Faculty

Our Montessori teachers are all certified by an accredited Montessori training program and our assistants have a depth of experience and great love for children.

Mr. Daniel Clifford

Head of School


Mr. Dan has been at THE SPRINGS since 2008. He quickly got put to work as a jack of all trades, volunteering his time assisting in the classrooms,  managing the school office, and taking over responsibility for all heavy lifting! Despite being a career Electrical Engineer, Mr. Dan fell in love with working with children and immediately jumped into the world of Montessori Education!

Mr. Dan completed his Electrical Engineering Masters degree at The George Washington University, while simultaneously completing his Montessori Teacher’s Certification at the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute. He taught in the classroom before moving into a full time administrative role. Mr. Dan is currently pursuing another Masters degree in Montessori Education through Xavier University.

Mr. Dan enjoys bringing a male perspective to our mostly female staff and helping prepare the next generation leaders and innovators! Having grown up in South Jersey, Mr. Dan is also a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan. He enjoys soccer, reading, spending time with his children (Maeve, Nora, Michael) and taking advantage of his wife’s love of cooking!


Ms. Megan

Assistant Head of School

Ms. Megan was born and raised in Northern Louisiana. She made educating children her life’s work after the birth of her baby brother when she was in high school, and she attended Louisiana Tech University to study elementary education to pursue this dream. While in college, she met her future husband. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in May 2009. After graduating, she moved to Mississippi to teach at an elementary school. In January 2010, she wed her husband, and the two have been on a never-ending adventure ever since. The adventure has taken them to Birmingham, AL, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and now back to the D. C. area. While in Washington, D.C. the first time, she was exposed to and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy while working at The Springs. She decided to pursue a Montessori credential and attended Northern Virginia Montessori Institute for the 2013-2014 school year. In July 2014, she completed her coursework, and she holds an Early Childhood Credential with the American Montessori Society. She has had three years of experience as a Montessori assistant, and she has had three years of experience as a lead teacher in the early childhood realm.  In 2017, Ms. Megan went back to school to pursue an Infant/Toddler credential under the guidance of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.

In her spare time, she loves to snuggle with her dog, read, watch Korean dramas, scrapbook, paint, and perfect her photography skills. She also enjoys traveling to visit new places with her husband, and they love to watch football!

 


Ms. Ashley

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Ms. Ashley has joined the faculty at THE WOODS in 2019 after having been a Teacher at our sister school, THE SPRINGS, since January 2012. She joined the school staff as a floating assistant helping out in all of the classrooms. Soon after, she became a Assistant Teacher in the Children’s House Class. After working for two years in the Children’s House, she decided to embark on a new chapter when the opportunity to work in the toddler program opening became available in the fall of 2014.

Prior to working at THE WOODS, Ms. Ashley attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Ashley was born in Dale City, Virginia. She has a daughter Lilliana who attends THE WOODS. She graduated from Garfield Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. When Ms. Ashley is not working at THE WOODS she likes to bake desserts with her daughter Lilliana, go to local museums and take road trips to see family and friends outside of Virginia. Her favorite dessert to make is her famous banana pudding, which she often makes during the holidays. Outside of traveling and baking, Ms. Ashley is also a licensed cosmetologist. She is very excited to be teaching at THE WOODS and hopes to positively influence all of her students to love learning.  Ms. Ashley completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification at the Montgomery Montessori Institute.


Ms. Elyssa

Lead Montessori Teacher, Toddler House

Bio coming soon…


Ms. Khin

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

 

Ms. Khin joined THE WOODS in January 2019.  She is from Burma, current day Myanmar, in Southern Asia.  When deciding on a career, both Ms. Khin and her sister became teachers just like their mom.  In 2004, Ms. Khin graduated from the University of Yangon in Burma and began teaching.  In 2008, Ms. Khin and her husband moved to the United States.  She was introduced to the Montessori philosophy in 2013 and decided to pursue a career in Montessori education.  Ms. Khin has two daughters, and when not at school, Ms. Khin enjoys traveling, hiking, and visiting the beach (every summer!) with her family.

.


Ms. Nima

Lead Montessori Teacher, Children’s House

Bio coming soon…


Mrs. Maureen Clifford

Executive Director

Ms. Maureen’s journey began at THE SPRINGS began in 1996 when she was only 14! Maureen began volunteering on days lacrosse practice was canceled (a.k.a. rainy days when the children were cooped up inside). Ms. Maureen fell in love with children. She continued to work at THE SPRINGS throughout high school and every summer when she was home from college. While she enjoyed working at THE SPRINGS immensely, Ms. Maureen never imagined she would make that her ultimate career path. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Maureen worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a small business communications and outreach consultant before deciding that she missed the children too much.

Thankfully, THE SPRINGS was in need of an Assistant Director, and Ms. Maureen was invited back working both in the office and in the classroom. Ultimately, she fell in love with the Montessori Method, completed her Early Childhood Montessori Teacher Certification in 2005 and became Head of School in 2008.  She recently added a Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification to her list of credentials.

Ms. Maureen has recently scaled back to a part-time role to focus on family and pursue opportunities in the greater Montessori community.  Her role at THE SPRINGS is to support staff development and mentorship, parent education, improving special needs resources and provide business support.   Ms. Maureen’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family: Mr. Dan, her daughter’s Maeve and Nora, and her son Michael who will be coming to The Woods soon. Ms. Maureen loves reading, history, creative writing, cooking and the Philadelphia Phillies!