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MEET OUR STAFF

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. Our Montessori Programs are also qualified to administer all types of medication (MAT Certified). Visit the NYS MAT Certification website for more information. 

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“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

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KATIE SUATONI

Director

Katie grew up in Orange County, New York and lived in Washington, DC for many years before relocating to Niskayuna in 2018. She worked as a babysitter, tutor, policy analyst, fundraiser, and strategic planner before joining Little Ones Montessori as Assistant Director in 2021.

She received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and is completing her Montessori School Leader Program through Montessori Live. Katie lives with her husband and two children and in her (rare) free time enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.

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JESSICA EDEN-CROUSE

Montessori Certified Substitute

Bio coming soon!

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COLLEEN LABUSKI

Co-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.

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STEPHANIE MCCARTHY

Co-Head Teacher, Buttercup Children's House

Stephanie has a BS in Education K-9 with minors in English and Social Studies. She has an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) and also has a Montessori Assistant Certificate from Rising Stars Montessori. Stephanie has been in a classroom setting every year since the age of 5 -- either as a student, substitute, public school teacher, or as a volunteer. She has been teaching Montessori for the past 9 years with her Co-Head Teacher, Colleen.

In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend quality time with her family: traveling, going for walks/hikes, camping, going to the movies, cooking and playing games.

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CHRISTINE SELL

Teacher Assistant, Buttercup Children's House

Bio coming soon!

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ANNA MULARCZYK

Head Teacher, Snapdragon Children's House

Bio coming soon!

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ELAINE VAZQUEZ

Teacher Assistant, Snapdragon Children's House

Bio coming soon!

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BETHANY LAFLAMME

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.  

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SHANNON CURTIS

Teacher Assistant, Lily Toddler Classroom

Bio coming soon!

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KATHLEEN DINGEE

Teacher Assistant, Lily Toddler Classroom

Bio coming soon!

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GRACE HAMICHAND

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.

She 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.

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SELMA SEBASTIANI

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.

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HEMA PERSAUD

Teacher Assistant, Daisy Toddler Classroom

Bio coming soon!

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PATRICIA BURNOR

Substitute & Aftercare Assistant, Children's House's

Bio coming soon!

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CRYSTAL RINALDI

Children's House's Aftercare Teacher

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.

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