OSMS Leadership

OSMS Leadership

Our Administration

Amy Andrews

Head Of School
Prior to her role as Head of School, Amy Andrews was a Montessori teacher in our Primary Program for 15 years. She has also served as the Curriculum Coordinator for the Primary and Wee Three programs for seven years and has been instrumental in shaping and aligning the teaching practice in these classrooms. Before coming to the OSMS in September 2000 Amy taught at the Bedford Montessori School in Bedford, MA. Amy received a BA in Psychology from Ithaca College and her AMS Early Childhood Credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in NY. In addition to serving at OSMS, Amy is also a teacher at the New England Montessori Teacher Center where she is the Sensorial instructor for adults taking the training to become Montessori teachers. Amy's two daughters attend our school.

Shemaleiah Geremia-Smylie

Business Manager
Shemaleiah joined the Ocean State Montessori Community in 2013 as the Office Manager. In 2017 she was promoted to her current role as Business Manager. As Business Manager she supports Amy in the business management of the school. Her role involves a diverse set of activities including: administrative and organizational support, billing, communications and marketing. Prior to joining OSMS she worked for a telecommunications company in corporate development. Shemaleiah has also managed a boutique clothing store, worked in IT, and been a nanny. Shemaleiah studied Literary Arts at Brown University as an undergraduate student. She is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and shares her ASL skills with our students during their weekly music class. In her spare time Shemaleiah enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, practicing meditation, reading, gardening and spending time outdoors.

Donna Baer

Administrative Assistant
Donna comes to Ocean State Montessori School with over fifteen years of experience from her work at Montessori Children's House and The Wheeler School where she provided administrative, operational and classroom support. You will find Donna in the office with Shemaleiah, with our students at lunchtime and greeting you in the morning as your children arrive. Donna graduated from Johnson and Wales University with an AA in Data Processing. She started her career in computer programming and then owned a canoe and kayak business before entering the education world. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking and kayaking. 

Montessori Faculty

Jill Malin

Wee Threes Lead Teacher
Jill brings deep experience as an early childhood music and movement specialist to her role as the Lead Teacher of the Wee Three program. Holding a BM degree from Northwestern University and a Masters of Music degree from New England Conservatory, she directed Blue Hills Music Together in MA for 16 years while
simultaneously working as a professional freelance singer, most notably with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. The mother of two daughters, Jill fell in love with the Montessori philosophy when her children attended Thacher Montessori School in MA. Previously she held the position of Lead Teacher in the Children’s Room at Hand’s on Montessori School in Mansfield, MA. Jill teaches private piano lessons, enjoys singing in a variety of groups in the RI area, reading and hiking in the woods.

Leah Caldwell

Curriculum Coordinator & Primary Lead Teacher
Leah Caldwell has been involved with the OSMS since 2000 when her daughter started as a three-year old. Through her involvement as a parent Leah became more interested in the philosophy and began her training at the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center in 2005. Leah received her AMS Early Childhood Credential in June 2006 and assumed the Lead Teacher position of her own class the following September. Leah has a BA in French Literature from Boston University. Both of Leah's children graduated from our school.

Betsy Facincani

Primary Lead Teacher
Betsy Facincani began her career at the OSMS as a Teacher Assistant in a Primary classroom. Betsy fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and when a Lead Teacher position became available she went to the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center and received her AMS Early Childhood Credential in 2004. Betsy became a lead teacher in her own classroom in September 2004. Betsy has a BA in English from Tufts University and a Master of Library Science from SUNY-Albany.

Brooke Wyman

Primary Lead Teacher
Brooke Wyman began her career at OSMS in 2004 as an intern while completing her Montessori training from the National Center for Montessori Education in Beverly, MA. Her internship in our primary classroom paved the way for Brooke to assume a lead teacher role in 2005 where she served for one year before moving out of state. Brooke returned to OSMS in the summer of 2014. Both of her children now attend the Ocean State Montessori School. Brooke has a BA in Psychology from Western Baptist College in Salem, OR.

Shannon Rita Baltzell

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher
Shannon Rita Baltzell began her career at OSMS as a Teacher Assistant in the Lower Elementary classroom in 2013. In 2014 she moved into her current role as lead teacher. Shannon Rita attained her AMS Elementary I Credential from the Seacosat Center Montessori Program in Stratham, NH. Shannon Rita has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Rhode Island with concentrations in illustration and graphic design.

Elizabeth Tingle

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher
Elizabeth Tingle joined our Lower Elementary teaching team in 2014. Elizabeth brings with her over 15 years of classroom experience. Elizabeth has a BA in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of Rhode Island where she was also certified to teach grades 1-6. Elizabeth is currently in the process of earning her Lower Elementary Montessori Credential from the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA.

Robert Short

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher
Robert Short joined our staff in 2014 as our Lead Prime Time Teacher. In preparation for his current role he is in the process of earning his Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori Credential from the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA. Robert brings his experience as a Field Teacher/Naturalist at the W. Alton Jones Campus of URI, where he taught hands-on science to student groups visiting W. Alton Jones. Robert, known to the children as Mr. Bob, has a BA from Brown University where he concentrated in Economics. Robert is also a fiction writer and he brings his love of language and storytelling to the classroom.

Extended Day Faculty

Julia Raneda-Sitzler

Extended Day Program Coordinator & Lead Teacher
Julia Raneda-Sitzler comes to OSMS with an enthusiasm and passion for using teaching as a tool for connecting with children. Before joining OSMS in 2015, Julia worked with teenagers in an intensive outpatient program at Bradley Hospital, as a Special Education Aide for middle schoolers in Brookline, MA, and as an Art Specialist at a summer camp for kids with Autism and Aspergers. In addition to feeling passionate about working with growing minds, Julia loves being creative, and is always inspired by exploring where those two worlds collide. She has a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Studio Art from Mount Holyoke College.

Roxanne Ferreira

Extended Day Lead Teacher
Roxanne joined the Ocean State Montessori staff in 2016 as a Children's Room Teacher Assistant. Roxanne was inspired by the Montessori philosophy and was thrilled to take on the role of Extended Day Lead Teacher in 2017. Before joining OSMS, Roxanne taught kindergarten and first grade in Killingly, CT and worked as a Special Education Teacher Assistant in Glocester, RI. Roxanne has a BA in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Rhode Island College.

Special Studies Faculty

Shannon May

Music Lead Teacher
Shannon is a certified instructor in the Musikgarten curriculum.  She received her Montessori degree and Lead Teacher certification from the New England Montessori Training Education Center (NEMTEC).  Shannon also is an assistant to the sensorial professor at NEMTEC and directs the NEMTEC music program in the summer. She is very enthusiastic and passionate about music and child development. She was recently promoted Director of summer camp programs at Apple Tree Arts and is now the Manager of the early childhood outreach music program through Apple Tree Arts.

Jennifer Thaler

Health & Physical Education Lead Teacher
Jennifer has been a part of the Ocean State Montessori School since 1997 when she brought her Creative Movement/Gymnastics program to the school. In 1999, she became our Physical Education teacher when the elementary school opened. Jen now teaches PE and Health to the P3 and elementary school students and Creative Movement/Gymnastics to the Children’s Room students. She is proud to be a parent of two former OSMS students. Jennifer has a BA in Health & Society from Brown University, as well as, several certifications from USA Gymnastics.

Roberto Vargas Tapia

Spanish Lead Teacher
Roberto is originally from California and moved to New England four years ago. Having worded with students of all backgrounds from Kindergarten through High school, in after school, summer and neighborhood/community programs with the City of Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Department in CA. Roberto decided to go back to school to become a teacher. Currently, he is attending Rhode Island College working towards his Elementary Education Major. As a bilingual person in both Spanish and English, it gives Roberto great joy to be part of the Ocean State Montessori School teaching students a second language or to some, their third language. 

Lily Whelan

Art Lead Teacher
Lily joined the OSMS community in 2001.  She has a bachelors degree in painting from Rhode Island College and has also studied scientific illustration and surface design. Lily has taught at Brown Play School and also works in gardens and designing chalkboards. Lily has two daughters, two dogs and two cats.

Additional Staff

Our administration and lead teachers are supported by a wonderful team of dedicated assistants:
Elly Dacosta
Ms. Leah's Class
Norma Bucci
Ms. Betsy's Class
Edita Pajazetovic
Ms. Brooke's Class
Moriah Ramos
School Assistant
Deborah Cuhlane
Extended Day
Cathy Leary
Extended Day
Emily Prisco
Extended Day

Board of Directors

The Ocean State Montessori Board of Directors is a combination of a working and advisory board. Our Directors are actively involved in managing the overall affairs of OSMS. Their primary duties involve maintaining accountability for OSMS property and funds, hiring and evaluating the Head of School, reviewing and approving the annual operating budget, setting institutional policies consistent with OSMS's mission, engaging in ongoing strategic planning, supporting school fundraising efforts and more.

Kate Parsons

Kate Parsons currently serves as the President of the OSMS Board of Directors. She has developed a broad base of knowledge regarding effective non-profit board governance, best practices for non-profit management, and strategic planning. She has two children at OSMS – one in lower elementary and one in primary. She is also a partner at Crevier & Ryan, LLP where she advises a variety of business clients on contracts, employment, privacy, and compliance issues. Kate also represents insurers in litigation arising from claims under life insurance and disability insurance plans. In addition, she regularly advises media clients regarding defamation and press shield matters and provides expert advice and guidance to companies active in the solar energy industry on nationwide construction and lien laws. She obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, a J.D. from Emory School of Law, and a Masters of Theology from the Candler School of Theology. 

Megan Mahoney

President Elect
Megan Mahoney currently serves as the President Elect of the OSMS Board of Directors. Megan works as a tax consultant with RSM US LLP in Boston, MA, focusing on international tax and mergers and acquisitions. Previously Megan worked as an attorney with Bogue, Moylan & Marino, LLP, a tax law firm in Providence, where she represented individual clients and businesses in tax controversy and tax planning matters. Megan received her B.A. from Boston College, J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and LL.M in Taxation from Boston University School of Law. Prior to law school, Megan served as the Director of Development for the Homeless Empowerment Project in Cambridge, MA, which publishes a newspaper called Spare Change News. Homeless vendors purchase the paper for 25 cents and then sell on the street for the cover price, keeping the profit. Megan is a volunteer attorney with the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless Legal Clinic at the Crossroads shelter. Megan grew up in Rhode Island, and lives now Rumford, RI. Her daughter Madeleine is a Primary 3 student in Ms. Betsy’s class.  

David Beauchesne

David Beauchesne currently serves as the Treasurerof the OSMS Board of Directors, which he joined in 2015.  David is the dad of OSMS students Benett (Ms. Elizabeth’s class) and Clara (Ms. Brooke’s class).  As Treasurer, David chairs the Finance Committee and works with the staff and board to establish the annual budget, review compensation and benefits for staff, and monitor the month-to-month fiscal performance of OSMS. David is a highly successful arts administrator, as well as a dedicated music educator and musician.    He is Executive Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, which has grown exponentially during his tenure.  Prior to working at the Phil he held teaching and administrative positions at Georgia State University’s School of Music in Atlanta, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York, and taught Junior High Band in Irondequoit, NY.  David has performed with the Montreal Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chautaugua Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, the Boss Street Band, Orchestra Antonetti and others.   David holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music Education from the Eastman School, and completed the course work for a Ph.D. in Music Education at Georgia State.

Michael Lunardelli

Michael Lunardelli currently serves as the Secretary of the OSMS Board of Directors. Mike has a passion for sports that has culminated in a 20 year career in the sports footwear and apparel industry with Reebok and parent company adidas Group. His most recent role was leading a new Reebok business unit start-up to capture a growing fitness trend around training like a fighter, which included a partnership with the UFC. Mike lead that league partnership and was responsible for signing some of the best known MMA athletes in the world including Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. Prior to that, he was the US Business Unit Director for the exclusive NBA deal adidas signed in 2006. He oversaw product creation, go-to-market initiatives and the league partnership as it related to product merchandising and marketing. Mike graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.  He's an avid baseball enthusiast and still competes in local men's leagues and in national wood bat tournaments, most recently inducted into the RI Men's Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame. Mike is also a wildlife and conservation enthusiast and is a member of several conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy, The Climate Reality, and National Geographic. He is the father of Grace in the Lower Elementary, and Hope and Tyler in Primary.

Additional Board Members

Debbie Butler
Leah Donaldson
Cheryl Ellis
Margarita Guedes
Odessa Holt
Sarah Klump
Melissa Malone
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