Anila was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and moved to Virginia, USA in 1996 with her family. She is working toward her Montessori Primary Certification after being inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy and how it prepares children for their future. She has over 3 years of experience in both non-Montessori and Montessori schools. In her free time, Anila enjoys reading, playing with her two children and cooking. She is extremely excited to work with the wonderful staff of Full Circle Montessori School.
Ms. Stephania Cervantes Classroom Assistant
Stephania Cervantes was born in Mexico and grew up in the Northern Virginia. She is an artist who believes in the sensorial power of visual narratives. While working with neurodiverse children and young adults in the community she began adapting the art making process and making self expression accessible to all. A lot of their work is displayed in government buildings in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. Attending Montessori school in Mexico City ignited a passion for learning at an early age. Her hopes are to pursue a career that will enable children from all socioeconomic backgrounds to have access to quality education. Stephania is currently a research assistant at American University and received her Children’s House Assistants training at WMI at Loyola University.
Ms. Jen Grady Classroom Assistant/Support
Jen was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted by American parents when she was 2 years old. She has lived all over Northern Virginia since 1980. Her love of children led her to pursue an Elementary Education teaching degree with an Endorsement in Reading from Longwood College. She taught first grade for 9 years in FCPS until the birth of her daughter and son. She stayed home for 9 years with her children and then has been a part-time Reading Intervention teacher in FCPS for 6 years. Working at Full Circle has renewed her love for teaching young children after working for so many years in public school. Maria Montessori’s method makes so much sense and has inspired her to think differently about education. In Jen’s free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, cooking them delicious meals, listening to a variety of music and being outdoors. Her life has been incredibly blessed and she is thankful every day for her family, friends and the gift of life!
Ms. Janice Philips Classroom Assistant/Support
Janice knew that teaching and learning with children was exactly what she needed to be doing when she spent all her free time volunteering with an after school program in the heart of Arlandria. The joy she felt getting down on hands and knees with young children and sharing in their curiosity and learning set her on an incredible life path. She has been busy being a SAHM to two crazy, lovely boys, a 6 YO and a 3 YO, and is now starting this new season of teaching and developing as a Montessori teacher. She grew up in California, a daughter of Korean immigrant parents. She has a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley and a M.Phil in Social Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She and her husband have lived in NOVA for 9 years. She has been a children's program coordinator at Grace Community Church for 5 years and has worked with children from various economic and ethnic backgrounds and savors the wonder that comes from learning who each child is in all their uniqueness.
Ms. Nene Pisigan Classroom Assistant/Support
Nenita Pisigan (Nene to her close friends and colleagues) grew up in the Philippines and moved to the DC area in 1993. She has spent the last 20 years working closely with children from infancy through adolescence. Nene joined Full Circle in 2012 assisting in the Fred Children’s House at our location in Woodbury Park. In addition to her work at Full Circle, Nene has been a nanny for two Arlington families, lovingly caring for six children since they were infants. And if that wasn’t enough to take on, Nene also teaches a class at Trinity Presbyterian Church each Sunday. Nene is a proud wife and mother of two children. She loves cooking and sports, particularly track and field.
Ms. Joy Young Classroom Assistant
Joy was born in Guyana, South America, moved to the U.S. when she was 12 years old, and grew up in Washington D.C. She is a Peace Corps and AmeriCorps alumni, where she really enjoys working with and serving various communities both domestically and internationally.Her passion for working with children and her beliefs in the Montessori philosophy, is what has led Joy to Full Circle Montessori School. Some of her hobbies include, travelling, volunteering and reading, as well as spending time with her grandson.