Meet the MKU Ashburn Staff
Montessori School Staff
Directors of MKU Ashburn, VA, connect with our parents and provide leadership within the Montessori School Staff.
Ben - Assistant Director of MKU Ashburn
Assistant Director: My name is Ben and I’m the Assistant Director of MKU Ashburn. I’ve worked with children since I was sixteen and first entered the workforce and plan on continuing for many years to come. I’ve worked with children ranging from two months to twenty-four years old! In addition to working with young children, I have also worked with special needs children and children with developmental trauma. I hold many different certifications such as: Certified Nursing Assistant, CPR, First Aid, Basic Life Support, and Medication Administration. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting and am currently working to write and publish my first children’s book. I am so happy to be a part of the MKU family and hope to be a constant source of support for teachers, children, and families alike.
Our Montessori School Staff at MKU Ashburn, VA, provide a nurturing learning environment to Nurture, Inspire and Educate your child.
Lead Nido (Infant) Teacher - Donavi Bland
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!
Pre-Primary 1 Lead Teacher - Eugenia M. Barreto Guzman
My name is Eugenia M. Barreto Guzman. I was born in Lima-Peru and moved to USA in 2001. I had the opportunity to get my infant and toddlers credential through Center for Montessori Teacher Education NC. I have been in the Montessori environment since 2009. I am a great believer and follower of the Montessori philosophy and I like to guide the children in the way Maria Montessori did. I have always worked with children and I just love what I do! I am a very active person, I play volleyball for a league and also do Zumba once a week. My husband is an Engineer, we have twins, one is a boy and one is a girl. I love having family time, riding our bikes, playing board games or eating out. We all love going to the beach.
Pre-Primary 2 Lead Teacher - Shoshana
Hi, my name is Shoshana and I am the Lead Teacher in the Pre-Primary 2 Classroom. For 12 years I was teaching in Frederick MD in a Montessori Preschool. I received my Montessori Diploma for Infants and Toddlers in 2009. I also attended Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY to study Therapeutic Recreation in order to work with special needs children. I worked as a special education assistant teacher for severely emotionally disturbed adolescents in the NYC Board of Education for approximately 10 years. One of my favorite songs is “Flowers are Red” by Harry Chapin. I am really looking forward to watching your children grow. I enjoy animals, photography, scrapbooking, and being a mom.
Primary Lead Teacher - Absi Oumelkheir
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.
Assistant NIDO (Infant) Teacher - Mrs. Nahida
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.
Assistant Primary 2 Teacher - Angelica Bland
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.
Assistant Primary 1 Teacher - Vandana
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.
Assistant Primary 1 Teacher - Ms. Attaya Khokhar
Hi, my name is Ms. Attaya Khokhar and I’m one of the Assistant Teachers in the Primary 1 class at Montessori Kids Universe. I have a bachelor’s of arts degree from Pakistan and more than 15 years of experience working with children in the USA. Through my life, I have dedicated a lot of time toward children, and I believe that all kids deserve to have a safe environment to learn and grow and I strive everyday to provide the best education, social, and emotional support to every child who is under my care. I look forward to meeting you and having your family join our school!
Floating Assistant - Ms. Salma
My name is Ms. Salma. I am an “all-around” teacher. I’m a very positive person and enjoy working with kids. I am currently enrolled in courses to complete my associate’s degree, so I am only able to work part-time, but I always do my best to make the best of the time I do get to spend with the kids and brighten everyone’s day.
Schedule a tour of our facilities to meet our Montessori school staff, look over our campus. See with your own eyes the combination of the Reggio inspiration and Montessori philosophy reinforces and strengthens the image of the child as a self confident, creative and curious person.