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Our Faculty

“The greatest sign of a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
Maria Montessori


Head of School

Meg Pfingst

From the first time Meg entered a Montessori classroom in 1983, her belief and confidence in the Montessori Method of education flourished.

After receiving a B.S. in Early Childhood education from Chestnut Hill College, Meg continued at Chestnut Hill to receive her American Montessori Society credentials. Meg has continued to build on her professional development by attending Annual New Jersey Montessori Administrators Council NJMAC conferences, as well as Independent School Management training.

Meg began her Montessori career teaching for many years as a Primary level teacher at Deer Path Montessori School and continued there as Director of Education. She also served as a Teacher Training Consultant for Princeton Center for Teacher Education.

Meg first became involved with Acorn Montessori School as a parent when her oldest son began as a student in 2002. She quickly got involved as a parent volunteer and classroom parent. She began teaching in Acorn’s Toddler program prior to becoming Acorn’s Director of Development, and then Director of Admissions. Meg is passionate and deeply committed to building upon what makes Acorn unique and special: our families, our teachers, our alumni and our community.

Meg is happy she can call Hunterdon County home where she raised her two boys. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, snow skiing, and getting her toes in the sand at the Jersey Shore.

Director of Finance

Anne Tevebaugh

Anne first came to Acorn as a parent when she enrolled her daughter in Acorn’s Toddler House. Her daughter, joined by her son a few years later, continued through Acorn’s Primary and Elementary Programs. Although her children have moved on, Anne continues to be in awe of Acorn's Montessori classrooms, the authentic love of the teachers for their students, and the joy of learning that Acorn has fostered in so many children.

In her free time, Anne enjoys travelling and exploring new places, music, biking and spending time with her family.

Administrative Assistant

Michele Gray

Michele joined Acorn Montessori School after gaining experience in the corporate world and then taking time off to raise her three children. What she likes most about Acorn is contributing to an atmosphere that is caring and heartwarming, that always works for the benefit of children. When not at Acorn Michele enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and cooking.
Director of Admissions

Elizabeth Garrett

After observing in a Montessori classroom, Elizabeth Garrett knew that she had to become a Montessori teacher. She worked for many years as a Primary Head Teacher here at Acorn. Elizabeth loved being a guide to her students as they made discoveries about themselves and the world. It was a comfortable and exciting transition for Elizabeth to join the administration team as Director of Admissions at Acorn. She is happy to welcome new families to the Acorn community. To Elizabeth, it is Acorn’s sense of community, in addition to the outstanding educational value, that makes Acorn such a special place.
In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, baking, being outdoors and, most especially, spending time with her family.


Toddler Level (18 - 36 months)
Toddler Head Teacher

Erin Garrett

Erin’s love of working with young children reflects in the nurturing and creative atmosphere of her classroom. She feels a certain privilege to be involved in the start of a child’s journey into learning. Her pleasant nature and kind personality allows her to provide gentle guidance to the youngest children. She marvels at the enthusiasm and energy that toddlers express.

Because she was a Montessori child herself, her fond memories, along with her belief in the Montessori method, led her to enroll her own child at Acorn at the age of two, continuing into the Upper Elementary program.

Erin’s interests include reading, spending time with family and friends, and vacationing at the Jersey shore.

Toddler Assistant Teacher

Tricia Telmosse

Tricia Telmosse was destined to be a teacher, as both of her parents were teachers. She always envisioned herself working with young children, and finds the close knit community of parents and staff at Acorn a very special working experience. She is amazed by the incredible learning that takes place within a Montessori classroom, and how well the children retain the information. What she wants most for her students is for them to be at peace and also have fun; to learn respect, and keep the love of learning strong.

When at home, Tricia likes to spend time with her husband and her sons. She also enjoys traveling, skiing and reading a good book.

Toddler Head Teacher

Heather Sharo

After graduating from college, Heather was introduced to Montessori through a friend. When she went to observe the Montessori classroom, she saw children independently engaged with beautiful hands on materials in a peaceful environment. Heather knew she had found the perfect fit. Acorn's glorious campus, friendly collaborative staff and high Montessori standards are what brought Heather to teach in Toddler House. Her favorite Dr. Montessori quote is, “He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence.” (Absorbent Mind)

Besides teaching, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, cooking or baking, long walks, yoga and reading.

Danielle Watts

Golden Oak Assistant Teacher

Primary Level (Ages 3 - Kindergarten)

Cheryl Turner

Black Oak Head Teacher

Black Oak Teacher Assistant and Spanish Instructor

Carolina Yim

!Hola! My name is Ms Carolina/Señora Carolina. I’m so happy to be teaching Spanish again this year. I’ve been a Teacher Assistant/Spanish teacher in Montessori environment for the last 17 years. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me. I love to see the excitement on children’s faces when they start to understand and to speak Spanish after a few lessons.
I’m a native from Ecuador and have lived in the US for more than 3 decades. My husband and I live in Belle Mead and have 2 sons.
I find very relaxing to go for walks as often as possible, also enjoy hiking and biking with my husband.
Chinquapin Oak Head Teacher & Art Instructor

Kait Roamer

It is the happiness of the children, and respect that they have learned that Kaitlin Baumann loves most about teaching at Acorn. Since 2007, she has been helping her students learn in creative ways, with plenty of fun, smiles and laughs along the way. She encourages children to find happiness even in little things, while fostering an independent spirit within each child.

Kaitlin’s fun-loving approach to life extends outside of the classroom, where she enjoys creating art (drawing, painting and photography), as well as running and hiking.

Emily Castanza

Chinquapin Oak Assistant Teacher

Red Oak Head Teacher

Jane Hendricks

As both an Acorn Montessori parent and a teacher since 1993, Jane Hendricks’s experience at Acorn has been a very personal one. She loved what the school did for her son when he entered at age 2-1/2, then came to work there and enrolled her daughter as well. She believes the Montessori method of education strengthens the feeling of community, and nurtures lasting friendships among the children. She loves the special bonus of seeing the students’ faces full of pride at their accomplishments, and hearing from the parents about the positive changes that they see from the children at home. While she highly values the idea of the students having fun in her class, she is committed to helping them gain a love of learning, while building the knowledge that they can make a difference in other people’s lives. Most importantly, she wants to see her students have the confidence that they can do anything they put their minds to!

In her role as Rainbow Club Supervisor, she projects her love of community service by helping our students develop a sense of community, and, understanding what role they have to play in making the world a better place. Children participating in our Rainbow Club program learn, even at a young age, that they have the power to brighten someone's day. They take to each community project with a selflessness that is refreshing to watch, and take great pleasure in knowing how much their work is appreciated in the community.

Now that her own children are growing up, Jane enjoys spending her free time growing house plants and gardening.

Red Oak Assistant Teacher

Megan Letters

Miss Megan grew up in Hunterdon County and loves to be involved in the community. She often volunteers for park events and in her free time she loves to garden, bake, and cook. She has two dogs and loves to go for hikes and explore. Miss Megan graduated from Seton Hall University in 2022 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. During her senior year she was a lab research assistant and studied a wide range of interrelated biological, psychological, and social problems experienced by children and adolescents.
Megan’s Montessori journey began in 2023 when she was working in Lunch Bunch, Rainbow Club, and was also a substitute teacher at all levels within Acorn- from Toddler House to Elementary. After learning the methods to how the students were given so many opportunities and options to expand their young minds, she knew this was the right place for her. Megan is currently an Assistant Teacher in Red Oak.
Elementary Level (Ages 6 - 12)
Upper Elementary Head Teacher & Curriculum Coordinator

Wyatt Tolles

Wyatt has been a Montessori teacher since 2012. He spent three years working at the Primary level and received his Primary (3-6) certification in 2014. He also spent time in Elementary teaching science. Since then, he has been teaching at that level and opened the Upper Elementary classroom in 2016. Since receiving his 6-12 certification in 2018, he has also instructed at West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program and been a field consultant for numerous new Montessorians in New Jersey, Pennsylvania. and New York.

Outside of the classroom, Wyatt is often outdoors - hiking, camping, kayaking, or fishing. He loves to spend time with his dogs, family, and friends. He loves to do puzzles, crosswords, and read.

Lower Elementary Head Teacher

Sarah Wheeler

Sarah Wheeler has been a part of the Montessori community since 2020. She was first inspired by the philosophy while living in North Carolina and working as a caregiver for two small children who attended a Montessori School. When the pandemic shut down their classrooms, Sarah did her best to simulate a Montessori classroom environment for them in their home, and fell in love with the use of materials and self sufficiency that the Montessori method promotes. After moving to New Jersey in early 2022, she started as an assistant in the Elementary 6-12 classroom at Acorn, and decided to pursue her Lower Elementary certification in the summer of 2022. Outside of Acorn you can find her offroad camping with her husband and two dogs, baking sourdough bread, or at trivia with her fellow Acorn co-workers.

Mariam Segreto

Lower Elementary Head Teacher

Reading Support & Orton Gillingham Specialist

Ghislaine Mahoney

Acorn Montessori has a special place in Ghislaine Mahoney’s heart, not just because she is passionate about teaching there, but also because her own three children attended the school. The family-like community and long-lasting friendships she has made there, both as a parent and a teacher, are very important to her. What she has found especially rewarding about teaching is that when she’s with her students and they see something or understand something for the first time, she feels like she’s experiencing it for the first time too, because the child’s wonder and pride are contagious! She learns something new every day, and loves to see the deep-centered confidence growing in her students.

Ghislaine enjoys spending time with her family, and outdoor action sports like downhill skiing and scuba diving.

Alessandra Policastro

Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Fran Edwards

Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Alice Lobo

Alice is very passionate about writing and has a degree in Journalism, a field in which she worked for more than 25 years as a reporter, editor, public relation, translator and entrepreneur.

Since her first son was born in 2012, Alice has been very interested in Education, researching and reading about it. In 2022, Alice started subbing as assistant teacher at Acorn and at a public school in Readington Township and decided she would invest in a new career as an educator. Alice is currently getting her Lower Elementary teacher training and certification at West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program and is due to complete it in June 2024.

Outside the school, Alice likes to be with her family, get together with friends, practice Taekwon-Do, play tennis and read with her children. Alice was born in Brazil and moved to the US in 2011. Her favorite vacation is to go to Brazil to see her family and go to her parent's farm.

Kristen Hilbert

Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Music and Performance Instructor

Jessica Sims

Jessica attended Boston University Acting Conservatory for 2 years with a scholarship. Missing musical theatre, she transferred to DeSales University where she was able to study more music and dance in the program and received a BA in Theatre with merit awards. She played Laurie in the National tour of Trevor Nunn’s Broadway Revival of Oklahoma! choreographed by Susan Stroman, and performed in other plays at
Regional Theaters including Fulton Theater, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Atlanta Theatre of the Stars, Walnut Street Theatre among others. She has had additional training in NYC at Stella Adler, Peoples Improv Theatre, Broadway Dance Center, and vocal training with Broadway veteran Ann Arvia and Broadway composer Barbara Anselmni. When Jessica had her two daughters, she started teaching drama at Madison Montessori School where she has written and directed children’s plays for 11 years. She has taught vocal music at Acorn for 5 years and is also a dance teacher at Hunterdon Hills Ballet where she teaches Ballet, Broadway Jazz/Voice and Point. She is so happy to be able to share her love of performing arts with children and is so grateful to be surrounded by the wonderful Acorn staff and community!

Cora Minadeo

Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor

Support Staff
Lunch Bunch and Rainbow Club

Karen Cubberly

Karen was born and raised amongst the rolling hills of Northwestern New Jersey. She has taught children and adults for decades within public and private schools, various camps, and the Arc of Hunterdon County. When her own daughter began attending Acorn Montessori School, Karen saw how the Montessori Method aligned with her own methods of teaching. She fell in love with how children are able to grow in a nurturing environment that allows them to breathe, focus, explore, learn, and experience joy. Soon after, she became Acorn’s music teacher for the next four years.

During these years working at Acorn, Karen admired how the classrooms were purposefully kept clean, simple, yet inspiring. Everything in the Montessori classroom is intentional and lacks distraction. This interest in her surroundings led Karen, years later, to become a Marie Kondo KonMari Home Consultant, organizing homes for the local community.

Karen believes love, children, and fun are our world’s greatest assets, and is thrilled to now be directing Acorn’s Lunch Bunch and Rainbow Club, centered around these.

Lunch Bunch and Rainbow Club

Mitsa Lasky

I am very glad to be here at Acorn Montessori, and I hope to be learning with my fellow teachers and students the concepts that Maria Montessori implemented One Hundred Twelve years ago. Along with that, I am especially grateful to have a philosophical approach to education through my study of Aesthetic Realism; founded in 1941 by poet and critic Eli Siegel. I have been studying Aesthetic Realism since 1979 and my education continues. I love what Mr. Siegel said about education: "The purpose of education is to like the world through knowing it." I am learning through my study that the one true way to like the world is to see it as "an aesthetic oneness of opposites." For example, how the ocean is a oneness of gentleness and force; we too, like the ocean, hope to put these opposites together which I learned from Aesthetic Realism are one in art. My husband Andrew and I have lived in Annandale since 1986, where we raised our four daughters. I enjoy reading, watching films, cooking and traveling. I look forward to your insights and guidance as I approach my first year here at Acorn.


Rafael Dimas

Buildings & Grounds

Maria Dimas

Buildings & Grounds

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