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Staff Profiles

Infant/ Linden Class


Diane Briggs, Infant Teacher Mrs. Briggs joined eBridge in June 2019. She is EEC lead teacher certified and has a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Westfield State University. Mrs. Briggs has more than 20 years of experience in public and private settings. She has worked with all age groups but has found working with infants to be especially rewarding.

Mrs. Briggs is married and has three children. She enjoys hiking with her dogs, biking and traveling.

 
 
 
 
 
 


Jamie Spears, Infant Teacher Ms. Spears (BA, MA, PhD) is an EEC-certified infant and toddler teacher , and is undergoing her Montessori training.

Ms. Spears received her BA in Rhetoric, MA in Teaching ESL, and Ph.D. in English Literature. She has a great love of reading, which she hopes to impart to children. She has worked with infants and toddlers for nearly two years, after completing a career switch from academia. She previously taught literature and creative writing at the University of Sunderland (UK) and is very happy to be transitioning into working with much younger learners.
 
 
 
 
 

Toddler/ Hickory Class


Hayley Fitzsimmons, Lead Teacher Ms. Fitzsimmons first began working at eBridge Montessori in 2011 as an assistant teacher while she was in high school. After a few years of self-discovery involving a variety of college courses, jobs and seven months in Alaska training sled dogs, she has returned to eBridge. Hayley is deeply passionate about working with young children and greatly admires the Montessori method. She completed her AMI A to I training program in the summer of 2019 at Montessori Northwest in Portland Oregon. Hayley is furthering her education by working towards her bachelors in early childhood education at Becker College.

Outside of the classroom, she enjoys hiking with her dog, knitting, cooking, singing and reading.

 


Charmaine Mae DeBay, Assistant Teacher Mrs. DeBay joined eBridge in June 2019. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from West Visayas State University in the Philippines. She also holds an Infant/Toddler certification from DEEC. In previous years, she has worked as an elementary teacher and as a childcare provider. Mrs. DeBay is very enthusiastic to gain knowledge and to expand her understanding of child development in a Montessori environment.

Outside of work, Mrs. DeBay enjoys cooking new recipes and trying various cuisines of different cultures. She loves to go on adventures in tropical islands, trying their local food and doing snorkeling with her husband.
 
 

Toddler/ Juniper Class

Rika Ishiwata, Lead Teacher Ms. Ishiwata joined eBridge Montessori School in 2009. She is from Japan and worked at a Montessori school in Newton for 7 years before she joined eBridge. She has a bachelor’s from Lesley College. She completed Association Montessori Internationale primary training in 2003. Ms. Ishiwata believes children open the door and begin to journey by discovering and exploring their surroundings. It is through the child’s own interests and motivations, that they discover valuable insights into themselves.

Ms. Ishiwata lives with her husband, daughter and a bulldog. In her spare time, Ms. Ishiwata enjoys baking bread and spending time with her friends and husband’s family.

 
 
 


Preeni Navaratna, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Navaratna joined eBridge in September 2016. She is EEC lead teacher certified and has a BS degree in chemistry from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and a diploma in Montessori education. Mrs. Navaratna has been a toddler and preschool teacher since 2005. Prior to that, she was a full-time mother for 10 years.

Mrs. Navaratna was born on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Both of her parents were teachers. After she got married she immigrated to the USA. She has two daughters. Mrs. Navaratna has lived in Michigan, New York and then Atlanta, for 9 years, before moving to Northborough in 2001. She enjoys cooking, traveling, photography, and taking care of the family dog Sammy.

 
 


Sarah Fuller, Assistant Teacher Ms. Fuller joined eBridge in April 2019. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dean College in the spring of 2017, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Dance and English. Coming from a large family, Ms. Fuller has always loved interacting with young children, and is duly excited to join eBridge’s toddler community in the fall of 2019! Ms. Fuller’s previous experience in working with children includes teaching art classes at a local Paint-Your-Own-Pottery & Art Studio and leading and assisting various dance classes and workshops.

Ms. Fuller enjoys showcasing her creative spirit through several art forms, including writing, visual arts, and dance. In her spare time, she participates in ballet and modern classes with prominent dance companies throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

 
 

Toddler/ Teak Class

Aarthy Anbarasan, Lead TeacherMrs. Anbarasan joined eBridge Montessori in January of 2019. She has a background in Fashion Design and worked as a Fashion Merchandiser in Bengaluru, India. She also earned her Master in Sociology from India. After spending a few years taking care of her young children and a lot of time volunteering in her daughter’s school she realized how much she enjoyed spending time with children. She has developed a deep passion for the field of early education. Mrs. Anbarasan has earned her toddler/preschool EEC certification and now she is very happy and excited to be working and learning in the Montessori environment. She feels being a teacher and helping young children learn and grow is very rewarding. She has finished her first summer of AMI A to I training program in Hartford, CT.

Mrs. Anbarasan lives with her husband and two children. She loves to try new recipes and visit new places with her family. She is looking forward to completing the AMI training next summer.

Catalina Nater, Assistant TeacherMs. Nater joined eBridge in February of 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood from Metropolitan University of Jayuya, Puerto Rico. She spent some of her early childhood in Worcester, MA; but it was not until 2016 that she came back to live in Worcester. Soon after moving to Worcester she earned her certification in EEC. She feels blessed and extremely grateful to be joining eBridge Montessori!!!

Ms. Nater enjoys spending time with her daughter, music, traveling and horseback riding when she is visiting back home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Primary/ Birch Class

Susanna Merrill, Lead Teacher
Ms. Merrill graduated from AMI primary training in Atlanta in the spring of 2015, and moved to Massachusetts immediately afterwards. She is happy to have found eBridge!

She earned her B.A. from Middlebury College, an M.A. in Russian literature from UC Berkeley, and an M.Ed. from Loyola University of Baltimore. She loves watching each child grow into her/his own unique person.

Ms. Merrill enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, and reading, but does not enjoy any weather described as “wintry mix.”

 


Anila Soomro, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Soomro joined eBridge in 2012. She earned her bachelor’s in biology from University Of Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to the USA thirteen years ago. Mrs. Soomro worked in a traditional preschool for 5 years in Watertown, MA, before moving to Westborough in 2011. Teaching young children is her passion.

Her other interests are listening to music, reading, and cooking. She can speak English, Urdu, Balochi, Sindhi and can understand Dari.

 
 
 
 
 


Rebecca Edwards, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Edwards joined eBridge in August of 2019. She has been working in childcare since 2012 in the U.K and the states. She came to America in 2016 with her family. She is certified by DEEC.

Mrs. Edwards enjoys horseback riding, skiing, and love trying new outdoor activities. She is excited to see what New England has to offer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Primary/ Cedar Class


Debra Ramsey, Lead Teacher Mrs. Ramsey has been with eBridge Montessori School since it was established in 2005. She has 17 years of experience working with preschool-aged children in a group setting. Prior to joining the eBridge community, she operated a licensed family child care program which was accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Mrs. Ramsey holds a Child Development Associate’s and the Association Montessori Internationale primary teaching diploma from the Montessori Training Center of New England.

Mrs. Ramsey enjoys reading, boating, traveling and spending quality time with her family. She and her husband have two adult children and three grandchildren.
 
 
 


 
 
Gira Tamboli, Assistant Teacher In January 2006, Mrs. Tamboili started working at eBridge as an assistant teacher. Mrs. Tamboli received her bachelor’s in economics from Gujarat Patan University in India. She loves working with children. She completed her Early Childhood training course through the Department of Early Education and Children in May 2006. She attended the Montessori conference and the Montessori refresher course for AMI in 2007.

Mrs. Tamboli is married and has two children. Her husband works as a software manager in a financial company. She has a passion for henna designing, cooking, and gardening.

 
 


Julie Docherty, Assistant Teacher Ms. Julie Docherty joined eBridge Montessori School in March 2015. She graduated from Quinsigamond Community College in 2001 with her associate’s degree in early childhood. She has been working in the field since the year 2001 after graduating from college. Ms. Docherty has enjoyed her many years that she has worked in the field with children. She loves being able to watch each child grow and develop. She really believes in the Montessori Method and loves aiding children in any way that she can.

Ms. Docherty loves spending time with her daughter, family, and friends on the weekends. She also likes going shopping, walking, biking and going to the beach.

 
 

Primary/ Dogwood Class

Rachael

Rachael Gerhard, Lead Teacher, Mrs. Gerhard joined eBridge in 2013. She has helped to educate over 300 children in Montessori schools since 1988. Following three years as an Assistant Teacher, she earned her Primary (age 3 – 6) diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland OR. She has been a Lead Teacher in Massachusetts ever since, parenting her son and daughter concurrently with her teaching career. She loves authentic Montessori teaching: the mixed-age classes, the beautiful materials, the meticulous planning and preparation, the individual and small-group lessons, and the care and respect for each person in the school community.  She measures her professional success by the blossoming capabilities of each child in her class and finds daily delight in the children’s discoveries and achievements.

Mrs. Gerhard has bachelors degrees in Vocal Music Performance and Elementary Music Education. She’s a member of the semi-professional a capella group “Custom Blend.” She enjoys practicing classical violin and traditional fiddle tunes. Mrs. Gerhard and her husband live in Ashburnham and enjoy hiking nearby trails.

Rashmi Bhakhri, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Bhakhri joined e-Bridge Montessori in August 2019. Mrs. Bhakhri has been a pre-K / Kindergarten teacher for over a decade. She has a Master’s in English Literature and is also EEC certified. Mrs. Bhakhri was born and raised in India and moved to MA with her family in 2008. Having raised three children, Mrs. Bhakhri values the importance of thoughtfully teaching children and that all children have an equal potential to learn and grow.

Mrs. Bhakhri lives in West Boylston with her family. She enjoys nature, reading, quality time with her children, who are all in their twenties now. She can speak English, Hindi, and Punjabi.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Umadevi Kasi, Assistant Teacher
 
 

Primary/ Maple Classroom


Dawn Wetherell, Lead Teacher Ms. Wetherell joined eBridge Montessori in May of 2019. She has Bachelor of Science degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Westfield State College. She has recently enrolled at The University of Hartford pursuing her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori Concentration. In June of 2019, Ms. Wetherell is returning to MTCNE in Hartford, CT for her second year of 3-6 Montessori teacher training.

In her spare time, Ms. Wetherell enjoys crafting, cooking, spending time with her family, going to concerts and walking her dog, Maitland.

 
 
 
 


Anne Curley, Assistant Teacher Ms. Curley graduated from Framingham State University in the spring of 2017 earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Merchandising. She has worked with many young children through volunteer work over the years and has found working with children to be extremely rewarding. She loves to see each child grow and develop into their own person. She is very excited to be joining eBridge Montessori!

Ms. Curley enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and being outside any chance she can get!

 
 
 
 

Primary/ Pine Classroom


Katie Martin, Lead Teacher Ms. Martin joined eBridge in June of 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University and is currently working towards her master’s in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori concentration from University of Hartford. She completed Association Montessori Internationale in 2016.

Mrs. Martin enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her spare time, she coaches youth lacrosse and enjoys going on weekend trips!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

After-school/ Acorn Room


Phyllis Musella, After-school Lead Teacher Mrs. Musella was a graduate of Fordham University, in New York City, with degrees in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching for over thirty years. She has taught in different States around the country. Mrs. Musella enjoys working with young children and watching their progress. It is both rewarding and challenging.

Mrs. Musella has four children and seven grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with them and going to their many sports and dance activities. She also enjoys cooking and reading.

 
 
 
 


Harinaksh Shivashankar, After-school Teacher Mrs. Harinakshi Shivashankar joined eBridge Montessori in 2014. She has more than 15 years’ experience of working with children. She has a passion for teaching, she believes that nurturing and caring for a child during their tender years is very crucial in laying a strong foundation. She thoroughly enjoys being with children at eBridge.

Her favorite thing to do is yoga and the children love it too! In her free time, she sews traditional Indian clothing. She also loves cooking healthy food, gardening, and walking.
 
 
 
 

Marilyn Gattoni, After-school Lead Teacher Mrs. Gattoni joined eBridge as an assistant in 2007. She began her primary Montessori training through a correspondence course with Dr. Montessori’s St. Nicholas Training Center in England. She also attended Ball State University and did 3½ years of university training in special education and primary education after receiving an award for an educational scholarship at UNLV. She then became a full-time humanitarian mission worker, living and traveling in thirty developing countries in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, helping underprivileged children and families.

Mrs. Gattoni has raised her own 7 children. She used Montessori methodology and homeschooling for her children and in volunteer centers abroad from 1973 to 2006 and taught at the International School in Manila, Philippines for the year of 1981 and 1982 as an early childhood teacher in the Early Childhood Learning Center with kindergarteners.

Mrs. Gattoni enjoys biking, daily swimming, and brisk walking; but most of all helping to teach children of all cultures. She continues to help people or families in need of encouragement.


Tammi Armstrong, Substitute Teacher Mrs. Armstrong joined eBridge in May 2010 as a substitute teacher. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business with a minor in French from Simmons College in Boston. She recently obtained DEEC toddlers and preschool teaching certificate.

Mrs. Armstrong lives with her husband and two children who both attended eBridge Montessori School. They enjoy visiting Cape Cod as a family where they go boating, fishing, swimming and doing other activities the Cape has to offer.

 
 
 
 


Jennifer Lentz, Music Teacher
Mrs. Lentz graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy with a voice (classical soprano) concentration. She is seasoned at teaching mixed-aged classes and her favorite thing to do is to sing. During childhood and early adulthood, she sang solos, duets, trios, in small ensembles, touring choirs, church choirs, as cantor for special services, and in many musical theater shows. She is entering her eleventh year of co-directing several singing groups for children at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Westborough and just started her fifth year of being a Girl Scout Leader for her daughter’s troop. She directs the Girl Scouts in Grafton as they lead attendees in carols at the Common during Grafton Celebrates the Holidays.

Mrs. Lentz lives in Grafton with her husband and their two children. She feels blessed to be part of the eBridge team and is looking forward to making beautiful music together.
 

Administration


Jin Huang, Head of School Ms. Huang graduated from Tsinghua University (清华大学) in Beijing, China with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature. She holds a master’s degree from UMASS Amherst in computer science and a master’s degree from University of Scranton in software engineering. Ms. Huang worked as a principal software engineer in computer companies before she became an educator.

After her daughter was born, Ms. Huang became fascinated with children and their development, which fueled her passion to dedicate her life to education. She believes that high-quality early childhood education is fundamental and crucial to every child. She took master’s level courses in early childhood education and successfully completed AMI (Association Montessori International) 3-6 primary training. She founded eBridge Montessori School in 2005 and has worked diligently to build the best possible authentic Montessori school.

Ms. Huang lives with her husband and two children. She loves music, reading, cooking, knitting, skiing, swimming, playing TaiChi, and traveling with her family and friends.


Angela Ueshiro, Assistant Head of School Mrs. Ueshiro joined eBridge in 2019. She has a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Iowa and a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education with Montessori Concentration from the University of Hartford. She discovered Montessori after returning to the United States after living in Japan for 12 years when she started working in a corporate Montessori school on Long Island, NY. During her 16 year tenure, she had the opportunity to complete both the Association Montessori Internationale Assistants to Infancy training at The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO in 2007 and the Primary training at Montessori Training Center New England in Hartford, CT in 2011. During her career, she has taught in the Nido (infant), Infant Community (toddlers) and Primary levels. Her most recent role was as the supervisor for the 0-3 year communities.

Mrs. Ueshiro enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. She loves going to the beach, traveling, reading and cooking.


Rebecca Walker, Director of Admissions and Academics Ms. Walker joined eBridge in 2013. She has a bachelor’s from Michigan State University, where she studied early education, elementary education and business administration. Her first teaching job was in a public school teaching upper elementary reading and math. Subsequently, she was given the opportunity to create and teach the first multi-aged class in her school. Teaching this group of kindergarten and first-grade children began a career that has focused on creating and supporting healthy, multi-aged learning communities for children in preschool and elementary school settings. Before moving to Massachusetts, she had the privilege of spending ten years as the director of a private elementary school serving children in multi-aged classrooms and having a heavy emphasis on integrating the disciplines and getting out of the classroom for real-world learning experiences. Since coming to Massachusetts, Ms. Walker has finally had the opportunity to study and work in Montessori environments. She earned her Association Montessori Internationale, Primary certificate in 2011 at the Montessori Training Center of New England and is nearing completion of a master’s in early education.

When not working, Ms. Walker enjoys reading, cooking new recipes, skiing (downhill or country), swimming and exploring museums. She has lived in a variety of locations around the country and the world and continues to love travel. She is very happy to be settled in Framingham with her husband. She has a son who is a recent college graduate and works in the Boston area.


Asiya Peerzade, Director of Development Mrs. Peerzade joined eBridge Montessori in 2009. She received her bachelor’s in physics, chemistry, and mathematics from Karnataka University, India. She took her Montessori Primary training from Ms. Sivaramakrishnan, a certified AMI Primary Trainer at the Indian Montessori Centre in 2002. She has been working in primary classrooms since then. Her wish and dream is that every child gets the opportunity to aid their development in a Montessori environment.

Her favorite quote from Dr. Montessori: “Montessori is a treasure we need today – helping the child become independent of us and make his way by himself, receiving in return his gift of hope and light”

Mrs. Peerzade enjoys spending time with family and friends, photography, working in the garden and caring for indoor plants.


Jennifer Hom, Office Manager Ms. Hom joined eBridge in May 2019 as an Office Manager with experience in community recreation administration and operations. Most recently, she oversaw the design and implementation of youth and adult recreational activities, bringing to life enriching leisure programs that promote healthy and wholesome living. She brings to eBridge a passion for building inclusive communities that foster confidence, independence, knowledge, and overall kindness for children and adults.

Ms. Hom enjoys traveling with her family, reading, trying new recipes, and discovering the latest trends in interior design.