Staff Directory

Meet Our Staff and Teachers


Mrs. Ann Stich

703-573-4570 ext 3

Mrs. Ann Stich is director of St. Philip Early Childhood Center. After eight years as director and assistant principal at Corpus Christi School’s Early Education Center, she helped lead the School’s transition from a two-campus, inter-parish school, to two separate schools – St. Anthony’s School for K-8, and St. Philip Early Childhood Center for Pre-K. 

Mrs. Stich is devoted to her students and knows each by name. She has a warm relationship with school parents, who appreciate her openness, honesty and the love she has for the children. Mrs. Stich is likewise dedicated to her teachers and staff. A champion of Catholic education and her Catholic faith, she loves being part of the school and the parish community, working closely with the pastor and church staff.

Not only is Mrs. Stich a product of Catholic education, she is a second-generation Catholic school teacher, having followed in her mother’s footsteps. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Master’s in Elementary Education and a certificate in school administration. She holds teaching licenses in New York and Virginia, and has completed an internship in school administration. She hails from Yonkers, N.Y.

Mrs. Stich loves to read and spend time with her nieces and nephews. She and her husband Ed live in Manassas with their adorable sleepy bulldog, Mia.

Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program 

Mrs. Debbie Bean 


Mrs. Bean was born in Arlington and married her high school sweetheart. They have three children. She is also an active member of the Church of Nativity in Burke, where she serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

She earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University. She joinedSt. Philip Early Childhood Center in 2001 as a preschool teacher. 

Before joining Corpus Christi, she taught kindergarten and ran her own daycare out of her home.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, walking, traveling and doing volunteer work. She truly loves teaching and feels very blessed that God has given her this special gift to share.

Assistant Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program 

Mrs. Deisy Quintero


Mrs. Deisy Quintero is a Pre-K teacher’s assistant and has been teaching at St. Philip ECC (formerly Corpus Christi School) since March of 1997. Since 2003, she has been working with Mrs. Bean, creating a safe, fun and welcoming environment for the children to learn.

Mrs. Quintero earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela. She came to United States in 1989 with her husband and her baby girl. After having her second daughter, she started working at the ECC while her daughter attended preschool.

Her love for children, inspired her to stay at school all these years.  She loves teaching the children Spanish and believes that this young age is the best time to learn new languages. Mrs. Quintero enjoys doing arts and crafts with the children, playing games, and helping them prepare for kindergarten.

Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program/Extended Day Director

Mrs. Shagufta Nande


Mrs. Nande went to Catholic school and Catholic college. She has a degree in Economics (Honors) from Mumbai University, India. She obtained her CDA from NAEYC in 2006.

Before coming to the United States, Mrs. Nande worked at Kangaroo Kids in Mumbai for two years.

She has been at Corpus Christ since 2003 and has taught morning and full-day preschool to both 3- and 4-year-olds.

She loves working with children.

Assistant Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program

Mrs. Carole Pesce


Mrs. Pesce started at St Philip ECC in August 1996 and is working as Mrs. Nande’s assistant for the 4 year-old 5-day Full day program. Mrs. Pesce started as a room mother then a substitute and finally as an assistant when she realized how much she enjoyed being around the kids.

 Mrs. Pesce is originally from France and moved to the United States in 1985 when she met her French husband in Washington DC. She has one son who is married and lives in Paris. He was a student here at the preschool and went all the way to 8th grade at Corpus Christi school.

 Mrs. Pesce loves speaking French to the children and loves teaching them songs. She believes that children are sponges and that this is the ideal age to learn languages all while having fun doing it! She also loves music and dancing, which is one of her favorite activities to do with the children.

.She loves traveling with her husband and taking her dog on walks. Scrapbooking and photography are also among her favorite hobbies.

Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program

Ms. Maricar Hornilla


Maricar Hornilla joined St. Philip in August 2017. Born and raised in the Bay Area (San Francisco), she lived in San Diego for 11 years and moved to the East Coast in 2014. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Family Studies/Nutrition major.

She never saw herself as being a teacher until she was introduced to the Early Childhood profession in 2002 while working part-time in a child development center in the Bay Area. She enjoyed it so much that she switched gears, got her certification in Early Childhood Education, and has been in this field ever since. She has worked with all age groups from infants up to Pre-K.

She enjoys watching children use their imaginations while they learn, grow and explore the world around them. She finds working with young children very rewarding. She is passionate about bringing out the best of each child she teaches, as well as building positive and sincere relationships with the children and their families.

The bonds that she makes with them are priceless and makes work not feel like work.

Assistant Teacher: PK4 Full-Day Program

Mrs. Doris Medina


Mrs. Doris Medina started at St. Philip ECC in the 2011 school year as an assistant teacher.  She has always worked in the full day four-year-old class and at one point in extended day.

Mrs. Medina is originally from Venezuela and moved to Virginia in 2005. She is married to Jose A. Medina and has 3 sons: Jose Antonio is a Computer Engineering, Eduardo Andres is an Electrical Engineering and Daniel Elias is right now studying Medical Therapist. She also has a grandson, Mateo Elias, who was student at St. Philip ECC.

Mrs. Medina credits her passion for teaching to her Mom who was a teacher and has two sisters that are teachers too.  She grew up loving school and teaching. She remembers at a very young age spending time playing teacher with her sister.  Working at St. Philip Early Childhood Center has been a blessing from God!

Mrs. Medina speaks Spanish and enjoys teaching Spanish to the students.  She loves spending time with family and friends, country music and traveling.

Teacher: PK4 Five Day Program

Mrs. Kathy Retta


After spending the past two summers as the camp director Mrs. Retta has joined the Saint Philip community full time this year teaching the half day fours and extended day.  

Mrs. Retta comes to us from Saint Veronica and has taught in Catholic school in the Northern Virginia area since 2014 preschool through fourth grade.  Her first teaching experiences began her senior year in high school where she assistant taught music classes for the junior high school, as well as gymnastics at a local gymnastic facility.  In 1989 she began teaching and coaching full time. After taking some time to run a home child-care while her children were young, she returned to the classroom to share her faith and love of learning with our Saint Philip’s family. 

Mrs. Retta is currently completing her Master of Education at Liberty University.  She has six children and is active in the music ministry at Holy Trinity. 

Assistant Teacher: PK4 Five Day Program

Mrs. Johana Brown


Mrs. Brown is the 4-year-old half day preschool teacher assistant. She joined St. Philip ECC in August 2016. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to teach young children in a Catholic school. She always greets her students with a smile and helps create a fun environment for learning. 

Mrs. Brown holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Strayer University. Before becoming a teacher’s assistant, Mrs. Brown worked for the Catholic Diocese of
Arlington and for St. Anthony of Padua church.

In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, watching baseball games
and movies.

Teacher: PK3 Full-Day Program

Ms. Courtney Williams


Ms. Williams has been teaching at St. Philip since August 2016 has enjoyed every moment of it. Ms. Williams currently lives in Maryland and travels here every day just to see the smile on every child’s face and to make memorable moments. Ms. Williams is currently working on her degree in Early Childhood Development in Science. Ms. Williams obtained her CDA from NAEYC in 2015 and continues to keep up on current trends in early childhood. Ms. Williams currently teaches thePK 3 Full Day class. Teaching is her passion and looks forward to working with the children and their families.

Assistant Teacher: PK3 Full-Day Program

Mr. Nick Himmer


Mr. Himmer joined St. Philip ECC in November 2016 but has been teaching for the past 8 years. He has taught every age group, from toddlers to Pre-K. He was born and raised in Bel
Air, Maryland and moved to Fairfax County, Virginia to marry his wife in the summer of 2016.

Mr. Himmer was raised by a loving Christian family and was homeschooled by his mother. He helped his mother run her home daycare at a young age and went on to work as a Nanny
while in high school.

Mr. Himmer believes that every teacher should have 3 priorities; the children’s safety, their
happiness, and their education. He loves working with children and believes teaching is one of
the most rewarding jobs in the world.

Teacher: PK3 Full-Day Program

Ms. Shannon Hames


Ms. Hames joined St. Philip in 2018. Working with children has always been a passion; she enjoys creating a caring and loving environment in which children can flourish. Ms. Hames was born and raised in Alexandria, VA with 9 other siblings. Valuable lessons learned from having siblings: to be patient, to share, to work as a team, to forgive, and to challenge yourself. 

She started babysitting as a teenager, along with helping at her church during Vacation Bible School doing crafts with young children. After high school Ms. Hames worked as an assistant at Washington Street United Methodist Church Preschool for 3 years then was offered a teacher position and stayed for an additional 10 years. In 2005 she earned her CDA which lead her to working for Fairfax County in a School Age Childcare program for another 10 years. Searching for a new challenge Ms. Hames went back to her roots: PRESCHOOLERS, which landed her at St. Philip hopefully for many years to come.

When Ms. Hames is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Kayla, reading, going to concerts, creating, and the great outdoors!


Assistant Teacher: PK3 Full-Day Program

Mrs. Erin Stevens


Mrs. Stevens is a long-time parishioner of St. Philip Church and was thrilled to join the faculty of St. Philip's Early Childhood Center in 2014.  Mrs. Stevens is currently a teacher assistant for the 3-year-old class and has a Child Development Associate degree. 

She is proud to be a positive role model for our Catholic faith and helping each child reach exciting and new developmental milestones every day. 

Mrs. Stevens loves spending time with her husband and son and travelling to explore new places. She especially enjoys summer activities such as swimming, boating, going to the beach, geocaching and anything baseball. In the evenings, it is cuddle time with her 4 cats and bunny while reading a good book.


Mrs. Bowes grew up in the Chicago suburbs and has lived in this area since 1977.  Her first career was as an economist doing analysis for the Navy and Marine Corps.  Looking for a way to help people more directly, she went back to school and earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University in 1994.

She has taught at the Early Childhood Center since 1996 and has taught both 3- and 4-year- olds.  She loves helping children develop physically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

Mrs. Bowes enjoys spending time with her two children and (so far) two grandchildren.  Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and swimming.

Assistant Teacher: PK3 5-Day Morning Program

Mrs. Jennifer Speerstra


Mrs. Speerstra is very excited to start her second year at St Philip Early Childhood Center as the Assistant Teacher for Mrs Bowes in the half day 3's class!

Before coming to St. Phillip ECC, Mrs. Speerstra was a Nanny, a Play and Learn Teacher at Gymboree, a Gym Manager, and has been performing on professional theatrical stages in the DC Metro Area since 2002. These experiences are what lead her to seek a teaching position, and she is so happy that it has! Mrs. Speerstra feels that this past year at St Phillip's was the most fun and fulfilling year she has ever had professionally, and can't wait to do it all again this year!

Mrs. Speerstra has 2 children of her own. She loves having slumber parties with her 7 year old daughter, playing board games with her 4 year old son, and going to the movies with her dashing husband. Other than acting on stage, Jen loves reading, playing video games and planning family outings. Being an eternal child at heart, Mrs. Speerstra's favorite things to do with the 3 year olds in Mrs. Bowes class, is drawing with them during playtime and playing Duck Duck Goose and Hide and Seek on the playground. She is the undefeated champion in both, and will gladly defend her titles again this year and wishes the best of luck to your children.

Teacher: PK2 - Full Day Program

Mrs. Johanna Gaviria


Johanna Gaviria began teaching at St. Philip in August 2016. She was born in Colombia, South America. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to work in a Catholic school, introducing the love of the Lord to her students at such a young age.

She earned her degree at the University of Bogota Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia.  She relocated to Virginia, where she worked for Fairfax County Schools for eight years, and has been takings classes through NOVA to obtain her Early Childhood certification.
Her goal as a teacher here is to create a long-lasting impact on each student by creating a safe and fun environment for them in the classroom.  She is the mother of two beautiful children.  In her free time, she loves to be with her family, and to travel, dance and exercise.

Assistant Teacher: PK2 Full-Day Program

Mrs. Karina Torrico


Mrs. Torrico has been part of the St. Phillip Early Childhood Center since 2017. She joined the team as an Assistant Teacher to Mrs. Gaviria's PK 2 class.

Mrs. Torrico brings her commitment and attitude towards developing an environment that is supportive of faith, language, motor, social and emotional skills which are necessary to have a solid foundation for school success. She believes that providing a high-quality early childhood education will help children succeed later in life. 

Mrs. Torrico moved from Bolivia, South America 20 years ago. She speaks Spanish and English. She lives with her husband and two children in Falls Church, VA one of which graduated from St. Phillip ECC, and now both are attending St. Anthony Catholic School. 

Mrs. Torrico likes to spend her free time with her family and enjoys reading, crafts and traveling.

Assistant Teacher: PK2 Full-Day Program

Miss Margaret Jeshow


Miss Jeshow has been a part of the Saint Philip community for 6 years. During that time, she volunteered at several school and church sponsored events. She has been a substitute and camp counselor for the last two years for various ages. 

Miss Jeshow brings to Saint Philip extensive knowledge of childcare, child development, and artistic abilities. 

She’s excited to become a full time part of the Saint Philip family in the 2-year full day class, where she will bring her love and compassion to your child. 

Assistant Teacher: PK3-3 day & 2-2 day Program

Mrs. Lane Talla


Mrs. Talla is starting her second year at St Philip Early Childhood Center as an assistant teacher for Ms Rejas’ 3 Day 3s / 2 Day 2s classes.

While Mrs. Talla is originally from Belgium, she moved to Falls Church at the age of five.

At a very young age, Mrs. Talla knew that her passion would be teaching. She grew up loving school and “teaching” her stuffed animals. She never even thought about doing anything else!

Mrs. Talla’s passion for languages and teaching pushed her to study French Language Learning at the University of Toronto, Canada. She spent a year abroad in France. After obtaining her BA, Mrs. Talla moved back to France where she taught English for eight years before moving back to Falls Church.

Mrs. Talla has four children, three of whom have graduated from St Philip and one who is currently in the Pre-K 3 class.

Mrs. Talla loves to read and spent time with her family and friends. She is a multi-linguist and speaks English, French and Dutch. Mrs. Talla’s husband is from Cameroon and they speak both French and English at home.

Teacher: Art, Spanish and Lunch Bunch

Ms. Yamile Caballero


Ms. Caballero started working at St. Philip’s as an assistant teacher for Kindergarten in 1998. Ms. Caballero is originally from Colombia, South America, and speaks two languages, Spanish and English. She moved to Alexandria, VA 35 years ago when she was only 26-years-old with her then 3-year-old daughter, Arelis. Since then Ms. Caballero has had two other wonderful children, her son, Danny, and second daughter, Yvonne. All three graduated from St Philip’s.


Mrs. Caballero loves spending time with her family and friends and has always had a passion for teaching and guiding children. Ms. Caballero has three children and five grandchildren who she loves dearly and has worked with children for the last 38 years. She grew up attending Catholic schools herself and graduated with a degree in preschool education from Colombia. Her grandmother also loved children very much and had a special radio program dedicated solely to children. Much of Ms. Caballero’s passion comes from her grandmother!


Ms. Caballero loves to paint in watercolors, acrylics, charcoal, and by hand, but loves teaching children how to develop their own artistic imaginations most of all. Ms. Caballero loves speaking and reading in Spanish and loves teaching the children all the many sweet songs and magical fables of her native language. She cannot wait for the new school year and to help more little children learn and grow!

Teacher: Music

Ms. Rachael Ackerman


Ms. Ackerman is returning as the music teacher to St. Philip for her third year. 

A native of northeastern PA, she received a degree in voice and music education at Penn State University. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from George Mason University where she studied with Patricia Miller. A winner of many local and national vocal competitions, Ms. Ackerman continues to sing with local ensembles in the DC area and cantors the Saturday Mass at St. Charles in Arlington.  She also teaches K-8 music at St. Ambrose School in Annandale. 

When she’s not singing or teaching, she loves to spend time with her fiancé, cook, garden, and play with her two-year-old rescue mutt named Poet.




The main phone number is 703-573-4570. Below are the offices with voice mail extensions:

  • Main Office, x0
  • Attendance, x1
  • ECC Extended Day, x2
  • Preschool Director, x3


Parent Testimonial:


The staff/teachers at St. Philip ECC have such an impressive tenure with many teachers working together and shaping young minds at St. Philip for over 20 years. Additionally, the different options for each preschool age level and the many extracurricular activities have provided our children with individualized experiences. I am looking forward to having my younger children attend St. Philip over the next 5 years!

Stephanie R.