Primary or “Children’s House”
(Ages 3 – 6 years)

Between the ages of 3 and 6, Maria Montessori called this environment Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House). Everything in the classroom is child-size and hands-on materials are designed to support self-directed discovery and learning. Your child has extraordinary powers of mind; she possesses a once-in-a-lifetime ability to simply absorb information and concepts from her surroundings, like a sponge. The prepared environment includes an array of scientifically designed materials help to develop a new skill or reveal a new concept through your child’s use and exploration. Some provide the opportunity to perfect the practical skills of caring for her own needs or for the classroom environment. Some enrich her vocabulary and open the door to writing, reading, and the parts of speech.  Others build on your child’s natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Some encourage artistic self-expression through the introduction of skills and media.  Use of the materials builds a foundation of concrete experiences of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, assisting your child to a deeper level of understanding.

Primary Faculty:

Nicola Arango

Nicola Arango

Primary Teacher & Level Coordinator

Nicola “Nicki” Arango joined Alegria in 2011 as a lead teacher in the 3 – 6 classroom. Prior to joining Alegria, she worked in a Montessori school in Minnesota for seven years. Nicola’s 3-6 training is though Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Ed. Center. She is currently completely a degree in Marketing.


Briana

Briana Harvey

Primary Teaching Assistant

Briana joined Alegria in 2018 as an assistant teacher. Prior to joining Alegria she spent the last five years teaching at Eckerd College (including Child Development) and studying Marine Mammals. She has a BA from Eckerd College in Environmental Studies and Marine Science. She also holds an MA in Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition. She has two sons, both of whom attend Alegria. Briana is excited to make Alegria her home for many years to come.


Beronica-fajardo

Beronica Fajardo

Primary Teaching Assistant & Spanish Teacher

Beronica is originally from Venezuela. She has recently moved to St Pete. She lives with her husband and 3 sons and we are excited to have her teaching Spanish in our 3-6 year old classes.


Amira

Amira Pilz

Primary Assistant & Extended Day Program

Amira joined Alegria in 2018 as one of the Extended Day Program teachers. Amira is Montessori trained through NAMC for primary aged children (3-6), and she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Bahrain. Prior to joining Alegria, she worked in Budaiya Preschool teaching Arabic. In 2011, she taught English in Colombia through an exchange internship program with AIESEC, the global youth organization.


Samantha Scott-Genshino

Samantha Scott-Genshino

Primary Teacher

Samantha joined Alegria in 2011 as Primary teacher. A Florida native, Samantha graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a degree in Art. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Miami International University. Samantha’s 3 – 6 Montessori training is from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.


Susana Fisher

Susana Fisher

Primary Teaching Assistant & Spanish Teacher

Susana joined Alegria in 2015. She is currently pursuing her Montessori Primary Teacher Training at the Palm Harbor Teacher Education Center. A native of Bolivia, Susana teaches Spanish to the primary aged children. Her son is enrolled at Alegria.


Katie Christofilis

Katie Christofilis

Primary Teacher

Katie joined Alegria in 2015. Previously, she worked as a teacher’s assistant in a 3 – 6 classroom at Asheville Montessori School in North Carolina, and assisted in a Montessori classroom at World of Knowledge in Holiday, Florida from 2007 to 2010. She has volunteered for various chapters of The Boys & Girls Club.


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Yanlie Milain-Sarmiento

Primary Teaching Assistant & Spanish Teacher

Yanlie was born and raised in Cuba. She has lived in St Pete for the last 8 years. She is completing her degree in Elementary Education. She enjoys music, dancing and drawing. We are thrilled to have her at Alegria teacher Spanish to our 3-6 year olds.


Amy

Amy Lovell

Primary Substitute & Extended Day Program

Amy began working as a substitute for 1 – primary classes after teaching swimming classes for many years. She is from the St Pete area and may of you may recognize her as your child’s past swim teacher! At Alegria, she can be seen in any of the classes and in the aftercare program.