Faculty and Staff

NIEVA ARMSTRONG

Nieva is the Lower Elementary Teacher, and joined the CFMS staff in September 2006. She came from prior Montessori teacher positions in the Northwest Territories in Canada and her native Philippines. Nieva received her AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland in 1998. She completed 18 credits toward a Master of Arts from De La Salle University in Manila and has completed a Masters of Education through the University of Phoenix. Nieva holds a B.A. in Language Arts and is trained in the 6-9 level of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

KEELY BOOMHOWER

Keely is the Director of CFMS, having joined the community in June 2018 as the school’s 4th head. Keely holds a B.A. in Art from Wittenberg University and an M.L.S. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Keely earned an early childhood certificate in Montessori education from the Seton Montessori Institute in 2001 and taught primary and adolescent students at Montessori schools in Ohio and Illinois. Keely has also taught Godly Play, a Christian education program that uses materials like those used in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Keely and her husband Dan have made Washington their home since 2012. Their older daughter attends National Cathedral School and their younger daughter attends All Day Primary.

MICHAEL BREHL

Michael is the Director of Business Operations, and handles all of the bookkeeping at CFMS. He came to the school originally as a parent. Michael received his B.F.A. in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his M.F.A. in 1988 from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a talented metal smith who works in silver, copper and gold using traditional silversmithing techniques. Outside of school Michael teaches a number of metal work classes, primarily at The Art League in Alexandria.

SADE COOPER

In Elementary Extended Care, Sade Cooper is the Elementary Extended Care Lead Guide. Sade is a native Washingtonian. She has been working with children for the past 9 years, and has a passion for working with children with differing needs. She is the mom of two, and believes in supporting children not only in their educational growth but also in their social and emotional growth. She plans to finish her B.A. in early childhood development at Trinity Washington University.

VICTORIA EBELL

Tory is an Elementary Catechist. Trained as a catechist by Catherine Maresca, one of the founders of CFMS, and Jill Hall, Tory helped open Level I, II and III atria at the Church of the Ascension and St. Agnes in downtown Washington DC. She earned a B.A. in philosophy at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs and worked in London and Cambridge, England. Tory retired in 2009 after 25 years as a caseworker for three members of Congress. She and her husband have raised four children and live in Cheverly, MD.

CRISTINA FERNANDEZ

Cristina Fernandez is the new Upper Elementary Teacher. She hails originally from Massachusetts. After graduating from Providence College with a degree in Spanish and Biology, Cristina realized her passion for teaching while substituting. She completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Elementary Diploma and M.Ed. at the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland in 2016. She worked in several elementary Montessori environments before finding her home at CFMS. When she’s not working, she loves hiking, reading, and soccer.

JANINE FOSTER

Janine Foster joins Lindy as the Assistant in the Traditional Primary classroom. She has been working with children for 4 years at the RDU Tennis summer camp, where she served as a camp counselor and director. She was born and raised in Washington, DC. She graduated from Trinity Washington University in 2019 with a B.A. in Human Relations and a minor in Fine Arts. Janine has always been passionate about working with children. While working for CFMS she plans to go back to school and get her masters degree in early childhood education.

CHRIS GOERTNER

Chris Goertner is the All Day Primary Afternoon Assistant. He grew up in Washington, DC, and first discovered his passion for working with children as a camp counselor for Little Friends for Peace at Peace Camp. Upon his return to DC, Chris joined the staff of the Barrie School, where he worked in both a Primary classroom and Extended Day. Chris began study at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Early Childhood Montessori Education (Ages 2.5-6.) He’s excited to be joining the CFMS community, and to share his love of animals and nature with the children.

KATHY GONITHELLIS

Kathy Gonithellis joined the CFMS community in early 2020 as the Full-Time Classroom Substitute. Kathy comes most recently from working for 7 years as an assistant teacher at a K-5 Montessori school in Denver. Prior to that, Kathy taught English as a Foreign Language for 20 years in Athens, Greece. Her teaching credentials are in Secondary Language Arts from the University of Colorado, where she also received her B.A. in English Literature. She has two children: a son in Maryland and a daughter and granddaughter in New York. When she needs to unwind and relax Kathy enjoys reading, baking, and exercising.

JANE HALL-WILLIAMS

Jane Hall-Williams is the All Day Primary Part-Time Assistant. She attended CFMS as a child, and was previously a primary assistant at the school, as well as at a Montessori school in Santiago de Chile, where she lived for three years. Jane holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maryland. She is a CFMS parent.

JANAI JOHNSON

Janai Johnson is the Lower Elementary Assistant. She was a CFMS parent for nine years. Janai is a visual artist specializing in portraits and murals. In 2012, she began working as a contracted artist and teacher, working with elementary through senior citizen aged students. Janai is the mother of five children.

ANNE KRUK

Anne Kruk is the All Day Primary Teacher. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2010 with a B.A. in Music, and a minor in History. She joined the Mercy Volunteer Corps and spent two years doing parish outreach and social justice work in Baltimore. In 2015, she received her AMI Primary Diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland, and her M.Ed. from Loyola University. She is also trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

YAMUNA KUMAR

Yamuna Kumar is the Upper Elementary Assistant. A graduate of Wilson High School in DC, Yamuna went on to receive her degree in Philosophy and History from Baruch College - City University of New York. Yamuna is a mother of four children, and has been a CFMS parent for nine years. After watching her oldest transition from CFMS into Middle School in 2019, she’s noted how well CFMS prepared her child for that transition. She’s excited to support the work of our oldest students as they bring together all of the experiences they've gained at CFMS.

SARAHI MADRIGAL

Sarahi Madrigal is the All Day Primary Morning Assistant. She earned her Elementary Assistant Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland in 2015. She was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she graduated from the University of Guadalajara in 2010 with a B.A. in Visual Arts with an orientation in Photography. Sarahi also was a volunteer for the University's Sea Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Center from 2005 to 2008. She is a CFMS Parent.

ANDREA MALOCHEE

Andrea Malochée is the Director of Development and assists with the fundraising efforts for the school. She comes to CFMS with over 10 years of nonprofit development experience, previously with the Pontifical North American College. Born and raised in New Jersey, she moved to the Washington, DC area after earning her B.A. from the Catholic University of America. Andrea is also a current CFMS parent and her son Elijah is returning for his second year in All-Day Primary.

JODI-BETH McCAIN

Jodi-Beth is the Director of Religious Education, and an Elementary Catechist. She began working as a catechist in the Primary classroom in September 2006, and trained in all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Jodi-Beth began her journey as an educator while working with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia over 15 years ago. Jodi-Beth earned a B.A. in Religion from Duke University and an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. Jodi-Beth is fluent in Spanish and has begun work to develop bi-lingual materials for the 3-6 atrium. Her two daughters are graduates of CFMS.

KRISTI MEDLEY

Kristi is the Director of Education. She began her work at CFMS in 1998 as an assistant in a Primary classroom and intern at the Center for Children and Theology. In 2001 she received her primary Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma and Masters of Education degree from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland and became a Primary teacher at CFMS in September of 2001. In 2011, Kristi helped to establish the All Day Montessori program with Lindy Rivera. Kristi received her B.A. in German and Journalism from the University of Alabama, and studied at the Universität Hamburg in Germany. Kristi is trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She became a CFMS parent in 2017.

LINDY RIVERA

Lindy is the Teacher in the Traditional Primary class. After earning a B.S. in Psychology from Towson University in 2004, Lindy completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Primary Diploma and M.Ed. at the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland. During her training Lindy discovered CFMS when she came as a practice teacher/observer. Upon receipt of her AMI diploma, Lindy became a Primary teacher at CFMS, joining the staff in 2005. Lindy helped establish the All Day Primary with Kristi Medley. She is trained in Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.

ANGIE ROBINSON

Angela Robinson (Angie) is the Administrative Coordinator at CFMS. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Angie received her B.S. in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech. She spent most of her professional career in management consulting where she specialized in process redesign and productivity improvement. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their three children, all CFMS students.

OONA WAXENFELTER

Oona is the Catechist in the Primary Atrium. She began her work at CFMS in 2006 as an assistant in the classroom. In 2007, she completed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training to work with 3-6 year old children, and in 2012 she completed the training to work with 6-9 year olds. In 2013, she began the training to work with 9-12 year olds. Oona holds a B.A. in Human Services from George Washington University, with a minor in Psychology and Religion.