Guidepost Montessori at Aldie is conveniently located right off Route 50, near the Stone Springs Village Center. Many of our families come from nearby neighborhoods of Chantilly, Lenah Mill, Willowsford, Brambleton and Stone Ridge. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy in learning. We welcome your family to our community!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Melissa Kemendo, Head of School
Ms. Melissa Kemendo is Internationally Certified in Montessori Pedagogy at the Children’s House level. She earned her bachelor of arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a concentration in early childhood care and education administration. Ms. Kemendo began her own journey of lifelong learning and discovery when she accepted her first role in Montessori education in 2003, as a classroom aide. She went on to work as a Children’s House Lead Guide for ten years and then founded a Montessori parent cooperative-turned-micro school in Maryland in 2012.
Through the development of this project, Ms. Kemendo discovered her own passion for supporting families and teachers. She relocated to Virginia to join Guidepost Montessori in January 2017, first as Director of Admissions, now serving as the Head of School. Ms. Kemendo’s own three children are Montessori-educated and she is grateful for the opportunity to bring this approach to more families.
Stephanie Windwehen, Assistant Head of School
Ms. Stephanie Windwehen has held a variety of roles in the Montessori community. After graduating with a degree in studio art, she felt called to share that passion and she continued to pursue a master’s degree in teaching. Ms. Windwehen landed her first teaching job in a Montessori school and fell in love with the philosophy that fosters the child’s independence and nurtures a desire to learn. She taught art and was an assistant teacher for two years before being invited to join the administrative team, a role she enjoyed because of the opportunity to meaningfully connect with families that it afforded to her.
In 2017, Ms. Windwehen moved from Atlanta to Virginia with her husband and then one-year old daughter, who joined the LePort community with her in January 2018. Ms. Windwehen has enjoyed learning and growing at the Aldie school and is excited to continue her role as Assistant Head of School for Guidepost Montessori.
Marion Price, Interim Assistant Head of School
Ms. Marion Price holds a Master’s of Montessori education from Loyola University, Maryland. She fell in love with the Montessori approach after seeing its impact on her own children. Ms. Price has taught at the Primary Children’s House level in Canada, Japan, the District of Columbia, and Virginia! She has experience teaching at the Elementary level, and her own three children attended Montessori schools. Ms. Price is passionate about offering every child the opportunity to experiencethe joy of learning in a high-quality environment. In her leisure time, Ms. Price loves reading, camping, and playing the piano.
Katherine Nguyen, Admissions Director
Ms. Katherine Nguyen graduated with a degree in finance from Old Dominion University in 1991 and worked for the Department of Defense as a Financial Analyst for ten years. After becoming a mother in 2001, Ms. Nguyen sought the best education for her son and found The Boyd School. She fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and soon accepted a position as a toddler assistant at The Boyd School, leaving the financial world behind.
After four years as a toddler and primary assistant, Ms. Nguyen completed her Montessori Infant/Toddler certification in 2008. She worked as a Lead Toddler Teacher for seven years, served one year at The Boyd School as an Infant/Toddler teacher support, and worked with The Barrie School as a field consultant for their Infant/Toddler Teacher Training Program.
In 2015, Ms. Nguyen took the Resource Infant Educator (RIE) Foundation course. For several years, she worked as Infant Lead Teacher at LePort School’s Potomac Falls and Aldie campuses. Ms. Nguyen is now thrilled to be the Admissions Director at Guidepost Montessori at Aldie.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.