Meet Our Staff

Staff

Breakfast with Santa 2016

Holiday Dinner 2016

 

Christina Maxwell:  Director 

My name is Christina Grayzeck Maxwell, I live in Vienna, VA with my husband and three sons.  I have been the Director of Chesterbrook UMC Preschool & Child Care since August of 2010.  I graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park where I received a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies.  Over the course of the last twenty years my career has focused on child care and  education.  I spent several years as a Maryland Public School teacher where I was enriched by my students and learned invaluable lessons from my fellow teachers.  I have also worked as a teacher in several private Day Care facilities giving me a diverse perspective on the nuances between public and private education as well as being the Director of a Bright Horizons Center in Washington DC. Throughout my career, it has been my focus to create a positive and happy environment for children.  I firmly believe that fostering a strong relationship with the families of all the students is one of the keys to a successful program.  The staff, students and parents here at Chesterbrook work together to create a safe, happy and positive learning environment.    In my decision to return to the work force,  I was determined to find a “home away from home” that would be the perfect fit for my family life and for my boys to attend.  I full heartedly believe that I found that fit in the Chesterbrook United Methodist Church Preschool.  My boys have since moved on to elementary and middle school but I continue to remain dedicated to the success of this school and the families that are part of our Chesterbrook UMC  family.

Shannon Collier: Office Manager1013395_577148255668707_133655380_n

Hi my name is Shannon Collier. I am a married mother of two boys. One is 20 and the other is 17. I have been working here at Chesterbrook since they opened their doors in 2008. I work in the office everyday from 9am until 4pm.  I love working here, I enjoy kids. They are such fun to talk to and teach.  I thoroughly enjoy it and honestly don’t consider it work, I consider it fun.  Working at a preschool allows me to play with little ones since mine have all grown up. In my spare time i enjoy site seeing and spending time with my husband and boys.

Jennifer Kiess: Closing Managerjen pic

Hi, my name is Jennifer Kiess. In Fall of 2013 I joined the Chesterbrook team as a part time Assistant After care teacher. I am now the Closing Manager from 3:30-6pm.  I graduated from Radford University, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, concentration in commercial fitness. Native to the Northern Virginia area I like to take advantage of what NOVA has to offer, everything from enjoying walks at the parks to enjoying a game at the Nationals ballpark. During the day I work full time at Montessori School of McLean as an Assistant Teacher. I love working with kids and enjoying watching them grow physically and emotionally.

 

        Lead Teachers

Cathy Grajales:
Lead Teacher Lions Pre-K

Hi, my name is Cathy Grajales (Ms. Cathy). This is my first year teaching at Chesterbrook Preschool as the lead teacher for the Lion’s Class.  I have a BA in Psychology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and   previously worked for nine years at a small preschool in Alabama with 2-3 year olds.  I really enjoy this age group and I am looking forward to seeing all the things they can accomplish.
My other career is army spouse and mother of two teenage boys.  We are new to the area and I’m excited to explore all the opportunities and history in the area.  In my free time I enjoy quilting, reading and trying out new regional recipes in the kitchen.  I already enjoy working here with such caring and supportive people.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Mandela

 

Mihye Yoon:
Lead Teacher Caterpillars
Assistant Teacher Honeybees, After Care

mihye         Hi my name is Mihye Yoon, and I work as the lead teacher in the Caterpillar class, as well an assistant  teacher in the older 2’s class and during the  After Care sessions.   I began working here at Chesterbrook when it opened in September 2008.  During my time working with young children I have participated in many training seminars and I am looking into programs related to Early Childhood Education.  In my spare time I enjoy shopping, traveling, trying new foods and spending time with my friends.   Another passion of mine is photography and I continue to perfect my techniques in this field.  I love working with children because their laughter and happiness make my job fun.

Tammy Symoun:
Opening Manager Early Birds
Lead Teacher 3 year Old Bumblebees

Hi, my name is Tammy Symoun and I will be the lead teacher for the precious 3 year old’s on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.  I live in Springfield Va, but was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Oregon).  I am married and I have one beautiful and energetic 6 year old daughter named Antigoni—also known as my side kick.  She has spent her entire life as my student guinea pig.  ‘Playing’ school is one of our favorite activities to do together.  I started my teaching path as a 17 year old Sunday School teacher and I have spent the past 6 years working with special needs children, Kindergarten aged children, and a wide range of elementary school children as a Substitute Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools.  I completed A.S. Degree in 2002—with most of my focus on Early Elementary Education.  I am so excited to have the opportunity to guide and prepare these young children to be the best they can be in this ever demanding and challenging  world that we all live in.
Thank you for giving me a chance to shine!

Mary Rose Anglo:
Lead Teacher 3 Year Old Honeybeesmissmary

Hi, I’m known as Mary to many and Miss. Mary to many little ones. I’m a pet parent to a dog name “Lubdub”, and a lover of all road trips, beach camping, books, family bonding, Christmas, and everything food. This will be my fifth school year at Chesterbrook as the 3’s Lead Teacher and an assistant in the after care program. It’s truly rewarding to witness each child uniquely develop and mature throughout years. My favorite perk about being a teacher is the genuine affection from children, and being considered one of their best friends. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from working with preschoolers, it’s their positive perspective on life. Life is simple, enjoy the adventure!

Carol Lucarelli:
Lead After Care Teacher

 

Hi, my name is Carol Lucarelli. I’m excited to start my first year of teaching at Chesterbrook as an after care Lead teacher! I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and I recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications. I look forward to pursuing a career in education because many of my teachers have been inspiring role models. I hope to help children believe in their dreams and realize their potential with the power of education. I’m excited to learn from the students and have fun each and every day!

Kara Foster-Bey:
Lead After Care TeacherKara pic

Hi, my name is Kara Foster-Bey. This will be my first year working as a lead after care teacher at Chesterbrook and I couldn’t be more excited! I am currently a student at George Mason University. I am pursuing my degree in psychology and hope to become a child and adolescent therapist in the future. I have spent the last few years teaching children to swim. In my spare time I enjoy yoga, swimming, playing the guitar, and hanging out with my dog Floyd. I am looking forward to a wonderful school year here at Chesterbrook!

 

Simin Fathollahi:
Lead Teacher After Care

My name is Simin Fathollahi and I work as lead teacher  in the Panda Cubs napping room class on MondayWednesday and Friday Afternoons.   I have BS in chemistry, CDA  in 2006 and Montessori Diploma in 2015.  I have 2 daughters in elementary school. I enjoy working with young children and I love cooking, reading, going to gym and traveling during my free time.

Assistant Teachers

 June Lee:
Assistant Teacher Lions  Pre-K    

My name is June Lee and I am the Assistant teacher in the Lions class.  Currently I live in Falls Church with my husband and my daughter who recently graduated college.  I graduated from the Ehwa Women’s University in Korea and then received my MFA in Architectural Lighting Design from  Parsons School of Design.   I have been working with preschool children for more than 10 years. During that time I have taken numerous training courses and CDA classes.  I began working here at Chesterbrook when it opened in September of 2008.  In my free time I enjoy shopping, traveling, going to concerts and hiking with my dog Tony.  I truly enjoy working with young children because I love their laughing, imagination and mistakes.  It is my pleasure to be the part of their early years of school.

Nina Wu-Grossman:
Assistant Teacher Lions Pre-K, Early Bird

My name is Nina Grossman and I am excited to begin my 6th year as an assistant teacher at Chesterbrook UMC I have a BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology.  I am also certified to teach in a Montessori classroom for ages 3 to 6.  I have been a lead teacher in a Montessori and traditional preschool setting as well as taught English as a second language and tutored children ages 2 ½ through 6 grade in Hawaii. Since living in Virginia the past few years, I have tutored young children and have been an assistant teacher.

My loving husband and I are proud parents of 3 boys and our family time is of great value to me. In my free time I enjoy music, exercising, dining out, traveling, pampering my dog “Koa”, musical productions and attending my youngest son’s lacrosse games.

At Chesterbrook UMC, I am driven to encourage children to learn and play cooperatively, respectfully and independently in a positive, loving and nurturing environment.  Working with children is an inspiration to me and I love to see their enthusiasm to learn and grow.

Alice Daniel:
Assistant Teacher Lions Pre-K, After Care
alice profile

                   My name is Alice Daniels and I was born and grew up in Pakistan.  I have a degree in Education and taught in Pakistan for about 15 years.  When I moved to the United States  I was a nanny for a family in the Virginia area for ten years.  I began working for Chesterbrook UMC Preschool in September of 2009.   Currently I work in the Early Birds program and I am a classroom floater assisting with all sessions.  I truly enjoy working here and hope to continue my education in the future to gain more opportunities in this field.

 

Adriana Garcia:
Assistant Teacher Caterpillars, After Care adriana bio pic

Hi, my name is Adriana Garcia. I first started working with kids, when I was 16. I taught Sunday School at my local church for two consecutive years. It was then when I decided to become a teacher.  This is my second year working at CUMC and my third year working in a pre-school.  It has been a great honor and privilege to be teaching such an amazing group of kids that walk through our doors. I love coming to work. Everyday is different and special, with each child opening up and discovering new things. Knowing that you have taught them something new is simply amazing.  I have been given the great opportunity to be lead teacher in the aftercare program. I am a current student at Northern Virginia Community College and will graduate in the Spring of 2015.  I then plan to transfer to George Mason University and graduate with a major in History and a minor in Early Childhood Education.  I have also completed trainings for preschool teachings and attended seminars during the year. With the help of my fellow staff members I am confident that this will be a great year.

 

Anastasia Martynova :
Assistant Teacher Early Bird, Bumblebees
Yoga Teacher in Aftercareanastasia pic

Hi, my name is Anastasia and I am honored to be part of the Chesterbrook UMC Preschool. I admire working with kids and it has been always my passion and dream to commit time, effort, and love for teaching kids. I am eager to remind children about their true nature and teach them with love, compassion, and patience. Children are our planetary future generation and they need our guidance, support, and care. Also, I would like to remind every child to live in the present moment and focus on their beautiful inner world. I am devoted to work with kids and teach artistic and creative way of living through exploration and discovery! My role as a future teacher is to create safe, loving, and trusted environment in order for kids to open up and share their true knowledge and wisdom. I have open and authentic heart and I am ready to go though discovery journey with kids. I truly believe that “educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all” (Aristotle 322- 384 BC).

 

Chas Bowling:
Assistant Teacher After Care               

Hi, my name is Chas Bowling and this is my first year at Chesterbrook. I’m from Falls Church and have lived in the area my entire life. I’m currently studying at Norther Virginia Community College and in the future I hope to become a teacher. I’m really looking forward to an amazing year with all the students and I can’t wait to see what we all have to learn from each other!

Antonio Chan:
Assistant Teacher After Care

Hi, my name is Antonio Chan and this is my first year working at CUMC. I’ve lived my entire life here in McLean and after a short stint in College Station, Texas last year I’m happy to be back. Currently, I’m studying engineering at Northern Virginia Community College with plans to transfer to UVA, VT, or VCU for mechanical engineering. Although this is my first year, I’m looking forward to a great year with all the students!

Enrichment:

Music Teacher: Jessica Ng          

Hi, my name is Jessica Ng, and I am thrilled to join the Chesterbrook team this year as music teacher.  While I’m originally from Pensacola, FL, I have lived for six years in Dunn Loring with my husband and two elementary-school-age daughters.  I earned my undergrad and Master of Science degree in Deep-Sea Biology from the College of William and Mary, where I also loved singing in the Women’s Chorus.  Since 2012, I have been singing in a local Christian rock band, The Restless, and we have performed for churches, youth groups, and community events such as Viva Vienna and the Arlington County Fair.  I love teaching Music and Movement to preschoolers for their playful joy at making music and dancing, but also for the sheer entertainment!  They absolutely make me smile.

Zumba Instructor: Line Corvari               

Originally from Norway, Line Corvari has lived in the US since age 5. She has lived in McLean, VA for over 20 years and is married with three children, whom she has coached in multiple sports over the years.  Although Line started her career in advertising and has a BA from James Madison University, she moved on to teaching preschool and then eventually focused her efforts on teaching Zumba Kids and Hip/Hop Kids for the past 5 years. Staying active is a priority for Line and her family and she tries to share that spirit and enthusiasm with her Zumba Kids.