Donna Fiumara

Head of Schools |  

MA Education – St. Catherine University
BS Accounting – St. John’s University
Montessori Certification (Infant through 1st Grade) – St. Nicholas Center, London (MACTE)
Montessori Certification (1st through 3rd Grade) – N.A.M.C.

Seleste McDaniel

Admissions Director | 

Corporate Assistant – Katherine Gibbs School
Seleste has worked as an executive assistant in the business community and joined our school in 2001. She has been a parent in our school since 2006. She has worked in various administrative roles and is also a certified Redirecting Children’s Behavior instructor.

Melissa Kang

Administrative Assistant |  

BA English, Writing – Worcester State University
Melissa is a native of Massachusetts.  Previously, she worked in manufacturing and as a summer camp Director for elementary aged children. She joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2016.

Stepping Stones Program

Shemi Kalappurakal

Head Teacher

BA Functional English-Calicut University
Montessori Certification – NCME Early Childhood, Christopher Academy
Montessori Certification – AMS Infant & Toddler (Expected 2017), Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Shemi joined Raritan Valley Montessori as a teacher in 2016 but has been a parent at the school since 2012. She was a Primary teacher for six years prior.

Mahnaz Vaziri

Assistant Teacher

Mahnaz joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2007. She has worked in both our Primary and Stepping Stone Programs.

Allison Catoggio

Assistant Teacher

Associate in Early Childhood Development – Rasmussen University
Allison joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2016. She has worked as a nanny and in childcare.

Primary Program

Carrie Peckar

Head Teacher and Kindergarten Enrichment

BA Art History- Rutgers University
Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Carrie has been with our school since 2005. She is a consultant to other Montessori schools for Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE) and teaches Fine Arts and Drama.

Linda Freitag

Head Teacher

BA Psychology- University of California at Santa Cruz
Montessori Certification – NCME Early Childhood, Christopher Academy
Linda has previously worked at other local Montessori schools but launched her full-time Montessori career in 2001 at Raritan Valley Montessori Academy.

Andal Nagarajan

Head Teacher and Kindergarten Enrichment

BSE Home Science – Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College
Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Andal joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2012.

Sylvia Chen

Co-Teacher

BA Communication Design – Carnegie Mellon University
Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Sylvia joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2015. She has been a parent at the school since 2011.

Daniella Blardony

Assistant Teacher

Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood (Expected 2017), Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Before joining Raritan Valley Montessori with her daughter in 2016, Daniella spent several years teaching children aged 18 months-6 years in a Montessori classroom.

Yi Zhou

Assistant Teacher

MA Human Resource Management – Rutgers University
BA Business- Zhongnan University of Economics & Law
Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood (Expected 2017), Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Before joining Raritan Valley Montessori with her son in 2016, Yi spent several years teaching Mandarin to children aged 3-6 years.

Elementary Program

Hemani Kathuria

Head Teacher

BC Business Administration- Delhi University
CA: Chartered Accountancy
Elementary Education (K-6) Praxis Certificate
Montessori Certification – AMS Early Childhood, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Montessori Certification – AMS Elementary I, Princeton Center for Teacher Education
Hemani has been with the school as a parent since 2006 and an employee since 2008. She has worked in both our Primary and Elementary Programs.

Specials

Michael Godleski

Physical Education & Technology Teacher

BS Physical Education and Health – William Paterson University
Elementary Education (K-6) Certified
Mike joined our faculty in 2015 as a teacher of Physical Education and Technology. Prior to joining our staff he was a high school soccer coach, electronics sales consultant, and ran his own swimming lesson school.

Sandra Hurtado

Spanish Teacher

MA Spanish Linguistics – University of Medellin
BA Pedagogy – Javeriana University
BA Modern Languages- University of Antioquia
Sandra is a native of Colombia, South America and joined our school in 2002 as an employee and as a parent in 2005. Before joining Raritan Valley Montessori, she taught at both the Elementary and High School level.

Carrie Peckar

Fine Arts Teacher

BA Art History -Rutgers University
Carrie teaches Kindergarten Enrichment and Elementary Fine Arts and has been with the school since 2005.

Nancy Cesta

Music Teacher

BA, Psychology, Marketing – Muhlenberg College
Nancy joined our faculty in 2005 and is responsible for Stepping Stone, Primary, and Elementary music education. Music has always been the main course of her life, studying piano, vocal performance, and extensive music theory in college.

Afterschool Program

Allison Catoggio

Head Teacher

Associate in Early Childhood Development – Rasmussen University
Allison joined Raritan Valley Montessori in 2016. She has worked as a nanny and in childcare.

Jaida Hawkins

Assistance Teacher

Associate in Early Childhood Education – Raritan Valley Community College (expected 2017)
Jaida joined our school in 2016. Previously she worked as a nanny.

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