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passionate educators 


Katie Cullen


Ms. Katie has been an integral part of the Hoboken Montessori School community since its inception in 2011. With over 18 years of experience working alongside young children, Ms. Katie has a deep understanding of the Montessori philosophy and approach to education. As a Montessori child herself, she brings a unique perspective and passion to her work.


After earning her undergraduate degree in Marketing from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 2007, Ms. Katie joined HMS as an Assistant Teacher. She quickly discovered her love for the Montessori teaching method and obtained her Infant/Toddler AMS certification from West Side Montessori School in Manhattan. For five years, she served as a Head Teacher in both the Toddler and Pre-Primary programs, providing her students with a nurturing and enriching learning environment.

In 2018, Ms. Katie stepped into the role of Assistant Director, bringing her expertise in Montessori education and her dedication to the school's mission to the leadership team. Her commitment to providing every child with a high-quality education and supporting families through their journey at HMS has made her a valued member of the school community.


In 2020, Ms. Katie was appointed as the Director of HMS, further solidifying her commitment to the school's success. As an HMS parent herself, with her daughter attending the Pre-Primary program, Ms. Katie has a personal stake in ensuring the continued growth and development of the school. Her passion for Montessori education and her leadership skills make her a respected and beloved member of the HMS community.


Kendra Finck

Director of Admissions 

Ms. Kendra's passion for education started with her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Salisbury University in Maryland. Her experience as a teacher spanned various grades in the public school system, from Kindergarten to Third grade. However, it was her own experience as a student in a Montessori school that sparked her interest in the Montessori method, leading her to obtain an Early Childhood credential for children between the ages of 3-6 from West Side Montessori School in NYC, as well as a Preschool-Grade 3 NJ Teaching Certificate.


Ms. Kendra's dedication and passion for teaching and working with young children led her to join HMS in 2013 as a Lead Primary Teacher. Her years of experience and Montessori training made her an asset to the school. Ms. Kendra’s hard work and commitment paid off, and she was appointed Assistant Director in 2020. Her contributions to the school's growth and success were undeniable, and in 2022, she was promoted to Director of Admissions. In her current role, Ms. Kendra works closely with the Director to ensure that the school's admission process is efficient and effective, and that each family's experience is personalized.


Ms. Kendra's extensive knowledge of Early Childhood Development and Montessori methods, combined with her experience in both public and Montessori schools, have made her a valuable asset to HMS over the past decade. Her dedication and passion for helping young children thrive in their learning environments is evident in her work as a teacher and administrator and her success at HMS is a testament to her hard work, commitment, and expertise in the field of Early Childhood Education.

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Sondra Scott

Business Manager

Meet Ms. Sondra, a seasoned professional who joined the HMS team in 2022, bringing over two decades of experience in both corporate and educational environments. Throughout her career, Ms. Sondra has focused on serving children and their families from the early years of preschool up to high school, in both public and private school settings. Her unwavering commitment to cultivating strong relationships with staff and families has been instrumental in creating a harmonious and collaborative atmosphere. Sondra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from St. Elizabeth University and has also worked as a coordinator for high school exchange students, providing valuable opportunities for global education. Having lived in six states, Sondra considers New Jersey her favorite among them all.


Victoria Johnson

Head Teacher

Ms. Victoria has been a part of our HMS community since 2012. In 2016, Ms. Victoria received her Montessori certification from West Side Montessori School in New York City, further deepening her commitment to the Montessori philosophy and approach to education. In addition to her work as an educator, Ms. Victoria is an accomplished artist in her own right. She brings her passion for the arts and her own creative experiences to her teaching, inspiring her students to explore and express their own creativity in new and exciting ways. Ms. Victoria is also a proud HMS parent, with her oldest daughter graduating from Kindergarten in 2022 and her youngest set to join the Toddler program in 2023. Her personal connection to HMS and her deep understanding of the Montessori method make her a beloved and respected member of the school community.


Katja Nagel

Head Teacher

Meet Ms. Katja, an accomplished educator who started her career by earning a degree in Early Childhood from Ochsenfurt State School for Teacher Education in Germany. Her passion for teaching and desire to foster a comprehensive education for children led her to study Montessori philosophy. In pursuit of her goals, she earned her AMS Early Childhood Credential from the Institute of Mercer County CC and commenced her Montessori career as an intern at HMS in 2011. Witnessing the remarkable effectiveness of the Montessori method and materials, Katja has developed a deep conviction in the value of the prepared environment, which facilitates creativity, independent learning, and a sense of belonging for all children. Her dedication to this approach is exemplified by her commitment to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and support within the classroom. Katja's son, Skyler, has also been a student at HMS.


Mike Oh

Head Teacher 

Meet Mr. Mike, an experienced and passionate educator with over 10 years of experience working with children in diverse environments such as tutoring, counseling, and program administration. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Studio Art from Hunter College in New York City in 2008. In 2016, Mike joined HMS as an intern in our Primary program while pursuing his AMS Early Childhood Montessori Credential from West Side Montessori School in NYC, which he completed in 2017. During his time as an Assistant, he developed a deep appreciation for the Montessori philosophy, which he believes embodies everything that is crucial and essential in child education. In addition to his extensive experience passion for education, Mr. Mike is also skilled in music, art, and Spanish. These talents enable him to bring a well-rounded and enriching perspective to his work with children, fostering a love for the arts and language learning among our students. Mike is also a proud father to his daughter, Olive, who is currently attends HMS.


Houria Selmy

Head Teacher

Meet Ms. Houria, a highly experienced educator with over 15 years of teaching experience. She embarked on her career by earning a Bachelor's degree in Education from University Hassan II in Morocco in 1994, specializing in teaching learning strategies in the foreign language classroom. Ms. Houria's passion for teaching led her to explore alternative teaching methods, and she became particularly interested in the Montessori approach. To enhance her teaching skills, she obtained a Montessori Certification from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York in 2007. In addition to her native Arabic, Ms. Houria is fluent in English and French, enabling her to communicate effectively with a wide range of students and families.


Synitra Bailey

Head Teacher

Ms. Synitra has been a valued member of the HMS teaching staff since 2016. Ms. Sy's academic achievements include earning an Associate's Degree in Psychology from Hudson Community College in 2013, which has contributed to her strong teaching methods and understanding of child development. After studying psychology, her teaching journey began when she discovered her passion working with children attending Sunday school at her church. Since joining HMS in 2016, Sy was drawn to the unique approach of Montessori philosophy. She pursued her Montessori certification, and in June of 2022, she earned her AMS Infant Toddler Certification from the West Side Montessori School in NYC. Ms. Sy cherishes spending quality time with her family, and planning fun outings and unforgettable vacations to create lifelong memories. Her commitment to her own family reflects her dedication to fostering strong relationships within her families. In addition, Ms. Sy is also a proud HMS parent and has enjoyed watching her daughter grow in our Primary program.


Virginia DeLeon

Head Teacher

Ms. Virginia joined the Primary classroom at HMS in 2021, bringing with her five years of experience as a lead teacher and undergoing her Montessori training from West Side Montessori School in Manhattan. She holds an Associates Degree in Science from Bronx Community College and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Ms. Virginia is a proponent of the Montessori method, which she also applies at home with her three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. Notably, her son attends our Primary program and her daughter will begin her journey in our Pre-Primary program in 2023. Ms. Virginia’s dedication and tranquil spirit create a wonderful learning environment for her students.


Elvia Ferreira

Head Teacher

Ms. Elvia's journey with HMS began when she joined us in 2016. Over the years, she has gained valuable experience in our Pre-Primary and Primary programs. Her Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance and Music Business and Management from Berklee College of Music has equipped her with a creative and innovative approach to teaching, which she incorporates into her classroom practices. Ms. Elvia has developed a strong passion for the Montessori philosophy and is committed to nurturing her students' growth and success. She is currently working towards earning her Infant/Toddler AMS certification from the West Side Montessori School in Manhattan, which she will complete in June of 2023. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Elvia is a talented singer, bringing her love for music and creativity to the classroom. Her fluency in both English and Spanish has also been an asset in connecting with students from diverse cultural backgrounds and promoting inclusivity.


Daykota Kucera

Head Teacher/Auxiliary Programming Lead

Ms. Daykota is an experienced Montessori educator who joined HMS in 2021. With over 14 years of experience working in Montessori classrooms, Ms. Daykota is passionate about providing high-quality education to her students. She obtained her Montessori certificate in 2009 and went on to attend the Montessori Centre International College in London, where she earned her Montessori International diploma in 2010, and her Montessori Early Childhood Degree in 2011. Ms. Daykota's dedication to learning and professional development is evident in her pursuit of higher education. After completing her Montessori Foundation Degree, she earned a B.A. Honors Degree in Early Childhood Learning from the University Campus Suffolk, UK in 2013. She continued her education at the University of East Anglia, UK, where she earned her Early Years Teaching Status in 2014. When she is not teaching, Ms. Daykota enjoys spending time with her family, including her twin sons, friends, and dogs, and boating. She believes in being a lifelong learner and strives to instill this passion for learning in her students. Ms. Daykota's expertise and commitment to Montessori education make her an invaluable member of the HMS team.

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