“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 Helliker

Jemma Helliker

Upper Elementary Head Teacher, Elementary Department Coordinator
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. Jemma 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.

Sinead Meehan

Sinead Meehan

Lower Elementary Head Teacher

Sinead was first introduced to Gladwyne Montessori as a child, where she would spend time observing her parents work. She began her career at Gladwyne Montessori as a camp counselor in 2006, and later took on additional roles as substitute teacher, assistant to development, and upper elementary intern. In her free time, Sinead enjoys traveling, crafting, Irish dancing, and playing with her dogs.

Kristen Moore

Kristen Moore

Lower Elementary Head Teacher
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.

Teaching Assistants

Avery Green

Avery Green

Lower Elementary Teaching Assistant

As an alumni of Gladwyne Montessori, Avery has very fond memories of her time here. When it was time for her son to go into nursery school, she toured the school and was completely blown away with what she saw. Being on the other side of the table as a parent, she knew that this environment would be a perfect fit for her son to learn and grow. In her free time, Avery loves entertaining and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoy cooking and working out; spinning, yoga and walks outside with her black Goldendoodle, Ruby.

Sonja Shivpuri

Sonja Shivpuri

Upper Elementary Teaching Assistant

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 Stearne

Dan Stearne

Elementary Teaching Assistant
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.