Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff!

Spring Picnic 2019

Spring Pot Luck Picnic 2018

Forever in Our Hearts
Kara Foster-Bey
July 27, 1993 – April 1, 2019

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, it’s glory and beauty belong to our world.  But, then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel blessed to have seen it.

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 plus 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, middle and high 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.  I have been working here at Chesterbrook since they opened their doors in 2008. I currently work in the office everyday from 8:45 am until 5:00 pm.  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 third 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 3 year old 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 5 day class.  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 9 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 Honeybees                                               

Hi, my name is Mary Rose G. Anglo aka Ms. Mary. I’m married to my best friend and together we have two WILD THINGS- one quirky girl and an active baby boy.  I’m also a pet parent who loves family time, food, beach camping, traveling, late night Target runs, and Christmas.
I’ve been with CUMC Pre-K & Aftercare since 2009. Through the years I’ve been the 2s lead teacher and 3s co-lead & lead teacher. I have an A.A.S. degree from NVCC in Early Childhood Development. I enjoy preschoolers because of their humor, their imagination, and their enthusiasm for daily discoveries. I truly believe that the first 5 years are the most fundamental years of a child’s growth and development. As a teacher, I endeavor to create a fun-loving, positive learning environment and to make every child always feel loved- no matter what, no matter when.
I look forward to every school year and creating exciting adventures with my little CUMC friends.

Chas Bowling:
Lead Teacher After Care               

Hi, my name is Chas Bowling and this is my second 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

Adriana Garcia:
Lead After Care, Caterpillar Assistant & Early Bird

Hello! My name is Adriana Garcia. This year I will be an assistant to Ms.Mihye in the caterpillars class. Additionally, I will be the lead aftercare teacher in the nap/penguin room.

I previously attended Northern Virginia Community College where I received my A.A in Liberal Arts. I’m currently attending George Mason University, working toward my B.A in education/history. At the age of 16 I began teaching Sunday school and I continued in the position for two years. During that time I discovered my passion for working with children and decided to pursue a career as a teacher.

This is my sixth year working at CUMC and my seventh year working in a preschool setting. It’s been a great honor and privilege to be able to teach such an amazing group of kids. From the moment they walk through our door, I can always count on their shining smiles and witty comments to brighten my day.

CUMC is my home away from home. As a staff we always work together to better ourselves professionally and we come together as a family no matter the situation. Everyday at CUMC is different, special, and heartwarming. And above all else, being able to watch children discover and teach them new skills is simply amazing!

Johanne Miller:
Lead Aftercare Teacher & Caterpillar Assistant Teacher                                 

Hi! My name is Jo Miller and I live in Arlington with my husband. I’m an Assistant Teacher in the Lions Class and After Care. Though I hold a double degree in International Studies and Business Management, I’ve always been drawn to teaching. When I lived in Arizona, I taught Sunday School. When my husband and I lived in South Korea, I taught English as a second language at various levels from preschool kids to grandmothers. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to help teach kids here at Chesterbrook. Working with children is so fulfilling—we watch them learn and grow, and they remind us life’s simplest joys. When I’m not teaching, I love volunteering at a local non-profit thrift shop and exploring new places with my husband.

Assistant Teachers

Simin Fathollahi:
Assistant Teacher Bumblebee Class                                                            

My name is Simin Fathollahi and I work as an assistnat teacher in teh 5 day 3-year-old Bumblebee class.   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.

 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

My name is Nina Grossman and I am excited to begin my 7th 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  Bumblebee,Early Bird & 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.


Music Teacher: Jessica Ng          

Hi, my name is Jessica Ng, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Chesterbrook team 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.


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May 2024