Meet Our Staff

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Meet Our Staff

At MDS, we are a team of dedicated individuals who are committed to offering quality Montessori education to our students.

Toddler Program

Erika Frank-Poletto

Toddler Directress

Erika Frank-Poletto joined MDS as a toddler assistant in 2020 and became our toddler directress in the fall of 2021. Erika came to us with seven years of Montessori experience at The Homestead School in Glen Spey, New York. She served for four years as an assistant teacher in their Primary and Lower Elementary programs and then four years as head teacher in their Primary program. Erika holds an Infant/Toddler Diploma and a Primary Diploma from the North American Montessori Center. Erika holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Drew University in Madison New Jersey.
Erika discovered Montessori when searching for preschool options for her oldest daughter, Lily. Once her younger daughter, Clara, was old enough to begin school, Erika began her journey into teaching. She was drawn to MDS because of the warm, friendly atmosphere and the ability to bring the classroom outdoors.
In addition to teaching, Erika is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor. She has been certified to help families make sure that all children under the age of 13 are riding safely in the car for 13 years. She has been an instructor teaching new technicians and supporting current technicians for 7 years.

Annie Cappiello

Toddler Assistant

Annie Cappiello rejoined MDS as our toddler assistant in 2021. In 2017, she volunteered to handle our social media presence and when the administrative assistant position in the office opened, she applied for the position and served in that capacity for the 2018 school year. Although she enjoyed the administrative position, when the toddler assistant position became available in the fall of 2019, Annie was excited to join the toddler classroom. She served in that position until COVID – 19 changed her plans, leading her to oversee the MDS at Home schooling for her two children. We are very pleased to have Annie with us again in 2021 serving as toddler assistant. Prior to joining the staff, Annie was an active parent in the MDS community, serving in several capacities during our re-accreditation work and also serving as a coordinator of the MDS Connects parent organization as well as handling our social media presence. Annie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Development from Ashford University.

Primary

Haleigh Camarillo

Primary Directress

Haleigh Camarillo joined our MDS community as Primary Directress in August of 2019. Haleigh first experienced Montessori during a field trip to a Montessori school while she was pursuing her associate degree in early childhood education at Naugatuck Valley Community College. While pursuing her Bachelor degree, Haleigh worked for three years as a preschool assistant at a Reggio Emilia inspired laboratory school. She also has two years of experience working with children with autism in home, school and community settings.
Haleigh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education and a Master of Education degree in early childhood education with a Montessori concentration from the University of Hartford. Haleigh holds an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center, Northeast. In addition to her passionate interest in the Montessori method of education, Haleigh has been fascinated with butterflies since her childhood. She also enjoys practicing yoga and Pilates, playing the piano, and spending time with her family.

Ericka Schaedler

Primary Assistant

Ericka joined Montessori Discovery School as a primary assistant in 2018. She received an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Three Rivers Community College in May, 2018. While studying for her Early Childhood degree, Ericka observed MDS’ Primary classroom and was impressed with how independent the children were. Prior to joining MDS, Ericka worked at Thames Valley Community Council for Action Childcare Center as a floating teacher’s aide. This gave her experience with toddlers through preschool aged children. All the while, however, she remembered the Montessori classroom. She was thrilled to join MDS to learn firsthand about the Montessori approach. Ericka is an animal lover and has ridden horses “since before I can remember.” She rides competitively and is looking forward to learning how to care for our llamas.

Elementary

Administration

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We offer school tours and Zoom conversations so you can see how Montessori works.