Our teachers and administrative staff share a deep commitment to serving our students and families to the very best of
their abilities, and they work very hard to support the wonderful programs we provide for our students. As a group, this
staff strives in every way to "follow the child," to recognize and honor each students' individuality and path.
This is the very heart of the unique achievement of Montessori education, and we are proud of our success.
Gilda D. Brower, Founder/Executive Director, has been certified by the American Montessori Society since 1971.
Before opening the school, Gilda worked in two Montessori schools one in New Jersey and one in Upstate New York.
A member of the American Montessori Society, Gilda continues to train Montessori teachers from across the United
States and Canada during summer workshops in New York City and Toronto. Gilda divides her time during the academic
year between the preschool room, the elementary room, curriculum-building efforts, and staff training.
Robin Henty, Preschool-Kindergarten Directress, received a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Oswego State College
in 1983 and completed the Montessori teacher training in the fall of 2006. Robin developed pre-school programs for Plymouth Day Care
Center and Most Holy rosary School in Syracuse. At Most Holy Rosary Robin was fortunate enough to work side by side with Susan Kovalik
the creator of the Thematic Teaching Theory. (This is a total hands on approach to learning.) The training was intesive and was
continued throughout her tenure at Most Holy Rosary.
While working at Rosary, Robin was nominated by her students' parents for the La Salle Teacher of the year. Robin worked for the
Liberty partnership Program at Corcoran High School as a tutor for students at risk. She was an aide at the Skaneateles School district
for students with special needs. Robin has completed her Montessori training and is certified through the N.A.M.C.
Robin is married to Bob and is extremely proud to be the mom of Robert, Maggie and Laura. She volunteers in her community and at her children's schools.
Robin has wanted to work with children from a very young age (2nd grade) and is proud to continue to realize her dream at the Montessor school.
She considers each on of her students a gift.
Florence Smith, Preschool-Kindergarten Directress, attended Brooklyn College, University of Maine and Syracuse University School
of Social Work. She served as the Director of Social Services at the Cayuga County Dept. of Social Services for 22 years before her
“retirement” in 1985. Florence continues to be active and is anything but retired. She is known as a volunteer by Literacy Volunteers,
a nursing home ombudsman, Hospice worker and community-wide dialogue volunteer.
She is known as the “tielady” working for Kinsmith’s the Tie Tailors and the “rug-lady” working as a braided-rug demonstrator and teacher.
She is thrilled now to be known as the “bread-lady” teaching Montessori children how to make their very own loaves. She averages 25-30
loaves a week and looks forward to continuing to teach Practical Life skills to all of the Montessori Students again this year.
Diane Bauso, Elementary Directress, joined our staff in the fall of 1999. Her Master’s Degree is focused upon Alternative
Educational Programs for Children, and she is certified in “Family Development” through Cornell University. Diane completed Montessori
training for 6 to 9 year old students in November of 2006 and is the head teacher in the elementary room.
Diane coached a soccer team for many years, is a member of the Auburn Public Theater’s Board of Directors, and past member of the TomatoFest
Board of Directors. In addition Diane is a fine artist with experience in portrait painting. As a result Diane’s classroom is infused with
very capable and artful leadership.
Amy Aunkst-Park, Toddler Directress, holds her masters in Education, Bachelors in Music and completed Montessori Training in 2008.
She has worked in both Catholic and Public schools, been a childcare administrator, and found her way to Montessori in 2005 working with toddlers.
Amy is the mother of two children, frequents the Adirondacks and is on the board of Directors of a youth theater group.
Jacquilyn Laurente Benjamin, Preschool Directress, grew up on the island of Leyte in the Philippines and wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a little girl. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Science and Health from Western Leyte College. She was a daycare provider for a year, and after her certification in 2003 she taught Science and other subjects to 3rd through 5th graders for three years.
Jackie is married to Robert Benjamin, a pharmacist from Oneonta. After moving to the United States in 2008 she became a New York State certified teacher in 2009 and joined the Montessori School in November 2010. Jacquilyn has an interest in interior decorating and enjoys playing the guitar.