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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.
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Karen Abraham

Martha Torrence's picture

Martha Torrence

Head of School
Administrator
Ms. Torrence has over 30 years of teaching and administrative experience in Montessori education, including serving as...
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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.
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Susan Ackerman

Nurse
Summit’s School Nurse, Susan Ackerman, has two bachelor’s degrees. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franklin and Marshall...
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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.
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Jean Anderson

Teacher
Lower Elementary
Jean Anderson joined Summit in 2002. After teaching a 3-year cycle with children ages 3-6, she moved to the Lower Elementary...
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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.
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Monica Barbosa

Upstairs AfterCare Teacher

Monica Barbosa has joined Summit from Santa Monica, CA where she was the owner and director of a childcare center. ...

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Monica Barbosa

Upstairs AfterCare Teacher
Monica Barbosa has joined Summit from Santa Monica, CA where she was the owner and director of a childcare center.  Monica provides daily lunch coverage and works in the Upstairs AfterCare program.  
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Nora Carbonneau

Teacher
Beginners
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Nora is a certified language instructor who learned about the Montessori philosophy when her...
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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.
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Janice Darling

Teacher
Upper Elementary
Janice fell in love with Montessori education while casually observing in an elementary class over 25 years ago. She was...
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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.
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Hiral Desai

Teacher
Children's House
Hiral is excited to join the Summit community. She earned her AMS Early Childhood credential from NEMTEC and has worked for...
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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.
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Antoinette Falzone

AfterCare Director
Sometimes referred to as “the child whisperer” for her gift of being able to relate so well to children, Antoinette brings a...
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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.
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Jackie Landry

Music Teacher
Jackie has spent a lifetime learning, practicing, writing, teaching, and performing music. As a Berklee College of Music...
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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".
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Nadine Petronko-Lin

Learning Specialist
Nadine specializes in teaching children with learning difficulties, with particular emphasizes on students that have...
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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.
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Elizabeth Love

Teacher
Children's House
Liz, an alumni parent, joined Summit in 2012 as an assistant teacher. In 2013 she decided to pursue her deep interest in the...
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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.
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Siobhan Mahaney

Director of Admissions
Siobhan joined Summit Montessori School in January of 2010. She is enjoying the opportunity to share her knowledge of...
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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.
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Sherri Melamut

Director of Finance and Operations
Administrator
After working in both corporate and public accounting, Sherri pursued her interest in the field of education and joined...
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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.
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Mary Molina

Mary is originally from Peru, she moved to the United States in 2001. She lives in Cambridge with her daughter Claudia. ...

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Mary Molina

Mary is originally from Peru, she moved to the United States in 2001. She lives in Cambridge with her daughter 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.
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Katrina O'Gahan

Katrina O’Gahan joins CH1 in September 2017 as Co-Teacher after completing the major portion of the academic phase of her...

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Katrina O'Gahan

Katrina O’Gahan joins CH1 in September 2017 as Co-Teacher after completing the major portion of the academic phase of her teacher training at Northeast Montessori Teacher Training Institute this past summer.  After working in our Children’s House and Beginner classrooms as a substitute teacher and lunch helper last year, Katrina impressed the administration and other teachers at Summit with her natural manner, her intelligent responses to children, her ability to maintain a positive and calm demeanor in a wide range of situations, and her ability to “read” the room and notice in great detail what children were doing and how their personalities were shining through. She is able to redirect children’s behaviors in a positive and productive way.

Katrina will complete her internship under the supervision of CH1 teacher Lumpoon Sungkharom. 

Katrina brings organizational skills from her years of work as an office and retail manager; she has been a personnel supervisor and has run her own costume design business. Katrina is a gymnast, an amazing artist, and a seamstress. She feels that her years as a stay-at-home mom have cultivated in her a deep love of the child and of each child’s unique gifts to the world. She wrote:

 In the Montessori Method, I see a method that appreciates diverse personalities and their unique learning trajectories, a method that supports children so that they can become confident, caring, considerate stewards of our society and planet. I believe not only in supporting the child but supporting the community that supports that child, because harmony fosters harmony.
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Mary Jo Rett

Elementary Music Teacher

Mary Jo Rett has taught music at the Sunrise and the Silver Spruce Montessori Schools. She has taught Pre-K through 8th ...

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Mary Jo Rett

Elementary Music Teacher
Mary Jo Rett has taught music at the Sunrise and the Silver Spruce Montessori Schools. She has taught Pre-K through 8th grade music for 8 years at Our Lady of the Valley Regional School in Uxbridge, MA. She is an experienced accompanist and director of musical stage productions. 
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Tyra Sherry

Teacher
Children's House
Tyra managed a local children’s museum prior to pursuing a career as a Montessori teacher. She has over twenty years of...
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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.”
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Lumpoon Sungkharom

Lumpoon fell in love with Montessori after observing her friend’s
Montessori-trained children. She found their way...

Lumpoon Sungkharom's picture

Lumpoon Sungkharom

Lumpoon fell in love with Montessori after observing her friend’s
Montessori-trained children. She found their way of thinking, behaving, and
their sense of self amazing. And after observing their classroom
environment, she decided to pursue a Montessori education. 

Lumpoon earned her AMS Early Childhood credentials from NEMTEC and
has worked for 14 years in the Montessori education system. 

Lumpoon enjoys spending time with children and creating environments
that help children reach their highest potential. Maria Montessori’s words
inspire Lumpoon. “This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but
leave it free to develop” ~ Maria Montessori. Lumpoon believes a child’s
fullest potential is reached through emotional health, mental health, and
physical health.

In Lumpoon’s free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, learning
about different cultures, trying new things, and creating new materials to
use in her classroom.
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Joan Tansi

Teacher
Lower Elementary
Joan brings many years of teaching experience to Summit. She started as a Lower Elementary teacher, helped to build an Upper...
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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.
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Beth Thibault

Assistant Teacher
Beginners
Beth has been involved in early childhood education since 2000. Starting as an assistant teacher at a private preschool and...
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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.
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Marian Wallace

Teacher
Children's House
Marian holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) Primary classroom teaching certificate, as well as a Masters’ Degree in...
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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.
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Pam Warren

Pam Warren joins us this year as our Orton Gillingham Reading Support Teacher.  Pam completed...

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Pam Warren

Pam Warren joins us this year as our Orton Gillingham Reading Support Teacher.  Pam completed her OG training at the Carroll School in 2010 and has subsequently worked as a private tutor and as a language and reading support teacher/tutor in the Boston Public Schools and at Bedford High School. She is a former board member of Kingsley Montessori School, where her daughters attended through the elementary grades.  Pam is passionate about helping all children succeed, giving them the chance to build confidence and advocate for themselves.    
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Jenn Allen Zevos

Director of The Upper El Ensemble

 Jenn is a “Performer-Composer-Educator” who holds degrees in music (jazz studies and trumpet performance) from Berklee...

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Jenn Allen Zevos

Director of The Upper El Ensemble
 Jenn is a “Performer-Composer-Educator” who holds degrees in music (jazz studies and trumpet performance) from Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory.  She particularly focuses on ensembles in her teaching, and has led and developed ensembles at Beaver Country Day School, Natick Public Schools, and the Dedham School of Music, among others.  Jenn brings enthusiasm and great talent and energy with her into this position!