Jeff Allen, M.A., AMI

Jeff Allen, M.A., AMI

Head of Upper School

This is Jeff’s 10th 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.

Manny Alves

Manny Alves

Secondary Physical Educator and Facilities Manager Emmanuel Alves was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has lived in the USA for the past 17 years. He joins the secondary faculty as a physical education specialist. He has a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and understands the importance of fitness, training, and movement in our daily lives.

Brittany Belviy

Brittany Belviy

Admin. Assistant | Lakewood Ranch Campus

This will be Brittany’s 4th year at NewGate as Administrative Assistant for the Secondary program at the Lakewood Ranch campus (LWR). Coming from a background of business management, customer service, and being a camp counselor, she has found her home at NewGate school. Brittany is grateful to have met, and to be working with, such wonderful students and staff. She enjoys reading, being out in nature, jewelry making, learning about the weird and unknown, and spending time with her friends, family, and animals.

Jennie Caskey, B.A., IMC

Jennie Caskey, B.A., IMC

Education Support Faculty

This is Jennie’s 8th year at NewGate. Jennie supports the elementary program by offering co-curricular classes in physical education, art, cooking, music, and teaching and supporting the eLearning classes.  Jennie earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at New College of Florida, with a concentration in Comparative Psychology. She holds IMC Elementary (ages 6 to 12) Montessori Teaching Certification under MACTE accreditation. She can often be found strumming a ukulele, sketching a portrait, or telling a story around campus. On the occasion that she is not found there, she is probably off dancing or observing nature and dreaming about ways to excite people about it.

Becky Clark

Becky Clark

Spanish Guide

Becky Clark is a veteran Spanish language teacher with a well-worn passport and a long history at Newgate. Becky’s first experience with Newgate was in 1991 when she and her family moved to Sarasota, and all 3 of her children attended Newgate, back when it was a small, family-run Montessori school. For the last 10 years, Becky has enjoyed being back on the Ashton campus, working with children on Spanish and literacy. Becky also works with children on literacy skills through a program associated with the nonprofit Children First. 
Becky fell in love with travel and languages after spending a year at the Universidad de Valencia, Spain as part of her undergraduate studies. She went on to earn her MA in Spanish from Miami University of Ohio and to teach all levels of Spanish at private schools in Atlanta and in Bradenton. 
Outside of the classroom, Becky enjoys outings with her dogs, cooking from her garden, and planning travels with her family. 
Morgen Coe, B.S.

Morgen Coe, B.S.

Secondary Mathematics

This will be Morgen’s 3rd year at NewGate as a Secondary Mathematics teacher. He also has over four years of experience enabling students of all ages to succeed in mathematics. Morgen graduated from New College of Florida with a B.S. in Natural Sciences and Applied Mathematics. His undergraduate dissertation focused on improving high school mathematics education and optimizing curriculum based on student needs. As the older brother of a former NewGate student, he is deeply passionate about progressive education and is very excited to be a member of the NewGate community. Morgen is currently engaged in the IMC Secondary Montessori Teacher Education Program.

Jennifer Darmogray-Lombard, B.S., AMS

Jennifer Darmogray-Lombard, B.S., AMS

Elementary Montessori Guide

This will be Jennifer’s 2nd year at NewGate but her 27th year in Montessori education. She will be teaching in the Upper Elementary program with Natacha Stutzman. Jennifer has 20 years of classroom experience. 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. 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.

Lydia Dumais, M.S.

Lydia Dumais, M.S.

Secondary Science & Art Montessori Guide

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

Nora Faris, Ph.D

Nora Faris, Ph.D

Lower Elementary Montessori Guide

This is Nora’s 3rd year at NewGate. An educator for the last twenty-nine years, she is currently pursuing her IMC Elementary Teaching Credential through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and a master’s in Montessori Leadership though 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 fourteen years ago at The Montessori School in Chattanooga, TN where she began as a mom and worked as an administrator for her last nine years. Nora enjoys spending time with her husband and three children (two of whom are also at NewGate), as well as hiking, biking, and reading.

Alexandra Gallen, B.S., MACTE

Alexandra Gallen, B.S., MACTE

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.

Casey Gramaglia, B.A., M.A.

Casey Gramaglia, B.A., M.A.

Elementary Associate Montessori Guide

Casey is thrilled to be joining the team at the NewGate Ashton campus; he is passionate about the Montessori method and alumni from one of the oldest Montessori schools in the country, Whitby School. Casey will be joining Ms. Nora as a guide and working with students and faculty to develop the beautiful grounds on the Ashton campus as he is passionate about sustainable living and agriculture. Casey has a BA in Liberal Arts from Eugene Lang College in New York City, and a post-graduate certificate & MA in international education from Keele University in Staffordshire, England. Cha–Casey’s son–will be joining the NewGate community as well on the upper campus; his wife Nan is an international educator and librarian, the entire family have invested their lives in education and believe strongly that we have to be the change we want to see in the world. Casey is passionate about the outdoors, dancing, snowboarding, trail running, open water swimming, cycling, hiking, multisport, and spending time traveling with his family. He is happy to return to the United States after living abroad and teaching in northern Thailand for nearly 20 years. 

Nan Gramaglia, B.A.

Nan Gramaglia, B.A.

Educator Assistant, Toddlers

Nan has a B.A. in Library Science with a minor in Business Administration from Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
She has 14 years of experience at a fully accredited IB International School as a librarian, purchasing officer, and preschool facilitator. 
Nan moved from Thailand to the USA with her family, Casey and Cha, in 2019 where she worked in the library of a private elementary school in Lakeville, Connecticut. She is an avid outdoorswoman who loves nature and four seasons.
Her favorite activities include reading books, running, hiking, cycling, traveling, skiing, gardening, cooking, and spending time with children.
Haley Horton, B.A.

Haley Horton, B.A.

Secondary / Middle School Mathematics & Science

This will be Haley’s 2nd year at NewGate as a Middle School (grades 7 & 8) mathematics and science teacher. She has approximately 3 years of experience in mathematics education as well as a background in customer service. 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 is looking forward to becoming a member of the NewGate community. She loves classic literature and is always looking for a new book to read. She is engaged in the IMC Secondary Montessori Teacher Education Program.

Simendea Kissman, M.A.

Simendea Kissman, M.A.

Secondary Montessori Guide - English, Social Studies, General Studies

This will be Simendea’s 2nd year with Middle School, or Cycle 1 (grades 7 and 8), co-teaching with Haley Horton. She has twenty years of experience as a generalist at the elementary level and teaching middle school English and Humanities (Social Studies, Art, Music Appreciation, etc.).

She has taught at international schools around the world as well as public and private schools in the US. Simendea holds a B.A. in English/Language Arts from Siena Heights University and an M.A. in teaching from Marygrove College. Having lived and taught in countries around the world, she has a broad view of the world with a deep appreciation for diversity. She is engaged in the IMC Secondary Montessori Teacher Education Program.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A. - Secondary Guide

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A. - Secondary Guide

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 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!

Mary Loughead, AMI

Mary Loughead, AMI

Education Support Faculty

Mary is returning for her 2nd  year at NewGate. Mary supports the elementary program by offering co-curricular classes in physical education, art, cooking, music, and teaching and supporting the eLearning classes. Mary is a recent graduate of Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was introduced to Montessori 4 years ago and worked as the Operations Coordinator at a Montessori School in Albuquerque, where she gained experience in both Administration and the classroom environment. This ultimately led her to attend Montessori Training in 2018.

She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Child Studies through the University of New Mexico and will be graduating within the year. Prior to her work in Montessori she 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.

Lorna McGrath, M.A., AMS

Lorna McGrath, M.A., AMS

Director of the Montessori Family Alliance | The Montessori Foundation

Lorna served as Associate Head of School for 23 years. Even though she has stepped down as Associate Head to focus on other Foundation programs, Lorna continues to lead our family education program and will be a presence. Lorna has 40 years of experience in the field of education, teaching children from 18 months through 6 years old and from 12 through 18 years old in both public schools and independent Montessori schools. She received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Family Counseling from the University of Georgia, and her Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society.

Lorna has been an administrator at NewGate School since 1994. During her tenure at NewGate, she has played several important roles: Admissions Director, Compliance Officer, Educational Coordinator, and Interim Head of School. Lorna was also the Director of the former New Gate Center for Montessori Teacher Education. Lorna is a Montessori teacher educator, conference presenter, and school consultant. She has also spent many years as a certified instructor for the International Network for Children & Families, teaching classes in Redirecting Children’s Behavior, Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom, Common Ground for Parents and Teens, and Parenting Instructor Network Training. She leads the Montessori Foundation’s Parenting Puzzle family education program.

Jenni Presley, M.Ed., AMS

Jenni Presley, M.Ed., AMS

Montessori Toddler Guide

Jenni holds a B.A. in Print Journalism and Photography from the University of Kentucky. She completed her Montessori Infant-Toddler (0-3) training with the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina and earned her Master’s in Education with a specialization in Montessori from Xavier University. Her Master’s research focused on the complementary practices of Montessori and Magda Gerber’s RIE techniques and the ways that respectful, responsive caregiving can facilitate a positive learning environment for infants and toddlers.

This will be her 2nd year at NewGate and her fifth year in the classroom. Jenni lives in Arcadia with her husband, Mike, and her 10-year-old son, Finn, who also attends NewGate. She and her family run a nonprofit farm animal sanctuary on their five acres and share their lives and most of their free time with dogs, goats, pigs, chickens, cows, a cat, and a duck.

Kat Ricker, B.A., AMS

Kat Ricker, B.A., AMS

Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Kat graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2002. She received her Montessori Early Childhood certification from the American Montessori Society while teaching at NewGate from 2002-2009. She also spent eight years teaching at Island Village Montessori.

Kat returned to NewGate two year ago, excited to be back where she can really focus on the beauty and philosophy of Montessori. She always felt NewGate was like another family.

When Kat is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, friends, family, and her cat. Other activities include running, yoga, CrossFit, spinning, swimming, and dancing. She has a passion for vintage clothes and enjoys crafting.

Cathy Rohrer, Ph.D., AMS, AMI

Cathy Rohrer, Ph.D., AMS, AMI

Secondary Montessori Guide

Cathy holds a BSE in Electrical Engineering/Physics with a Certificate in Theater and Dance from Princeton University and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Pennsylvania. She began her professional life as an industrial research scientist, but 3 children later, she left research, found her way to homeschooling, discovered Montessori pedagogy and philosophy with her children, then began a second career in teaching. Cathy attained AMS Montessori Elementary I-II certification and completed the AMI/NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies.
For the past decade, Cathy has enthusiastically been a Montessori guide in upper elementary and middle school classrooms. Complementing these classroom experiences, Cathy has also been a science presenter at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA, has led after school STEM programming for adolescent girls, has co-taught multi-arts multi-age summer programming as the dance lead teacher, and has served as a Montessori field consultant, helping to guide Montessori teacher interns in their classrooms. This will be Cathy’s first year as a member of the NewGate community, teaching math and science at the middle and high school levels. 
Caitlin Roper, B.A., IMC

Caitlin Roper, B.A., IMC

Secondary Educator

This is Caitlin’s 7th year at NewGate. Caitlin is part of our secondary educator team for Cycles 1 & 2 focusing on humanities, creative expression, and physical expression. She is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelors in Communication. Caitlin received her IMC Credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. When she is not at NewGate she can often be found going on adventures with her puppy, Oliver, and continuing her lifelong love of learning.

Tanya Ryskind, J.D., AMS, IMC

Tanya Ryskind, J.D., AMS, IMC

Co-Head of School

Tanya has worked with the Montessori Foundation for many years and is an internationally admired leader in the Montessori school community. Tanya brings a broad set of experiences and skills from her years in both the legal and educational fields. Most importantly, Tanya has experience as a Montessori teacher trainer, an International Montessori consultant, motivational speaker, author, and frequent presenter at Montessori conferences around the world. She currently serves on the board of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), the agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit Montessori Teacher Education programs.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New  Hampshire, cum laude, majoring in Social Services, with an emphasis on counseling. Her minor was in Spanish. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She holds elementary Montessori certification from both the American Montessori Society and the International Montessori Council. Tanya’s continuing studies include Neuroscience and Learning through Harvard University, Oceanography and Meteorology at the State University of New York, Brockport.

Tim Seldin, M.Ed., AMS

Tim Seldin, M.Ed., AMS

Head of School

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.

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. This is her 22nd year at NewGate. 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.

This will be her 6th year working with the administration, and she loves it! Lauren 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.

Natacha Stutzman, B.S.

Natacha Stutzman, B.S.

Elementary Montessori Guide

This will be Natacha’s 4th year as an Upper Elementary guide at NewGate and she recently completed her first year of Montessori Elementary training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. As a NewGate alumnus herself, she learned the incredible value of a Montessori education early in life and is thrilled to be back in the classroom 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.