Meet the MCS RI Staff and Board of Directors
"When there have been roadblocks or challenges for our child, the MCS RI staff has worked with us to identify and carry out solutions that have broadened our parenting perspective and have gotten us onto the next steps." -MCS RI Parent
Amy Borak, Founder and Head of School
Amy spends her days at MCS RI overseeing the school and classroom culture, observing each classroom, coaching MCS RI's teachers and managing the day to day operations of the school, while planning for its long term strategic vision. It is of utmost importance to Amy that MCS RI is a community that recognizes and cultivates the innate goodness within each child, family, and staff member. Amy is an experienced Montessori educator and social worker with over 20 years of experience woking with children and families. She holds an Infant/Toddler Montessori credential, completed the 3-6 y/o Montessori training and earned her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work in 2004. Amy welcomes phone call inquiries, emails, and visits. Please be in touch!
Karina Fagan, Toddler Lead Instructor
Karina joined MCS RI as the Lead Toddler Teacher in September 2018. She is a trained Montessori Toddler and Primary teacher with over 12 years of Montessori experience with children ages 18 months to 6 years old. She is a former foster parent, a new mom, a lover of children, and a former MCS RI board member. Karina is honored to be a part of the team of educators at MCS RI.
Karina is originally from Brazil and holds a bachelor degree in accounting. Despite working as an accountant full time in her home country, Karina always found time to volunteer at local orphanages and schools. She has come to the US as an au pair back in 2004; at the time her host family had 5 children, ranging in ages from newborn to 5 years old. Through her work with host families, she learned about the Montessori method and found that its believes aligned very well with her own, so becoming a Montessori teacher was a natural next step.
Franchesca Cabral, Toddler Co-Lead
Franchesca is excited to begin her second year as a teacher in the Toddler Room! She recently graduated from URI with a B.S in Human Development and Family Studies. She has been working with children for the past five years in summer camps and after school programs. Franchesca first came to MCS RI as a parent in 2015 and later became part of the MCS RI team in 2016. She looks forward to learning more about Montessori and to continuing to grow as an educator.
Marissa Brodie, Primary Co-Lead
Marissa will be returning for her fifth year at MCS RI as the Co-Lead in the Primary room. Marissa is enrolled in a Montessori Training program that begins in summer 2017 and is scheduled to graduate in June 2018. She is a lover of learning and brings that spirit to all she does and MCS RI is no exception. She earned her Master’s in Early Childhood Education, and is a RI state certified teacher. Her previous three years at MCS-RI were spent working closely with other teachers, observing, learning and implementing Montessori practice into her everyday teaching. She enjoys integrating Spanish language into the classroom and leads a music and movement class; a half hour of song, movement and exploration.
Candice McLean, Primary Co-Lead
Candice is one of the Co-Lead Preschool Teachers, who has recently joined the Montessori Community School of Rhode Island team. In 2006, she graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Psychology. Since graduating she has been working in the Early Childhood field for 11 years. From a very young age, Candice has known she wanted to be a teacher. She enjoyed playing school as a child, and loved her real life school experience. It was during a stay in France that set her decision to be a teacher, in stone. As a foreign exchange student, she was given the opportunity to teach English to a group of young children, and the rest is history. Over the course of her career, Candice has helped set and nurture the learning foundation of hundreds of children. Her greatest joys have been establishing connections with children and watching them reach their full potential. As a former resident of Providence’s South Side, it has always been her dream to go back and teach the children of her childhood community. With the help of Montessori Community School of Rhode Island she is once again able to fulfill this dream.
After School Program Team
Katherine Veliz, After School Program Coordinator/Instructor
Katherine is so excited to start her first year as a teacher at MCS RI leading the after-school program, Roots and Wings. She has been subbing for MCS RI since 2015 working in both primary and toddler classrooms. She has also been part of the teams for vacation and summer camps at MCSRI. Katherine graduated last year from URI with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a B.A. in Spanish. She looks forward to forming strong relationships with all children and serving as a role model for them. Katherine was born in Guatemala and came to the United States in 2009. She is very excited to integrate Spanish language into the classroom and make the time at Roots and Wings a fun and exciting experience for all children. For Katherine it is very important to spend quality time with her husband and four-year-old son. During the weekends she works at her church with children ages one to ten years-old teaching them bible lessons. She is also part of a Christian dance team and leads a dance group of girls, five to ten years old.
Valentine Poumadère, After School Program Instructor
Originally from France, Valentine got her first experience in education teaching French to schoolchildren while pursuing her B.A. in Anthropology at Harvard University, from which she graduated in 2015. Prior to moving to Providence in the spring of 2018, she lived in New Orleans, where she became involved in various farm and garden-based educational programs.
Chelsea Arceo, Classroom Assistant
Originally from the Philippines, Chelsea moved here at the tender age of three years old. She has been a Providence resident for most of her life. She grew up down the road from the MCSRI. Chelsea graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. During her undergrad, she was exposed to the Montessori method in a practicum with URI’s Child Development Center. She was thoroughly intrigued by Maria Montessori’s educational approach so much that she started working for the CDC after the course was over. She believes in uplifting the community and helping its community members. She is extremely excited to be working for a socioeconomically diverse Montessori school. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to learn in a unique educational environment regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, or any other differences.
The Administrative Team
Angelia Duran, Office Manager
Angelia started working for MCS RI in November of 2017, she is the office manager and helps support the school in administration, facilities, fundraising and marketing. Angelia is currently in her final year as a part-time graduate student at Rhode Island College pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Work. She is interested in macro concentration social work, creating and evaluating programs and systems that help to further the social and economic growth of our communities. She obtained her Bachelor in Social Work in 2014. She is invested in the Rhode Island community and currently holds a board position with the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition where she also volunteers as their event coordinator. She is currently placed at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island in the behavioral health department for her final year graduate internship where she will be evaluating programs, reviewing policies and analyzing data. Angelia speaks Spanish fluently and grew up right up the street from MCS RI!
Gina Marciano, Director of Operations
Gina joined MCS RI in August of 2015. As the Director of Operations she supports Amy in the business management of the school. Her role involves a diverse set of activities including: Finance & Accounting, Administration, Development, Marketing, and Human Resources. Gina has over 10 years of experience in the field of nonprofit program management. Prior to joining MCS RI she spent five years managing a training center that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their business goals. She has dedicated her career to working for nonprofit organizations that promote social and economic justice through breaking down barriers to accessing education. She has lived and traveled extensively abroad in Latin America and speaks Spanish fluently. Gina holds an MBA from Babson College, a BBA in Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a graduate of the Harborlight Montessori School in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Board of Directors
Amy Borak- President/Founder
Aarin B Clemons- Secretary
Shanell Lavery- Member
Ruth Corley- Member
Laquia Anthony- Member
Kevin Darrow- Member
Stephanie Preston- Member
Sharice Enis- Member