The Parkside Montessori School
53 Norwood Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
Gingi founded Parkside in 1987 and has remained ever since. She was the Director until 2014, and she now assists Annie in administration and also helps out the other teachers in both classrooms. Gingi has 3 children and 6 grandchildren, all of whom attended Parkside. She is in charge of our library, and enjoys reading, singing and moving with the kids using her long-time repertoire of songs, exercises, and moving games. She is also the author of our Monthly Notes.
The Parkside Montessori School
The Parkside Montessori School
Annie has been at Parkside since September, 1989 and has served as Director since September, 2014. She has extensive Montessori training and full certification. Annie has many responsibilities and wears many hats, but her greatest love is to be in the classroom working with the children, implementing with great knowledge and understanding our Montessori curriculum. She has 3 children, 2 of whom attended Parkside, and she has 3 grandchildren with one more on the way.
Susan has been here since September, 1989. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Her youngest attended Parkside. For Susan “it has been a pleasure watching children grow, learn and enjoy school” over her many years with us. She has always strived “to help children acquire a positive experience in their early learning years.” Susan is in charge of efficiently and carefully organizing our art program and materials, and she is also the creator, director and producer of our puppet shows….hugely popular with our children.
Patti has been at Parkside since September of 1990. She is Montessori certified. She has 2 children and 2 grandchildren, with one more on the way. Her daughter is a Parkside graduate. In addition to her teaching duties in both classes, she keeps our many files including state and health records efficiently organized. She brings her fun-loving spirit and great sense of humor to the job every day. She and Annie have been friends since high school!
Jean has been with us since September of 1999. She is the mom of 6 children, and she has 4 grandchildren. Three of Jean’s children attended Parkside. Jean recently moved from Montclair to Basking Ridge. For many of her years here, Side 1 has been her home where she enjoys watching many of the “firsts in a child’s life: first time in a classroom setting, first time cutting with a scissors, first time hanging up a jacket or apron, and best of all, first time making a friend.”
Sue joined us in 2000 and is Montessori certified. Her 2 children both attended Parkside. Sue’s passion is art. She creates beautiful projects, and can do it in a matter of minutes on any given day. She particularly loves glitter! Sue’s circles are amazing, full of information and interesting facts. She has great knowledge of natural science (animals, birds, dinosaurs) which she shares with her students in incredible detail. Sue is responsible for organizing and changing the monthly thematic materials. When outside of school, she enjoys cooking, catering and spending time with her large family.
Wahida also started with Parkside last month. She too is a student at Montclair State majoring in Linguistics and studying to be a Speech/ Language Pathologist. Wahida has a particular interest in language development in young children, especially in their ability to learn language so quickly. She enjoys observing the different speech patterns and modes of communication of each of the children in her care, working in a quiet and gentle way with them in all of our classroom areas. In her free time, Wahida likes to paint, and this summer she learned to crochet which she really enjoys.
Julie joined us in 2008. She is Montessori certified. Before she became a regular staff member, she was a substitute. Julie’s daughter attended Parkside, and Julie keeps our Practical Life shelves filled with beautiful and colorful exercises such as spooning, tweezing, pouring, etc. She also creates lovely activities for the Math and Language shelves. She “strives to create a joyful atmosphere and uses music and movement creatively to enhance learning.” She enjoys dinners with family and friends, walks with her dogs and travel with her husband.
Kay started at Parkside in September of 2009. She has 3 children, and she lives in Bergen County. She is Montessori certified, and she is in charge of our Math curriculum. She is “looking forward to a great year with this really nice group of children.” She has a quiet and gentle manner with her students, and she has always been a supportive and cooperative member of our team.
Sadia has worked at Parkside since September of 2014. She has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Before she came to Parkside, she was part of the staff of a Montessori school in Verona. Sadia is Montessori certified and works with Kay Arakelian on our Math curriculum. She really enjoys doing individual math exercises with the students. She also likes to help the children with the more complicated Sensorial materials. In fact, she creates materials for all classroom areas.
Kristen began at Parkside this past September. She is a former New York City public school teacher where she worked at a gifted and talented program for 9 years. Her 3 boys (Gingi’s grandchildren! are “proud graduates” Parkside. She lives in Verona and enjoys playing soccer and volunteering. Kristen worked as a substitute before joining us this year. She is a gifted story reader, and often brings in wonderful books from her own library at home. She works very well on a one-to-one with our students, understanding their individual needs and aptitudes.
Lauren began at Parkside this past September. She grew up in the area, and she moved back to Montclair about 8 years ago to raise her own family. She helped out at Parkside when her daughter Emily (now in kindergarten) attended, and she will be sending her son Riley when he is old enough. Lauren is “thrilled to be part of the Parkside family”. She has a lovely and gentle way with the children, and she does a particularly great job reading special stories from our library.
Rhonda joined our staff this year. She is Montessori certified and has been teaching Montessori for the past 15 years. She brings great enthusiasm and knowledge to the job, and will often bring in her own creative and hand-made Montessori exercises. Rhonda “fosters a classroom environment that is like a family. Different personalities are valued and respected.” She has 2 sons and enjoys after dinner walks with her husband and sons and family board games.
Colleen started with us in September. She is from Glen Ridge, and she and her 3 brothers all attended Parkside. She is senior at Montclair State University where she is majoring in Foundations of Elementary Education. She has a wonderfully positive attitude and a lovely way with the children, and she really enjoys helping her students at the art table. When not at Montclair State or Parkside, Colleen spends time with her adorable new Jack Russell terrier puppy.