Executive Director: Ms. Carol

Carol Lieske

Carol Lieske graduated from the University of Dayton, with a bachelor’s degree in Communications Management.  She spent her early career as a marketing representative for a prominent commercial real estate development firm in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Carol discovered her passion for early childhood education.  She spent 13 years as a preschool lead Teacher and asst. director at Burke Presbyterian Church Preschool and two years as a member of the administrative faculty in her role as lead teacher at George Mason University’s Child Development Center.  While at GMU, Ms. Carol developed and conducted numerous workshops for early childhood educators to promote and encourage the teaching of science to preschoolers.

Most recently Ms. Carol has worked as the director of early childhood programs and curriculum designer at Ideaventions, a STEM enrichment center, where she has created and taught science, technology, engineering and math programs for children, ages 3-12.

Ms. Carol is a member of NAEYC.  She and her husband John have two sons, Matthew and Stephen.

Office Manager: Ms. Katherine

Katherine Pardo Polo was promoted to Office Manager in fall 2015. In her current position, Katherine oversees the organization’s financials and daily operations. Following a stint as a volunteer, which began in June 2009, Katherine was brought on as full-time employee, originally serving as an Administrative Assistant. Her many roles at Main Street have given a unique perspective on the organization. A bilingual speaker, she attended Catholic University in Bolivia to pursue her degree in psychology, and she came to the United States in 2007. She is currently attending Northern Virginia Community College, working toward her associate’s degree in early childhood education. She loves music, reading and sports.


Education Director: Ms. Susan

Susan Rismiller comes to us after 25 years teaching young primary aged students in Fairfax County Public Schools’ special education classes. Susan founded and led her school’s first collegial support program, mentored over 12 pre-service and new teachers, and for over 7 years, collaborated as clinical faculty with George Mason University’s Special Education cohort. She graduated cum laude from James Madison University (1980) and earned her Masters from George Mason University in 2002. A life-long Fairfax resident, she lives in Centreville with her husband of 34 years, Greg.


Administrative Assistant: Ms. Ruth

Ruth Martinez joined Main Street Child Development Center in 2014.






Development Manager: Ms. Christi

Ms. Christi Schwarten joined Main Street in 2018. Prior to joining Main Street, Ms. Christi was the Cultural Arts and Marketing Specialist for the City of Fairfax for 2 years, and the Executive Director of the Fairfax Choral Society for nearly 8 years. Ms. Christi’s passion for children started early, through volunteerism in a preschool for children with disabilities while in college. She has taught theatre to kindergarten students, as well as vacation bible school and Sunday school. Ms. Christi graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Political Science with minors in music and writing, and from The University of Akron with a Master’s in Arts Administration. She and her husband Steve have two children, Penny and Alex.


Food Manager: Ms. Aymee

Ms. Aymee is originally from El Salvador and has lived in the United States for over 23 years. She is married and has three children. Ms. Aymee has worked with children for many years and has always enjoyed being a part of their lives. Ms. Aymee has a Northern Virginia Food Handler Certificate and is taking early childhood classes so she may spend more time in a classroom with the children.

“I hope to get to know each child at Main Street Child Development Center as time goes by,” says Ms. Aymee, “and assist them in every way that I can.”

Mental Health Support

Mark Gardner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

mrgardnerMark Gardner, MSW, is at Main Street Child Development Center on a weekly basis. Mr. Gardner has been assisting children and families in Northern Virginia for over 13 years. He has a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and is licensed as a clinical social worker by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Gardner has spent the last six years specializing in infants, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-school-age children and their families. He is also certified as a Trauma and Loss Specialist by the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Gardner worked for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and Inova Kellar Center.

Special Needs Support

Darcy Acquavella, Child Find Specialist from Fairfax County Public Schools

Darcy Acquavella is a Fairfax County Public School Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. She provides special education services to students at Main Street Child Development Center that have been found eligible for special education through FCPS’s Child Find process. In addition, Ms. Acquavella is available to the Main Street staff and teachers to help with “Response to Intervention” Teaching Strategies for Main Street Classrooms. Ms. Acquavella has her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education and she first started working for Fairfax County Public Schools in 1999. Ms. Acquavella has worked as both a class-based teacher and a resource-level special education teacher for FCPS.

Ms. Acquavella has always loved helping families and children requiring special education services.  She says her job is, “the most fun job she could imagine” and that she feels “so lucky to get to play with children every day.”