Brendan has a M.Ed in Elementary Education from Wilmington University in Delaware, as well as a BA in Music Performance with a minor in History from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is a state certified teacher and has been working in elementary classrooms for eight years. Brendan recently completed his AMS certification for Lower Elementary from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. This will be his fifth year working at HPMS, and he is excited to be teaching in the Sky Room again this year. He has been playing and teaching music professionally for the last 16 years, and he also enjoys traveling, sports, and working with dog rescue organizations.
Ciara has a M.Ed. in Education with a Montessori Emphasis from Chaminade University and a B.S. in Elementary Education (K-6) with a concentration in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In addition, Ciara earned an AMS Elementary I Teaching Credential through the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/NY (CMTE/NY). She is also working towards completing her Elementary II Credential with the Center for Global Montessori Studies. Ciara has over ten years experience teaching in both public and Montessori schools. She began her Montessori career at the early age of three, when she first stepped foot in an Early Childhood classroom at the Greensboro Montessori School in Greensboro, NC. Ciara continued her Montessori education into her Elementary years. This key experience is where Ciara’s passion for Montessori Education originated; it continues to be a driving force in her professional career and personal endeavors.
Colleen has a MA in Special Education from New Jersey City University, a state certification in Special Education, and a BA from Montclair State University in the College of Education and Human Services, with a focus on Family and Child Services, and with certifications in K-5 Education and Social Studies. Colleen has been teaching for 10 years, with 6 of those here at HPMS. She is delighted that both of her children are here at HPMS, too. Colleen has dedicated herself to teaching children in every aspect of her life and continues to pursue her own education. She believes teachers are lifelong learners.
Erica has a BA in Psychology and Education (PreK-3) from New Jersey City University, and is currently pursuing her M.Ed in Special Education with a concentration in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities at Kean University. She’s volunteered at the Boys and Girls club of Jersey City as a counselor, tutored children in phonics, reading, and mathematics and has been a substitute teacher for public schools in Jersey City. She enjoys playing baseball, photography, and doing arts & crafts. She is looking forward to her second year at HPMS as an assistant teacher in the Sky Room.
Hannah has a M.Ed in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6), from Hunter College in Manhattan and is a NY/NJ State Certified teacher. She also earned a BA in Communications with a minor in Visual Arts at Fordham University. She has been teaching at HPMS in the Lower Elementary Program since 2012. During her training at Hunter, she was exposed to teachings of Maria Montessori and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. She has proudly lived in Jersey City since 2006 and has two young children of her own.
Kathy has a M.Ed. in Education from Chaminade University and a Montessori Certificate for Lower Elementary from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She also earned a BA in Accounting from Baruch College in NYC. Kathy continues to enjoy teaching the children in Ocean Room at HPMS. She has two teenage sons who have attended a Montessori school through middle school, and of whom she is very proud. She is fluent in Italian and enjoys cooking, reading and knitting.
Matt has a K-5 teaching certification from Kean University graduating with Honors. Matt received a post-bachelors teaching certificate from Kean after graduating with honors from Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism, Media Studies and Sociology. Prior to teaching, Matt lived his childhood dream of being a sports writer. He served as the Editor-in-Chief and Rutgers beat writer for SNYRutgers.com. He then started working The Associated Press where he covers Rutgers and other college and pro sports in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, and continues to do so in his free time. He has also written for The New York Times and is a Heisman Trophy and Wooden Award Voter. While working on his teaching certification, Matt substitute taught and worked the aftercare program at the Pingry School, which is where he also completed his student teaching. Matt looks forward to sharing his love of writing with elementary school students with the school newspaper, teaching in the Earth Room, and helping students find their passion and chase their dreams… like an elementary school teacher once did for him.
Melissa L. holds a BA in Literature from Rutgers University and is certified as a Montessori 6-12 Teacher (Lower and Upper Elementary). She has attended the Lucy Calkins’ Writing Workshop training at Teacher’s College, and she serves as a reading and writing specialist in the Orion Room. Melissa lived in France for five years, where she taught English in a private middle school and English as a Foreign Language in an elementary school. She also worked for two years as an associate editor in textbook publishing in the US. This is her sixth year at HPMS as a teacher and a mom.
Melissa P. has a BS in Elementary Education as well as a M.Ed with a concentration in Reading from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. She is a state-certified elementary classroom teacher as well as a certified reading specialist. Melissa received her Montessori training in Lower Elementary at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education at Princeton Montessori School. She has attended the Teachers College Writing Project at Columbia University and is trained in Lucy Calkins’ Writing Workshop program. This is Melissa’s seventh year teaching. In her free time she enjoys photography and illustrating.
Michelle D. has a M.Ed in Teacher Leadership from California Lutheran University, specializing in Reading and Literacy. She was an elementary reading specialist in California for four years before moving to Jersey City to teach English enrichment. In her spare time, she loves to read, draw, and play piano. This is her third year at HPMS in the Ocean Room.
Sally has a BS in Elementary Education K-6 and Special Education K-12 with a concentration in Behavior from the University of Hartford. After becoming a state certified teacher, she received her Montessori certificate for Lower Elementary at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. Sally is a former Montessori student; she attended from age two through twelve. Sally is excited to begin her second year at HPMS.
Sarah M. has a BA in Mathematics from Lycoming College with a concentration in Business and Finance. Shortly after graduating college, she realized that the business world was not for her and put her mathematical skills to use to become a Teacher of Mathematics. She has experience teaching in both independent and public schools. Sarah enjoys traveling the world, in her spare time, and was able to study different forms of education while traveling throughout China. She is looking forward to this school year!