ADMINISTRATION

Tim Seldin, M.Ed., AMS

Tim Seldin, M.Ed., AMS

Executive Director

Tim Seldin is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a noted Montessori teacher trainer, school consultant, and keynote speaker at scores of Montessori conferences around the world, including the Montessori Foundation’s annual international conference, which is held in Sarasota every November.

Tim has 49 years of experience in Montessori education, beginning with 25 years as a Montessori teacher and Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, which was founded by his family in 1932 and which he attended from age 2 through high school graduation.

As President of the Montessori Foundation, he served as Head of the NewGate School from 1993 through 1999, during the years when NewGate was the Lab School of the Montessori Foundation. Tim was, with Harvey Hallenberg, the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Tim earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. He is the author of several books about Montessori education. Tim served for many years as an officer on the Board of the American Montessori Society. He is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor.

James Moudry, M.Ed.

James Moudry, M.Ed.

Associate Head of School

James has over twenty-five years in K-12 education. He was a founding Board member and initial charter co-author for Great River School (charter) in St. Paul, Minnesota, co-founder of the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio, and the founding Director of The Post Oak High School, Houston, Texas. James has served on NAIS regional affiliate accreditation teams, presented internationally, published articles, and advised schools on administrative/management matters and on areas specifically related to middle and high school programs. He has worked in schools as a teacher, athletic coach, division head, and head of school. James aims to engage creatively and optimistically in all endeavors and he can often be found honing his skills in woodworking, photography, and videography.
James has an M.Ed in Montessori education, a B.A. in philosophy, mathematics, and psychology, a Leadership Certificate from the Whole School Leadership Institute, and an AMI Montessori certification for ages 3-6. He joined the NewGate staff in 2023.
Sarah Moudry, M.Ed.

Sarah Moudry, M.Ed.

Director of Institutional Advancement and College Counseling

Sarah Moudry is an education innovator whose work is focused on creating education environments and experiences that inspire growth and joy. Her work is rooted in Montessori philosophy and paired with her extensive experience as a designer. Her most recent projects include the founding of Studio June, a Montessori parent and child education center, and Family Friendly Home, an interior design company that creates inspirational home and school interiors.

Sarah’s most recent book, First Foods to Family Meals (2019), provides parents a Montessori grounding to help them include their children in preparing food at home. Sarah has created online courses that help parents, childcare professionals, and grandparents to incorporate Montessori theory into their lives. 

In addition to her Montessori Experience, Sarah has worked in the Admission Department at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Sarah, her husband, and their three children love family game nights, creating original pizza recipes, and music trivia!

Sarah has an M.Ed in Montessori education, a B.S. in environment and design, AMI Montessori certification for ages birth to six, and is an Associate Member of ASID. She joined the NewGate staff in 2023.

Lauren Speed, AMS

Lauren Speed, AMS

Admin. Assistant Ashton Road Campus

Lauren has her AMS Infant/Toddler Teaching Certificate from the South Florida Montessori Education Center in West Palm Beach, FL. She joined the NewGate faculty in 1999. She began her Montessori career in 1992, at Counterpane School in Fayetteville, GA, where her children attended.

A move back to Florida brought the family to NewGate, where she spent 16 years with the toddlers. Both of her children graduated from NewGate; her son in 2005 and her daughter in 2007. They have subsequently graduated from college; her son from New College of Florida and her daughter from Florida State University.

Lauren loves working with the administration, and she is looking forward to another great year at NewGate! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching YouTube videos, jogging, listening to music and watching movies.

ASHTON ROAD CAMPUS

Early Childhood

Early Childhood (ages 1-2 years and 3-6 years)

Brittany Belviy

Brittany Belviy

Associate Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Brittany joined the NewGate community in May 2017. Brittany loves working with children. She is thrilled to join the early childhood team as a Montessori guide in training. Brittany enjoys reading, being out in nature, making jewelry, and spending time with her friends, family, and animals. Brittany is completing her early childhood Montessori training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Isabelle Bermudez, B.A.

Isabelle Bermudez, B.A.

Associate Montessori Toddler Guide

Isabelle joined the Toddler Community in the spring of 2021. She is currently completing her Montessori Infant/Toddler training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. A former NewGate student, Isabelle brings over a decade of childcare experience as well as a lifelong love and respect for Montessori practices to the NewGate faculty. Isabelle earned her Bachelor of Science in Media Production from the University of Florida and previously worked in a safe house as an advocate for survivors of trafficking and exploitation. Isabelle enjoys reading, photography, and going on adventures with her dogs, Moxie & Beau.

Alexandra Gallen, B.S.

Alexandra Gallen, B.S.

Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Alexandra (Alex) joined NewGate during the summer of 2019. She fell in love with the Montessori Method when her daughter Juliette attended a Montessori primary classroom. Alex has been teaching in the early learning environment in public and private schools since 2007, upon graduating from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Alex also has an Early Childhood Montessori Credential from MACTE/Montessori Live and a diploma from the North American Montessori Center.

She is originally from Lima, Peru and is excited to implement the Spanish language in the learning environment. She is married and has three children, Linda, Juliette, and Thomas, and enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with her family and considers herself a ‘foodie.’ Her daughters will be joining us at NewGate.

Taffy Howard Harrison, B.A.

Taffy Howard Harrison, B.A.

Early Childhood Assistant

Taffy is a graduate of Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a B.S. in Human Services with a concentration in child and adolescent development. She has over 20 years of experience working with young children. She joined NewGate School in June 2021 and believes the foundation of learning begins with the freedom of self-exploration and discovery. Taffy brings a calm demeanor, passion for the outdoors, and dedication to offering students a transformational experience in the classroom. When Taffy is outside the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Other activities she finds comfort in are cooking, swimming, long walks in nature, writing, and the beach.

Mary Loughead, AMI

Mary Loughead, AMI

Early Childhood Lead Montessori Guide

Mary joined Newgate in August 2019. Mary is a graduate of the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was introduced to Montessori while working as the Operations Coordinator at a Montessori School in Albuquerque. This ultimately led her to attend Montessori Training in 2018. Mary has a long line of experience in Nursing and Nutrition as she worked in the Healthcare and Fitness field before finding her home in Montessori Education. Mary spends time with friends, family, and the love of her life, Louie, her Golden Retriever.

Ellen McGrath

Ellen McGrath

Associate Montessori Toddler Guide

Ellen attended NewGate School as a child. She returns to NewGate after a dynamic career in hospitality and food service. She has loved her Montessori experience and is looking forward to her Montessori training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Ellen joined NewGate in 2023.

Yenisley Perez, M.Ed.

Yenisley Perez, M.Ed.

Associate Montessori Toddler Guide

Yeni joined NewGate School in 2021. She has years of experience working with children of all ages. Yeni received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from the University of Arts of Cuba. She received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Keiser University. She has starred in television and radio shows for over 20 years. Yeni’s area of specialization is puppetry. Yeni enjoys spending time at the beach with her two daughters and husband.

Monika Pernak

Monika Pernak

Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Monika joined NewGate in August 2023. Monika is a Polish-born individual who currently resides in Florida with her husband and two children, a son and a daughter. Her family recently relocated from Reisterstown, Maryland, to Florida, seeking new opportunities and experiences. With a diverse background, Monika spent 17 years in the banking industry, demonstrating her dedication and professionalism. She will receive her Montessori credential from Prepared Montessorian Institute, a MACTE-accredited Montessori teacher training institute. 

Driven by her role as a parent, Monika embarked on a new journey when she decided to take up Montessori training.  This choice was influenced by her desire to provide the best possible education for her children.  Through her diligent search, she discovered the New Gate School, where her children will join this year, starting their educational journey.
Outside of her professional and parental responsibilities, Monika finds solace and joy in outdoor activities such as biking and spending time with family at the beach. 
Dianamarys Santos

Dianamarys Santos

Montessori Toddler Assistant

Dianamarys joined New Gate in 2023. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Universidad Central Marta Abreu in Villa Clara, Cuba as well as her Florida Early Childhood Professional Development certificate. Dianamarys worked in Cuba for more than six years in a government law office where she specialized in civil and economic trials, as well as working as a legal representative for regional businesses. Dianamarys enjoys spending time with her husband, friends, and family.

Elementary

Students ages 6-12 years

Alma Alvarado

Alma Alvarado

Associate Elementary Montessori Guide

Alma was born and grew up in Mexico. She comes from a family of teachers; her grandmother, dad, uncles, and cousins ​​have been teachers for many years. Alma earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

When Alma’s first child started school, they looked for a Montessori school because they believed in this philosophy. She worked for a few months at the school her son attended, supporting a Primary class, until her family moved to the United States. Her son started at NewGate in August 2020 and her second child joined in January 2022. At the same time, Alma started teaching Spanish in the NewGate elementary program. In August 2022, she joined a LE class as an assistant and in April 2023 began her training as an elementary Montessori Guide.

Alma enjoys working with the children and learning from them. She also enjoys time with her family dancing, singing, and playing board games as well as cooking, crafting, knitting, sewing, and playing the guitar.

Nancy Buchman, M.Ed., AMS

Nancy Buchman, M.Ed., AMS

Upper Elementary Montessori Guide

Nancy has spent 20 years teaching in Montessori classrooms in France and across the United States (including Hawai’i!). She loves watching multi-age students collaborate with work and projects. Nancy is a true believer that the beauty of the Montessori materials and lessons is an integral part of building an academic foundation and a love of learning.

Nancy first became interested in teaching while working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. Later, as a mother, she watched her daughter thrive in the Montessori environment, which ultimately persuaded Nancy to pursue a career as a Montessori teacher. She earned both her Master’s Degree in Education and AMS 6-12 certification from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Ohio. Her Montessori daughter attended the University of Tampa and currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

While not in the classroom, Nancy is an avid traveler having visited all 50 states and over 40 countries. Out in nature, she loves hiking, biking, and camping. While at home she spends her time sewing, trying to solve the Rubik’s® cube, making balloon animals, or reading on her front porch.

Jennie Caskey, B.A., IMC

Jennie Caskey, B.A., IMC

Upper Elementary Montessori Guide

Jennie Caskey is a seasoned Upper Elementary Guide at NewGate School. With a decade of experience at NewGate, she holds an IMC Elementary Montessori Teaching Certification under MACTE accreditation in addition to her B.A. in Liberal Arts (Psychology) from New College of Florida. Jennie’s diverse background in music, performing arts, sciences, and education has shaped her approach to teaching, and she artfully integrates the arts and sciences into her lessons. She has a knack for inspiring creativity and turning moments of inspiration into action. When not guiding young minds, you can find Jennie strumming her ukulele, reading, or engaging in philosophical discussions in the garden.

Noemi Coronado

Noemi Coronado

Associate Elementary Montessori Guide

Noemi grew up in Hungary and studied there before moving to the United States and attending Remington College – Tampa where she earned a medical assistant diploma. Noemi started working in Montessori in 2004, initially with toddlers for 12 years and then with ages 3-6 since 2016. Noemi first saw the Montessori method in 2002 and fell in love with it. She received her Montessori diploma through the American Montessori Center in 2018 and joined NewGate School in 2020 (which she loved from the first time she visited). Noemi enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, nature, animals, flowers, and taking pictures of them.

Jennifer Darmogray-Lombard, B.S., AMS

Jennifer Darmogray-Lombard, B.S., AMS

Lower Elementary Montessori Guide

Jenn joined NewGate in August 2019. This year is her 30th year in Montessori education. Over the years, she has been a Head of School, Montessori Teacher Trainer, Curriculum Coordinator, Summer School Coordinator, Supervising Teacher, and Parent Educator. She has also taken many hours of professional development in order to continually meet each child’s needs.

Jennifer holds a B.S. in education from the University of Northern Michigan and has both her AMS early childhood 3-6 and elementary 6-12 certifications, with MACTE accreditation. She has been a teacher trainer and received additional training in Applied Behavior Analysis with an Autism specialization. Jennifer is excited to join the NewGate team. “I love Montessori Education!” As Dr. Maria Montessori said, “The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality.”

Jennifer believes that her objective as a teacher is to help each child discover the joy of learning and to help the child develop a strong belief in his or her own ability. Each child is encouraged to do his or her best and to have a sense of pride in his or her accomplishments. She also believes it is of primary importance that her students appreciate and respect the differences of others.

Nora Faris, Ph.D, IMC

Nora Faris, Ph.D, IMC

Lower Elementary Montessori Guide

This is Nora’s 6th year at NewGate. An educator for over thirty years, she holds an IMC Elementary Teaching Credential through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and a master’s in Montessori Leadership through the TIES Program at Endicott College. Nora’s education includes a B.A. from Emory University in English and Educational Studies, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Language and Literacy. Nora started her Montessori journey at The Montessori School in Chattanooga, TN, where she began as a mom and worked as an administrator for her last nine years. As of this June, all of her children will have graduated from NewGate. Nora enjoys spending time with her family as well as hiking, biking, and reading. 

Holly Morse

Holly Morse

Upper Elementary Montessori Guide

Holly joined NewGate in October 2022. Holly holds a Bachelor of Music from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin. She earned her Montessori elementary teaching credential from the Center of Guided Studies, a MACTE accredited Montessori teacher training program. Prior to coming to NewGate, Holly had various roles starting in 2010 and culminating in a lead teaching position in 2014 at the Meadow Montessori School in Monroe, Michigan. Holly enjoys spending time with her daughter Lucy, who joined NewGate as a junior.

Isabela Zuniga Sosa, M.A.

Isabela Zuniga Sosa, M.A.

Upper Elementary Guide

Isabela Sosa was born in Cali, Colombia where she grew up surrounded by a big family and a vibrant city filled with arts, culture, and strong community spirit. Isabela’s elementary and high school years were attended at an IB British school in Cali, Colombia, where her mom was a teacher for over 30 years, being a strong influence in Isabela’s life. After school, Isabela would help her mom with the after care program that took place in their house in the south of Cali, to the east of the western mountain range known as the “Farallones de Cali,” joining students and helping in culinary, ballet, art and sports.

After graduating high school, Isabela moved to Colombia’s capital, Bogota, to pursue a degree in Psychology with emphasis in neuropsychology where she worked with kids and the elderly doing neuropsychological evaluations and recommendations. Isabela is a proud mother of 2 NewGate students, and during her free time she enjoys yoga, playing the guitar, and salsa dancing.

Niko Zamora, B. A.

Niko Zamora, B. A.

Elementary Assistant

Joining NewGate in 2023, Niko recently graduated from New College receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Niko has over eight years of experience working with young children.

LAKEWOOD RANCH CAMPUS

Middle School and High School

Gillett Cole, B.A., AMI

Gillett Cole, B.A., AMI

Secondary - Humanities

Gillett joined NewGate in August 2021 after relocating from St. Paul, Minnesota. He has his AMI Montessori Elementary Teacher Certification from the Montessori Center of Minnesota. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in French. He is a trained Montessori Model United Nations Instructor and a Montessori STEM practitioner. Among his many talents, Gillett is an entrepreneur, co-founding the Twin Cities Closet Company.

Jesus Alfonso Omana, MBA, Ph.D

Jesus Alfonso Omana, MBA, Ph.D

Secondary - Natural Sciences

Alfonso was born and raised in San Cristobal, Tachira, Venezuela. He holds an industrial engineering degree and an MBA from The Universidad Nacional Experimental del Tachira, and his Ph.D. in Pedagogy from the University of Los Andes. He has put to work his passion for teaching in unconventional settings, outdoor and indoor classrooms. He has over twenty years of experience as a university teacher in undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral scientific research and business programs. He was associate dean at the University of Los Andes for five years, supporting students in academic activities. Alfonso holds certification as an IB teacher in Science and Business.

He is passionate about Qualitative and quantitative analysis and using various technological approaches. He has published in editorials such as Routledge-UK, and Gedisa-Spain, and papers in journals categorized Scopus in Spain, Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú, Colombia, and Chile. Alfonso has also been a social entrepreneur for over 30 years with San Nicolas de los Paramos Andinos, an NGO that supports vulnerable people at the Venezuelan and Colombian border.

Alfonso moved with his family, Gabriela, and David, from Venezuela to Kansas to complete his Ph.D. research and in 2022 moved to Florida and joined NewGate. He likes to run, play baseball, and basketball, and do all kinds of outdoor activities. He completed his first half marathon in 2023.

Glenn Grizzard, M.Ed.

Glenn Grizzard, M.Ed.

Secondary - English Language and Humanities

Language and Humanities specialist Glenn Grizzard comes to New Gate by way of Key West, the Appalachian Mountain towns of Asheville and Boone, North Carolina, and his home in Georgia. After spending the Covid years at May Sands Montessori Charter School in Key West, Glenn spent last year teaching gifted children in a public middle school in Asheville.  Glenn earned his B.A. and M.Ed. at the University of Georgia. He took his Montessori Secondary training at the NAMTA program in Ohio.

From 2004-18, Glenn launched and taught in the middle school – and also served as the Director – at Mountain Pathways Montessori School in Boone. He also taught educational psychology at Appalachian State University during this period, where he raised his two children, Sawyer and Savannah. Prior to moving to Boone, Glenn taught gifted classes and social studies at a public middle school just outside Athens, Ga. where he had attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate and graduate work. (Go Dawgs!)In addition to his passion for college football, Glenn enjoys golf, travel, and learning all he can about the world so he can share it with kids!

Natacha Stutzman, B.S.

Natacha Stutzman, B.S.

Secondary - Social Sciences

Natasha is a NewGate alumnus. Her experience at NewGate taught her the value of a Montessori education early in life. She is thrilled to be teaching and giving back to the NewGate community.  She received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Florida, where she studied Political Science and French. During her time at UF, she studied abroad for a semester in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was fortunate enough to travel around South America, an experience that reinforced both her global perspective as well as her love of learning about other cultures and languages. In her time off, Natacha can be found with her nose in a book on the beach or experimenting in the kitchen. She also enjoys traveling and practicing her Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Haley Horton, B.A.

Haley Horton, B.A.

Secondary - Mathematics

Haley joined NewGate in August 2019. She is a skilled mathematician and science teacher. Haley graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in General Mathematics. Most of her core classes were based in topology and real analysis, and she hopes to be able to integrate that into her classes. In college, she enjoyed participating in quiz bowl as the team’s literature nerd. Haley received her Montessori secondary teaching credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, a MACTE accredited Montessori teacher training program in 2021. She loves classic literature and is always looking for a new book to read.

Anthony Carrera, B.S.

Anthony Carrera, B.S.

Secondary - Natural Sciences

Anthony joined NewGate in August 2021, moving to Florida from Nebraska. Anthony grew up in a Montessori classroom from the ages of 4-14 which helped promote his passion for the sciences with an inclination toward conservation and animals. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2015 with his B.S in Fisheries and Wildlife with study abroad experiences in Puerto Rico performing data collection on the terrestrial and marine life on the island. Anthony joins NewGate with 6 years of professional background working law enforcement for the Nebraska Humane Society as an animal control officer having many experiences with a variety of animals from bobcats to house cats. Anthony is currently completing his Montessori accreditation through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and is looking forward to starting his journey at NewGate.

Jeff Allen, M.A., AMI

Jeff Allen, M.A., AMI

Secondary - Social Sciences

This is Jeff’s 12th year at NewGate and his 25th year in education. In addition to his Montessori experience, Jeff has taught English, history, math, and maritime studies in both private and public schools. At NewGate, Jeff teaches History and the Humanities. He holds a B.A. in History and English from Tufts University and his M.A. in Teaching from Simmons College.

Jeff studied Secondary Montessori teacher education at the AMI-affiliated North American Montessori Teachers’ Association Montessori Orientation for Adolescent Studies at Hiram College. He is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor. Jeff is currently completing the IMC Secondary Montessori Teacher Education Program. His interests include sailing, bicycling, woodworking, and spending time with his family. Jeff has a son who graduated from NewGate and is now at the University of Florida and a daughter in the Secondary program and loves spending time with his family.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Secondary - English

Amy has taught throughout the New Gate Secondary Program since 2002 primarily with English reading, writing and theater projects and has been teaching for 25 years. She is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor, Librarian and CAS Advisor. She has spent many years developing the Secondary Program’s experiential learning programs and looks for every opportunity to get students off campus and into the community for learning opportunities. She also leads the annual Drama Immersion Weeks with students at each Secondary level to build memorable theatrical productions in the space of a week. One of her great joys is helping every student find gateway books that lead to a life long love of reading, and she builds every opportunity possible to share books with students from toddler through high school levels.

Amy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology at Loyola University where she also enjoyed studying Spanish during a study abroad term in Quito, Ecuador and learning about world religions as her minor. She began her teaching career in a refugee resettlement program teaching ESL to adult students from around the world followed by teaching Spanish at the elementary level. While teaching at a Great Books Foundation high school in Arizona, she earned her Master’s Degree in Experiential Education at Prescott College with a focus on building schools and learning experiences to promote engagement, eco-literacy and stewardship.

Amy enjoys her family time, reading, and travel, all preferably at the beach!

Sarah Baliotti

Sarah Baliotti

Secondary - Visual Arts

Sarah Jane spent over 10 years hands-on in the art industry across the country in various roles such as a Co-Producer of a production company in Los Angeles, California to assisting a bio-artist at Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to her industry experience, Sarah Jane studied advertising design and illustration at Ringling College of Art + Design. This came after she attended a studio intensive program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sarah Jane works with the local arts community on various non-profit planning boards providing big-picture concepts, curatorial consulting, and event planning. She also runs her own corporation with a focus on incubation and providing guidance to emerging and mid-career artists.
Originally from central New Jersey, with a love for small restaurants, fine tea, live music, and nature, she enjoys getting her hands dirty and trying new techniques and activities.
Katie Brenna, M.A.

Katie Brenna, M.A.

Secondary - Spanish

Katie joined NewGate in 2021 with 11 years of Spanish teaching experience in the private school realm. She first discovered her love of world languages as a middle school student, which is one reason why she is really passionate about teaching middle school! Katie is no stranger to studying abroad. Much of her language learning is rooted in field experiences in Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Her experiential education coupled with her academic experiences at both Elon University (B.A. Spanish/International Studies) and Middlebury College (M.A. Spanish Literature) has deepened not only her understanding but also her appreciation for the Spanish language and the myriad of cultures that it represents. In the classroom, Katie is a big proponent of exposing her students to many resources and strategies, so that they can identify and utilize the ones that resonate with their learning style. In her free time, Katie enjoys hiking outside with her family and gardening.

Alicia Mercado-Harvey, Ph. D.

Alicia Mercado-Harvey, Ph. D.

Secondary - Spanish

Alicia Mercado-Harvey is a professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and History. Alicia has a passion for teaching young minds. She has taught all levels of Spanish from preschool to college level. She has almost twenty years of experience teaching language and five teaching history. Alicia currently divides her time teaching Portuguese and history at NCF and IB Spanish at NewGate. She graduated from the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Ph.D. program at University of Florida in 2013. Her dissertation about detective fiction as trauma literature will be published in 2022. Alicia is also a fiction writer, with a co-authored novel published in Chile and a second one that will be published in early 2022 with the sponsorship of the Chilean Ministry of Culture. Several of her short stories have been also published in different journals and magazines. She currently contributes with a weekly opinion column for the digital newspaper El Regionalista.

GLOBAL CAMPUS

Elizabeth Hale, B.A., AMI

Elizabeth Hale, B.A., AMI

Secondary - Global Campus Co-coordinator, Humanities

Elizabeth joined the Global Team at NewGate in July 2021 excited to investigate how her experiences guiding and supporting Montessori adolescents would translate to the online learning format.  Since her first AMI training for children 3-6 years old (1997) and teaching for many years in Portland, OR she has resonated with the strong frequencies of respect, care for the environment, personal accountability, peace, and gratitude that permeate the Montessori prepared environments.  Further AMI training, for the elementary years 6 – 12 year olds (Bergamo, Italy, 2003), sparked her earnest desire to work with adolescents which has led her to cultivating a fifth adolescent community in Global.  Elizabeth is an avid journal keeper as well as being a lover of conversation and story. Long walks by the ocean and through the forests bring her great joy as does spending time with her daughter.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Secondary - Global Campus Co-coordinator, Experiential Learning Facilitator

Amy has taught throughout the NewGate Secondary Program since 2002 primarily with English reading, writing and theater projects and has been teaching for 24 years. She is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor, Librarian and CAS Advisor. She has spent many years developing the Secondary Program’s experiential learning programs and looks for every opportunity to get students off campus and into the community for learning opportunities. She also leads the annual Drama Immersion Weeks with students at each Secondary level to build memorable theatrical productions in the space of a week. One of her great joys is helping every student find gateway books that lead to a life long love of reading, and she builds every opportunity possible to share books with students from toddler through high school levels.

Amy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology at Loyola University where she also enjoyed studying Spanish during a study abroad term in Quito, Ecuador and learning about world religions as her minor. She began her teaching career in a refugee resettlement program teaching ESL to adult students from around the world followed by teaching Spanish at the elementary level. While teaching at a Great Books Foundation high school in Arizona, she earned her Master’s Degree in Experiential Education at Prescott College with a focus on building schools and learning experiences to promote engagement, eco-literacy and stewardship.

Amy enjoys her family time, reading, and travel, all preferably at the beach!

Katie Brenna, M.A.

Katie Brenna, M.A.

Secondary - Spanish

Katie joined NewGate in 2021 with 11 years of Spanish teaching experience in the private school realm. She first discovered her love of world languages as a middle school student, which is one reason why she is really passionate about teaching middle school! Katie is no stranger to studying abroad. Much of her language learning is rooted in field experiences in Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Her experiential education coupled with her academic experiences at both Elon University (B.A. Spanish/International Studies) and Middlebury College (M.A. Spanish Literature) has deepened not only her understanding but also her appreciation for the Spanish language and the myriad of cultures that it represents. In the classroom, Katie is a big proponent of exposing her students to many resources and strategies, so that they can identify and utilize the ones that resonate with their learning style. In her free time, Katie enjoys hiking outside with her family and gardening.

Pam Chan, B.A.

Pam Chan, B.A.

Secondary - Mathematics

Pam has taught math at the upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels for many years in a variety of settings: public and private, accelerated and remedial, in small groups, in large classes, and one-on-one, most recently in a Montessori Adolescent Program. She enjoys helping students explore the connections and overlaps between algebra and geometry and, as a result, gain depth of knowledge in both of those mathematical disciplines. She loves seeing all sorts of students gain confidence in their abilities as mathematicians. Pam graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in Mathematics and International Studies. She did her undergraduate honors math research in number field theory and its application in the proofs of certain cases of Fermat’s Last Theorem. In addition to her experience as a mathematician, she also taught English to students of all ages during a two-and-a-half year adventure living in China. Now Pam lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and three children. She enjoys cooking, reading, spending time with friends and family, and being outdoors.

Lydia Dumais, M.S.

Lydia Dumais, M.S.

Secondary - Natural Sciences

Lydia Dumais teaches high school science and art. She is also an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Instructor. This is Lydia’s 6th year at NewGate. She graduated from New College of Florida with a double major in Biology and History and an M.S. in Biology from Clemson University. She presented academic papers at the Florida Conference of Historians and New Scholars. Part of her undergraduate research included working with wild sea turtles in Costa Rica as part of international conservation efforts.

Lydia is a Secondary Montessori Teacher. She is a lifelong learner and earned the IB Diploma in high school; she brings enthusiasm, hands-on learning, and a spirit of keen intellectual inquiry to the secondary program. She works on conservation projects in her spare time, including working with leatherback sea turtles, gopher tortoises, and wetlands water quality monitoring.