Faculty and Staff
International Montessori Schools – Great Valley
Kaelin Scott, Director
Ms. Kaelin holds her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama, with an Instructional 1 certificate in teaching kindergarten through sixth grade. Ms. Kaelin also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College, with a concentration in trauma studies. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of clinical and educational settings. Prior to joining IMS in 2018, Ms. Kaelin worked as an outpatient therapist and also spent time working as a supervisor at Starbucks. In her spare time, Ms. Kaelin enjoys reading, painting, yoga, and spending time with her little “zoo”; a hamster named Dobby, a sun conure named Sherbert, and a Peekapoo named Sammi. She is excited to join the IMS family, and looks forward to working with the staff, children, and families at Great Valley!
Rahaf Alajlani, Primary Lead Teacher
Rahaf is Lead teacher in the Primary classroom. She was born in Syrian and has a teenager daughter. Rahaf has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the North America Montessori Center, USA.
She joined IM Schools in 2015 and is currently studying to obtain her Certificate in Early Childhood Education from the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education. Previously she had worked as a mental math teacher in KSA and enjoys drawing and doing jigsaw puzzles in her spare time.
Alka Nirwan, Primary Teacher
Ms. Alka joined IMSchools in September 2019 and is certified by the American Montessori Society. Ms. Alka is passionate about the principles of the Montessori philosophy and is focused on supporting Montessori Teachers’ Work, Development of Montessori Language and Materials from around the world. Previously, she worked as a Co-Teacher at Dallas Montessori Academy and Alpha Montessori with children ages 3 to 6 years.
Alka originates from India and currently lives in the US with her husband and her two lovely boys. She enjoys singing and has performed stage shows back in India. In her spare time Ms. Alka’s interests are music, arts and home decor which keeps her constantly rejuvenated.
Pushkala Srinivasan, Lead Pre-Primary Teacher
Ms. Pushkala holds a BA degree in Commerce and an MBA. She joined IM Schools, Great Valley, in January 2017 and has quickly become an integral part of the Pre-Primary classroom. Ms. Pushkala has a passion for art and thoroughly enjoys doing art projects with her students. Ms. Pushkala has twin boys who are in Middle School and has been volunteering in Public schools for almost 10 years.
Geri Choudhury, Pre-Primary Assistant Teacher
Ms. Geri joined IM Schools in 2013 and has been an assistant teacher in both the primary and pre-primary classes. Currently, Geri is the assistant teacher in our pre-primary class at Great Valley. Her positive demeanor creates a wonderful environment, not just for the children, but the teachers as well. The children love Ms. Geri’s fun and silly songs that she sings during our circle time. In her spare time, Geri enjoys reading and participates in a book club.
Ms. Akila Karthikeyan, Preprimary Assistant Teacher
Ms. Akila holds a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics. She has a passion for teaching and has tutored Math for children ages 3 to 10, along with volunteering in her children’s school. Ms Akila has two children and in her free time enjoys dancing and spending time with her family and friends.
Umay Derdiyok, Infant Assistant Teacher, Great Valley
Ms. Umay Derediyok joined IMSchools in October 2019 and holds a BA degree in Textile Teaching and a Master’s degree in Textile from the University of Marmara, Istanbul. Umay is currently pursuing her Montessori Primary Certification through the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education at IMSchools, and has an Early Childhood Certification through her previous childcare experience. Umay has been surrounded by education her entire life as both her Mother and Father taught at an elementary school for over 25 years as well as working as a substitute teacher, for two years, at the Tarbiyah School in Delaware.
Umay has two beautiful kids, a son, and a daughter. When she was a child, she earned silver and bronze medals in swimming competitions and still enjoys swimming today along with walking, reading, traveling and cooking.
Lisa Ridley Hunter, Yoga Instructor
Ms. Lisa joined IM Schools in 2007 and has worked as both a yoga teacher and as an assistant teacher at three IM Schools location. She is originally from the United Kingdom, but has lived in the US for many years. Prior to moving to the USA, Ms. Lisa lived in Saudi Arabia where she taught in an Embassy school. Ms. Lisa holds her Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Center and currently teaches Yoga at the Paoli, Great Valley and Malvern locations.