education and started working as a teacher there. I was raised in a family where everyone worked in the education field. I then moved to America in 1998 and began teaching in Fairfax Virginia as a pre-school assistant teacher in 2003. In 2005, I moved to Ashburn and continued teaching. I have been teaching in Montessori schools and am very passionate and loving about the work I do daily, while working with the children in my care. I have two children, a daughter who’s married and a son who’s going to college. In my spare time, I like to cook, shop and spend time with my family and friends.