Becky Alukonis, Beginners Division Leader

Beginner Teachers

Samantha Foley, Beginners 1 Lead Teacher

Sister Lauretta Maynard, Beginners 1 Assistant Teacher

Elyse Kalins, Beginners 2 Lead Teacher​

Mikail Jaikaran, Beginners 2 Assistant Teacher

Abby Zimage, Beginners 3 Lead Teacher

Emily Davulis, Beginners 3 Assistant Teacher

Anny Espiritu, Beginners 4 Lead Teacher

Marianne McGaffigan, Beginners 4 Assistant Teacher

Pat Hernandez, Beginners Bridge Lead Teacher (AM)

Savannah Clinton, Beginners Bridge Lead Teacher

Support and After School Teachers

Sophia Rose, Beginners Bridge Support and After School Teacher

Erin Conway, Support and After School Teacher

Hannah Chasse, Support and After School Teacher

Alessia Rosati, Support and After School Teacher

Rose Lovera, Support 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!

Samantha Foley, Beginners 1 Lead 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.


Sister Lauretta Maynard, Beginners 1 Assistant 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.


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.


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.


Abby Zimage, Beginners 3 Lead Teacher

Abby holds a Bachelors Degree from Westfield State University. She is currently enrolled in an Infant/Toddler Montessori Training Program through Northeast Montessori Institute. Prior to joining Wellan, she worked in the non-profit sector. Abby joined the Wellan Montessori community almost 5 years ago and continues to be amazed at the wonderful community that has grown here. In her spare time, she likes to do anything outdoors!


Emily Davulis, Beginners 3 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!


Anny Espiritu, Beginners 4 Lead Teacher

Anny was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Cambridge, MA. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Framingham State University. In 2017 Wellan Montessori School introduced her to the Montessori experience. She is excited to continue to learn and grow through the Cambridge Montessori Institute, where she is currently pursuing her Infant/Toddler certification. Outside of the classroom Anny enjoys biking, watching football, and spending time with friends and family.


Marianne McGaffigan, Beginners 4 Assistant 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.


Pat Hernandez, Beginners Bridge Lead 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.


Savannah Clinton, Beginners Bridge Lead Teacher

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 recently completed her Masters in Early Childhood Education at Gordon College 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.

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Sophia Rose, Beginners Bridge Support and After School Teacher

Sophia was born and raised in New York, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. In 2017, she worked at a Montessori summer program in New Jersey, and more recently she spent her time teaching preschool at a privately owned daycare in the Seaport district.


She enjoys watching movies, spending time with friends, hiking, traveling, and taking trips to NY to visit her family. Sophia is excited to see all that Wellan has to offer and is looking forward to an amazing rest of the year!


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!

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Hannah Chasse, Support and After School Teacher

Hannah grew up along the North Shore in Salem, MA. She is currently working toward her Criminal Justice degree at Worcester State University. Hannah has been working with After School for the past 3 years and will now be working full time in our Auxiliary Program. She now resides in Central Massachusetts where she enjoys taking her dog, Dream, to the beach for a cool off swim. When Hannah gets some alone time, she really enjoys relaxing and painting canvases whenever she can. Her favorite thing to do with our Beginners are art projects.


Alessia Rosati, Support and After School Teacher

After graduating from Merrimack College with a bachelor's degree in Communications, Alessia began working as an assistant teacher, since she always had her heart set on working with children. She returned to school to obtain her associates degree in Early Childhood Education and begin her career as a teacher!


Outside of work, Alessia stays active — she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, and with her beloved dog, Coco. Alessia loves to get outside in the fresh air (especially during the summertime!), take hikes with Coco, and go on small trips and adventures. 


Rose Lovera, Support Teacher

Rose was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts. Volunteering at multiple preschools and getting hands-on experience led Rose to know she wanted to pursue a teaching career — she is currently earning her child psychology degree through Bay Path University. During her first year at Wellan she was an after-school teacher, then later joined the auxiliary program, and is now a part of the Beginners team!


During her free time, she is an active advocate for black trans youth rights and participated in a march through downtown Boston this summer. Rose helped organize a peaceful protests against police brutality and white supremacy. Her goal is to continue learning and fighting towards equality for everyone. She looks forward to absorbing Montessori methods!

Wellan Montessori School

80 Crescent Avenue

Newton Centre, MA 02459

Phone: (617) 969-4488   

Fax: (617) 969-4430


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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.