Staff Profiles

Toddler/ Hickory Class

Nancy Kodera, Lead Teacher Mrs. Kodera joined eBridge in December of 2013. She has been working in a Montessori environment for over ten years, most recently as Lead Guide for a toddler program. She holds an AMI Assistant to Infancy Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of the Philippines. She also has a Master of Education degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland.

Mrs. Kodera’s own two children attended Apple Valley Montessori School from primary through elementary. Her family traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Australia before she settled for good in the United States with her family.

Years of observation and work in a Montessori environment deepened Mrs. Kodera’s conviction that education starts from birth. Mrs. Kodera encourages healthy, respectful and supportive relationship among children. When there is love and respect for each other and the environment, where grace and courtesy dwells, there is also peace.

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

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

Pavithra Dorairaj, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Dorairaj started working at eBridge Montessori School as a part-time parent volunteer in 2015. She enjoyed working closely with children at eBridge, and decided to join the eBridge as a full time toddler assistant teacher in 2016.

Mrs. Dorairaj lives in the Greater Boston area for the past three years with her husband and two daughters. While she is not teaching and having fun with children at eBridge, she enjoys listening to country music, reading and spending time with her family.


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.


Hayley Fitzsimmons, Assistant 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, she has returned to eBridge. She loves working with children and greatly admires the Montessori method. She is hoping to take the A to I Montessori training program in the summer.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Fitzsimmons enjoys hiking with her dog, knitting and reading.


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.


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/ 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 Quinsigimond 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 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 beach.


Primary/ Dogwood Class


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.

Marilyn Gattoni, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Gattoni joined eBridge as an assistant in 2007. She began her primary Montessori training through 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.

Mangala Harish, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Harish joined eBridge in March 2015, as an assistant in toddler and then primary classroom. She moved from NY to Massachusetts in March.

Mrs. Harish has Bachelor’s degree in holistic medicine from Karnataka, India. She loves and enjoys working with children and has worked in Montessori schools in NY, both in toddlers and primary communities.

Mrs. Harish believes that Montessori education emphasizes on building self confidence and self esteem in a child both in academic as well as social development.

Mrs. Harish lives with her husband and two daughters, she has passion for Indian Carnatic Music, enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Primary/ Maple Classroom

Sharmila Dabare, Lead Teacher Mrs. Dabare grew up in Sri Lanka where she was a Montessori student. She studied commerce, economics, accounting, and logic in high school. Later she took a different path by choosing to explore Montessori Education and teaching.

Mrs. Dabare received her AMI 3-6 training from Sri Lanka and has worked extensively in Minnesota, Kansas, Long Island, and Virginia. She took her 0-3 AMI training in from Denver, CO. Currently she is a senior and part time student at Bridgewater State University where she is pursuing a Bachelor degree in fine arts and special education. Mrs. Dabare is very interested in exploring Montessori concepts in other areas of learning such as children with special needs and Montessori for aging and dementia.

Mrs. Dabare is very happy to have her children experience the Montessori education during their formative years. She lives with her two children, husband, and a flock of backyard chickens in the town of Mansfield.

Outside of work Mrs. Dabare’s main interest is to spend time with her family. Her other interests include: reading, listening to music, cooking, gardening, quilting, and knitting.

Rebecca Singley, Assistant Teacher Mrs. Singley joined eBridge Montessori School in 2016. She graduated from Chonsin University in South Korea with a degree in Early Childhood Education.

She moved to the U.S to study the Montessori Method and earned an AMS Montessori teacher certificate (Primary). Previously, she worked at Walnut Park Montessori School in Newton for 4 years as an assistant teacher. Mrs. Singley also received a Master’s degree in Special Education from Regis College. She is very inspired by seeing the children learn and become more independent.


After-school/ Acorn Room

Sandy Hansen, After-school Lead Teacher Ms. Hansen joined eBridge in 2015 as a part time teacher in the after school program. She had more than 40 years teaching experience with Pre-K through elementary. She has a BS degree in special education from Western Michigan University, graduate credits in education and reading, and AMS Montessori Pre-School and Montessori Elementary education training. She currently holds a Texas teacher license for K-8 and an ESL. She also has AMS Primary and Elementary certifications.

Previously she founded and taught at Barnstable Montessori School on Cape Cod, where her own two children received their Pre-K and elementary education. She also has experience in elementary education in Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, and has spent the past ten years in International Schools as a 1st grade teacher.

She enjoys teaching, traveling, reading, classical music, biking, and discovering great coffee shops in various countries.

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 enjoy spending time them and going to their many sports and dance activities. She also enjoys cooking and reading.


Marilyn Gattoni, After-school Lead Teacher (See Dogwood)
Anne Curley, After-school Assistant Teacher (See Birch)

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.


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.



CHOICE Program/ Pine Room

Asiya Peerzade, Lead Teacher

Hasmik Konjoyan, Music Teacher & Assistant Teacher

Ms. Konjoyan was trained in music since age 7 and has performed in many ensembles and choruses. She is a singer, conductor, founder and manager of the Luys (Light) Vocal Quintet, which recorded and produced two CDs in Germany. In 2002, Ms. Konjoyan founded a Children Chorus and produced her first CD within the first year. Subsequently she was offered the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kantegh Children’s Chorus. The chorus won Gold Prize at the Children’s Art Competition-Festival in 2006. She studied with many professional vocal teachers and conductors in different countries.

Ms. Konjoyan is a DEEC certified preschool teacher and worked recently at Global Montessori School. She lives with her husband and daughter. In her limited free time, Ms. Konjoyan enjoys reading and crochet.


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 a 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. Her dream is that someday every child will benefit from Montessori education.

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.

Rebecca Walker, Assistant Head of School 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 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.

Cindy Urmston, Office Manager Mrs. Urmston has been at eBridge Montessori School since 2009. Prior to working at eBridge, Mrs. Urmston was at home raising her two daughters. During that time she volunteered extensively in the public schools and was a Girl Scout leader for 13 years.

Mrs. Urmston and her family have been living in Westborough for 25 years. During her free time she enjoys sailing, gardening, walking and reading.