MONTESSORI OF NEW PALTZ
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.
Meet Our Director
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 working independently with these beautiful concrete materials and 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 at that time. Betty showed us her cage of monarch caterpillars and chrysalises. 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 daycare 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 in 2021 we had to build an addition to create more classroom space. I’m so proud of the extraordinary work our teachers do every day, but particularly during the pandemic creating a safe and nurturing environment while following the strictest CDC guidelines. Our focus continues to be on educating the whole child, with their emotional, physical, social, and academic growth 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 since 2009 and I’m a Member of American Montessori Society. I am an incredibly proud mother of a marine biology student who is passionate about saving our planet, particularly our oceans and all its living creatures. For over 30 years I have volunteered for Stockings with Care, an all-volunteer organization that fulfills the wishes of children living in crisis. I am a co-founder of this wonderful non-profit and was co-president from 1992 until 2010. I also created and ran our subsidiary organization First Day NY from 2007 to 2013. Donors for First Day created a personalized backpack for a child which included an outfit for the first day of school as well as books for their personal library and all the necessary school supplies to start a successful school 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 of the Broadway performances. The best days of my television career were producing the two hour long specials with 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 where my philosophy is, “Don’t say it if you can sing it!”
MEET OUR TEAM
Ms. Julie - Director of Primary Program
A very wise teacher, Gilbert Highnet, said, "I consider a day’s teaching wasted if we do not all have one hearty laugh.” When Ms. Julie finished her undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University in 1996, she began working as a teaching assistant at a Montessori school in Danbury, Connecticut. Julie fell in love with the Montessori method and could think of no other career path for herself besides that of a Montessori Guide. She has loved her time as a Guide since she graduated from New York City's WSMS-TEP with an AMS Montessori Early Childhood degree. Julie says, "Children are so much fun and inspiring to work with, and I feel lucky to be in a career where I can help them grow and develop and encourage their natural curiosity and desire to learn. The little things, like a hug, a funny story, or even just a child's smile, brighten my day. I think that as early educators, we help build a foundation that will aid the child on their educational and personal journeys for the rest of their lives." "A little bit about me: I grew up in a suburb of Boston, where I learned to love all Boston sports teams (and to always root against the New York Yankees). My family moved to New York when I was 18, and I have been here ever since. In 2001, I married a wonderful Bronx man, Gerald, who happens to love the Yankees as much as I love the Red Sox. We have a son, Jimmy, who is the best of both of us. To my relief, Jimmy is also a devoted supporter of my beloved Boston teams: the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Tom Brady!" "Just like the children, I love Montessori of New Paltz! I look forward to each new partnership with families, as together we support and encourage the children. Our small community is incredibly rewarding, and I believe I've made some lifelong friends here."
Ms. Sarah - Director of Elementary Program
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 University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education K-8. She 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. 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 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.
My name is Pat Green. I am currently working at the Montessori of New Paltz school in New Paltz, NY, and I have been here for many beautiful years beginning in 2016. I have met some incredible students, lovely families, and friendly staff during my involvement at this school. I presently reside in Newburgh, NY, with my family. I am 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 private school in Newburgh, NY. I liked the Montessori method of learning they were using, and I started volunteering at the school. I 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 create a self-reliant, safe, and excellent learning environment for the students.
Ms. Pat- Primary Guide
Ms. Nicole - Elementary Guide
Born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Nicole always dreamed of becoming a teacher. When she was in secondary school, a career day introduced her to her first Montessori classroom. She was amazed and made up her mind to become a teacher. Nicole moved to Brooklyn, New York in 2000 to pursue a degree in Math and in Elementary Education. During this time she also worked as a substitute in a Montessori school and completing all of her student teaching hours. If she was not in class learning, she was in a class teaching. Montessori is amazing to Nicole! It covers everything she was trained for as a public school teacher and so much more! Once Nicole graduated college she started teaching in Montessori full time and earned her certification through CMTE NY at the College of New Rochelle. Together with her husband Chris, Nicole is parent of two sons. Connor and Logan started out in Montessori before moving to public school. The foundation they had in Montessori has always amazed their teachers. They share her love of reading and art, and craft together whenever possible. Nicole says: "I became a teacher to be an advocate for children. I have always been amazed at how intelligent and creative children are and my dream is to continue to foster that."
Ms. Judy - Assistant to the Director
Ms. Judy is a mother, grandmother, sailor, assistant teacher, and a former restaurant/jazz club owner. In 2007, she began working at the Child Development Center of the Hamptons, the first New York State Charter School catering only to children on the spectrum. It was partially funded by media outlets such as CBS, as well as New York State. Judy was subsequently hired by the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district on the North Fork of Long Island where she worked as a special education teaching assistant for 9 years and had her own tutoring company. With her husband, Wes, Judy co-owned The Lion’s Head literary bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. They were both avid sailors and spent summers living aboard their sloop, Blue Monk, in East Hampton and Sag Harbor. "We sailed throughout the northeast taking our children on adventures beyond our wildest dreams," says Judy. Judy continues: "I thank the Montessori community for the opportunity to give back to children some of the wealth of understanding they have provided to me."