Our Montessori Team

Sharon Thomason-Sekyi (Founder)

Sharon values the development and human spirit of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. She worked at Aquinas Montessori School for over six years, and her children attended Aidan Montessori and Aquinas Montessori schools. She credits Aquinas Montessori as the inspiration for building NES. Sharon managed and taught in the classroom during the infancy of the preschool. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She was a manager in DC law firms for many years and lived on Capitol Hill for decades. Today Sharon oversees the entire operation of NES including regulatory, operations, marketing, and financial. She often counsels parents on an individual basis when dealing with personal challenges and issues like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nutritionists, behavioral therapy and other medical services.  She also is available personally for any/all parent comments and questions while attending NES.

Dawn Alles (Chief Operating Officer)

Dawn has served both the District of Columbia and Alexandria campuses since August 2017. She is the mom of a two-year old and is passionate about quality preschool programs. Dawn brings a wealth of managerial experience to NES including office management, supervision of large teams in customer service and accounting.

Our DC Staff 

Chaka Alexander (District of Columbia Campus Director)

 Chaka is passionate in creating a learning culture in the classrooms. She was previously a lead teacher/director at a private preschool in Annapolis, MD. She has worked with children from an early age ranging from Sunday school, private school, being a contracted home school teacher, Kindergarten teacher, and is thrilled to be in the wonderful world of Montessori. She is currently pursuing a Montessori Certification and completing a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Chaka’s certifications include Childcare Development Assistant, Early Childhood Education, Safety Health and Nutrition, Medicine Administration, Child Abuse and Neglect Mandated Reporting, CPR, AED, ADA, Diversity, First Aid, and Observation and Assessment. She develops and mentors incoming teachers and manages standardization and regulatory/licensing. Chaka is a new mom and enjoys singing, cooking, scrapbooking, and writing stories and poems for children.

Chaka is passionate in creating a learning culture in the classrooms. She was previously a lead teacher/director at a private preschool in Annapolis, MD. She has worked with children from an early age ranging from Sunday school, private school, being a contracted home school teacher, Kindergarten teacher, and is thrilled to be in the wonderful world of Montessori. She is currently pursuing a Montessori Certification and completing a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Chaka’s certifications include Childcare Development Assistant, Early Childhood Education, Safety Health and Nutrition, Medicine Administration, Child Abuse and Neglect Mandated Reporting, CPR, AED, ADA, Diversity, First Aid, and Observation and Assessment. She develops and mentors incoming teachers and manages standardization and regulatory/licensing. Chaka is a new mom and enjoys singing, cooking, scrapbooking, and writing stories and poems for children.

Breanna Walker (Teacher Assistant)

Breanna has taught children from six weeks to school age for five years. She loves outdoor student learning activities as much as the children and encourages indoor activity including dance with her students. Breanna is a third year student at Howard University, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. She plans to be a child advocacy lawyer. Some of her favorite hobbies are dancing and playing with her puppy. Her certifications include 45 hour infant and toddler, 90 clock hours for preschool children, ADA, First Aid and CPR. She is excited to be part of the NES family and passionately promotes a safe and fun learning environment.

Shelliaan Thorpe (Lead Teacher)

Shelliaan has worked with children for years and is passionate in creating an environment that generates excitement in learning and exploration. The Montessori philosophy is a perfect fit for her teaching style and she says she is happy to be part of the NES family. Shelliaan is studying Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Washington Adventist University.

Brittnay Evans (Teacher Assistant)

Brittnay has worked with children for more than six years and loves her work. She discovered a true interest in early childhood education while in high school. Brittnay brings her love for arts and crafts to the classroom. She is a certified teacher assistant and works with all ages ranging from six weeks to five years. She is also a devoted mom of a one year-old.

Our Alexandria Staff

              Tiffany Booker: (Alexandria Co-Director/Lead Teacher)

 Tiffany is an advocate of the Montessori method. She has been part of the NES family for six years and has worked with children for eighteen years. Tiffany is Montessori Certified, MAT trained, and has completed hundreds of hours of early childhood certifications. She plans to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Psychology.

Tiffany is an advocate of the Montessori method. She has been part of the NES family for six years and has worked with children for eighteen years. Tiffany is Montessori Certified, MAT trained, and has completed hundreds of hours of early childhood certifications. She plans to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Psychology.


Chynna Jenkins: (Alexandria Co-Director/Lead Teacher)

 Chynna is loved by her students for her quiet, imaginative nature. She has taught at Montessori schools for over eleven years. She has been part of the NES team for five years, currently serving as the Co-Director/Lead Teacher at the Alexandria campus. She has a Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) plus over 46 credit hours in Criminal Justice from Montgomery College. Chynna is CPR/FA certified and Medication Administration Training (MAT - VA) certified. She is also a part-time nanny. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, fishing, and discovering new adventures.

Chynna is loved by her students for her quiet, imaginative nature. She has taught at Montessori schools for over eleven years. She has been part of the NES team for five years, currently serving as the Co-Director/Lead Teacher at the Alexandria campus. She has a Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) plus over 46 credit hours in Criminal Justice from Montgomery College. Chynna is CPR/FA certified and Medication Administration Training (MAT - VA) certified. She is also a part-time nanny. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, fishing, and discovering new adventures.

Suzanne Worth (Teacher Assistant)

Suzanne brings years of multi-cultural knowledge to the NES students. She teaches in the bilingual program and is delighted to be part of the NES family. She was formerly a substitute teacher in Kindergarten through fifth grade after graduating from college. She also worked for PBS of South Florida and US Consulate in Spain. During her eight years abroad, she tutored students ages two to eighty six in English. She was also a teaching assistant in a kindergarten classroom at a private English speaking preparatory school in Barcelona. Her son, now in college, was born in Spain and speaks English, Spanish, and Catalan. Suzanne is an avid traveler and has visited three dozen countries.

Trina Champion (Teacher Assistant)

Trina is excited to guide and teach the children at NES. Prior to transferring to the Montessori method, she was a lead teacher at a daycare and preschool. She has been working with children for five years. Trina also worked for Arlington Public Schools in before and aftercare. She is CPR/First Aid Certified.

Anasa Smith (Teacher Assistant)

Anansa loves working with children and inspiring them to be as creative as the world around them. She brings her caring, patient, and joyful personality to the classroom. Anasa currently studies Early Childhood Education at Northern Virginia Community College and is passionate about her future of working with children. In her spare time, Anasa enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family.

Pat Laane (Substitute Teacher)

Pat has four children ranging from teens to young adults and chooses to stay home with her teenagers as a full time parent. As a life-long learner, she continues to complete seminars and classes that address the special needs of populations spanning from early childhood to senior citizens. She has been a parent participant in both boy and girl scouts and currently serves as a Venturing Scout Crew Assistant Advisor. Pat enjoys outdoors, animals, taking classes, and projects related to environmental protection. She earned a Bachelor degree in engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Pat worked in Environmental and Health Policies for twenty years at the Environmental Protection Agency.