Montessori Teacher Academy

We are an Infant/Toddler Teacher Education Program providing a comprehensive course of study that prepares adult learners of today to be the highly skilled and highly qualified Montessori teachers and leaders of tomorrow.

Montessori Teacher Academy

We are an Infant/Toddler Teacher Education Program providing a comprehensive course of study that prepares adult learners of today to be the highly skilled and highly qualified Montessori teachers and leaders of tomorrow.

Welcome to Montessori Teacher Academy of Northern Virginia (MTANV)!

Conveniently located in the heart of Loudoun County.

Consider joining our community of specially trained Montessori educators around the world. We currently offer a 12-month program over two summers and one school year. Our intensive summer sessions feature both online and in-person course content, with a practicum in an approved Infant/Toddler environment during the school year.

Our dynamic instructors share a passion for Dr. Montessori’s work, combined with many years of practical experience teaching both children and adults. Upon completion, our adult learners will be fully trained to teach in a Montessori Infant/Toddler Classroom. 

We invite you to delve into Dr. Maria Montessori’s wisdom about how children grow and learn, to inspire and enable you to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of children, their families, and your community. Join us in seeking to be a lifelong learner! OR Quench your thirst for lifelong learning at our teacher academy!

Candidates must submit:

  1. Completed application form and application fee of $100
  2. Official college transcripts
  3. A personal statement of 300 to 400 words demonstrating your strong interest in Montessori education and a desire to help children
  4. 3 letters of recommendation obtained within the past two years

Candidates are required to attend a personal interview prior to acceptance to the program. During the interview, students must complete a writing sample, which will be used, in part, to evaluate student/program compatibility. For those applicants who live out of state, a video conference interview may be conducted by a director of MTANV.

The executive director will make a final decision on the admission of adult learners. Criteria used for this purpose are those stated in these sections.

Candidates are required to, at the least, observe a Montessori Infant and Toddler classroom prior to admission to the program. MTANV recommends that an adult learner work in a Montessori classroom for at least one year before embarking on the training.

All candidates are required to attend an orientation session before the beginning of the first academic session.

All candidates must be able to read and write clearly in English for the purpose of communication with MTANV instructors, practicum personnel, and with children and their parents during the practicum phase of the program.


  • Application fee: $100.00 (nonrefundable)
  • Deposit with Enrollment Contract: $500 payable by May 15th of the academic year (Applied towards tuition)
  • Tuition: $6,700 (Includes $500 paid as Deposit with Enrollment Contract; $6,200 due by June 1, 2024. Payment Plans are available.)
  • Early Childhood Overview Course (If needed): $700
  • Association, books, and materials fee: $900 non-refundable
  • Internship Fee (Self Directed Students only): $400
  • Continuum of Academic Work Fee: $500 (Charged annually for adult learner extending beyond scheduled completion date)
  • Please refer to refund policy

MTANV tuition refund policy: Refund amounts exclude Application Fee and Book and Association fees. Refunds will be paid within 30 days of withdrawal/dismissal from the program.

  • MTANV students attend class for 30 days over the course of the entire program. A student who withdraws or is terminated in the first quarter (8 days — 25%) of the program is entitled to a minimum 75% refund of the cost of the program.
  • A student who withdraws or is terminated during the second quarter (8-15 days – more than 25% but less than 50%) of the program is entitled to a minimum refund of 50% of the cost of the program.
  • A student who withdraws or is terminated during the third quarter (16-24 days –more than 50% but less than 75%) of the program is entitled to a minimum refund of 25% of the cost of the program.
  • A student who withdraws or is terminated after completing more than three quarters (24 days or 75%) of the program is not entitled to a refund.

Our Staff

Deepa Simlot

Executive Director

Deepa serves as Executive Director, Practicum Coordinator and Financial Officer of MTANV. Deepa holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University in computer engineering and a master’s degree in computer engineering from North Carolina State
University. She worked in the telecommunications industry as a computer engineer for 15 years.

While volunteering in her children’s classes, she discovered the beauty and power of Montessori philosophy and materials. Realizing she would rather be around children than computers, Deepa completed her Early Childhood Montessori Certification at the Northeast Montessori Institute at Belmont Greene and opened the first of two Montessori schools in Northern Virginia in 2005. Currently serving as the director of Montessori of Chantilly, Deepa provides hands-on, collaborative leadership amongst students, parents and staff members forming a close-knit community dedicated to Montessori philosophy and pedagogy. In addition, Deepa served as an instructor for Parent Education at Northern Virginia Montessori Institute (NVMI) for nine years.

In 2024, Deepa founded Montessori Training Academy of Northern Virginia (MTANV) to prepare adult learners to be highly qualified Infant/Toddler Montessori educators. Deepa looks forward to sharing her passion for Montessori Education through her commitment to guiding educators at MTANV.

Haely Strock

Program Director

Haely serves as Program Director, Instructor and Field Supervisor for MTANV. Haely earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University and her Infant/Toddler AMS Certification from the Seton Institute. She has almost 20 years of experience as a Montessori certified Infant/Toddler teacher in downtown Chicago and northern Virginia.

Haely opened the first Infant Classroom at Montessori of Chantilly, developing an authentic Montessori environment, Infant curriculum and prepared environment. In addition to serving as a trusted caregiver and teacher for infants/toddlers and a knowledgeable and experienced resource to new parents, Haely has developed and mentored countless staff members over the years. Haely serves as an experienced and effective presenter for staff development and parent education sessions in both in-person and virtual settings. Haely looks forward to sharing her experience and wisdom with MTANV adult learners. She hopes to empower adult learners to lead the development of Infants/Toddlers and their families with a strong foundation in a Montessori environment.

Denise Murtha

Instructor | Field Supervisor

Denise earned her AMS certification for Infant/Toddlers at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina. Denise has been a Lead Montessori Infant/Toddler Teacher in Maryland for almost 30 years.

During this time, she has been trusted to create a new Infant/Toddler program, design a prepared environment, develop a curriculum, hire/train new teachers, nurture strong parent and student relationships and promote the school within the community. In addition to her role in the classroom, Denise has worked as a Field Consultant and Teacher Educator at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies for 13 years. Denise has been heavily involved in supporting the American Montessori Society, serving as a Workshop Ambassador, Presenter, Panel Participant, Instructor for Infant/Toddler Assistant Training and various Continuing Education Training sessions for teachers and administrators.

Catherine Javier-Wong

Instructor | Field Supervisor

Catherine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in the School of Media Arts/Design with a Journalism concentration from James Madison University and a Child Development Associate Credential from Northern Virgnia Community College.

She earned her AMS Early Childhood Certification from Northern Virginia Montessori Institute and her AMS Infant/Toddler Certification from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Catherine also has certifications for Montessori Applied for Children At Risk as well as Montessori for Dementia and Aging. She launched the first Virtual Toddler program during COVID and opened the first Nido (Infant) Classroom at South Riding, both at Guidepost Montessori. Catherine has almost ten years of experience working as a lead teacher in an Infant/Toddler and Primary Montessori classroom. Prior to that, she worked in a traditional preschool environment for four years. Catherine has been a Montessori Mentor, a Trainer to Assistants, led Parent Education sessions, conducted Parent & Child Montessori classes and collaborated with colleagues on curriculum development. She has also worked as a Field Consultant for the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.

Elizabeth "Morghen" Sikes


Dr. Sikes will teach Child Development to MTANV students. Dr. Sikes holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kennesaw State University, a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science from University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Sikes currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Dr. Sikes founded and runs a neuro-affirming program providing pro-bono OT services to the local community in Leesburg. She also serves as a contracted occupational therapist providing pediatric therapy through Loudoun County Early Intervention Services and to private clients of Little Communicators.

Montessori Teacher Academy of Northern Virginia is an Applicant for Accreditation with the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), is seeking affiliation with the American Montessori Society (AMS) and is certified to operate a Montessori Infant/Toddler teacher education program by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).