Teaching Staff

(listed in Alphabetical Order)

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JESSICA AVILA has worked with students in all of our classrooms and programs. She has a lovely way with children, and is popular with the other staff as well. She has just completed her bilingual Child Development Associate credential and also teaches Spanish.

TANIA FAJADO , the newest and most welcome addition to our staff, is a graduate of the University of Cuenca in Ecuador. Although her background is in administration, she also has experience in the fields of early childhood and home health. Tania, who has two children of her own, is often found supervising the children during recess, lunch and special activities.

AZEB GREY has been working at the Montessori Center of Nyack for nearly 25 years.Her beautiful smile and gentle ways make her equally popular with children, parents and staff. Fluent in French and working on her Spanish,

Azeb completed her Montessori training at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education. She also has a Child Development Associates credential, an Early Childhood Development credential, and an Associate's Degree in education from Rockland Community College.

CARMITA GUILLERMO ZARUMA (Rosario) came to the Montessori Center five years ago with experience as an au pair and with a genuine love of children. Now, she has her Child Development Associates credential and is looking to start Montessori Infant Toddler Training at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education this year. She is known and respected for her hard work and dedication. 

LINDA HARVEY is the head teacher in our Full-Day Prekindergarten class. She brings a wealth of experience to our Full-Day PK class. She is a certified New York State teacher with a Master of Science in Literacy, as well as a credentialed Montessori directress. She owned and operated her own Montessori school, and has trained extensively in Montessori teaching methods at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education.

BARBARA ISELIN has been teaching fitness and movement at the Montessori Center of Nyack for over 20 years. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious to both children and staff. Barbara's presentations, which emphasize fairness, politeness, team building and positive self-esteem, are an important part of children's development.


MARÌA McNENNEY studied sociology and psychology at Manhattan College and worked as a translator for unionized companies before joining us in 1998.  She became interested in Montessori educational philosophy and completed her preprimary certification through at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education. Bilingual, Marìa provides our children with Spanish language instruction as well as Montessori lessons.

CHRISTINE HWALEK RENSTROM, our music teacher since 1988, is a graduate of Nazareth College. Christine has Orff-Kodaly training, but draws upon a variety of disciplines, including Montessori, when presenting her programs to the children. As a member of the Rockland County Guild of Music Teachers, she offers piano lessons privately and instructs many of our children.


ANGELA REYES brings experience to the Beginnings class both as a parent and as an educator. With an undergraduate degree from the College of Holy Cross in Worchester, Mass., Angela has had experience working with children in a wide variety of settings, including public school, before and after-care and summer camp. She completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler certification at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education and is now working on her Masters at Mercy College. This is Angela's sixth year working at the Montessori Center of Nyack.

BEATRIX STEFAN has been working at the Montessori Center for over ten years. She was formerly a preschool teacher in her native Hungary. Beatrix received her Child Development Associates credential at Rockland Community College and her Montessori certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. A dedicated and caring teacher, Beatrix is sensitive to the needs of her students and designs specific activities to accommodate each child's learning style.

RACHEL TEKULA is an experienced childcare educator who is completing her New York State certification at Long Island University. During this past year, she has been student teaching at the Montessori Center of Nyack under the careful supervision of administrator Dharani Narasimhan. In addition to her work with children, Rachel is an accomplished web developer and photographer, who also has a working knowledge of Spanish.


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85 Marion Street,   Nyack, NY 10960     *    845-358-9209