All faculty members are credentialed Montessori teachers, which means they have had extensive post-graduate education in child development, Montessori curriculum and philosophy. Additionally, faculty members have been awarded the appropriate Montessori credentials for the age groups in which they teach.
TODDLER (18 MONTHS-36 MONTHS)
Cindy received the National Center for Montessori Education (NCME) primary Montessori Education Diploma and became a Children’s House assistant and lead teacher at the New Path Montessori School in Philadelphia. Cindy also worked at a residential home for children and cared for disabled adolescents in a group home setting. In 1988, Cindy became an Extended Day Director at TMS (when it was known as New Horizons Montessori School). After achieving her AMI “Assistant to Infancy” certification in Denver, Cindy then became a TMS Toddler Guide where she has been ever since. Both of her daughters are TMS alumnae.
Toddler Guide; 30 Years at TMS
Julia Robinson received her own Montessori Education as a child and graduated from TMS (formerly New Horizons Montessori School) in 1998. She went on to receive her B.A. in Visual Studies from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Julia began her work at TMS as an assistant in the Toddler Community and worked alongside Cindy Robinson for six years before receiving her AMI Assistants to Infancy certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego and her M.Ed. from Loyola University. She then opened the second Toddler Classroom at TMS where she is currently the Guide.
Toddler Guide; 8 Years at TMS
CHILDREN’S HOUSE (3 YEARS THROUGH KINDERGARTEN)
While living in India, Sutapa attended a Montessori school as a child and went on to earn a graduate degree in Geography. She completed her postgraduate training in Early Childhood Education in the US and received her Montessori credential from the Montessori Institute of America (*MACTE-affiliated /MACTE=Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) in Seattle, WA. Sutapa completed a Master’s degree in education at Chestnut Hill College, taught at University of Pennsylvania, and has 22 years of teaching experience in Montessori schools in the US. This will be Sutapa’s sixth year at TMS. Sutapa loves to spread peace and multicultural awareness in our Montessori community. She enjoys traveling to different countries, practicing yoga, reading books, listening to music and cooking. During the summers, she often volunteers to teach underprivileged children in India.
Children’s House Guide; 9 Years at TMS
For two years, Elena taught English as a second language at the middle school level at a private school in Russia. After emigrating to the US, she received her American Montessori Society (AMS) Montessori credential from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education in Princeton, NJ, and taught at Acorn Montessori School in New Jersey for five years as an assistant, intern and co-teacher. After coming to TMS, Elena assisted in Children’s House for eight years, but she now has her own Children’s House classroom and is in her tenth year here. Elena loves to read, ski, play tennis, and spends summers at the shore. She trains in the martial arts, goes horseback riding, and loves her dogs.
Children’s House Guide; 13 Years at TMS
Montessori Education became Keri’s passion when she worked as an assistant teacher during college. Armed with a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, Keri continued her education and became a teacher with an American Montessori Society (AMS) Montessori credential from Chestnut Hill College. She also received an M.Ed. as a Reading Specialist from Lehigh University. As an adjunct faculty member of Chestnut Hill College, Keri taught Montessori education courses and hosted a student teacher in her role as mentor. At TMS, Keri was a reading specialist for four years and a Children’s House Guide for eight years. A lifetime member of AMS and now in her 12th year at TMS, Keri is excited by the many opportunities our newly renovated school environment offers. Outside of school Keri enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking and traveling.
Children’s House Guide; 15 Years at TMS
LOWER ELEMENTARY (GRADES 1-3)
Jackie had twenty years experience under her belt in Puerto Rico as an art teacher specializing in clay before receiving her Montessori certification for children ages 3-6, and then became head of the preschool at Colegio Montessori in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After moving to the US, Jackie continued her work in Montessori at TMS. Now in her third year, Jackie is Director of Aftercare as well as a Lower Elementary assistant, and for the past two years she was the Elementary Art teacher. Jackie’s passion is art and sharing her knowledge with children. She enjoys stillness in nature and observing the spectacular designs it has to offer, and leads a simple life with her twins and pets.
Lower Elementary Assistant; Artist-in-Residence; Aftercare Programming; Summer Camp Director; 6 Years at TMS
Dawn began teaching at TMS (when it was known as New Horizons Montessori School) in 1986, and worked in a Lower Elementary classroom of 45 students with two other teachers. After taking some time off, Dawn then returned to teaching art, reading, and science in Lower Elementary where she has been ever since! Prior to TMS, Dawn taught in public and catholic schools in California, Maryland and Philadelphia. Dawn has Elementary Pennsylvania and California certifications as well as an American Montessori Society (AMS) certification for 6-12 year olds. Dawn is in her 23rd year of teaching at TMS. Dawn’s son and daughters are TMS alumnae.
Lower Elementary Guide; 26 Years at TMS
Nicole received her American Montessori Society (AMS) Montessori credential from The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Maryland. She also has Pennsylvania elementary certification. When Nicole first came to TMS, she assisted Dawn Fastiggi and Amy Robinson in Lower Elementary. Nicole is now in her seventh year as a Lower Elementary assistant at TMS.
Lower Elementary Assistant; 10 Years at TMS
Amy was fortunate to grow up in a Montessori environment, and graduated from TMS (known as New Horizons at the time) as a sixth grader. From Pennsylvania State University, Amy graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a concentration in business. She returned to TMS to assist in Lower Elementary, then went on to receive her American Montessori Society (AMS) Montessori elementary credential from The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies (IAMS) in Maryland. Fully certified, Amy came back to TMS in 2007 and began teaching her own Lower Elementary class. Just last year, Amy received both her Wilson Reading System Level I certification and the Wilson Reading System Advanced Word Study certification.
Lower Elementary Guide; 12 Years at TMS
UPPER ELEMENTARY (GRADES 4-6)
Cecilia was born and raised in the Philippines and left to attend the International Center for Montessori Studies in Bergamo, Italy, where she received the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma for Elementary. After traveling to Germany, Cecilia co-founded the Taunus International Montessori School in Oberursel. Cecilia moved to the US and taught in Lower Elementary for three years at TMS (when it was known as New Horizons Montessori School), and became an Upper Elementary Guide in 1987. Besides teaching piano, Cecilia enjoys taking her grandchildren to museums and anywhere fun.
Upper Elementary Guide; 31 Years at TMS
Lara holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with specialization in Environmental Biology, having graduated from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, Summa Cum Laude. Since February 2017, Lara worked in our Upper Elementary as a Guide-in-Training under the expert mentorship of Marilyn Miller and Cecilia Beck. In the summer of 2018, Lara completed her coursework and received her Montessori credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies for the 9-12 (Upper Elementary) level.
Upper Elementary Guide; 3 Years at TMS