Faculty and Staff
International Montessori Schools – Wilmington
Karen Pontrelli, Director
Ms. Karen has been involved in Montessori education for over thirty years, teaching both children and adults in the Montessori philosophy. She holds an AMS teaching credential. Karen is the mother of three beautiful sons, Michael, Gregory &Nicholas, and her first exposure to Montessori education came through her children’s attendance in a Montessori preschool. She fell in love with the respectful, gentle approach that enabled children to develop at their own individual pace to reach their fullest potential. In 1993, Karen began working as an instructor for a Montessori teacher preparation program in Philadelphia, PA and in 1998 Karen founded the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education, the first fully accredited Montessori teacher preparation program in the state of Delaware and shortly after she started The Montessori Academy of Delaware which later on joined International Montessori Schools.
Carolina Barrera, Infant Program Lead Teacher
Carolina is assistant teacher in our Infant program and has been a member of our staff since 2014. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education at Wilmington University. Carolina thoroughly enjoys working with the infants and sharing in their earliest developmental milestones.
Doris Roth, Primary Program Lead Teacher
Doris has been a Primary teacher at our Wilmington campus since 2006. She received her Montessori Early Childhood teaching credential from the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education (MITE) in 2008. Doris has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. She discovered how much she loved working with young children during her previous career as a children’s librarian and after becoming a mother. Doris and her husband have two grown sons and a toddler granddaughter. Her interests include reading, history, animals and nature.
Jill Slader, Preprimary Program Lead Teacher
Jill is lead teacher in our Pre-Primary program. She is also an instructor at Montessori Institute for Teacher Education(MITE), teaching Pedagogy and Environmental Design. Jill holds a degree in Education from the University of Delaware and has been working in the education field for over 20 years. She received her Montessori Infant/Toddler teaching credential from the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education (MITE) in and has been with IMSchools, Wilmington campus for over a decade. Jill is married and has twin sons, who are also proud graduates of our school.
Mariya Udud, Preprimary Program Assistant Teacher
Ms. Mariya holds a Master’s degree, with honors, in Cultural Studies from Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, Ukraine and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Volodymyr-Volynsky Pedagogical College, named after A.U. Krymsky, Ukraine. Mariya is now enrolled in the Infant/Toddler Montessori teacher preparation program with the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education.
After working with the many different age groups, Mariya discovered her true passion is working with the Preprimary-aged children, who are full of joy and energy. Mariya is drawn to the Montessori methodology of education because of the gentility and respect toward children and the emphasis on fostering independence at an early age, as well as nurturing children to reach their fullest potential. Mariya’s favorite Montessori quote is, “The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He/She has the power to teach him/herself.” She enjoys being a part of IMSchools’, Wilmington campus’ diverse community – working with people from the many different cultures and backgrounds.
In her spare time, Mariya enjoys spending time with her family and educating her own son. She also likes photography and reading.
Tyler Belle, Primary Program Assistant Teacher
Tyler comes to IMSchools, Wilmington campus, with a number of years-worth of experience working with young children, including those with special needs. Tyler holds a BS in English and an MA in Business Administration, with a concentration in human resource management. Tyler has been a real natural with our children and has developed a nice relationship of trust with each of them. He is committed to maintaining rich, positive learning environments for young children. Tyler’s interests outside of school include basketball and photography, with a particular passion for coaching children’s basketball.
Magdalena Tomic, Primary Program Assistant Teacher
Magdalena came to the U.S. in 2014, from Montenegro, southeastern Europe, got married and settled in Wilmington. She received her BA in Hotel Management in Belgrade, Serbia. It was Magdalena’s fascination with the Montessori methodology of teaching that attracted her to IMSchools, Wilmington campus. She joined our afterschool program in the fall of 2016 and quickly moved into the Assistant teacher role. Magdalena is currently attending the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education’s Early Childhood program and will begin her teaching internship in September 2018.
Magdalena embraces the Montessori method of teaching and was fascinated to discover that the secret to success in a Montessori environment is freedom within the limits of clearly defined ground rules. Her favorite Montessori quote is “free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” Magdalena enjoys traveling, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people.
Timothy John Moore, Admissions Coordinator/Assistant Teacher
Tim has worked as a Montessori Assistant teacher for over ten years in both Pre-Primary and Primary classrooms. He first became involved in Montessori education when his three children, who are now in College, attended Montessori programs. Tim holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Vermont, and lives in Glen Mills, Pa. with his wife Teresa and their three dogs. Tim enjoys skiing, tinkering with old cars and woodworking.