Faculty and Staff
International Montessori Schools – Malvern
Jennifer El Helou, Director
Ms. El Helou holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Temple University. She also completed a number of courses towards her Masters degree in Spanish. She studied music since the age of 6 and holds a piano diploma from the Lebanese Conservatory in Beirut. She has completed her Montessori Certification in 2013. Before becoming a Montessori teacher, Ms. El Helou worked for the Office of Student Affairs at Temple University for 5 years.
She grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and has traveled to many countries in Europe and Middle East. In addition to English, she speaks French, Arabic, Armenian and Spanish. Ms. Jennifer has three children, the youngest of which is a student at IMSchools the other two having graduated into the Great Valley School District.
Shaimaa Sherif, Lead Primary Teacher
Shaimaa attended the Princeton Center for Teacher Education and has 10 years of experience in the Montessori classroom. She joined our Malvern site in September 2016. She loves creating new works and her favorite subject is Math. She also works with our third year students in the afternoon. In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.
Rajalakshmi Krishnaswamy, Lead Primary Co-Teacher
Ms. Raji has completed her MBA from India and MS from University at Buffalo, New York. She has successfully completed the Montessori Certification Program offered by Chestnut Hill College. Ms. Raji’s positive energy and love for children helps her create a wonderful learning environment. She especially enjoys working on interesting art projects, choreographing and reading with her children. Ms. Raji has a deep respect for children and feels very fortunate to spend time with her young and curious students. Ms. Raji joined IM Schools in 2016 and brings sensitivity, enthusiasm, inner strength, and compassion to her teaching.
Cassandra Sadler, Assistant Pre-Primary Teacher
Ms. Cassandra joined IM Schools in May 2015 and has been working in a preschool setting for more than 9 years. She studied sound engineering and photography at Cabrini College and holds a CDA (Child Development Associate) from the council of professional recognition. In her spare time, Ms. Cassandra enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and photography.
Ms. Lindsey Holl, Assistant Pre-Primary Teacher
Lindsey attended Penn State University where she studied Art in Elementary Education. Lindsey’s love of children stems from her early babysitting experiences as a teenager and she has many years of experience working with children since she joined IM Schools in 2008. In her spare time, Ms. Lindsey enjoys researching her family genealogy, outdoor activities including hiking and taking her boat out on the Chesapeake Bay for a day of fishing and crabbing.
Umamageswari Sivaprakasam, Assistant Teacher
Umamageswari joined IMS Schools in August 2019. Uma holds her Master’s in Computer Applications and Bachelors in Home Science with Computer Applications from India. Uma is a mother of twin boys who loves to be with children and has the motivation to keep them engaged. Uma volunteers and teaches Tamil at a local center and in her spare time enjoys music , theater, arts, cooking, playing tennis and spending time with the family.
Ms. Hind Ibrahim joined IMSchools in September 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Alexandria University, and to further her education in the field of teaching, is currently enrolled at Delaware County Community College studying for a major in Education. Prior to joining IMSchools, Ms. Hind worked at the Villanova Academy for Honor Studies as full time teacher and also worked at the Foundation for Islamic Education teaching Arabic weekend classes. In her free time, Ms. Hind likes to cook and spend time with her family.
Swetha Basavarajappa Thotad, Preprimary Assistant Teacher
Ms. Swetha joined our team in January 2019. Ms. Swetha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Engineering, India. Before moving to US, she worked as Assistant Engineer with the Water Resources Department in India. Ms. Swetha developed a passion for teaching whilst volunteering for various activities at her child’s school. She is very excited about working with children an IMSchools.
Ms. Swetha lives with her husband and her daughter. Her hobbies are practicing Yoga, music, traveling, and cooking.
Ms. Basak Dolapci, Pre-Primary Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Basak Dolapci holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Selcuk, Turkey. Ms. Basak has 4 years of experience working with children and joined International Montessori Schools in Summer 2018.
Ms. Basak is married and has a daughter who is currently a student at IMSchools. She has a passion for teaching young children and has a particular interest in Montessori teaching techniques and communicating with her students in a positive manner. She is excited to become part of this wonderful community .She believes in providing appropriate support and education in a safe environment during infant- toddler period which promote a life-long learning capacity.Ms Basak is enrolled in the Montessori Teacher Training program, MITE, located in Wilmington, Delaware.
In her spare time, Ms Basak loves cooking different recipes, traveling with her family and reading, especially Montessori method books.
Dr. Anuradha Balasubramanian, Preprimary Co-Teacher
Dr. Anu joined IMS Malvern in September 2018 as an Assistant Infant Teacher. Currently, she is a co-teacher in the pre-primary room. Anu holds a Ph.D. in Physics from India. She worked as a lecturer in India for 3 years. Ever since she was young, she wanted to become a teacher and she loves to learn! In her free time, Anu enjoys cooking, music, practicing yoga and spending time with her family. She has an 11-year-old son in middle school.
Hui Wang, Lead Infant Teacher
Hui joined IMSchools in 2004 and came to the Malvern site in September 2010 as a pre-primary assistant teacher. She is now the lead teacher in our infant room, and continues to get great satisfaction from teaching Chinese lessons to our primary and pre-primary classes. Ms. Hui received her B.S. from Northeast Normal University in the People’s Republic of China. She was a high school geography teacher in China for seven years before immigrating to the United States. Ms. Hui loves working and bonding with children, and has a natural intuition with infants. Her calm and loving demeanor translates into creating an environment in which all infants can thrive.
Ms. Bhavani, Infant Assistant Teacher
Ms. Bhavani joined our team at Malvern in September 2018. Ms. Bhavani holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from India. Before moving to the US, she was teaching in a Preschool in India. She is very passionate about working with children and caring for them.
Ms. Bhavani lives with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Ms. Bhavani loves music, cooking and gardening.
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.