Kavitha Mehta is a native of Northcrest Indiana and attended Casa Montessori in the early 1980s. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with minors in Spanish and Biology. Kavitha worked in corporate finance at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she held various forecasting and analysis positions with such brands as Iams, Vicks, and Crest. In 2008, Kavitha earned her AMI Primary diploma at the Washington Montessori Institute and a Masters in Montessori Education at Loyola University Maryland. She was a Primary guide for eight years and is the founder and Head of School of Northcrest Montessori in Clarksville, Maryland. She also serves on the board of the Montessori Schools of Maryland. Kavitha lives in Maryland with her husband Nick and her children Lara and Dilan, both of whom were Montessori students.
Grace LeeSecretary, Board of Directors
Grace Lee has been fortunate to be part of the long standing DC Montessori community. She attended Georgetown University and received a B.A. in History. She completed her Primary training at the Washington Montessori Institute and received a M.Ed at Loyola University. She has experience as a Primary Guide in both the private and public sectors. Grace also had the opportunity to serve as the Montessori Instructional Specialist in the Office of Early Childhood with the District of Columbia Public Schools. She currently serves as the Director of Admissions at Aidan Montessori School. Grace is also an AMI Primary Consultant, in the Training of Trainers Programme at the Montessori Training Center Northeast, and co-leader of the DC Montessori Coalition state advocacy group.
Grace is passionate about all things DC and is very excited to be part of a thriving city that continues to provide ever-increasing access to high quality, authentic Montessori education across all sectors.
Stacy Fresch is a Partner in Forensic Risk Alliance’s Washington DC office and has nearly 26 years of private and public sector experience providing advice on a variety of multinational compliance, financial reporting and forensic accounting matters. Before joining FRA in 2016, Stacy was a managing director in KPMG’s forensics practice and served as an assistant chief accountant in the SEC’s division of enforcement.Stacy is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a certified fraud examiner (CFE). She received her MBA at the College of William and Mary and earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at Dickinson College.
Maia Blankenship is an accomplished education entrepreneur and advocate for equity leading Wildflower’s growth in the DC Metro Area. She was the founding managing director for Education Pioneers, an organization that places talented people from other fields into education management roles. While serving as the regional executive director for The Achievement Network (ANet), an organization that provides high-quality aligned interim assessments and builds data-driven cultures in schools, she expanded its reach to over 200 schools in D.C. and Maryland. She then became Vice President of Strategic Growth & Partnerships at ANet, cultivating national and regional relationships that improved student performance. Maia is also an advisor and connector to organizations actively working to dismantle systemic racism and oppression, including serving as Vice-Chair of The Equity Lab. Most recently, she was awarded in the inaugural cohort of Black Voices for Black Justice Fund recipients. She is a ward 5 resident who lives in Brookland and the proud mother of an independent and adventurous 4 year old, who inspires her daily.
Alex has been a practicing technology attorney for more than 20 years, with a focus on the structuring and negotiation of complex technology-related arrangements for companies ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500. After starting her career at a boutique technology firm in Chicago, Alex and her husband moved to Maryland and formed Collins Technology Law together in 2008. The evolution of technology has expanded Alex’s practice beyond legal advice to also include broader strategic assistance and risk assessment to organizations navigating the rapidly changing technological landscape.
A native of suburban Chicago, Alex’s interest in Montessori education is long-standing, having attended a primary program there in the late 1970’s. Alex’s two children attended an Annapolis-area Montessori program for their entire primary and elementary educations, and her son graduated from a Montessori adolescent program in 8th grade. Alex’s experience as an active member of that vibrant Montessori community, as well as her appreciation for her children’s educational development, has made her a passionate advocate for Montessori education.
Alex graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in International Relations and Communications, and she holds her Juris Doctor from Northwestern University.
Michele Hutchinson is a Montessori Administrative Consultant with nearly 30 years of experience as a Montessori guide and administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Planning and Health Psychology from the University of Rochester, two Montessori teaching diplomas, and a Master of Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis.
Most recently, as Director of Conference Operations and a member of the Core Executive Team for Youth for a Better World, LLC, she trained Montessori teachers, chaired committees and inspired elementary and adolescent students to become young change-makers through programs such as Montessori Model United Nations.
Michele has a long-standing dedication and commitment to true Montessori excellence, AMI standards, and the Washington Montessori Institute, itself, as a flourishing teacher-training program. Her four children attended Montessori schools through 6th grade, and her daughter graduated from WMI in 2017.
Michele is also a portrait photographer specializing in children’s portraiture, and a workshop instructor for Michele Jeanine Photography.
Sailini founded Fiore Montessori along with her husband, Sandeep Lohia, in 2010. The school became accredited by the AMI USA (Association of Montessori Internationale) as a committed practitioner of the authentic Montessori accreditation standards. She is trained as an AMI Montessori Primary Guide and has over 8 years of experience working with children ages 3 – 6. Sailini holds a M.B.A. in Finance and B.S. in Commerce. In a previous life, Sailini worked as a Business Director for Capital One. She and her husband have two sons, ages 10 and 12, and live in Vienna, VA. She is a committed Iyengar Yoga student and enjoys playing Bridge.
Inga’s Montessori journey started 30 years ago when she completed primary Montessori training and opened a land-based Montessori program on her family farm in Maryland. Her Master’s degree in Arts Administration from American University, Washington DC, led to the position of Arts Integration Coordinator for DC Public Schools, where she participated in a pioneering project to bring multicultural programs to underserved learning communities. She later added her AMI elementary Montessori diploma from Washington Montessori Institute, together with a M. Ed. at Loyola University Maryland, and continued to serve as Montessori guide and administrator in the DMV area. Inga holds a certificate in elemental music and movement from George Mason University, Virginia, and has always integrated multisensory and playful music activities in her classrooms. She is the Founder of Montessori-Orff Music and offers world-wide workshops, based on her lesson manual “Montessori and Orff’s Elemental Music: Pathways to Universal Musicianship.”