Head of School
Primary & Elementary Directress
Diane is our Head of School and has been teaching Elementary children in the Montessori classroom for over 20 years. Her Master’s Degree is interdisciplinary in both Psychology and Special Education. Her thesis focused upon Alternative Educational Programs for Exceptional Children. Diane also holds certification in “Family Development” through Cornell University. After working in the Montessori classroom for several years, Diane began her formal Montessori training at CME (Center for Montessori Education) at the College of New Rochelle, New York. For two years, she participated in the Summer Internship Program for Early Childhood, ages 3-6. Diane then received both her Lower and Upper Montessori Elementary certification through the North American Montessori Center in November 2006. She is a member of the American Montessori Society, Association Montessori International and the International Montessori Council. Diane remains dedicated to providing ongoing training to all of the CMMS teachers and support staff in the Montessori theory, methods and curriculum to ensure authentic Montessori practices are followed at all times. Diane also enjoys leading the children through weekly Pilates sessions.
Born and raised in Germany, Reingard attended Albrecht-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg where she earned her Staatsexamen I, or Masters Degree equivalent, in English and Biology. She has over 15 years of Montessori training and classroom experience as a Preschool and Elementary directress. Reingard received her Montessori certification through the North American Montessori Center. As our music teacher, Reingard has designed an amazing music program that includes Great Composers, musical notation, theory, rhythm & movement and much more! She gives one-on-one lessons on violin, keyboards, recorder and cello. Reingard also designed and implemented a German language course...Montessori style of course!
Primary & Elementary Directress
Janine was born and raised in Germany and has been living in Auburn for 14 years.
She holds a degree in early childhood education from the Fröbelseminar in Kassel, Germany as well as a masters degree in social work and social education from the University in Kassel. During her studies, she focused on helping children and adults to relax and thrive through creative activities. Janine has eight years classroom experience as an early childhood educator, one year experience as a preschool directress and 25 years of experience as an art teacher/ craft instructor (silk painting, paper making, mixed art, jewelry making, origami…) for different age groups.
Janine is a passionate crafter who loves to share. While crafting with children she fosters
process–focused art. Children who feel able to experiment and explore while being creative are motivated to invent new ways of thinking, which extends well beyond the craft room.
Primary Assistant Directress
Amy has been teaching music to CNY youth since graduating with her Masters in Music from Binghamton University in 2007. She owns and operates Amy Bellamy's Vocal Studio where she teaches voice and piano lessons to people of all ages and skill levels. She has also taught at Cayuga Community College since 2007. She is the president and founding board member of Hope and Harmony Performing Arts Center and artistic director for Glee Musical Theater Camp. This is Amy's second year having the pleasure of teaching music at Creative Minds Montessori School, St. Joseph's Catholic School and JP II Academy.
Music and Vocal Teacher
Florence Smith (Honorary Montessorian)
Florence attended Brooklyn College, University of Maine and Syracuse University School of Social Work. She served as the Director of Social Services at the Cayuga County Dept. of Social Services for 22 years before her “retirement” in 1985. Florence has volunteered at Literacy Volunteers, as a nursing home ombudsman, hospice worker and community-wide dialogue volunteer.She is widely known as the “bread-lady” teaching our children how to make their very own breads and assorted baked goods each week. She also teaches Practical Life skills to all of our students.
Practical Life Consultant