ASHTON ROAD CAMPUS

Cousteau Classroom

Infant & Toddler Classroom

Isabelle Bermudez, B.A.

Toddler Assistant

Isabelle joined the Toddler Community in the spring of 2021. A former NewGate student, she brings over a decade of childcare experience as well as a lifelong love and respect for Montessori practices to the teaching team. She earned her Bachelor’s 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. Outside of school, she can often be found reading, road-tripping and adventuring with her dog, Moxie.

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.

Tanya Marie Rotter, AMS

Montessori Infant/Toddler Guide

Tanya Marie has over 20 years of experience working with infants and toddlers. She has worked with parent communities, giving support and informative workshops focused on growing infants and toddlers.

Cassatt Classroom

Early Childhood Community

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.

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.
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.

Montessori Classroom

Early Childhood Community

Dorothy Harman, M. Ed.

Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Dorothy joined NewGate School in August 2021 after 24 years in public Montessori in Nebraska. She holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Creative Arts. Ms. Dorothy serves as Montessori Consultant and Adjunct Lecturer for the College of Education at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and is the author of “Intentional Connections: A Practical Guide to Parent Engagement in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary Classrooms.” She is delighted to join NewGate!

Taffy Howard, B.A.

Early Childhood Assistant

Taffy has over 20 years of experience working with young children. She joined NewGate School in June 2021. She believes that the foundation of learning begins with the freedom of self-exploration. Taffy brings a calm demeanor, passion for the outdoors, and dedication to offering students a transformational experience in the classroom.

Emily Proctor, M.A., AMI

Early Childhood Montessori Guide

Emily completed her Master’s In Montessori Studies from Loyola University in Maryland. She is a native Sarasotan who recently returned after living and teaching in Rhode Island. In addition to her work with children, Emily is an accomplished chef and sailor.

Elementary Team

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.

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.

Nora Faris, Ph.D, IMC

Nora Faris, Ph.D, IMC

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.

Casey Gramaglia, M. Ed.

Casey Gramaglia, M. Ed.

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. 

Monica Gonzalez, B.A.

Montessori Elementary Guide

Monica joined NewGate School in August 2021 after working at Innovation Montessori School in Ocoee, Florida. She is in the throes of her Montessori Elementary training with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. In addition to her Montessori teaching experience, Monica is fluent in Spanish, extremely competent with a wide range of social media and technology platforms, and the Marzano Model of Teaching.

Matthew Lindhardt, B.F.A.

Elementary Assistant

Matthew joined NewGate School in June 2021 after relocating from New York City where he was a commercial advertising photographer. Matthew’s area of specialization was on-location product photography and underwater photography. His work is featured in publications such as “American Photo on Campus” and the “Tampa Review.”

Matthew brings his passion for learning to everything he does. Matthew can be found in the classroom reading with students, working one-on-one with children, and on the playground teaching sportspersonship along with his Elementary Team colleagues.

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.

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.
LAKEWOOD RANCH CAMPUS
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.

Katie Brenna, M.A.

Secondary Spanish

Katie joins New Gate 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.

Anthony Carrera, B.S.

Secondary Guide, Area of Focus: Science

Anthony joined New Gate 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.

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.

Gillett Cole, B.A., AMI

Gillett Cole, B.A., AMI

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.

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.

Yolanda Gangi

Yolanda joins New Gate with 21 years in education. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from the University of South Florida and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. During the span of her career, Yolanda has taught reading, writing, and social studies at elementary and middle schools, using hands-on project based learning. She has programmed activities for retirement communities and mental health drop-in centers. Yolanda has managed a drop-out prevention program for middle and high school students. Later, she taught a Foundations in Online Learning course for an online university. Recently, she had the opportunity to assist in re-establishing and teaching for a local Folk School, in which disappearing home arts were taught for the preservation of historical culture. Her interests include gardening, kayaking, and crafting. During her time off, she enjoys her sons, the beach, spending time with friends, and a lazy greyhound.

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.

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!

Clorinda (Clory) Loaiza

Alicia Mercado-Harvey, Ph. D.

Foreign Language and History Professor

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 New Gate.

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.

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.

GLOBAL CAMPUS

Nicole Allsop, R.D, IMC

Montessori Early Childhood and Elementary eLearning Educator

Nicole joined NewGate School after closing down her Montessori School in Trinidad & Tobago owing to the effects of COVID 19 in 2019. Nicole joins NewGate Montessori School as the early childhood and lower elementary eLearning Teacher. Educated to have a multi-career path, Nicole is a Montessori Teacher through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and Exercise specialist.

Nicole has a Professional Certificate in Events Management from The George Washington University, USA, BA (Honours) International Business Administration from the University of Lincoln, London, England. A BSc. (Honours) Human Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, a post-graduate diploma in Institutional and Community Dietetics and Nutrition, and a diploma in Physical Fitness. Nicole’s continuing studies are in the areas of Nutritional Psychiatry (food, brain, and learning), Functional Nutrition, Lifestyle Medicine, Ayurveda, and learning “Improving your business through a Culture of Health” from Harvard University.

Nicole believes that learning is an exercise for the brain. Nicole Allsop brings over fifteen years of experience. With a passion for health and wellness and a keen interest in building habits for a lifetime of wellness, Nicole looks at nurturing the habits in children.

Katie Brenna, M.A.

Secondary Spanish

Katie joins New Gate 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.

Anthony Carrera, B.S.

Secondary Guide, Area of Focus: Science

Anthony joined New Gate 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.

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.

Elizabeth Hale, B.A., AMI

Co-coordinator, Humanities

Elizabeth joins the Global Team at NewGate with enthusiasm for collaboration! She spent the last 13 years developing Heartmoor Farm Education Centre in central Virginia teaching Literature, Humanities, and Mindfulness to adolescents while nurturing her connection with the natural world specifically through contemplative practices, the stewardship of plants, and formal study of Western Herbalism. With 24 years of teaching experience, in classroom environments from Oregon and Ohio to Virginia, she has worked with families through all stages of their children’s development. Elizabeth graduated from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Russian Studies and a minor in Theatre. She cherished her early years teaching 3 – 6 year olds before her second Montessori training took her and her husband to Bergamo, Italy for an incredibly memorable year’s study abroad. Since then, she has been captivated by the adolescent and is inspired to continue creating community with them. Elizabeth is an avid journal keeper and a lover of story. Long walks by the ocean and through the forests bring her great joy as does spending time with her teenage daughter.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Amy Kremer-Treibly, M.A.

Co-coordinator, Experiential Community Based Learning Facilitator

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!

ADMINISTRATION

Brittany Belviy

Administrative Assistant

Brittany joined the NewGate community in May, 2017. Brittany has a background in business management, admissions, customer service, and working with children. She aspires to be an early childhood Montessori guide. Brittany enjoys reading, being out in nature, jewelry making, and spending time with her friends, family, and animals.

Lashera Davis

Education Support

Lashera joined NewGate School in 2020. A native of Bradenton, Florida, Lashera supports the Secondary program as an Education Support Specialist. She is currently working on her Master of Arts degree in Social Work at Saint Leo University.

Tanya Ryskind, J.D., AMS, IMC

Tanya Ryskind, J.D., AMS, IMC

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

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.

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.