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Meet Our Staff

Lina Masri Founder & Director
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Lina has over fifteen years experience teaching and directing Montessori schools in North America and Europe.  She started her Montessori career teaching at Richmond Hill Montessori School in Toronto, Canada and has since taught and directed at the Lighthouse Montessori Nursery in Oxford, England; Papillion Montessori Nursery in Ringwood, NJ; Monarch Montessori School in Little Falls, NJ; and Young World Day School in Mahwah NJ where she has been the Director of Montessori for five years. 

  • AMI Montessori Certification (Centre for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, Florida)

  • Masters of Arts in Teaching (Montclair State University). Dual certification in P-3 and Teacher of Students with Disabilities. (December, 2015)

  • Alternate Route Program for P-3 Certification at Montclair State University (August,20113)

  • Montessori Certificate for the Infant Toddler Course from Montessori Centre International, London, England

  • Montessori Diploma for Children ages 0-6 from St Nicholas Training Centre, London, England

Laura Elmini  Montessori Teacher
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Laura Elmini is a NJ certified teacher holding a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. She taught in the Newark Public Schools for 7 years where she taught Kindergarten and opened her school’s very first public school PreK program. During her time there, she was selected to train with mentors from Bank Street College and the Children’s Literacy Institute of Philadelphia. Her classroom became a model for the district.


In 2003, Laura chose to leave the profession to raise a family. During that time, she had a part-time, home based business selling jewelry and trained a team of more than 200 women.  She chose a Montessori education for her son and told friends and family that if she ever went back to teaching, her dream would be to teach in a Montessori school. The stars aligned in 2015 when she met Lina and joined her classroom as a part-time teacher. She has now been training under and teaching with Lina for 7 years. 


Outside the classroom Laura enjoys crafting, decorating, spoiling her dogs, and spending time with her husband of 22 years and their growing children.


  • BA in Elementary Education, William Paterson University

  • Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education, William Paterson University.

  • Seven years teaching Montessori

  • Montessori Diploma from NAMC ( pending)

Kelly Lafflin  Montessori Teacher
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Kelly Lafflin received her diploma from the State University of New York at Cortland college, and went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Queens College and Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix, AZ.  Kelly received her Montessori certification form North American Montessori Center and taught middle school Math and History at Resurrection Ascension in Queens, NY for four years before transferring to a school closer to her home in Long Island. It was there Kelly spent over a decade teaching Pre-K-3rd grade. After relocating to Rockland County in 2019 Kelly began teaching at Sacred Heart School in Suffern, NY.


When Sacred Heart unexpectedly closed, Kelly recognized it as an opportunity to focus on her true passion. She deeply believes in Dr. Montessori's philosophy and pedagogy and has since been working with infants and toddlers using Montessori. She feels it is vital to give children the skills to solve conflicts peacefully, care for themselves and their environment, and become responsive global citizens.

Kelly, her husband and her three children moved from Long Island, NY to Suffern about three years ago. Her oldest daughter is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts and her two sons attend Suffern Middle School. Kelly is honored to join the Mindful Montessori team and cherishes the opportunity to have an impact on the children.

Courtney Chamberlain  Montessori Teacher's assistant
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Courtney has 10 years experience in all facets of Child Development and Education. She has previously worked at Laurel Plains Elementary School in New City, NY as an after care teacher through the YMCA Youth Program, as well as St. Paul’s School in Congers, NY as a Teachers Aide for their Pre-K class. She has also spent 4 years as a full time nanny.

She has always had a passion for teaching and is working towards her degree in Education. 

Courtney considers Montessori methods especially beneficial because they allow teachers to reach students at their own level and foster independence and confidence. 

She desires to help children reach their potential and guide them toward meaningful growth. 

She is so excited to join the Mindful Montessori team and can’t wait to meet all the students and their families! 

Tanya Moya  Montessori Teacher's assistant
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Tanya is a dedicated professional with a diverse background in administration, production coordination, and sales support. With a passion for education and child development, Tanya is thrilled to join the Mindful Montessori team as teaching assistant.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Tanya brings a deep personal commitment to advocacy for special needs children, gained through her role as a devoted advocate for a family member since 2014. This firsthand experience has provided her with invaluable insights into the challenges and joys of providing therapy and care for children with special needs.

With a genuine appreciation for the importance of nurturing young minds, Tanya draws inspiration from her role as a loving parent to two wonderful children. This parental perspective has deepened her understanding of the trust and responsibility involved in caring for children and supporting their development.

As a Montessori teaching assistant, Tanya aims to leverage her personal experiences as a parent, alongside her professional skills, to create a positive and enriching educational experience for all students. She firmly believes in recognizing and celebrating the unique strengths and talents of each child, fostering an environment where they feel seen, heard, and valued.

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