Faculty and Staff

Administration Team

Christine Kovago

Director

Christine Kovago is the co-owner of Pincushion Hill Montessori School, now celebrating her 38th year of devotion to the school. She began her career at Pincushion in 1978 after completing a BA in Early Childhood Education with a triple minor in Elementary Education (grades 1-6), Art History, and Special Education from Worcester State College. She did extensive studies of fine art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Worcester Art Museum. She also received her LPN certification from the St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in Worcester. She worked at St. Vincent Hospital in the Trauma Ward and at Worcester City Hospital in the Geriatric Unit. Christine received her Montessori training at Boston College in 1979. She was in the first graduating class of the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center here in Massachusetts, and she taught for 14 years at Pincushion both in the Children’s House (ages 3-6) and Elementary (ages 6-9) classrooms before becoming the Director of the school. She has served as the Director for 16 years. Her hobbies include life-long learning, reading, gardening, snorkeling, walking, practicing yoga and meditation, and world traveling. She looks forward to many more successful, happy and prosperous years here at Pincushion!

Gus Kovago

Co-Director

Agoston (Gus) Kovago's family came to South Grafton, MA in 1956, after escaping the Hungarian Revolution. He attended Quinsigamond and Worcester State Colleges, earning a BA in Business. He ran a retail gifts and home decor business with his father from 1964-1984. He currently serves as Pincushion’s Co-director. His passions include photography, travel, biking and snorkeling.

Lisa Wyman

Business Manager

Lisa Wyman is Pincushion Hill’s Business Manager and she is celebrating her 13th year at Pincushion. She attended Northeastern University, majoring in Accounting. Previously, she worked in the insurance industry for fourteen years. Then she worked at a law firm where she maximized her skills with numbers. She has two daughters that are twenty years apart! In her spare time, she enjoys sports, the beach, her many pets and spending time with her family and friends. She loves all Boston sports teams, but especially the Red Sox!

Dawn Duplessis

Director of Marketing & Administration

We are thrilled to welcome back Dawn Duplessis to Pincushion after an absence of nine years to start a family. She directed the Pincushion office with consummate professionalism for two years. Dawn graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Marketing. Prior to joining Pincushion Hill Montessori School, Dawn worked as a Marketing manager for a multinational consulting firm. Dawn has two sons that are enrolled in Spanish Immersion, play multiple sports and are involved in various extracurricular activities. For the past eight years, Dawn has been a school volunteer for both of her sons, taught CCD class and helped coordinate after school sports. Dawn also helped create a Spanish story time in the local library and preschool to introduce children to a second language at an early age. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, relaxing on the beach and working in her garden.

Kristen Kemp

Executive Administrator

Kristen Kemp attended the State University of New York College at Fredonia and received a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She also attended the University of Barcelona, Spain. Prior to Pincushion, Kristen taught Spanish in the New Haven, CT school district and worked in an after school program in the Boston Public School District. Currently Kristen is enrolled at the Center for Montessori Education in New York. Kristen enjoys spending her free time doing home projects, traveling, and kayaking.

Teachers

Laura Strauss

Children's House Teacher

Laura Strauss holds a B.A. in Psychology from U.Mass Dartmouth and an M.Ed. in Counseling Education from Northeastern University. When she and her older son first experienced the Montessori philosophy at a school in Lexington, KY. 29 years ago, she knew the educational philosophy made sense for both of her sons. A few years later, she completed the Montessori training in Chicago at Seton Montessori Institute and has been a teacher since 1991.<br />

Kristina Cregg

Children's House Teacher

Kristina graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelors of science in family studies and human development. Prior to Pincushion, Kristina lived in Arizona for ten years and taught at a private school in Tucson. This past summer, Kristina completed a Montessori training at the Haborlight Montessori School in Beverly. During her free time, Kristina enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach and watching Boston sports.

Nicole Lovell

Elementary Teacher

Nicole Lovell is pleased to be joining the Pincushion Hill Montessori School community. She received her B.S. in Pharmacy from Northeastern, and worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. She recently completed her PBTL in Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) at Framingham State University. While at Framingham State, she was inducted into KDP (International Honor Society in Education) where she served as historian, as well as AUA (International Honor Society in Literacy). Nicole is a certified elementary teacher and has received a High Performance Montessori Elementary Assistant Certificate of Completion from METTC. A life-long learner, Nicole will continue her Montessori training while bringing her knowledge and skills to the Pincushion Hill community. In addition to teaching, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and spending time at the beach.

Geetha Rajapakse

Children's House Teacher

Geetha is a qualified Montessori teacher from Sri Lanka and EEC certified. She has had experience teaching infants through Kindergarten age for over 15 years. She also has experience in teaching children with learning differences. She enjoys cooking, classical music, and traveling. Geetha's mission is to build children's strengths while instilling a love for learning.

Terrie Craig

Children's House Teacher

Terrie received a B.A. in English and Spanish from Assumption College, a Post Baccalaureate Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education from Framingham State University, a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, and a Post Master Certification in Early Childhood Research, Policy and Leadership from UMASS Boston. Terrie has a life-long love of learning and the desire to instill this in young children while developing their sense of self. This past summer, Terrie completed a Montessori training at the Harborlight Montessori School in Beverly. Outside of work, Terrie enjoys poetry and reading, hearing live music, hiking and camping, going to the beach, watching the Patriots, and spending time with family and friends.

Specialists

Kristen Kemp

Spanish Teacher

Kristen Kemp attended the State University of New York College at Fredonia and received a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She also attended the University of Barcelona, Spain. Prior to Pincushion, Kristen taught Spanish in the New Haven, CT school district and worked in an after school program in the Boston Public School District. Currently Kristen is enrolled at the Center for Montessori Education in New York. Kristen enjoys spending her free time doing home projects, traveling, and kayaking.

Nicole Friedman

Art Teacher/Support Teacher

Nicole Friedman graduated from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire with an art education degree, minor in art history, and concentration in ceramics. She is a K-12 certified visual arts teacher. Nicole is excited to be joining the team at Pincushion. Through the Audubon Society, Nicole has worked at Broadmoor Nature Sanctuary and the Museum of American Bird Art as a camp counselor and has apprenticed with a local potter. During her free time Nicole loves going on nature walks, making art, visiting museums and spending time with family and friends.

Tracy SanAntonio

PE Teacher

Tracy SanAntonio is presently the owner and lead instructor of a mobile sports company named Itty Biddy Sports. She has been the physical education specialist at Pincushion Hill Montessori School for 10 consecutive years now. In this capacity, she has worked with students ranging from the Children's House through Elementary, Grade 6. Tracy has also taught after-school enrichments at Pincushion. She is a true advocate for health, fitness, and positive self-esteem and believes that all of these objectives can be achieved through the body in movement in an uplifting and enriching environment. She has four children and enjoys going to the beach whenever her busy schedule allows.

Matthew Caporale

Music Teacher

Matthew attended the Berklee School of Music as a professional music major with concentration on education and performance. He has been working with children of all ages for about 8 years, focusing on both ensemble and group classes as well as private instruction. Matthew has worked as music director aboard various cruise ships as well as leading groups and ensembles in the Boston area. He stays active in the musical community teaching privately and performing on a regular basis and is excited to start the music program at Pincushion Hill Montessori School.