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Our Lead & Assistant Guides

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Gabrielle Taylor, Toddler Lead Guide

I have lived in the Catskills my whole life. My mom raised us on a hobby farm with 3 acres and plenty of land to run around on. That's where my love of being outside started.

Animals are also a big passion of mine. Some of my hobbies include spinning, knitting, weaving, and rug hooking. I have spent my entire life working with children.

I have a BA in education, I have taught children in gymnastics, I have given swim lessons (I'm a WSI and a lifeguard), taught children to read, and worked in countless classrooms, including just recently as a cooking teacher at Manhattan Country Day School in Roxbury.

 

I am currently completing my AMI Assistants to Infancy (A to I) Diploma Training at Montessori Training Center North East (MTCNE), to become a fully trained AMI Montessori Guide by summer 2024 as I love the Montessori method and pedagogy! I live with my husband and our little girl Emily (born 2022) in Andes, along with two dogs and two cats.
 

I have truly found my dream job in guiding all of our little ones! 

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Dawn Gibson, Toddler Lead Guide

I came to Bovina Montessori in the fall of 2023, after a recommendation. I worked in another local daycare that decided to close down with many of the children transferring to here! Before my work with little ones, I worked with kids diagnosed with autism, many of which were non-verbal. I have loved all of my jobs and especially those that involve children.


I have a Masters degree, 2 kids 28 (f)and 35 (m) and 5 wonderful grandchildren and live in Downsville.  I have lived my whole life in this area. My second passion is animals; I have six horses, a donkey, chickens, cats and dogs.


I have a wonderful partner who is legally blind but does amazing work with wood. You may be familiar with the brand Sagewoods. He makes coffee mugs, wine tumblers, cutting boards, you name it.

 
I am extremely happy to have found Bovina Montessori, and have already completed my AMI 0-3 Orientation Course with Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT). I truly wish I had gone to a Montessori School! Child-centered education is a wonderful thing. Life is beautiful, because we are all wonderfully made! 

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Lucy Stupakoff, Toddler Assistant Guide

To be updated soon..

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Emily Cronk, Toddler Assistant Guide

I grew up just over the mountain in Roxbury, NY. I went to Roxbury Central School and during high school I made a transition to Rotterdam, NY where I went to Mohonasen High School for two years and then finished my senior year at Roxbury Central School. I was in love with soccer from the start of Kindergarten all the way through High School and into some college. I did travel soccer for Alleycats Soccer Club in Albany, and played on the soccer team at Hudson Community College. 

I have always been infatuated with nature and the outdoors since I could walk. I always wanted to see what was outside of the Catskills so I took some time to explore the country. I packed my car full and sent off on an adventure to Colorado from NY where I lived for some time. Then from Colorado I moved to Asheville, North Carolina where I worked and lived for some time as well. When I feel I need to regroup I always find myself back here in the Catskills. 

​I now currently live in Delhi, NY with my fiancée and two kittens. On my free time I enjoy being outdoors; hiking, sitting by streams and taking long walks. I enjoy gardening, listening to music and watching movies and spending time with family. 

I hold a special place for kids and animals in my heart and never could have imagined I’d find this school in Bovina. Montessori has been exactly what I have been searching for for so long! I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to be in nature and outdoors along with taking care of the toddlers. They bring me so much joy and fulfillment in life. 

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Jess Gilman, Primary Lead Guide

I spent the first few years of my life on a farm in the Delaware Valley, where I developed a deep love of nature and animals. I then moved to lower Westchester, to begin school and have lived there ever since, working and raising two children.

 

I found Montessori by accident when taking a job as an assistant at a local preschool. I was amazed at how independent and capable the children in the class were and fell in love with the philosophy. I received my AMS Montessori Diploma training a few years later at the College of New Rochelle and enjoyed the next six years as a lead guide. 

 

I have a background in art from SUNY Purchase, with a focus on drawing and photography. I've also studied gardening, permaculture, and native planting, and enjoy incorporating these skills into the daily life of the children in the class.

 

I am passionate about sustainability and creating classrooms that focus on reducing waste, composting, caring about the environment, and each other. I also continue to learn American Sign Language, which I include in the curriculum.

 

In my free time I love to travel in my camper van with my kids and dogs, volunteer at the library, read a ton, and of course, gardens.

 

I am so happy to be part of building this beautiful school and returning to the country to support outdoor learning!

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Anushka Stupakoff, Primary Assistant Guide

I grew up in rural Delaware county, with my two parents and brother. My father is Brazilian and mother is English, they fell in love with the Catskills and wanted to raise their family here.

 

I’ve been a nature person my entire life, gardening, foraging wild foods, and creating natural medicine. I grew up riding horses, one of my biggest passions.

 

When I was 16 I moved to England to finish my education in Equine Management. I’ve been teaching children and adults to ride for years. 
 

I then worked in fashion traveling the world which brought me back to NYC. Covid hit and I decided that life wasn’t for me anymore and moved back to my family farm.

 

This was when I started making my medicinal mushroom tinctures, that flourished into a business. I attend local farmers markets selling my products.

 

This is when I found out about Bovina Montessori and it sparked into something great and larger than I expected.

 

I can’t wait to share all my wilderness knowledge with the future generations to come. 

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Katie Henry, Elementary Lead Guide

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to Dallas, Texas to attend Southern Methodist University. It was there I met my now-husband, Taylor, who is the Middle School Math/Science Guide here.

 

After college, I taught high school math for 5 years. Through a distant connection I was introduced to the Montessori Method. I took my AMI Primary (3-6) Diploma Training at Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) and taught at the Primary level for two years.

 

Between those years I began working on my AMI Elementary (6-12) Diploma at MINT, which I completed in Summer 2022. During my training, I moved up with my Primary children into an Elementary classroom.

 

In my spare time I enjoy reading and spending time with our little girl, Charlotte (CJ), who was born in September of 2021. 

 

I am so excited to have joined the Bovina Montessori community, to run and grow the Elementary classroom here!

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Blythe Czaja, Elementary Assistant Guide

I grew up just down the road from the school on a small dairy farm in Bloomville. My love of agriculture - especially animals and horticulture - extended from my childhood on the farm.

 

I grew up working closely with my father helping him take care of the animals, tending to the crops, and my personal favorite: making maple syrup.

 

I acquired my BA in Agricultural Education with a concentration in Animal Science from SUNY Cobleskill where I graduated in 2010. I worked for 6 years at an outdoor education center in the Adirondacks. While working with outdoor education, I also managed another business called the 1812 Homestead & Farm Museum where children learned the lifestyle of living in the early 1800’s.

 

While I am not enlightening the youth, you can find me wandering through the mountains with my two cattle dogs, Raelyn & Finley. I also enjoy getting my hands dirty in the garden, kayaking in the sunshine or exploring new trails with my mountain bike.

I am currently finishing my AMI 6-12 (Elementary) Diploma with The Montessori Institute (TMI) in Denver, which will be completed in the summer of 2024. I am excited to further support our elementary students as another Lead Guide at Bovina Montessori!

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Taylor Henry, Middle School Guide

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Dallas. I studied Civil Engineering at Southern Methodist University, where I met my lovely and talented wife, Katie.

 

After undergrad, I earned my Master’s of Science in Applied Sciences and completed a thesis on the topic of student curiosity. I got into the classroom through a residency program and a Master’s of Education.

 

For the five years before Bovina Montessori, I taught 15-18 year-olds in English Language Arts and an interdisciplinary, applied philosophy course (Theory of Knowledge) in an International Baccalaureate program.

 

In February 2024 I will be commencing my AMI Adolescent Diploma training with the Montessori Training Center North East (MTCNE), which I am incredibly excited about.

 

In my time away from teaching, I enjoy baking sourdough bread, playing music, reading difficult books, and dancing and babbling with our little girl, Charlotte (CJ).

 

It is a true joy and dream come true to join Bovina Montessori to build the middle and high school program along with a strong body of AMI Montessori advisors!

Current Available Positions

Infant Lead Guide (40 hours/week, 10 months/year) - start: January 2025 (If un-trained in Montessori, AMI diploma training scholarships are available)
Student Ages: 8 weeks - 18 months
Max students in Classroom: 8


Infant Assistant Guide (35 hours/week, 10 months/year) - start: January 2025

Adolescent Lead Guide (40 hours/week, 10 months/year)
 - start: Fall 2024. (if un-trained in Montessori, AMI diploma training scholarships are available)
Student Ages: 12-18 years 

Spanish / Foreign Languages Guide (4-6 hrs per week) - start: Fall 2024

Indoor Caretaker (part-time 20 hours/week) - start: Immediately

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