“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 3 4 5 6 > showing 41 - 50 of 53 constituents
Bethany Shaffer

Bethany Shaffer

Titles: Speech Language Pathologist
Degrees: B.S. and M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pennsylvania State University
Departments: Student Support Team
Email:
Biography:
Bethany came to Gladwyne Montessori after working for several years in an urban Montessori school. Bethany spends a lot of time cooking with fresh vegetables from her local CSA. She also enjoys spending time in nature and with her family.

Gwen Shangle

Titles: Director of Montessori
Degrees: B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education, Georgian Court College
M.Ed. in Developmental Reading, The College of New Jersey
AMS Montessori Certification Elementary I and II, Seacoast Education Center and Princeton Center for Teacher Education
AMS Montessori Administrator Certificate, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
NJ Certified Teacher K-8 and Reading Specialist, NJ Board of Education
Departments: Administration
Email:
Biography:

Gwen brings 25 years of experience to Gladwyne from teaching in Montessori classrooms, mentoring teachers, guiding families, working on curriculum and program designs, and directing a teacher training center. She was drawn to the dynamic and positive culture and community of Gladwyne Montessori as well as the stimulating and dedicated faculty. Gwen enjoys presenting to parents and teachers and sharing her passion of Montessori as a way of life. Gwen also has raised a "Montessori child", now in college, and is excited to dedicate her empty nest time to Gladwyne's community. When not at school, Gwen enjoys the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her pets and family, as well as volunteering for arts groups. Gwen also serves on the Board of the Deep Time Journey Network, which promotes the principles of cosmic education, a key aspect of Montessori education.

Sonja Shivpuri

Sonja Shivpuri

Titles: Upper Elementary Teaching Assistant
Degrees: B.A. in International Service, American University
M.A. in International Education Policy, George Washington University
6-12 AMS Elementary Certification
Departments: Elementary
Email:
Biography:

Sonja moved to Pennsylvania from Connecticut in September of 2017. Her children have been in Montessori schools since they were 2 years old and she wanted them to continue their Montessori elementary education here in Pennsylvania. Sonja and her husband found Gladwyne Montessori through the AMS website and have been thrilled with both the community and the school since they arrived. In her free time, Sonja enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking and baking, spending time with friends, and traveling.


Dan Sides

Dan Sides

Titles: Facilities Manager
Degrees: B.A. in Sociology, Shippensburg University
Departments: Maintenance
Email:
Biography:

While his 13 year experience in a corporate environment provided Dan with a diverse background, the rewards he sought after could not be found in that industry. He believes making a daily impact can occur in the right environment, and Gladwyne Montessori has allowed him that very opportunity, while learning new trades and continuing to grow. Dan spends his free time with his wife, Kelly and their children Becca, Erin and Scott. You will probably find them camping, fishing or boating if they're not at home planning their next outdoor adventure.

Dan Stearne

Dan Stearne

Titles: Elementary Teaching Assistant
Degrees: B.A., Rowan University
Emergency Medical Technician
Departments: Elementary
Email:
Biography:
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.
Taahirah Stith

Taahirah Stith

Titles: Toddler Teaching Assistant
Degrees: B.S. with Honors in Marketing, Morgan State University
Health Coaching Certification, Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
Departments: Toddler
Email:
Biography:

Taahirah loves teaching health and wellness, working out, spreading the love of all things plant based, camping, and caring for her cats.

Melissa Sugzdinis

Melissa Sugzdinis

Titles: Elementary Enrichment Coordinator
Degrees: B.A. in English, Ohio State University
M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Wilmington University
Elementary II Certification, American Montessori Society
Departments: Arts and Enrichment
Email:
Biography:

Melissa has been a Montessori teacher since 2001. She was a lead Upper Elementary teacher for 17 years in both private and charter Montessori schools. After reading about Makerspaces, she became inspired to meld the worlds of Maker and Montessori. Both of her boys grew up as Montessori kids, and she feels passionately that Montessori is for everyone! In her spare time, Melissa enjoys cooking, reading, taking long hikes in the woods with her family, and playing with her two cats, Snickers and Sparky.

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan

Titles: Primary Head Teacher
Degrees: B.A. in Spanish, University of Colorado at Denver
M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado at Denver
American Montessori Society Early Childhood Credential, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies
Pennsylvania Professional Teaching Certificate, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Departments: Primary
Email:
Biography:
Matthew joined Gladwyne Montessori in 2015 after working as a Lead Teacher at Clementine Montessori in Philadelphia, where he also taught music and Spanish. From 1999-2011, Matthew worked in Denver teaching elementary bilingual education and at a dual-language Montessori school. Matthew enjoys myriad activities outside in the natural world, playing and listening to music, reading, cooking, carpentry, gardening, landscaping, playing and coaching sports, and traveling.
Jennifer Turner

Jennifer Turner

Titles: La Casa Assistant
Degrees: B.A. in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences with a concentration in Communication Disorders/Speech Pathology, North Carolina State University
Departments: Arts and Enrichment
Email:
Biography:
Jen was introduced to Gladwyne Montessori as a parent—and decided she didn't want to leave!
Audra Walsh

Audra Walsh

Titles: Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management
Degrees: B.A. University of Scranton
Early Childhood Credential, The Montessori Teacher Education Center San Francisco Bay Area
Departments: Administration
Email:
Biography:
After teaching at a Montessori school in Park City Utah, Audra and her family moved back to Pennsylvania. She was drawn to the history and strong Montessori community of the school. Her husband attended a Montessori preschool and she is the mother of three Montessori children. When Audra is not at school, she enjoys hiking, camping, biking, reading and watching movies with her family.
< 1 3 4 5 6 > showing 41 - 50 of 53 constituents