At Beanstalk Montessori we pride ourselves with hiring only the most qualified, experienced, and loving teachers out there.


All head teachers are AMS Montessori certified with a minimum of a bachelors degree. We screen our staff with the utmost care and they must meet our high standards.


Teachers as well as assistants are CPR/First Aid certified and have passed criminal background checks.





Ms. Zahra Kazem

Ms. Zahra has a Communications B.A. from Boston University College of Communications and an AMS Montessori Teaching Certificate from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.


With more than 22 years in Montessori teaching experience, Ms. Zahra started teaching in 1996 and started Beanstalk Montessori Mommy and Me in 2004 in Rockville, MD.


A mother of two girls who are Montessori school graduates, Ms. Zahra has enjoyed being the Director at Beanstalk and working with area parents as well as teaching children the Montessori method.

Ms. Zahra is the creator of the Beanstalk MOMs club, where she facilitates meetings once every other month. She enjoys connecting with Beanstalk moms!



Head Teacher



Ms. Ernestine McCoy

Ms. Ernestine is a seasoned Montessori teacher with 22 years of teaching experience.


Ms. Ernestine graduated from Hunter College in New York with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education.


Ms. Ernestine also has a Masters Degree from Trinity College in Montessori Early Education as well as an AMS Montessori Teaching Certificate from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.


She has taught at Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and regularly mentors newly certified AMS teachers.


Music Teacher



Ms. Keyty Mahecha 


Ms. Keyty has been part of the Beanstalk team for the last 8  years. Originally from Columbia, she is our Spanish and Music teacher.


Ms. Keyty and Ms. Ernestine have worked closely together for the past several years and make a great teaching team.


Ms. Keyty is also a certified Zumba instructor and offers a  Zumba/yoga class at Beanstalk.




Ms. Maria Barrero

Ms. Maria Barrero joined Beanstalk in 2014. Originally from Colombia, she is fluent in Spanish.


She holds a BA in Pre-School Education from the San Buenaventura University in Bogota, Colombia, where she was an assistant teacher.


She has more than 15 years of experience teaching children between 3 and 6 years old. She has successfully managed groups of 15-20 kids. At Beanstalk Montessori, Ms. Maria manages our Art activities. She develops creative projects for the children and enjoys doing it with them.

Assistant Teacherding 

Assistant Teacher

Miss Azita Khalilpour

Miss Azita (or Miss Azi for short) has been working at Beanstalk Montessori for the past 2 years as an assistant teacher.


She is currently working towards her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education. While studying, Miss Azi is gaining valuable classroom experiences.


During her 4 years at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School, she worked in the Child Development Program. A preschool program designed for children 4 to 5 years old not eligible for kindergarten. The high school students took on teacher roles and worked on each child's development to prepare them for kindergarten.

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