STAFF

Bergen-Lafayette Montessori School is a small and vibrant early childhood community. Our well-qualified and supportive staff respectfully, appreciate the unfolding of each child's development. We embrace Maria Montessori's goal to recreate the world into a more peaceful, compassionate, and purposeful place by focusing on both the nature and development of each child.

MYANI LAWSON

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Executive Director / Head of School

Ms. Lawson graduated from Lincoln University, cum laude, with a B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She also holds an M.Ed. in Reading Education from Howard University. Ms. Lawson received her formal introduction to The Montessori Method at Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. During her career she has held the positions of classroom teacher, academic enrichment program director, elementary instructional coach, adult education instructor, university adjunct instructor, educational consultant, and curriculum coordinator. Ms. Lawson is a passionate and dedicated educator whose varied background and hands-on approach ensure Bergen-Lafayette Montessori School's offerings exceed the standards.

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'"

-Maria Montessori

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ELIZABETH LUTHER

Head Primary Teacher

Ms. Luther received her B.A. from Otterbein University where she studied broadcasting and creative writing. She moved to New York in 2014 and after working in childcare, pursued a Master of Early Childhood Education and Special Education degree at Concordia College. She received her Montessori certification from the West Side Montessori Teacher Education Program. Ms. Luther’s first experience with Montessori was as a child, where she attended a Montessori school in Cincinnati; she remembers her experience and teachers fondly. Now as an adult, she continues Montessori education because of the independence and self-direction children gain from an environment where they are free to choose, using tactile materials to master concepts. 

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BETSY FERNANDEZ

Dual-Language Toddler Teacher

Ms. Fernandez holds a bachelor’s degree in childhood education with a concentration in History, from Nyack College. She is a parent of two children who went to Montessori early childhood programs. After seeing how Montessori worked so well with her own children, she fell in love with the Montessori curriculum and decided to work in a Montessori environment when she reentered the workforce. She served as a Teaching Assistant for our Toddler classroom, during her first year at Bergen-Lafayette Montessori School and now she is pursuing her Montessori Teacher Certification at the West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program. She is enthusiastic about Bergen-Lafayette Montessori school’s programs and excited to continue working with our toddlers. 

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VASHNI DAYAL

Infant  Teaching Assistant

Ms. Dayal is currently pursuing her Child Development Associate certification. She is the proud mother of three children, twin girls and a son. She recently moved to the United States from Guyana and has been working with infants, toddlers, and preschool children. Ms. Dayal is excited to share her love of education with the youngest students at BLMS. She believes that Montessori education is a wonderful way for a child to begin learning, as it addresses both their academic and emotional needs. 

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ASHLEY MONTANEZ

Infant  Teaching Assistant

Ms. Montanez has always had a love for children. She has 5 years of experience in the infant and toddler field. Ms. Montanez has an Associate's degree and Child Development Associate certificate. From a young age she knew she wanted to be an educator to young minds. Ms. Montanez is also the proud mother of a baby boy and she is excited to be working in the Infant classroom and to learn more about Montessori education. 

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NWANDI LAWSON

Development Director

Ms. Lawson earned an MBA from the Emory University Goizueta School of Business, and she is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University where she studied journalism and French. Ms. Lawson’s broad professional experience includes teaching middle school in an economically challenged California community, becoming an Emmy Award winning television producer for CNN and other broadcasters, and founding both a media production company and business consulting firm. As a current member of the Bahá'i Continental Board of Counsellors for the Americas, Ms. Lawson has the opportunity to work on educational initiatives in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Ms. Lawson is the mother of two daughters who benefitted from Montessori education from age three through middle school. She brings this experience along with her continuing interest in developing educational opportunities for children of all backgrounds to receive a sound education that recognizes their individual nobility and builds their capacity to contribute to a better world.

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QUEENIE YU 

Business Manager

Ms. Yu is a cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Management Information Systems. 

Ms. Yu has over 10 years of experience as a Management Consultant for many Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement improvement plans to increase productivity, reduce costs and enable efficiencies to drive an increase in revenue and profit.  Driven by a desire for small businesses to have a stronger financial understanding, Ms. Yu has more recently worked with local small businesses to gain financial strength and stability by developing financial models and operational budgets for her clients.  She is happy to use her time and talents to further the mission of Bergen-Lafayette Montessori School.

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CHARLES ADEGITE

Information Technology Specialist

Charles is a native New Yorker and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology. He loves to spend time with family, watch sports while also volunteering his time mentoring high school students and empowering young leaders in our world today to be successful. Charles is our IT Specialist at Bergen-Lafayette Montessori School leading the way towards new IT infrastructure and key technologies for staff and students. He's truly passionate about IT and thankful he is able to contribute to the mission of the BLMS community.