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Toddler Class


Mary Ann Ross
Head Teacher

B.S., UMass Amherst
Montessori Infant-Toddler Certification, North American Montessori Center


Although MaryAnn started working with young children in the 80’s, she didn’t come to PVMS until 1995. Looking for an afternoon position, her friend, who was working at PVMS, suggested she apply for an opening in our afterschool program. MaryAnn had heard about Montessori and PVMS from her friend and was interested to learn more. She worked for years as the head of our afterschool program and when the school decided to expand its offerings to include a Toddler Program, MaryAnn was excited to take on the new challenge.

MaryAnn wishes that her own children had had the opportunity to have a Montessori education. She feels that the freedom within limits allows for a very positive educational experience. She appreciates that Montessori goes beyond the confines of the classroom and teaches students to be good citizens of the world. She can see her students, within the Montessori environment, becoming confident and competent at a very early age. She loves having the opportunity to share the Montessori curriculum and principles with children and their families.
Cynthia Alicandro
Assistant Teacher

Cynthia came to PVMS in 2010 as a substitute teacher. She had previously worked in the early childhood education field for many years, and also as a development specialist on an Early Intervention team. Cynthia has a calming, serene presence that makes her ideal for our toddler program.

Cynthia was introduced to Montessori in College as part of her Early Childhood Education curriculum and actually did her student teaching in a Montessori school. Cynthia enjoys how Maria Montessori’s philosophy offers an environment for learning that educates the whole child.
Carla Deangelo
Classroom Assistant

Carla thought she was ready for retirement, but soon realized she was just looking for the next chapter in her life. After 18 years of working with all levels of children, she has decided to work her magic with our youngest in our toddler program. Carla started as a substitute teacher here at PVMS, and when the position in the toddler program became available she jumped at the chance.

When not at school, Carla enjoys spending time with her family. She has three daughters and now also enjoys being a grandmother to her two grandchildren. She has been known to play a few rounds of golf and also loves to get in the kitchen for some cooking.
Brianna Markham
Classroom Assistant

Adventurous, enthusiastic and crafty: these three words best describe Brianna, not only as a teacher but as a person. She loves to bring her enthusiasm into the classroom as well as her artistic side. Outside of the classroom you will find her hiking, walking, canoeing…generally anything that gets her into nature.

Brianna sees her work with children as something she looks forward to, and it is a new adventure every day. She had been working with little ones for 4 years prior to coming to PVMS. Montessori philosophy was introduced to her in high school, and she was intrigued by the hands on approach as well as the idea of freedom within limits.
Rebecca Whitney
Classroom Assistant

Before starting at PVMS in our after school program Rebecca worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Westfield. She worked with children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school, and did both homework help and one-on-one tutoring. She also has been an adviser in leadership groups dealing with community service, communication skills and group bonding activities.

Rebecca is interested in and has done quite a bit of community service. She has done more than 45 hours of community service throughout different organizations, such as assisting with blood drives with the American Red Cross.
Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129 • 413-782-3108

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