About Us

“We discovered that education … is a natural process which develops spontaneously.”

 Established in 1992, Grace Montessori School is a not-for-profit school and childcare center, associated with the American Montessori Society, licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and registered as a private, nonpublic school with the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

We are a richly diverse student body and faculty, totally committed to the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. We strive to educate the whole child — cognitively, spiritually and physically — in classroom environments that are large, inviting, and well-equipped with age-appropriate, developmentally designed materials.

As an Episcopal School we value nurturing the whole child. We seek out and welcome the differences of our families, and weave them into the common life of our students and staff. Our guiding principles are designed to help our students become critical thinkers and respectful citizens capable of building an inclusive society and a better world.

Read more about the Outreach Grant from the National Association of Episcopal Schools that is supporting Grace Montessori School’s Closing the Achievement Gap Program HERE.


Grace Montessori school is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools

Guiding Principles

Our Goals
  • We are a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem licensed by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
  • We invite families of all economic, ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds to be a part of our school.
  • We are an inclusive school for toddlers through elementary with full and half-day classes, extended care hours and summer camp programs.
  • We are a community of teachers prepared to support each child’s learning in a prepared environment and space of beauty.
  • We respect children as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
  • We encourage parents to participate actively in the education of their children.
  • We are committed to the improvement of the lives of people living in Center City Allentown and reserve 30 percent of our enrollment for children coming from economically disadvantaged families to whom we provide scholarship

Montessori Philosophy

Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the environment and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore their surroundings and to develop their maximum potential. Montessori material is designed to teach children independence and give them the freedom to engage in their own development according to their own particular developmental timeline.

Montessori classrooms are beautifully crafted environments designed to meet the needs of the children at different stages. The prepared classroom environment lets the child absorb the world around them through work with a wide variety of Montessori materials displayed on open shelves.

 

Vision Statement

To generate a citizenry of creative thinkers, lifetime learners, and community builders who embrace diversity and are equipped to build a better world.

Mission Statement

To nurture children’s spirit and natural love of learning by providing a Montessori program that educates the whole child, fostering cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth.

Staff

Administration

Radhika Hoshing serves as our Director, and Teacher in the Elementary program. She joined GMS in 2008. She received her Elementary AMI Certification from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development and a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Bombay University in India. Radhika has received the Advance level, International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council’s (IMSLEC®) accredited Orton-Gillingham training, to earn a Dyslexia Practitioner 2 certification from the Children’s Dyslexia Center of the Lehigh Valley. Read more about Ms. Radhika

Diane Cimorelli, our Business Director joined our staff in 2008 and comes to us with over twenty years’ experience in business management and technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business, Management and Economics with a focus on Information Systems from Empire State College, State University of New York. Read more about Ms. Diane

Christine Cleary is our Operations Manager. She has her AMS Montessori Teaching Certificate and has been awarded the CDA (Child Development Associate) by the Council for Professional Development. Christine joined GMS in 2009.  She is currently pursuing bachelors degree in Early Childhood from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Elementary Program

Jessica Meyers is the Head Teacher in our Elementary classroom. She joined GMS in 2011. Jessica received her Elementary I AMS Montessori Certification from PCTE, Princeton, NJ. She also has a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA. She has received the Advance level, International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council’s (IMSLEC®) accredited Orton-Gillingham training, to earn a Dyslexia Practitioner 2 certification from the Children’s Dyslexia Center of the Lehigh Valley.  Read more about Ms. Jessie 

Primary Program

Leah Mandic is the Head Teacher in Classroom 2. She joined GMS in 2007. Leah holds BA in education from Cedar Crest College, associate degree in special education and an AMS Montessori diploma from LCCC’s Montessori Early Childhood Program. Read more about Ms. Leah

Sabrina Parker is an Assistant Teacher in Classroom 2. She holds a certificate in Early childhood Education from Leigh Carbon Community College. Sabrina had over 10 years of teaching experience before joining GMS in 2017. Read more about Ms. Sabrina

Kelly DiGiacinto is Head Teacher in Classroom 3. She holds an AMS Montessori diploma from LCCC’s Montessori Teacher Training Program and a bachelor’s degree in English from Moravian College. Kelly joined GMS in 2000 Read more about Ms. Kelly 

Haiam Attia is a Co-Teacher Classroom 3. She holds an AMS Montessori diploma from LCCC’s Montessori Teacher Training Program and a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Cairo, Egypt. Haiam joined GMS in 2000. Read more about Mrs. Attia

Toddler Program

Mikayla Pyatt is Head Teacher in the Toddler classroom.  She joined GMS in 2021. Mikayla is continuing her education, currently working on her bachelors degree and Montessori certification in the Toddler Montessori Program at Chestnut College.  She has prior experience working in infant and toddler classrooms. Read more about Ms. Mikayla

Stacie Reichard is an Assistant Teacher in the Toddler classroom. She holds a certificate in Early Childhood fundamentals of Montessori from The Center for Guided Montessori studies (CGMS). Stacie joined GMS in 2017. Read more about Ms. Stacie

Mamura Azizova is an Assistant Teacher in the Toddler classroom. She joined GMS in 2019. Mamura received her AMS Primary Montessori Teacher certification in 2021. She has bachelor degrees in English and Arabic languages. Read more about Ms. Mamura

 

Board of Directors

F. Laird Evans – President
Retired Superintendent, Salisbury Township School District
Retired President, Middle States Association Commission on Elementary Schools
 
Rebecca Gorton – Secretary
Early Childhood Administrator Emerita
Early Childhood Education/Art as a Way of Learning
Northampton Community College
 
Libby House -Treasurer and Diocese Representative 
Consultant
 
Joe Cousart– Grace Episcopal Church Representative 
Retired Psychologist
 
John E. Freund, III, Esq 
Partner, King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC
 
MaryAnn Przekurat 
International Educator
Husein Kitabwalla 
CEO Food Transformation & Service Operations, North America
Sodexo USA Headquarters 
 
Marian P. McDonald, M.D. – Consultant to Marketing Committee
Chief of Surgery, St. Luke’s Hospital
Keystone Surgical Associates
 
Thea Prostko – Vice President

Certified Kindergarten Teacher and trainer for the PreSchool PreK programs, Active Learning Center
Former Director, St Andrew’s Episcopal Church Nursery School

 
Yuli Vanegas 
Spanish Emersion Teacher
Moravian Academy
 
Karen Tuerk
Lecturer, Environmental Science Chemistry
Muhlenberg College
 
Radhika Hoshing – Non-voting member
Grace Montessori School
Executive Director