MSNV Board of Trustees

The MSNV Board of Trustees is made up of parents and community members committed to the mission and vision of MSNV. Trustees are elected at the Annual Meeting in May to serve terms of up to three years. The Board is responsible for establishing and promoting MSNV’s mission, vision and strategic goals, and ensuring the long-term financial stewardship and governance of the school.

List of 18 items.

  • Jennifer O’Sullivan, President

    Executive Committee
    Jennifer and her husband Bob have one daughter Tilly who has been at MSNV since Preprimary. She is currently in Ms. Amanda and Mr. Pierce’s Lower Elementary classroom. Jennifer grew up in a military family, living mainly in different cities in the South. She considers San Antonio, TX home. After graduating from Tulane University with a degree in French and International Relations, Jennifer moved to the D.C. area in 1996 to join a web start-up and is surprised to have stayed put for 20 years! Jennifer has expertise in online marketing/communications, web graphic design and front-end development, as well as iOS apps. She offers consulting services to small businesses, companies and non-profits that work to support a healthy planet and improve the quality of life for people everywhere. Jennifer also teaches yoga and mindfulness meditation throughout the metropolitan region
  • Kelly Engstrom, Vice President

    Executive Committee
    Kelly is a Managing Director at Ward Circle Strategies, a strategic communications and public policy consulting firm based in Washington, DC.  She attended Swarthmore College for her undergraduate degree, and holds an MBA in Finance and Operations from Columbia Business School, and a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. Kelly and her husband Eric are parents to Annie, a 5th year in Jackie & Amy’s Upper Elementary class, and two boys, Allan and Russell, who previously attended MSNV. Kelly grew up on the island of Maui in Hawaii, and in her spare time enjoys sailing, running, and coaching a girls’ soccer team..
  • Michael Cranna, Treasurer

    Executive Committee
    Michael, along with his wife Becky, have been enthusiastic supporters of the school since they first arrived at the Hillbrook campus in 2004. All three of their kids have attended or are attending MSNV, with their youngest child, Colleen 11, currently a 6th year student in the Upper Elementary program. Michael has expertise in business valuation and energy infrastructure development, and held various senior director levels positions in corporate finance and business development during his more than 20 year career at The AES Corporation. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Engineering Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Trustees for Wesley Housing Development Corporation, a non-profit based in Alexandria, Virginia dedicated to expanding affordable housing options in D.C. and Northern Virginia.
  • Jana Thomas, Secretary

    Executive Committee
    Jana, Skylar, Will and Alan are very happy to be part of the community here at MSNV. Skylar, currently an 8th grader at Lake Braddock, is an alumna who graduated in 2016, and Will is a 6th year in Upper Elementary. After studying Elementary Education/Sociology at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, Jana trained in the DC area to be a Montessori teacher in 1996. Jana has taught at several Montessori schools in the area and when they were ready, she brought Skylar and Will along with her. She is excited about lending her experience and perspective as a Montessori teacher to and continuing to serve the school community on the Board of Trustees of MSNV. The Thomases live in Fairfax and enjoy reading, gardening, the beach, sports, the out-of-doors, and playing with their dog, Juneau.
  • Sabrina Rose-Smith, Advancement Committee Chair

    Executive Committee
    Sabrina is a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Financial Industry practice group, where she represents financial services companies in class actions and in government enforcement actions.  Sabrina earned her undergraduate degree from Hollins University in 2000 and she graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2003. Since then, she has served as a founding board member for an Atlanta-area charter school, on the alumnae board for Hollins University, as a corporate board member for the America Diabetes Association, as Chair of the Board of Directors for Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, and as a District Activist Leader for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She and her husband John have two children, four month old Jaden, and six-year-old son Julian, who is a Lower Elementary Primary student at the Hillbrook campus.
  • Betsy Mitchell, Head of School/Ex-officio Member of the Board

    Executive Committee
    Betsy received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from George Washington University in 1971. She taught for several years in the Prince George’s County Public School System before coming to MSNV as a classroom assistant to MSNV’s first elementary teacher, Harvey Hallenberg. After several years of volunteer involvement as a parent and Board member at MSNV, Betsy was hired as our Head of School in 1985. Since then, Betsy has successfully expanded MSNV to a highly regarded Montessori school with two thriving campuses. The success of that growth is attributed to her ability to cultivate highly qualified and motivated teaching professionals, administration and support staff. Betsy has also been a driving force in the development of MSNV’s outdoor curriculum and the designation of both campuses as certified wildlife habitats. Betsy has three grown children, all of whom attended Montessori.
  • Pranoti Asher

    Member at Large
    Pranoti is mother to Cullan and wife to Mike Kelley. They live in Annandale and spend their non-working/school time gardening, cooking, hiking, reading, and exploring new places. Cullan started his MSNV journey in Ms. Jean and Ms. Rachel’s Primary class in the fall of 2010. Cullan is a regular in summer camp and Ex-Day programs at MSNV.

    Pranoti is a geoscientist with experience in STEM education, mentoring and outreach activities at all levels. As the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Education and Public Outreach Manager she is responsible for the organization’s Education portfolio. She manages several programs; is responsible for AGU’s voice and activities at the national level on issues and initiatives related to STEM education; and supports AGU’s talent pool efforts. Pranoti is deeply passionate about the intersection of education, outreach and workforce development for the geosciences and has received funding from the National Science Foundation to support this work. Additionally she was recently selected as the inaugural American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Member Society Scholar-in-Residence. So for the next year or so she will be splitting her time between AGU and AGI working on advancing the mission of both organizations. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in geology from the University of Bombay, India and a Ph.D. in the geological sciences from the University of Connecticut.
  • Adrianna Bravo

    Member at Large
    Adrianna Bravo, MD lives with her husband Matt Fitzgerald and their three girls in Alexandria, Virginia. As a family, they enjoy anything physically active, the great outdoors, bluegrass and country music, theater and the arts, antiquing and interior design, and taking advantage of the many museums and events in metro DC.  Adrianna and Matt are so grateful to have MSNV guiding, inspiring and loving their children, and for the opportunity MSNV affords them to be engaged in their girls’ educational experience. Their oldest, EllaMae, graduated from MSNV last year after being there for 7 yrs. Tallulah is currently in Upper Elementary and Tennyson is in Lower Elementary. Adrianna is a board certified pediatrician at a coed high school boarding school in Alexandria where she works full time and lives on the campus with 450 teenagers and her colleagues. She has been school doctoring and serving in independent school administration leadership capacities since graduating from Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Medical School and Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Residency Training. 
  • Dan Cornette

    Member at Large
    Dan and his wife Suzy Scollon have three sons, the twins Hank and Eddie (age 12) attended MSNV for seven years, and Clay (age 10) is in his first year of upper elementary. Before kids and law school Dan worked on Capitol Hill, lived in Japan and enjoyed traveling. Dan, Suzy and the boys live in Falls Church not far from the Valleybrook campus. Suzy has taught art in several area public and private school systems and currently teaches art to the elementary students at the Hillbrook campus. Professionally, Dan works as an attorney for U.S. Customs & Border Protection. When he’s not thinking about NAFTA or gardening, he is usually researching for his book about the Boston Tea Party..
  • Christine Griggs

    Member at Large
    Christine Griggs, her son David, and husband Bill have been part of the MSNV community since 2014. Christine’s experience having attending Montessori as a child led she and her family to MSNV. Christine has been a public servant for over 25 years working in the federal government for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management. Christine’s background has primarily been in civil aviation security and investigations, but her most recent position is within the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement. She manages the day-to-day operations of five divisions in the office responsible for ensuring that TSA employees and the traveling public are treated in a fair and lawful manner, consistent with federal laws and regulations protecting privacy, affording redress, governing freedom of information and prohibiting discrimination and reprisal, while promoting diversity and inclusion. Her son David is entering Lower Elementary this fall after spending the last 3 years in the Primary program at Hillbrook in Jared and Atim’s class where Christine was a Room Parent for two years and was very active in the MSNV community. 
    Christine and her family are originally from New Jersey and enjoy sporting events and outdoor activities. 
  • Valeh Nazemoff

    Member at Large
    Valeh Nazemoff, bestselling author of, "The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind: How to Rewire Your Brain and Your Business for Success" and "The Dance of the Business Mind: Strategies to Thrive Anywhere, From the Ballroom to the Boardroom," is the Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of Acolyst, a high-level data strategy management and business performance consulting firm. She has been featured in New York’s Times Square and in many prestigious media publications such as Thomson Reuters, Wiley, NY Post, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, Fox News, CBS WUSA, Yahoo! Finance, Inc Magazine, and

    Valeh has helped leaders and decision makers create a strategic plan and approach future challenges practically, positively, and proactively by transforming their organization and assisting them to thrive using the approach of blending research from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, organizational behavior, analytics, inputs from influential industry leaders, and her company’s extensive experience with multinational enterprises and key government agencies.

    As an accomplished strategic advisor, team builder, speaker, author and teacher, she is passionate about improving lives through strategic planning, technology and teamwork. Valeh enjoys problem solving, and loves taking the puzzle pieces of a distressed organization then helping to create order from chaos. She is known as a firefighter who brings her energy and intention to helping businesses get back on track from their delayed projects.

    Professionally known as a go-to business transformational and technology expert who has been called the tipping point, Valeh has guided project teams for many government clients, including the U.S. Postal Service, Social Security Administration and now The White House, Executive Office of the President.

    A life-long student, Valeh has earned a BS in psychology and two MBAs in both e-business and global management and certification in project management. Valeh has held speaking sessions and workshops that included attendees from Harvard University, IBM, Wal-Mart, and Erie Insurance. Valeh is the recipient of several leadership awards.

    She's also competitive ballroom dancer dancing the Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba, Argentine Tango and her favorite - the Paso Doble. 
  • Pam Peckingpaugh

    Member at Large
    Pam McKinney Peckinpaugh is the mother of two MSNV alumni: Jesse Peckinpaugh, now a "2L" at Seattle University Law School; and James (Jamie), now a second year student at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla. After 16 years on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary or Communications Director for two U. S. Representatives and three U.S. Senators, Pam left the Hill primarily to spend as much time as possible with her boys and to run her own media/political consulting business. In addition to media and political consulting, Pam specializes in high profile damage control. Pam is a past President of the MSNV Board of Trustees. After her sons graduated from MSNV, Pam continued to be active in parent's associations, on advisory boards and with extracurricular activities at the elementary, middle and high schools her boys attended. Most recently, Pam served on the President's Advisory Council at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.; and has been active in beginning a parent's organization to advise the President of Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla.
  • Larisa Sawhney

    Member at Large
    Larisa and her husband Mike (Frutchey) are parents of Dallen (age 9). Dallen began at MSNV in Mr. Jared’s and Mrs. Atim’s primary class and is looking forward to his third year in Lower El in Mr. Tim and Ms. Elizabeth’s class. They love to be outdoors enjoying biking, camping, fishing, and hiking! As a former diving and swim coach she enjoys any day at the pool. Her family is very active in their local church and in opportunities to serve the community in meeting the needs of the homeless and underfed. Larisa’s real estate career began in the mid 1980’s. While attending GMU she worked for a local builder as a sales assistant during the early land development and sales of Kingstowne. She was also involved in the sales of The Pinecrest, Foxfield, and Century Oaks neighborhoods. Larisa earned her bachelor’s degree from GMU in 1990 and has been an Associate Broker with Re/Max since that time. As a Re/Max agent she has earned the recognition of Re/Max Circle of Legends and Lifetime Hall of Fame member. She served at the local Realtor board level as a member of the Fair Housing Committee and she served as the president of her Home Owners’ Association for nine years. She is looking forward to serving this wonderful MSNV community and being a part of their amazing future!
  • Stacy King Scanlon

    Member at Large
    Stacy is the Executive Director of the Federal Bar Association and its affiliated foundation. A native Texan, Stacy moved to the D.C area 19 years ago after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Stacy and her husband Matt have a son, Sammy, who is a second year Primary student at the Valleybrook campus. As a side gig, Stacy is a certified Jazzercise instructor and teaches classes in Arlington. In her spare time, she can be found hanging out with family including her two step-daughters, Sophia and Stella, or playing with the family's rescue mutts.
  • Danielle Schefer

    Member at Large
    Danielle Schefer and her husband Alex will be "fourth years" at Valleybrook with two children at MSNV in Preprimary and a five-year-old at Drew Public Montessori in Arlington. MSNV has become such a special place of love and learning for the whole family.
    Danielle earned a BS in Computer Science from The College of William and Mary. Professionally, her career had focused on executive leadership of a professional IT services firm supporting the Federal Government. She is combining her entrepreneurial spirit with a love of cars to start a new business with her husband. Danielle has been a room parent for Mrs. Labak and Mr. Tim and she looks forward to supporting MSNV in new and exciting ways through the Board
  • Malini Sekhar

    Member at Large
    Malini and her husband Anoop Kumar, are the parents of Surya Kumar, a first year elementary student (gasp) with Mr. Tim and Ms. Elizabeth. Malini loves learning and laughing with him every day. 
    At other times, Malini is a creative problem-solver with 10+ years of experience building, growing and improving organizations through a combination of strategic thinking, hands-on implementation, communications skills, and a sense of humor. She most recently left a role as Director of Marketing and Communications at the HHS IDEA Lab/Office of the Chief Technology Officer, an innovation space within the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Malini received her B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College and her Master's degree in International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Malini is also always engaged in a random side-project or two such as creating multicultural children's books like, Maya and Leela Present: Dances of India through her company 2Lokas. In the hours that remain she enjoys playing tennis, writing, meditating, enjoying art and nature and learning new things (right now it's Design Thinking/Human Centered Design!). 
    Malini hopes to bring to bear her abilities to help further MSNV's vision, and support its wonderful community of children, families, faculty and staff. 
  • Vinny Shahbazi

    Member at Large
    Vinny is a lead engineer and project manager at US EPA. He and his wife Malika have been an important part of the MSNV community for the past five years and they currently have two children enrolled at the school – Neev (a Lower Elementary student at Hillbrook) and Nami (a Primary student at Valleybrook). Vinny is the first ever “dad” room parent at MSNV!
  • Thomas Stauber

    Member at Large
    Tom is co-founder and managing partner of Axiologic Solutions, providing Systems Engineering solutions related to organizational strategy, information technology, human resources and logistics. He is responsible for the strategy, day to day operations and infrastructure growth of a business recognized in the INC 5000 and the Washington Technology Fast 50. Tom also holds an M.E. from the University of Virginia, as well as a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He retired as an Army officer in 2004 and has lived in Northern Virginia ever since. Tom and his wife Ritika, an active volunteer and room parent in both Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms, have twins named Krish and Isha, both of whom are currently second year elementary students at the Hillbrook campus
The Board selects, supports and evaluates the Head of School, and works with the Head to cultivate good relations with our stakeholders and members of the broader community.

Join the MSNV Board of Trustees

If you are interested in joining the MSNV Board of Trustees or serving on a Board Committee, please contact Jana Thomas.

You may fill out the Board of Trustees application here.

2016-2021 Strategic Plan

  • View the Strategic Plan.

    The 2016-2021 MSNV Strategic Plan
     charts a course that reflects our mission and vision as well as the values and hopes of the community and school leadership. We aim to build upon accomplishments from our previous strategic plan by imagining new possibilities in support of the transformational experience we envision for our students.  In order to continue offering an inspiring educational environment, our plan seeks to:
    • expand our educational programs;
    • enhance school spirit;
    • strengthen advancement efforts; and
    • promote our tradition of strong corporate governance.