Guidepost Montessori at Williamsburg is a new Montessori community in the hub of Brooklyn. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy for learning. Your child will love gardening in our engaging outdoor play spaces, which are filled with native plant species and designed to encourage your child to explore. We welcome your family!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Stephanie Jimenez, Head of School
Stephanie has had an exciting journey leading up to her role as Head of School at Guidepost Montessori in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She began her teaching career in early childhood at the Diane Lindner-Goldberg Childcare Institute at Hofstra University in New York, where she worked while pursuing her B.A. in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and English Literature. She moved into a lead teacher role upon graduation, where she stayed for two years while she pursued her Masters in TESOL.
After completing her coursework, she decided to teach abroad in an effort to understand the experience of having to learn a new language while adapting to a new culture. In 2012, she moved to Mersin, Turkey, to teach English to children in grades 2-7. In her third year teaching overseas, she transitioned to a leadership position, managing the English department at Tarsus SEV Middle School, an international school in Tarsus, Turkey, while simultaneously teaching fifth and seventh grade.
Stephanie's experiences in Turkey inspired her to explore teaching philosophies beyond what is found in a traditional school setting. She realized that many of the challenges in modern education are connected to the experiences of young children before they even begin kindergarten, and the key to facing these challenges lies in high quality early childhood education. It was then that she discovered the Montessori method, and began to seek out opportunities to learn more. In January 2019, she began working at Guidepost Montessori in the Nido classroom and completed her 0-3 training through the Prepared Montessorian professional development program.
As a founding staff member of Guidepost Williamsburg, Stephanie has had the privilege of witnessing the school’s growth and expansion since the very beginning. She has loved being lead guide in the Nido classroom and is honored to partner with even more families and empower even more children on a school-wide level in her role as Head of School.
Bella Shaulova, Assistant Head of School
Bella has worked with children ever since she was eighteen years old. She started with summer camp programs, after school programs, and tutoring. This passion led her to complete her degree in Education and Social Studies at SUNY New Paltz where she became certified as a Middle School and Early Childhood New York State Teacher. Later, Bella led various New York City and Michigan public school Social Studies programs to success as a Middle School & High School Social Studies teacher. She eventually was introduced to the Montessori method and quickly fell in love! She became better acquainted with the philosophy while working as an Assistant Guide in a Public Montessori classroom in Connecticut and continued to work in Montessori schools up to the administrative level. Her educational journey has been incredible and she feels blessed every day to use the skills she's gained in order to provide the best experience for parents and families alike. In her free time, Bella likes to host social events for friends and families, challenge herself by learning new things, and shop at Sephora!
Candace Leone, Administrative Assistant
Candace Leone holds a Liberal Arts & Sciences BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Having attended a Montessori Pre-K herself, Candace has been a forever fan of the Montessori method. She has a strong background in child care ranging from nannying, to teaching, to theater outreach, and more! In her free time, Candace enjoys singing, playing music, seeing shows, and visiting art museums.
Michelle Ahern, Children's House Guide
Michelle is originally from Ireland, but has been living in the United States for several years. She earned a bachelor's degree in Digital Media Design from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She began her teaching career 5+ years ago in Beijing, China where she worked at a bilingual kindergarten. After researching various education approaches she found Montessori and fell in love with the method. She obtained her Montessori Primary diploma in 2016 from Montessori Northwest in Portland, OR, and has most recently been working as a Lead Guide in New York City. In her free time, Michelle loves exploring different hiking trails and practicing new songs on the ukelele.
Yue Xu, Children's House Guide
Ms. Yue is originally from China but, has been living in the United States for some time. Ms. Yue learned about Montessori during her exchange study in Dublin, Ireland. After going back to China 4 years ago, she started to do observation and work as an assistant teacher in Primary Montessori classrooms in Beijing and Shenzhen. In 2016, she decided to come to the U.S. and take her AMI training. She earned a Master of Education degree from Loyola University of Maryland and also holds a Montessori Primary certification from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) at Washington Montessori Institute. After graduation, Yue worked in a Montessori school as a lead guide in Baltimore, MD before joining Guidepost. Creating a loving, respectful and free environment for children has always been her goal and that’s why she loves Montessori Education! In her free time, Ms. Yue enjoys watching movies, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Melanie Lopez Perez, Children's House Assistant Guide
Melanie grew up in Puerto Rico, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology. After a human development course sparked her keen interest, she went on to pursue and earn her master's degree in Developmental Psychology. Throughout her journey she had the opportunity to work at early childhood research labs at MIT and UC Berkeley, where she worked on studies focused on children's language development. Now, Melanie is interested in using her knowledge and the Montessori method to help children achieve their full potential by promoting their social, emotional, and cognitive growth. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys traveling the world, spending time in nature, and loves a good run. Altogether, she is very excited to be a part of the incredible team at Guidepost Montessori!
Violet Canales, Children's House Assistant Guide
Aftering earning her Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and her Master's Degree in Counseling, Violet spent five years working in various educational settings throughout Los Angeles. She moved to Brooklyn where she chose to continue her career in education and explore her interest in the Montessori method. She is now excited to be a part of the Guidepost Montessori team in Williamsburg! In her free time, she enjoys going to the movies, watching documentaries, shopping with friends, and trying different cuisines!
Clara Prieto Castillo, Spanish Toddler Guide
Ms. Clara is so excited to join the Guidepost team! Originally from Spain, she earned her bachelor's degree in Pedagogical Studies from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Ms. Clara discovered the Montessori Philosophy while attending a Post Degree Course in Active Learning and respectful companionship to Childhood. That's when she fell in love with it and decided to go a step further and complete her Masters in Montessori Pedagogy in Barcelona, Spain. She also has completed her Montessori training to obtain teaching Diplomas for Nido (0-1.5 year olds) Infant Community/toddler (1.5-3 year olds) and Children's House ( 3-6 years of age) from the Association Montessori Internationale. In her free time, Ms. Clara likes to travel as much as she can, find new interesting places to eat and bake treats to share with her friends.
Ariana Sifuentes, Spanish Toddler Assistant Guide
Ariana grew up in a small town in Yurimaguas, Peru. For the last 8+ years she has lived in the U.S. and worked in early childhood and Montessori environments. She enjoys every aspect of teaching and has realized that children can teach us as much as we teach them. She loves reading books and cannot wait to read your child’s favorite story at school. She is truly passionate about little human beings, how they develop, grow, their different learning styles, and how their brain absorbs everything in their environment. She especially enjoys learning and teaching about our world, cultures, nature. Overall she sees Montessori as a life style: respect, diversity, unity, compassion, peace, and learning through exploration using our senses. This year she's looking forward to the explorations, observations, discoveries, fun, and learning with her class. She is convinced that children must always grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
In her free time she loves to go home and visit her lovely family often. Her husband and her family is her everything. She cannot wait to meet all of the new families and spend this year learning. She is currently completing her Toddler Montessori training and looks forward to mastering the pedagogy. Overall, Ariana is excited to be part of the Guidepost family and work with all of the amazing professionals in the Montessori Method.
Angela Coronel - Khan, English Toddler Guide
Angela graduated with a degree in Communications, which led her to many exciting collaborations, including the opening of a NYC restaurant in 2012. While she thoroughly enjoyed this work, Angela felt like she wasn't serving her true passion -- working with children. She thought back on the joyful experiences she had as a Montessori student, and quickly realized that's where she wanted to contribute her skills. After joining the Administrative team at a Montessori school in Manhattan, she decided she wanted to work even more closely with children, so she accepted a position as an Assistant Guide in a Toddler classroom and started her AMI training. In 2017, she celebrated the birth of her son and was instantly inspired to support others on their parenting journey. She has since pursued certifications as a Postpartum Doula and Breastfeeding Counselor. Angela lives in Williamsburg with her husband and son. When they aren't enjoying the view at Domino Park or exploring the neighborhood's restaurants, they are plotting out their next travel adventure.
Natalie Oliferchik, English Toddler Assistant Guide
Mrs. Natalie loves working with children and is happy to be a part of Guidepost Montessori in Williamsburg. While she has worked in a few different pre-school settings, working in a Montessori Preschool has been by far her favorite. Mrs. Natalie started her teaching career 3 years ago in a private school in Bellingham, Washington. She then fell in love with the Montessori method when working at Little Laurel’s Montessori Preschool. Mrs. Natalie earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Whatcom College. In her free time, Mrs. Natalie enjoys going on runs and reading books.
Lillybeth Santana, English Toddler Assistant Guide
Ms. Santana has lived in the Williamsburg neighborhood since the day she was born! She pursued her studies in Childhood Education & English Language Arts, and was always eager to apply her learning to real practice. Ms. Santana has worked in Brooklyn with children in After School programs, and is now incredibly excited to practice and learn more about Montessori. In her free time, Ms. Santana enjoys photography and spending time with her family.
Michelle Mercado, Nido Guide
Michelle is an experienced teacher, mostly of elementary-aged children, but is currently loving her role as a Nido guide of the infants. She received her BS in Early Childhood Education/Special Education at BYU-Idaho and taught in Texas before moving to Northern Ireland, where she worked both in secondary and primary schools. She is a lover of nature, music, dance, singing, playing piano, guitar and cello, good food, sewing, crocheting, and traveling. She is happily married and has a beautiful baby girl.
Maria Henriques, Nido Guide
Maria is currently working on her Master's degree in Early childhood Special Education. She received her Montessori certificate from AMS. She has worked with a variety age groups from birth to 2nd grade. Working with children has always been a passion of hers. She is very excited to work with the Nido team, encouraging creativity, uniqueness, and developmental skills daily. She really enjoys traveling to other states and countries, getting to know different people and their cultures.
Alleigha Reyes, Nido Assistant Guide
Alleigha has been working with children since she was 14. She has had experience with learning centers, daycare centers and tutoring centers. Being in a Montessori environment is a new and exciting adventure for her. She is a fun-loving, outdoorsy, adventurous type of person! She enjoys spending time with her husband and their two amazing children. In her spare time, she is often found outdoors at the park, the ocean, or taking a drive somewhere new with her family!
Hannah Netter, Nido Assistant Guide
Ms. Hannah earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Columbia University and is so excited to be working towards additional Montessori certification through Guidepost Williamsburg. Ms. Hannah has been working with children for the past 10 years as a culinary instructor and most recently as a head teacher at a traditional preschool in Manhattan. She has always felt passionate about fostering children's sense of responsibility and independence and is thrilled to formally delve deeper into the Montessori method. In her free time Ms. Hannah loves baking and crafting and having recently moved to Williamsburg herself, Ms. Hannah loves exploring the neighborhood with her new baby girl.
Jaclynn Lehmann, Nido Assistant Guide
Jaclynn worked in upstate Montessori schools for three years prior to joining Guidepost. During this time, she gained experience working with the Nido, Toddler and Primary age groups. Jaclynn earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology with a focus on School Psychology from the State University at Buffalo. While studying, Jaclynn helped conduct research at the university's Center for Children and Families which fostered her love of school psychology. After working as a private nanny for a year, Jaclynn missed the classroom setting and returned to the education field. In her free time she enjoys exploring the city and spending time with her pet rabbit.
Alex Corrado, Nido Assistant Guide
Ms. Alex has been working with children for the past eight years in both one-on-one and group settings. She has always taken an interest in child development and has completed an eight-week autism awareness course and a Strengthening Families program. She used this knowledge especially when she worked for a company that provided childcare for soldiers who needed help in strengthening family relationships. She also worked as a nanny and babysitter for many years. Through these experiences, she has learned to work with a variety of children and enjoys identifying their individual needs and learning styles. In her free time, she loves spending quality time with her dog Lola.
Lilly Kestenbaum, Nido Assistant Guide
Lilly is excited to work in the Nido classroom! She earned her Bachelors in Judaic Studies from Brooklyn College and shortly thereafter began to work at an after school program with children. She then took an interest in education, which led her to pursue a Masters degree in Special Education from Touro College. She has worked and volunteered extensively with the special needs population. Additionally, she has worked at day care centers throughout Brooklyn. In her spare time, she likes yoga, hot tea, coffee, and long walks on the beach. She loves music, art and having a good time with her friends.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.