Faculty & Staff Directory

Our entire staff focuses on your child as a person. Montessori teachers are facilitators, mentors, and coaches who nurture a student’s potential and encourage him or her to explore, investigate, and discover. We are proud to have some of the region’s top educators guiding our students through their journey toward a lifelong love of learning. Our teachers are highly qualified, fully credentialed, and dedicated to the success of each individual student.

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Donna Arronson

Donna Arronson

Titles: Elementary Assistant
Degrees: B.S. in Psychology and Education, Mount Saint Mary's College
Departments: Elementary
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Biography:

Donna was first introduced to Gladwyne Montessori as a parent. All four of her children attended the school over the span of 14 years. Donna began working at Gladwyne Montessori in 2008 and has served in the Primary, Toddler, and La Casa programs. In addition to these years of experience, Donna completed an assistant training program in the summer of 2018 at the Princeton Montessori Training Center. When Donna is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach in Margate, New Jersey for the summer, traveling, cooking, reading, and sports.

Maria Atayab

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Christopher Atkins

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Susan Ballas

Susan Ballas

Titles: Nurse
Departments: Administration
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Biography:

With 31 years experience as a nurse, Susan went through local schools, obtaining a BSN from Villanova University, a MSN from the University or Pennsylvania, and a School Nurse Certification from Eastern University. She previously worked as a manager and Director of Nursing for 14 years and as a clinical instructor at Penn for 15. The opportunity for providing improved nursing and medical support to the Gladwyne Montesorri community brought her here, coupled with the fact that her children attended the school. Outside of nursing, Susan needle points, plays Canasta, and enjoys time with her 4 children.

Eleonora Barbieri

Eleonora Barbieri

Titles: Administrator
Departments: Arts and Enrichment
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Biography:

Eleonora's love for the Montessori philosophy began when her twin girls were born at a very premature age – she was in search of a philosophy that would help the healthy development of her children from birth-on, and to help her own children to overcome the challenges they potentially faced. Eleonora strongly believes in the Montessori tenet of emphasizing the independence of the child and truly believes in trusting the child's ability to guide his/her learning journey. When she entered Gladwyne Montessori for the first time, she was mesmerized by the magical atmosphere and by the excitement students had for learning, and the pride they took in their work.

Eleonora's unique background in language, business, entrepreneurship, and early education lends itself perfectly to her duties at Gladwyne Montessori. Before joining the Gladwyne Montessori faculty, she was the owner of a successful Maternity Concierge company. Her passion in helping expecting parents and supporting early stages of parenting and child development, came after a long career in early childcare, where she worked with children from birth to the teenage years.

Eleonora's passion is traveling. Thanks to her parents' governmental careers, Eleonora has been traveling and living in different countries since she was in the womb. She is trying to pass on this passion to her children, who are being raised trilingual (Italian, Spanish and English), and have had passports since they were three months old! In her spare time, Eleonora loves cooking, exploring the city, and Latin dancing.


Aileen Best

Aileen Best

Titles: Teacher, Online Support Instructor
Degrees: B.S. in Applied Economics, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines
AMI Primary Diploma, Navadisha Montessori Institute, Chennai, India
Montessori Teacher Certificate, United Montessori Education
Education Program Certification, Eastern University
PA Pre-K-4 Instructional I Teaching Certification, PA Board of Education
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:

Aileen lived in China for five years teaching English in international kindergarten schools, and there, she realized that teaching little children would be her lifelong career. It was on a bus to work where she discovered Dr. Maria Montessori as she read an autobiography about her. Aileen then moved to India to complete her Montessori Education training. When she moved to the U.S., Aileen worked in several Montessori schools in between having children. She is happy to now be at Gladwyne Montessori where she hopes to continue to grow as a Montessori teacher. Aileen previously lived in five countries and traveled extensively before moving to the United States; now that she is married with two children, she travels with her family in her free time. She also likes to watch movies, read books, and organize travel plans.

Emily Bittner

Emily Bittner

Titles: Teacher
Degrees: B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Western State Colorado University
M.A. in Sociology, University of Arizona
M.A. in Education, Loyola University
AMI Primary Diploma, Washington Montessori Institute
Departments: Primary, La Casa
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Biography:

Emily completed her Montessori training ten years ago and has been in and out of the classroom since, raising her three children. Emily was a Montessori child herself in her primary years, and attended one year of Montessori elementary in the school her mother opened in British Columbia, Canada. Since graduating from college, Emily has had many life-enriching experiences, including living in a rural village in Zambia for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, studying the relationship between wilderness and spirituality in graduate school, and working with Philadelphia’s homeless population at Project HOME. Her mission has always been to help people, and she found her way back to her Montessori roots after picking up a copy of Maria Montessori’s book, “The Secret of Childhood.” It was love-at-first read, and she hasn’t questioned her path since! Emily loves spending time with her three children, Wyatt, Addy and Knox, and her husband, Kurt. They are all nature enthusiasts and spend as much time as they can in the fresh air. She enjoys reading books, relaxing in hammocks, visiting friends, and creating art.

Ainsley Boyton

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Subhi Brenner

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Eunice Chung

Eunice Chung

Titles: Teacher
Degrees: B.A. in Psychology, Cornell University
M.A.
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:

Eunice worked in private equity before becoming a parent of three Gladwyne Montessori children. She fell in love with the Montessori philosophy, which led her to earn a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education with Montessori Certification. She believes that Montessori philosophy encourages love for a lifetime of learning, while also allowing children to develop and trust their inner voice and appreciate their individuality. "I love the way the Montessori classroom naturally celebrates each child's differences and promotes peace and acceptance. I also love the way all different subjects of geography, language, math, art, and music unfold organically everyday." In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing board games, and photography.

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