The whole team at the school is a gift. Thank you so much for what you do.

CFMS Parent

Faculty and Staff

NIEVA ARMSTRONG

Nieva is the Lower Elementary Teacher, and joined the CFMS staff in September 2006. She came from prior Montessori teacher positions in the Northwest Territories in Canada and her native Philippines. Nieva received her AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute in 1998. She completed 18 credits toward a Master of Arts from De La Salle University in Manila and is currently working on a Masters of Education through the University of Phoenix. Nieva holds a B.A. in Language Arts and is trained in the 6-9 level of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


RYAN BALL

Ryan is the Coordinator of the Elementary Extended Care program. He is native to the Washington D.C metropolitan area. Ryan is a two-time alumni of the Americorps State program contributing over 3200 hours of volunteering in Northwest and Southeast D.C public schools from 2009-2011. Ryan attended Howard University from 2006-2009 pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering, but switched to Early Childhood Education in 2010 after discovering his passion for youth development.


SARA BERGE

Sara is a Teacher in the All Day Primary classroom. She received her AMI Primary Diploma from Washington Montessori Institute, and M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University Maryland in 2016. Prior to coming to Montessori through private childcare work, Sara received her B.A. in German Studies from Scripps College in 2013.


TIFFANI BOIS

Tiffani is the Elementary Extended Care Assistant, and an Assistant in the All Day Primary during nap and recess. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a focus on Photography. For the past seven years, she was a stay at home mom, while also being a nanny to several other children. She has a passion for arts and crafts, and is excited to share that passion with children.


MICHAEL BREHL

Michael is the Director of Business Operations, and handles all of the bookkeeping at CFMS. He came to the school originally as a parent. Michael received his BFA in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his MFA in 1988 from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a talented metal smith who works in silver, copper and gold using traditional silversmithing techniques. Outside of school Michael teaches a number of metal work classes, primarily at The Art League in Alexandria.


NICOLE DONATO

Nicole is the full time Assistant in the All Day Primary. She graduated from American University in 2014 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Literature. Prior to working at CFMS, she completed her practicum and student teaching in MCPS and DCPS.  In her free time, she participates in trivia around Washington, D.C.  She loves working with children and she hopes to obtain a master’s degree in education in the future.


VICTORIA EBELL

Tory is an Elementary Catechist. Trained as a catechist by Catherine Maresca, one of the founders of CFMS, and Jill Hall, Tory helped open Level I, II and III atria at the Church of the Ascension and St. Agnes in downtown Washington DC. She earned a BA in philosophy at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs and worked in London and Cambridge, England. Tory retired in 2009 after 25 years as a caseworker for three members of Congress. She and her husband have raised four children and live in Cheverly, MD.


GABRIELA FERNANDEZ-COFFEY

Gabriela is the Assistant in the Traditional Primary class. A native of Puerto Rico, she grew up in the Washington, DC area where she has worked as a professional actress and teaching artist for over ten years. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, her work in in the performing arts, and in youth and community development, have taken her around the country. She is now a joyful resident of Mount Rainier, MD, where she discovered a passion for Montessori Education after the birth of her first child. Gabriela is currently completing a certification through the Tamalpa Institute in Movement-based Expressive Arts Education—an integrative practice she is eager to combine with future Montessori training.


SARAH FARY

Sarah is the Upper Elementary Teacher at CFMS. She received her AMI Elementary diploma from Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University, Maryland in 2010, and taught for two years in the United States Virgin Islands before joining the CFMS team. In addition to her Montessori training, Sarah holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College and is trained through Level III in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


ANNA HIGGINS

Anna is the Administrative Assistant and a Support Assistant in the All Day Primary during lunch, recess, and nap. She is an alumna of CFMS and joined the staff in 2014. She is a volunteer at the Riverdale Heights Fire Station. She currently attends Prince George's Community College where she is working toward her Associates Degree in Psychology. She loves working with children and aspires to be a guidance counselor.


ANNE KRUK

Anne Kruk is the Lead Teacher in the All Day Primary classroom. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2010 with a B.A. in Music, and a minor in History. She joined the Mercy Volunteer Corps and spent two years doing parish outreach and social justice work in Baltimore. In 2015, she received her AMI Primary Diploma from Washington Montessori Institute, and her M.Ed. from Loyola University. She is also trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


SARAHI MADRIGAL

Sarahi is the Assistant in the Lower Elementary classroom. She got her Assistant Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola in 2015. She was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she graduated from the University of Guadalajara in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts with orientation in Photography. Sarah also was a volunteer for the University's Sea Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Center from 2005 to 2008.


SARAH MAGNO

Sarah is the Full Time Substitute/Floater at CFMS; in her position, she gets to interact with the children in every classroom, as well as in the atriums and Elementary Extended Care. Sarah is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she majored in Drama with a Minor in American Sign Language. Sarah grew up in Washington DC and is an alumna of CFMS. Sarah previously worked as the CFMS EEC Coordinator and as the Program Director and Summer Camp Coordinator for Little Friends For Peace.


JODI-BETH McCAIN

Jodi-Beth is the Director of Religious Education, and an Elementary Catechist. She began working as a catechist in the Primary classroom in Sept. 2006, and trained in all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Jodi-Beth began her journey as an educator while working with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia over 15 years ago. Jodi-beth earned a B.A. in Religion from Duke University and an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. Jodi-Beth is fluent in Spanish and has begun work to develop bi-lingual materials for the 3-6 atrium.

KRISTI MEDLEY

Kristi is the Director of Education. She began her work at CFMS in 1998 as an assistant in a Primary classroom and intern at the Center for Children and Theology. In 2001 she received her primary Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma and Masters of Education degree from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College of Maryland and became a Primary teacher at CFMS in September of 2001. In 2011, Kristi helped to establish the All Day Montessori program with Lindy Rivera. Kristi received her B.A. in German and Journalism from the University of Alabama, and studied at the Universität Hamburg in Germany. Kristi is trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.


RACHEL NILES

Rachel is the Administrative Assistant at CFMS. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.F.A. in Film Production from Florida State University. She has spent most of her professional life working in the film industry—first as an urban development volunteer for an educational film company in Harare, Zimbabwe and then as a post-production producer for commercials and music videos in Santa Monica, CA. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two sons.

WENDY SHENK-EVANS

Wendy became Director of CFMS in 2005. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Duke University in 1992 and her M.Div. from Duke Divinity School in 1997. She was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1997 and pastored churches in North Carolina and Washington, DC. She was trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2004.

Wendy is active in the DC Montessori Coalition and also serves as a member of the national Montessori Public Policy Initiative Council, a collaborative effort of Montessori organizations advocating for Montessori programs at the state and national level.

TRICIA SIUDUT

Tricia is the Teacher in the Traditional Primary class. She joined CFMS in 2014, after receiving her AMI diploma and Masters of Education from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University of Maryland. The previous year she had assisted a Primary class at an AMI Montessori School in Montgomery County, MD. In 2003 she received her BFA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a double major in Painting and Art Education. Prior to teaching she developed her artistic talent working as an oil painter and floral designer in New England and the Washington DC area. She has also studied in Italy and is certified in level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

OONA WAXENFELTER

Oona is the Catechist in the Primary Atrium. She began her work at CFMS in 2006 as an assistant in the classroom. In 2007, she completed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training to work with 3-6 year old children, and in 2012 she completed the training to work with 6-9 year olds. In 2013, she began the training to work with 9-12 year olds. Oona holds a B.A. in Human Services from The George Washington University, with a minor in Psychology and a minor in Religion.