Elementary Faculty

Julie AdamsThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Julie Adams holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and AMS 6-9 certification. Julie first joined our faculty in 1985. She has the distinction of being Montessori School of Albany's (as WHMS was then known) first elementary teacher and taught for six years before taking time off to raise her children. Julie rejoined our faculty in 1997 and has served as Head Teacher in one of our Lower Elementary classes since then.

 

127SPD 0092This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Patricia joins WHMS as an Assistant Teacher in Julie Adams' classroom. Patricia is an Association Montessori Internationale-certified early childhood teacher and worked as a Montessori teacher in South Carolina for five years. Previously, Patricia was a practicing attorney for 12 years in Spain. She is credentialed through the Greenville Montessori Institute.

 

 00058This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Sandra Blakeman received her bachelor’s degree in literature from Bard College. She studied elementary education at SUNY New Paltz and held New York  State Certification for grades K-6. Sandy studied Montessori education at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New Rochelle, N.Y. She holds Montessori certification for ages 6-9 and 9-12. Prior to coming to WHMS, Sandy taught at Windmill Montessori School in Brooklyn, NY, and the Montessori House of Children in London, Ontario. She has worked for C.M.T.E. and Princeton Montessori Center supervising Montessori Interns. Sandy was a teacher trainer and consultant to Albany’s Montessori Magnet Public School. Sandy has served on several New York State Association of Independent Schools Accreditation Committees. Sandy has taught Lower Elementary classes at WHMS since 1992. She is married to former longtime Upper Elementary teacher Andrew McClain and is a proud Montessori mama of three WHMS alumni.

 

00113This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Olga Febus holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Xavier Pontifical University in Colombia, South America, and completed master’s courses from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Olga began her career as an elementary school counselor for Sacred Heart School in San Juan Puerto Rico. After living in the West Coast and Europe, Olga came to WHMS in 2004 and worked in Primary for two years prior to moving to Lower Elementary. Olga holds Early Childhood Certification from the Center for Montessori Education in New Rochelle, NY, and Lower Elementary Certification from METTC, Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative, in Boston.

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Julio joins the WHMS faculty as an Assistant Teacher in Melinda's class. Julio has  a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Queen's College, City University of New York, and holds New York State Teacher Certification. 

 

00168This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Sara Howard is Lead Teacher in Lower El. She started working at WHMS in 2018. Prior to Woodland Hill, Sara worked at Albany Academy for 18 years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hobart and William Smith College and a master's degree in psychology from Washington College in Maryland. Sara is NYS-certified in Special Education and as a Public School Teacher (Pre K, K, and Grades 1-6) She has also coached soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse for more than twenty years.  

 

 Shania JacksonThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Upper Elementary Lead Teacher

Shania joins Woodland Hill Montessori School as  Lead Teacher in the Upper El. Previoulsy, Shania taught 4th grade at School 2 in Troy, where she was an active member of the Community Empowerment and Engagement Team, and 3rd grade at Albany Community Charter School. Shania has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood/Childhool Eduction in Black Studies from the State University at New Paltz. She told NYS Teaching Certification through 6th grade.  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Bridget is working as an Assistant Teacher in Lower El with Sara Howard. Bridget joined the WHMS faculty in 2020 as the 6th grade Spanish teacher and classroom assistant. Bridget began her Montessori career as an Assistant Teacher and Spanish Teacher at Mission Montessori School in San Francisco. Bridget has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Inclusive Childhood Education from Nazareth College and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of San Francisco. 

 

 

198SPD 0458This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Kim is the Assistant Teacher with Michele Praileau. Kim has experience working in many capacities at Woodland Hill. She has served as an all-level assistant teacher, substitute teacher, and art assistant teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University at Albany and is currently enrolled in the Elementary Assistant training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

 

 00282Michele Praileau – Upper Elementary Lead Teacher

Michele holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Syracuse University. She has worked with school-aged children as an Education Assistant at the Boys & Girls Clubs in New York City and with college students at Cornell University and the University at Albany. Michele has worked in the Upper Elementary classes since 2007.

 

00286This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- Upper Elementary Lead Teacher

Melinda is a Head Teacher in the Upper El, following three years in the Lower El. Prior to joining WHMS in 2018, Melinda was an Upper Elementary Montessori teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina in a public Montessori school.  Prior to her work in North Carolina, Melinda taught in New York City, at the Family School and at Brooklyn Heights Montessori. In addition to her teaching work, Melinda is a published author. She has two non-fiction children’s books and has written articles for the Public School Montessorian. Melinda has a bachelor’s degree in Russian and European Studies from Yale, and a master’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Rose. She has (AMS) Montessori certification from CMTE in Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary.   

  

RolandToni Roland - Math Support Services

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Toni is a veteran teacher who has taught math to elementary through high school students for many years. Toni has a bachelor's degree in education from SUNY Geneseo, a master's degree in Human Resources and Curriculum from Georgia State University, and a master's degree in Mathematics Education from Texas State University.  

 

346SPD 0527 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Jodi has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from San Diego State University. Jodi has been working at Woodland Hill in various assistant roles and as a substitute teacher since 2017, and is the Assitant Teacher in Sandy Blakeman's classroom. She came to us from California where she spent 12 years as a physical education teacher and 10 years teaching second grade.

 

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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Vinita Shekhar has worked at WHMS since 2009. She serves as an Assistant Teacher with Shania Jackson. Vinita has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, English literature and economics. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education, and a Montessori Primary overview training. Previous to WHMS, Vinita worked at The National Center for Cerebral Palsy for three years as head teacher and as Vice-Principal for a short term. She has also done voluntary work with the Special Kids Enrichment program in Atlanta, relief and support work in Bombay.

 

00326This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

John joined the WHMS faculty in 2018. He is an Assistant Teacher in Olga Febus' class. Prior to joining WHMS, John worked as a Clinical Assistant at the Center for Disability Services in Albany, and at the Center for Disability Services and Unity House in Troy. John has a bachelor’s degree in childhood education from the College of St. Rose, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction there as well.