FACULTY & STAFF

 

Becky Alukonis, Beginners Division Leader

Beginner Teachers

Sister Lauretta Maynard, Beginners 1 Teacher

Samantha Foley, Beginners 1 Teacher

Emily Proia, Beginners 1 Assistant Teacher

Elyse Kalins, Beginners 2 Lead Teacher

Grace Spillman, Beginners 2 Assistant Teacher

Mikail Jaikaran, Beginners 2 Assistant Teacher

Pat DiCarlo, Beginners 3 Teacher (AM)

Anny Espiritu, Beginners 3 Assistant Teacher

Lauren Hawkes, Beginners Bridge Lead Teacher

Abby Zimage, Beginners Bridge Assistant Teacher

Christiana Jamroz, Beginners Bridge Assistant Teacher

Support and After School Teachers

Rachel Friebe, Support and After School Teacher

Erin Conway, Support and After School Teacher

Alessia Rosati, Support and After School Teacher

Becky Alukonis, Beginners Division Leader

Becky earned her BA in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross and her M. Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. Becky has been a Lead Teacher in Montessori toddler classrooms since 2003 and completed her Montessori infant-toddler training through The Montessori Institute of Denver. She joined Wellan in 2012. Becky lives in Waltham with her husband, Ken, daughter, Madeline, and dog, Bella. She loves to teach the Beginner students new and novel songs and finger-plays. Becky appreciates the vibrant and joyful nature of the Wellan community!

Sister Lauretta Maynard, Beginners 1 Teacher

Sr. Lauretta was born on the beautiful and tropical island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. She grew up in the capital city, Castries. While English is the official language, a French-based Creole is also spoken. St. Lucia enjoys a dual heritage which reflects both British and French influences. The island is approximately 2,600 miles from New York. Sr. Lauretta’s family remain in St. Lucia in large part, except for three older brothers who live in England, St. Croix, and North Carolina.


Sr. Lauretta received her teacher certification from Sir Arthur Lewis College in St. Lucia and at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. After moving to the United States, she earned her BA from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, and her Master’s in Education from Boston College. Following a teaching and administration career at schools in Trinidad and St. Lucia, she has worked in a Montessori environment for the past 13 years.


Her teaching career has given her the opportunity to serve students and administer to the needs of the whole child—physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. According to her, “it is a humbling and rewarding experience.”


Both inside and outside of the classroom, Sr. Lauretta is free-spirited, adventurous, and fun-loving, with a great sense of humor. She loves the great outdoors, hiking, dancing, singing, music, and going to the movies.

Samantha Foley, Beginners 1 Teacher

Samantha grew up in the town of Tyngsboro, MA. She holds a BA from Salem State University in Psychology. After working for 3 years at Melmark New England, teaching children with autism spectrum disorders, she enrolled in The Montessori Institute of New England and earned her Infant and Toddler certification. Samantha joined the Wellan Montessori team in 2014 and has been overjoyed ever since! She believes in the hands-on, purposeful learning that a Montessori education provides. Samantha currently lives in Charlestown, MA. When she is not in the classroom, Samantha enjoys running and is often training for half-marathons. She loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and spend time with her friends and family.

Emily Proia, Beginners 1 Assistant Teacher

Emily was born and raised in Boston, MA. She graduated from Boston Latin Academy and went on to study accounting at Massachusetts Bay Community College. Emily started working at Wellan Montessori School in 2012 in the Summer Program and then came on in 2016 to help out with the after school program. This is where she fell in love with teaching and decided to switch paths from accounting to early childhood education. She is excited to be a part of the Wellan Montessori team full time now and implement all of the techniques she has acquired along the way. Outside the classroom, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and friends, taking road trips to new places, and enjoying the outdoors!

Elyse Kalins, Beginners 2 Lead Teacher

Before joining Wellan Montessori School, Elyse worked for four years at Jarrow Montessori in Boulder, Colorado. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing and literature from Marlboro College in Vermont. She obtained her AMS infant/toddler accreditation from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

 

Elyse believes in the Montessori method because it encourages the natural excitement that learning brings to all children. When she’s not working with the little ones, she likes to do all kinds of crafts, from sewing to paper-making.

Grace Stansell, Beginners 2 Assistant Teacher

Grace was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from the University of Arkansas. Prior to working at Wellan Montessori School she taught toddlers for two years at a small private school in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

In her spare time Grace enjoys travel, art, and spending time with family and friends.

Mikail Jaikaran, Beginners 2 Assistant Teacher

Mikail grew up in Cambridge, MA. He has spent time living, studying, working, and enjoying the cuisine of a few different places since then, namely Boston, Logroño, Seville, and Sydney. He graduated from Boston University in 2011 with a BA in Hispanic language and literature. In his time there, he completed coursework and a year-long internship with a local preschool in order to earn his Early Childhood teaching certificate. In the past, he has taught: ESL in Spain, the importance of the mitzvah to little ones at the JCC, and differing art classes to inner-city children at CMCB’s SummerARTS program. He has been with Wellan Montessori since 2014.

Pat DiCarlo, Beginners 3 Teacher (AM)

Pat (Andrée) attended college for Early Childhood education and is happy to say she is doing exactly what she set out to do. She has both Infant Toddler and Early Childhood Training in Montessori, and has worked with all three age groups throughout her 25 years in a Montessori school.

 

Although born in New York, she grew up in Maryland until high school, when she moved to Newton and attended Newton South High School as did her four grown children, before going on to Framingham State College.

 

Pat likes nothing more than being outside doing anything active and relaxing with a book at the end of the day. She spends as much time as possible with her four young grandchildren, happily awaiting the arrival of her fifth.

Anny Espiritu, Beginners 3 Assistant Teacher

Anny was born in the Dominican Republic, and shortly after moved to Cambridge MA, where she still lives today. Wellan Montessori School introduced her to the Montessori experience, and she is excited to continue to foster and grow in this environment. Anny is currently finishing up her degree in Liberal Studies at Framingham State University. Sometimes in life challenges may seem to be inevitable. Anny believes that a positive attitude not only allows you to reflect on what went wrong, but also it allows you to continue to move forward. She approaches everything with a big smile and a positive attitude, and hopes to model that for her students.

Lauren Hawkes, Beginners Bridge Lead Teacher

Lauren was born in Boston and grew up in Framingham. She holds a BA in Communications from Simmons College. She completed the Massachusetts Elementary Educator’s Licensure program at Regis College, and her Montessori Primary Certification at NEMTEC. Lauren began her teaching career in the Wayland Public Schools. She worked for many years as a Lead Teacher at the Pincushion Hill Montessori School in Ashland, and also at the Riverbend School in South Natick. ​This is Lauren's 18th year as a classroom teacher, and 15th as a Montessorian.

Lauren is a proud parent of four amazing young women who work and live in the Boston area, and she spends much of her free time in the city with them.  She enjoys reading and participating in book discussion groups. She also enjoys her time with her dog, Harper.

Abby Zimage, Beginners Bridge Assistant Teacher

Abby graduated Westfield State University with a B.A in Communications. During her college years she discovered her love for working with children while working at an After School Program and as a nanny. She is excited for this upcoming school year and ready for a year of learning!

Christiana Jamroz, Beginners Bridge Assistant Teacher

Christiana trained as a classical musician at The Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Emerson College in Boston. She specializes in Opera and German Art Song and is a skilled salsa dancer. Born in Lima, Peru, she was adopted at a very young age by a family from Chicopee, MA. She is a spirited young mind who truly enjoys learning. Be it music, dance, or teaching, she believes the best way to learn is by immersing oneself in one’s passions wholeheartedly. And while she continues her journey at Wellan, she incorporates what she learns into her studies of music and dance. Christiana intends on studying the Montessori Philosophy at a more intimate level in order to keep the learning flame bright and strong.

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.

Erin Conway, Support and After School Teacher

Erin grew up and currently resides in central Massachusetts. She is actively working towards her Master's degree in Community Arts and Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Erin previously earned her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and Care from Bridgewater State University. Throughout both academic experiences, Erin has been assembling and implementing practices and lessons on mindfulness with toddler and primary aged students. She gained teaching experience as the Assistant Pre-Primary Teacher and Extended Day Facilitator at Concord Montessori School, and Infant Teacher at the Children's Center at Groton.

 

In her spare time, Erin enjoys painting, drawing, cooking, and visiting family in Maine. Erin is extremely grateful and excited to work with the Beginners and get to know the Wellan community at large!

Alessia Rosati, Support and After School Teacher

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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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