Preschool Lead Teacher
Preschool Assistant Teacher
Toddler Assistant Teacher
Nicole "Nikki" Fletcher
Toddler Assistant Teacher
Infant Lead Teacher
My name is Mary Gallardy, and I am the Director at Alfred Montessori School. My family and I moved to the area in June 2020 from Central Pennsylvania for my husband's job at Alfred State College. I graduated from Lock Haven University with a B.S. in Disabilities and Community Services, with a minor in Dance. I have been in Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. Before becoming Director, I was a Lead Teacher here at AMS. Prior to our move, I was a Primary Teacher at Our Children's Center Montessori, located in State College PA. I also worked as a Teacher at The Childcare Center at Hort Woods, a Penn State Early Childhood School. The Montessori method has always been a passion of mine and something I am eager to continually learn about. I am currently working towards my Montessori certification. I am forever honored to be a part of a child’s journey and assist them in finding their confidence. When I am not at school, you can find me spending time outdoors with my family, reading, baking, and supporting my husband’s football team.
I am Nalini Sundaram and have returned to Alfred after having lived here 20 years ago (I can’t believe I am back here!). I have obtained four degrees, BA and MA in English Literature and Bachelors in Education and Masters of Philosophy in Education. I have taught in private and public schools in India. Overall, I have over 25 years of teaching experience, 17 of them in private and public schools and daycare in the states of Washington, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. I like living in this quiet community and educating the local children. I learn from them as much as I teach them. I also enjoy watching them grow. What I like the most about Alfred Montessori is the safe, positive, and warm environment that energizes me. I currently work in the Toddler Room and I enjoy working with my fellow teachers and students.
My name is Megan Gent, and I am the lead preschool teacher at AMS! I grew up in Belfast NY and relocated to Alfred in 2015 for college. While in school, I worked part-time as a server and bartender, and in 2019 I also started working as an intern at AMS. Unfortunately, my internship experience came to an abrupt end in 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Despite COVID-19, I graduated from Alfred University in May 2020 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with concentrations in both child psychology and clinical/counseling psychology. I continued my employment as a server and bartender following graduation, and in October 2020 I was offered the opportunity to resume employment at AMS as an assistant teacher in the preschool room. In January 2021, I took over as the lead teacher and quickly grew to love what I do. I am passionate about social-emotional learning, freedom of choice, and the development of language; all of which have become integral to our classroom here at AMS. Outside of the classroom, I have continued part-time employment as a bartender in Arkport NY. I enjoy dedicating my free time to doing independent research, reading books, and spending time with my family and friends. I am also presently working on becoming Montessori-certified in early childhood education.
I am Dawn Butts, known as “Ms. Dawn” at Alfred Montessori. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Alfred Montessori community, and I look forward to meeting you in person! grew up in Alfred Station and have lived in nearby Andover with my family for roughly 21 years. My family includes husband Phil and 2 teenagers, Sarah and Eric. Prior to working at Alfred Montessori, I was employed at Alfred State. I hold college degrees in Human Services, English, and Elementary Education. When the COVID shutdown happened almost 2 years ago, I felt the need for both personal and professional change, and so I’m excited to work with our preschoolers. It’s an honor and a privilege to spend my days with these amazing children. I love watching their growth and curiosity, going for walks with them, and reading to them. My outside interests include daily walks, hiking, kayaking, gardening, reading, and embroidery.
My name is Nicole Fletcher, and my nickname is Nikki. I have worked at AMS for the past several years in many different classrooms, but during the school year I work in the Toddler classroom. I love getting to know these students and to watch them grow over the course of the school year.
My name is Nadia Jeridi. I am of Franco-Tunisian origin. I speak fluently English, French, Arabic and some Italian. I love trips, was lucky to be in many countries and discover different cultures! I’m a friendly person! I enjoy spending time with my family and kids in the class! I’ve been a Teacher Assistant and a Teacher for 13 years in USA and abroad .
My name is Heather Biddle and I live in Arkport, New York. I am the new Infant Room Lead Teacher. I graduated with a high school diploma and my Certificate in Early Childhood Development. In addition I have my CDA (Child Development Associates) for infants/toddlers. I have one daughter who is my pride and joy. I have over 15 years experience working with children from newborn - 15 years old. I enjoy working with all of the smiley faces that I see every day and for the opportunity to teach them.