Arts & Enrichment
Leigh Ann has been an art teacher for the past 12 years, running art enrichment classes and summer art clubs, as well as formerly serving as art director at the Avalon Yacht club. With a passion for the arts and working with children, her teaching experience has given her an opportunity to teach at Charter, Catholic, and public schools. Leigh Ann is extremely excited to be a part of Gladwyne Montessori and to use the Montessori Method to teach art. During her free time, Leigh Ann is busy spending time with her husband and three "bonus" children who are active in the Upper Merion School District. She enjoys volunteering with their school activities, photography, interior decorating, traveling, working out, and spending time with family and friends at the beach and bay in Avalon. Leigh Ann also hosts children's birthday parties, face painting and making crafts with them as a Disney Princess. She is bubbly, energetic, fun-loving and enthusiastic with a zest for life.
While attending Villanova as an undergraduate majoring in education, Susan discovered the Montessori method of teaching. It coincided with her beliefs about educating children using an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child. Always loving work with young children, becoming a certified Montessori teacher was a natural choice. When she came to Gladwyne Montessori 38 years ago, she fell in love with the concept of our extended day program, La Casa. Over the years, having been afforded the opportunity to develop and shape this program in line with Montessori principles, she applies its values to the area of enrichment activities: one of her greatest joys! Free time is enjoyed through antiquing, reading, hiking and cooking.
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.
As a child, Janey attended Gladwyne Montessori, loving it so much that she decided to come back and teach in order to provide the same great learning experience she received. She believes that Montessori education for toddlers is the perfect start to a healthy love of learning that will last a lifetime. Janey has been a head teacher in the Sprouts classroom for eight years and department coordinator of the Toddler Program. With three siblings who also attended Gladwyne Montessori, Janey feels that in receiving this education, it helped to shape them all into kind, respectful, well-rounded individuals. In addition to the Montessori education, the life lessons learned at Gladwyne Montessori have been invaluable; she hopes to pass that along to her students daily. Janey recently married in March 2018.
Bella joined the Gladwyne Montessori family because she believes in its encouraging and open environment that truly fosters the importance of children's education and wellbeing. She joined the Gladwyne Montessori community in the 2017-2018 school year, and looks forward to continuing her journey at this special school! She spent the summer of 2018 working towards her Infant/Toddler Montessori certification in Princeton, NJ. In her free time, Bella enjoys practicing yoga, socializing with friends, traveling, and spending time at the Jersey Shore.
In 2000, while helping her parents with their restaurant as she tried to figure out her career path, Anna met a sweet lady at a party hosted at her parent's restaurant who introduced Anna to Montessori. From there, Anna reached out to Gladwyne Montessori where she began as a substitute. Substituting turned into working with La Casa and the toddler program. Anna likes to spend her free time with her daughters and husband. They love outdoor activities: swimming, biking, hiking, and kayaking. Her favorite activity is Sunday Funday which usually entails finding a new restaurant to dine in. In her alone "free time," Anna loves going to Pure Barre classes. "It's so much fun and such a great workout."
Jenn was introduced to Gladwyne Montessori as a parent—and decided she didn't want to leave as she has always loved the school. Her special interests are running, hiking, and anything outdoors; she also loves to spend time with her family and dogs.
Indre started her career as a hand bookbinder and worked in art conservation and collections management for libraries and museums. When she took her first job in a school library ,helping to facilitate positive learning experiences for young people, it was clear that she had arrived in a place that felt like home. The Montessori pedagogy aligns with Indre's belief in teaching the whole child and never underestimating young people. In her free time, Indre enjoys spending time with her family, reading, swimming, yoga, walking in the Wissahickon, and visiting her public library.
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.
Susie will always remember the first day she drove into the Gladwyne Montessori parking lot for her interview. She was immediately taken with the charm of the building, the green areas surrounding it, and the warm vibe she felt during her interview. Eleven years later, Susie continues to feel honored being part of this wonderful community. Susie teaches music to our toddlers through sixth graders. She studied piano and music theory and history during college, also loving to sing and listen to different styles and genres of music. Susie is proud to be a parent of a Gladwyne Montessori elementary student who has been happily enrolled at Gladwyne Montessori since she was 2! When she is not working, Susie enjoys reading, watching movies, exercising, spending time with friends and family, and going to coffee shops.
Paul joined the Gladwyne Montessori community in 1994 after having served as a Program Director at a YMCA. He played baseball collegiately and has stayed active in the sport by coaching at three different high schools during his career. He currently teaches baseball at numerous camps and clinics in the area. Paul enjoys spending his free time with his family.
Veronica was introduced to Montessori education in 1992 and began her training while working at a dual-language Montessori school. Veronica found Gladwyne Montessori while looking for the right Montessori elementary program for her daughter. She joined the faculty in 2006 as a Primary Teaching Assistant and started the Spanish program in 2008. Previously, she has worked in business, publishing, and clothing manufacturing. Veronica enjoys reading, running, gardening, hiking, and cooking in her spare time.