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Early Childhood Development: Faculty & Staff


Susan Johnson
Welcome! I am Susan Johnson, head of the Early Childhood Development program for Loudoun. If you have questions about the program at NOVA or the courses offered through Loudoun please contact me.

I have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and have always been interested in education. I started out developing courses for adults at the Internal Revenue Service before my love of children's literature and folklore set me on a path to a master's in education with a focus on Early Childhood. I went from teaching adults to three year olds and then spent over 15 years teaching pre-K. I have now come full circle -- teaching adults interested in teaching children.


Gail Multop
I have a Master's in Education with an Early Childhood specialty from George Mason University with an undergraduate degree in music from The Cleveland Institute of Music. I spent many years as a performer including time with the Washington Opera and my own singing group, Ruby Glitz.

I am currently teaching full time at the Country Day School in McLean. My special interests are developing oral language skills and arts- based curricula.


Ann Marie Lanius
I am currently a Co-Director at St. David's Episcopal Preschool in Ashburn, VA. I have been working as a director since 2005. Prior to becoming a director, I was a lead teacher in the four-year old class and a second grade teacher in York, PA, for 10 years.

I graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Then I received my Master's in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. I love working in early childhood, especially with preschoolers. I also love working with adults, which is why I enjoy teaching at NOVA.

I have been an adjunct faculty member in the Early Childhood Department since 2004.

Rachel Sweeny
I have a Bachelor's Degree in English and Psychology from Duke University and a Master's of Education, specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, from George Mason University. I have taught everything from preschool to adults. I am currently working as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools with kindergarten and first grade students. I work with the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) action team at my school, coordinating family involvement programming across grade levels.


Joan Ehrlich
I joined NOVA in 2008 after retiring from the Fairfax County Public School system. My background is in Special Education and Deaf Education. In addition to my adjunct teaching duties I have a "day job" at NOVA as the Coordinator of Interpreter Services for deaf and hard of hearing students. I have a doctorate in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet University and a Master's in Deaf Education and Bachelor's in Special Education, both from the University of Arizona. I have seen many changes in the approaches to working with children with disabilities through the years, and have enjoyed a challenging and fulfilling career in education. I am honored to work with those of you who are training for this profession.


Julie Hellstrom
I am currently working as a co-director at St. David's Episcopal Preschool in Ashburn, VA, and have been since 2003. Prior to working at St. David's, I taught fourth grade for five years and seventh grade Language Arts for two years.

I received my B.S. in Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, in 1987. I enjoy working with and teaching all ages, from preschoolers to adult learners.