Guidepost Montessori at Reston is nestled in the woods of the Cedar Chase neighborhood. Our campus is situated just south of Route 7, only minutes east of Fairfax County Parkway. 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
Mike Brown, Head of School
Mike Brown has been working in the early childhood education field for over twenty years. After studying fine arts at the University of Maryland, Mr. Brown worked as a Kindergarten teacher at a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool for nine years. He discovered the wonders of the Montessori approach to education in 2004 when he joined the staff of the Boyd School as an art teacher. His leadership qualities led to his promotion to school administration where, over the years, he helped guide the group of seven Boyd Schools in various roles; director of admissions, resource coordinator, public relations, school director. Mr. Brown was a part of the Boyd School transition to LePort Schools and he remained with LePort Schools in the role of school Business Manager during their entire time in Northern Virginia. He transferred to the Reston school in 2017 and looks forward to helping Guidepost Montessori at Reston continue to thrive.
While Mr. Brown can primarily be found in the office, he often will find a way to share his passion for art with the students. Outside of school he actively exhibits his own artwork with recent shows in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Cape Canaveral. Mr. Brown enjoys spending time with his family of five humans, three cats, one rabbit, and one tortoise.
Linsey Pointdjour, Assistant Head of School
Ms. Linsey Pointdjour, a Brooklyn native has been living in Maryland for 8 years now. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Master’s in early childhood education from Grand Canyon University. Ms. Pointdjour began working with children in 2008 at a Montessori school in Brooklyn, NY. where she first fell in love with the Montessori Method. She went on to complete her AMS Montessori training, at The Barrie Institute. Ms. Pointdjour has worked as a Montessori lead guide in both the private and public sector for over 11 years. She enjoyed guiding young children and watching them grow while ensuring a safe and happy environment. Away from the Children’s house she enjoys consulting new guides and teaching college classroom management. Ms. Pointdjour is now excited about her new role at Guidepost Montessori, and supporting the classroom. In her spare time, She enjoys traveling, art, culture, food, and hanging with family and friends.
Kim Palacios, Extended Day Coordinator
Ms. Palacios is currently studying at Northern Virginia Community College majoring in General Studies. She looks forward to transferring to George Mason University to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Palacios has been working with children for four years and loves every moment of it. She has expereince in both the Nido and Children’s house, where she is often sought after for her support and guidance. Ms. Palacios also has taken great pride in leading the extended day program. In her free time, Ms. Palacios enjoys traveling, trying new foods and spending time with her family.
Liliana Orellana, Children's House Lead Guide - Spanish Immersion
Ms. Orellana was born and raised in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. The city is in an area known as Patagonia which has a unique landscape, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Being raised in a place with the opportunity to enjoy both the land and sea along with the love and support of her family provided Ms. Liliana a childhood rich with memories and full of happiness.
As a child, her dream was to be a teacher. She attended the well-regarded Colegio Perito Moreno, a school specializing in preschool and elementary teacher education. After graduation and the birth of her first daughter, Ms. Liliana moved to the United States and settled in Fairfax, Virginia.
Ms. Orellana was first introduced to Montessori education in 2006 and immediately became fascinated with the philosophy. Her quest to learn more about the educational method led her to complete her Montessori training from the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute as a Primary teacher. Ms. Liliana was the founding Lead Montessori Guide of the Children's House Spanish Immersion program at the Reston school and it is her hope to continue her dream of teaching young children.
A.J. Allen, Children's House Lead Guide
Ms. Allen earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mary Washington. Ms. Allen fell in love with teaching at an early age by babysitting and volunteering in traditional Kindergarten classrooms. As a former Montessori child, her experiences later inspired her to obtaining her Montessori Primary certification from Northern Virginia Montessori Institute. She began her Montessori career 5 years ago at the former Aldie Boyd School (currently Aldie Guidepost). In her time away from the classroom, Ms. Allen enjoys cooking, hiking, running, and spending time with her cat and family.
Jessica Costa, Children's House Lead Guide
Ms. Costa has been with the school for seven years. This year is Ms. Costa’s fifth year as a Children’s House lead guide. She graduated from the Northern Virginia Montessori Institute. Ms. Costa began as a toddler assistant and was amazed by how mature and respectful the children were. Ms. Costa loves the sense of pride and independence that the Montessori method instills in every child. She feels compelled to make each child feel loved and valued. In her free time, Ms. Costa enjoys spending time with her dog, Theo by taking him on long walks, sitting in the sun together, and going to Starbucks Coffee for a “pup-a-chino.” She also loves to spend time with her family, travel, try new food and recipes, and watch documentary films.
Ardass Khalsa, Toddler Lead Guide - Spanish Immersion
Ms. Khalsa started her career in Mexico City, where she became a professional dancer and yoga instructor. She moved to Virginia, where she continued to work in the arts with The Wolff Trap Institute as a Teaching and Performing Artist in Education. A Montessorian true to heart, she joined The Boyd School where she fell in love with Montessori all over again and received her Montessori credential at NVMI at Belmont Greene. Ms. Khalsa relocated to India where she worked at a boarding school as a yoga instructor, before returning to Montessori. Montessori education has given her the opportunity to serve the community, foster her love for children, while reaching families with her extensive experience.
Desiree Faili, Toddler Lead Guide
Ms. Faili earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University. She also holds a Montessori Toddler certification from the Center of Montessori Training Education. Ms. Faili started teaching over 10 years ago when she began working with toddlers and discovered how powerful and impactful the Montessori philosophy truly is! It is with great pride and passion that she continues to educate and inspire the children.
Catherine Javier-Wong, Toddler Lead Guide
Ms. Javier-Wong earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from James Madison University, and has been an Early Childhood Educator and Advocate since 2001. Ms. Javier-Wong was a Montessori child, and her lifelong love of learning stems from her time in a Montessori environment. She has AMS credentials at both the Primary and Infant/Toddler levels, and has completed MACAR I (Montessori Applied To Children At Risk) training. Ms. Javier-Wong has found her calling as a Montessori Guide, and truly believes that adults must ‘respect the child’. She loves coming to work, ready to nurture the spirits of her students. In her spare time, Ms. Javier-Wong likes to spend time with her family.
Nancy Palacios, Toddler Assistant Guide - Spanish Immersion
Ms. Palacios has been a Toddler Assistant Guide for the past 3 years. She started her teaching career 5 years ago as a floater in a daycare filling in for assistants and teachers. She fell in love with the Montessori Method, and now inspires to become a Lead Spanish Toddler Guide. Ms. Palacios is currently working on finishing her degree in Transliterates. In her free time, Ms. Palacios loves to spend time with her husband and traveling with family and friends.
Barbara Romano, Toddler Assistant Guide
Ms. Romano is a native of Brazil and moved to the United States in 2000. Ms. Romano has a degree in Criminal Justice & Administration and a degree in Linguistics obtained in Brazil. Ms. Romano has been working with children for over 15 years. In the last few years she discovered the Montessori approach and immediately fell in love. Ms. Romano is married and has an elementary aged daughter that is nationally competitive at track & field. Ms. Barbara's experience at track has led to a new passion of action photography.
Kiana Simpkins, Toddler Assistant Guide
Ms. Simpkins earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Longwood University in 2017. She began her career caring for students with disabilities in recreational programs. She then moved on to after school programs in Loudoun County Public Schools. She learned of the Montessori Method and realized she loved the values that come from Montessori schooling. Ms. Simpkins is currently pursuing Nido/Toddler Montessori training so that she can teach Montessori to future generations.
Arihazel Sanchez, Children's House Assistant Guide - Spanish Immersion
Ms. Sanchez is currently enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College and is majoring in education. She has taught and cared for children in home daycares in the Reston area for 7 years. Being in the classroom has opened her eyes to the joys of Montessori education. When she completes her degree, Ms. Sanchez hopes to become a Lead Guide in Children's House program. While in the classroom she loves guiding and watching the children grow. In her spare time, Ms. Sanchez enjoys spending time with her niece, basketball, singing, and knitting.
Roselind Gibson-Mellish, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Gibson-Mellish holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. In 2003, she changed her career to work in education, having found a passion for the Montessori method of education. She brings her sixteen years of experience to the Montessori learning environment and continues her love and joy of working with children. During her leisure time she enjoys, reading, listening to music, cooking, baking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and three children.
Manal Mansur, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Manal has been working as a Montessori Assistant Guide for 3 years. When she began her journey into Montessori she quickly noticed how similar Montessori teaching was to how she raised her two children. She started caring for children at a very young age and has continued to love working with children. Ms. Manal grew up in Northern Virginia with her 5 brothers. In her free time, Ms. Manal's loves spending time with her husband and kids and being a soccer mom.
Ingrid Cotto, Extended Day Toddler Guide
Ms. Ingrid was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She pursed a bachelor’s degree in Science of Nutrition and Dietetics from Ana G. Mendez University in Puerto Rico. She also attended multiple internship programs such as Head Start, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), School Lunch Program and “ El Angel de Miguel Cotto” nonprofit Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys outdoors activities (hiking, gardening and exercise ) and spending time with family and friends.
Zachary Zambrano, Extended Day Toddler Guide
Mr. Zambrano is currently attending Northern Virginia Community College. He is working towards earning a degree in education from George Mason University and hopes to one day, become a lead guide in the Children’s House. Mr. Zambrano looks forward to continuing to guide children and watching them grow into independent students. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, being with friends and traveling.
Diana Rodriguez, Extended Day Children's House Guide
Ms. Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching education in Bogota (Colombia) from Uniminuto university. She came as an au pair to Washington DC. in 2016. She took some classes in Georgetown University. She has been working with children for more than 4 years teaching them Spanish through reading, songs and games. In her free time Ms. Diana loves walking with her dog and going to the movies.
Bahina Bayot, Extended Day Children's House Guide
Ms. Bayot is a new resident to Northern Virginia, coming from Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently a student at George Mason University, working on her Bachelors in Social Work. Ms. Bayot aspires to work as a school social worker when she graduates from her studies. Ms. Bayot also has a long history of working with children of all ages in private, and public schools. She has experience in both traditional and Montessori curriculums. Some of Ms. Bayot’s hobbies are taking long drives, drawing, and getting her nails done.
Mansourah Motahedin, Educational Support Guide
Ms. Motahedin earned her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Northern Virginia Community College. She has over 12 years of experience, where she has worked with young children as an home-based child care provider, substitute teacher for Fairfax County public schools and support for Montessori schools. Ms. Motahedin loves children and love guiding them to grow into positive and healthy adults. In her spare time, Ms. Motahedin enjoys helping with her granddaughter’s development, walking, and swimming.
Carmen Silva, Educational Support Guide
Ms. Silva is currently a full-time student at Northern Virginia Community College, studying to be a Kindergarten teacher. She has been working with children since the age of 15, as an assistant teacher at her local church. Ms. Silva can always be found caring for the children around her, modeling great grace and courtesy. In her leisure time she likes to listen to music, go dancing, work out, cook and prepare for her transfer to George Mason University.
Africa White, Educational Support Guide
Ms. White earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from National-Louis University. She also studied business courses at Chaminade University, located in Honolulu Hawaii, and University of the Philippines. She started her teaching career 6 years ago in a traditional school in Virginia, but fell in love with the Montessori Method 3 years ago. She discovered the Montessori Method for her nephew Jacob and became inspired. While away from tending to the classroom, Ms. White enjoys transcendental meditation twice a day, and taking 30-40 minutes walks during the week.
Nahid Zand, Educational Support Guide
Ms. Nahid graduated from the nursing school of Tehran and completed additional training to be an operating room technician. She was a practicing surgeon assistant for six years in Iran. After relocating to the United States, Ms. Nahid decided to pursue a different professional path and began working as a classroom assistant teacher. She has been guiding children and assisting in Montessori learning environments for the last 15+ years. During her free time she enjoys decorating her house and going to the gym.
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.