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Photo Credit: Symone Wallace

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Andrea Barra

Director,  Elementary Guide

Andrea has a passion for education and lifelong learning. Seeing firsthand how vital a joyous, supportive environment is for building this foundation, she enthusiastically followed her life path toward founding a Montessori school built upon these tenets. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology from Stonehill College, a natural fit with education and the Montessori philosophy, as the development of each child benefits greatly from careful observation and thoughtful instruction. She holds Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary Montessori Credentials and is MACTE certified.

Her first career as a furniture maker in Mid-Coast Maine utilized calm and patience, attention to detail, and appreciation for the exquisite details of our surroundings. Andrea loves to unite creativity with learning and brings elements of woodworking into the classroom when possible, such as through marquetry, soap carving, and tool use. Knitting, crochet, and fiber art are other hobbies of hers that she loves to introduce in school. When not making or learning something new, she is finding ways to bring it into the classroom. She enjoys spending time with her sons and family, and being outside as much as possible in their garden.



Photo Credit: Photos by Cheryl


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Ela Majkut

Primary Guide

My name is Ela Majkut. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Education and hold a Master in Early Childhood Education (major: Preschool and Kindergarten) from University of Warsaw, Poland. I am also Montessori certified at the primary level.

I come from a family of teachers. My mother was an Art teacher and my sister works as an Elementary teacher. I have been teaching for 34 years, and one of the greatest rewards is seeing the progress of my students. During my various field experiences, I worked as a kindergarten teacher for 19 years, teaching children 3-7 all subjects, including music class, in Poland. I taught graduate students at University of Bialystok (Poland) how to design and implement music activities and games to young learners. I am an author of many pedagogical articles and handbooks, such as “Program of Regional Education” handbook for teachers and textbook for students, and “Literature in Early Care and Education” handbook and textbook for students.

After moving to the United States, I got an opportunity to work at Head Start Program, which is based on Montessori Curriculum, for 10 years. I also worked as the Principal of J. Popieluszko Polish Supplementary School in New Jersey for 4 years. I am a passionate teacher who enjoys teaching students and helping them build creativity and confidence. I highly value individuality and strive to meet the needs of each student. Passion for music is a part of my life. In my class, I use the piano during everyday activities to help my students learn and grow. On my time off I enjoy reading books, gardening, painting, skiing, and spending time with my family and my best friends ever: Rayna- a beautiful black lab, and Sally- a playful mixed breed dog.

Photo Credit: Photos by Cheryl

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Cinthya Cruz

Primary Assistant, Spanish

Cinthya is the youngest child out of four and is a first generation born in the United States of America. She was raised by two very hardworking parents, her father from Comayagua Honduras and her mother from a small town in Honduras called Santa Cruz de Yojoa. Inspired by her teachers growing up Cinthya continues striving to make a positive impact in the lives of the children she teaches. She is currently attending Lehman College in Bronx NY majoring in Sociology with a minor in Childhood Education.

Before joining the Montessori team at HVMS, Cinthya brought her passion for teaching to her previous summer camp job by taking up the role as the K-2nd Art teacher, as well as an after-school teaching assistant position in NYC. Cinthya creates a warm and welcoming classroom environment everyday while teaching her students Spanish and the diverse cultures of various Spanish speaking countries. On her time off she enjoys spending quality time with her family, friends and her two furry four-legged companions, Teddy and Scruffy.




Photo Credit: Photos by Cheryl


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Sonia Burgos

Aftercare Specialist, Floater

Sonia L. Burgos brings a world of experiences to the classroom! Born in Honduras, she migrated to the U.S. at age 12. A Manhattanite at heart, she immersed herself in a diverse range of activities, from karate to soccer at NYU and even helping to found the Hondumex International women’s soccer team in Bronx N.Y. She is not just a teacher but a midfielder, sweeper, and defender extraordinaire. Winning Ms. Sports 2008 and various soccer cups, Sonia’s accolades extend beyond the field. She is a biology scholar who completed a nursing program at Mount Sinai Hospital New York N.Y., and holds an Associate’s degree from Boricua College. She has teaching experience of over six years in Bronx public schools. In addition, she has shared her linguistic skills by teaching English as a second language (TESOL) at NICE in Queens N.Y, demonstrating a holistic approach to education. Sonia is fluent in English and Spanish, and is fueled by a passion for guiding others on their path to success.





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Clark Rice

Physical Education, STEM







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Consuelo Barra

Office Manager

I was born in Colombia, South America, and emigrated to the United States to pursue a college education. I graduated from Cornell University, with a Bachelor of Science degree. Later on I took many courses in management, including one from Purdue University focusing on HR and finances.While at Cornell, I met and married my husband Michael, a veterinarian. After graduation I worked at Yale Medical School as a Research Assistant. In the 1970s we purchased Tweddle Animal Hospital in Middletown, NY, and from 1986 to 2014 I acted as the Practice Manager. I saw the expansion and name change to Ani-Mall Pet Hospital. I bring all of this experience to my current role of Office Manager at Hudson Valley Montessori School. My greatest joy is my family: my husband Michael, our 3 wonderful children, Michael, Monica and Andrea, as well as our 5 grandchildren. I’m thankful and cherish the gift of participating in their lives.


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