Meet Lead Staff at John XXIII Montessori Children's Center
Laura Accettullo - Executive Director, Level II & Level III Catechist
A Montessori child herself, Laura remembers what a joy it was for her to attend Montessori School. Graduating from the University of Virginia, she and her husband Mark incorporated Montessori principles in the home education of their nine children. Since being introduced to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program in 2000, Laura has received CGS certification in Levels I, II and III, and is additionally recognized as a CGS National Formation Leader. Laura is coordinator with St. John’s parish for John XXIII’s Sacramental preparation, volunteers with St. John’s Religious Education program, and is a founding Board member of John XXIII. A proud Nana, she is delighted that her three granddaughters attend at the Center. Laura, Mark and their family live at Briarmead Farm, a “beyond organic” grass-fed farm producing beef, lamb and dairy; a Slow Food DC “Snail of Approval Award” recipient for the past several years..
Nancy Briggs - Administrative Director and Registrar
Nancy Briggs has been involved with John XXIII Montessori Center since its early years as a parent, and has served as Registrar since 2008 and Administrative Director of the Center since 2011. A graduate of Christendom College and Catholic University, Nancy has held a variety of part-time academic and administrative positions at Christendom College. Nancy and Douglas are blessed with nine children and four grandchildren.
Doreen Murtagh Wilfong - Primary Directress
Doreen graduated from St. Nicholas Montessori College in Dublin, Ireland, where she trained to teach in the Montessori method to ages 2-12. She has also completed CGS Level I training and is a Wilson Reading System specialist. During her 30 years' work in Montessori education, Doreen has taught in Ireland, Canada and Virginia; has owned and operated a Montessori school; and has taught all levels from toddler through elementary. Her three children have all attended Montessori schools, and she and her family reside in Frederick County, VA.
Eileen Janaro - Elementary Directress
Eileen Janaro graduated with a Masters in English from the University of Dallas. She has been teaching for 19 years, inspired by Montessori principles for the last 16 years, and has been the Center’s Montessori elementary directress since 2009. Eileen completed her AMI Elementary certification as well as a Master's degree in Montessori Elementary Education at The Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University of Maryland. Eileen and her husband, John, have been blessed with five children.
Colleen Hencken - Elementary Assistant Directress
Colleen Hencken graduated with a BA in History from Christendom College in 1999. She has been teaching for nine years. Colleen completed her AMI Elementary Certification and Masters Degree in Montessori Elementary Education at the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University in Maryland. She also participated in the Level 1 training of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Siena Academy. She was Siena Academy’s Elementary Directress for three years and then went on to work part time as an Elementary Assistant at Mountain Laurel Montessori School for two years. Colleen began to assist the Center in the Spring of 2014. She is blessed with three children; Gabriel, Clare, and Roisin.
Kristin Uhlenkott - Level II Atrium Assistant Catechist
Kristin graduated with a BA from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001 and was introduced to Montessori and the Catechism of the Good Shepherd in 2006, when she started her Level I training at John XXIII. She began to assist at the Center in 2008, and was the lead catechist in the Thursday afternoon Level I Atrium 2009-2014. Taking on the next level of CGS, Kristin currently enjoys working as the Friday Level II Assistant Catechist. Kristin is blessed with five children.
Corinne Hambleton - Toddler Guide
Corinne graduated with a BA in English from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She received her AMI Primary certification from The Montessori Institute of North Texas, and her Level 1 CGS certification here at John XXIII. With 9+ years of experience working in the Atrium (Levels 1 and 2) and in the Primary Classroom, she is happy to be rejoining the John XXIII staff this year. She has a daughter, Joy, who has inspired her to become more interested in Dr. Montessori's work with the child under 3, and who joins her in the Toddler Atrium each week.
Susan Hibl - Thursday & Friday Level II-III Atrium Catechist
Susan graduated from Christendom College in 1990 with a BA in English. She began her CGS training and assisting at John XXIII in 2006. She recently finished her CGS Level II training this past summer. She says that CGS training is a beautiful personal retreat with the Good Shepherd and feels extremely blessed to be able to share this work with children in the beautiful Atrium environment. Susan and her husband Chip have 13 children and live in Bentonville, VA. She is also the Parent Guild Coordinator and her daughter, Maria Hibl, is also a Level I trained Assistant Catechist at John XXIII Montessori.
Michelle Castellan - Level I Atrium Catechist
Michelle has a B.A. in Theology from Christendom College and a M.T.S. from John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and the Family. She has been a catechist with John XXIII Montessori Children’s Center since 2005, currently as the Three Morning program Level I lead catechist. In the past, she has been a Toddler Catechist and Level II Catechist. Michelle is certified in Levels I and II of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Michelle and her husband, Bill, have five children.
Jessica Meza - Level I Atrium Catechist
Jessica graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Christendom College where she was introduced to the work of both Maria Montessori and Sophia Cavelletti. She completed her Level I Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training in 2012 and was Assistant in the Atrium for 2 years. Jessica is lead catechist in the Level I Atrium on Friday mornings. Jessica and her husband, Jacob have been blessed with three children: Rose Marie, Samuel and Benjamin.
Marie F. - Level I Thursday Atrium Catechist
Marie graduated from Ave Maria University and is currently the Thursday Level I Catechist as well as Toddler Atrium Catechist.