Julie Liddle, Program Director
Julie brings twenty-five years of experience working with children to her role as Program Director at ERS. She worked as an art therapist in special education for almost a decade, and then specialized in early childhood art. For the next 16 years, Julie focused on creating and facilitating a parent/child art program and curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers, which she delivered in various preschool settings. This is what brought Julie to ERS at its inception, to serve as the school’s Atelierista (Art Director). She held this position for five years before taking on the broader role of Program Director. Julie is energized by the creativity of young children. She enjoys using techniques and materials that inspire children’s innate creativity as a means for creating connections, building relationships, and educating parents and teachers. Julie received a Master’s degree in Art Therapy from George Washington University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University. She lives with her husband and two teenage sons, and enjoys year-round campfires and cookouts in their backyard fire-ring, and harvesting and cooking the fruits of her husband’s vegetable gardening obsession. Like her grandmother, Julie swears by the healing power of fresh air, and she finds rejuvenation in daily walks with her only girl, a beagle-mix named Chessie.
Krissy Sheets, Bookkeeper/Office Administrator
Krissy grew up on Kent Island, MD on the Chesapeake Bay. She holds a Business degree from Salisbury University. After graduating college, she relocated to Northern Virginia to be near her husband, a Vernon Drive native! They now live in Ashburn, with their two teen boys, two cats and a dog. Krissy has worked in various accounting roles, primarily in the healthcare and senior living industry. She is excited to now work among children and their families and learn all things ERS. When not shuttling kids and cheering on her boys at their sporting events, she enjoys traveling, gardening, reading and taking long walks with her four-legged child.
Erica Wyman, Lead Teacher
Erica brings 35 years of teaching experience to ERS. She has worked in early childhood special education, Kindergarten, second grade, and high school special education. She attended University of Maryland and has a B.S. with a major in elementary and special education. She attended George Mason University and has a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Exceptional Needs, Early Childhood. Erica grew up in Montgomery County, MD and has always loved nature, animals, and working with children. She spent time on her grandparent’s nursery helping with trees, flowers and exploring the world of plants and insects. Erica’s grandmother was also a teacher, and Erica helped her tutor children. This is when she knew she wanted to be a teacher. A fun fact about Erica is that she has an identical twin sister. She also loves animals of all kinds; her family always had a house full of animals, including horses, dogs, cats, chinchilla, rabbits, snakes, seahorses, fish, mice, gerbils, hamsters, turtles, frogs, and a bearded dragon. Erica’s interests include travel, beading, hiking, kayaking, yoga, swimming, working out, spoiling her dogs, reading, and going to the beach. Erica is excited to share her love of teaching, nature, and children with The Eastern Ridge School.
Jackie Robson, Lead Teacher
Jackie worked as a Montessori Assistant Teacher for several years before joining the Eastern Ridge School. She began her time here as an Assistant Teacher in the Acorns class, before moving on to her current role as a Lead Teacher in the Early Childhood program. She loves to sing and read with the children, and to experience and explore the natural world as much as possible. Jackie graduated from Southern New Hampshire University, where she studied English and creative writing. Her passion is writing fiction, and she hopes to eventually add ‘published author’ to her list of accomplishments. She also loves to travel; she has lived in both Germany and Japan, so she’s been lucky to experience a variety of lifestyles and cultures.
Maritza Rodriguez, Lead Teacher
Maritza was born in Mexico, where she studied architecture. She worked for 22 years in that field and then worked for two years as a math teacher in a public high school. She later taught art and design at a private Catholic school. She and her husband (of more than 30 years!) have lived in the U.S. since 2005. She started at Discovery Woods in 2008 and joined Eastern Ridge when it was founded in 2014. Maritza truly loves working with our youngest students, and is particularly inspired to collect forest artifacts like leaves, twigs, and rocks with the children to inspire painting and art. She also enjoys teaching them songs and stories in Spanish. She especially loves how her children explore and discover new things, and watching their faces when they finish a project that they’ve worked on for a long time. Maritza and her husband, Jorge, have two children and live in Sterling.
Sue Stone, Lead Teacher
Sue has been with ERS and its predecessor for more than 10 years. Prior to this, she spent six years as a team teacher in the three-year old classroom at the Beverly Hills Church Preschool (BHCP), a Reggio-inspired school in Alexandria, and one year at Frog Pond, a nature-inspired program also in Alexandria. Prior to that, she was a co-op parent at BHCP for nine years, where she was on the board and served as its president for last two years her children attended. She also taught at Emmanuel Lutheran as a kindergarten teacher. Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from College of the Potomac and also studied at Lesley University in their early childhood program. Most of Sue’s interests are nature focused; she loves gardening, being outside, kayaking and trail walking. She also volunteers with Animal Allies, feeding, rescuing and setting up shelters for feral cats. Teaching runs in her family: her oldest daughter is an environmental science teacher at the relatively new middle and high school, Howard Gardner School in Alexandria. Sue has three children and one granddaughter.
Iliana Rodriguez, Assistant Teacher/Aftercare Co-Teacher
Kelly Rene, Outdoor Resource Specialist/Aftercare Co-Teacher
Kelly was born in New London, CT, but was raised in a military family and had the opportunity to move around a lot while she was growing up. She was able to live in many interesting and exciting locations—including Alaska, the Netherlands, Germany, and Ireland. She even holds Irish citizenship! She landed in Northern Virginia to attend George Mason University, where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in English Culture Studies and Sustainability. Since graduation Kelly has lived in Ohio working as an Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a National Wildlife Refuge. Her previous workplace allowed her to work in environmental education with learners of all ages, and she is excited to bring her knowledge and passion for the outdoors to the ERS community. Kelly is a dedicated outdoor enthusiast and loves to get outside whenever possible. Her favorite hobbies include both indoor and outdoor rock climbing, hiking, and camping.
Toniann Iovine, Art Specialist
Toniann earned a Master’s degree in Art & Design Education from Pratt Institute and has many years of experience working in progressive education. After starting her career at Friends Seminary and Beginning With Children Charter School in NYC, she took a break from teaching to continue her work as an artist. She returned to education with an opportunity to apply her art and education background overseas. She designed and implemented curricula for children in Sri Lankan communities impacted by the tsunami during the civil war. The community rebuilding was centered around the children and their place of learning. As part of her work in Sri Lanka she ran a gallery that exhibited local artists and provided community art instruction to participants. Toniann returned to NYC and began the juggling act of family and work. At Tompkins Hall, the Columbia University childcare center, she supported play based instruction with topics of interest. As a teacher Toniann feels her role is to be both student and facilitator; she is always listening and learning. She believes it is vital to remain present in the experience and immerse children in experiential learning on subjects relevant to them. She enjoys time with her family and is happy to call Great Falls home.
Rosie Troutman, Kitchen Operations and Teachers’ Aide
Rosie is pursuing to further her education in early childhood development. She loves interacting with children, being outside and sharing her enthusiasm for nature with others. She has relatives that live throughout the United States and enjoys visiting them and helping to cook big family dinners. Rosie has the travel bug and especially like visiting European cities and experiencing their different cultures and cuisines.