Staff

Executive Director: Ms. Carol

Carol Lieske has been the Director of Main Street Child Development Center since 2013. She has been in the early childhood education profession for 25 years. Carol has been a preschool teacher and assistant director. Prior to joining Main Street, Carol was 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.

Carol received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Management from the University of Dayton, where she met her husband, John. They have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and are new grandparents.

Director of Finance and Administration: Ms. Katherine

Katherine Pardo Polo was promoted to Office Manager in fall 2015 and became the Director of Finance & Administration in 2019. 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, Katherine came to the United States from Bolivia in 2007. She attended Northern Virginia Community College to pursue her Associates Degree in Business Administration. She is currently working on her Bachelors Degree in accounting at George Mason University. She loves sports such as swimming and soccer, traveling, camping, and reading business and leadership literature.

Education Director: Ms. Susan

Susan Rismiller come Main Street 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. She and her husband live in Centreville.

 

 

Administrative Assistant: Ms. Ruth

Ruth Martinez joined Main Street Child Development Center in 2014 with over 30 years as an Administrative Assistant. Originally from El Salvador, Ms. Ruth graduated as a Bilingual Secretary in Public Relations. Before Main Street, she worked as the Administrative Assistant of the Presidency for ALDECA, an American company in El Salvador. Ms. Ruth is married to Roberto and has three children: Roberto, Ruben, and Marjorie. Ms. Ruth loves spending quality time with her family.

 

 

Development Manager: Ms. Christi

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

Aymee Robles is originally from El Salvador and has lived in the United States for over 23 years. 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 Manager Certificate and is taking early childhood classes so she may spend more time in a classroom with the children. She is married, has three children, and two grandaughters.

 

 

Office Assistant: Ms. Melany 

Melany Hearin joined Main Street, first as a volunteer, then as an Assistant Teacher and now as an Office Assistant.  She has a Bachelors Degree in Education from San Francisco de Asis University, a Bachelors Degree in Linguistics from San Andres University, and an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development from Northern Virginia Community College.  A native of Bolivia, she is a bilingual speaker who loves interacting with children.

 

 

Mental Health Support

Mark Gardner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Mark Gardner – usually known as “Mr. Mark” to the center’s children and staff, has been part of Main St. community since 2005, serving as its Mental Health Consultant. Mark’s main job, by working closely with staff and parents, is to ensure that each child has all the social, emotional and cognitive skills he or she needs to be successful in the classroom and in life. These include the abilities to understand and manage his/her feelings and behavior in order to learn well, participate in classroom activities and get along with his/her teachers and classmates. He does this in two ways: 1) By working closely with children’s teachers and other staff to foster positive relationships in the classroom and to grow each child’s social-emotional and self-regulation skills; and 2) By providing individual assistance to children and their parents when there are concerns about a child.

To both increase service provision at Main St. and help train the next generation of early-childhood mental health consultants and clinicians, since 2016 he has supervised Masters of Counseling students from GMU completing their practicum/internship clinical training.

Licensed by the state of Virginia as a Clinical Social Worker, Mark has been helping young children and their families for over 20 years. In addition to consulting with Main St. CDC and other early-childhood programs in Northern Virginia, he also provides psychotherapy services at his office in McLean. When not working, Mark enjoys time with his wife and 10-year old son, including shepherding his son’s Cub Scouts’ den and improving his grilling and cooking techniques.

Special Needs Support

Karen King, Child Find Specialist from Fairfax County Public Schools

Karen King joined Main Street in 2017.  Karen is a special education teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools.  Before coming to Main Street, Karen taught preschool in Ohio and Chicago, and taught English in Seoul, South Korea.  She is a certified Early Childhood Intervention Specialist and went to The University of Toledo for her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Master’s Degree in Special Education.  Karen enjoys tennis, traveling and spending time with her family, including her dog, Gilbert, and a baby boy on the way!