Nadine Parkes joined The Village School Primary faculty in 2011 with over eighteen years of Montessori teaching experience at the Toddler, Primary and Elementary levels at Montessori Children’s World in Kingston, Jamaica. She continued her Montessori teaching experience when she moved to the United States, working at Learning Center in Little Falls, NJ and Ladybug Montessori Learning Center in Bellville, NJ. Nadine holds certification in Early Childhood from the University of the West Indies and completed her Montessori Primary training while working at Montessori Children’s World.
Lena Shamoun is in her fourth year at The Village School as a primary teacher. Lena is a graduate from Montclair State University with a degree in Art Education and is certified as a Montessori teacher at the primary level. With the encouragement of student interest, Lena started the culinary and draping club here at the Village School.
Leena Kukreja holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She has worked as an assistant teacher at Elite Montessori School while living in Ontario, Canada. Leena also has her Montessori Early Childhood Certification from the Centre for Montessori Teacher Education in New Jersey. In 2011 she came to The Village School as a Montessori intern and then in 2012 she joined The Village School staff as a teacher in our Primary Program.
Heather Dzielinski has been affiliated with The Village School since 1984 when she began as an assistant in the Primary program. She received both her BS in Psychology from William Paterson University and her AMS certification to teach Primary in 1988. As life’s paths change, she went on to teach Kindergarten at the Dwight Englewood School and was Director of a Cooperative Pre-School/K in Englewood until the birth of her son in 2001. When the time came for her son to attend school, the path led right to the Village School where she has been since 2004 as a full day Primary Teacher.
Vivian Mucheru started at The Village School in 2006. She has a bachelors degree in History and is AMS certified in Early Childhood education. She spent four summers working in Montana with Migrant field workers focusing primarily on the children. The rest of the year was spent working with both children and adults with various disabilities (cerebral palsy, autism and down syndrome). She helped with training both wheelchair and ambulatory athletes for special olympics for local, regional and state competition. When not working, Vivian likes to travel and visit historical sites and parks. She love’s being
part of her children’s extracurricular activities – particularly scouting.
Kathy Pizzo received her BS in Finance from the University of Rhode Island. She spent several years working in the Fixed Income area of Swiss Bank Corporation in New York City before making a career change. She began pursuing a Graduate degree as well as accepting a position as a Reading Recovery specialist at a local elementary school. There she discovered her passion for working with children. Beginning in the Fall of 2000, Kathy was reintroduced to the Montessori philosophy of education while her oldest child was enrolled in the Toddler program at The Village School. She enrolled in the teacher training program at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education (CMTE) and completed her training in 2005. Kathy has worked at The Village School as a Primary/Kindergarten Teacher ever since. Kathy currently resides in Ridgewood with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending time with her family and her hobbies include attending her children’s sporting events, reading, tennis and biking as well as striving to become an avid runner.
Melody Shiu first joined the Village School community in 2013 as a parent, later joining the faculty in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Rochester and received her Montessori Early Childhood Certification from Westside Montessori in NYC. Melody taught English to students ranging from ages K-12 in Yokohama, Japan. Upon her return to the states, she taught first grade at Evangel Christian School in Long Island City, Queens. She has always been intrigued by the Montessori education and its approach respecting the rhythms of a child’s learning and development. Her first experience with Montessori schools was at the Montessori School of Rochester. There she worked as an assistant teacher while her husband attended graduate school. She is now a mother of three boys. Her two oldest attended Montessori schools in Massachusetts. Since moving to NJ, her youngest now attends The Village School.
Kathie Moran began teaching at The Village School in 2004. She first became part of this community as a parent. Through her experience with her children and participating in many volunteer opportunities at The Village School, Kathie became impassioned to further her knowledge of Montessori Education. She brings with her a passion for singing and storytelling, which she shares with the children daily. Kathie completed her AMS certification for Primary in 2006. She has also served as support staff for The Center for Montessori Teacher Education. Additionally, Kathie holds a BA in English from Hartwick College. In 2015, Kathie also completed her NJ State Teaching Certification for preschool-grade 3.
Elizabeth Gephardt joined The Village School community in 2017. Prior to joining our community, Elizabeth attended Felician University achieving her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and English with a concentration in Special Education. She also completed her master’s degree at Ramapo College in Educational Technology. Upon graduation she began working at St. Elizabeth’s Nursery and Montessori School in Parsippany. Elizabeth then moved to Boston and worked at Kingsley Montessori School while achieving her Montessori Certification in the Primary level at NEMTEC in Newton, Massachusetts.