FACULTY & STAFF

 

Katie Hamill, Primary Division Leader

Primary Teachers

Jutta Lossner-Liang, Primary 1 Teacher

Ashley Epstein, Primary 1 Teacher

Claudia Schmiedigen, Primary 2 Teacher

Jasmin Argueta, Primary 2 Teacher

Esther Lee, Primary 3 Teacher

Sachié Karmacharya, Primary 3 Teacher

Fiona Gohery, Primary 4 Teacher

Priya Venkateswaran, Primary 4 Teacher

Toa Rivera, Primary 4 Intern

Sarah Chadwick, Primary 5 Teacher

Wei Stanten, Primary 5 Teacher

Allison Gass, Primary 6 Teacher

Christine Newsham Mak, Primary 6 Teacher

Amanda Cusanno, Primary 7 Teacher

Ana Marban-Lorenzo, Primary 7 Teacher

Support and After School Teachers

Kim Burk, After School Teacher

Tessa Landry, After School Teacher

Lex Bell, After School Teacher

Marianne McGaffigan, Support and After School Teacher

Savannah Clinton, Primary Support

Rochelle Thorpe, After School Teacher

 

Katie Hamill, Primary Division Leader

Katie holds a BA in Human Development from Lesley University. She completed her Montessori training for 3-6 year olds at the Northeast Montessori Institute. Prior to joining our school, she worked as an assistant in a Montessori Primary classroom in Maine. She hails from Cape Cod, but has also lived in Maine and Florida.

 

She loves working with children because every day is different! It is also wonderful to watch each child grow and mature over a three-year period in her classroom. Katie has three children who attend Wellan, and they love their classrooms! Last year, she also welcomed a son. Katie feels very blessed to be a part of the school, and to watch her own children benefit from the education here as well.

Jutta Lossner-Liang, Primary 1 Teacher

Jutta was born in Berlin, Germany and trained in Montessori education at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, where she studied and worked as a Montessori Teacher for many years. In 2004, she moved to Brookline, MA with her husband and their two young daughters. She has been with our school since its inception and enjoys coming to school every day!

 

When Jutta is not in the classroom, she is adjusting to her new life with 2 college girls, enjoying more time with her husband, learning and improving in foreign languages (so far she is fluent in 3 1/2...) and reading. Her favorite books are historical novels and field guides on plants and animals. In her backpack you will always find a binocular and a magnifier!

 

On Saturdays, she has been teaching German to second graders at the German Saturday School Boston for many years - but of course, her students in Primary 1 are also quite fluent!

Ashley Epstein, Primary 1 Teacher

Ashley earned her BA in English and American Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY—and then she came straight to work at our school. Her first year at Wellan was an internship year while she completed her Montessori Primary training through the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center in Newton, MA. Ashley has been here ever since and loves it!

 

She lives in Newton with her husband, Adam, and their two children, Tobias and Jonah. Ashley is so grateful that she gets to send her children to Wellan because she believes that the Montessori philosophy of following the child in a prepared environment works wonders to create strong, independent, caring children. Ashley loves to read, write, and spend time with her family hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine.

Claudia Schmiedigen, Primary 2 Teacher

Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Claudia joined us from Waterfront Montessori School. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a graphic designer. An AMS-certified teacher, one of her biggest pleasures is to follow a child for three years and see the progress from a shy, unsure being to a child full of confidence, who loves school and learning. Claudia studied marketing and advertising at ESPM, Sao Paulo, received her Montessori training at the St. Nicholas Montessori Training Center in London, and earned a degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. She is married with two daughters, and loves spending time with family, reading historical novels, taking long walks and enjoying art.

Jasmin Argueta, Primary 2 Teacher

Jasmin grew up in Roslindale, MA and attended UMass Boston, where she received her BA in Art with a concentration in Printmaking and Drawing/ Painting. Prior to Wellan, Jasmin worked at the Boys and Girls Club community center for three years, and also spent two summers as a team leader for Camp Harbor View. Additionally, she worked with preschool students at the Tobin Beaudet School in Needham for two years in their after-school program, where she also led their art club. Jasmin brings her creative and enthusiastic spirit to Wellan, and she enjoys getting to know the students on a personal level. She values the family-oriented environment at Wellan and its emphasis on communication.

 

Outside of school, Jasmin loves to make art, spend time with family and friends, and travel. Jasmin's family hails from El Salvador, and she tries to visit every year! She also likes taking smaller trips around New England and searching for the best french fries and/or gyros in the area.

Esther Lee, Primary 3 Teacher

Esther was born and raised in Korea, and attained her Bachelor of Arts in Korean Literature and Communication at Korea University Seoul. Esther spent the following ten years pursuing her love of advertising and broadcasting business in Korea as an art director. After moving to the United States, Esther discovered Montessori education as she researched different teaching methods during her time as a stay-at-home mom. After attending an open house at Walnut Park Montessori, her plans changed from pursuing a career as an art director in an advertising company to that of a Montessori primary teacher. Inspired and motivated by Maria Montessori’s vision, Esther graduated as an AMS certified primary teacher.


After completing her AMS Early Childhood Credential from NEMTEC (New England Montessori Teacher Education Center) in 2005 and two years as an assistant, Esther soon found a home within our school in 2006. She brings with her over 15 years of experience within the Boston Korean School and Montessori education as well as her rapport with both children and parents. Her patience and positive spirit contribute to a peaceful classroom environment where curiosity and exploration prevail.


Esther lives in Brookline with her husband DK and daughter Maria. Esther is an avid reader and loves to spend time walking and cooking for her friends and family.

Sachié Karmacharya, Primary 3 Teacher

Sachié Karmacharya is excited to join Ms. Esther in P3 this year! Previously Sachié was an Associate Primary Teacher at Cambridge Montessori School for the last four years; and prior to that, she was a substitute teacher at Walnut Park Montessori School. Sachié has a Bachelor's Degree from Cambridge College in Psychology with a focus on Children and Families. She is EEC certified and AMS certified through NEMTEC.

 

Sachié is the mother to two wonderful Wellan Elementary students. In her spare time Sachié enjoys yoga, running, reading, and spending time outdoors with her husband, Santosh, and their two sons, Ashwin and Syrus. Sachié is passionate about health and wellness and education. She is very happy to be a part of the Wellan Community!

Fiona Gohery, Primary 4 Teacher

Fiona was born and raised in Ireland. She has been a full time nanny to several families in the Newton area. It was during this time, while one of the children she nannied for attended our school, that Fiona got to see first hand the positive, authentic and meaningful learning that a Montessori education provides. She completed her Montessori training at MI-NE in Beverly and is now delighted to teach in Primary 4. Outside of school, Fiona enjoys running and Crossfit. She lives with her wife Allie and their 4 dogs!

Priya Venkateswaran, Primary 4 Teacher

Priya was born in India and moved to the US in 2006. She got her teaching certification for the pre-primary level in India, and taught in private schools before moving here. She stumbled upon the Montessori philosophy while exploring careers and fell in love when she realized how effective it is. Priya completed her training in 2010 and has been teaching in a Montessori classroom since 2009. She joined our school in 2016 and is now coordinating a training class for interns and non-Montessori-trained support staff. Priya's daughter also attends Wellan. When she is not teaching or convincing others about the benefit of Montessori, she likes to spend time with her family and read books.

Toa Rivera, Primary 4 Intern

Coming Soon.

Sarah Chadwick, Primary 5 Teacher

Sarah received her Montessori training at the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center, and has been teaching at our school since 2012. Sarah is a native of New Hampshire and holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland, Ohio and an MM in Opera Performance from The Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA.

 

In addition to her role as Primary 5 Teacher, Sarah teaches drama for the Enrichment Program at Wellan. She also performs locally with theatre groups and choruses. Ask her about her next show!

Wei Stanten, Primary 5 Teacher

Wei Stanten was born and raised in China. After witnessing the wonder of Montessori educational method first hand from her daughters, she was inspired to pursue her Montessori Primary training through the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. She has been teaching Montessori in a variety of settings for the past ten years and feels fortunate to contribute to the vibrant Wellan Montessori School community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and absorbing new ideas. She also loves to explore the world with an inquisitive mind and ponder the miracles of nature.

Christine Newsham Mak, Primary 6 Teacher

Christine completed her Bachelor of Arts at UMass Boston where she studied Art History. As a life long learner, she completed her early childhood Montessori training at NEMTEC in 2018.

 

Christine can fly. She began studying circus arts in 2002 on the tropical island of Turks & Caicos and has spent more than a decade instructing others in trapeze and organizing her own circus shows.

 

When not at Wellan, you can find Christine at Pacific Bay Resort in Panama – an eco tourism resort which she helped build on a private island in the tropical jungle which has been mistaken for paradise on more than one occasion.

Allison Gass, Primary 6 Teacher

Allison is excited to be joining the wonderful community at Wellan Montessori! Allison has been teaching Montessori for twelve years. The past eight years she spent teaching at Kingsley Montessori School in the Back Bay. Allison received her Montessori teaching credentials from New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. She holds her BA in Electronic Media from Towson University located in Maryland. 

 

Allison spends her free time with her wife and two daughters. On the weekends, they enjoy going to festivals, local farmers markets, and exploring new playgrounds. 

Amanda Cusanno, Primary 7 Teacher

Amanda was born and raised in Connecticut, but after college decided that Boston was the place to be! She holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Spanish from Roger Williams University, and a M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Champlain College. She completed her Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori training at the Montessori Institute of New England. 

 

Outside of school, Amanda loves to be outside! Any time by the ocean is a good time! She loves exploring and finding new places, hiking, and swimming. 

Ana Marban-Lorenzo, Primary 7 Teacher

Ana is originally from Spain, and also grew up in Belgium! She returned to Spain as a young adult to complete her LLB and Masters in tax law from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. When she first moved to the United States, she lived in NYC and eventually moved to Boston to get an LLM in American law from Boston University. Ana worked in international trade and business development until she discovered and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. Ana began teaching Montessori primary in 2017 and received her certification from NEMTEC in 2018. Ana was drawn to Montessori because of how child-centered the approach is, and the flexibility and respect for the child. She enjoys the process of enabling children to find and follow their interests and move at the right pace.

 

Ana lives in East Boston with her husband and son, who attends Wellan. Ana enjoys exploring new places in New England with her family, especially towns by the ocean. Ana enjoys learning and speaking different languages.

Kim Burk, After School Teacher

Kim was born in Boston and grew up in Wakefield, MA. She holds a B.A. from Simmons College in Sociology, Women's Studies and Music and a M.A. from Brandeis University in Cultural Production. She's taught at Brookline Art Center and the New Art Center in Newton. She loves to create art with primary age friends, watch them explore new materials and see them discover their unique creativity.

 

In her spare time Kim enjoys swimming, doing yoga, taking metal smithing classes, going to concerts and discovering restaurants or coffee shops in Boston (MA), Burlington (VT) and beyond.

Tessa Landry, After School Teacher

Tessa graduated from California State University of Dominguez Hills with their BA in Behavioral Science. Before joining Wellan, Tessa was a Residential Director for a summer program at Yale University and an experienced dog trainer. Tessa enjoys to poke around in the Drama community, from participating with traveling improv teams to performing in community theater.

 

Originally from California, Tessa looks forward to playing in the snow with the students and making their first snow angel on the playground.

Lex Bell, After School Teacher

Coming Soon.

Marianne McGaffigan, Support and After School Teacher

Marianne holds a B.A. from Miami University, Oxford, OH; a Graduate Certificate from Harvard University; and a Dual M.Ed. from Lesley University. Prior to joining Wellan Montessori in March 2019, she was a reading specialist and English teacher at Milestones Day School in Waltham. Marianne was born in Boston and raised in the Boston and Chicago suburbs. When not at work Marianne can generally be found on the Cape and Islands with friends and family. She is passionate about animal welfare/rescue and has been quite involved with fundraising for the MSPCA and ARL/Boston. She's always interested in travel and new adventures, a great book, and live music.

Savannah Clinton, Primary Support

Savannah received her BS in Environmental Studies from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and since graduating, has spread her passion for organic farming and the environment as a farm and garden-based educator. Prior to joining the community at Wellan, Savannah worked at Holly Hill Farm—an organic vegetable farm in Cohassett, MA—as well as the Trustees of Reservation, where she ran an urban gardening program for elementary students in Boston Public Schools. She is currently working towards both her Masters in Early Childhood Education at Gordon College, MA and her Montessori Certification at The Montessori Institute – New England. 

 

Originally from Duxbury, MA, Savannah now lives in South Boston. In her free time, she loves sailing with her family, skiing as much as possible, and gardening.

Rochelle Thorpe, After School Teacher

Coming Soon.

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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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