Faculty & Staff

Norbeck Montessori is a private preschool that employs approximately thirty-five full-time and part-time faculty and staff members. All of our Montessori teachers have Master's degrees in Montessori education and most of our assistants have college degrees. We are very proud to say that many of our faculty and staff members have been with us for over 15 years and several have been with us for over 30 years. Our faculty and staff members are carefully selected for their warm, friendly, and nurturing temperaments, not simply for their degrees and experiences. We know this is why so many of our faculty and staff come back home to their "Norbeck family" with their own preschool-aged children, grandchildren, and also to teach in our private school programs. Norbeck is very much a family, and we strive to incorporate your children and you into our family. Your child will have the same teachers for as long as they attend Norbeck. This helps strengthen the bond between your child and the adults he/she interacts with every day. It also enables us to follow their academic and social progress over the course of their preschool education. Like a family, our educational environment is one of fun, happiness, joy, laughter, and most importantly, pride of learning.

Our Lead Montessori Teachers

Our lead Montessori teachers are responsible for ensuring the classroom is designed around each child, they are the "environmental engineers."  Not only do we take pride in their tenure with us, but more importantly we value their background and experiences.  Our lead teachers focus on your child's developmental needs and, as your child progresses in their education, the lead teachers will change the classroom so that it introduces new lessons to challenge and entice your child.  The following section is an overview of each of our lead Montessori teachers to give you a better idea of what they can do for your child.

 

Denis CerritosDenis Cerritos

Denis has been teaching at Norbeck Montessori for more than 18 years.  He majored in Psychology at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.  While attending UMCP, Denis also played intramural soccer and worked at the Episcopal Center for Children as a counselor for children with emotional and behavioral problems.  Denis started working at Norbeck Montessori in 1997 as a teaching assistant in our Kindergarten classroom.  Working here part time throughout his college career, Denis later became a full-time staff member after graduation.  In 2007 he knew his passion was to teach Montessori and began his training to become a primary teacher and opened his own classroom the following school year.  Three years ago Denis began running our Spanish Integration program where he leads lessons in Spanish for our youngsters as part of his Primary Montessori program.  Originally from Mexico, Denis brings his native Spanish speaking skills to the forefront.  In addition to teaching in his Primary classroom, Denis also created and runs Norbeck’s Science Program, specifically developed for our Big K students.  Over the past two years, Denis has been leading Early Childhood Education workshops at Montgomery College teaching math and science to local teachers and students.  

 
Lead Teacher Debbie Kukielka

Debbie Kukielka

Debbie has been in Montessori for close to 30 years. She started as a Montessori Mom, became an assistant in a Montessori class for four years and then took her training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in 1995 where she earned her Early Childhood AMS credential. In 2007 she took her Infant and Toddler training and earned her AMS credential from the Montessori Teachers Institute. Debbie’s career before Montessori was as an Optometric Technician where she received her degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to being a lead teacher in the classroom, Debbie also is both an instructor and administrator at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. In this capacity one of her responsibilities is to travel to Montessori schools presenting workshops to parents and staff. From 2009-2010, Debbie was sent to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to start a teacher training program that ultimately led to the program being accredited by AMS and MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education). Debbie has three grown daughters, products of a Montessori education, a granddaughter who just began her Montessori education and a newborn grandson.

 

Melissa MatthewsMelissa Mathews

Melissa has been teaching at Norbeck Montessori for more than 12 years, and she was actually in the first graduating class of Norbeck Montessori!  She majored in Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC.  Shortly after graduating Melissa became a teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) where she taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 5th grades for 6 years.  Melissa attended the American Montessori Society (AMS) where she earned her Early Childhood Montessori credential.  She joined the Norbeck Montessori family in 2002 as a teacher where she opened our first Kindergarten class, Big K.  She is now a lead teacher for one of our Primary Montessori programs as well as one of our Junior K programs.  Melissa has two children who also attended and graduated from Norbeck Montessori.  She enjoys going to the beach and doing things outdoors.

 

 
 

 

Our Transitional Two's Lead Teachers

Our Transitional Two's programs are the newest additions to Norbeck.  These programs are designed for our youngest learners, with smaller tables and chairs, climbing apparatuses, specialized playground equipment, and age appropriate lessons.  Our toddler teachers bring a wealth of experience and creativity to our newest students.  Our lead Transitional Two's teachers focus on your child's developmental needs as they prepare them for the primary classroom.  They will introduce your child to many of the Montessori lessons while they emphasize developing a love for learning.  The following section is an overview of each of our lead Transitional Two's teachers to give you a better idea of what they can do for your child.

Faculty & Staff: Anny GonzalezAnny Gonzalez

My name is Anny Gonzalez. I was born in Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic. I studied computer systems at a local university in Santo Domingo. While studying, I worked in the IT Field for several years as an IT consultant. Life changes brought me to the USA in 2008. I am married and a mother of three beautiful girls ages 4, 6 and 8, with the 4-year old attending Norbeck Montessori. Becoming a mother inspired me to learn more about child development, so I decided to go back to school pursuing an Early Childhood Education career. I hold a Credential from the Maryland Department of Education as well as a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential from the Council for Professional Recognition. After working with young children for about 8 years, last year I happily joined the Norbeck Montessori family as a teacher assistant in a primary class. I am currently pursuing an infants and toddler Montessori credential at The Barrie School Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. I love working with young children. Therefore I am thrilled to take the lead of one of our wonderful toddler’s programs. Other than teaching children, I like to spend time with my lovely husband and daughters. I love going to the beach, watching movies, and cooking.

 

 

NitaNita Wong

Nita started working at Norbeck as a teacher assistant in 2014 and is now leading the second Toddler Montessori class.   Nita majored in Psychology from the University of Maryland and has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from George Mason University.  She was a teacher for a preschool Autism class, a Non-categorical preschool class, an inclusion preschool at a public charter school and has worked in early intervention for children with Autism.  Nita is currently pursuing an Infants and Toddler Montessori credential at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.  She is very excited to lead the new Toddler classroom.  Nita has two children. Her first child attended Norbeck and is now in second grade. Her youngest child will be completing her third and last year at Norbeck.  In Nita loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, crafting, reading, going to the beach, and sampling multiple-course tasting menus.