Faculty and Staff
Grade 4 Teacher
Alexandra is devoted to fostering students’ “Aha” moments, those instances when minds light up and students become more passionate about their work. When Alexandra is not working with students, she spends her time diving into novels, going to the beach, and searching for new dinner recipes.
Room 5 Lead Teacher
Carolann’s three adult children are all alumni of Walnut Park Montessori and Jackson. She is beginning her 18th year at WPMS and feels so fortunate to be working in such a caring community with dedicated faculty and supportive families. Carolann is certified in MACAR (Montessori Applied to Children at Risk) and Musikgarten (early childhood music education). Her passions include music, nature, and yoga.
Room 2 Teacher / Mandarin
Fang Ding has been with JWP since 2014. She appreciates how Montessori develops concentration and independence in children, and she enjoys serving as a helper/translator for Chinese families on campus. She loves JWP because of the lovely children, staff, and families here.
Head of School, Jackson School
Steve arrives at Jackson School for the 2019-20 school year, assuming responsibilities for both Jackson and the JWP Collaborative. He has spent over 30 years as an independent school teacher and administrator, and still experiences enormous satisfaction when a student or a class makes a connection with a good book. When he’s not at school, Steve enjoys spending time in northern New England—hiking, skiing, canoeing—or seeing a good play at the ART.
Director of Admission and Enrollment Management
Sandi is thrilled to have joined the renowned Jackson Walnut Park School in the Fall of 2019. In addition to her role as Director of Admissions in three PreK-8 independent schools in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, Sandi has taught Music, Theater, PreK, Kindergarten, and Middle School Social Studies, Language Arts, and French. She has also combined her teaching and programming skills into large scale productions and programs, after school, and summer camps. Sandi finds joy in building community while connecting with current and new families. She is dedicated to helping them realize the benefits of a transformative JWP education for their children. Sandi values her time with her husband, daughters, son-in-law, and three precious granddaughters who live in Chicago.
William Everett, LAT, ATC
Health & Physical Education Teacher
Will has worked as a licensed Athletic Trainer and Anatomy teacher at the college, high school, and middle school levels. He has also dedicated his time to ongoing service opportunities at Rosie’s Place, the Quincy Crisis Center, DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended), and the Samaritans. His main goal is to help the students of Jackson School make informed health decisions while empowering them to maintain positive inner and outer relationships. Will enjoys creating playlists for long walks, taking in live music, and is a tea connoisseur.
Lauren is passionate about reading, especially the Harry Potter series, because of the way it transforms reluctant readers into avid ones. She loves having conversations with students when they start reading Harry Potter and sharing in their excitement.
When she is not traveling and learning about new cultures, Elizabeth encourages her students to challenge the world they live in, teaching them to be creative and critical thinkers. Elizabeth is committed to having an impact on her student’s lives that inspires them to change the world.
Kids' Corner Coordinator
Tracey began working at Walnut Park Montessori in 1998 when she created and directed the After-School program known as Kids’ Corner. Inspired by Montessori philosophy, as well as the children and colleagues she worked with, she completed her Montessori training in 2002.
Room 1 Lead Teacher
Maureen joined Walnut Park in 2007. She enjoys the camaraderie, collaboration, and spirit of the JWP community. She believes Walnut Park is an amazing environment for children to begin their journey and develop a lifelong love for learning. Away from school, she loves to golf, bike, attend sporting events, and spend time with her family.
Grade 3 Teacher
Danielle grew up in North Andover, MA before moving to Colorado, where she spent the past 4 years teaching in Denver Public Schools. Danielle currently holds a Masters of Education as well as a Bachelors in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Danielle’s favorite thing about teaching is seeing all of the unique ways that students can come to one result. She loves to find as many opportunities for hands-on activities and centers based learning to foster a lifelong love of learning in her students! In her free time, you can find Danielle doing anything outdoors, such as climbing, skiing, and hiking but she also LOVES to bake!
Room 5 Teacher
Annie graduated from Colgate U
Jessica spent 11 years of her 14 years at Jackson School as a first-grade teacher. After the birth of her son Jonathan, she returned to Jackson as a Learning Center teacher and has now found her passion as the school librarian for grades kindergarten through fourth. She enjoys turning her library into a “playground” where students can have fun connecting, interacting, and demonstrating their love of books. Jessica loves teaching because she enjoys interacting with children. She relishes listening to their ideas, seeing the way their minds work, and the way they grow in knowledge, confidence, and skills.
Activities Director | Summer Fun Director
Nicole loves working with children and has a genuine way of nurturing and leading them by example. She is passionate about fostering their love for themselves, others, and nature. Nicole is grateful to be a part of the Jackson Walnut Park Community.
Room 2 Lead Teacher
Julia grew up in Mexico City. After working for the United Nations and realizing the need for peace in the world, she decided to become a teacher. In 2003, after witnessing the wonderful education that her children were receiving, she began teaching at Walnut Park Montessori. She loves the peace curriculum and the commitment of the whole school community to caring for our planet, animals, and human beings.
Meg has been familiar with Montessori philosophy and pedagogy for many years, as two of her own children attended Montessori school. She enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling. One highlight of her travels was riding a camel in the desert of Northern Africa.
Room 3 Lead Teacher
Dona was born and raised in Sri Lanka and speaks the native language, Sinhalese. Her love of the Montessori philosophy led her to become a Montessorian. She has been teaching at Walnut Park for 15 years. She is passionate about working with young children and helping them reach their full potential.
Grade 3 Teacher
Miss Johnson is a third-grade teacher here at JWP! She previously taught 3rd grade in Milton, MA. Third grade is Miss Johnson’s favorite grade to teach! Her favorite part about teaching is when students learn and start forming connections between the content and their personal lives. As a teacher, Miss Johnson’s number one priority is creating a loving, supportive, safe, and eager-to-learn environment. Miss Johnson loves to spend time with her family, her dog Buddy, and her friends outside of school. She is the head coach of a Women’s Ice Hockey team at Curry College and loves spending time at her favorite place, the beach!
School Nurse, Health Office
A lifelong resident of Newton, Nancy considers every day to be full of learning experiences. She cherishes interacting with and supporting the needs of the students. She enjoys stargazing, singing along with her Spotify playlist, and spending time with her four Walnut Park Montessori graduates: Juliana, Andrew, Sofia, and Adam.
Grade 1 Teacher
What Kristina enjoys most about teaching is seeing how each of her students grows academically and socially. Kristina is passionate about teaching and making a difference in each of her student’s lives.
Head of School, Walnut Park
As soon as she walked into a Montessori classroom and observed children working, Stephanie knew that this was what she wanted to do. She began working at Walnut Park Montessori in 2000. Stephanie loves the welcoming, diverse community at JWP and believes that Montessori children will change the world. Stephanie has played the dual role of teacher and parent while all three of her children have attended Walnut Park, and she is now the head of school there.
Administrative Assistant, WP
Amy has been at Walnut Park Montessori since 2008. Her son Leo attends Walnut Park in a Primary classroom. She has enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful families and loves helping new families get settled into our community. Amy also enjoys helping with some of our great events.
Grade 5 Teacher
Emily enjoys teaching students using hands-on methods that nurture creativity in the classroom. She is passionate about literacy and incorporating her favorite authors into the curriculum. In her free time, Emily loves reading psychological thrillers, baking, and spending time outside.
Karen LOVE’s teaching kindergarten! She is passionate about helping students become lifelong learners. When Karen is not in the classroom, she enjoys meeting picture book authors and illustrators. She has an extensive library of children’s literature. One of her favorite authors and illustrators is Tomie dePaola.
Grade 6 Teacher
Nicola’s favorite thing about education is that every day is different. There is always something new to learn, and there are always opportunities for everyone to succeed. Nicola counts teaching creative writing among her passions as a teacher.
GRADE 1 TEACHER
What Ms. Montgomery loves most about teaching 1st Grade is watching students grow and how each and every student is unique. Ms. Montgomery cares about every student and pushes them to be the best version of themselves.
Advancement Database Administrator
Michelle, a native of Cambridge and an MSJA alum, comes to us from St. Joseph Prep’s Advancement Department. She has worked for many years in her family’s garden center and pursued a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Harvard Division of Continuing Education while working in the Asian Export Art Department at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She loves her annual vacation in East Sandwich on Cape Cod!
Director of Advancement
A Wellesley native, Kelly attended the University of South Florida, earning a dual degree in Economics and Sociology. She has significant experience in independent school advancement. Prior, Kelly has spent many years working as a Public Relations and Communications Specialist in the entertainment industry. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children at the beach or on the golf course.
Kids' Corner Director
Neal started working for JWP in 2001 as an assistant at Kids’ Corner and currently holds the position of Program Director. His son attended Walnut Park and later graduated from Jackson School. Neal enjoys spending time with family and loves to ski!
Room 3 Teacher
Upon graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, Mary began to pursue her Master’s in Early Education at Lesley University. Mary instantly fell in love with the Montessori Method’s emphasis on individuality during her first year of teaching in 2017. When her career eventually brought her to Jackson Walnut Park, Mary immediately felt at home. When Mary is not teaching, she enjoys visiting her home state of Vermont, enjoying time with family in Cape Cod, and watching baseball!
Megan cares about children’s well-being and how it affects their experience at school. She views each child as an individual and provides coping skills and a nurturing presence when social, emotional, and academic concerns arise. When Megan is not counseling, she recharges through traveling, spending time with her dog, and practicing yoga.
After 45 years in the telephone industry at AT&T, Fred joined the JWP community in 2014. Passionate about his family, politics, and sports, Fred especially loves soccer. He has over 30 years playing, coaching and refereeing the “beautiful game.” Fred finds the JWP community an extremely friendly environment, where the parents, teachers, and kids are always smiling.
Grade 4 Teacher
Adrianna loves working with students to grow their understanding and have their “lightbulb moment.” She believes her class is a family and her room a second home for her students to come and embrace new opportunities. When she is not teaching, Adrianna spends her summers camping with her family, working with kids in various summer programs, and reading anything she can get her hands on!
Director of Marketing & Communications
Before arriving at JWP, Sierra worked at Suffolk University in the Office of Title IX and the University of Mississippi’s Athletic Department. When Sierra is not at work, she enjoys traveling back to her hometown in California and exploring the East Coast.
GRADE 2 TEACHER
Ms. Ruggie grew up in Ashland, MA, and started her teaching career in Arlington. This past year she spent time teaching 4th grade in Warsaw, Poland, at a trilingual school and was able to travel a lot before returning stateside! Second grade is her favorite grade, so she is very excited to be back. Outside of school, Ms. Ruggie loves to spend time with friends and family at the beach in the summer and on the ski slopes in winter! Her favorite things to do above all are to travel, read, and try new foods.
Room 5 Lead Teacher
Sandra was born in the island of Sri Lanka, where she worked at the UN and UNICEF offices before arriving in Boston in 1988. Working in Montessori Schools, and at WP (where she has been since 2000), is one of the best things that has happened in her life. Sandra is also an associate member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston.
Dorothy Simone is an oil painter and mixed media artist.
She teaches Adult Painting and Drawing at the Plymouth Art Center and Elementary Art at Jackson School.
Simone has taught at the Danforth Museum, Fuller Craft Museum and South Shore Art Center she currently teaches at the Plymouth Art Center and Private Classes.
“Over the years I have watched students grow artistically and become good painters and artists. Many who said that they were “only beginners”. Being a partner in that is an intimate experience beyond words.
Making Art is certainly soulful. The ‘relaxing feeling’ occurs after you work so hard and then suddenly your expression blooms like a flower. But like a flower garden, it must constantly be cultivated.” It is not always easy but certainly worth the loving hours of tending your craft.
Focusing on creating is living in the now and that is joy”
Elena teaches JWP students music, focusing on music literacy, and building the skills for music independence. She is a classically trained opera singer and also plays piano, ukulele, and other musical instruments. She loves theatre, art, and houseplants. In her free time, Elena spends time with her adorable French bulldog named Bongo.
Grade 1/2 Teacher
When a child exhibits a spark of curiosity or desire to learn, Eileen gets to share in it, and that brings her great joy. She loves to be in nature with her two sons, Christopher and Matthew, and enjoys hiking, biking, taking her dog, Sammi, for walks in the woods, and reading a good book in her backyard.
Grade 6 Teacher
Ms. Sullivan believes that children are unique, and each has something special that they can bring to their own education. She loves to help children express and accept themselves for who they are while embracing the differences of others. Her main goal is to have each child leave school happy every day. When Ms. Sullivan is not in the classroom, she loves to spend time with my family, reading a good book and cooking.
As a teacher, Ms. Sun loves to see her students grow both academically and socially. She loves sharing Chinese Cultures with others and learning all kinds of languages! Besides teaching, Ms. Sun enjoys traveling, movies, and spending time with family, friends, and her cat.
Room 1 Lead Teacher
Miss Nthabi is known for her joyful spirit! Her peaceful and caring demeanor helps her observe, listen, and intentionally provide what a child needs to support their development. When she is not teaching in the classroom, she can be found singing all over MA at different events and if you’re lucky you might catch her melodious tunes on campus.
Room 4 Lead Teacher
Jaklin loves the Montessori approach that gives children the freedom to express themselves in practical activities and develop as a whole person in physical, emotional and social aspects. Jaklin enjoys learning about different cultures and traditions. She can speak Turkish, French, Arabic, and Italian, and she recently received her MACAR (Montessori Applied to Children At Risk) certification.
Andreina loves her students’ energy and curiosity. She enjoys facilitating exciting learning activities, making personal connections, and watching children grow as individuals year after year. Andreina also loves spending time with her family, outdoor adventures, and traveling with her husband and five children.
GRADE 2 TEACHER
Katie Walter-Jeffery is a second-grade teacher at Jackson. She has previously taught in Elementary Ed. Connecticut, China, Australia, and South Korea. She moved back to Boston last year to start her Masters of Reading and Literacy at Boston College. Katie currently holds a double Bachelors in Elementary Education and History. She is very excited to work at Jackson and build relationships with her students. Her teaching philosophies focus on student-centered approach and discovery-based learning. While not at school, Katie enjoys running, baking and riding her bike along the Charles.
Walnut Park Music Teacher/Guest Teacher
Matt was born on Eglin Air Force Base and grew up in Niceville, Florida. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Florida State University. Matt’s favorite part about teaching is meeting and solving the unique challenges students face every day. Matt mostly likes to make music in his free time, primarily playing the Saxophone.
Grade 5 Teacher
Alison strives to instill a thirst for knowledge in her students each and every day. When not inspiring her fifth-grade students to “think outside of the box,” Alison enjoys discovering new books for her students to read, going sailing at Crescent Beach, hiking with her dog Bailey, and gardening.