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 4 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 4 grandchildren, 2 and 2. Her daughter is a Parkside graduate and 2 of her grandchildren are matriculating. 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!
Meg joins the Parkside family after taking a long break from her social work career to raise her three children. She loves working with young preschoolers because it’s almost as if you can see them growing, it seems as if they gain a new skill or learn a new word every day! Meg and family moved from Manhattan to Montclair in 2001 though she still calls North Carolina home and spends as much time as possible on the Outer Banks each summer. Meg’s newest hobby is pickleball which she now enjoys playing with her entire family.
Sue joined us in 2000 and is Montessori certified. Her 2 children both attended Parkside. Sue’s passion is art. She creates beautiful projects in a matter of minutes on any given day. She 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. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, catering and spending time with her large family.
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.
Rhonda joined our staff last 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 last 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.
Kristy started as a substitute teacher last spring, and is now with us full-time, five days a week. She graduated in December of 2021 from Rowan University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Kristy has loved children, and working with them, since she was a little girl. She has always had a specific interest in Montessori Education, after learning about her older sisters experience in Montessori, and observing in other Montessori schools throughout New Jersey. She likes to help out in the classroom wherever possible, and when Kristy is not at Parkside, she loves spending time in the outdoors!
Before I became a regular staff I was a substitute, and on a long break from being in a classroom to raise my three children.  Working around preschoolers is like a breath of fresh air everyday, and I feel like I learn something from them each day as well.  I moved to Montclair 13 years ago from California.  My favorite things are being with my family.
“The teacher has two tasks: to lead the children to concentration and to help them in their development afterwards.”
The Child, Society and the World
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