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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

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.

1 2 3 6 > showing 1 - 10 of 57 constituents
Donna Arronson

Donna Arronson

Titles: Assistant
Degrees: B.S. in Psychology and Education, Mount Saint Mary's College
Departments: Primary, Toddler, Arts and Enrichment, Elementary
Email:
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 After Care 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.

Emma Arronson

Email:
Maria Atayab

Maria Atayab

Titles: Primary Assistant
Degrees: B.S. in Electrical Engineering, NED University Pakistan
AMS Early Childhood Certification, Montessori Teacher Training of Philadelphia
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:

Maria has a passion to teach children, as she believes it is a great opportunity to serve the community by nurturing values in children such as patience, empathy, and respect. She joined Gladwyne Montessori as a substitute teacher, and during this time she experienced it as a great place to work. She realized that this is the school where her teaching skills can grow and develop. In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, board games, watching family movies, and reading children's literature.

Susan Ballas

Susan Ballas

Titles: Nurse
Degrees: B.S.N. in Nursing, Villanova University
M.S.N. in Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
School Nurse Certification, Eastern University
Departments: Administration
Email:
Biography:

With over 30 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 Montessori 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, Administration
Email:
Biography:

Eleonora's love for the Montessori philosophy began when her twin girls were born at a 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 believes in the Montessori tenet of emphasizing the independence of the child and 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. Before coming to Gladwyne, she worked in early childcare and was the owner of a Maternity Concierge Company. Eleonora's unique background in language, business, entrepreneurship, and early education lends itself perfectly to her duties at Gladwyne Montessori. In her spare time, Eleonora loves cooking, exploring the city, and Latin dancing.

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
Email:
Biography:

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! In her free time, Emily loves spending time with her family. 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 Boynton

Ainsley Boynton

Titles: Primary Assistant
Degrees: B.A. in Anthropology, Washington College
M.A. in Early Childhood Education with Special Education Emphasis, University of Colorado Denver
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:

Ainsley joined Gladwyne Montessori to continue her passion of working with children near her hometown of Bryn Mawr. She really values a hands-on approach that focuses on the individual child's strengths and curiosities that is fostered in a Montessori education. In her free time, Ainsley enjoys hiking with her dogs, painting landscapes, and traveling. She loves to see new places and learn from cultures different from her own.

Laura Connor

Laura Connor

Titles: Teacher
Degrees: B.S. in Photography, Art Institute of Philadelphia
Montessori Certification - Infant/Toddler, Princeton Montessori
Departments: Toddler
Email:
Biography:

Laura was searching for a place to continue her two daughters' education in the best possible learning environment, Montessori! Gladwyne Montessori allowed for not just her girls to continue their education in the most amazing way, but it also provided Laura with the opportunity to continue teaching at the toddler level - an age she truly feels passionate about teaching and getting to be a part of. She knew that Gladwyne Montessori was the perfect fit! When she can find a free moment, Laura enjoys reading, playing volleyball, and spending quality time with her family.

Colleen Costigan

Colleen Costigan

Titles: Makerspace Teacher
Degrees: B.F.A. in Fine Art, Tyler School of Art & Architecture, Temple University
Departments: Arts and Enrichment
Email:
Biography:

Gladwyne Montessori and Colleen happened to run into each other at universal timing. She wanted to share her love of arts, crafts, design, and technology with the community and step back from a production-based design career. In the Makerspace she is looking forward to fostering the students’ natural creativity to build, make, and experiment! Colleen hopes to encourage the students to think like designers and how design is a catalyst for change concerning the issues facing our world today, like climate change. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her black lab, Maggy, camping, and being in nature. Colleen also enjoys weaving on her loom, oil painting, and working on her own design projects.

Eranga De Silva

Eranga De Silva

Titles: Primary Assistant
Degrees: Associates in Child Development, Council for Professional Recognition
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:

After working in the aviation industry for most of her career, Eranga decided to make a career change. She has always had a passion for working with children, and decided to get her degree in Child Development. After discovering the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori and how much it resonated with her, Eranga has worked in Montessori schools ever since! Given the reputation of Gladwyne Montessori, coupled with her love of educating children, Eranga knew our community would be a perfect fit. In her free time, Eranga enjoys painting, making Canvas art, traveling with her family, baking, and reading.

1 2 3 6 > showing 1 - 10 of 57 constituents