Sunset Hills Montessori School

Reston Pre-School and Private Elementary 20th Anniversary. Sunset Hills Montessori School is nestled in the woods of Reston, on the edges of Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau. We provide a peaceful school setting for children ages 18 months to 3rd grade.

Eileen Minarik (Founder/Owner, Resource) Eileen has been actively involved in the Montessori Community since 1974 as a parent, assistant teacher (Primary), lead teacher (Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary), as a teacher trainer and consultant (Primary) and as a grandparent (since 2007.)  As a parent she helped to establish the Montessori program at Green Hedges School in 1976.  Eileen founded Reston Montessori in 1984, which she operated out of her home for two years.  In 1986 she took on a partner and they worked together for eight years. In 1994 Eileen sold Reston Montessori to her partner and founded Sunset Hills Montessori.  Eileen is currently a resource teacher for both Lower and Upper Elementary and the SHMS coordinator for GRACE Arts.  Eileen is a voracious reader who is surprised that she loves her NOOK e-reader as well as “real” books.  She also loves to do arts and crafts, especially paper crafting with vintage book pages.  

Eileen Minarik (Founder/Owner, Resource)

Eileen has been actively involved in the Montessori Community since 1974 as a parent, assistant teacher (Primary), lead teacher (Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary), as a teacher trainer and consultant (Primary) and as a grandparent (since 2007.)  As a parent she helped to establish the Montessori program at Green Hedges School in 1976.  Eileen founded Reston Montessori in 1984, which she operated out of her home for two years.  In 1986 she took on a partner and they worked together for eight years. In 1994 Eileen sold Reston Montessori to her partner and founded Sunset Hills Montessori.  Eileen is currently a resource teacher for both Lower and Upper Elementary and the SHMS coordinator for GRACE Arts.  Eileen is a voracious reader who is surprised that she loves her NOOK e-reader as well as “real” books.  She also loves to do arts and crafts, especially paper crafting with vintage book pages.

 

Kristie Meixner (Director of Operations) Kristie loves coming to work each and every day!  With a background in managing restaurants, bookkeeping and being a mother; she has the perfect skill set to operate our school.  Kristie was a parent at the school at first, but began working at SHMS in 2003.  Kristie is married and has three busy teenagers; all of which began their education here at Sunset Hills Montessori.  Her favorite part of the day is greeting each and every child!

Kristie Meixner (Director of Operations)

Kristie loves coming to work each and every day!  With a background in managing restaurants, bookkeeping and being a mother; she has the perfect skill set to operate our school.  Kristie was a parent at the school at first, but began working at SHMS in 2003.  Kristie is married and has three busy teenagers; all of which began their education here at Sunset Hills Montessori.  Her favorite part of the day is greeting each and every child!

Katherine Talamantes (Head of School) Katherine was born in McLean, Virginia, so she is a true Washingtonian.  After returning from the College of Charleston, she joined the public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton in DC.  She and her husband Bill settled in Great Falls and upon the birth of their first son, Katherine shifted to full-time parenting.  During those years, Katherine explored various early childhood models for education, recognizing that early childhood education was her true passion.  Katherine first came to Sunset Hills Montessori as a parent.  She will often comment that at SHMS she and her husband “found a true community of educators and parents that would not only provide a strong academic experience for our children, but would truly focus on the development of the whole child.”    Katherine is currently Head of School and Pre-Primary Department Lead, serving as the lead teacher in our three day Pre-Primary classroom having completed her Montessori certification in Infant and Toddler.  During Katherine’s tenure at Sunset Hills, she has led Parent-Child classes, served as Parent Liaison, and Assistant Head of School.   Katherine is also currently serving as a teacher trainer for the Institute of Montessori Education. She is also certified to teach STEP parent education seminars for pre-school through adolescence.  On a personal note, Katherine and Bill continue to live in Great Falls.  All three of their children attended SHMS through elementary.  Their sons are now in college, while their daughter is a 10th grader at Langley High School.    

Katherine Talamantes (Head of School)

Katherine was born in McLean, Virginia, so she is a true Washingtonian.  After returning from the College of Charleston, she joined the public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton in DC.  She and her husband Bill settled in Great Falls and upon the birth of their first son, Katherine shifted to full-time parenting.  During those years, Katherine explored various early childhood models for education, recognizing that early childhood education was her true passion.  Katherine first came to Sunset Hills Montessori as a parent.  She will often comment that at SHMS she and her husband “found a true community of educators and parents that would not only provide a strong academic experience for our children, but would truly focus on the development of the whole child.”   

Katherine is currently Head of School and Pre-Primary Department Lead, serving as the lead teacher in our three day Pre-Primary classroom having completed her Montessori certification in Infant and Toddler.  During Katherine’s tenure at Sunset Hills, she has led Parent-Child classes, served as Parent Liaison, and Assistant Head of School.  

Katherine is also currently serving as a teacher trainer for the Institute of Montessori Education. She is also certified to teach STEP parent education seminars for pre-school through adolescence. 

On a personal note, Katherine and Bill continue to live in Great Falls.  All three of their children attended SHMS through elementary.  Their sons are now in college, while their daughter is a 10th grader at Langley High School.  

 

Jenn Keating (Office Manager) Jenn joined the Sunset Hills Montessori School staff in 2014 as the office manager.  She is a native Northern Virginian and is proud to call Virginia her home.   After staying home with her children for 10 years, she is fulfilling a longtime wish to work at a school and loves interacting with the children.  Her two children also attend the school.  In her spare time, Jenn enjoys crocheting, crafting, artwork, cooking and traveling.

Jenn Keating (Office Manager)


Jenn joined the Sunset Hills Montessori School staff in 2014 as the office manager.  She is a native Northern Virginian and is proud to call Virginia her home.   After staying home with her children for 10 years, she is fulfilling a longtime wish to work at a school and loves interacting with the children.  Her two children also attend the school.  In her spare time, Jenn enjoys crocheting, crafting, artwork, cooking and traveling.