FACULTY & STAFF

 

Caitlin Bowring, Elementary/Middle School Division Leader, Curriculum Coordinator

Lower Elementary

Lisa Lappin Levine, Lower Elementary 1 Teacher

Michael Silverstone, Lower Elementary 1 Teacher

Kayla Stiffler, Lower Elementary 2 Teacher

Laurie Gallagher, Lower Elementary 2 Teacher/Montessori Intern

Mary Evelyn Lucier, Lower Elementary 3 Teacher

Kayla Hindle, Lower Elementary 3 Teacher/Montessori Intern

Austin Matte, Lower Elementary 4 Teacher

Cailey Purcell, Lower Elementary 4 Teacher

Upper Elementary

Justine Brooks, Upper Elementary 1 Teacher and Elementary/Middle School Student       Support Services Coordinator

Brian Johnson, Upper Elementary 1 Teacher

Wendy Smith, Upper Elementary 2 Teacher

Beth Schuch, Upper Elementary 2 Teacher

After School and Support

Rachel Friebe, Support and After School Teacher

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Caitlin Bowring, Elementary/Middle School Division Leader, Curriculum Coordinator

Caitlin finds it hard to believe that she’s entering her thirteenth year at the school! It has been an amazing experience to be a part of the growth of the Elementary and Middle School programs from a tiny group of twelve students to a thriving group of over one hundred students today. She looks forward to continuing to support these amazing programs!

 

Caitlin holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Elementary Education from Northeastern University. She earned her Montessori Elementary I certification at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education, New York.

 

Caitlin’s two children are students at Wellan, and she feels so lucky to be a part of this wonderful community as both a faculty member and parent! Outside of school, she loves to cook, read, and spend time with friends and family.

Lisa Lappin Levine, Lower Elementary 1 Teacher

Lisa fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and Wellan during her children’s years in the Primary and Lower Elementary programs. So inspired by the education her children received, she pursued her Lower Elementary Certification from METTC (Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative). Lisa also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Simmons College and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Over the last several years, Lisa has held positions at Kingsley Montessori School, Tobin Montessori School, and Newton Public Schools.

 

When not at school, Lisa spends time with her two children, Gabe and Zach. She enjoys participating in outdoor adventure activities like hiking and river rafting, listening to live music, and doing all sorts of artistic projects!

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Michael Silverstone, Lower Elementary 1 Teacher

Michael got his undergraduate degree at Columbia University in English with a concentration in Writing; and earned his Master’s in English Education from New York University. He is a staff member of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA where he helps teach and mentor new instructors during their summer session. He and his wife are the parents of a grown son, whose early school experiences were his first inspiration for working with elementary age students. Michael is the author of a number of non-fiction books for young people and is a writer or co-author of books and articles on education including Teaching to Empower (ASCD 2020) and In It Together (Corwin 2015). He is an enthusiastic daily journal writer, songwriter, baseball fan, and practitioner of Vinyasa style yoga.

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Kayla Stiffler, Lower Elementary 2 Teacher

Kayla is a Massachusetts girl, born and raised. She grew up in Methuen and moved to Boston after earning her BS in Elementary Education at Framingham State University. She later completed her graduate studies at the same university and earned her M.Ed in Literacy and Language. She trained in Montessori education with the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative and received her 6–9 credentials. Before working at Wellan, she worked in both public schools as well as Montessori schools in the Greater Boston area. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two daughters.

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Laurie Gallagher, Lower Elementary 2 Teacher/Montessori Intern

Laurie grew up in Boston and attended Montessori School during her formative years. It was this Montessori experience that led her to be a lifelong learner and know that she wanted to be a teacher. She holds her BS in Early Childhood Education from DePaul University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University. This is her fourth year at Wellan and her sixth year teaching. She previously taught first grade in Boston. Laurie is an animal lover and has three cats (Blue, Fritz, and Iris) and a fish (Ozzy). She is an avid hiker and is always up for a cooking challenge (to varying results). She loves the Wellan community and being able to teach with such a supportive and knowledgeable team!

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Mary Evelyn Lucier, Lower Elementary 3 Teacher

Mary Evelyn double majored in Elementary Education and Environmental Studies at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts. Her desire for becoming a Montessori teacher is very much influenced by being able to teach students the Montessori curriculum while also helping students explore and become excited about the natural world around them. She attained her AMS 6-12 Certification through the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA.

 

When Mary Evelyn is not in the classroom she enjoys taking part in outdoor activities, and especially loves spending time with her family! She grew up snowboarding all around New England and still loves getting on the slopes. She practices yoga regularly and enjoys supporting her body’s physical and mental growth.

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Kayla Hindle, Lower Elementary 3 Teacher/Montessori Intern

Kayla grew up in Norton, MA, and holds a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bridgewater State University. After volunteering with the American Cancer Society for years, she had a great opportunity to work professionally as a staff partner with Relay For Life community fundraising events. She began missing life in the classroom and decided to return to teaching, gaining experience with K–5 in public school before starting at Wellan in 2018. She is training to become Montessori-certified and is excited to open LE3 this year!

 

Outside of school, Kayla enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as reading good books, watching movies and TV shows, painting, and most of all, baking and decorating cakes.

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Austin Matte, Lower Elementary 4 Teacher

Austin graduated from Stonehill College with a B.S. in Business Administration. He then joined the Peace Corps, and served communities in Nicaragua for over two years as a Small Business Development Advisor. Returning stateside, Austin pursued his interest in education research, working on research projects at the Education Development Center in Waltham. 

 

Still wanting to learn more about the way young children learn, Austin enrolled at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he attained master’s degree through the Mind, Brain, and Education program. At HGSE, Austin also worked on research projects in the Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning Laboratory, headed by Stephanie Jones. Wanting to see a whole-child, student-centered pedagogy in action, Austin then joined a Montessori school, and he has been a Montessorian ever since. He received his Primary credential from the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. 

 

In his free time, Austin has trouble sitting still, and can be found playing music, riding one of his bikes, snowboarding, learning something new, or spending time with his fiancé. 

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Cailey Purcell, Lower Elementary 4 Teacher

Cailey grew up in East Bridgewater, MA, and holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and History from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She holds her Massachusetts Teaching License PreK–2 as well as her SEI endorsement, and she is currently earning her Moderate Disabilities License. She has worked in private as well as public schools, including a special needs classroom last year for Boston Public Schools. She can speak both German and Spanish and lived in Germany one summer for school. 

 

Outside of school, Cailey loves getting outdoors, spending time with family and friends, as well as trying new food and local restaurants. Cailey is very excited to join the Wellan community and have a fun-filled year! 

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Justine Brooks, Upper Elementary 1 Teacher and Elementary/Middle School Student Support Services Coordinator

Justine graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in Elementary Education, and spent almost ten years teaching in the Cranston Public School system before she discovered the Montessori philosophy. Since that discovery, she completed the AMS 6–12 Certification with the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Lexington, MA. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Montessori Education through Xavier University. Prior to joining the Elementary teaching team at Wellan in 2015, she also taught both Lower and Upper Elementary at Quest Montessori School in Narragansett, RI.

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Brian Johnson, Upper Elementary 1 Teacher

Brian holds a BA in Sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Masters in Elementary Education from Lesley University, where he also earned his Elementary (1-6) license. Brian’s passion for working with kids started while working at an elementary after-school program in Cambridge, MA. He also worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for three years, and he recently finished his student teaching in a 5th grade classroom for Cambridge Public Schools. 

 

When he’s not at school, Brian enjoys running, reading, and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Boston Red Sox!

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Wendy Smith, Upper Elementary 2 Teacher

Wendy was born in the Adirondacks, then moved around New England a bit before settling and spending most of her formative years in Wellesley. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Denver she moved west to San Francisco for a few years where she began her primary Montessori training. She is certified in Lower Elementary from The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and Upper Elementary from the Seacoast Center. She also has a Master's in Curriculum & Instruction from Lesley University. This is Wendy's seventeenth year as a Montessori teacher.

 

When she is not teaching, Wendy spends time with her family. Her daughter Ivy is in 7th grade at Bigelow Middle School and her son Reed is in 5th grade at Underwood School. Her husband Jeff is a sculptor and film maker, and he has a studio in Boston's South End. They love to spend time in Maine and on Cape Cod with extended family when they are not at home in Newton Corner.

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Beth Schuch, Upper Elementary 2 Teacher

Beth is thrilled to be returning to Wellan in her second year as an Upper Elementary teacher. Beth completed her Upper Elementary Montessori training through the Seacoast Center and holds a Master’s in Education. She has 18 years of teaching experience and a background in differentiated instruction and curriculum design. Before joining the Wellan team, Beth was Curriculum Specialist/Coordinator and Upper Elementary Teacher at Kingsley Montessori School for 12 years. She has additional experience as a teacher at Stoneridge Montessori School in Beverly, MA and an Orton-Gillingham literacy tutor.

 

Beth’s two children also attend Wellan, and they feel so fortunate to be part of this wonderful community. Beth loves spending time with her family and also enjoys hiking, art, swimming, and yoga.

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Rachel Friebe, Support and After School Teacher

Rachel was born in Minnesota and grew up in Sidney, Nebraska. She holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Communications and Psychology. She holds her Assistant Teacher Montessori Certification from the Montessori Center of Minnesota. She loves singing songs with her Beginner friends, challenging them to work and play independently, and watching them discover new skills and passions. 

 

In her free time Rachel enjoys biking, sailboat racing, jewelry making, hiking with her dog GusGus, snowboarding, and spending time with friends and family eating and exploring.

Wellan Montessori School

80 Crescent Avenue

Newton Centre, MA 02459

Phone: (617) 969-4488   

Fax: (617) 969-4430

admissions@wellan.org

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NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS

Wellan Montessori School is a non-profit school which admits students of every race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or political beliefs to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students of the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political views.