top of page

CIS Leadership Team

Beatrice Tierney Stradling
Founder/President, Children’s International School


I founded Children’s International School, located at 4347 Arlington Blvd., in 1985. The goal of CIS was to provide young children from multicultural backgrounds a quality learning environment. CIS opened its second site in Alexandra, Virginia, in 1990. In 2001, CIS was awarded a contract to manage the Foreign Service Institute Child Care Center, initiated by Secretary of State Colin Powell. Our fourth operation, located at 1227 North Scott Street, Arlington, Virginia opened in 2004.

As the owner of CIS and as part of our global outreach efforts, I have traveled abroad providing teacher training and volunteering to help “at-risk” children. I have had the opportunity to work in Romania, Russia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Czech Republic, Italy, and China.

Presently, CIS helps support the Arlington
 Academy of Hope (AAH), a non-profit organization that provides primary education to children in rural Uganda. AAH was founded by one of our former parents. While visiting Uganda, I was saddened by the high rate of children’s illnesses and for this reason, we helped to build two health clinics that currently operate in North Eastern Uganda. CIS also has adopted a “sister school” in Kampala, Uganda called the “Canaan Nursery School.”

CIS is very fortunate to have great Directors, as well as wonderful teachers and assistants at all our sites. I am so proud of all my staff and the expertise, love, and nurturing they offer to our children. 


Monica Tierney 
Education Program Manager & Community Outreach Coordinator, Children's International School


As the Program Manager, Monica helps to oversee our four CIS locations.  She has over 15 years of experience in the education field.  Prior to CIS, she worked at Columbia University, Phillips Van Heusen, and the United Nations focusing on human rights issues, primary education, and capacity building projects in developing countries.  

As the Education Specialist, she creates a Reggio-inspired curriculum that inspires curiosity, creativity, and 21st-century skills.  As an environmental and animal advocate, she enjoys teaching children to become engaged and empathetic social citizens.  She also is the founder of an award-winning toy line, Mio Reggio, which has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Creative Play Magazine and the Patch.  Her products are the recipient of the 2021 Good Housekeeping Sustainability Innovation Award, 2022 Creative Child Top Toy Award, 2022 Creative Child Eco Friendly Product of the Year Award and 2022 Washington Parent Pick Finalist.   

 Most recently she partnered with National Day Calendar to create "National Green City Day" which will be observed annually on October 1st.   This day celebrates the innovations and progress cities are making to become more sustainable.  Mayor Bowser officially proclaimed the holiday in Washington DC during the Fall of 2022.    


Monica holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology & Italian from the University of Virginia, a Master's Degree from NYU in International Education as well as certification in Sustainable Business from NYU Stern School of Business.  


Amina Wells Assaadi
Director, CIS Alexandria
25 S. Quaker Lane Alexandria, VA 22314

My name is Amina Wells Assaadi and I am the current Director of the Alexandria location of Children's International School.  I am a Native Washingtonian with deep family roots in Loudon County and I attended George Mason University in Fairfax County.  I grew up in a household where my mother was a family childcare provider and I developed a deep love for supporting the growth and development of young children.  I began my education in Government and Politics but early in my career, I decided to follow my passion for working with young children. While pursuing my degrees I served as both a preschool and elementary teacher, in addition, to working as a Center Director and Assistant Principal for a K-12 International Baccalaureate school.  I love to learn and being in the field of early childhood education I get to marvel at the joy and development as children discover and explore the world around them.  It is an honor to share in the developmental journey of young children and to be a facilitator in their growth and development.


Gayle Gregoire
Director, CIS North Scott
1227 N. Scott Street Arlington, VA 22209


Gayle Gregoire has 17 years of experience as an Early Childhood Director. She has been a
Director at CIS for the past 7 years. Previously she was an Assistant Principal at a parochial
school and was a teacher of preschool to third grade. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in
education from the University of North Carolina. Additional postgraduate courses in education
were obtained from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA, and the University
of Nebraska in Omaha.

She served on the board of the NAEYC and was on the Fairfax County School Readiness Team
which coordinated preschools with public school personnel to promote school readiness to
ensure smooth transitions to kindergarten. Most recently she initiated Virginia’s Quality
Education Program from Birth to Five (VQB5) at the CIS North Scott Street location.

She along with the staff work together to create a safe and nurturing environment that gives
children a sense of belonging. Through play and interactions with a rich environment, children
can grow with a love for learning and discovery.



Maria O'Lenick
Director, CIS Arlington
4347 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203

Ms. Maria has over 40 years’ experience working in the education field, inclusive of elementary and early childhood education. She has been with CIS for 7 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Prior to CIS, she worked as a Director in Head Start in Arlington for 12 years and as Assistant Director and Director at IDB for 6 years. The last two years she is working with the School of Educators in Peru providing Early Childhood Education to teachers via online. 

Her philosophy about Early Childhood Education is a child’s early years are the foundation for his or her future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities, including cognitive and social development. Early Childhood Education is an essential building block of a child’s future success.

She can be reached at:


bottom of page