Administration & Teaching Staff 

HMS staff is passionate about Montessori education. In addition to undergraduate degrees, our Directors and Head Teachers have undergone a demanding training course which typically takes two years to complete. The course involves a year long academic phase followed by a year long practicum (student teaching) under a Montessori Certified teacher. The majority of our teaching staff has certified at Westside Montessori School in NYC.   


Katie Cullen


Ms. Katie has been with Hoboken Montessori School since inception in 2011. A Montessori child herself, Katie has been working alongside young children for over 15 years and received her undergraduate degree in Marketing from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. After joining HMS as an Assistant Teacher, she soon obtained her Infant/Toddler AMS certification from West Side Montessori School in Manhattan and became a Head Teacher for a number of years in both the Toddler and Pre-Primary programs. Katie filled the role of Assistant Director from 2018-2020.  Katie is passionate about ensuring that every child receives a high-quality education while assisting our families through the journey at HMS.

Kendra Finck

Assistant Director

Ms. Kendra graduated from Salisbury University with a B.S in Early Childhood Education after knowing from a young age that she wanted to become a teacher. While teaching in public schools, she quickly realized her passion was in early childhood education, and once discovering Montessori, she was on a path to become certified in an authentic approach.  Ms. Kendra earned her AMS certification in 2015 from Westside Montessori School in NYC and has been teaching in the Primary Classroom before her appointment to Assistant Director.

Sandramaria Muka

Operations Coordinator

Ms. Sandra recently graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. She focused her studies on the psychology and development of children and adolescents and is very passionate about working with children, especially in an educational environment. Ms. Sandra is fluent in Greek, Albanian and Spanish. She aspires to bring her nurturing and loving personality to the school.

Stephanie Brady

Head Teacher

Ms. Stephanie has 6 years of teaching experience in a Montessori classroom.  She obtained her Montessori certification from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York. Ms. Stephanie is currently pursuing her Masters in Early Childhood Education/Special Education at Concordia College and is expected to graduate in May 2021.  She graduated from New Jersey City University with a B.A. in English Literature.  She has a passion for reading books and instilling a love of reading in children.  She aspires to provide a beautiful Montessori environment where children can thrive and enjoy learning.  She is fluent in Spanish.

Nikole Carvajal

Head Teacher

Ms. Nikki attended the National University of CR where she obtained her bachelor's degree in social and environmental studies. She became part of the HMS team at the beginning of 2017, and has had a passion for the Montessori philosophy since she started as an assistant teacher. In 2019 she joined the Infant/Toddler training at West Side Montessori School and she will be completing her practicum during this school year. Her favorite area of the Montessori classroom is Language. She loves to watch the children learn new sounds and put their first words together. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, boyfriend and cats. She loves to go to the lake, watch the sunset, cook, do yoga, help animals and take care of the Earth.

Emily Gallagher

Head Teacher

After graduating with a degree in photography and fine art in 2013, Ms. Emily spent most of her early career working as a photographer at various studios throughout New York City. On the weekends she volunteered with different non-profit children organizations and she soon found her passion lied in working with children. Ms. Emily began her Montessori career with HMS in 2017 as an assistant teacher before earning her Montessori certification from West Side Montessori in 2020. Whether it’s learning a new word or how to tie their shoes for the first time, she loves being in the classroom with the kids and watching the world unfold before them. In her free time she enjoys cooking, being outdoors and relaxing with her husband and big fluffy cat at home.  

Victoria Johnson

Head Teacher

Ms. Victoria joined HMS in 2012, after graduating from Temple University with a B.A. in Printmaking and Art History in 2011. Ms. Victoria has been pivotal in developing HMS's art program. Ms. Victoria received her Montessori certification from West Side Montessori School in New York City in 2016. She brings a joy, enthusiasm and creative spirit to her classroom that both students and parents are drawn to.

Katja Nagel

Head Teacher

Ms. Katja started her career with a degree in Early Childhood from Ochsenfurt State School for Teacher Education in Germany. Her passion for teaching and desire to foster an education for the whole child brought her to study the Montessori philosophy and earn her AMS Early Childhood Credential from the Institute of Mercer County CC and began her Montessori career as an intern at HMS in 2011. Impressed by the underlying intelligence of the Montessori method and materials, Katja believes deeply in the prepared environment to allow creativity, foster independent learning, and create a sense of belonging for all children. 

Mike Oh

Head Teacher 

Mr. Mike brings over 10 years of experience working with children in many different environments, such as tutoring, counseling and program administration. He graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art from Hunter College in New York City in 2008. Mike later joined HMS in 2016 as an Intern in one of our Primary Classrooms while completing his AMS Early Childhood Montessori Credential from West Side Montessori School in NYC in 2017. While interning as an Assistant he fell in love with the Montessori philosophy, as it genuinely encompasses everything he believes is important and necessary in child education.

Debbie Ruglio

Head Teacher

Ms. Debbie graduated from Kean University in 2012 with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education. While working at Olive Tree in Bloomfield, NJ and later at Community Montessori Academy in Verona, NJ Ms. Debbie fell in love with Montessori education. She completed her AMS certification from the Center for Montessori Education in NY and joined HMS in 2013. The deep sense of caring Ms. Debbie has for the children will be evident to you as a parent and most importantly will be felt by your child.

Houria Selmy

Head Teacher

Ms. Houria has over 15 years of teaching experience. She began her career in education earning her B.A. in Education from University Hassan II in Morocco, in 1994. Ms. Houria specialized in teaching learning strategies in the foreign language classroom. She became very interested in the Montessori approach and pursued a Montessori Certification at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York in 2007. In addition, she speaks fluent English, French and Arabic.