Jacqueline Griebel, Head of School
JJ, as she is more commonly known, has been finding connections to Montessori most of her life. Her first formal education was in a Montessori preschool in Michigan and that had a strong impact on her continued educational experiences. When she began a family of her own, she knew immediately she wanted the same educational foundation for her three children.
JJ has a degree in Mathematics and Art History as well as a concentration in Education. She worked for several years in management leading process improvement projects.
JJ came to Webster Montessori School as a parent and eventually served three years as the Board of Trustees President. She is now in her 10th year as the Head of School where she applies her background in management and her appreciation for all things Montessori.
Courtney Drexler, Toddler Classroom Directress
Courtney has several years of experience working with young children both professionally and personally. Courtney is the mom of two daughters. She finished her Montessori toddler training and now has her Montessori teaching diploma. When she has free time, Courtney enjoys reading a good book.
Yasuko Poutre, Toddler Directress
Yasuko has belonged to the Webster Montessori School community for the past 10 years by teaching both the After School Art Program and Summer Art Camp. Her children have grown up at WMS.
Yasuko earned her M.F.A. in Printmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as teaching there. She is also a KRI 200 / RYT 200 certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and Radiant Child Yoga trained. She enjoys sharing her creative mind and incorporating yoga in her Toddler class. She loves to see sparks in children’s eyes.
Yasuko enjoys spending time in nature, reading, meditating, working on creative projects, yoga and being with her family.
Lisa Maltese, Primary Classroom Directress
Lisa first found Webster Montessori School as a place for her oldest son to begin his education. She knew she was giving him a gift to last a lifetime and soon realized she wanted to be a part of that experience. Her Montessori journey has led her to become a Montessori Directress and she completed her training at Nazareth College Montessori program. Lisa has been teaching for 15 years.
Lisa Van Vechten, Primary Classroom Directress
Lisa joined WMS as a primary directress in 1997 after receiving her AMI diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute. Lisa has a Bachelors degree in Human Development/ Early Childhood Studies. Having a mother who was a Montessori Directress, it was a natural fit for Lisa and her husband, Devon, to send their two daughters through the primary Montessori program. Lisa finds the Montessori environment the perfect venue for supporting children and their parents through the journey of development. Spending time with her family and grandchildren and enjoying the outdoors fill Lisa's days outside of WMS.
Paula Vargas, Primary Classroom Directress
Paula has been with Webster Montessori School for 20 years. She brings a strong International dimension to her classroom. She most appreciates the light of discovery a child finds after struggling with an activity.
Paula has a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. She has lived and taught in France and Spain, and speaks three languages. Paula also participated in the INTAG (International Agriculture) program and was sent by the USDA to India with Cornell University. Her child and grandchildren attended Montessori schools. Paula's favorite pastimes include cooking, reading, gardening, and foreign travel.
Carell Smith, Primary Classroom Directress
Carell has been a part of the Webster Montessori School community for the past 3 years as a Toddler Assistant and was also involved with Wrap Around. She graduated from SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in Art and Sculpture in 1995 and then completed a Master of Science in Art Education from Nazareth College in 2010. She also holds a New York State Initial Certification (Birth-Gr. 12).
Carell is a long time advocate of Montessori, and both her son and daughter attended the Webster Montessori School program. Their positive experience while there led her to an interest in obtaining an AMI Primary Diploma, which she received in 2019 at MTCNE in Boston.
Carell’s interests include photography, sewing, crafting, and spending time with her family.
Nicolle Franchot, Lower Elementary Directress
Nicolle received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from St. John Fisher College in 2004 and an AMI diploma from Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland in 2006. She has been a Montessori Elementary Directress since beginning her training in 2004. Nicolle has taught throughout the US, including Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, and found her way back to her hometown of Rochester with her family.
Nicolle's children are both Montessori students. Nicolle likes gardening, crafts, cooking, and art. She enjoys bringing these passions into the classroom whenever possible. She believes she is never done learning.
Alisa Sciolino, Upper Elementary Directress
Alisa’s love for Montessori began as a 4 year old child, attending a Montessori school. As a new graduate of college and a traditional education teacher, Alisa always found herself thinking back to the days of her childhood and the love she felt at such a young age. In her second year of being a public school teacher, she decided that training to be a Montessori directress was a must! In 2003, Alisa graduated with both an AMI primary and elementary degree.
Alisa’s love for Webster Montessori School began while she was in her training 16 years ago, as she observed in one of the Primary classes. It was at this time she knew that when she had children, this was the place they would go. Currently, two of Alisa’s children attend WMS and her third is soon to join when she gets a little older. Alisa is grateful to be at WMS and hopes she will have the same impact on children that her Montessori directress had on her.
Susan Kinsman, Business Manager
Susan has been with Webster Montessori School for almost 20 years and is part of the administrative team. Her granddaughter is enrolled in the Primary Program and Susan enjoys seeing Montessori education through her eyes. Susan is an avid gardener and enjoys reading after an afternoon working in her garden.
Jennifer Giorgione, Admissions Coordinator
Jennifer has been with WMS for over 10 years as our Admissions Coordinator. She is the first person most people talk to when they call to learn more about our school. Jennifer enjoys the staff and families that make up our community and watching the children grow.
Susan Rainero, Development Director
Susan moved to Webster from North Carolina where she served as the Director of Community Development for a local home health and hospice agency. After moving to NY, Susan worked with the Girl Scouts of Western New York as their Grant Manager. Susan is excited to take part in the WMS effort to expand its current understanding of philanthropy and fundraising.
Mani Verma, Wrap-around Program Director
Mani started at Webster Montessori School as a Classroom Assistant and is now coordinating our Wrap-around program. She has been with us for over 10 years and really enjoys the challenges that each day brings. Mani thinks the family atmosphere makes WMS very special.