Linda S. Zankowsky, Director
Linda S. Zankowsky, Ed.D., is the director of the University of Delaware Montessori Teacher Residency (UDMTR), offered through UD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. Recently Linda served as the interim director of the Early Learning Center at the University of Delaware and assistant professor in UD’s College of Education and Human Development, Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Linda has 33 years of experience as a reading specialist, classroom teacher, school principal and Head of School at Wilmington Montessori School. Linda’s focus has been on literacy and assessment, social curriculum, and building professional learning communities. She has served as an adjunct instructor at UD, consulted with schools and presented nationally on literacy assessment. A parent of two Montessori children, Linda is a strong advocate of Montessori education as an option for all children. The preparation of teachers is essential to providing quality Montessori choices for children and families.
Melissa Sugzdinis, Program Manager
Melissa Sugzdinis, M.Ed., has been a Montessori teacher for over 20 years. She has taught both lower and upper elementary, and worked as an elementary enrichment coordinator, reading specialist and Title I math specialist. Melissa has worked for private, charter and public schools in Ohio, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and is state certified in Delaware and Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University, and her master’s degree from Wilmington University. She holds an Elementary II credential from CMTE-NY. Melissa was involved in the development of the Center for Montessori Advancement and has worked with the Delaware STARS program to bring professional development to Montessori teachers in Delaware. She has partnered with AMS and MACTE on various initiatives. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two Montessori sons. Her hope is for all children to have access to the amazing Montessori experiences her own children had growing up.
- Sandra Wyner Andrew
- María Carvajal
- Neepa Dhar
- Laure Fleming
- Allison Jones
- Ellen Kropiewnicki
- Ginger Mayhew
- Peter McClure
- Sinead Meehan
- Kathryn Hill Mosquera
- Jon Otto
- Camille Smith
- Seth D. Webb
Sandra Wyner Andrew, B.S., M.Ed., CAGS, a native South African, has been a teacher, mentor and administrator. Starting out as a science teacher in a British public school, she moved to Montessori elementary education, gaining an AMI Montessori Elementary Certification in Bergamo, Italy, after which she emigrated to the United States. After working in private Montessori schools for many years, in the U.S. and Australia, she was involved in the development of the Zanetti Montessori Magnet Public School in Springfield, Massachusetts, an urban public school with a racially and socio-economically diverse population for students ages 3 to 14, at first as the Montessori mentor/instructional coach and then as its principal. After leaving Springfield Public Schools. Sandra taught in the online master’s program for Montessori credentialed students at the College of St. Catherine, was a course instructor for the Southwest Montessori Training Center and worked as a Montessori educational consultant. Presently she is a senior associate for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Center. Sandra also holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in education administration and an AMS Montessori Administrator’s Certification.
María Carvajal has 20 years’ experience in teaching, educational research, consulting, mentorship, and program management in El Salvador, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S. She is a certified AMI elementary guide with primary teaching experience, and holds a B.A. and M.A. in humanities from the University of Navarra and an M.Ed. in Montessori elementary education from Loyola University Maryland. María’s professional interests include trauma-informed care, English learner education and early intervention. For research, she is currently focused on targeted services for at-risk student populations, receptive and expressive language delays, and associations between social-emotional competence and literacy skills in children.
Neepa has an M.Ed. in early childhood education and has been a Montessori teacher for over 21 years. She has taught both in the private and public sector in Philadelphia and New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s degree from Calcutta University in India and Temple University in Philadelphia, and her master’s degree from Chestnut Hill College, Pennsylvania. She holds a Primary Montessori degree from AMS. Neepa is currently working in the public sector and merging Montessori math with public school district curriculum. She lives in New Jersey with her family. Her dream is to spread the Montessori curriculum and philosophy in the world.
Laure is the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) program manager and coach for the mid-Atlantic region. Laure first encountered Dr. Montessori’s “Education for Peace” philosophy while studying anthropology as an undergraduate. Through her varied experiences in district, charter, private, and nonprofit schools, both in the U.S. and abroad, Laure has seen what a lifeline free public Montessori programs provide to children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds. After three years working in education in Central America, Laure is again U.S.-based and focused on supporting the development and flourishing of public Montessori. Laure holds AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) primary and AMS (American Montessori Society) elementary certifications and Maryland State licensure for teachers and principals. She earned her M.Ed. in Montessori education from Loyola University and a post-graduate certificate in school administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University. Laure lives in Greenbelt, Maryland, with her husband and son.
Allison Jones, M.Ed., is the director of student support at Breakthrough Montessori Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she worked as a Primary and Lower Elementary Guide at Latin American Bilingual Montessori and John Hanson Montessori. She holds AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas. She helped develop and lead Child Study Training for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector and has instructed in NCMPS Montessori Teacher Residency programs in Memphis, TN, Austin TX, and Washington, DC.
Lifelong Delaware resident and UD alum, Ellen Kropiewnicki wears many hats at UDMTR. She is the residents’ weekly coach during the school year and acts as site coordinator during seminars. Certified as an ELI teacher, Ellen brings her background as a public school and Montessori teacher to the program and carries it along with a deep passion for the Montessori philosophy. As well as experience as a teacher at First State Montessori Academy, Ellen is a practicing Montessorian at home with her two young children. She is also the lead guide and founder of MontiStory, a workshop for parents hoping to involve aspects of Montessori practices in their family’s way of life.
Apprentice instructor Ginger Mayhew is a K/1 lead teacher at First State Montessori Academy charter school in Wilmington, Delaware. She graduated from the University of Delaware’s Early Childhood Education program and found her personal hook in Montessori through researching best practice in differentiated instruction. She then got her Montessori lower elementary certification at the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as her Responsive Classroom 1 & 2 trainings. In the classroom, she is particularly interested in supporting children’s social and emotional development.
Peter brings 20 years of experience in Montessori environments, having worked in both public charter and private schools. A graduate of Yale University, with an MAT from Boston University, Peter holds his 6-12 teaching credential from the American Montessori Society. In addition to being a classroom teacher, he has been a coach, level team coordinator, board member and a faculty leader. In addition, he has led teams to develop school-wide progress reports, peer counseling programs and whole school curriculum initiatives. Peter is currently the director of teaching and learning at Sussex Montessori School, a new Montessori charter school located in Seaford, Delaware.
Sinead Meehan, M.Ed., is a third-year Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in Drexel University’s School of Education. Adhering to the belief that education scholars must consider issues of equity, representation and identity, her interests include examining the ways in which teacher preparation and professional development can be conceptualized through a lens of equity and social justice as the field supports K-12 science and engineering teachers. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Sinead was an elementary and middle school teacher in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In addition to being a full-time student, Sinead works as a teacher educator for Drexel University, West Side Montessori School’s Teacher Education Program and the University of Delaware’s Montessori Teacher Residency. Sinead received a bachelor of science in early grades education from West Chester University and master of arts in education from St. Catherine’s University. Sinead is AMS credentialed at the Elementary I Level and holds a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate for PK-9th grade.
Kathryn has over 19 years of experience in education including 14 as a classroom teacher in Montessori, traditional, public and private school environments in the United States and Australia including the Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School, The Barrie School and Learning Circle Montessori School. In addition, she brings over 11 years of experience providing technical assistance for innovative curriculum at the school, district and state level; supporting and coaching superintendents, principals, curriculum coordinators and teachers throughout implementation. Most recently Katie has served as an instructor for the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Jon comes with 17+ years of diverse experience in teaching and coaching in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Delaware, and Ecuador, currently serving as elementary guide, coach, garden coordinator and level lead at Sussex Montessori in Seaford, Delaware. He has collaborated with Montessorians working in the public sector through professional associations like BAMA (Bay Area Montessori Association) and his 6-12 AMS training program at St Mary’s College. Jon’s background includes a master’s and teaching credential in bilingual Spanish teaching. He has also worked with the Marine Science Institute in the San Francisco Bay, and for over 15 years has worked with school gardens, which was the subject of his master’s project. Jon is passionate about adapting language learning strategies to Montessori and incorporating hands-on environmental education, and overall, supporting equitable and inclusive Montessori expansion. Jon has worked as a lower and an upper elementary and an adolescent guide as well as a coach.
Camille has been an educator for more than 30 years, the last 18 in Montessori. She has master’s degrees in both instructional systems design and counseling, AMS certification for Elementary II, and holds teacher certification in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She became involved with Montessori when her son entered the toddler program at the Montessori Academy of Chambersburg (MAC) in Pennsylvania, 24 years ago. She taught K-8 art at MAC for 6 years, and upper elementary for 10 years, before moving to Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School in Frederick, Maryland, where she has been an upper elementary teacher for the past four years. She is the UE team lead at CCM, a member of the school improvement team, and a staff representative on the governance committee. Additionally, she has been an instructor for the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, MD.
Prior to joining NCMPS, Seth worked in public charter Montessori schools in Arizona, Colorado, and New Zealand as an elementary teacher, instructional leader, dean of students and principal. Throughout his career, Seth has been active in the Montessori movement as a conference presenter, and lecturer and field consultant for Montessori training centers. He is Montessori credentialed (AMS 6-12, AMI 12-18), is a state licensed teacher and principal, and holds an M.A.Ed. from the Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs at St. Catherine University. Seth is a Montessori parent and passionate Montessori advocate.
For more information about this program or to join the mailing list, please contact UDMTR director Linda Zankowsky via the following webform: