Primrose School of Downtown Bethesda

Our Staff

  • Ms. Heather Shaffer, Director of Operations

    Ms. Heather Shaffer

    Director of Operations

    Ms. Heather comes to us with 10 years of experience within Early Childhood Education and four years managing ECE and Preschool Programs within Northern Virginia. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in history and science, and her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Heather is passionate about creating an environment of inclusion for students to find their voice and independence. She loves The Primrose School for its warm inviting atmosphere and focus on promoting individualized growth for students. Ms. Heather is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner and is looking forward to building on the legacy of our great schools.

  • Marissa Smith

    Director
  • Candy C.

    Assistant Director
  • Nikki L.

    Assistant Director
  • Ms. Carolina B.

    Lead Infant Teacher

    Hi! I'm Carolina. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Childcare experience: 3 years in Head Librarian in Faure Middle School in Managua, Nicaragua, 2 years of experience working in Faure Middle School students outside in Managua Nicaragua. I worked with several families as Spanish tutor/sitter, 4 years as CASA CASA Teacher Substitute for the Adult Spanish Literacy classes and, 1year as Instructor for Head Start/Pre-K Mommy & Me.

    Background: I was Born in Managua Nicaragua, grew up and studied in Managua, came to Brooklyn New York in 1998 and later moved to the DMV, lived in Washington DC for about a year, and have been living in Maryland  since 1999 and  I'm fluent in Spanish.

    Education Background: 2015 - Completion Child Growth and Development (45-hours) and Planning Curricula for Children (45-hours) at Montgomery College WD & CE

    1984 - Science in Education at UNAN (University National of Autonomy of Nicaragua)

    1994 - Ethical profile of the educator course - UNAN (University National of Autonomy of Nicaragua)

    1996 - Billing Receptionist class - at Polytechnic Business School, located in Managua, Nicaragua.
    1997- Effective communication for the Educator course at Psycho Pedagogy Institute

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: Is to see them develop their own skills with the tools provided by them by using teaching resources.

    Favorite children’s book: Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince/El Principito

    In My Personal Time: I love to read books and novels I also take my training classes to strengthen my teaching skills

     

     

  • Ms. Sarah

    Lead Older Infant Teacher

    Hi! I’m Sarah.  I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Child care experience: 2 years

    Education Background: Bachelors of Science; Biology

    Background: I’m from Silver Spring, MD. I grew up in Severna Park, MD. When I was there, I did lacrosse, basketball, and swim team. Then I participated in rowing team for three years in high school. I achieved the Girl Scout gold award in 2014 for creating and leading an outdoor education experience for children at a local park. In college, I studied biology and chemistry.

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: They have unique perspectives and ideas.

    Favorite children’s book: A Color of His Own By Leo Lionni

    In My Personal Time: I like to run and listen to music.

  • Ms. Maria P.

    Lead Toddler Teacher

    Hi! I’m Maria. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I was born in Brazil but was raised here in Bethesda, Maryland. I have three sons and three grandchildren. I enjoy knitting, gardening, and biking. I love the outdoors! Prior to Primrose, I worked at the State Department as a language teacher. However, during Covid I worked as a kindergarten tutor.

    Childcare experience: Kindergarten tutor

    Education Background: Montgomery College with an AA in Early Childhood Education

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: I love watching them learn and explore new things.

    Favorite children’s book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    In My Personal Time: I like cooking, watching Netflix, knitting, coloring, and spending time with my family!

  • Ms. Elizabeth

    Assistant Toddler Teacher

    Hi, I'm Ms. Liz! Or as my kids like to call me, 'Miz’. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have been with Primrose School since July of this year. I have been working with kids since 2017.  I also used to work for GameStop for about four years and I was a store manager for a year of that. Working with kids is my passion and there is no greater feeling than seeing a child excited when they learn something new. Also knowing that I am part of a child's development during this critical part of life. I love teaching them academically and about life. I want to be there to guide them through this crazy, but amazing journey we call life and prepare them for the future. I am a teacher, but I am also a bit of a nerd. I love Marvel, Star Wars, and video games. I am also engaged!

    I love my kids and getting to know their families during my time here. I am very lucky to have such amazing kids with loving, supportive families. I am looking forward to watching these kiddos grow and flourish! 

    Childcare experience: Kiddie Academy of New Market, Early Bird Exploration Academy, McLean School , Children's Manor Columbia

    Background: I am Colombian, but I was born and raised here in Maryland. I was born in Takoma Park, lived in Germantown until I was two, then moved to Ijamsville (outside of Frederick) . I moved to Bethesda with my fiancé last December. I speak a little bit of Spanish, but I mostly understand it. 

    Education Background : Associate's Degree in General Studies - Frederick Community College, Pursuing Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and working towards lead toddler teacher certification. 

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: The connections I build with my kids and their families. I love hearing how excited my kids get when they see me walk into the classroom, their big hugs, and hearing from my families how much they love having their kids in my classroom. I love being silly with them and letting them be kids.

    Favorite children’s book: The Rainbow Fish and any Corduroy book

    In My Personal Time: I play video games (I play on everything!), watch Marvel, Star Wars (Rogue One is my favorite Star Wars movie) Play with my new cat, Tonks. Yes, I did name my cat after a Harry Potter character. And of course, spend time with my fiancé.

  • Ms. Marie

    Lead Toddler Teacher

    Hi! I’m Marie. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Child care experience: 14 years

    Education Background: 2 years

    Background: I am from Haiti and grew up in Brooklyn. I understand French and Haitian Creole.

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite is seeing them succeed with my help.

    Favorite children’s book: The Animal Boogie & Pete the Cat I love my White Shoes 

    In My Personal Time: I love to watch movies, listen to music, going shopping and going out to eat. 

  • Ms. Rukhsana

    Assistant Toddler Teacher

    Hi! I’m Rukhsana. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Childcare experience: 4 years of childcare experience

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite thing about working with children is doing activity with them and taking care of them.

    Favorite children’s book: Good Night Moon

    In My Personal Time: I love cooking during my personal time.

  • Ms. Maria M.

    Toddler Teacher

    Hi! I’m Maria.  I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have 3 children, dogs and cats! I love to cook American and Peruvian food! I have always love to work with children and help them with fun and difficult tasks!

    Childcare experience: 3 years experience

    Education Background: Some college

    Background: I grew up in Lima, Peru and speak both English and Spanish.

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite thing about working with children is helping them with their activities and singing and dancing during circle time.

    Favorite children’s book: You’re here for a Reason

    In My Personal Time: In my personal time I like relaxing with my family and pets. I also like gardening in the spring and baking in the winter.

  • Ms. Autumn

    Early Preschool Teacher

    HI! I'm Autumn. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I am 24 years old and have been working with kids since before I was 10. I am an aspiring medical student whose passion is making a difference in children’s lives. I worked in pharmacy the past 3 years after teaching at two different schools but realized that working with kids is where I belong. I am new to this school but everywhere I go my love for children follows me. I have two younger brothers who are my best friends and my Chihuahua is basically my son. I absolutely adore each and every one of these kids and treat them like my own. This age is definitely my favorite and I love teaching them every day and helping them be the best versions of themselves. I look forward to working with you all and watching them succeed!

    With love, Ms. Autum

    Childcare experience: 6+ years of teaching and nannying

    Background: Indian, born in Georgia, grew up in Roanoke, VA, and recently moved here from Fredericksburg, VA

    Education Background: Virginia Western Community College, VCU

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: Making them smile & watching them grow.

    Favorite children’s book: Are You my Mother, Amelia Bedelia, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    In My Personal Time: I enjoy walking my dog, working out, & cooking

  • Ms. Arisa

    Early Preschool Teacher

    Hi! I’m Arisa.  I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Childcare experience:  I’ve worked with children since I was 15 (7 years professionally).

    Background: I grew up in Maryland in an English-speaking family. I am currently learning how to speak French.

    Education Background: Currently on my 2nd year in college majoring in communications studies.

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite thing about working with children is watching them grow and develop overtime. 

    Favorite children’s book: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon 

    In My Personal Time: I enjoy relaxing while reading new books, shopping, and being around loved ones.

  • Ms. Monika

    Lead Preschool Teacher

    HI! I’m Monika. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Childcare experience: 3 Years of preschool and kindergarten

    Background: I was born and grew up in India.  My Mother tongue is Hindi. Other than that, I am fluent in Punjabi and English too.

    Education Background: Bachelors of Arts

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: Their childhood activities remind me of my own childhood which is still my favorite and happiest part of my life.

    Favorite children’s book: My favorite children's  books are, Three Little Pigs, The very hungry caterpillar, and Down by the way.

    In My Personal Time: I love to do Shopping, Play with my son, and cooking.

  • Ms. Heidi

    Lead Preschool Teacher

    Hi! I’m Heidi. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I’ve always had a passion for learning and known that I was meant to be a teacher.  From a young age, I started taking classes focused on education and volunteering as a teacher’s aid. I have taught kindergarten and second grade for Montgomery County Public Schools.  I believe that children are our future and feel honored to have the opportunity to work at Primrose Schools. 

    Childcare experience: Assistant Teacher at B’nai Shalom of Olney Early Childhood School

    Background: I was born in Massachusetts. I have also lived in Tennessee, Florida and Connecticut. I have spent the most time in Maryland and consider it my home.

    Education Background: B.S. in Early Childhood Education Towson University 

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite thing about working with children is teaching a child something new and being able to see the moment when they understand the new concept.

    Favorite children’s book: Good Night Moon

    In My Personal Time: I love spending time with family and friends. I enjoy staying active and being outdoors. I like to do yoga and listen to music. 

     

  • Ms. Alberta

    Lead Pre-K Teacher

    HI! I'm Alberta. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    My Early Childhood education experience stems back for more than 10 years. I been employed in early childhood education in the private sector, different counties, state and federal government, and universities. I have had the opportunity to experience a variety of early childhood learning approaches and philosophies.

    Childcare experience: 10+ years

    Education Background : Bowie State University Social Work and colleges in MC. I have attained a Child Development Associate credential. Admin: Directors, ECE management, program operations, Sixty-Four- and Ninety-Hour ECE Development and Curriculum Certificates ECE Program Strategies/ Community Out-Reach/Parent Advisory Children w/Special Needs. State Department of Education/ OCC Credential Level 4+MD. MD State Department of Education Personnel Credentialed for all Positions in ECE. Child Care Educational Program Planning Certificates BLS & CPR

    Elementary& Preschool Operations & Development of Programs

     For Educational Curriculum Planning, Community, and Family Programs School –Age Development/Operations/ Program Planning

    Teaching Strategies Gold/ Creative Curriculum Gold Certificates/Literacy Awareness Bethesda, MD, Headquarters

    NCCCC Assessment & Documentation for ECE Programs

    Parent, Staff and Program Mentoring Experience 20 years

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: The most rewarding gift is to know that I was a part of a young child’s overall development during the time they are in /or were in my learning environment.

    Favorite children’s book: Mommy Buy Me A China Doll 

    In My Personal Time: Gardening, visiting national and state parks, cooking international dishes, visiting oceans, and walking.

     

  • Ms. Dyana

    Floater

    Hi! I’m Dyana. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I am 19 years old and a Sophomore in College. I am one of the floater Teachers Aide at Primrose and have been working with Primrose for about a year and a half now. Although I work in all rooms and with all age groups; I spend most of my time in the Infant, Toddler, and Early Preschool rooms. 

    Working with children has always been a passion of mine. At a young age, I had always cared for my younger siblings, which then turned into babysitting for other family and friends. Now, leading me to where I am today at Primrose! I feel very lucky to experience so many big milestones with your little ones and thank you for trusting us. 

    Childcare experience: 4 years

    Background: My family originated from a country in Central America, El Salvador. I am bilingual and speak both Spanish and English fluently. 

    Education Background: Currently a sophomore in college.

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: Watching them grow into their personalities.

    Favorite children’s book: The Giving Tree

    In My Personal Time: I enjoy traveling.

  • Ms. Zareia

    Floater

    HI! I’m Ms. Zareia (Zar-re-uh). I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I've been working at Primrose for 1 year and a 1/2. My position at Primrose is a floater so you’ve might’ve seen me everywhere! You’ll usually catch me in the younger classrooms. I love being a floater because I get to work with all the children in the center and watch them grow! My favorite age groups are infants, toddlers, and preschool. Although I'm 19 years old, I have been around childcare/educators my whole life! My grandmother ran her own daycare, my older sister is a nanny, and my mom is a Special Education Para-Educator for MCPS; so, it’s safe to say childcare and teaching are pretty much my destiny! I'm currently a sophomore in college as well. Regarding my family, I am one of three girls. As mentioned, I have an older sister, but I also have a younger sister! My birthday is in December, but winter isn’t my favorite season; I'm more of a sunny day on the beach type of person!

    I've enjoyed meeting all of you wonderful parents and I’m honored to have the privilege to take care of your children :)

    Childcare experience: 4+ years

    Education Background : Currently a sophomore in college

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: Forming trusted bonds and watching their littler personalities grow!

    Favorite children’s book: A Bad Case of the Stripes and Matilda

    In My Personal Time: I love watching movies and catching up on shows.

  • Ms. Dalal

    Floater

    HI! I'm Dalal. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Childcare experience: 10 Months

    Background: I was Born in Managua Nicaragua, grew up and studied in Managua, came to Brooklyn New York in 1998 and later moved to the DMV, lived in Washington DC for about a year, and have been living in Maryland  since 1999 and  I'm fluent in Spanish.

    Education Background:

    My Favorite Thing About Working with Children: My favorite part is watching them grow and being apart of their learning process.

    Favorite children’s book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    In My Personal Time: I like to travel on my spare time.

     

  • Mike Patel, Franchise Owner

    Mike Patel

    Franchise Owner

    I am Mike Patel, the proud owner of Primrose School of Downtown Bethesda. My wife, Malina, and I are blessed with two wonderful children. As parents and experienced business owners, we understand the importance of the high-quality educational childcare that Primrose schools provides and we are thrilled to bring the Primrose Experience to the families of Downtown Bethesda.

    After researching many schools for our children, we were fortunate to come across the opportunity to learn about the unmatched curriculum, teaching methods, and passion for education that Primrose schools delivers. We quickly became avid supporters and felt compelled to bring the Primrose Experience to our area.

    Education shapes who we are and what we aspire to be. We recognize that quality early childhood education and care with an emphasis on character development nurtures the foundation for one's future academic and personal successes. We believe we can help forge the path for a brighter future, and are devoted to making a difference for the children of America, starting with the community of Downtown Bethesda. We are minutes from NIH, Walter Reed, and the new Marriott Headquarters in the heart of Downtown Bethesda!

    Primrose School of Downtown Bethesda is located at 8101 Glenbrook Rd. For more information, visit www.PrimroseDB.com.

     

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