Our Teachers

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein

Excellent teaching staff makes an outstanding school, and at LANK we take great care to recruit, retain and develop first class teachers and support staff. We employ teachers who combine expertise in early childhood education, with a love of teaching and a genuine concern for the well-being and progress of each and every child. LANK’S teachers are among some of the happiest people because they are doing what they love. Many have been at LANK for many years, and care deeply for the school, families, and greater community.

LANK's professional, experienced and educated staff is understanding, loving, and well-informed on child development issues. Our staff devotes several days throughout the school year for In-Service Staff Meetings. These meetings are designed to discuss, evaluate and modify various aspects of our school program. We invite outside early childhood education specialists to help us explore ideas, problem solve and conduct professional development workshops.

In addition, LANK uses a team approach when planning and reflecting for classroom learning. Our staff recognizes the importance of modeling cooperation for our students, which is accomplished by having the children see their teachers share knowledge, expertise and materials. At LANK, another core tenet is our belief in a strong partnership between school and home; our teachers support this vital connection through communication and opportunities for family involvement in all our programs.

Joan Roesch

5-Day/ Explore and More

I have been teaching at LANK for many years, and love my job!  I also taught in the public school system and then took time off to raise my three beautiful children with my husband of over twenty years.  I came to LANK looking to rekindle my teaching career and fell in love with this amazing, caring school tucked in the woods.  I am truly grateful to call LANK my home. 


I feel that children are curious about the world around them and are continually making connections.   They are engaged learners who ask questions, solve problems and feel pride with the magic of wonder and imagination!  In pre-kindergarten children enjoy discovery.  I am honored to be part of this stage!  

Heather Frinks


I have lived in Reston with my husband and two daughters, for over 18 years. When my youngest daughter entered elementary school, I decided to turn my love of children into a second career and feel fortunate to have found a place in the LANK family.  I went from taking care of adults in the human resources field to taking care of children, which I find more rewarding – and much more fun!  I have a long and varied history of teaching at LANK and I’ve taught in the junior preschool program, the three-day program, and am now I am really enjoying helping children the year before kindergarten in the five day program.


I love offering children the opportunity to explore a variety of materials and their natural environment and I like to incorporate aspects of the Reggio Amelia approach in our curriculum. I feel very strongly about “process over product,” our play-based philosophy, and making learning meaningful through children’s interests and hands on experiences. 

Colleen Scanlan


I first came to LANK as a parent.  My children loved their experience at LANK and my family was overwhelmed by the special community.  I met my two best friends at LANK.  I learned to become a better parent while my children attended LANK.  My children were loved and cared for at LANK so when it was time for them to move on, I stayed! I have been a part of this special community since 2003 and a teacher here since 2007.  I am proud to be at teacher here.  My children learned to love school, gained self-confidence, and became good citizens because of the extraordinary experience they had a t LANK.  I hope to foster those same attributes in my students! 

Jillian Smith


I teach both five-day morning and afternoon with the wonderful Mrs. Frinks.  I am happy to say that I have been a part of the LANK community since 2006 when my son Aiden began Junior Preschool with Mrs. Frames.  He and my daughter Finley were both fortunate enough to attend LANK from JP through Kindergarten.  I have enjoyed teaching a variety of programs at LANK; including three day, four day, and the last few years five day, which I currently call home!  I have enjoyed being both a LANK parent and teacher, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for our terrific school! 

Wendy Banga


I am a 4 day afternoon teacher, and thrilled to teach children at this all important stage of development!  I grew up in Sterling, Virginia and received my bachelor degree in elementary education. I have been teaching at LANK for many years, and love the opportunity to use my skills while also being a part of this very special school.  I am married and have two wonderful children, both of whom attended LANK. They had very positive experiences at LANK so I was excited to be hired here. When not at school, my hobbies include: cooking, traveling, trying new foods and Zumba dancing.

Having the opportunity to watch the children learn and grow is one of the best parts of my job!  I am very excited to learn and explore with your children.

Patty O’Connor


I have been teaching at LANK for over thirty years!  My career at LANK started when my youngest son was a student here.  I just loved the atmosphere and the all-around education he was receiving.  I have always said, that he graduated from preschool, but I never have!  My path has taken me through every program in the school and I have loved every minute of it! From junior preschool to the 3 day/4 day, (my current position) five day program and even three months of teaching kindergarten there is and has always been a tremendous love for the children at LANK.  It is such a happy place.  One cannot come into the school and not see the smiles, hear the laughter or feel the overwhelming warmth.  There is a joy one only finds with children and I have been very fortunate to be able to experience this each and every day.  Thank you all for sharing your children with us. 

Dana Hanes


As a mother of three children, I realize how important the preschool years are and the positive impact it has on a child’s growth and development.  I began my LANK journey in 2009 as a substitute teacher when my youngest child was enrolled in the four- day program.  I am reminded everyday of what I enjoy the most:  helping children learn and grow by bringing imaginative play in the classroom and exploring nature to foster children’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. 


I am thankful for the opportunity to work in a nurturing, loving environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence during play. 


My personal interests revolve around gardening, reading and travel.  Of course, spending time with my family is also a favorite pastime!  I am looking forward to continued success and new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers at LANK.

Carolyn Frames

Junior Preschool/Bridge

I was born and raised in Northern Virginia and have called LANK home since 2000 as a Junior Preschool teacher.  As a mother to three children, I understand that early education provides a foundation for a lifetime of learning.  My greatest joy is to see a child’s smile as they encounter new experiences and discover a love of learning.  As their first teacher, I strive to create a loving environment where children can learn, experience new challenges, and develop their emotional and social skills.  It is important that a child feels safe and cared for, and I feel incredibly lucky to share this important time in their lives.


Outside of work, I love spending time with my three sons and husband of 37 years.  I enjoy watching movies, visiting the local farmer’s market, and hiking the many trails of this area.

Elizabeth Bartlett

Junior Preschool/Bridge

Most of my life has been lived surrounded by children, sharing my community with neighbors, siblings, nieces and nephews here in Reston.   All three of my children have gone through LANK so I have seen first-hand how this community fosters growing minds and hearts in its students.  After my youngest started Kindergarten, it was a natural step to begin teaching at LANK.  I love teaching in the JP program where every day brings something new and exciting to learn.  Nothing beats being a witness to a child’s firsts!  I strive every day to make learning a fun and natural experience.  Outside of the classroom I love yoga, reading, gardening, and listening to live music.   

Meredith Art

Junior Preschool/Bridge

I have been teaching the Junior Preschool class since 2010.  I was no stranger as my own children attended the school from JP all the way through Kindergarten.  It was such a wonderful experience for my boys and I just loved the community and atmosphere.  This piqued my interest in teaching at LANK and I started substituting in 2008.   Since then, I have worked with every age group in the school, but found a love for the 2 1/2 and 3 year olds.   They are full of wonder, excitement, creativity and vivid imaginations.  I think that providing them with a warm nurturing environment is very important, and seeing their smiles as they walk into school is so rewarding.  It is an honor and a privilege to be their first teacher.  Outside of school I enjoy running, skiing, biking and being with my family.

Jennifer O’Neil

Junior Preschool/Bridge

I am enjoying my position as a teaching assistant in junior preschool bridge.   Both of my children went to this amazing preschool in the woods.  I am honored to help foster the love of school and grow good citizens of the world.

A little bit about myself-I spent two years in Maine working at a family owned lodge on Sebago Lake and also was a director at a sailing school that offered summer camps to children.   Both of these pursuits led me to love all things New England and working with children.  A few of my favorite things are the beach, drinking tea, walking my dog Owen, and reading! 

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