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Our Faculty & Staff

Administrative Team


Mary Akatu-Speakman


Ms. Mary is dedicated to creating thriving school communities that prioritize program quality, engaging parent experiences and parent education, integrated curriculum and enrichment programs and teacher development. Mary earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland. She holds a MACTE diploma in Early Childhood from the American Montessori Society and master’s degree in Montessori Education and Policy from St. Catherine's University.


Outside of her professional pursuits, Mary with her husband Mark, are joyfully raising three young Montessorians: Charlotte, who is currently in her fourth year of Montessori Elementary at the age of nine; Austin, who is in his third year of Montessori Elementary at the age of eight; and Carson, who is five years old and attending Kindergarten in Montessori Primary.


Alison Murray

Office Manager

Victoria de la Mora
Administrative Assistant

Alison joins Franklin after a 20 year career in corporate catering. She is a DC native with a BFA in Theatre Arts from SUNY Purchase. She loves food, cooking, and gardening on her balcony. 

Vicky is a San Francisco native who is new to the Washington DC area. They attended Mills College at Northeastern University and earned a BA in Child Development and a Master's in Education. Vicky has worked in the early education field for over 10 years and is excited to join the administrative team at Franklin Montessori! They also love to crochet, eat sushi, and listen to spooky podcasts.

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Lead Montessori Teachers

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Stephen Stitzel
Co-Lead Teacher Room 1

Stephen has been in the field of Montessori education for 12 years and this is his 6th year at Franklin. He is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Stephen enjoys cooking, playing basketball, and watching golf in his free time.


Shannon Myles
Co-Lead Teacher Room 1

Ms. Shannon joined Franklin in 2010. With over 10 years of teaching experience, she received her Early Childhood and Elementary Montessori credentials from Toronto Montessori Institute and her B.A. in Psychology from University of Western Ontario. Shannon is an avid runner and enjoys going to the beach with her family.


Kendall Hankins
Lead Teacher Room 2

Ms. Kendall is a Northern Virginia native who enjoys reading, traveling, collecting vinyl, and hiking. She has a B.A. in Strategic Communication and Business from West Virginia University. Ms. Kendall has been with Franklin over 7 years and earned her Montessori credential from Montgomery Montessori Institute.

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Infant & Toddler Lead Teachers


Lizzy Maresca
Lead Teacher Infant 1

Ms. Lizzy joined Franklin in June of 2018 as an Infant Caregiver. She first started working as an assistant in a Montessori elementary classroom 13 years ago. Since then she has assisted in a primary and infant classroom. She has also served as a lead teacher in a traditional 3-year-old classroom and as a lead teacher of an infant classroom at a daycare. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, playing with her dogs, and spending time with local family members.


Bri Ambrose
Lead Teacher Infant 2

Ms. Bri has been a lead infant teacher for 3 years and is very excited to continue her Montessori journey. She has recently done her training with Montgomery Montessori Institute and has worked with children for six years with the last three being in a RIE based school. She is working on her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Administration at Purdue University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading books, and exploring hiking trails.


Keri Willey
Lead Teacher Infant 3

Keri has worked at Franklin for 4 years and has over 6 years of experience teaching in the Early Childhood Education field.  She has a B.S. in Political Science and Sociology from Towson University and is currently working on her M.S. in Early Childhood Development. She loves cats (especially her cat Soap), music, and Miyazaki movies.


Setsuko Dalrymple
Lead Teacher T-2

Ms. Setsuko was born and raised in Japan and came to the US to attend college. She has been a Montessori guide since 2005, a consultant to Montessori interns, and just started as an instructor at a Montessori teacher training center. This is her first year teaching at Franklin. Ms. Setsuko has two grown-up children who attended the school where she worked. After she took the training, Ms. Setsuko realized she wished she had known more about the Montessori approach when her children were little. Outside of Franklin, Ms. Setsuko enjoys cooking, crafting, baking, listening to music, and appreciating art. 


Anastasia Smith
Lead Teacher T-3

Ms. Anastasia pursued a Montessori education from Montgomery Montessori Institute because of her passion for helping guide individuals to a happy and healthy lifestyle. She has grown up in the DMV area and has been lucky to have the opportunity to explore all it has to offer. Anastasia worked with a non-profit organization in the District for homelessness that she stays active with in her free time. In between teaching, she worked along side a pediatric dentist doing both pediatric and orthodontic dental care. She enjoys going to food and music festivals around the DMV area.

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Enrichment Specialists


Diana Oboler

Franklin Art Founder

Diana Oboler founded Franklin's Art Program in 2003. She recieved her B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from New College and her Early Childhood Montessori credential from Montgomery Montessori Institute. She has over 15 years experience in the classroom. Diana presents each art unit to the children, dressed as that artist and is the genius behind the art night movie. 


Jack Taylor
Art Guide

Jack Taylor is an artist and educator originally from Seattle, Washington. Jack received his Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, with an emphasis on drawing, painting, print making, and photography. Since graduating, he was worked as an arts educator at institutions such as the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA and Create Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD. Jack is one of our amazing art teachers here at Franklin, where he works with students to explore different mediums, techniques, and artists in our art studio. When he is not teaching Jack maintains a dedicated art practice, and likes to play with his Boston terrier, Georgia (named after Georgia O'Keeffe.)

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