2020-2021 Annual Report

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Mission and Vision 3 Faculty and Staff 5 A Message from the Head of School 7 A Note from the President of the Board of Trustees 9 MSNV Financial Report 11 MSNV Donors 13 Spring Fling Bingo 15 MSNV Campuses Get New Look 17 MSNV Hosts Graduation 2021 18 Alumni in Action 19 Alumni Spotlight

MISSION VISION OUR MISSION: We inspire and guide children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them.

OUR VISION: We envision a humane and peaceful society where people of all ages feel reverence and responsibility for all that sustains life on Earth.

OUR STATEMENT ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: MSNV has a responsibility and a role in advocating for a world of love, acceptance, understanding, and inclusion. We empower our community to embrace these values by fostering respectful and compassionate interactions with all people. We aim for our students to embody a profound appreciation and respect for differences and interconnection, and to move forward with a commitment to equity, justice, and inclusion.

A NOTE ON THE ANNUAL REPORT Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our listing of donors. If you find an error or omission, please contact Kari Cafeo, Head of School at kcafeo@msnv.org or Andreka Johnson, Director of Marketing Communications at ajohnson@msnv.org. All gifts listed in this report are those received between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.


Faculty & Staff ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORT STAFF Kari Cafeo Head of School Janig Baladouni Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Andreka Johnson Director of Marketing Communications

Sara Bannon Director of Accounting and Human Resources

Peter Leresche Technology Coordinator

Beth Bell-Leresche Director of Parent Engagement

Will Sacarelos Facilities Manager

Christie Cameron Office Assistant

Gretchen Straczewski Director of Admission and Enrollment Management

Stephanie Hagopian Human Resources

Oanh Tran Valleybrook Office Manager

Diana Hwang Hillbrook Office Manager


PREPRIMARY Christy Chen Casey Choi Jessica Mejia Bhawana Gurung

REMOTE LEARNING Elizabeth Kyvig Tracy Hall David Morgan

PRIMARY Carlee Cameron Jean Carr Timothy Chen Martyna Dziala Ingrid Fol Janine Labak Kathryn Lazaro Gina Moeller Atim Obidegwu Jared Oerke Camilla Roberts Rachel Romano



Amanda Glithero Aaron Pierce Kristan Rivera Timothy Schwartz

Catharina Jacknow Amy Schlenker Baylen Wagner






Heidi Bishop Pauline Novak

Mike Drennan Band

Christie Cameron Manon Diz Claudia Grayson Bhawana Gurung Rebeca Sandoval

Nate Oliver Music/Physical Education Claudia Rohaly Physical Education Rebeca Sandoval Spanish Teacher Christopher Tolbert Music



Head of School In the fall of 2020 the Montessori School of Northern Virginia stood to do what it has done for decades — open our doors and hearts to students. However, this wasn’t your typical school year. We were in the middle of a pandemic. Schools and businesses around us were learning and working remotely, and we were among the few opening up to a world and circumstances that months earlier were beyond our comprehension. Yet, there we stood, steadied by our reopening plan, supported by the dedication of our wonderful families, and encouraged by the tenacity of our faculty and staff. The 2020-2021 school year saw us delve into remote and in-person learning, continue to support our school through the Spring Fling Bingo, as well as see campus renovations through to their fruition. Our tenacious group of educators successfully pivoted into their roles as remote and in-person instructors. MSNV developed a remote learning team dedicated to leading students through virtual lessons and preparing them for school upon their return to campus. For classroom teachers, MSNV’s reopening meant balancing safety protocols with maintaining an authentic Montessori experience, incorporating remote students into classroom activities and lessons, and supporting students through a unique and challenging time in our shared history. The ability for our students to continue learning through this pandemic is due in no small part to the fearless dedication and leadership of our teachers. Few, if any, businesses were left unscathed by the financial strains caused by COVID-19. However, MSNV invested heavily during the pandemic to allow our students to come and safely attend school. From testing supplies to additional staff and equipment — MSNV prioritized the needs of the community to ensure that students could attend in-person classes five days a week. Smaller class sizes were needed to make teaching in a pandemic possible and had a significant impact on MSNV's revenue for the year. Support from local businesses and our school community helped make our Spring Fling fundraiser a success, raising money for the MSNV Fund and helping the school execute a successful school year. For decades the aging front entryway of our Hillbrook campus remained virtually untouched. This all began to change in February of 2021 with the replacement of the front doors and extended throughout the summer with further renovations. The end result is a bright, open space ready to welcome our families to campus.


Everything we accomplished this year, we did together. At every turn we met each other with strength, kindness, and grace. While we were not able to be physically together as we have done in the past, we remained connected through our shared desire to see our community grow and thrive in the midst of unfathomable circumstances. Each of us is a piece of the MSNV puzzle, and when we work together, we make the picture complete. With warmest regards,

Kari Cafeo Head of School




MSNV BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dear Friends of MSNV, At the beginning of this year, we committed ourselves to the work of ensuring the health and safety of our community. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish to thank everyone for their collective support of and cooperation with new protocols. Although this school year was not what any of us would call typical, together we created a special space and a Montessori experience for students to learn, grow, and thrive, while protecting our children, faculty, and administration. This successful year was made possible by our amazing Head of School Kari Cafeo, her dedicated administrative staff, and our devoted faculty who remained steadfast in their commitment to inspire and guide our children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them. Through carefully designed mitigation plans and procedures, they provided a safe and exceptional learning environment for our students. Maria Montessori once said, “The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” Our children met this challenging year with resilience and grace and were shining examples for the community around them. They respected new rules and understood that when we take care of ourselves, we take care of one another. In keeping with our promise to engage all of our community, classroom observations and showcases as well as parent-teacher conferences were held over Zoom. We held virtual adventures after extended breaks to ensure that when we returned to campus, we returned as a healthy community. In what became our “new normal,” we continued to host a variety of events, mostly virtual, that encouraged life-long learning and allowed us to connect with one another. We held a socially distant, outdoor MSNV Movie Night; a COVID-19 overview talk; diversity discussions; and our first family community book-read and innovation challenge. Our Young Alumni Service Group also hosted a virtual Montessori Climate Invention Convention. Due largely to the creative determination of Sara Bannon, MSNV’s Director of Accounting and HR, we reimagined our annual fundraising event and held a virtual Spring Fling. It was truly an amazing and magical evening of laughter, family bingo, and entertainment that once again brought our community together and raised important funds to financially support and sustain MSNV.


In order to follow social-distance guidelines and safely resume in person learning, we made the decision to limit enrollment and reduce the number of students per classroom. Fortunately, the reduction in tuition revenue was partially offset by two Paycheck Protection Program loans and additional state grants received by MSNV. Although we are unable to lift all enrollment restrictions at this time, the board and administration are continuously evaluating options to meet demand and growth. We are constantly seeking to improve our buildings and grounds here at MSNV as well. At Valleybrook, a new wooden sign featuring our logo now welcomes families to our community. Two new front doors were installed at our Hillbrook campus and over the summer we began renovations to the exterior of our Hillbrook campus. When families returned this fall, they were met with a bright, airy, and modern entryway to welcome new and returning friends back to the campus. I am excited that families can continue to be a part of this new addition by participating in fundraising efforts for additional art designs for the front entryway. In January 2020 our Board of Trustees, which is charged with establishing and promoting our mission, vision, and strategic goals, as well as oversight of governance and the long-term financial well-being of the school, began the strategic planning process. Although the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily put this process on hold while we undertook the daunting task of navigating the ever-changing logistical landscape, the goals and priorities we identified in early 2020 endured. Five clear priorities emerged as the focus of our work: our program; faculty and staff; community and 2020-2021 MSNV culture; facilities; and long-term sustainability. Now we are ready to BOARD OF TRUSTEES build on these goals to realize a thriving and fully sustainable community that is prepared to educate future generations to come. Ruba Afzal The 2021-2025 strategic plan will guide us for the next four years. Rooted in our core values, our strategic plan will advance our mission and strives to achieve our shared vision. Over the next four years, we will make this plan a living reality for MSNV, demonstrating that MSNV is committed to educational excellence as an authentic Montessori school, based on the principles and practices developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. I am thankful for the many dedicated and devoted people who gave their effort, time, and energy to help us in the development of this strategic plan. And I am especially thankful for the commitment of my fellow members of the board of trustees with whom I have the pleasure to serve this past year. This year truly showed that when we work together, we can accomplish amazing things. Thank you again for your support and partnership.

Kent Allen Alex Attard Daryn Cambridge Allison Carpenter Kelly Engstrom Vice President & Treasurer Michele Ney Jennifer O’Sullivan Secretary Michael Ramires Stacy King Scanlon

With gratitude,

President Malini Sekhar Subodh Sundaram

Stacy King Scanlon President, MSNV Board of Trustees, 2020-2021





Extended Day

$1,216,000 Pandemic Support








Tuition & Fees (Net)

$3,406,797.41 Instruction







Extended Day


General and Administrative



Note from Financial Statements

During the year ended June 30, 2021, MSNV incurred $126,967 in COVID related expenses in operating expenses during the pandemic. The expenses included costs for personal protective equipment, nursing, Coronavirus tests, additional janitorial and cleaning supplies, cameras for teachers, and technology costs. MSNV also invested $16,300 capital expenditures to install needle point ionizers into our HVAC systems.




MSNV DONORS We are happy to recognize the following individuals who made gifts to MSNV this year through the MSNV Fund. Your generosity supports every aspect of our Montessori community so that we may inspire and guide our children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them. Your contributions are helping to produce creative and innovative leaders for tomorrow's world. PRACTICAL LIFE LEADERS (GIFTS OF $6000+) Kent Allen Allison Carpenter and Nabeel Yousef Barbara Francis and Robert Musser Sabrina M. Rose-Smith and John Smith III

BEAD CHAIN BENEFACTORS (GIFTS OF $2400+) Joedy and Richard Cambridge Kelly and Eric Engstrom Alexandra and Morgan Reed

PINK TOWER BUILDERS (GIFTS OF $1200+) Nausheen Iqbal and Subodh Sundaram Melissa and Ryan Lasalle Michele and Joseph Ney In Loving Memory of Vivian Richard Stacy and Matt Scanlon

OUTDOOR NATURE NURTURERS (GIFTS OF $600+) Anonymous Maria and Alex Attard Sara and Tristan Bannon Katie and Eric S. Casper Sooyon and Mitchell Cho Miriam and Nabil Marshood Anne and Michael Ramires Christine and Christian Tansey

GLOBAL PATHFINDER PATRONS (GIFTS OF $300+) Katie Ahlfeld and Timothy Schwartz Amazon Smile Foundation Anonymous The Bladen Group Kari and Rick Cafeo Rebecca and Michael Cranna Abigail and John Cruikshank Jamie and Michael Frayser Katherine and Kevin Gronberg Janig and Dru Heard Nicole and Jason Kaeding Monika Mellem and Oscar Ganteaume Pauline Ney


GLOBAL PATHFINDER PATRONS (GIFTS OF $300+) FRIENDS OF MSNV (Up to $99) AJennifer and Robert O'Sullivan Atim and Chuma Obidegwu Malini Sekhar and Annop Kumar Emily Smith and Eric Crusius Rahel Tesfagaber and Tsegaye Eyob

METAL INSET SUPPORTERS (GIFTS OF $100+) Martha and Edward Bond Cynthia Brady Kristen Campbell and Lauren Hoeck Christy & Tim Chen Ingrid Diz-Fol and Joaquin Diz Angela and Vi Sieu Duong Karyn and Jim Ferro Amanda Glithero Sara Grossman Stephanie Hagopian Yasmine Kaidbey and Rabih Zahnan Alexandra and Amy Khalaf Sandra Khalaf F Patrick LaSalle Alyson Lipsky and Daryn Cambridge Gina and Jeff Moeller Kara and Kevin Murphy Pauline and Bill Novak Ana Olman and Ricardo Herrero Friend of Vivian Richard Katherine and Michael Roxberry Chandra and Valsala Sekhar Nancy Smith Sarah and Erik Tavcar Jen and Daniel Voss Sue Zhao and Rajiv Fernandez

Elizabeth Bell-Leresche and Garry Bell Heidi and Bud Bishop Jean and Dan Carr Elizabeth and Andy Covington Nadia Eldeib Ann Ferris and Thorsten Ziegler Bhawana Gurung Diana Hwang Kathleen O'Hearn and Jerry Brito Will Sacarelos Jacqueline Savage Amy and Ralph Schlenker Gillian and Baylen Wagner Genevieve and Ed Waller

BETSY MITCHELL FUND Rebecca and Michael Cranna DMB Foundation Julianne Mueller Fran Wilson

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE All donors who give $600+ are members of the Leadership Circle.

*Bolded names gave more than $20,000.



MSNV would like to thank the numerous virtual attendees of our first Spring Fling Bingo. We would also like to acknowledge the sponsors, silent auction donors, and silent auction winners who helped make this event a success. Thank you for your attendance and for your gracious generosity!



SILENT AUCTION DONORS A Dog's Day Out Kent Allen Sara Bannon C4 Performing Art LLC Kari Cafeo Christie Cameron Jean Carr Charles Schwab Clay Cafe Compost Crew Kelly D'Amboise Saraswati Khlasa Labelle MD Esthetics LandArt Peter Leresche Meadows Farm Dave Morgan

MSNV Admin Team MSNV Board of Trustees MSNV Classroom Parents Pauline Novak Atim Obidegwu Nathan Oliver Claudia "Coach" Rohaly Rachel Romano Jackie Savage and Amy Schlenker Stacy Scanlon Timothy Schwartz Malini Sekar Signature Theater Toy Nest W&H Realty Kareem Walkes

Bolded names donated items valued at $1000+.

SPECIAL THANKS A huge thank you to Kareem Walkes and his band for providing the entertainment for the evening.


Thank you to Kent Allen for leading our Development Committee and his unwavering support of MSNV. A special thank you to Elizabeth Covington for helping to secure silent auction donations.


SILENT AUCTION WINNERS Ruba and Daniel Afzal Sarah Banks Sara and Tristan Bannon Heidi and Bud Bishop Paula Boggs and Peter Seitz Adrianna Bravo and Matt Fitzgerald Victoria Bryant and Christopher Bateman Allison Carpenter and Nabeel Yousef Sooyon and Mitchell Cho Karen Consiglio and Ron Johnson Kelly Crandall Catarina Cronquist and Andrew Tappert Jessica and David Culverhouse Amy Dundas Ann Ferris and Thorsten Ziegler Angela Gaw Susan Goldstein Katherine and Kevin Gronberg Laura Head Janig and Dru Heard Nausheen Iqbal and Subodh Sundaram Andreka Johnson Nicole and Jason Kaeding Charandeep Kala Julie and Marshall Kasten Stacey S. Kerns

Lydia and Luke Kyohere Alyson Lipsky and Daryn Cambridge Jamie Maldonado and Eric Ubias Devon Malene Monika Mellem and Oscar Ganteaume Ashley and Ken Moeller Michele and Joseph Ney Frauke Nitschke and Steven Dodd Pauline and Bill Novak Lisa and John Ohlweiler Leah Quadrino and Finley Martin Anne and Michael Ramires Nikki Rogers and Douglas Barrier Caitlin and Nick Rossmann Stacy and Matt Scanlon Yan Shu and Nathan Smoot Cristina Stefanita and Francis Moran Jacquie Stone and Richard Novak Alison and Thomas Sullivan Christine and Christian Tansey Beth and Christopher Teigue Rebecca and Bruce Terry JuliAnn Tuleya and Peter Ditchett Claudia Urjel and Richard Fishbein Abigail Vernon Genevieve and Ed Waller

Bolded names purchased items at $1000+. Please note, Gong donor gifts were included as part of annual giving.



GET NEW LOOK A first impression is often a lasting impression. That’s one of the reasons why the upkeep and development of MSNV’s buildings and grounds is vitally important. In February, MSNV kicked off a renovation project that aimed to extend the bright and airy feeling of our classrooms to Hillbrook’s front exterior. Hillbrook’s aging exterior necessitated not only a new look but increased functionality. Early in 2021, two new front doors were installed at the front entryway. Then, after months of meetings with the architect and contractor, renovations began at the conclusion of school. The renovation provides better coverage for staff and students from the weather’s harsh elements and introduces natural light to the entrance way. It also incorporates the icons of the school’s logo and effortlessly captures MSNV’s love for nature with the curved wooden benches and vaulted wood ceiling. The entryway wasn’t the only part of Hillbrook that got a fresh face. MSNV also created a new library area and added new flooring to the back of the school. At Valleybrook, both the exterior and interior of the school were painted. MSNV hopes to continue with additional improvements in the future to keep its campuses warm and welcoming and our classrooms a comfortable place to work and play.








MSNV’s Young Alumni Service Group is dedicated to effecting change both within and beyond the MSNV community. In the fall of 2020 the group met to plan their year of service together around the chosen theme of climate change. The group decided to break down the topic to specifically focus on the three areas: renewable energies, food production and consumption, and climate legislation. In the months that followed, the alumni conducted a virtual Climate Symposium, hosted virtual lessons on climate topics, and held the virtual Montessori Climate Invention Convention. The Climate Symposium offered both the alumni and the MSNV community an opportunity to delve deeper into climate change issues before the group moved forward with their community service work in the spring. On January 30, the alum heard from local experts in the field, including representatives from the areas of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy. In addition, Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul and a representative from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network discussed climate legislation. Finally, a representative from the Food Climate League spoke about the relationship between climate change and food production and consumption. From March 30-April 30 the alumni held virtual lessons for Montessori schools across the DMV area. Lesson topics reflected their three focus areas and were developed with Primary and Elementary students in mind. The seven-part lesson series occurred during school hours, and included such topics as: Renewables: Solar Power, Legislative: How a Climate Bill Becomes a Law, and Food and Climate Change. These lessons motivated students to think about their roles in the climate picture and how they could make a difference. In fact, two Upper Elementary students drafted a petition in support of increased recycling in Virginia, garnering signatures in support from multiple fellow students, staff, and parents. While another Montessori student in the Charlottesville area started her own organization aimed at moving Charlottesville schools to convert wholly to solar energy. The alumni concluded the year with the virtual Montessori Climate Invention Convention in May. The event invited Montessori students from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to think and learn about issues of climate change and have an opportunity to creatively tackle a climate solution for their community. The guest presenter for the event was Helene Shore from 350 Fairfax, who kicked off the event with inspiration for all. Ultimately, the Convention challenged students to innovate ways, large and small, artistic to scientific, to tackle the climate problem. We applaud the alumni for the work they’ve done to educate and inspire our community in the area of climate change. The great effort they put into planning and executing the various events throughout the year has been exceptional. Their commitment shows that whether an idea be big or small — no effort is insignificant.




MSNV created these open and flexible spaces, where I was able to connect with my own heritage and culture while cultivating deep interpersonal connections with students and instilling within myself a drive for leadership and organization.

Hermela Samuel graduated from MSNV in 2016 with a class of fellow exceptional young Montessorians who asked MSNV how they could stay connected, thereby becoming the brainchild for today’s MSNV Young Alumni Service Group (“Alum Group”). The group’s desire to stay connected to each other and to the school through community service has developed into an involved community that plays an integral role in leading MSNV in community outreach around a chosen topic for service each year. Hermela has been a core part of the group, including last year when she and her three other cofounders became a leadership team to guide the alum group. After Hermela graduated from MSNV, she attended Westminster School and then went on to National Cathedral School in Washington, DC where she is a senior. Hermela shared some of the experiences that made her time at MSNV so special. What is your fondest memory of MSNV? It was the time I was able to spend in the Lower Elementary classrooms as a helper during my time in Upper Elementary. I remember in particular one student, a young Ethiopian boy who I was able to partner with and guide in Amharic. MSNV created these open and flexible spaces, where I was able to connect with my own heritage and culture while cultivating deep interpersonal connections with students and instilling within myself a drive for leadership and organization. Helping out in that class required me/challenged me to express myself more clearly and learn the importance of supportive environments. How has being a member of the Alumni Service Group helped to develop your leadership skills? It has definitely helped me a lot. The group work that we complete to reach our goals and organize events, requires patience, creativity (reflection), empathy, and passion. I think that as a member of the leadership team throughout this pandemic has taught me a lot of valuable lessons: staying motivated even when plans don't work out exactly how you want them; how to make the best of a setback; to be flexible; to check in on one another; aligning ourselves as a community. I think this past year has been


particularly meaningful and transformational for my relationship with MSNV and specifically alumni as we organized more through Zoom, which made community time so much more accessible. What lessons from MSNV have you taken with you on your educational journey? Something particularly unique to Montessori learning and values which I continue to carry with me is an emphasis on open learning. By allowing students to pursue their own interests within the classroom, I felt like I've been able to be. I know this is something you hear a lot about Montessori teaching style, but I genuinely believe I would not be the same person. As a graduate what would you say to parents about the MSNV experience and life after graduation? My MSNV experience was definitely transformational in the sense that I took every day as a chance to just be present and mindful of myself and my thoughts, without the worries of assignments and evaluations. For young children, I believe this is a great skill to develop that I believe has allowed me to thrive at NCS. Although class sizes may become larger in the future, I urge parents to encourage their children to continue to form personal relationships with teachers and make sure they take advantage of the resources available to them just like they would in a Montessori classroom.




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