The SMS teaching faculty is comprised of dedicated professionals who model a strong work ethic and collaboration while delivering a challenging curriculum to our students. All SMS Lead Teachers hold Montessori credentials, which include a rigorous training program and a supervised year-long internship in addition to their academic degree. Our co-curricular program includes art, technology (STEAM), music, gardening, French, and Latin.

All staff members bring their individual styles and experiences to create a respectful, inclusive environment in which every child can thrive.

Children’s House Auburn Campus

Suzanne Balcom • Auburn Campus Children’s House Director
Suzanne-BalcomSuzanne Balcom received her BA in Psychology from Worcester State College. Suzanne attained her Montessori Children’s House (3-6) credential through the AMS certified New England Montessori Teacher Education Center.  Suzanne holds her Director I and Lead Teacher certificate through the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Ms. Balcom has been a Shrewsbury Montessori School teacher in the greater Worcester area for over 30 years. “Teaching young children is my passion, and my passion is teaching! I invite all interested parents to call to set up a tour of the Auburn campus!”
Kathy Falcucci • Auburn Campus Children’s House Assistant Teacher

Kathy Falcucci

Kathy Falcucci is a graduate of Newbury Junior College of Business and contributes her strong organizational skills to her love of working with children in her role as Assistant Teacher with Ms. Balcom. Ms. Falcucci and Ms. Balcom provide an outstanding Montessori Children’s House program for children ages 3, 4 and 5 at the Auburn campus.

Children’s House Worcester Campus

Debra Shupe • Children’s House Teacher
Debbie Shupe grew up in Northern New York and received her BA in Early Education from SUNY – Potsdam, and a MS in Deaf Education from the State University of New York-Geneseo. She attained her Montessori Infant, Toddler, and Children’s House (0-6) certification through the St. Nicholas School in London, England. Deb loves to incorporate nature into the daily curriculum of Montessori education through gardening and observation as a means to tap into all the five senses. Mrs. Shupe enjoys skiing, riding horses, biking, and traveling.
Michelle Vieira • Children's House Assistant Teacher
Cynthia Miller • Children’s House After School Staff

Children’s House Shrewsbury Campus

Jeannie Korona-Treveloni • Children’s House Teacher
Jeannie Treveloni has a BA in Psychology from Framingham State College. She earned her Montessori Children’s House (3-6) credential through the AMS certified New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. Jeannie holds her Lead Teacher certificate through the MA Department of Early Education and Care. She has worked in the Metro West area as a Montessori Lead Teacher for over 14 years. Mrs. Treveloni works to uncover each child’s full potential.
Christine Manzi • Children’s House Teacher

Christine ManziChristine Manzi has a BA degree in Finance from Nichols College. She earned her Montessori Children’s House credential from the AMS certified New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. She is a proud mother of two Montessori children.

Kathleen Finn • Children’s House Teacher
Kathleen FinnKathleen Finn attained her Montessori Children’s House (3-6) credential through the AMS certified New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. Kathleen holds her Director I and Lead Teacher certificate through the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Mrs. Finn has worked in the Metro West area as a Montessori Lead Teacher and Director for over 20 years. She loves working with children. “They are full of possibilities!”

Brenda Alfreds • Children’s House Assistant Teacher

Brenda AlfredsBrenda Alfreds has 13 years’ experience as Assistant Teacher guiding children through the Montessori Method of learning at the Shrewsbury campus. Brenda assists in all areas of the classroom and has helped make a happy, healthy, and safe environment for the children to learn. Her hope is that all children have the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment!

Jin Sim • Children’s House Teacher
Jin Sim earned her Montessori Children’s House (3-6) credential through the AMS certified New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. Jin holds her Lead Teacher certificate through the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Jin has been teaching since 1997. Mrs. Sim is thankful to work in a Montessori classroom where children truly work for the joy of working, develop a love of learning, learn at their own pace, cooperate with their peers, and grow into confident leaders.
Wanda Edtl • Children’s House Substitute and Before School Staff

Wanda-EtlWanda Edtl brings over 25 years’ experience as SMS Children’s House Assistant Teacher to her current role as Children’s House Substitute Teacher and our Before School Program staff. Mrs. Edtl loves to scrapbook and travel with family and friends.

Joyce Adams • Children’s House Substitute and After School Staff

Joyce AdamsJoyce Adams brings over 15 years’ experience as SMS Children’s House Assistant Teacher to her current role as Children’s House Substitute Teacher and our After School Program staff. Joyce loves the simple things in life such as working with children, the SMS staff, her family, dear friends and her treasured dogs!

Lower Elementary

Donna Nirenberg • Lower Elementary Teacher
Donna Nirenberg graduated from Framingham State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Donna received her Montessori Elementary I (6-9) credential through the AMS certified Seacoast Center for Montessori Education. Donna’s training included the Early Childhood Overview, two summers of Lower Elementary training and an internship year. Mrs. Nirenberg has worked as a Lower Elementary Lead Teacher at Shrewsbury Montessori School for 16 years.
Christine Abysalh • Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Christine-AbysalhChristine Abysalh has worked in partnership with Mrs. Nirenberg as Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher beautifully providing guidance and support for their students for 12 years. Christine is a Special Needs Aid with the Shrewsbury Public Schools’ Summer Program. Before coming to Shrewsbury Montessori School, Mrs. Abysalh volunteered for many years in her son’s school.

Susan Sabacinski • Lower Elementary Teacher
Susan-SabacinkiSusan Sabacinski attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and received her BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Art from Worcester State University. Susan has taught at public and parochial schools. She received her Montessori Elementary I (6-9) credential through the AMS certified Seacoast Center for Montessori Education. Susan has over 25 years of experience teaching and guiding children. She worked as a Children’s House Assistant Teacher for many years before accepting a position as Lower Elementary Directress at Shrewsbury Montessori School in 1996. Mrs. Sabacinski is the proud parent of three children. Her youngest son is an SMS alumnus having attended for nine years. Her four grandchildren are a constant source of inspiration. “Once Montessori entered my life, it became a passion of mine that continually amazes me.”

Krista Maynard • Lower Elementary Teacher
Krista-MaynardKrista Maynard received a BS in Psychology and Business Administration from Salve Regina University.  She returned to Worcester State University to further her schooling in Elementary Education. Krista is currently taking her Montessori Education Elementary I (6-9) training program with AMS certified Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative. Krista has been working in Mrs. Sabacinski’s Lower Elementary classroom for three years. She is also involved in the school’s basketball AfterSchool program and is a big Boston sports fan. Ms. Maynard also enjoys reading, painting, and surfing.
Barbara Michalak • Lower Elementary Support Teacher

Upper Elementary

Judith Regan • Upper Elementary Teacher
Judith-ReganJudith Regan received a BA in Economics from Regis College. Judith is a graduate of the London Montessori Centre – Nursery Foundation Teaching Diploma Post Graduate (0-6), and a graduate of AMS certified Seacoast Center for Montessori Education Elementary I (6-9) and Elementary II (9-12) programs. Mrs. Regan has been employed at Shrewsbury Montessori School for 15 years and  has taught at our Shrewsbury Campus for more 12 years.
Beth McGillicuddy • Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Beth-McGillicuddyBeth McGillicuddy received a BA degree in Foreign Affairs from Assumption College. Beth has worked as Assistant Teacher with Mrs. Regan in the SMS Upper Elementary program for 8 years.

Brodie Kramer • Upper Elementary Teacher
Brodie-KramerBrodie Kramer earned his BS in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Brodie has taken his AMS certified Montessori Elementary II (9-12) training with the AMS certified Center for Montessori Teacher Education New York in the summer of 2013.  Mr. Kramer is taking his internship year at Shrewsbury Montessori School throughout the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. Kramer draws upon his interests in science, nature, art and music to help students discover their unique gifts in a fun and nurturing environment.
Stephanie Fish • Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher
Stephanie Fish graduated from Prescott College in Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual and Performance Art. Stephanie received her AMS (3-6) credentials from Northeast Montessori Institute and a Master’s Degree from Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts. She has over 16 years of Montessori experience. Stephanie joined SMS this fall along with her daughter Avery. She is thrilled to be part of the SMS community.


Ellen Donaldson • Art Teacher
Ellen Donaldson received a BS in Art Education and earned her M.Ed in Art Education from Miami University (Ohio) where she studied under Dr. John Michaels. As artist and educator, Ellen brings a wealth of experience working with a variety of students to her classes at Shrewsbury Montessori School. A strong background in child development enables her to relate topics explored by students in their class curriculum, to themes of particular student interest, thereby tapping individual enthusiasm to generate student excitement among students for making their own art. Working with children at Worcester Art Museum and as resident artist with Very Special Arts Massachusetts, Mrs. Donaldson still has time to pursue her own drawing, painting, and mixed media work which she exhibits locally.
Sarah Okerlund • Music Teacher
Sarah-OkerlundSarah Okerlund earned her bachelor’s degree in: Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and her Master’s in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Sarah has taught music in public elementary schools, a private residential school for special needs children, and private preschools. Sarah Okerlund currently teaches piano and theory to groups of children and their parents with the New England Music Academy. Sarah has two musical children–an organist and jazz guitarist and loves sharing and exploring music with children of all ages.
Phyllis Whitten • French and Latin Teacher
Phyllis-WhittenMadame Whitten is an American with a Parisian upbringing.  After many years living abroad in a Foreign Service family, she returned to attend Tufts University, graduating with a degree in French language and Elementary Education, followed by a master’s degree in Education from Lesley University.  She has taught in the Boston area, and tutors high school and home-schooled students in French.  Madame’s youngest daughter attended Shrewsbury Montessori from Kindergarten through Sixth Year and has made friends with Montessorians all over the world!

Patricia Fontes • Librarian
Patricia-FontesPatricia Fontes received a BA in German Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MS in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska, and an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Mrs. Fontes brings her extensive experience as Worcester State University Reference Librarian, Media Center Director for Nashoba Regional High School, and Library-Media Specialist at Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School, and her great love of literature to the SMS library.
Marla Ehler • Content Support
Marla-EhlerMarla Ehler received a Bachelor of Science/Art in Pre-Med and Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts and a BFA in Photography from Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Marla has experience working in the Shrewsbury Public School system as an Instructional Assistant with Kindergarten and Elementary School students before joining Shrewsbury Montessori in 2011. Marla has trained in both the Orton-Gillingham approach for reading and DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessments.  Mrs. Ehler tutors students kindergarten through the Sixth Year at Shrewsbury Montessori.
Tuyen Truong • Technology Teacher
Tuyen TruongTuyen Truong brings over 10 years of computer industry experience to her role as Technology Teacher at Shrewsbury Montessori School.  She has worked as a hardware and software engineer in the areas of microprocessor design, e-commerce, database development, and network management for Fortune 500 companies and startups.  Tuyen is passionate about bringing her industry experience into the classroom, teaching students how technology works and the development process, as well as the application of technology in everyday life.  Tuyen holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Villanova University.  She enjoys spending time outside the classroom with her husband and three sons. 
Kristin Combs • Children's House Intern
Kristine CombsKristin Combs graduated from Connecticut College with a major in Religious Studies and minor in Art. Kristin has taught in independent schools students grades one through nine. She is currently taking her Montessori Children’s House (3-6) training through the AMS accredited Montessori Institute New England. Mother of two SMS students, Mrs. Combs is an accomplished hiker who has hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine!

Shrewsbury Campus After School

Donna Leo • Shrewsbury Campus Elementary After School Coordinator
Donna-LeoDonna Leo began her Montessori experience when her daughter entered the toddler program in California in 2001. Donna joined the SMS After School staff in 2009, combining her experiences as a Girl Scout leader and religious education teacher with the Montessori principles. As SMS After School Director, Donna is committed to bringing enriching programs to the SMS After School Program. Mrs. Leo enjoys gardening, traveling with her daughter (an SMS graduate), and spoiling her cats.

Maria Lynch • Children’s House After School Staff

Cindy Rodriguez • Children’s House After School Staff

Jessica Colorio • Children’s House After School Staff


Kari Cafeo • Head of School
kari-cafeo Kari Cafeo started her education career 18 years ago as a teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools. She went on to earn her Masters of Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati. Upon moving to Virginia, Kari assumed the role of Director of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Preschool during their inaugural year. For the past 6 years, she has been a member of the administrative team at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, first as the Director of Admissions and her most recent role as the Assistant Head of School. Kari’s family recently relocated to Massachusetts and is excited to be a part of the Shrewsbury Montessori community. Kari is a member of the following school associations: AMS, AISNE, IMC, NAIS, MSM, NAMTA, and NAEYC. As a mother of two children, she has been actively involved as a parent in private, public, and boarding schools for the past 14 years. Kari enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and traveling.

Elizabeth Leandres • Director of Admissions
Elizabeth-LeandresElizabeth Leandres graduated from Assumption College with a BA in Elementary Education and Music and a minor in Psychology. Elizabeth attained her AMS certified Seacoast Center for Montessori Education Elementary I (6-9) credential. In addition, she is trained in the Wilson Reading Program, and Kindermusic. Elizabeth has worked in education for over 20 years and has a true passion for the development and education of children. Elizabeth began her career at Shrewsbury Montessori School in 1991 as a Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher and immediately enrolled in a Montessori training program. Elizabeth enjoyed 17 years at Lower Elementary Lead Teacher before accepting her current position as Director of Admissions in 2008. Mrs. Leandres is a professional singer in local churches and enjoys sharing her love of music and theater with children.

Aixa Lovezzola • Business Mananger
Aixa LovezzolaBusiness Manager.

Suzanne Nebelung • Development Director
Suzanne Singh Nebelung received her BA from Clark University and her M.Ed from Worcester State University. She completed the Introduction to Montessori & 3-6 Overview at the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative. Mrs. Nebelung has been a part of the Shrewsbury Montessori Community for the past 10 years, including roles as a parent, volunteer, trustee, and in the admissions office. Prior to her experience at SMS, her focus was in non-profit program management and community health. Mrs. Nebelung enjoys golfing, gardening, and spending time with her family.

Nancy See • Marketing Communication
Nancy See graduated from Wake Technical Community College and received Project Management Certification from George Washington University. Prior to SMS, She worked at IBM as a Project Manager with global translation team in Service and Support Divisions, IT Support, and Database Management. Mrs. See has been a part of Montessori community since 2002 as a parent, volunteer, classroom substitute, teacher assistant and a member of administrations. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling.