Teachers

photo Laura O’Brien Donath

Laura O’Brien Donath has been practicing yoga for twenty years.  Laura is trained and certified through Integral Yoga, Next Generation Yoga, and Karma Kids Yoga.  Her experience with teaching children’s yoga is extensive!  She has taught children of all ages in a variety of settings including schools, summer camps, yoga studios, and community centers.  She incorporates fun and creativity into all of her classes.  Health and fitness are incredibly important to Laura, and she enjoys sharing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with others.  Laura, an avid runner, is quite involved with the Girls on the Run program, having served as the Director of Morris and Union County, and she is delighted to be working with our MCA students this spring!

     
photo Jackie Kernaghan

Jackie Kernaghan is a graduate of Montclair State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition, she is a Montessori Certified Head Teacher, and has been with MCA for five years, two of which are as a Head Teacher. Jackie was born and raised in New Jersey where she grew up gaining experience taking care of the neighborhood children that attended her grandmother’s home daycare program. She later worked in a Taekwondo school teaching children martial arts and self-defense. Jackie enjoys arts and crafts, sewing, car shows, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

     
photo Linda Kraska

Linda Kraska, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from St. Anselm College, joins us from The Montessori Children’s Academy where she is an Assistant Teacher. Linda has had many years of experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings, including with Morris County Family Services and the Girl Scouts. Linda has taught chess to elementary students, guiding them in building strategies and understanding basic rules of play. In addition to chess, Linda’s hobbies include playing tennis, cycling, and reading. She has enjoyed teaching Educational Games to the younger ages, introducing them to time honored games that are still popular today.  This spring, she will be sharing her love of reading with the children, incorporating special art projects based on some favorite childhood stories in our new Storybook Art class.

     
photo Lois Turiansky

Lois Turiansky is a graduate of Montclair State University and has been part of the Montessori Children’s Academy community since 2003, when the Chatham campus first opened its doors. Lois began as an Assistant Teacher and now holds a Montessori certificate for Head Teacher. In addition to her Montessori classroom positions, Lois has been a Kindergarten gym teacher. Lois has two sons and enjoys time with family, traveling, reading, and watching her sons play soccer and lacrosse.  She is looking forward to working with children in the LEAF program with All Sorts of Sports.

     
photo Marco Vergara

Marco Vergara was born and raised in California and now resides in Dover, NJ with his wife, and four children. In addition to being the Music and Spanish teacher at The Montessori Children’s Academy, Marco is the owner and operator of Beyond Measure Music Instruction, a small business offering private in-home music lessons throughout Morris County. He also hosts an internet resource with videos of children's songs for parents and teachers of young children. His interests include linguistics, language acquisition, cultural anthropology, psychology, acting, and photography. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Marco is looking forward to an exciting musical journey with the children in his enrichment classes!

     
photo Chef it Up!

Lisa Tirone, who started the CHEF IT UP franchise in 2003, joins us in teaching cooking classes. The love of cooking countless family recipes with a fun and enthusiastic personality is her recipe for success!  Lisa goes to great measures to keep children safe from any food allergies in the kitchen.  Allergy-friendly ingredients are a necessity for Lisa, as she has two children who have life-threatening food allergies.  Lisa brings her love of cooking with others to her classes, where children will chop, mix, measure, roll, and have a really great time!

     
photo Horizons in Learning

LEAF is currently working with Horizons in Learning to help round out its enrichment offerings.Horizons in Learning is an educational-based company with several years of experience offering a wide variety of services focused on helping every child reach his or her goals while tapping into each one’s own unique potential. The company is based in Livingston, NJ, and will be providing science classes for most all of our age groups, under the direction of LEAF. We are excited about this opportunity, as it will allow us to offer a more diverse package of enrichment classes.

     
photo Stringing with Angela

Stringing With Angela offers multiple enrichment programs at selected charter schools, private schools, and early childcare centers throughout New Jersey. We aim to expose young children to performing arts, foreign languages, and various types of physical activities.  Our programs all take place at their learning faculties; their school is a very familiar place surrounded by friends, classmates, and supportive teachers.
Our programs are instructed by individuals that are kind, hard-working, and skilled in their area of expertise.

Each program provides everything the child will need to participle in the class whether it is an instrument for our music program, a language book, yoga mat, or a costume for our drama classes. We aim to bring quality lessons to every school that offers our program.

     
photo The Montclair Learning Center

The Montclair Learning Center (MLC) was founded in 2004 and focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.  


We are a small, independent, student and family-friendly firm. Our strengths include the quality of our instructional and counselor staff, our innovative programs and curricula, and the individual attention we give to each and every student. 


MLC believes in educational excellence. We also believe that learning works best when it is engaging, interesting, and fun.