About Us


We appreciate your consideration of our school for your child during these most important years of growth, development, and learning. Here at Lewinsville Montessori School we educate the whole child because
"each child is constantly working towards the person they will become..." (Maria Montessori)

About our School

Lewinsville Montessori School (formerly Fun and Friends Child Development Center) has rapidly become Northern Virginia's premiere choice for Montessori education. Close attention to the needs of children and their families, coupled with highly qualified educators and administrators, make our school one of the best in the area.

Lewinsville Montessori offers the best in a Montessori education and the best in a child development center. Our staff has over 100 years of combined experience in early education! Our location is conveniently located to Tysons and downtown McLean. In addition, we are one of the few Montessori Schools in the Northern Virginia area to offer full time/full day Montessori programs to accommodate the schedules of working parents. We admit children ages six weeks through six years on a rolling admissions basis (as space allows). Our entire staff welcomes your family to our program.

Lewinsville Montessori School is open year round, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am - 6:30 pm, one of the very few in the Northern Virginia area with this calendar. This schedule allows working families to enroll their children in an authentic Montessori program with a calendar well beyond the traditional school day/year calendar of most Montessori programs.

Goals and Philosophy

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that every child delights in spontaneous activity directed towards intellectual discovery. The attitudes and confidence developed during these formative years will serve the child throughout their lifetime. Students at Lewinsville Montessori School are honored and respected as the unique individuals that they are. In a Montessori environment, your child will develop a sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. Thus, values such as compassion, harmony, and justice develop naturally in our environment.


We understand that choosing a school can be a challenging and difficult decision. We know that we offer a great experience. At Lewinsville Montessori School we are focused on the child. We are committed to sharing the responsibilities with parents in helping each child reach his or her potential in a safe, warm and loving environment. We are confident that you and your family will find your time with our family and in our community to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Our staff are experienced, well-trained professionals who enjoy working with children!

Our lead staff are highly qualified Montessorians and child development specialists. All Lewinsville Montessori School employees receive up to 40 hours of annual training in child development, Montessori practices and early childhood education, and health and safety issues. They are selected not only for their early childhood education skills, but also for their ability to interact lovingly with children. Led by a highly experienced administrative team, Lewinsville Montessori staff members share warm, supportive relationships with the children, enabling them to learn, grow, and create a positive self image.

Elizabeth Garcia, Director of OperationsElizabeth Garcia, our Director of Operations, has an MS in Educational Administration and Supervision and has been employed by Lewinsville Montessori since 1998. Ms. Garcia oversees the day to day operations of our school, as well as provides direct support to lead teachers. Elizabeth leads our Lewinsville community of families and staff in warm, nurturing, steady and responsive manner.
"I have worked in the field of early education for 35 years. During all these years, my priority has been to provide children with the best environment needed for an appropriate learning experience. When I decided to research the Montessori Method I found that there are many differences between childcare and a Montessori program. The Montessori Method invests in the well-being of the child, allowing them to feel safe to take risks and to proudly master accomplishments, big or small. A Montessori environment provides children the opportunity to engage in everything from self-help skills to music and math, reading and science. This fosters in children the desire to become confident, independent and part of a respectful community. I am thrilled to be part of the growth of Lewinsville Montessori School. It has brought me much happiness and satisfaction."
Inell Ellis, Special Programs DirectorProgram Director (and Lead Montessori 3-6 Teacher) Inell Ellis has a BS in Child Development and has been at our school since 1990.  She received her Montessori credentials from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) in 2016.
"After working at the same child development center for 26 years, I visited a Montessori program and was totally amazed. My experience there led me to rethink my long-held educational philosophy. I came to believe more in the power of education and in particular in a Montessori program. The respect for the child and his/her natural abilities is incomparable to any other educational model that I have been exposed to. I am convinced that the Montessori Method is invaluable. It provides perspective and patience needed by the child to navigate through such challenging expectations with honesty and accuracy. I am so glad I made the decision to join a Montessori program"
Khin MawKhin Maw, Montessori 3-6 Lead teacher has been a teacher at Lewinsville since 2012.  In addition to receiving her Montessori credentials in 2016 from NAMC, she also has her CDA and a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
"I have been working at a Child Development Center for many years and I love working with children. I had no knowledge about the Montessori Method but when I was offered the opportunity to receive training, I did not hesitate a moment to accept. I love children and it is my desire to learn more every day to help them in their development. I visited a Montessori school in North Carolina and struck me deeply as this method provides for children the opportunity to develop independence while learning. I have seen the progress of the children in my care. I fell in love with the Montessori Method and now that I have completed the training I am ready to continue this fantastic journey!"
Margaret Mwongela, Lead Montessori 3-6 Teacher joined Lewinsville after many years of working at the Montessori School of Alexandria as well as Tysons Corner Children's Center.  She holds a teaching degree from NVCC and received her Montessori certificate from Montessori Centre International in 2006.
"I was introduced to the Montessori Method by a friend in 2005. She defined the Method as a training that values and encourages physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of the child! I got very interested and enrolled in a Montessori Teacher Training program in 2006. When I started teaching in Montessori schools there was no going back! I found a career that is so fulfilling and wished I had discovered it before. Some of the things that I cherish in a Montessori school include the freedom of learning that the children are exposed to in their classroom and the faith that the teacher has in the child. That faith prompts the teacher to support and encourage the child to acquire the independence that he/she longs for. Realizing that the Montessori Method is designed to train children for life was like an eye opener for me. Beyond academics, the children learn good morals, respecting one another and caring for the environment. I enjoy each day that I spend in a Montessori classroom. The beauty of education is truly revealed in a Montessori classroom!"
Soila Arriaza PenaSoila Arriaza Pena, our Infant Program Director and Lead Montessori Infant/Toddler Teacher has been on staff at Lewinsville since 2005. Mrs. Pena completed her Montessori 0-3 training from NAMC in 2016. She also holds a CDA and is trained in Creative Curriculum and 1-2-3 Virginia Reads.
“When I started training in the Montessori Method I had many questions and concerns. I felt that my young children would not be able to respond effectively to this method. How wrong I was. In just a few months my children had adapted to the new design of activities! I have learned that respect and stimulation are key for children to develop to their fullest potential. My responsibility is to provide a carefully prepared environment that guarantees exposure to materials and experiences. I am delighted to see the children working independently in an atmosphere of calm concentrated by surprising periods of time. In this enriched environment, freedom, responsibility, and social and intellectual development flourishes spontaneously. I am happy to be a Montessori teacher!”
Patricia AmaralPatricia Amaral our Lead Infant (Nido I & Nido II) Teacher joined Lewinsville bringing with her experiences working with children in the area of library sciences and biology, as well as home-schooling her own daughter. Ms. Amaral also has a B.S./B. Ed in Biology and  is currently working on her Montessori Infant credentials.
“When I got my B.S./B.Ed. in Biology I had the goal of becoming teacher. When I started to homeschool my daughter it reignited my passion for children's education. Lewinsville Montessori is a dream come true to me as I am finally able to pursue my goal of building a career in early children education. The most important characteristic for teachers of early childhood development and especially in a Montessori environment is enthusiasm and passion. Every day I bring both to my classrooms. I love engaging with them from my good morning to my good bye. They make my day with their smiles!!!”
Click to download the Lewinsville Montessori School Holiday ScheduleClick the image to download a handy school holiday schedule. All our forms are in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). If your computer cannot display these forms, you can obtain the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software from the official Adobe Reader download website.

Lewinsville Montessori School is open year round, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am - 6:30 pm, one of the very few in the Northern Virginia area with this calendar. This schedule allows working families to enroll their children in an authentic Montessori program with a calendar well beyond the traditional school day/year calendar of most Montessori programs.

"Our daughter has attended Lewinsville Montessori (formerly Fun & Friends Inc.) since she was 9 weeks old and we have had a wonderful experience. As a first time mommy I appreciate having knowledgeable and experienced teachers that I can rely on. Our daughter loves going to school and showing us what she has learned or made at the end of the day. It is obvious to me and my husband that the staff genuinely care for our daughter and enjoy having her in the classroom." --L.K.

"We are so happy with Lewinsville Montessori. It is such a warm and nurturing environment. The teachers care about our daughter, and our daughter loves them. Her teachers express genuine interest in her well-being and growth. She gets excited about going to school. It's been such a positive experience, and we're so glad to be part of this community." --L.B.

“My husband and I began researching school/daycare options in the McLean area when I was only three months pregnant. As a teacher, and soon-to-be parent, this decision was top priority. We met with the director of Lewinsville Montessori (formerly Fun and Friends CDC) on several occasions to talk about logistics and plans for when our daughter was to start. She was always available to answer our questions as they came up and really eased our minds about sending our daughter to daycare. We transitioned our daughter slowly into the school when she was 6 months old. The first week was hard for us; however, we were greeted each day by the staff and reassured that our child was doing well. Our daughter is now almost 16 months old and we can’t say enough about the experience she has gained at Lewinsville. We are amazed by all of the wonderful things our child is learning. Her developmental skills are right on target, she socializes with other children, paints, and so much more. Our daughter absolutely loves her school and we love it too! She is happy to go in the mornings, which makes us know that we made the right decision.” --J.K.
Click here to email Elizabeth GarciaWe are always looking to add to our team of warm, caring professional educators. Lead Teachers must have at least two years teaching experience in the early childhood education field and/or an Associates Degree in ECE. Assistant Teachers must possess experience working with young children and a passion to help in their growth and development. ALL potential employees MUST be interested in the Montessori Method of education. We provide all training and professional development necessary for the desired position, as well as a competitive rate of pay, health and dental insurance contributions, matching funds for the 401k retirement plan, and vacation, sick and personal leave, Interested applicants should submit a letter of introduction and a resume to: egarcia@lewmontessori.school.