With our progressive and holistic early childhood education philosophy, we understand that each child has unique needs and interests. We provide the environment and tools your child needs to thrive to the best of their abilities.

Joy Trapani



My Montessori Journey


I discovered Montessori in 2005 when I was looking for the best preschool for my 3-year-old daughter. I will never forget my first visit to a Montessori classroom. Natural sunlight was pouring through the windows, the atmosphere was warm and nurturing, the beautiful wood Montessori materials were carefully displayed and looked very inviting. What struck me the most was how quiet and peaceful the classroom was. There were twenty or so children ages three to six independently working with the hands-on materials. Every child was happy, every child was focused and engaged in purposeful activities. This is what I wanted for my child.


My daughter thrived in the Montessori classroom. I loved having the opportunity to observe a few times, particularly her Kindergarten year when she was working on a math work called the 45 Layout. I was blown away watching her do this big Montessori math work where she combined concrete and abstract learning by building a physical place value chart with golden beads and numerals. This work took a lot of focus, concentration, and patience as she counted and labeled each bead from 1 to 9999. It was incredible to watch her work independently self-correcting herself along the way. I was so happy she had the opportunity to learn this way!


Unfortunately, when my daughter was in her kindergarten year her Montessori school closed suddenly. I began homeschooling her and a small group of her friends concentrating on music (per my Bachelor of Music degree) and natural science (per my passion for the environment and all living creatures). I took my daughter and her friends to Mohonk Preserve for special hikes and nature lessons with Betty Boomer, one of the Preserve’s educators. Betty showed us her cage of monarch caterpillars and chrysalis. I was as mesmerized as the girls the first time I saw a butterfly burst out of its chrysalis. I’m thrilled that I talked Betty into being the Naturalist for Montessori of New Paltz. I still gasp each time I see a new Butterfly emerge.


My love for Montessori deepened as I created this homeschooling environment and researched more about this incredible way of learning. I spent the next year taking my first Montessori training and making plans to open a school. In September 2010, I started Montessori of New Paltz as a home-based day care with 3 students. A few years later we had a waiting list and purchased the house which is our current school on Dubois Road. My goal was to create a beautiful and nurturing atmosphere where a child’s love of learning would begin. In September 2020, to celebrate our 10-year anniversary we expanded and started our elementary program. Our program is such a success that we are currently renovating to make additional classroom space.


I’m so proud of the extraordinary work our teachers did last year to create a safe and nurturing environment while following the strictest CDC guidelines. We had an extremely successful year of in person learning even with the added difficulty of teaching during a pandemic. Our focus continues to be on educating the whole child, with their emotional, physical, social, and academic growth which are all of equal importance.


A little bit more about me…


I am a MACTE trained Montessori teacher with a Montessori Diploma to teach Preschool and Kindergarten. I have been teaching Montessori for 11 years and I’m a Member of American Montessori Society. 

I am an incredibly proud mother of a 19-year-old marine biology student.


For 29 years I have volunteered for Stockings with Care, an all-volunteer organization that fulfills the wishes of children in living in crisis. I am a co-founder of this wonderful non-profit and was co- president of from 1992-2010. I also created and ran our subsidiary organization First Day NY from 2077-2013. Donors created a personalized backpack for a specific child which included an outfit for the first day of school as well as books for his/her personal library and all the necessary school supplies for a successful year.

Prior to becoming a mother and a Montessori teacher, I was a five-time Emmy award-winning senior producer of the Rosie O’Donnell Show. I loved creating all of Rosie’s production numbers and produced all the Broadway performances. The best day of my television career was producing Barbra Streisand. My prime-time TV credits include the Tony awards, the TV Guide awards, and A Rosie Christmas. My love of music and musicals is obvious in my classroom. My philosophy is, “Don’t say it if you can sing it?”

Meet Our Director


Ms. Julie - Primary Director

I am beyond grateful to be a member of the Montessori of New Paltz family and such a dedicated group of teachers as I begin my second year here. Our school community is a beautiful thing to be a part of!


A little bit about myself:

I started working as a teaching assistant in a Montessori school in Danbury, Connecticut, after graduating from Stony Brook University in 1996. I was so enamored with the Montessori technique that I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else but working as a Montessori Guide. I earned an AMS Montessori Early Childhood certificate from WSMS-TEP in New York City and spent more than 20 years as a lead guide at the same school where I began my career.


My favorite things about teaching Montessori are helping children become independent learners and nurturing their curiosity and quest for learning. My goal is to make learning enjoyable by incorporating lots of smiles and humor into the classroom.


Outside of the classroom, I enjoy being with my husband, Gerald, my son, Jimmy, and my fur baby Beanz. I love going to great restaurants, outdoor walks, and all kinds of festivals with friends and family.

Ms. Sarah - Elementary Guide
Sarah picture.jpg

A wife, a mother to four little souls, a bookworm, an apprentice of the world, a purpose driven adventurer who lives life with intent, and a Montessorian at heart.

Sarah graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education K-8. She has spent many years as a public school educator where she worked with children from many different age groups, cultures, and backgrounds. It wasn’t until living in Japan that Sarah discovered her love of Montessori practices. In fact, those practices fell right in-line with her style of teaching. Witnessing the growth, confidence, and independence fostered in her own children through Montessori, Sarah knew this was where her heart and passion were being led.

Sarah set out to obtain training in Montessori practices and philosophies. After two and a half years of training she became certified in both lower and upper Montessori Elementary curriculums through The Center for Guided Montessori Studies, a MACTE accredited training program.

Her knowledge and experience working with both lower and upper elementary levels is beneficial to all in understanding where her students are coming from while simultaneously knowing where they are going academically. She always enjoys growing and learning right alongside her students and making those connections that allow for a rich learning experience. 

Ms. Pat - Primary Guide

This year is my fourth year working at the Montessori of New Paltz school in New Paltz, NY. I have met some incredible students, beautiful families, and friendly staff during my involvement at this school.

I presently reside in Newburgh, NY, with my family. I'm a MACTE certified teacher with an Early Childhood Credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and a Bachelor of Science_Degree from Mercy College.

My passion for teaching evolved when my children were attending a school in Newburgh, NY. I liked the Montessori method of learning, and I started volunteering at the school. l eventually became a teacher there, working with Pre-K children. It was an enjoyable experience. I am now working at the
Montessori of New Paltz school, and my objective is to help to create a self-reliant, safe, and excellent learning environment for the students.