Faculty & Staff
Teachers at Alexander Montessori School have many options, but this is the place they have chosen to be. Here they are able to fulfill their professional aspirations to teach and to help children in an orderly environment where the objective is education. Here, teachers are not merely employees, but partners in an important mission.
Teaching at an independent school is very special, and our staff chooses to be here because it is professionally rewarding, and it is where they can see children prosper under their tutelage. In order to prepare themselves to teach in a Montessori School, these teachers are required to complete a rigorous training program in an approved training course and then spend a long period of internship under the direction of an experienced teacher.
Red Road Campus
Red Road Campus
(Preschool, Ages 3-6)
Mrs. Tanny Beatriz Lago
BA in Art History from Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. AMS Montessori 3-6 Teacher's Certificate from MTTI. Currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. Speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Brenda Orihuela
BA in Criminology, University of Miami, Miami, FL. AMS Early Childhood Education Certificate (MTTI). Speaks English and Spanish. Spent 2 years as a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and is an alumna of Alexander Montessori School.
Old Cutler Road Campus
Old Cutler Road Campus
(Montessori Toddler Program, Ages 2-3 and Preschool, Ages 3-6)
Ms. Mirnely Borrero
BA in Elementary Education from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. AMS Montessori 3-6 Teacher's Certificate from MTTI. Speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Sharon Dalton
Attended SUNY at Plattsburgh, NY. Has both her AMS 3-6 and Infant/Toddler Credentials. Taught at schools in Alaska, California, Washington, and Florida. Consulted for many Washington schools. Has been a Montessori Infant/Toddler Trainer for programs in Seattle, WA, Boulder, CO, as well as at Native American Tribal schools.
Mrs. Marta Demmer
BS, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AA, Miami-Dade Community College. AMS Montessori 3-6 Teacher’s Certificate from MTTI. Mrs. Demmer speaks English and Spanish.
Mrs. Mariana Goncalves
BA in Music Education from University of Miami, Miami, FL. BS in Physical Education from University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. AMS Montessori 3-6 Teacher's Certificate from MTTI. Mrs. Goncalves speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Mrs. Karen Mejia Jones
BS, Florida International University, Miami, FL. La Sorbonne University/Alliance Francaise degree in French Language. AMS Montessori 3-6 Teacher's Certificate from MTTI. Completing her AMS Infant/Toddler Training at Montessori Academy Training Institute (MATI). She speaks English, Spanish, and French. Her other passions include nutrition and care for our planet.
Ms. Soraya Penate
BA in Education, Barry University, Miami, FL. Mrs. Penate attended Miami-Dade Community College and Florida International University. She holds an AMS Montessori 3-6 Certificate from MTTI. She speaks English and Spanish.
Mrs. Grecia Perez
MS in Early Childhood Education with ESOL endorsement and BS in Exercise and Sports Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Professional Director's Credential; AMS Montessori 3-6 Certificate from MTTI. Speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Barbara Roatta
BS in Environmental Studies with a Minor in Chemistry from Florida International University, Miami, FL. AA in Philosophy from Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 3-6 Certificate from MTTI. Ms. Roatta speaks English and Spanish and is a PADI Divemaster. She has worked for in Alexander Montessori's Preschool Program since 2013.
Palmetto Bay Campus
Palmetto Bay Campus
(Montessori Toddler Program, Ages 1½-3 and Preschool, Ages 3-6)
Ms. Pamela Earl-Parler
BA in Sociology, Univeristy of Manitoba. Montessori 3-6 Diploma from AMI Centre, London. AMS Montessori Infant-Toddler Certificate, CMTE, NY. Ms. Earl-Parler has taught in the Virgin Islands and at Alexander Montessori School since the Toddler Program's inception in 1989.
Mrs. Linda Habich
BA, Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 3-6 Certificate from MTTI. Mrs. Habich speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Milagros Vargas
AA in Early Childhood Education, Community College, New York City, NY. AMS Infant/Toddler Certificate from South Florida Montessori Education Center, Miami, FL. Ms. Aponte has worked with the Alexander Montessori School Toddler Program since she started. She speaks English and Spanish.
Ludlam Road Campus
Ludlam Road Campus
(Lower School Elementary, Ages 6-9 and Middle School Prep, Ages 9-12)
Mrs. Maria Acosta
MS, Curriculum and Instruction, Specialization in Curriculum Development, Florida International University, Miami, FL. BS, Biology, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Mrs. Acosta worked as a facilitator and explainer at the Miami Science Museum. Prior to Alexander, she had 10 years of teaching experience.
Ms. Laurence Astorga
Financial Ministry Professional University Degree in Finances, Paris, France. Early Childhood Certificate, Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Ms. Astorga has been devoted to the educational development of the child for over a decade, and she has found in the Montessori philosophy a real way of life that promotes the principles of sharing respect for self, others, and the environment. Her best wish for every child she has the opportunity to share a journey with is for them to blossom into a happy, unique, loved human being. She created the first French-English Montessori classroom in Miami for Early Childhood by developing the curriculum in French in a Montessori school. She is the proud mother of 2 boys.
Mr. Michael Aupont
BA in Communications with a minor in Business, University of Miami, Miami, FL. Mr. Aupont is trilingual, speaking English, French, and Creole. He is a pianist and is a lover of all sports (basketball being his favorite).
Mrs. Annia Elena Ballagas Negrete
BFA in Dance (with Honors), Higher Institute of the Arts, Havana, Cuba. Mrs. Negrete taught in the ENA (National School of Art) for several years. She has been a professional dancer and choreographer of different dance companies in Cuba and Italy (where she had run her own Dance Academy for 10 years). Before joining Alexander's Faculty, she taught Dance in the Pinecrest Community Center's after school program.
Ms. Anne Becton
MS, Education, BS, Psychology, University of Miami and is an Alexander alumna (Class of 1972). Mrs. Becton worked as a psychometrist in private practice for six years and joined our staff in 1993. She is the Academic Coordinator and also runs the Reading Lab.
Mrs. Meghan Camilletti
BA, Psychology, Minors in Dance and Theatre, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL. Mrs. Camilletti is the owner of Stretch Dance Studio in Chicago, founded in 2009. She has taught at various schools in the city of Chicago as a Preschool Teacher and Dance Program Director. As a professional dancer, Mrs. Camilletti has also performed in Walt Disney World. She is the Elementary Dance Teacher.
Mrs. Chiara Cates
MA, Spanish Linguistics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM. BA, Interdisciplinary Studies and Minor in Media Studies, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. AMS Montessori 6-9 Certification, Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute, Davie, FL. Mrs. Cates is a native Spanish speaker from Lima, Peru. Her teaching path began as a Professor Assistant at Appalachian State University. Since then, Mrs. Cates has served as a lead Teacher in Texas and California and has volunteered at a Montessori school in England.
Mr. Michael Depew
BA, History, Minor in Education, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AA, Accounting, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. Mr. Depew coached soccer and basketball for the YMCA, was a General Manager in the hospitality industry, and is an avid marathon runner.
Mr. Stephen Falk
BA, Music, Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Mr. Falk has been a Music School Teacher, a Middle School Band Director, and a Music Director at a variety of independent schools. He is also a professional musician and a church accompanist.
Mrs. Christina Fish
BA, Early Childhood (summa cum laude), Florida International University, Miami, FL. AA in Elementary Education, Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL. IMC Elementary 6-9 Credential, The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Mrs. Fish completed her Internship in Alexander Montessori's Lower School Elementary Program. She is also an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard.
Ms. Lessie Fleischfresser
Graduate of Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA) in Child Psychology and Early Childhood Education. Has been teaching ESOL since 2000.
Mrs. Olga Fuentes
BA, Arts, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. AMI Training 3-6, AMS Montessori 3-6 Certificate, AMS Montessori 6-9 Certificate. For 16 years, Mrs. Fuentes taught at Montessori Academy in Pembroke Pines. She is a native Spanish speaker from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her love for Montessori began when volunteering at her twin sons' school in 1998.
Mrs. Christina Gonzalez
BS, Early Childhood Development with ESOL Endorsement, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 6-9 Certificate, Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute. Mrs. Gonzalez completed her Internship in Alexander's Lower School Elementary Program prior to joining the Faculty. She speaks English and Spanish, and is a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard.
Mrs. Gladys Gonzalez
BS in Special Education, Grades K-12, with ESOL Endorsement, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Has taught Grades K through 12 and served as an ESE Department Chair with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Mrs. Ismary Hassun
MS, Elementary Education, Barry University, Miami, FL. BA, Elementary Education, St. Thomas University, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 6-12 Certificate, Barry University. Mrs Hassun is an experienced Montessori Teacher. She taught Elementary Montessori in Miami-Dade public schools for 8 years.
Mr. Preston Jackson
BS in Kinesiology, Emmanuel College, Franklin Springs, GA. Coach Jackson is the owner of ABC Sports Club and has been physically, mentally, and emotionally helping young athletes reach their potential since 2010.
Mrs. Caroline Jacobellis
MA in Library and Information Science, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. BS in Elementary Education, Florida International University, Miami, FL. She holds a Florida Certificate in Elementary Education and an ESOL Endorsement.
Mrs. Ellen Kahn
MA in Learning Disabilities, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. BA in Special Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Florida State Certified, K-12. Mrs. Kahn has taught in public schools in Pinellas and Miami-Dade Counties and was Placement Specialist for MDCPS. She was Lower School Curriculum Coordinator for seven years at Alexander before joining the Middle School Preparatory Staff.
Mrs. Carol Karch
MA in Business Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. BA in Business Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Mrs. Karch holds a Florida State Certificate in Computer Science K-12 and Business Education 6-12. She taught Computer Science at Gulliver Schools for 20 years.
Mrs. Dellys Limonta
MS, Teaching, Reading, and Writing, BS, Teaching Spanish, University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela. Florida State Certified in World Language Spanish (Grades K-12). Mrs. Limonta speaks English and Spanish, and she has taught Spanish for several years both in Venezuela and in the Miami-Dade County Public School system.
Mrs. Robbie Lukes
MS, BS in Elementary Education and Specialties in ESOL and Early Childhood Education, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN and Southwest Nova University. Mrs. Lukes has been teaching since 1980 and has been at Alexander Montessori School as Director of ESOL since 1986.
Mrs. Natalie Pavon
BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 6-9 Certificate, Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute. She speaks English and Spanish.
Mrs. Dacil Peña
MS in Education, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain. MS in Sexual and Gender Education, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain. MS in Waldorf Education, University of La Salle, Madrid, Spain. BS in Pedagogy, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain. AMS Montessori 6-9 Certification, Maitland Montessori Teacher Training. Mrs. Peña has taught in Montessori and Waldorf schools and has led the Red Cross Education Program in Madrid as well as for other non-profit organizations. Mrs. Peña is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Spain.
Mrs. Patricia Pittaluga
BS in Education, Universidad Sagrado Corazon, Lima, Peru. Mrs. Pittaluga taught from Preschool through Elementary in Peru and in Miami. She has studied Computers in Peru and at Florida International University, holds Teacher’s Certificates from Peru and the State of Florida, and has taught Visual Arts.
Mrs. Stephanie Romero
BS in Early Childhood Education (summa cum laude), Florida International University, Miami, FL. She holds a Reading Endorsement from Beacon Educator and speaks both English and Spanish.
Mrs. Wendy Ross
BA in Communications with a minor in Foreign Languages, University of Miami, Miami, FL. Elementary Teacher Certification credits, Florida International University, Miami, FL. Mrs. Ross taught elementary independent school students (K-5) in Miami-Dade County, FL and elementary public school ESOL students (K-5) in Oakland County, MI. Mrs. Ross has educated children and adults in literacy and art having volunteered at the Oakland Literacy Council in Michigan, as well as at the Detroit Institute of Art. Her daughters are Alexander Montessori Alumnae. She is an avid cyclist, traveler, and hiker.
Mrs. Gladys Tirse
BS in Communications, Trinity International University (cum laude), Davie, FL. Mrs. Tirse holds a Florida Certificate in Elementary Education. Prior to joining the Alexander Faculty, she taught Language Arts and Writing in the Miami-Dade County public school system.
Ms. Karina Torres
MS in Neuroscience and Education, Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Lima, Peru. BS in Biology, Universidad Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. Ms. Torres speaks English and Spanish. She has worked as a STEAM Coordinator at a school in Peru as well as a Science and Math Teacher.
Mrs. Virginia Vaca
BS in Elementary Education, Florida International University (cum laude), Miami, FL. Florida State Certified, K-6, ESOL Endorsement, AMS Montessori 6-9 Certificate, Summit Questa Montessori. Mrs. Vaca completed her Internship in Alexander's Lower School Elementary Program prior to joining the Faculty. She speaks English and Spanish.
Ms. Jodi Veillette
USPTA Pro; Ms. Veillette has created and directed programs in Michigan and Florida.
Mrs. Viviana Victoriano
MS in Computer Information Systems from the University of Miami, Miami, FL. BA in Business Administration from Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru. Mrs. Victoriano had been an Assistant at Alexander Montessori School for over a decade before joining the Faculty. Her love for Montessori education began when her two daughters attended Alexander Montessori School from ages 2 to 11. She graduated from the Montessori Teacher Training Institute and obtained her American Montessori Society Certificate for 3-6. She is also a Certified Kids Yoga Instructor.
Mrs. Victoria Yunta
MA in Asian Cultural Studies & BFA in Fine Art and Art History, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AA in Fine Art and Art Education, Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL. Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Fellow and Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Alumnus. Mrs. Yunta has studied Japanese art and culture as an exchange student at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. She is a practicing silversmith whose life and work have been devoted to teaching, cultural exploration, and the visual arts.
Mrs. Susan Zsigo
MS in Montessori Education, Barry University, Miami, FL. BA in English, Florida International University, Miami, FL. AMS Montessori 6-12 Certificate, Barry University. Completed her Internship in Alexander's Lower School Elementary Program prior to joining the Faculty. Mrs. Zsigo studied abroad in London where she discovered her passion for acting and storytelling. She speaks English and Spanish.
Ann Blau, Campus Secretary/Human Resources
Ena Casco, Accounts Payable
Gioconda Dynes, Accounts Receivable
Beatriz Fano, Director of Marketing & Communications
Jose Casares, Director of Maintenance
Maria Franco, Campus Secretary/School Secretary/Registrar
Ismary Hassun, Administrator
Judy Pacheco, Assistant Campus Secretary/School Secretary/Registrar
OLD CUTLER ROAD
Ivette Jimenez, Campus Secretary
Michelle Romero, Campus Director