Faculty and Staff

Trinity Montessori Education Center (TMEC) is a highly acclaimed teacher education program delivered by experienced Montessori specialists from Ireland and the U.S.

Aileen O’Brien

Director

Aileen O’Brien is one of the founders of the Trinity Montessori Education Center (TMEC). She is the past President/CEO of St. Nicholas Montessori Teacher Education College in Ireland. She brings not only her knowledge of Montessori education to the adult learners, but more importantly her love of learning. She helped to build capacity in Montessori Teacher Education Center in Wolaita Soddo, Ethiopia. She was a founding member of Montessori Europe and served on the board for 5 years. Aileen holds a BA in Montessori Education for 3-12 year old, from St. Nicholas College Ireland, an MBA, and qualifications in Special Education and Education of adult learners. 

Rita Brenner

Instructor

Rita Brenner is an Infant and Toddler Montessori specialist with over 25 years’ experience guiding toddlers, coaching parents, mentoring teachers and instructing adult learners.  Her leadership in the development of the of the toddler program at the Princeton Montessori School, Princeton, NJ brought the program to a level that is noted as an exemplary model for schools world-wide.  She was an instructor at the Princeton Center Teacher Education, NJ and holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) Infant and Toddler credential and a BA in Spanish and Education from Hunter College, NY.  She has been a volunteer of the Ukrainian-American Montessori Project for over 20 years. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.

Susan Kennedy

Instructor

Susan Kennedy has been an Infant/Toddler teacher in the Montessori method for over 20 years.  Susan obtained her IT credential from the North Carolina Center for Montessori Teacher Education.  Susan has been the Toddler Guide at the Montessori School of Charlottesville in Virginia  for many years.

She successfully designed, developed and implemented a weekely class for infants and a parent or primary caregiver (PIP).  Susan designed the environment, wrote curriculum and promotional materials.  She also provided education and support for parents enrolled in the class.

Susan facilitates the adult learners studies on the IT program in Virginia Center for Montessori Studies.

She loves to work with toddlers and their parents to support the first school experience and the children’s developing independence and autonomy. 

Skye Dodson

Instructor

Skye Dodson received her 0- 3 Montessori credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina with the American Montessori Society.  She holds an M.Ed, Positive Discipline certification, and has also completed the Resource for Infant Educarers (RIE) Foundation course.   Skye owns Montessori Community Consultants and does workshops for Montessori schools for professional development.  Skye currently is an instructor for Montessori Teacher Education centers in the United States and Vietnam.  She is passionate about Montessori for infants and toddlers and supporting teachers and parents.  

Mary MacIntosh

Instructor

Mary MacIntosh has a comprehensive understanding of Montessori philosophy and practice, which she brings to her work in Montessori education and school leadership. Mary served as an Educational Director and Head of School in Virginia and Illinois, USA. She founded, directs and instructs in the AMS Virginia Center for Montessori Teacher Education program and is an instructor for the Montessori Leadership course offered by the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE), Princeton, NJ, USA. She was an American Montessori Society Board member. She has assumed committee responsibilities for the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and served as a member and team leader for teacher education program accreditation. She readily volunteers in her local community seeking opportunities to contribute to improving the conditions for children. She holds an AMI Montessori Early Childhood credential and a Masters in Special Education and postgraduate work in Early Childhood and School Administration.

Marsha Stencel

Instructor

Marsha Stence's expertise is in Montessori school leadership, special needs, and reading development.  She was the Head of Princeton Montessori School for over 30 years; the co-founder and CEO of Princeton Center for Teacher Education, Princeton, NJ.  She served as the Chair of the American Montessori Society (AMS) School Accreditation Commission and was a Commissioner for the Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools (CES-MSA), USA.  Marsha holds an AMS Montessori Early Childhood credential, a BA in Special Education from Vanderbilt University, TN, USA and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Wright State University, OH, USA.  

Tina Zhou

Instructor

Tina Zhou is a master Toddler teacher at the Montessori School of Shanghai. She was a professional ballet dancer and started her Montessori career as a ballet dancing teacher. In 2011, she received her AMS 0-3 Infant &Toddler credential from Seton Montessori Institute, Chicago and has been working with infants and toddlers since then. Her cross-cultural experience and expertise in art and dance are unique in a Chinese Montessori classroom. 

Carole Schnitzer

BA – Level Co-ordinator Infant/Toddler program

Carole supports the Infant/Toddler Adult Learners from start to finish of their Montessori teacher education program. Carole has a BA in Fine Arts and an AMS Infant/Toddler credential. She has many years teaching experience with seven years teaching Infant/Toddlers, in Shanghai.

Dr. Reamonn O’Donnchadha 

Instructor

Dr. O’Donnchadha is a Psychotherapist for children and adults. He is the author of several books including “Be Confident!” which brings the reader on a journey of discovery of his or her own hidden resources and encourages one to see within themselves. A ‘True Note on a Slack String’ weaves together the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh and the psychology of C.G. Jung to offer an image for individual change. ‘The Confident Child: A Guide to Fostering Personality looks at important aspects of growing up and suggests flexible ideas and guidelines for parents and teachers to apply both in their own lives and in the lives of those children for whom they are responsible. Dr. Reamonn O Donnchadha holds a BA in Child Psychology from University College, Dublin, Ireland, and MA of Education from NUI, Maynooth and a Ph.D. from NUI, Maynooth.

Bobby Wang

Instructor

Bobby Wang is an Occupational Therapist at the Redwood Development Center at the Montessori School of Shanghai, China. His focus is in the development of cognition and intelligence, fine motor skills, sensory integration, visual motor integration, emotional and social skills and living skills. He holds a degree from Chung Shan Medical University School of Occupational Therapy in Taiwan.

Laura Roark

Instructor

Laura supports and enhances TMEC and MSS offerings.  She is an experienced parent educator, a Montessori adult learner mentor, co-author of 2 children’s books, a freelance writer and columnist for the Red Star Magazine in Qingdao and Urbane Magazine in Beijing.  She has participated in television appearances to promote American culture and travel in China.  She is fluent in both English and Mandarin. Laura coordinates the parent education program for the MSS community., and is the co-chair the American Montessori Society (AMS) and Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools (MSA) accreditation study.  Laura is a talented writer and editor who speaks both English and Mandarin.  Laura holds an AMS Early Childhood Credential; BS from University of Northern Arizona in Liberal Arts; and an Associate of Arts Degree from Bauder College, Atlanta, GA.

Shirani Senyanke

Instructor

Shirani  brings over 20 years Montessori experience from USA and abroad.  As a Montessori Leader, Administrator and Educator she has a proven ability to manage, develop, and coordinate programs and to recognize the intrinsic value of the children’s unique personality and developmental needs. She is talented in creating environment suited to the inner development and revelation of the child and class needs.     Shirani holds a BA from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, an Early childhood and Elementary Montessori credential, a State of California, USA Child Development Permit and Administrative 1 & 2 in Early Childhood.

Yihuai Cai

Program coordinator

Yihuai Cai is the Registrar/program administrator. She communicates and assists all Adult Learners from the interview/admission process to the completion of the program. She is responsible for Adult Learner records -protecting the integrity and security of academic data. She is the ‘go to’ person for Adult Learners to get information about enrolment, class schedules and academic and financial records. Yihuai is also responsible for the administration of the faculty evaluation process and serves as the ‘watch dog’ for academic policies. Yihuai has a PhD in curriculum and instruction studies and has worked in the education industry for more than eight years.

Uka Zhao, BA & Lisa Wu, MA

Translators

Uka Zhao and Lisa Wu are the interpreters/translators for both TMEC programs. They ensure the accuracy of the translation and maintain the integrity of the context during the interpretation/translation of lectures/assignments throughout the course and also are available to the Adult Learners who require additional assistance with clarification.

Field Consultants provide a vital support role to the adult learner’s development by guiding and advising the adult learner throughout the practicum year.  The visits are not critiques, but opportunities to provide evaluative feedback and mentoring.  The Field Consultant provides an understanding of the practical application of the philosophy in a working classroom. The Field Consultant holds an Early Childhood Montessori credential and a minimum of a BA degree and a minimum of 3 years Montessori teaching experience.

Supervising and Mentor Teachers provide mentoring to the adult learner.  During the practicum phase from September to end of May, adult learners will be assigned a supervising or mentor teacher to work with on a daily basis. This consistent role model provides opportunities for the adult learner. The Supervising and Mentor Teachers holds a Montessori credential from AMI, AMS, or St. Nicholas (Ireland) Level 8. BA (Honors) program or a MACTE accreditation.