FACULTY AND STAFF
The staff of Trevose Day School and Neshaminy Montessori works collectively and collaboratively to make each day an enriching experience for children and adults alike. Communication is key to growth, and we encourage an open conversation among staff members about teaching techniques, education trends and child development news. Staying abreast of all aspects of the learning experience helps ensure that our team is armed with the most effective tools needed to bring excellence and a joy of learning to the classroom each and every day.
Head of School
Gwynne Frischmann graduated from the New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a concentration in special education. She previously worked at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center and has taught ages two through twenty-one both in the classroom and at home.
“As the Head of School, my main mission is to develop a passion for learning and a sense of security and happiness in our children,” says Frischmann, who has worked at Trevose Day School and Neshaminy Montessori for over twelve years. “I love working with each family to find the best educational path here for their child!”
The mother of two Neshaminy Montessori and Trevose Day School alums, Frischmann loves the arts and creates mosaics in her spare time. She enjoys going to museums, seeing live theater and reading all types of genres.
Lauren Berman doubled majored in PreK-4 Education and Psychology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
“I am going to work hard to create a space that is happy, safe, comfortable, and challenging for my students,” says Berman, who previously taught first grade and led campers in our Young Explorer and Adventure Camps. “Kindergarten is an important year where a child establishes an educational foundation and begins his or her learning journey. I love the sense of curiosity that children have at this age, so my students will do a lot of exploring and hands-on activities to help them learn.”
Berman enjoys enhancing lessons with dance, play, and song to help make learning more engaging.
THIRD,FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE TEACHER
Baltimore native Katie Williams has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland.
“I believe that a classroom should be a community in which students, teacher, and parents work together to help students achieve success,” says Ms. Williams, who taught middle school math for three years in Baltimore County Public Schools before joining Trevose Day School.
In her spare time, Ms. Williams loves going to the stadium to watch Ravens football games and is a new fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. In addition to teaching, she also enjoys cooking, hiking, reading and playing sports.
Ann King has been with Trevose Day School for seven years and has worked in the both our classrooms and our summer program. She has one daughter and loves spending time with family.
Mary Ellen comes to us with an extensive background in education. After graduating from Delaware Valley University she spent several years as a customer service horticulturist for W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company. After the birth of her son she worked in child care at the YMCA while working on her Master's degree in Secondary Science Education from Arcadia University. While her son was in preschool and elementary school, she worked for the Central Bucks Community School's after school program and SummerKids camp. After her son transitioned to middle school, she taught secondary Science before working as an Environmental Educator for the Bucks County Conservation District.
John Serpentelli has directed nearly 100 short films for networks such as HBO Family, Nick Jr., and Sesame Street. He has a Masters in Art Education and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of the Arts. Serpentelli’s independent films have won awards in festivals including The American Motion Picture Society and the New York Expo of Short Film. He will meet with our students weekly to create a collaborative animated film. serpentelli.com (Fall Semester)
After founding and running Shannon Montessori for several successful years, Helene Shannon-Hines brought her talents to Neshaminy Montessori and has served our students for over thirty years.
“Early in my career, I visited a Montessori class and fell in love with the classroom, the children, the work of the child and the way the children were so full of joy and curiosity,” says Hines, who graduated from Gwynedd Mercy University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
This passion led her to the Philadelphia Institute for Montessori at Ravenhill, where she earned her Association Montessori International diploma. This rigorous course of study included studying and writing every single lesson given to a child from ages two and one-half through six years of age.
“There was a heavy emphasis on Montessori theory,” she recalls. “I loved crafting a simplicity of movement and language when guiding the children through their day."
KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE
Dawn Quirple has her Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education from Beaver College, andenjoys taking classes and workshops to continue my growth as an educator. She has over 17 years experience as a classroom teacher in grades K-3.
I think it is important to build a positive classroom environment, I want my students to feel they are in a safe place where it is ok to make mistakes. I believe it is important my students take chances in learning and develop perseverance. In my classroom, we spend time building a community of caring, where we celebrate personal achievements and help each other grown and learn.
Dawn is happily married for almost 20 years and has a 14 year old son starting high school this year and an 8 year old daughter entering 3rd grade.
Gina Saxby graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a minor in Psychology. She has spent the past several years working with various populations ranging from adolescents with special needs such as behavioral issues and psychological disturbances, adults with developmental disabilities and behavioral issues and older adults suffering from Alzheimer's/Dementia. Gina has a passion for working with people and loves meeting and interacting with the children and families at Trevose Day School/Neshaminy Montessori.
Gina is an avid lover of makeup, enjoys seeing Broadway shows and various musical concerts, loves to read a variety of novels and spends much of her spare time with family and friends. She is married and expecting her first child.
Brindha Stanley has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She is married and the mother of two sons. She enjoys being in the classroom and watching students flourish.
Roland Yakobashvili is an internationally ranked Chess Master and former Soviet chess champion. He meets with students Kindergarten and up once a week to teach them the strategy, joy and camaraderie of chess. He also leads our Chess Club, which meets Thursdays after school.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Katie has been singing and dancing since she was three years old. She grew up studying and performing with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and then went on the get her BFA from the prestigious Boston Conservatory of Music.
Katie has performed in, directed, and choreographed musicals all over the US. She loves teaching music, theater and dance and has done so in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and in NYC.
She is so excited to join the awesome team at Trevose Area Day School!
Jessica McNally graduated with honors from The University of the Arts, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture with a concentration in Art Education. She received her International Montessori Teaching certificate through the North American Montessori Center.
“One of the greatest benefits for me as a Montessori teacher is the joy I experience watching my students develop and model themselves into incredibly independent beings,” says McNally, who has also completed the State Board of Private Academic Schools Certificate. “The learning experience offered at Neshaminy Montessori allows children to develop intellectually, socially, and to create a strong emotional platform — all through a self directed environment.”
McNalIy, mother of two children, both of whom attend Neshaminy Montessori and Trevose Day School. An award-winning artist, her work has been showcased at cultural centers including Woodmere Museum and Chestnut Hill College. She enjoys cooking and bringing the creative and culinary arts to the classroom.
first and second Grade Teacher
Originally from Kansas, Rebecca Buckley graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education and a minor in Children's Theatre/Speech.
“My main mission for the children who walk through my door is to develop and strengthen their love of learning,” says Mrs. Buckley, who has been a teacher at Trevose Day School for over twenty years. “We blend reader's theatre, role playing, music, singing and hands-on activities in all academic areas within our classroom. We are free to explore, question, share, create, and work together — and we can't wait to do it again tomorrow!”
Married with two daughters and two grandsons, Buckley loves spending time with family and her two Labrador Retrievers
Sarah Fuentes graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. During her studies, she was able to explore all the different fields in the art world. Having previously worked with directors and producers on short films, press kits, websites, album covers and music documentaries, Fuentes comes with excellent credentials in the creative industry.
Art education has been a fundamental part for her, so much so that she has decided to continue her education for her Masters in Art Education. ”Children have a great curiosity and art gives them that freedom to explore and develop those curiosities,” says Fuentes. The mother of one takes pride in what she does and is grateful to have a talent where she is able to utilize her skill sets while being inspired everyday by her students.
DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Essie Cherkin has led an esteemed career elevating the life chances of children through the improvement of instruction. She has served in multiple administrative roles in the School District of Philadelphia and oversaw schools at the regional level. She holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and certifications as Superintendent, Principal, Curriculum and Instructional Supervision and Instructional. Cherkin was a vital contributor to Trevose Day School in its early life, crafting the elementary program that has gone on to enrich hundreds of young minds and spirits.
HIP HOP DANCE
LAVON PATTERSON is a dancer and choreographer who has worked with stars such as Justin Bieber and Usher. He has a passion for connecting children with music and dance and will be teaching hip hop to all of our students twice a month. youtube.com/user/jfury