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“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”
Maria Montessori

Elementary Faculty

Head Teachers

Jemma Lloyd-Helliker

Jemma Lloyd-Helliker

Upper Elementary Head Teacher
Jemma taught in public and charter schools for five years before the birth of her daughter. She knew teaching was her passion, but the traditional teaching model was not meeting the needs of the children in her classes. She discovered Montessori as a new mother and has not looked back. Jamma believes, "Learning in a Montessori environment is joyful and inspiring because the philosophy begins and ends with the natural development of our children. In this environment, it is a joy to guide the children to new learning and experiences." Jemma enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping and canoeing with her family. When indoors, she loves to knit, write, draw and read. She tries to practice yoga daily and swim whenever she can.

Mary Elizabeth Luangamath

Mary Elizabeth Luangamath

Lower Elementary Head Teacher
Having grown up in the area, Mary Elizabeth came to Gladwyne Montessori because she wanted to return home and teach children our shared values. Mary Elizabeth's family is her joy, and they swim, play sports, share music, go to church together, and watch her husband's beloved Seahawks.
Karen McFadden

Karen McFadden

Lower Elementary Head Teacher
After teaching at Old Peachtree Montessori School in Atlanta, GA and relocating to the Main Line in 2003, Karen started teaching at Gladwyne Montessori. Karen spends her free time with her husband, son (Finn), and daughter (Molly). She enjoys the beach, paddleboarding, kickboxing, yoga, and reading.

Teaching Assistants

Kristen Hunt

Kristen Hunt

Elementary Teaching Assistant
After assisting with Gladwyne Montessori's Young Explorers Camp during college, Kristen decided to pursue education as a career. Her experience at our camp also helped her find her love for working with children and the Montessori method of teaching. After graduation, she gained experience in both primary and elementary classrooms at Gladwyne Montessori. In her free time, Kristen likes to play volleyball and practice yoga.
Dan Stearne

Dan Stearne

Elementary Teaching Assistant, Study Hall Teacher
Dan joined Gladwyne Montessori in 1995 and worked as an assistant to Maggie Dougherty until 1998. After student teaching in the fall of 1999, Dan transitioned to long term substituting in the Upper Elementary classroom until June of 2000. After several years working in the Camden School District, Dan returned to Gladwyne Montessori in 2004. Because of his love for working in this environment with the students and families as well as colleagues, Dan has been here ever since. In his spare time, Dan loves to spend time outdoors with his family at the beach. He likes surfing, playing various sports including softball and basketball. He is a Philadelphia sports enthusiast and Eagles season ticket holder. He also enjoys photography.

Benjamin York

Benjamin York

Upper Elementary Teaching Assistant, STEM Coordinator
After serving as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and teaching K-12 Math and Science in various schools in the city of Philadelphia, Ben, a STEAM advocate and coordinator, joined Gladwyne Montessori. In Ben's spare time, he enjoys sports, fishing, and watching documentaries.
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