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All faculty and staff at Little Ones have training in child development, are Montessori certified, and hold college degrees. Our teachers are experienced, highly qualified, and genuinely dedicated. 

All staff members are required to be cleared through the National Clearance System, fingerprinting background check and an SEL clearance. Also, we receive thirty hours of training within every two years in regards to Nutrition & Health Needs of Children, Montessori Training, Safety & Security Procedures, and many more!  Most, if not all, staff members are First Aid Certified as well as CPR Certified. 


“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe... To work consciously for the child and to go deep down, with the tremendous intention of understanding him, would be to conquer the secrets of mankind, just as so many secrets of nature have been conquered in the world around us.”                                                                                                                                                          –Dr. Maria Montessori


Crystal Rinaldi

Director's Assistant

Crystal graduated in 2003 with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked in an Early Childhood education setting for over 18 years. Working with children has always been a passion of hers and she enjoys helping to create a caring and loving environment which children can flourish. 


Outside of her time at Little Ones, Crystal spends time with her daughter whom she homeschools as well as enjoys being with her family and friends.



Head Teacher, Snapdragon Children's House

Jessica has always had a passion for working with children. She has cared for them her whole life as a young mom and a full time nanny for 4 years. In 2015 she started her career as a toddler teacher in a traditional preschool and fell in love. A few years later she was interested in learning about the Montessori Method. She then took a job as an assistant in a Montessori preschool. After a year of assisting there she completed her NAMC Montessori training and became a certified Montessori teacher! She taught there for 3 years in a Children's House classroom.


Jessica joined our LOM team in October 2022. She assisted in all the classrooms and became a permanent assistant in our Children's House classrooms. After a year with us she is excited to be taking on the role as our Snapdragon Head Teacher. 


Jessica is a mom of 2 and has a step son. She enjoys staying busy and spending time with her family. She enjoys crafting, yard sales, country music and organizing! 

Elaine Vazquez.heic


Teacher Assistant, Snapdragon Children's House

Elaine, who was born and raised in NYC, has worked with children for over twenty years; twelve of which have been at Little Ones Montessori! She has a strong passion for helping children and their families. She enjoys helping children thrive and succeed in reaching their potential through their physical growth and development.


Elaine is a devoted mother of three children; ages 31, 22 and 9 years old. In her time away from Little Ones Montessori, she enjoys life’s simple pleasures including dancing, fitness and meditation.



Head Teacher, Buttercup Children's House

Colleen has been working in a Montessori classroom for over 18 years. She started out as a Lower Elementary Level Assistant teacher in a Montessori school her daughter attended. She then transferred to a Korean Montessori school in Ohio. After working there, she moved to New York, where she quickly advanced into a Head Teacher position in a Children's House classroom. Colleen has an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC).

In her free time, Colleen loves quality time with her daughter, Rowan. She is a doer and maker of all things, especially in regards to sewing, book collecting, and gardening. She is also a member of the Schenectady Herb Society.



Teacher Assistant, Buttercup Children's House

Eve grew up in Ithaca, New York surrounded by forest and frogs before eventually relocating to Schenectady in 2019. She has always enjoyed her work with children from babysitting to swim lessons to summer camps, therapeutic horseback riding, and assistant teaching. She is excited to join the Little Ones Montessori community.

In her free time, Eve loves reading, making art, and exploring the natural world.



Teacher Assistant, Buttercup Children's House

Quenia (Kenya) originated from Brazil and came to the United States when her husbands job was relocated here. She now lives in Rexford NY with her two sons, ages 14 and 6, and her two dogs. 


Quenia’s experience with Montessori began when her oldest son studied at a Montessori school for four years in Brazil. She has a passion for children and their development and has always volunteered in children’s groups. She is having an amazing time and is enjoying being in the Buttercup classroom.


Quenia loves meeting new people and learning about new cultures. In her free time she studies other languages, paints pet portraits with water color, loves making art with paper, and spending time with her boys visiting new places . 



Head Teacher, Lily Toddler Classroom

Bethany La Flamme grew up in Schenectady, leaving to study classical ballet and modern dance at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  She fell in love with early childhood education while working at Saint Mary’s Nursery School, a Reggio Emilia-inspired, non-denominational preschool in Philadelphia, eventually switching her focus and graduating from The College of Education at Temple University with a degree in Human Development and Community Engagement.  She has been with Little Ones Montessori for 5 years and has recently accomplished her Infant-Toddler Montessori Certification Training with the North American Montessori Center.


Bethany lives in the Stockade with two cats and eight very determined house plants.  She loves making lists, dancing around to David Bowie, and (in a semi-strategic, non-hoarding kind of way) collecting old objects.  



Teacher Assistant, Lily Toddler Classroom and Children's House Aftercare

Shannon is from Schenectady but lived in New Paltz for 8 years where she graduated from SUNY in 2016 with a BS in Art Education. 


Shannon has 10+ years of experience in child care and she believes that children deserve the best possible chance at a bright future. She believes that chance only increases by the more positive role models they have in their future. 


In her free time she enjoys drawing, painting, gardening, baking and Dungeon’s and Dragons .



Teacher Assistant, Lily Toddler Classroom




Head Teacher, Daisy Toddler Classroom

Grace Hamichand came from Guyana, S.A. in 2008. Prior to her leaving she was a Public school teacher at the Kindergarten level for over thirteen years. In the last six months of her teaching career in Guyana she held the position of the Acting Head of School while simultaneously teaching in a classroom.  She also worked at the Board of Election as Presiding Officer at three consecutive elections. After arriving in the United States she did baby sitting for seven years in New York.  She worked at Little Ones Too, Inc for one year, then she was offered to work at Little Ones Montessori in the infant room. After working there for one year she was offered to do the Infant & Toddler program with American Montessori Society.


Grace obtained a Teacher Certificate in Early Childhood Education at the Cyril Potter’s College of Education in Georgetown, Guyana. In 2019 she moved to Schenectady to pursue her study at Suny Schenectady County Community College where she gained an Associate degree in Sociology. She was awarded the Associate Infant and Toddler Credential in 2022 by the Northeast Montessori Institute.

In her free time, Grace loves to read novels, listen to gospel music, care for her indoor
plants, and communicate with her children and grand-children.



Teacher Assistant, Daisy Toddler Classroom

Selma is from Brazil, and came to the United States many years ago when her husband was relocated here.

She has two children and the first school they attended upon arrival was Montessori. So, Selma soon started her passion for Montessori philosophy, working in their school.


Selma lived and worked in different parts of the country bringing diverse experience in Montessori schools and children’s background. She worked for Princeton Montessori School where she took the Montessori Philosophy Course.  She is graduated in Psychology in Brazil.


Selma lives to nurture the children and enjoys scrapbooking and interior design.



Teacher Assistant, Daisy Toddler Classroom

 Hema Persaud migrated from Guyana in 2002. She graduated from COC with her Associates Degree and also attended The Commercial School of Computer and Typewriting. Hema was also selected Head of P.T.A of her hometown Nursery School. She volunteered with the Teachers  Association and did a lot for her community. 


In 2007 Hema moved from NYC to Schenectady where she then worked for Pro-marketing for three years. Due to company closure she then applied to work for Little Ones Too where she worked for 10 years before moving to Little Ones Montessori. She has enjoyed learning the Montessori method for the last 3 years. 


In her spare time she loves babysitting her grandchildren, baking, bowling and reading.



Teacher Assistant, Daisy Toddler Classroom




Substitute & Aftercare Assistant, Children's House's

Patricia, who resides in Schenectady has worked in childcare for over twenty four years; twenty of which have been here at Little Ones Montessori. She enjoys working with children as it brings her great fulfillment and makes her smile. 


Patricia is the proud mother of four children; ages 25, 20,18 and 9 years old. In her free time she loves taking walks with her daughter, relaxing by coloring in adult coloring books and hanging out with her "Car Club" friend’s.

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