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“The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.”

-Maria Montessori

Montessori Guide

Early Childhood Credential, American Montessori Society, Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center

B.A., Theater, University of Massachusetts Amherst

After years as a caregiver to young children, Rachel discovered Dr. Maria Montessori’s beautiful wisdom and was immediately taken by the profound pedagogy.  In 2013, she attended the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Illinois for her Early Childhood Certification. During this time, she worked as an assistant at Sauganash Montessori School in Chicago. It was a joyous, creative, and intellectually inspiring year. However, homesick for the woods and farms and people of the Pioneer Valley, she and her husband, Scott, moved home to Massachusetts the summer following her training. That September, she began work at Longmeadow Montessori in a Children’s House classroom. The following August, she gave birth to her daughter, Amelia, and has been home with her ever since. She is very happy and excited to join the Amherst Montessori School community as a Lead Toddler Guide and as a mother with her toddler in the classroom next door.

She looks forward to creating a welcoming, peaceful, and accessible environment, where children explore and learn through their senses; develop language; interact, cooperate and play with other children; sing songs and read books; her classroom will be one full of materials that encourage both fine and gross motor skills, and a place where every child’s cognitive, social and physical growth is keenly observed, followed and nurtured. Above all, she hopes to create a community where each child flourishes.

In her spare seconds, Rachel also loves to perform theater, write, read, bake bread, do yoga in her living room and spend time outside. She lives in Northampton with her silly, sweet family beside a rocky hill, some pine trees and a bunch of bugs, birds and even the occasional black bear.

christinemariani Classroom Assistant

A.S., Child Studies, Mount Ida College

B.A., Liberal Studies, Mount Ida College

Christine began working at Amherst Montessori School in 1995, making her the school's longest-standing guide and employee. She has seen the community through many changes over the years, including the opening of the new school building on Pomeroy Lane in 2012.

In her 20+ years as a classroom assistant, Christine has led countless children through the earliest stages of their education. She brings immesuarable kindness, patience, and experience to her role in the classroom, and implements Montessori philosophy in every interraction with her students. On a given day in the Toddler room, you can find Christine guiding her students through the day's activities with a genuine respect for their independence and capabilities, and a profound warmth which fosters lifetime bonds. It is not uncommon for alumni of various ages to come back to AMS for a visit with Christine!

In her free time, Christine enjoys reading, snowmobiling, scrap-booking, and camping. A lover of books, Christine pays regular visits to the library looking for new titles to supplement the Toddler classroom collection. She also loves spending time with her husband, Rico, her dog, Jake, and her two step-daughters, Samantha and Rachel. 

rachel-marianiClassroom Assistant

Rachel joined Amherst Montessori School in 2011 as a substitute teacher and was then hired as an assistant in Children's House in 2012. Since then, she has worked in every classroom except Elementary, but has found her favorite age group to be Infants and Toddlers.

Since our Infant program began in 2015, Rachel has led the Infant Summer Discovery program and has assisted in both Toddler and Infant classrooms. Rachel also leads our Infant After Care program and assists in the afternoon in both the Toddler and Infant classrooms.

When Rachel isn't working with children at Amherst Montessori, she enjoys reading, baking, traveling, playing board games, and watching foreign cinema. She also loves spending time with her family, friends, and pets.