ASM’s Team


Children's House

Susan Burns


1998-present. Sue is certified as a Montessori Infant Toddler and Early Childhood teacher. She taught in ASM’s Children’s House for 5 years before joining the administrative team as Director of Children's House. Fall 2016 marks Sue's return to the classroom as lead Kindergarten teacher. She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Human Development from Lesley University. Prior to coming to ASM, Sue taught at the Rockingham County Montessori School and was an owner of the Casa Dei Bambini Montessori School. Her interests include yoga, gardening and spending quality time with friends and family.

Sarah Creese


2019-present. Sarah holds a B.A. in English from Wheaton College (MA). She completed her 3-6 Montessori training at the Northeast Montessori Institute in 2018. She also knows exactly what it's like to be a student at ASM, because she was one herself with Mrs. Burns as her teacher! Sarah taught at the Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy and previously assisted Mrs. Burns in the Kindergarten classroom. She looks forward to working in the multi-age classroom this year. These days, she enjoys sitting down with a good book, crafting, and keeping up with family and friends.

Gina Devenish


2021-present. Gina has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Theatre from Westfield State University. She has her PreK - 2nd grade MA teaching license and has extensive experience working with young children of various ages. In her spare time, Gina enjoys coaching for a local baseball team (The Boston Renegades), getting involved in theater wherever possible whether that’s performing or directing, playing with her dog Nayla, and being a member of the Salisbury Lions Club.

Danielle Gaudet


2015-present. Danielle holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Endicott College and a Masters Education. She attained her Montessori training from Northeast Montessori Institute. Previously, Danielle was a head early childhood counselor at the Mass. Audubon Society, where she taught children about animals and nature. She is excited to bring her love of nature into the classroom. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Jennifer Miller


2019-present. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Northern Vermont University and an M. Ed. through Gordon College. She completed her Montessori training through Northeast Montessori Institute. Jennifer most recently taught Kindergarten at Barton Academy and Graded School in her home-state, Vermont! In addition to teaching, she also tutors students in math and students preparing for the Independent School Entrance Exam. Jennifer enjoys yoga, barre, tennis and spending time with friends and family.

Kellie Scarelli

Assistant Teacher

2018-present. Kellie holds a B.S. in Family and Community Studies from Merrimack College and an A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Northern Essex Community College. Over the past 5 years, Kellie has worked in the After School Care program, the Summer Program and taught dance enrichment classes at ASM. In her spare time she loves dancing, listening to music, doing yoga, and spending time with family and friends.

Alesa Smith


2019-present. Alesa holds a B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and a diploma in Preschool Education from the North American Progressive Montessori Teacher Training Program. She most recently worked in Haverhill Public Schools as a Special Education Paraprofessional. Alesa previously taught at New England Montessori School in North Andover for 12 years.

Patricia Stokes


2002-present. Pat holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Lowell State College and an M.Ed. with an Early Childhood Focus from Endicott College. In the education field for over forty years, Pat received her Montessori 3-6 certification at the Northeast Montessori Institute. She also earned her Responsive Classroom I and II certification from Northeast Foundation for Children. Pat is a member of the First New Hampshire Regiment, a living history group and one of the founding members of the Windham Garden Club. During the summer she teaches Red Cross swimming. Pat is enjoying her role of being a grandparent.

Lower Elementary

Stephanie Lebouef


2021-present. Stephanie has thirteen years of teaching experience working with elementary students. She graduated from California State University Fullerton in 2006 with her B.A. in Liberal Studies. She has taught first through fourth grade in Las Vegas, Nevada. She recently taught second grade in Hudson, New Hampshire. Stephanie is NAMC Montessori certified and has taught Lower Elementary for 6 years. She loves spending time with her husband and son, Gavin. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys going to the park, swimming at the lake and river, being outside in nature, and traveling, when possible. She is so excited to get to know the Lower Elementary students!

Chris Manganaro


2021-present. Chris holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Salem State University and a B.A. in English from Framingham State University. He has worked at Newbury Elementary School for the past 7 years in many different capacities including After School Program Assistant and Instructional Assistant. Chris also worked as a substitute teacher in the Peabody, Lexington, and Belmont school districts, allowing him to see how many school systems operate. He has worked with children from PreK to 6th grade. Chris is excited to work in a Montessori school for the first time as he loves to learn about different ways of teaching. In his spare time, Chris enjoys reading, listening to audiobooks, cooking, and cross-stitching.

Sarah O'Brien


2004-present. Sarah holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. She has Montessori Certification for Lower Elementary. Prior to coming to ASM, Sarah taught for three years at the Kingsley Montessori School and eight years at Pincushion Hill Montessori School. Sarah enjoys being a mom and spending time with family and friends as well as scrapbooking.

Ameeta Sherring


2021-present. Ameeta has a bachelor's degree in Education from Isabella Thoburn College and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Indraprastha College, both in India. She has several years teaching experience and five years experience working with children, preschool through 2nd grade, on their math and reading skills at Kumon in North Andover. Outside of school, Mrs. Sherring enjoys cooking, crafting, and hiking with her husband and two children.

Stephanie Sullivan


2021-present. Stephanie has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Gordon College, as well as a B.A. in Linguistics and a Minor in Psychology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She worked for a year at My Montessori of Woburn as a teacher’s aide, and two and a half years working at the Goddard School as a preschool teacher. Stephanie is thrilled to be back at Montessori and with the ASM team. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, spending time with her pets, and baking.

Sarah Young


2021-present. Sarah has five years of teaching experience working with elementary students. She graduated from Stonehill College in 2016 with a degree in Education and Studio Arts and went on to Merrimack College to obtain a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has spent the last three years teaching 2nd through 4th grade at a sub-separate program for students with severe disabilities in Methuen MA. During this time, she also served as the Curriculum Leader for the program. Prior, Sarah taught K-1 in Needham MA. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys going to the beach, listening to music, and painting. She is very excited to be part of the ASM community!

Upper Elementary

Kady Hoffman


2021-present. Kady holds a B.S in Place-Based Education from Plymouth State University. She has worked in a Montessori setting for several years. Her dream is to help children develop a curiosity and competency for learning which will carry them throughout life. A highly-skilled writer and educator, her writing has been featured in Plymouth Magazine, a bi-annual magazine that highlights exemplary scholars at Plymouth State University. In her free time, she writes essays and free verse poetry. She looks forward to helping students see that writing provides a powerful voice, it gives us a glimpse into what life might be like for others, and it allows us to joyfully play with language.

Rani Tremblay


2019-present. Rani holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Business from DePaul University and an M.S. in Psychology and Counseling from Northeastern University. She received her Montessori AMS Elementary I-II (6-12) certification from Seacoast Center Montessori Program. Prior to teaching at ASM, Rani was an Upper Elementary teacher for thirteen years at Oak Meadow School in Littleton. She believes in engaging students in the love of learning, and challenging them to reach their individual potential - socially, emotionally, and academically. Rani is a mother of two Montessori educated children who are currently in college. In her off hours, Rani enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling with her husband, as well as cheering on her children in track and rowing events.

Middle School

Barbara Orlowitz

Math and STEM Teacher

2014-present. Barbara holds a B.S. in Engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and an M.Ed in Education Administration from University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her certification in Montessori Adolescent Studies from Washington Montessori Secondary Education Program. Barbara also attended the Montessori Seacoast Center for Education where she participated in a three week seminar for the elementary math program. Barbara is certified in the state of Massachusetts in mathematics to teach grades 5-8. She has been tutoring middle and secondary school math for the past twelve years and has taught at the Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School. Barbara came to ASM after twelve years at Oak Meadow Montessori School where she taught math and science and expanded her role to include leadership positions such as Program Level Coordinator and Director of Secondary School Placement. During her tenure at Oak Meadow, Barbara was Chair of Math Curriculum Review and Vice-Chair of the AISNE/AMS accreditation committee. Barbara enjoys yoga, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

Richelle Records

Math, Science and STEM Teacher

2018-present. Richelle graduated from Stonehill College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Elementary Education, then moved on to get her M.Ed from UMass Boston. She has worked in the Boston area for the past six years, teaching middle school math and science at two different schools. Richelle is extremely passionate about the environment and working with students in the STEM field. She has a love of life-long learning and wants to share that with everyone. Her hobbies include traveling to new places, working on her hobby farm, gardening, reading, and all kinds of outdoor activities from hiking and kayaking to rock climbing and skydiving.

Integrated Arts

Shawn Devenish

Health and Physical Education Teacher

2020-present. Shawn has a B.S. degree in Movement Science with a concentration in Physical Education from Westfield State University. He has worked in special education for 5 years and has 5 years experience coaching football, wrestling and track and field. Shawn has never let his visual disability stop him from participating in athletics. He played football, wrestled and ran track and field. Shawn looks forward to spreading his love for physical activity and athletics to the students at ASM.

Andrea West

Art Teacher

2013-present. Andrea holds a B.F.A. in painting and a B.A. in Art History from Boston University. She also earned an M.A. in Teaching in the field of Museum Education from The George Washington University. After spending many years developing education programs for notable museums, Andrea strove to combine her passion for art and working with children and became certified to teach visual arts. She most recently served as the art teacher for grades K-8 at Hill View Montessori Charter Public School, in Haverhill, for 6 years. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys singing, being outdoors and spending time with her family.

Megan Witkowski

Music Teacher

2021-present. Megan holds a bachelorʼs degree in Music Studies (Education) from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. During her education, she worked as a volunteer teacher with the Lowell String Project, teaching students how to sing in an ensemble setting and encouraging discovery through musical play and experimentation. Post graduation, Megan worked as a counselor at Running Brook Day Camp in Waltham, where she frequently lead different musical games and activities. In her spare time, Megan enjoys hiking, playing the flute, baking, running, and playing with her two dogs. She is very excited to be teaching at ASM and hopes to spread her love of music to the students!

Veronica Wood

Spanish Teacher

Senora Veronica was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She holds a degree in Child Psychology from the Catholic University of Quito and a Master’s in Business Administration from the IDE Business School. In Ecuador, Veronica worked for several years as a School Psychologist for grades one through six. In 2000, she moved to the United States where she began teaching Spanish and funded her own language program, More Than Spanish, which is currently used in several schools and children’s centers throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Veronica believes strongly that all children should have their first exposure to a second language as young as possible, and is dedicated to discovering new and innovative strategies that will engage and enrich young learners. Whether teaching or consulting, Veronica is an enthusiastic educator who continues to share both the joy of learning and an appreciation for language and culture with all her students and clients. She is a member of MaFLA (Massachusetts Foreign Language Association), and ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).


JoAnne Belanger

Administrative Assistant

2021-present. JoAnne holds a B.S. in Business from Salem State College. She comes to ASM from the corporate world, having worked at several Fortune 500 companies over the last 30 years. JoAnne's career began in customer service, answering phones for a growing distributor. She has also worked in sales, account management, and sales management. While raising her family, JoAnne became involved with schools; loved being a part of a school community and felt she had a lot to contribute. She loves spending time with her family, entertaining, working in her yard, and spending time in Maine.

Michelle Finno

Director of Enrollment Management & Marketing

2015-present. Michelle holds a B.S. in Business Communications and an M.S. in Marketing Analytics from Bentley University. She spent over 16 years in the field of admission and prior to joining ASM, she was the Director of Communications and Programs for Undergraduate Admission at her alma mater. Michelle enjoys working with families to ensure that student, family and school goals and vision align. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys music, camping, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.

Holly Hirst

Head of School

2021-present. Holly holds a B.S. in Family and Child Development and a M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech. She has held leadership positions at Blue Hill Montessori, John Winthrop School for Young Children, Kingsley Montessori School, and Community School of Roanoke, VA. She served as the Chair of the External Affairs Committee and is currently on the Diversity Committee at The Advent School. Holly is a certified Leadership Coach and is currently working toward her Montessori Administrator Credential through Seton Montessori Institute. When she's not spending time with her husband, Jonathan, adult children, Joseph and Maggie, and dogs, Holly enjoys reading, entertaining, traveling, and textile art.

Anna Kritselis

Information Technology

2008-present. Anna holds a B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University and an M.S. in Information Systems from Northeastern University's College of Engineering. Anna has 20 years of experience in a variety of systems-related and management level positions in the private sector. She currently provides IT consulting services to Montessori schools, including Oak Meadow Montessori, Keystone, Pincushion Hill and Shrewsbury Montessori School.

Jeff Kulis

Facilities Manager

2016-present. Before coming to ASM, Jeff worked for American Alarm. Prior to that, he spent 13 years in the Emergency Response industry as an EMT and Supervisor. Jeff is an avid amateur photographer and spends his free time hiking with his wife and chocolate labrador, Indy.

Shannon Lavelle

Director of Finance

2019-present. Shannon holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a Certificate of Accountancy from Bentley University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Massachusetts. She has worked for over 20 years in the accounting field in both the public and private sector, with her most recent years spent at a non-profit college. In her spare time Shannon enjoys being with her family, skiing, gardening and reading.

Chelsea LeClair

Assistant Director of Enrollment Management and Marketing

2020-present. Chelsea holds a B.S in Child Development and Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She has six years of Independent School experience both in the classroom and as an administrator. Most recently, Chelsea was the Associate Director of Development and Extended Day Program Coordinator at a private school in San Diego, CA. Prior to living on the West Coast, she was the Assistant to the Director of Admissions at Thacher Montessori School. She is very excited to be back on the East Coast and to be joining the ASM community! Chelsea enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Lindsay MacNeil

Learning Specialist

2021-present. Lindsay holds a B.A. in English & Secondary Education from Salem State University and a MA teaching license for grades 5-12. She is currently pursuing her M.Ed. with a concentration in Reading at Gordon College. Lindsay brings to the classroom her love of world cultures and storytelling. She believes that reading gives us the opportunity to explore new worlds and diverse perspectives, and writing allows us to share our own unique stories. Lindsay loves to engage in thought-provoking discussions with students about the historical events and people that have shaped the society we live in today. She is committed to developing confident and curious learners and hopes students will leave her classroom with a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. Lindsay resides in Andover and enjoys strolling through town with her family. Her favorite hobbies are hiking and baking!

Barbara Orlowitz

Assistant Head of School

2014-present. Barbara holds a B.S. in Engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and an M.Ed in Education Administration from University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her certification in Montessori Adolescent Studies from Washington Montessori Secondary Education Program. Barbara also attended the Montessori Seacoast Center for Education where she participated in a three week seminar for the elementary math program. Barbara is certified in the state of Massachusetts in mathematics to teach grades 5-8. She has been tutoring middle and secondary school math for the past twelve years and has taught at the Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School. Barbara came to ASM after twelve years at Oak Meadow Montessori School where she taught math and science and expanded her role to include leadership positions such as Program Level Coordinator and Director of Secondary School Placement. During her tenure at Oak Meadow, Barbara was Chair of Math Curriculum Review and Vice-Chair of the AISNE/AMS accreditation committee. Barbara enjoys yoga, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

Vanessa Sanchez

Nurse Manager

2021-present. Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Science from the University of California, Irvine. During this time, she would go on to working with children from all ages in various settings, including children with disabilities. From there she went on to pursue her certificate as a Nursing Assistant and worked two years in a skilled nursing facility and hospital. In 2019, Vanessa was accepted into the Master’s of Nursing Direct Entry Program at Simmons University. Shortly after completing her pre-licensure studies at the end of 2020, she received her Registered Nurse license. She is now in the post-licensure portion of the program pursuing her Master’s as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Her aspiration is to care for the pediatric population in underserved communities as a primary care provider. Vanessa enjoys cooking, hiking, swimming, picnics at the beach, and spending time with her spouse and twin sister.

Michelle Toppi

Director of Children's House

2022-present. Michelle holds a BFA with a photography major from the Massachusetts College of Art. She also received her Montessori Early Childhood 3-6 certification from the North Carolina Center for Montessori Teacher Education. She has nearly twenty years of experience in Montessori classrooms from coast to coast. A Boston native, Michelle had returned to Boston to teach at Kingsley Montessori School where she also held the leadership role as Curriculum Coordinator for the Early Childhood program. In her spare time Michelle enjoys exploring with her daughter Beatrice and partner Anthony, cuddling her kitties, meditation, quilting, and gardening.

Board of Directors

Esin Seref Dibirdi

Board member since 2018

Esin is an Engineering Services Manager at F5, a provider of Application Delivery Networking. She has over a decade of leadership experience serving as leader of QA, development, customer support and infrastructure services delivering software and cloud based services in global organizations. Esin holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a M.S. in Computer Science. “Being one of the outnumbered women in technology, I am passionate about STEM. In a world moving towards AI and automation, I cannot think of a better organization than ASM to give our children the foundation to help them gain the skills to separate them from the crowd. Being on the Board gives me the opportunity to serve our children and this great school.”

Elyse Chase

Board member since 2022

Elyse spent the first 10 years of her career in early childhood education, working in independent schools in various roles including teacher, admissions coordinator, and assistant director. She is currently working in development at Northeastern University. “As an alumna, ASM holds a very special place in my heart. Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without the kind, supportive guidance of the teachers and administration at the school. ASM provided me with an individualized education that encouraged and supported exactly who I was while still providing me with challenges and opportunities for growth. The experience and education I received at ASM gave me a strong foundation that I know will allow me to be successful in whatever path I choose. I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors, and to give back to the school that has given me so much.”

Jocelyn Pan

Board member since 2021

Jocelyn has been in the financial services industry for 20+ years at Fidelity Investments, partnering with clients in providing retirement benefits to their employees. She has responsibility for partnering with Product Development, Retail, Phone Center and Technology teams to bring best in class services to clients. “We are so lucky to have found ASM. Our daughter can’t wait to get to school each and every day. The partnership we have found between fellow ASM families and faculty has been astounding. I am a proud ASM parent and privileged to serve on the Board of Directors to help continue the great work of our school.”

Monalisa Shroff

Board member since 2018

Monalisa has over 20 years of experience in strategy, financial planning & analysis, forecasting & budgeting, business analytics, accounting, and operations management. Monalisa is currently working as the CFO for Freight Farms Inc, a vertical hydroponic growing company based out of Boston. Prior to Freight Farms, Monalisa worked as a financial executive for companies in several industries spanning ecommerce, consumer goods, publishing, financial services, energy conservation and agricultural technology. In addition to her professional work, Monalisa serves as the Treasurer for a local non-profit organization focused on opening education opportunities to female students of color. Monalisa received her B.S. in Finance & International Business from the University of Bridgeport, CT and her M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, NY. “I can honestly say enrolling our son into ASM has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. Watching our son thrive here under the care of such amazing teachers has been truly rewarding. I am so grateful to have found the ASM community. I am hoping my corporate experience in finance and operations will allow me to add value to the Board and contribute to the school's growth and development”.

Eric Trickett

Board member since 2021

Eric is the Head of Corporate and Executive Talent Acquisition for Wayfair, the largest online home furnishings and decor retailer in the world. He has built the teams and infrastructure to help the company scale from 6,000 to over 20,000 employees which propelled the company into the Fortune 500. Prior to Wayfair, Eric led Global Tech Recruiting and Executive Recruiting for TripAdvisor, the most trafficked online travel website in the world. He has over 20 years of experience helping high growth companies develop their talent attraction, acquisition and retention strategies while driving cultural environments of diversity, equity and inclusion. Eric holds his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics from Bates College. “The community of ASM is so passionate and excited about the learning opportunities that ASM provides our children. Our boys are not only excelling with their academic development, but developing self confidence, social empathy and sound public speaking capabilities that will benefit them greatly in the future. I’m thrilled to be able to offer my experience navigating complex people strategies to help the school flourish.”

Christopher Verro

Board member since 2021

Christopher brings almost 30 years of experience in sales & marketing, accounting, budgeting, planning, and team building as a business owner operating a regional commercial janitorial firm that has consistently been in the top 25 largest janitorial firms as ranked by the Boston Business Journal. He has also served on several committees for the Building Owners and Managers Association which provides fundraisers for local charities that benefit families and children of need. “As an ASM parent the Montessori method of teaching speaks to the core of what our children need to truly learn, grow, and succeed. I would like to dedicate my time to serve the board in helping ASM prosper and further Maria Montessori’s vision.”

Archana Vitale

Board member since 2017

Archana recently rejoined the workforce as a business development consultant at Clarion Healthcare, a healthcare and biotech management consulting firm. Archana brings a unique blend of deep scientific understanding and a broad perspective on the commercial and business side of the biopharmaceutical industry to support and implement business development solutions for the firm. Archana received her PhD from the Brain, Behavior and Cognition program at Boston University, where she did her research in collaboration with the Translational Neuroscience Lab at McLean Hospital to develop a strong foundation in neuroscience. Her graduate work was supported by various teaching and research fellowships. "With both my children thriving in this environment, ASM has very quickly grown to become such an integral part of our lives! Serving on the board and supporting strategic planning and governance efforts has been so fulfilling and I am extremely excited about continuing to contribute to this amazing and nurturing community."

Jessica Yu

Board member since 2022

Jessica has over 20 years of experience in accounting and auditing. Jessica started her career in public accounting at PwC in Boston, focusing on Biotech and Pharmaceutical clients. She then moved onto various internal audit roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific and TJX Corporation working on designing and implementing internal control environments. She is currently working as a Revenue Controller for Philips Healthcare based out of Cambridge MA. Jessica has B.S. in Accountancy from Bentley University and M.S in Accountancy from Northeastern University. Jessica and her husband Andrew have been part of the ASM community since 2017 when their oldest child started in Children’s House. “I am a proud parent of ASM and a strong promoter of Montessori education. I hope to use my background to contribute to further strengthen this wonderful community”.

Danhua Zheng

Board member since 2018

Danhua has a B.S. in Computer and Information Science from UMASS Dartmouth and has over 20 years of experience in the financial database software industry. Currently, she is the principal for Chinese School Andover and has been very active in the local community, promoting cross-cultural exchange programs and Chinese arts and culture appreciation. Danhua served as treasurer of PACE (ASM’s Parent Association) for many years and has been a dedicated volunteer since her family arrived at ASM. “I love ASM and its community. I enjoy seeing my children grow up, learning so much and having fun. Joining the board will give me a chance to give back to the school and be part of the strategic plan to make the school even better for future children to learn and grow.”

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