Faculty | Elementary

Meet the Elementary teachers
Conference Teacher, (UE) Program Coordinator

Huma Kazmi

Huma Kazmi joined Princeton Montessori School in 2005 and is a conference teacher in the Upper Elementary program. She also serves as the educational coordinator for the Upper Elementary program.

Huma enjoys working with elementary-aged children because they have entered the plane of development where abstract thinking and analytical reasoning begins to unfold. She brings her innate love of science and math to excite the students to explore their new capabilities.

Outside of school, Huma spends time with her husband and two children and looks forward to traveling home to London to visit her parents, brother, and friends. Huma enjoys reading, cooking, and catching a quiet moment to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Huma received a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of London, England, and holds an American Montessori Society credential in Elementary I and an Elementary II through the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE), NJ. She is also an instructor for PCTE as well as the PCTE Elementary Level Coordinator.

Conference Teacher, (LE) Program Coordinator

Amy Krupa

Amy Krupa joined Princeton Montessori School in 2004 and is a conference teacher in the Lower Elementary program.

Amy loves working with children in a Montessori environment, especially at this age. She enjoys watching students take pride in their accomplishments as their innate love of learning develops.

When not teaching, Amy enjoys fitness coaching, boating, camping and being outdoors with her three sons. She is also passionate about her role as a Scouting Cub Master for the Boys Scouts of America organization. She volunteers as a leader that aims to promote character development, life skills, and citizenship training among the youth in the organization.

Amy received a BS in Business Administration from Rider University, NJ. She holds IB Middle Years Program certifications for Physical and health education: Implementing the MYP curriculum (Cat. 1), Physical and health education: Delivering the MYP curriculum (Cat. 2), and Global contexts for teaching and learning (Cat.3) and an American Montessori Society credential in Elementary I through the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE), NJ. Amy's IB MYP training levels and areas include Physical and Health Education (Category 1 & 2), and Global Contexts for Teaching and Learning training.

Conference Teacher (LE)

Anna Ifft

Anna Ifft joined Princeton Montessori School in 2021 and is a conference teacher in the Lower Elementary program.

Anna is a passionate lower elementary teacher who knew she wanted to work in education since she was a young child. She is an advocate for holistic, personalized education that teaches inclusion, equity, justice, and respect and prioritizes classroom management that builds a strong student and teacher relationship. Anna is a highly creative person who enjoys sharing her love of the arts with students.

Anna is certified as a K-8 teacher in NJ and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She comes to us with three years of experience as a first-grade teacher in an independent school and began her Montessori training with us this summer through our teacher training program, PCTE.

Ecology Teacher

Gery Juleff

Gery Juleff joined Princeton Montessori in 2021 and is our Elementary School Ecology Teacher.

Gery is involved in hands-on and outdoor activities, planting in the vegetable garden and visiting a local farm. He also works as Environmental and Sustainability Educator with Middle School, and is the school Sustainability Coordinator.

Originally from N Ireland, Gery served as a British diplomat, mainly in Africa and Brazil, before coming to NJ with his family 10 years ago. Since arriving here, he has been a biofuels consultant, environmental radio show host, led and co-hosted a series of environmental discussions at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, worked as a farm manager and substitute teacher, taught history and environmental subjects as a volunteer tutor and been a Board Member of the Sourland Conservancy and the United Front Against Riverblindness.

Gery has a BA and MA in Modern History from Trinity College, Dublin.

Conference Teacher (UE)

Bridget Manley

Bridget Manley joined Princeton Montessori School in 2005 and is a conference teacher in the Upper Elementary program.

Bridget loves working with Upper Elementary children and watching their academic and social awareness unfold. She brings her counseling skills to the “gifts & challenges” class and enjoys empowering students to problem solve issues independently.

Bridget enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family from the Midwest, keeping up with friends, exercising, and making her famous brownies for all.

Bridget holds an MS in School Counseling from Sage Graduate School, NY and a BA in Social Work from Siena College, NY. She holds an American Montessori Society credential in Elementary I and Elementary II through the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE), NJ. Her previous experience includes counseling middle school and high school students.

Conference Teacher (UE)

Aish Saminathan

Aish Saminathan joined Princeton Montessori School in 2019 and is a conference teacher in the Upper Elementary program.

Aish’s love for Montessori education began when she volunteered in her child’s primary classroom. She is empathetic by nature and finds she can connect with children who sometimes struggle with handling their emotions.

Aish also has previous experience working as a journalist covering school education in India. As a member of the Princeton Storytelling Circle, she participates in storytelling events in and around Central Jersey. In her free time, she enjoys playing veena, an ancient string instrument. She is an herbalist by interest and enjoys discovering how to use nourishing herbs in different ways.

Aish holds a Master’s in English Literature and a Bachelor in Physics from the Bhrarathidasan University, India. In addition, she obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, India. She holds an American Montessori Society Elementary I & II credential through Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE).

Conference Teacher (LE)

Jill Spiro

Jill Spiro joined Princeton Montessori School in 2021 and is a conference teacher in the Lower Elementary program.

Jill is an experienced Lower Elementary Montessori teacher with over eighteen years experience. She has a calm, gracious demeanor and her eyes light up as she speaks about working with the 6-9 aged child. Jill leads our Elementary Summer Program.

When not teaching, Jill enjoys reading and spending time outdoors and in her garden.

Jill received her Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University. She holds an AMS Early Childhood credential from the Montessori Teacher Training Institute of NJ and an Elementary I credential from Center for Montessori Education in NY.

Intern and teaching assistant

Anna Suh

Anna Suh joined Princeton Montessori in January of 2021 and is an Intern and a Teaching Assistant in the Lower Elementary Program.

Anna has over fourteen years of experience working with preschool and elementary children in Montessori and other educational environments. She also worked with children as a volunteer Sunday School teacher for over twenty-two years. Most recently she led the STEM programs at Montessori Country Day School/Evergreen Montessori. She enjoys working with children in STEM and Technology to encourage their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Anna is certified as a K-6 teacher in NJ, holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and a Graduate Certificate in STEM Education. She also received a certificate in the Theological Studies. She is working on her Montessori Teacher Training for Elementary I with PCTE.

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What Parents Are Saying

Our child previously attended a reputable public elementary school. During that time, she often complained that she was bored at school. I was concerned that the school's 'one-size-fits-all' education model was gradually dimming her thirst for knowledge. I wanted the flames of her engagement and curiosity to be fanned, not extinguished. She is now back at Princeton Montessori and I am happy to report that she is no longer bored. In fact, her inner flame has never been stronger!

Our Primary student is learning remotely this year due to the pandemic. He is really is enjoying all the works that come home to him. He tells me things like 'I love my Montessori works' and 'my works are beautiful.' My husband and I see him growing and learning so much even amidst our virtual constraints. Having tailored materials for him to work with makes all the difference in the world and we're grateful for the thought and care you put into curating them.

The other day I came downstairs and my 4-year-old son was listening to 'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' on Alexa. He told me that Mozart's dad was named Leopold and his sister was Nannerl (it took him a second to remember her name and it sounded made up, so my husband and I googled it. Sure enough he was right). We asked what else he had been learning and he rattled off Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s full name and referenced The Four Seasons. I think my jaw is still on the floor. It turns out that the Primary children have been learning about composers this fall and listening to their music. What incredible exposure for these young children!

Princeton Montessori is the very epitome of the principles of Maria Montessori. The School offers a nurturing, creative, academic, and well-rounded development for each child. As a parent, we cannot offer our daughter a more valuable first gift.

The faculty are, bar none, the absolute best. The teachers are very knowledge both about the Montessori philosophy and the best ways to work with children. I ask for their advice and insight for any issues we’re having at home, quite often. They’re also incredibly warm and nurturing with the children in a way I have not seen at any other school.

I’m struck by how much better the Montessori toddlers are at playing and working peacefully with their peers than toddlers in other nursery school programs. I credit the gifted PMonts teachers, and the Princeton Montessori educational approach, for how confident, happy, and collaborative toddlers in the PMonts program seem.

Our son is so proud of being a third-year Primary. He has attended this incredible school since he was one year old. He had absolutely wonderful Toddler teachers and flourished under their care. Now, he is a third-year Primary and we know he will be more than ready for Lower Elementary. Thank you to all the Teachers & Staff!

The school runs with one philosophy and so every faculty member and admin personnel share the same vision for the child. This consistency is unique in our area to Princeton Montessori. Combined with the integration of the teacher training program, we can proudly say that the spirit of Dr. Montessori’s principles permeates every aspect of our school. That’s what I value the most about our school!

Education is both a gift and a right. I feel the teachers at PMonts help our children to appreciate the value of their education. Understanding the value involves looking beyond school and appreciating how education is a tool that will allow them to explore challenging goals, to grow as individuals and most importantly, chase their dreams.

I will never cease to be amazed at the capabilities of the young child. In the Montessori environment, the very youngest students show incredible independence and competence. At Princeton Montessori School the teachers truly help the children to “help me do it myself”.

When I think about my personal philosophy on education I can check all the boxes with regards to the education my daughter is receiving at Princeton Montessori. I feel the teachers motivate the students by focusing on appreciating the value of education and the diversities of peoples around the world while stressing and leveraging the power of the uniqueness in each individual student. Ultimately, the role of an educator is to shape a new generation that will create a safer and better world for the future.

Princeton Montessori School is a school that exceeds any expectations imaginable. The school follows each and every child on an individual basis and nourishes each child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. It is a school where teachers appreciate all unique qualities each child brings.

Princeton Montessori School turned out to be the best investment ever. We made some sacrifices in our lifestyle in order to be able to afford sending both children all the way through 8th grade, but now we are proud to note that we have two capable, confident, well-mannered young adults who are a pleasure to be around and who continue to love to work hard in their studies.

EXCEPTIONAL is the carefully chosen word to describe Princeton Montessori School. Our family has been part of the PMonts community from elementary through middle school. If I could give every child a gift that gift would be for them to experience the joy of learning every single day at PMonts. The multi-age classes provide the advantage of older students leading younger students and younger students watching the wonderful examples of the older children. The children recognize the strengths of others as being positive and not competitive. Princeton Montessori is much more than academic college prep - it is life prep!

Thanks for a wonderful school year thus far and for doing such a wonderful job for our children during such a challenging year. Princeton Montessori has simply been the gold standard for pandemic education, in my mind.

We love the fact that your guidelines have been clear and appropriate, and impressing upon families how their role is critical in keeping the wider school community safe. Thanks also for sourcing materials and providing seminars on parenting during this particular time. The fact that the school has remained open all this time is a huge testament to you all.

Our daughter loves being at school. She confidently reported that she was happy with the safety measures in place, and that she felt “safe” at school. This was HUGE.

We have always been thrilled with our PMonts experience, and this fall term has sent us through the roof. We are in awe of the tireless work of the faculty and administration, who have made possible such an inspiring in-person program. I have always been broadly grateful for the PMonts education my children have been so lucky to receive; this summer and fall, I felt grateful each and every day.

Princeton Montessori has done an exemplary job in keeping their classrooms open to children and young people during this challenging year. They are simply the gold standard for safely educating our children during the national pandemic.

As a parent (and faculty member), Molly and I are beyond grateful for PMonts. Our children are SO happy here. I am more of a believer than ever before. Miles was fine at his public school but the difference is really clear - here, he is not just fine - he is totally thriving and so happy! I'm amazed.