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Faculty & Staff

Summit’s faculty and staff share a passion for learning and a dedication to their work, guided by a shared commitment to:

  • Work together for the greater good of each child.
  • Collaborate and work together as a community.
  • Support each other to sustain our passion and involvement.
  • Eagerly seek new ideas and experiences.
  • Share our learning with one another.
Our faculty represents some of the most dedicated, talented educators in New England. Summit selects each teacher based on his or her Montessori training, experience, and fit with the philosophy of the school.
Susan Ackerman's picture

Susan Ackerman

Nurse

Summit’s School Nurse, Susan Ackerman, has two...

Susan Ackerman's picture

Susan Ackerman

Nurse
BA, Franklin & Marshall College
BSN Arizona State University
Summit’s School Nurse, Susan Ackerman, has two bachelor’s degrees. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franklin and Marshall College with a major in psychology in 1980. She returned to school to study nursing after spending many years working with a volunteer ambulance corps. In 1992, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University. Since graduating from nursing school, Susan has worked with people of all ages in a variety of nursing settings. She particularly enjoys working with children. In the school setting, Susan is interested in developing a strong health education program for the classrooms as well as assisting ill children. Outside of school, Susan has been a strong advocate for students with special needs and their families. She is active in the annual Greater Boston Walk for Autism Speaks. She is also an artist who enjoys working in a variety of media. Susan has built furniture and done bronze casting, but she is currently exploring the world of art quilts.
Jean Anderson's picture

Jean Anderson

Teacher
Lower Elementary

Jean Anderson joined Summit in 2002. After...

Jean Anderson's picture

Jean Anderson

Teacher
BA University of Bridgeport
MA University of New Mexico
Jean Anderson joined Summit in 2002. After teaching a 3-year cycle with children ages 3-6, she moved to the Lower Elementary classroom and has found a perfect match. She believes that the Montessori fundamentals that she taught in Children’s House have given her teaching the breadth and foundation for children’s transition into the more demanding curriculum of Lower Elementary. The clarity and logic of the math materials, in particular, stand out in Jean’s mind as a symbol of just how effective Montessori learning can be. Jean weaves her skills and love of gardening, reading, and writing stories into works and lessons. She believes that children and nature are intertwined and works to foster that link both inside and outside the classroom. Jean seeks out and celebrates the unique in the world and her individual students and inspires children to do the same. Yoga helps Jean balance the elements of her busy classroom and individual student priorities.
Mary Avola's picture

Mary Avola

Teacher
Reading Specialist

Mary holds Montessori certification from the...

Mary Avola's picture

Mary Avola

Teacher
BS Framingham State University
Mary holds Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society for ages 3-9 years old. She has been involved in Montessori Education for 17 years holding positions as Teacher, Assistant Head of School and recently Curriculum Coordinator. Mary is excited to return to where she began her Montessori career, in the Children’s House Early Childhood program. She brings a love of nature and art along with the desire to provide a stimulating Montessori environment that celebrates the gifts of each and every child.
Sarah Bourque's picture

Sarah Bourque

Teacher
Children's House CH1

Sarah brings nine years of Montessori three to six...

Sarah Bourque's picture

Sarah Bourque

Teacher
BS, Framingham State University
Sarah brings nine years of Montessori three to six classroom experience with her to Summit’s Childrens House 1. She became intrigued with the Montessori method when her daughters began Montessori preschool in 2002. Sarah started her Montessori training in 2004 and embraced the philosophy whole-heartedly. She continues to love to work with and observe children of all ages and strives to bring creativity and enthusiasm into the classroom.
Nora Carbonneau's picture

Nora Carbonneau

Teacher
Beginners

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Nora is a...

Nora Carbonneau's picture

Nora Carbonneau

Teacher
Central University of Venezuela
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Nora is a certified language instructor who learned about the Montessori philosophy when her three children attended Montessori schools. She completed Montessori training at Northeast Montessori Institute and has 23 years experience working with young children including 8 years experience at Newton Montessori (and its predecessor, Educare) and 6 years at Wellesley Montessori School. She brings terrific experience and enthusiasm to the position of Beginners Lead Teacher.
Louise Carroll's picture

Louise Carroll

Office and Communications Coordinator
Administrator

Louise came to Summit in 2009 after 12 years at a...

Louise Carroll's picture

Louise Carroll

Office and Communications Coordinator
BS, University of New Hampshire
Louise came to Summit in 2009 after 12 years at a parochial school where she wore several hats - collecting tuition, serving as the IT person and managing fundraising and development. Working with Summit’s administration and faculty, students and families has been rewarding, challenging and always changing. As the voice on the phone, Louise also manages the website, edits the Monday Update, and coordinates a variety of administrative functions for Summit.
Janice Darling's picture

Janice Darling

Teacher
Upper Elementary

Janice fell in love with Montessori education...

Janice Darling's picture

Janice Darling

Teacher
BA, Beloit College
MA, Beloit College
Janice fell in love with Montessori education while casually observing in an elementary class over 25 years ago. She was delighted at the independence of the students, and how they relished learning. She realized that the Montessori approach reflected her passion for global understanding and world travel, her commitment to the earth, and her vast curiosity about how the world works. Nurturing a child’s spirit, stretching their academic capacities and helping them become valued and responsive friends are all part of her work with children. She believes that laughter should be part of every day, along with making mistakes, having opportunities to get messy, and challenging yourself to go farther than you ever thought possible. She has been a Montessori presenter in the Claremont Center for Advanced Studies and the Seacoast Teacher Center. Outside of school, Janice pursues her interest in choral singing, camping, folkdancing, kayaking, writing and travel.
Jesse Cohen's picture

Jesse Cohen

Upper Elementary Band Director

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Jesse...

Jesse Cohen's picture

Jesse Cohen

Upper Elementary Band Director
Bachelor of Music, Berklee College of Music
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Jesse offers private music lessons in guitar and piano, teaches a rock band enrichment class at a local middle school, and organized and conducts Summit’s Upper Elementary Band. When not teaching, he can be found performing with his own band, Analog Heart.
Hiral Desai's picture

Hiral Desai

Teacher
Children's House

Hiral is excited to join the Summit community. She...

Hiral Desai's picture

Hiral Desai

Teacher
BS, Maharaja Sayajirao University (Baroda, India)
BS, Maharaja Sayajirao University (Baroda, India)
Hiral is excited to join the Summit community. She earned her AMS Early Childhood credential from NEMTEC and has worked for 12 years in the Montessori education system. “The freedom given to the child to explore a new concept using concrete materials at his/her own pace” is what attracted Hiral to the Montessori philosophy. Before earning her AMS credential she taught math and computers to students in India. She feels that a student’s joy of learning depends on how the subject is introduced to him/her. Hiral enjoys every moment spent with the young minds nurturing their curiosity and quest of learning. In her free time, she loves exploring the beauty of nature by going on hikes, taking long scenic drives, and capturing some glorious sunrises in her lens. She enjoys reading books and listening to music. “Live in the moment at the fullest” is her life motto.
Antoinette Falzone's picture

Antoinette Falzone

AfterCare Director

Sometimes referred to as “the child whisperer” for...

Antoinette Falzone's picture

Antoinette Falzone

AfterCare Director
BS, Boston University
Sometimes referred to as “the child whisperer” for her gift of being able to relate so well to children, Antoinette brings a wealth of experience to her role as Summit’s After Care Director. Having worked in and directed several after school and enrichment programs in the state, she directs a solid program at Summit that includes art and drama projects, math and science enrichment, and cooking along with homework help as needed. She encourages Summit’s students to work together creatively and fosters a warm and caring environment continuing the school day in meaningful and enjoyable way. Summit’s students often ask to attend After Care, just because it is such fun to be there with Miss Antoinette.
Andrea Green's picture

Andrea Green

Art Teacher

Andrea has great enthusiasm for teaching and...

Andrea Green's picture

Andrea Green

Art Teacher
BS Brandeis University and Framingham State University
M.Ed., Lesley University
Andrea has great enthusiasm for teaching and learning. In 2011, Andrea was an artist in residence at the Riverbend Montessori School. She has taught art classes at the Danforth Museum School, and the Cultural Arts Alliance in Hopkinton, where she served on the Board of Directors. She has many years of art teaching experience in the Worcester and Hudson Public Schools where she trained student teachers and was Art Dept. Facilitator. Andrea operates a summer art program and gives lessons in her home studio. Andrea is excited to be a part of the Summit Montessori learning community. She enjoys nurturing the natural curiosity in children, guiding them in exploring the art process to find their own creativity. Andrea is a professional mixed media artist.
Elizabeth Keohan's picture

Elizabeth Keohan

Teacher
Upper Elementary

Miss Liz began as an English teacher at a large...

Elizabeth Keohan's picture

Elizabeth Keohan

Teacher
A.B., Bowdoin College
M.A.T, Brown University
Miss Liz began as an English teacher at a large public high school, moved to the Fenn School, an independent 4-9 boys’ school which was beginning to implement an integrated curriculum of core studies; from there, she was hired to develop the middle school program at Eliot Montessori School, where it was possible to explore some of the outdoor and agricultural elements of Maria Montessori’s erdkinder vision in connection with the Natick Community Organic Farm. Before coming to Summit, Miss Liz worked as Head Teacher and taught a variety of preschool through adult classes and workshops at the Farm. Learning by doing and discovery, in combination with a high level of respect for the natural world and for each other, are hallmarks of the Upper Elementary classroom.
Jackie Landry's picture

Jackie Landry

Music Teacher

Jackie has spent a lifetime learning, practicing,...

Jackie Landry's picture

Jackie Landry

Music Teacher
BA Western State College
Jackie has spent a lifetime learning, practicing, writing, teaching, and performing music. As a Berklee College of Music student and administrative staff member for over 10 years, Jackie has a genuine drive for the teaching and appreciation of music. During her first year at Summit she embraced the Montessori philosophy and is thrilled to begin her second year here. Jackie has begun the study of specific music methods such as Dalcroze, Eurhythmics, Orff, and Kodaly, in order to incorporate these important methods into her teaching style. Jackie thoroughly enjoys learning, honing, and applying her newfound materials into her lessons. In 2002, Jackie created "Minizicians", an original children's music program for the Community Music School in Leominster, MA. Jackie is a member of two children's bands, "Super Cool Beans" and "The Green Apple Kids". Jackie brings a true spirit and love for music and its importance to our chidlren in their daily lives. Jackie says "I have the best jo in the world, teaching one of the most enjoyable subjects to the most important and value members of our human race, our children".
Nadine Petronko-Lin's picture

Nadine Petronko-Lin

Learning Specialist

Nadine specializes in teaching children with...

Nadine Petronko-Lin's picture

Nadine Petronko-Lin

Learning Specialist
BA, Sociology
MA, Special Education, Learning Disabilities
Nadine specializes in teaching children with learning difficulties, with particular emphasizes on students that have language-based learning difficulties. She has extensive training and certification in several Orton-Gillingham programs that are multi-sensory, structured, and individualized approaches to reading and writing. Nadine has taught in both public school and independent school settings as a resource room teacher, co-teacher, tutor, and consultant. She has professionally trained teachers in a multisensonsory reading a comprehension program and conducted several workshops for teachers and parents. Nadine has also acted as a Field Liaison for student teachers at Lesley University. She is excited to be part of the Summit community who honors “the whole child”: respecting his/her thoughts, ideas, and learning styles. She is a life-long learner who hopes to encourage and inspire others to be the same.
Elizabeth Love's picture

Elizabeth Love

Teacher
Children's House

Liz, an alumni parent, joined Summit in 2012 as an...

Elizabeth Love's picture

Elizabeth Love

Teacher
BA, University of MASS, Amherst
JD, Suffolk University Law School
Liz, an alumni parent, joined Summit in 2012 as an assistant teacher. In 2013 she decided to pursue her deep interest in the Montessori method and enrolled in the Northeast Montessori Institute. That year she served in Children’s House 3 as an assistant teacher/intern and worked in the After Care program. In June 2014 she completed her training and received her AMS credential. She is currently a Teacher in Children’s House 3. No stranger to Summit, Liz has been volunteering her time to coordinate the Box Tops for Education and recycling programs at Summit for over eight years. She previously worked as a Securities Law attorney at Sun Life Financial.
Siobhan Mahaney's picture

Siobhan Mahaney

Director of Admissions

Siobhan joined Summit Montessori School in January...

Siobhan Mahaney's picture

Siobhan Mahaney

Director of Admissions
BA, Emmanuel College
Siobhan joined Summit Montessori School in January of 2010. She is enjoying the opportunity to share her knowledge of Montessori Education with prospective parents and current families in her role as Director of Admissions. She also enjoys sharing her love of books with the children of Summit. Siobhan worked as a teacher in both Children’s House and Lower Elementary classrooms from 1980 until 2009. She has also been a teacher trainer, a presenter at national and regional AMS conferences, as well as teaching in the summer master’s program held at the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History. Both of her children attended Montessori programs from Children’s House through Middle School and attribute their educational success to the wonderful foundation they received in their experience in Montessori programs.
Sherri Melamut's picture

Sherri Melamut

Director of Finance and Operations
Administrator

After working in both corporate and public...

Sherri Melamut's picture

Sherri Melamut

Director of Finance and Operations
BA, Franklin & Marshall College
MBA, Boston College
After working in both corporate and public accounting, Sherri pursued her interest in the field of education and joined Summit Montessori in 2003. She enjoys being active in independent school professional organizations. She has presented at a National Association of Independent Schools conference, served as a faculty member at the National Business Officer Association’s Summer Institute, and has worked as a consultant to independent schools. In 2011, Sherri was awarded the Will Hancock Unsung Hero Award which is awarded by the National Business Officers Association to top independent school business leaders based on nominations by Heads of School and Boards of Trustees.
Mary Molina's picture

Mary Molina

Mary is originally from Peru, she moved to the...

Mary Molina's picture

Mary Molina

Mary is originally from Peru, she moved to the united States in 2001. She lives in Cambridge. Mary has a  daughter whose name is  Claudia. Mary enjoys  teaching Spanish. She has her bachelors degree in education with a concentration in preschool and elementary. In addition to teaching at Summit, Mary also currently works as a part time Spanish teacher on Cape Cod and in Woburn. Mary is working on her Master's Degree in Special Education with a concentration in high school. She will graduate in June 2017 from Cambridge College. Mary has been teaching Kindergarten through Grade 6 more fifteen years, first in Peru and then in Massachusetts . Mary loves teaching Spanish at Summit Montessori.
Lois Pond's picture

Lois Pond

Director of Development
Administrator

Lois’ professional life is a hybrid of the...

Lois Pond's picture

Lois Pond

Director of Development
BS, New York University
MBA, Northeastern University
Lois’ professional life is a hybrid of the education business and the business of education. She started her career as an elementary school teacher, and subsequently moved into business. Lois has trained bankers on accounting and securities systems; written educational software documentation; supervised technical writers and trainers; and managed the creation, production, marketing and release of a large line of educational software products. Dedicated to Montessori pedagogy, Lois spent twenty years at a suburban Montessori school as an active volunteer, then a Development Officer. In the course of sending her three daughters through the school, she participated in a wide variety of activities including managing multiple fundraisers and leading the parents’ association. She served for eleven years on the school’s board of directors and chaired that board for three years. Most recently, Lois was part of the Development Office for the school’s first capital campaign and later handled public and alumni relations until coming to Summit.
Tyra Sherry's picture

Tyra Sherry

Teacher
Children's House

Tyra managed a local children’s museum prior to...

Tyra Sherry's picture

Tyra Sherry

Teacher
BA, Sociology Pending
Tyra managed a local children’s museum prior to pursuing a career as a Montessori teacher. She has over twenty years of experience working with children, seventeen of those in Montessori. Tyra is delighted to work with Summit’s dedicated, caring faculty and staff and truly believes that you learn something new every day. Tyra also believes strongly in volunteerism. She works with organizations that provide services and companionship to isolated elders, trains and socializes homeless dogs to help them become more adoptable at the MSPCA and visits with veterans. These experiences help Tyra “fill a bucket.”
Joan Tansi's picture

Joan Tansi

Teacher
Lower Elementary

Joan brings many years of teaching experience to...

Joan Tansi's picture

Joan Tansi

Teacher
BA, Skidmore College
M.Ed., Endicott College
Joan brings many years of teaching experience to Summit. She started as a Lower Elementary teacher, helped to build an Upper Elementary program (where she taught for many years,) and returned to the Lower Elementary classroom eight years ago. Joan has presented at several national AMS conferences. Topics have included Technology in the Classroom, Robotics, and Fractals and Patterns in Nature. She loves connecting the classroom to nature, science, and using technology as a tool in discovery and learning. She loves to share the sense of discovery as we observe the interconnectedness of all the topics and corners of our world. In her free time, Joan enjoys nature walks, knitting, reading, performing and listening to music and spending time with family and friends.
Beth Thibault's picture

Beth Thibault

Assistant Teacher
Beginners

Beth has been involved in early childhood...

Beth Thibault's picture

Beth Thibault

Assistant Teacher
A.S., Mass Bay Community College
Beth has been involved in early childhood education since 2000. Starting as an assistant teacher at a private preschool and later moving to the Goddard School. She particularly enjoys observing children in the early years when they experience such great growth in personal development and independence. She enjoys watching them move through their environment exploring, manipulating and learning by doing. Beth’s interest in the Montessori method and approach has grown in the last few years and she is excited to join the Summit community and the Beginner’s classroom.
Martha Torrence's picture

Martha Torrence

Head of School
Administrator

Ms. Torrence has over 30 years of teaching and...

Martha Torrence's picture

Martha Torrence

Head of School
BA, Pennsylvania State University
M.Ed., Pennsylvania State University
Ms. Torrence has over 30 years of teaching and administrative experience in Montessori education, including serving as Principal of the Xavier University Montessori Lab School and founding/administering Our Children’s Center in State College, PA. She was most recently the Director of Toddler and Primary Programs at Cambridge Montessori School in Cambridge, MA. Ms. Torrence served on the American Montessori Society Board of Directors for 11 years, serving as Teachers’ Section Chair, on the Executive Committee, and as Board President. Martha is a sought-after teacher trainer and speaker, having presented trainings and conference sessions in 22 states and 5 countries. She has written award-winning articles on her research topic, play. Martha currently serves as Board Vice President for the Montessori Schools of MA.
Marian Wallace's picture

Marian Wallace

Teacher
Children's House

Marian holds an American Montessori Society (AMS)...

Marian Wallace's picture

Marian Wallace

Teacher
BA, Connecticut College
M.Ed., Endicott College
Marian holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) Primary classroom teaching certificate, as well as a Masters’ Degree in Education. She has been lead teacher in Children’s House for six years. Marian was a Montessori student herself, and she recognized an immediate re-connection with Montessori’s philosophy when searching for her own children’s preschools. Marian continues to feel passionate about Maria Montessori’s beautiful, concrete classroom materials, as well as her respect for the child’s creativity and independence.