Staff & Board of Trustees


Deba Dunn Palma

Head of School

Deba joined Thacher in 2000. She holds AMI and AMS diplomas at the Children's House and Lower Elementary levels, respectively, and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Goddard College in Vermont.

Deba has over 30 years of administrative and teaching experience in Montessori schools. Prior to her Montessori work, Deba owned and trained horses, was a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and a partner in a political consulting firm in Texas. She currently breeds, trains and sells AKC Labrador Retrievers. Deba’s daughter attended Montessori schools from Toddler through graduation.

Michelle Seyller

Assistant Head of School

Michelle has worked at Thacher Montessori School since 2004. She holds an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE), an AMS Primary diploma from Northeast Montessori Institute (NMI), a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern University and an Ed.M. from Endicott College. She taught in Thacher’s Children’s House Program for over a decade prior to moving full time into administration. Michelle is the daughter of a longtime Montessori educator and is passionate about Montessori Education. She and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents two Thacher alumni

Peter Brown

Business Manager

Peter has worked in non-profit management and finance for more than 20 years and has a professional diploma from the UK's Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). He served as the executive director of the Free Software Foundation (Boston) for six years. Peter has also been a director of New Internationalist Trust, and worked in London for BBC Network Radio. Peter and his wife Alison have two sons and enjoy family hikes in the Blue Hills.

Andrea Dietrich

Director of Information Technology & Social Media

Since graduating from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Andrea has worked in computer software and IT support. She joined our community prior to her daughter Carmen's Thacher graduation in 2009. Andrea enjoys riding her bike to work as well as windsurfing, crew, yoga and skiing.

Mary Saunders

Office Manager

Mary has over four years of experience working with children and in for-profit administrative positions, including eight years at Pinewood Lodge Campground (Plymouth). Most recently, she has been a nanny/caretaker for three families in the area. Mary has a B.A. in psychology from Emmanuel College.

Angela Sicuranza

Admissions Specialist

Angela has seven years of experience in preschool teaching, child care, and administration. She was the assistant director of Bright Horizons in Allston and a Children's House Lead Guide at Thacher. Angela holds a B.A. in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has an AMI primary guide certification from Montessori Training Center Northeast and a Master of Early Childhood Education diploma with a concentration in Montessori education.

Vicky Varnum

Assistant Business Manager

Vicky grew up in Colombia, South America. She studied Psychology in Colombia, and in 2011 finished her double major degrees in Business and Psychology at Curry College in Milton. Vicky misses teaching Spanish at Thacher but loves working in the business office and being a part of the Thacher community. She has 3 children and loves biking, hiking, camping and exploring new places with her family. She also enjoys swimming, writing, photography, and making scrapbooks to preserve memories.

Toddler Guides

Clarissa Robyn

Toddler Lead Guide

Clarissa has 14 years of teaching and administrative experience, including 11 years of experience in Montessori programs. Most recently, she was the lead primary guide at Copper Beech Montessori School and the founder of Pond View Montessori School in her home. Clarissa holds a B.A. in dance from Point Park University (Pittsburgh) and an AMS primary certification from NEMTEC (Newton).

Samantha Campanella

Toddler Assistant

Sam grew up in an in-home childcare program run by her Mother. She graduated from Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical High School. Sam earned her Assistant Preschool Teacher Certificate and worked for several years with preschoolers and kindergartners. She is pursuing her college education by attending classes at Massasoit Canton campus for Early Education & Administration. Samantha enjoys spending her free time with her niece and other family members.

Kasia Savill

Toddler Assistant

Kasia graduated from University of Massachusetts in 2007 with a Bachelors degree in Sociology. She has been with Thacher since 2007. In her spare time time she enjoys gardening, decorating, boating and outdoor activities. Kasia loves to spend as much time as possible with her family.

Children's House Guides

Donna Ryan

Children's House B Assistant

This is Donna's tenth year as children's house assistant. Prior to her employment at Thacher she worked many years in the food service industry. Donna attended Saint Joseph's College in Maine and received a B.A in history. She enjoys cooking, working out and bicycling in her free time.

Heather Berger

Children's House B Lead Guide

Heather graduated from Bridgewater State with her B.A. in English, and soon after took a position as an Assistant in a Montessori classroom. After assisting for two years, she moved to Maryland where she completed her AMI Primary training at the Washington Montessori Institute and received her M.Ed. through Loyola University. In her spare time, Heather enjoys being outside, reading, and practicing yoga. Heather lives in Norfolk with her husband, son, and border collie.

Carla Moore

Children's House C Lead Guide

Carla has a B.A. in Developmental Psychology from New York University and a dual Masters in mental health counseling and school counseling from Lesley University. She holds an AMS Primary diploma from Northeast Montessori Institute and an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center Northeast. Carla has taught in several Montessori schools, one of which was in India where she spent three years developing a Montessori classroom in an international school. Carla returned to Thacher in 2005. She loves bicycling, knitting, and cooking and baking vegan food.

Brittany Reppucci

Children's House C Assistant

Brittany has been working with children for over 8 years and obtained her CDA from Ashworth College. She also has experience in early education. Brittany loves outdoor activities - in particular going to the beach, hiking and horseback riding. She also enjoys spending time with her family and close friends.

Michele Burgess

Children's House D Lead Guide

Michele holds a B.A. in Fine Art & Anthropology from Montclair State University and a Post Baccalaureate Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She has her Primary AMI Certification from the Montessori Training center of New England. Her interests include visiting museums & galleries, hiking, running and camping.

Margaret Ward

Children's House D Assistant

Margaret (Meg) Ward was born and raised in Arlington, VA and graduated in the spring of 2016 from the University of Mary Washington. She moved up to Massachusetts during the following summer and started at Thacher in August. Meg has experience in both general and special education programs in Washington D.C., Virginia, and San Francisco. She has always loved working in education and plans to head back to graduate school for her masters in education in the fall of 2017. Meg enjoys the outdoors, baking, music, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.

Lower Elementary Guides

Rosemary Connor

Lower Elementary A Assistant

Rosemary began her career at Thacher in 1984. She attended the University of Massachusetts and Quincy College. Rosemary has four children, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren with whom she loves to spend time. She enjoys exercising, cooking, photography and independent films.

Jill DesRoches

Lower Elementary B Lead Guide

Originally from New Brunswick, Canada, Jill moved to the Boston area to be part of Thacher Montessori in 2009. Before discovering Montessori, Jill taught in public school. She completed her Montessori training for ages 6 – 12 from the Toronto Montessori Institute in Ontario. She also holds an Elementary Education Degree and Masters of Education Degree with a concentration in Montessori. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband and traveling back to Canada to visit family and friends.

Bridget McConville

Lower Elementary B Assistant

Bridget graduated from Curry College in 2017 with a B.A. in School Aged Education. While attending Curry College she was introduced to Thacher Montessori school as a student teacher. She likes to spend her free time around animals, family and friends.

Stephen Gay

Lower Elementary C Lead Guide

Stephen was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. He has been an elementary teacher most of his professional life. Stephen graduated from UMass, Amherst in 1985 with a certification in Early Childhood Education, K – 3. He discovered Montessori in 1999 teaching at the Children’s House level in Springfield, Massachusetts where he wrote the school song. After moving to Chicago for five years he completed his Lower Elementary Montessori Certificate. Stephen’s special interests include nature studies, gardening, international studies, music and drama.

Kristin Drozek

Lower Elementary C Assistant

Kristin has a Bachelor's Degree from Stonehill College and her AMS certification at the Children's House level. She enjoys painting, baking and spending every moment with her sons, family and friends.

Upper Elementary Guides

Asha Park-Carter

Upper Elementary A Lead Guide

Asha hails from Lawrence, KS and came to Massachusetts to attend Smith College, where she majored in the Study of Women and Gender and minored in Education. She has a Masters in Education from University of Massachusetts Boston through the Boston Teacher Residency program. She taught preschool in special education and inclusion settings in public school for several years before discovering Montessori education. She earned her AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas from Montessori Northwest. She enjoys rock climbing, hiking, walks with her dog, museums, and reading books over coffee.

Sophia Gregoriadis

Upper Elementary A Assistant

Sophia is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors in Music. She worked as an elementary assistant as well as a primary music teacher. She is currently obtaining a business degree. Sophia enjoys singing, dancing, baking, the beach, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Amy Smith

Upper Elementary B Lead Guide

Amy has been with Thacher since 2008. She received her BA in Psycho-biology from Wellesley College in 1994. After graduation Amy moved about the country finally settling in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Upon her return to the Boston area Amy began her Montessori training and graduated with an AMI Elementary level diploma from the Montessori Training Center of New England in Hartford CT. Amy spends her free time with her three children and enjoys playing dominoes and baking.

Rachael Lyon Thomas

Upper Elementary B Assistant

Rachael holds a B.F.A. in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her past experience includes working with at risk teens, teaching K-3 art, and extensive customer service training through Northeastern University. Her interests include gardening, hiking, and camping as well as jewelry making and ceramics.

Adolescent Program Guides

Adam Percy

Adolescent Program Co-Lead Guide & Director of Alumni Relations and Secondary School Placement

Adam graduated from Vermont's Saint Michael's College in 2007, with a B.A. in Political Science. After college, Adam spent 2007-2009 as an Americorps volunteer, working with City Year Boston and Playworks Boston. Adam came to Thacher in 2009, teaching Humanities in the AP. He completed his NAMTA Adolescent Training in the Summer of 2010. Adam spends his summers as an activity head at summer camp. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and going for walks through the Arnold Arboretum. He currently lives in Roslindale.

Carolyn “Griff” Griffiths

Adolescent Program Co-Lead Guide

Carolyn "Griff" Griffiths holds a B.A. in politics from Bates College and an M.A. in adventure education from Prescott College. She has also completed the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies. She has over five years of experience in outdoor/wilderness education with middle and high school students.


Renay Bane

Art Specialist

Renay has six years of Montessori classroom experience, starting in an elementary classroom at Bay Farm Montessori and then as a Children's House lead guide at The Inly School. Renay did Montessori training at the Northeast Montessori Institute, and she holds a B.A. in fine arts from Bridgewater State University. When not painting and sculpting, Renay can be found on outdoor adventures with her family and her dog Briggs.

Sally Fitzgerald

Math and Science Specialist

Sally received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of New Hampshire, attended graduate courses in education at New York University and San Francisco State, and has a Massachusetts teaching certificate. Prior to coming to Thacher Sally worked at Sacred Heart High School, Dana Hall, and Eliot Montessori. She likes to garden, hike, run, camp, and read.

Victor McSurely

Music Specialist

Victor left a full-time position as a musician with Boston's Blue Man Group to teach at Thacher. During that time Victor also facilitated the Guitar Circle New England. He was an active participant in Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft school where he received much of his music training (he is the only authorized instructor of this work in New England). He studied Voice privately with Berklee College of Music professor Charlie Sorrento and studied Rhythm with well known Jazz drummer Bob Moses. He is certified by Musik Garten to teach music to young children and has been trained in the Montessori Music Curriculum as assembled by Anna Maria Maccheroni. He is an enthusiast of analog recording, taiko drumming and enjoys improvisational guitar work in various ensembles.

Mario Santiago

Spanish Specialist

Mario Santiago has 15 years of experience teaching Spanish in the greater Boston area. He studied Cultural Anthropology and Spanish Studies at University of Massachusetts, Boston. Mario also studied guitar at Berklee College of Music, and has been performing with his trio "Radio Mambo" since the late 90s in California and Massachusetts. Mario also enjoys playing soccer, reading and singing on
weekends with his family.

Todd Sullivan

Physical Education Specialist

Todd is a graduate of Springfield College where he studied Physical Education and Sports Journalism. Among many other hobbies, Todd loves basketball and music collecting. He is also an active participant in his community.

Support Staff

Melanie Colby

Children’s House Aftercare Assistant

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Music from Montclair State University, where she majored in Music Education. After college Melanie spent a considerable time teaching instrumental music in New Jersey schools. Her passion for the environment led her to teaching the importance of environmental and music education as an educator for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater which was founded by folk musician Pete Seeger. In 2016 she co-founded her own non-profit called Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids (OPAK) which provides marine science and art education workshops for schools and summer camps in Southeastern Massachusetts. Melanie loves singing, playing the ukulele, and taking nature walks with her new puppy Zola.

Anne-Marie Dubeau

Elementary/AP Aftercare Coordinator

Anne-Marie has a Bachelors Degree in Art Education from University of Massachusetts. She has tutored children from elementary school through college for over 20 years as well as adults preparing for the GED. Anne-Marie enjoys reading and healthy baking. She also loves to travel, talk long walks, star-gaze and share her love of nature with her son and daughter.

Steve Genchauskas

Facilities Manager

Steve graduated from New England Labors Academy and was an executive chef in California for 10 years. After returning to New England he worked for Bickfords Family restaurants for 24 years. Steve lives on the Cape with his large family on a small farm. He enjoys shell fishing and handyman repair work.

William Kelly

Cleaning Coordinator

Bill retired after 37 years with UPS. He lives with his family in Randolph MA and has 6 grandchildren (aka Papa Boo). Bill is an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan.

Kelley Beach

Academic Support Services

Prior to Thacher, Kelley worked in a variety of elementary schools throughout the greater Boston area. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus in English and Elementary Education from Merrimack College, acquired a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Teacher from Fitchburg State College, and completed a professional licensure program for Moderate Special Needs through Simmons College. Kelley has a Massachusetts teaching license in Elementary and Moderate Special Needs Education. Kelley's interests along side teaching include music, dance, theater, cooking and traveling. She is a true animal lover and is committed to being a loving auntie to her 2 nieces and nephew.

Sharyn Malnati

Aftercare Receptionist

Sharyn has a business and science degree from Bridgewater State University. She loves art and started her career as a cartographer and drafter. Sharyn worked as a receptionist/office manager for over 12 years, and maintained an active volunteering ethic for the past 18 years. She volunteered at her local library, was a Girl Scout leader, a religious school teacher, and volunteered in many capacities at her local schools and parent's groups. She is a vice president at her Temple and an active member of her town's public school music boosters group. When not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Margo Miller

Aftercare Assistant

Margo Miller is a passionate educator who has taught music in the Medfield Public Schools and in her home state of New Hampshire. She loves working with children and has also worked at the Cambridge Montessori School in the Primary and Elementary classrooms. She enjoys nature, hiking, cooking, arts and crafts, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Marshelle Mitchell

Toddler/CH Aftercare Coordinator

Marshelle has 25 years of experience in family services and the corporate world. Most recently, she has served as a dental assistant for Quincy Adam Dental Associates (Quincy, MA) and a dental assistant intern a Upham’s Corner Community Health Center (Boston). Marshelle has a dental assisting certificate from the Boston Career Institute. Over the last four years, Marshelle has also been a valued substitute at Thacher in the classroom and in the after care program.

Carolynn Moore


Carolynn grew up in Braintree, MA and still currently resides there with her husband, Mark, and three children, Audrey, Jaclynn and Ryan. She is Registered Nurse who graduated from the Brockton Hospital School of Nursing and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. Carolynn worked with the pediatric population for over 25 years. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and is an avid Patriots fan.

Kim Storch


Kim has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Bridgewater State University. She also has her Associate’s degree in early education. She owned a pre-school/daycare for 15 years. Kim sold that to pursue her passion… books! She opened a book store called Ugly Dog Books. Her passion continues here at Thacher. When not reading Kim is writing or painting. She writes a monthly column “Book Marked” in the Attleboro, Sun Chronicle newspaper. Kim has also self-published a book, in memory of her dad, “Footprints in the Snow". She is in the process of getting a work of fiction published. At home she lives with her husband and two boys Konrad and Koby. She also has 2 dogs, Thoreau and Kallie.

Estuardo Sandoval

Facilities Assistant

Estuardo has a strong background in facilities and maintenance work. He is originally from Guatemala and is studying theology at the Pastoral Center in Braintree to become a minister. He lives in Randolph with his family.

Board of Trustees

Marie Cora

Member of the Board

Marie Cora joined Thacher’s board after her daughter, Edie Alguero, graduated from the Adolescent Program in June 2017, heading to the Boston Arts Academy. Marie’s son, Paolo Alguero, is a Thacher alumnus. He graduated from The Newman School and will attend Cornell University in the fall. Marie earned both a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Marie has taught English as a second language in many locations, including Spain and Ecuador, and was Director of Language and Literacy Programs for the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University for eight years. For the past 13 years Marie has worked as an Independent Adult Basic Education Consultant for Hotspur Partners in Boston, MA.

Caren Demello

Member of the Board

Is there a doctor in the house? In the Thacher community there are quite a few, including one on the board. Now there’s a second – Caren, who agreed to become a trustee in 2017. She received her medical degree and training at Goa Medical College, one of India’s oldest medical institutions, nestled amidst the palm trees of tropical Bambolim in the southern part of the country. After coming to America in the early 2000s, Caren continued her studies at the George Washington University School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning master’s degrees in public health and epidemiology, a study of the causes, spread and effects of various diseases in general populations. Unsurprisingly, clinical research is where Caren has carved a career. Currently, she has three daughters attending Thacher and her fourth child, let’s just say is enjoying her pre-Thacher days. Caren says she delights in “seeing each of them grow at their own pace.” Thacher “has provided a safe environment and fostered independent thinking,” for her children. Her involvement as a volunteer at the school has been heavily in fundraising – as chair of the Teacher Parent Association in 2014-2015; and co-chair of the Spring gala in 2016-2017. Leisure isn’t in the vocabulary of any mother of four, but Caren somehow manages to pursue two side interests – swimming, and “reading a good book,” -- along with traveling with her family to various points of interest, including presumably the sandy beaches of Goa.

Judy Farley McFatter

Member of the Board

Judy joined the Thacher Board of Trustees in 2013. She has served as chair of the board’s governance committee. Judy received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Curry College and a Master of Science in nursing and care of children from The University of Pennsylvania and attended Georgetown University for bioethics. She loves being a nurse and has worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for over 30 years in various positions including clinical nurse specialist in neuroscience, director of nursing, and now human rights officer. She is an active member of Boston Children’s Hospital ethics advisory committee. Judy lives in Canton with her husband Russ and their children James, Marc and Kyle. James is a freshman at Wheaton College and a proud Thacher graduate (class of 2010), having attended Thacher from LEB through AP. Marc is a junior at The Newman School in Boston, and he is also a proud Thacher graduate (class of 2012), having attended Thacher from CH through AP. Kyle is in his ninth year at Thacher and is an enthusiastic student in our Adolescent Program. Judy enjoys spending time with her “guys”, and together they love to play board games, vacation on Cape Cod, ski, and take long walks with their dog Kronos.

Thom Greenlaw

Member of the Board

Thom holds a B.A. in organizational behavior from Lesley University (MA) and an M.A. in higher education administration from Boston College (MA). He has served over twenty years in varying senior roles in independent schools, including finance and development. As the chief operating officer of Ethel Walker School, Thom raised over $20 million in two years. Prior to his service at EWS he served as assistant head for operations/ CFO at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and business manager at the Dana Hall School. Thom served for four years as chair of the board of trustees at Summit Montessori School in Framingham, MA and as a board member of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA). Thom is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences. He recently authored the day school sustainability model for the National Business Officers Association, which serves 1000 member schools.

Paul Hutchinson


Paul joined the Thacher Board of Trustees in 2016. He has been a member of the finance committee since 2015, has recently become the chair of the buildings and grounds committee, and has also volunteered at the school in several ways over the prior years. Paul received his Electrical Engineering BS Degree from Northeastern University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2004. He is currently the general manager of a large electrical distribution company and has 25 years of experience in business management. Paul lives in Milton with his wife Gail and his daughter Julia. Julia is a 2017 Thacher graduate. Paul enjoys vacationing with his family, and is an avid skier and golfer.

Patricia Jackson

Member of the Board

Pat received both her Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Masters in Teaching degree from Simmons College. She began her teaching career at Old Colony Montessori in Hingham and received her Montessori training at Seacoast Center in Scituate. She holds a certificate for the 6-12 program. She joined Thacher's staff in 1993 and retired from teaching in 2017. Pat joined Thacher's board in 2018. She lives in Norwell with her husband, William, her daughter, Liz and her grandson, Will.

Abby Rosenberg

Member of the Board

Susan Ruiz

Member of the Board

Sue joined the board in 2017 and is chair of the Governance Committee. Sue enjoys volunteering at Thacher, and has served as TPA co-chair, TPA auction and events coordinator, recess volunteer, class parent, and Science Fair judge. Sue loves Thacher's commitment to Montessori philosophy and to the education of the whole child as an individual. Sue is grateful to have experienced a Montessori education herself in Children's House at Hudson Montessori School in Hudson, Ohio and in first through sixth grade at Messmore Elementary, a public Montessori school in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Sue holds an S.B. in Brain & Cognitive Sciences from MIT and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Boston University. She has 12 years of experience as a neuroradiology researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston University School of Medicine, and the VA Boston Healthcare System. Sue lives in Milton with her husband and their three children, all of whom are current Thacher students. Sue enjoys political activism, spending time in nature, and traveling the world with her family.

Susan Swift

Member of the Board

Susan Swift joined Thacher’s board in February 2017. Susan earned a BA at Hawthorne College and did graduate work at Bank Street College and the University of Massachusetts. She holds a Primary Certification from the American Montessori Society and she has been a Montessori educator for over 40 years. Susan taught at a variety of independent Montessori schools as a Children’s House teacher before heading a preschool/kindergarten Montessori program in the Holliston Public schools. Later, she served as Head of School at Julie Billiart’s Children’s House in Woburn and at the Montessori School of Northampton for 22 years before retiring in June of 2017. Susan is a founding member of Montessori Schools of Massachusetts; she has also given workshops and has worked as a Montessori consultant. She has visited Thacher many times over the years and loves the opportunity to be of support to another Montessori school.

Carl Treichel

Member of the Board

The board welcomed Carl Treichel as a new trustee in June 2017. Carl’s daughter, Neve, recently graduated from Thacher's Adolescent Program and is a freshman at Thayer Academy. Carl’s son, Miles, has completed his freshman year, taking all Honors courses at Thayer; he is also is a Thacher alumnus. Carl studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has worked at MEDITECH in Westwood, MA for over 30 years. He currently works as Senior Manager Development for Emerging Technologies, and is also a member of the MEDITECH Security Board, working on corporate security and risk mitigation.

1425 Blue Hill Avenue · Milton, MA 02186

Montessori Schools of Massachusetts
American Montessori Society
Association of Independent Schools of New England