Meet the MKU Ashburn Staff
Ms. Amanda Romero - Head of School
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.
MS. RILEY DRAPER - ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT
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.
MS. ABSI OUMELKHEIR - PRIMARY LEAD TEACHER
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.
MS. DONAVI BLAND - NIDO (INFANT) TEACHER
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!
MS. ANGELICA BLAND - ASSISTANT TEACHER
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.
MS. NAHIDA - ASSISTANT TEACHER
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.
MS. VANDANA - ASSISTANT TEACHER
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.