Concord Montessori School
29 Domino Drive, Suite 2 | Concord, MA 01742
Ph: 978-369-5900

The Montessori Teacher

The Montessori curriculum comes alive to the child when a link is established between the child and the prepared environment of the classroom. The Montessori teacher (also called directress or guide) establishes this link. Montessori teachers are required to meet more stringent standards for certification than teachers in other schools and day care centers. These include 400 hours of academic work plus 540 hours of supervised in-classroom student teaching.

Montessori teachers facilitate a structured learning environment and foster an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect that frees the children to learn and grow to their highest potential. A Montessori teacher teaches children not only to be competent learners, but guides them to take their place one day as a caring, responsible and compassionate members of the community.

Laurel Zolfonoon - Director and Primary Teacher

I love working with children and being supportive to their families. It is such an honor and a privilege to be a part of the staff at Concord Montessori School! Children quite naturally have a love of learning and exploration; a Montessori education teaches the children how to use these qualities to become enthusiastic participants in their own education. The children are filled with self-confidence as they cultivate their self-care skills, social grace and kindnesses, art and music expression, and lay an incredible foundation for mathematics and language skills that will benefit them their whole lives.

Patricia Morgan - Lead Teacher, Pre-Primary

I love working with young children, helping them to learn and grow, and I am excited to be joining the Concord Montessori School as the Lead Toddler Teacher. In my experience working with toddlers and preschoolers, the carefully prepared, beautiful Montessori classroom allows children to use their natural curiosity and joy to explore the world, and reach their full potential of independence, skill, and confidence. I strive for a classroom that is positive, encouraging, and peaceful, yet fun and stimulating, and I especially enjoy sharing books, art, and music with young children.

Erin Conway - Pre-Primary Assistant Teacher

It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to work with children during their most formative years of life. I believe that the Montessori philosophy and environment provides young children with a unique educational experience. I enjoy learning and exploring with children within the classroom and in the natural world. I look forward to learning more about the Montessori teaching technique and providing a helping hand for both the children, families and teachers at the Concord Montessori School!

Michele Bouchard - Lead Teacher/Curriculum Director of the Primary Program

Guiding and teaching has been a passion of mine and I'm excited to be a part of the Concord Montessori School staff. I truly believe that Montessori classrooms provide a natural way for children to have fun, become competent, confident, independent, and excited about learning. My philosophy is based on providing a sensitive awareness of the needs of each child. This, along with the prepared Montessori environment, creates the harmonious atmosphere where all children can succeed. I am an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certified primary directress and also hold a Masters in Education.

Pauline Gennis - Teacher/School Consultant

It's been my lifelong passion to elevate early childhood education and teachers' training. In a Montessori classroom, children are respected as individuals and the teachers have the training and the experience to foster the love of learning in children. She provides weekly Spanish classes in the primary class and she is also fluent in French, Armenian Arabic, and Armenian.

Maura Topol - Administrative Assistant

Maura Topol has joined our staff as an Administrative Assistant. She has been home with her three sons, aged 15, 13, and 12, for a number of years. During that time, Maura enjoyed volunteering in many school, community and area activities. She is enthusiastic and very excited to part of the Montessori community. Maura is dedicated to maintaining an atmosphere that supports the growth of staff, children and parents. In her spare time, Maura enjoys running with her dog, reading, and spending quality time with her family in Maine.




Shannon J. May - Certified Music Instructor

Shannon J. May is a certified music instructor in the Musikgarten curriculum. She is currently a music director in 4 pre-schools/ elementary schools which include the Ocean State Montessori school in East Providence RI. She has received her Montessori degree and Lead Teacher certification from the New England Montessori Training Educational Center (NEMTEC) and also is an assistant to the sensorial professor at NEMTEC. Shannon also directs the music program at NEMTEC each summer since 2010.

Shannon is a Northboro MA resident where she lives with her daughter Annie who recently graduated high school and will attend Sacred Heart University, Fairfield Conn. in the fall of 2016 on a music scholarship.

Shannon and Annie sing together and direct the youth children's choir at their church in Holden MA. Shannon has had over 14 years of experience with children ages 1-14 and directs children's theater programs and camps for many years which include children of all ages. Shannon is enthusiastic and passionate about children and their development with music, and is excited and honored to be welcomed to the Concord Montessori school and to enrich their music program in the fall of 2016.

Ji Orloff - Head of Admissions & Outreach

Ji Orloff is a certified AMS (American Montessori Society) teacher who has taught at Montessori schools in San Diego and Shanghai before her family moved to the area. Ji is thrilled to be a part of the Concord Montessori School where she can combine her previous Montessori teaching and school administration experiences together. Ji enjoys giving weekly Chinese lessons to children in the Primary program. She offers both introductory and more advanced classes. Ji believes that each child has the ability to learn, but not at the same time and in the same way. She was very glad to find Montessori 12 years ago when she was searching for a school for her then 3-yr-old son. Sharing and promoting Montessori practice and philosophy has been Ji's passion since.



Xuandong Ha - Assistant Teacher

Xuandu Ha has been working as an Assistant Teacher at Montessori schools since 2004. Her gentle and kind nature has won the hearts of many children and their families throughout her teaching career. We were delighted to have Ms. Ha join us in 2013 along with her then 4-year-old son. Ms. Ha has been an important part of our Montessori community.

Photo: Ms. Ha with her formal student, Kamran Zolfonoon (16)



Susan Lerner

MSW, LICSW

Consultant, Family Coach

Assistant Director, Metrowest Behavioral Health Center in Acton

Metrowest Behavioral Health Center provides parent workshops for Concord Montessori on a variety of topics including attachment, regulation, parenting strategies, emotional development, traumatic exposures and talking to children about difficult topics. When needed, Concord Montessori contracts with MBHC to conduct classroom observations to help us best support, educate and work with our students and their families. If you would like to consult with a clinician at MBHC about your child or parenting, or have your child seen for therapy, please contact them directly by calling the MBHC intake line at 978.264.3553.



Bre Vader

Director of Marketing Communications

Bre Vader has a background in Arts and Communications and four children ages 8-12. As a Montessori family and stay at home mom for several years, Bre enjoyed volunteering in many school, community and religious activities. Professionally, she has worked on a variety of graphic design, event planning, management, and fundraising projects serving diverse communities; including television production, the medical community, religious organizations, and public and private schools and camps. The Vader family moved to Concord in 2016 and Bre is thrilled to join the staff at Concord Montessori. She hopes to serve to further the school's mission, expand its reach in the community, and fundraise for valuable resources and initiatives that will serve the beautiful children of Concord.

Providing child-centered and authentic Montessori learning
for families with children (nursery/toddler, preschool and kindergarten)
in Concord and surrounding towns.