Faculty and Staff

Administration Team

Pincushion Hill Montessori School Director Christine Kovago

Christine Kovago

Director and Curriculum Developer

Christine Kovago is the Director of Pincushion Hill Montessori School, now celebrating her 40th 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

Business Manager

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 School Ambassador. His passions include photography, travel, biking and snorkeling.

Lisa Wyman

Business Director

Lisa Wyman is Pincushion Hill’s Business Manager and she is celebrating her 16th 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!

Sharon Borg

Administrative Coordinator

Sharon is thrilled to be joining the Administration team at Pincushion! Armed with a B.S. in Finance and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Sharon brings with her 6 years in business and nearly 20 years of teaching at progressive schools in all of the age ranges from pre-K to upper elementary. In her latest role as Head Teacher at the Touchstone Community School, Sharon has served on the Professional Leadership Group, the TCS Board of Trustees, as an Instructional Coach for Faculty, as a Mentor Teacher, as Co-chair of the Diversity Committee, and as a member of the TCS Strategic Plan Identity Committee. It is most important to Sharon that her students embrace kindness and are instilled with a love of lifelong learning. Sharon has two daughters; Kim is recently married and is a special educator and Kelly is a nursing major at Quinnipiac University. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, and reading. Sharon embraces the challenge of this new position at Pincushion with professionalism, hard work, and a sense of community.

Teachers

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.

Sunita Mahalaha

Children's House Assistant Teacher

Sunita received her A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Dean College, and she is currently working to complete a B.S. in Psychology. She has spent the last 15 years working as a teacher at various schools, along with being mother to her two college-age children. Sunita has developed a valuable skill set which she is excited to bring to Pincushion. Sunita is EEC Lead Preschool Teacher and First Aid certified. Some of Sunita’s hobbies include traveling the world, gardening in her backyard, cooking Indian food, and spending time with her family. She looks forward to coming in everyday and having the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of young children.

Rachel Keller

Children's House Teacher

Rachel earned a B.A. in Communications and a B.A. in Journalism from Keene State College. After moving to Charleston, SC, she discovered the Montessori philosophy and knew it was her life’s purpose. Rachel moved to Virginia to complete her AMS Early Childhood credential and taught at a small Montessori school in Norfolk, VA for the last 3 years. Rachel likes hiking, cooking, and going to the beach. She has recently returned to New England to be closer to family, and is so grateful and excited to start at Pincushion Hill!

Nicole Lovell

Elementary Teacher

Nicole 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.

Lila Boutaghou

SUPPORT TEACHER

Lila is our new Support Teacher, working with children in our classrooms and well as in our after school program. Lila Boutaghou, pronounced Botago, is a mother of two little boys, and she moved recently to the community from the South Shore. Lila studied Management and Economics in Algeria and received her professional diploma from the Institute of Insurance in Paris. In 2013, she graduated from BHCC as a Finance major and went to Suffolk University, but her destiny decided differentially. The education of her own children directed her life into a new path and she decided that the best place for her was inside schools. Lila worked in Downtown Boston for two and a half years in a Montessori school as a Floating Teacher and she taught Arabic from infant to pre-primary. She has worked as a translator and interpreter for PBS. Lila is determined in her life to enjoy the Air, the Earth, and Water at any place she’ll be.

Specialists

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 12 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.

Samantha Palmer

Garden Educator

Samantha has always had a deep passion for animals, plants, sustainability, and environmental sciences. She grew up on a family horse farm in Mendon, MA where she gained a love of working with children and horses as well as a passion for the farming lifestyle. This led to Samantha’s attendance at the Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, MA as a Plant Science major. From there she continued to Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT where she studied Sustainable Agriculture. Samantha is excited to share her love of plants and the environment with the students at Pincushion Hill as their Garden Educator.

Erica Adelson

SPANISH TEACHER

Erica is our new Spanish Instructor, and she will be teaching Spanish to students in all of our classrooms. Erica is a Massachusetts native who has loved learning languages since she was a child. She began studying Spanish in middle school and soon added French, eventually becoming a tutor in both languages. In college, she complemented her language studies with Arabic and found a new focus. After serving as an Arabic tutor on the college staff, she graduated from Smith College with a major in Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Spanish. Erica continued teaching privately after college. In her current role as Assistant Director of RoLa Languages in Cambridge for the past 4 years, she teaches English, Spanish and French from preschool to adult age.

Meredith Hofmaier

Art Teacher

Meredith grew up in Duxbury, MA and graduated with a dual degree in Fine Arts: Painting and Community Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Upon graduating, Meredith shared her passion and enthusiasm for designing and teaching art programs in various institutions including the YMCA, the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, the Beaver Country Day School, and the Michael Driscoll Elementary School in Brookline. She is over the moon to be continuing her dream of fostering her students' personal growth, artistic expression, and happiness in a supportive learning environment at Pincushion Hill Montessori School this fall, 2018.