Our Faculty

“As we observe children, we see the vitality of their spirit, the maximum effort put forth in all they do, the intuition, attention and focus they bring to all life’s events, and the sheer joy they experience in living.”

—Maria Montessori; The Child, Society and the World 

Jessica Piña

Founder and

Director

Jessica Piña has been working in the Montessori education since 2008 and is looking forward to many more years of learning and growing in the Montessori community. After becoming a mother herself, Jessica was determined to find the right educational system for her daughter. In 2008 she discovered Montessori at a beautiful small private school, immediately fell in love and knew this was the right system for her and her daughter. Even though enrollment at a private school was not possible for her daughter, she knew this was something she wanted in their lives, forever. So Jessica decided to apply for the assistant’s position at this school and to her delight, the position was hers and thus began her Montessori journey.

After being involved in the Montessori Education for almost 5 years in 2013, having received her primary then her elementary Montessori Teaching certification in the Montessori education, Miss Piña decided it was time the island of Aruba got to know and experience more of Montessori and in particular, Montessori Elementary Years, also known as Cosmic Education. Jessica Piña is certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).

Jessica started her Elementary Montessori Teacher Training in 2011 and completed her training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas, receiving her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma in July of 2013. In February of 2013, Jessica founded “Stichting Montessori School Aruba” and founded Nos Fortalesa Montessori School in June of 2017.

Jahaira Piña

Assistant Director and Lead Upper Elementary Teacher

Jahaira Piña has been working with and serving children from ages 0-12 ever since 2006. But her passion for the work with children started in 2003, this is when she began her studies and has now her bachelors degree in “Sociaal Pedagogisch Hulpverlening” (social work) which she completed in 2007 at the “Haagse Hogeschool” located in Holland.

Jahaira’s interest and knowledge of the Montessori Method of Education started when she was living in Holland. There, she experienced firsthand how important it was to offer children a child centered education with hands on materials. Her interest got stronger when she moved to Aruba in 2012 and saw the need for a Montessori Elementary education on her native island.

In 2015 she started her journey at our school as a teaching assistant while she was taking her Montessori Teacher Training and has successfully completed her training late 2016. Jahaira is Montessori certified for ages 9-12 and as of January 2017 has officially become the upper elementary (age 9-12) lead teacher and since January 2019, she is also the assistant director.

Cecely Zievinger
Lower and Upper Elementary Guide/Co-Guice

Cecely Zievinger has been working in the education field now for about 14 years. During her years in Holland while studying to become a traditional teacher (PABO), she knew that she would one day settle at the place she considers home – Aruba. Her many experiences as a teacher, both in Holland and Aruba, have lead her to pursuing a career as a Montessori teacher.

Cecely has had the privilege of working with students between of 6 and 15 years old. She was an elementary school teacher for 7 years as well as a special education teacher for 6 years specializing in educating children with learning difficulties. About 4 years ago she visited a Montessori classroom for the first time and instantly fell in love. After just one morning of observation she was sold. Her search was over and had finally found what she was looking for in education.

In August of 2019, she officially started her Montessori Teacher journey and she has been working at Nos Fortalesa Montessori while studying to become a Certified Montessori Guide. Cecely recently completed her Teacher Training by Vivid Onderwijs (Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging) adding to her already impressive teaching certifications. Cecely is currently a co-guide in both the lower and upper elementary level.

Bonita Biljard
Primary and Lower Elementary Guide

Bonita Biljard came to Aruba 21 years ago after completing her Pabo in Holland. She started working as a teacher on this beautiful island and has taught at the traditional schools as well as Montessori programs on the island. Teaching children is her passion. She would not want to do any different work, she would always choose to teach/guide children which she has been doing now for 20 plus years with love and dedication.

She got her Pabo diploma in the Netherlands and her 6-9 Montessori Teaching certification in 2017. Bonita just completed another Montessori Teacher Training, by Vivid Onderwijs (Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging)

Why Montessori education? Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian pediatrician and visionary educator who founded the method, believed that when children are given the freedom to choose their own learning activities a self-confident, interested, creative child appears.

Bonita has been working at Nos Fortalesa Montessori School since August of 2019 in the lower elementary class and is currently the lead guide of our primary program and has had this position since August of 2020.

Kimesha Thompson

Elementary Assistant Teacher and English Language Teacher

“My ultimate aim in life is to be the best I can be at the things I’m good at. These things, I always tell myself, must be beneficial to the people I come in contact with, especially children. They must bring a sense a security and trust, happiness, and hope.”

Kimesha loves to teach and pass on her wisdom and knowledge to receiving curious minds. She was lucky enough to practice her skills for a short time.

Kimesha is service oriented with an 8 year background in the Hospitality Industry and is has her degree in English Business Communication. Kimesha has 3 years Teaching experience 2 of which have been in Montessori. Kimesha’s core competencies include: attention to details, service orientation, and being a team player. Kimesha has excellent communication and time management skills and is a highly motivated individual who will add integrity to any place in the school.

She completed her Montessori Lower Elementary Teacher Training from NAMC in January of 2018 and has been working as an assistant/English Guide in the lower elementary since March 2018. Kimesha is now a Co-guide in the lower elementary class and has had this position since May of 2020

Linsy Hunt Primary Assistant

Linsy Hunt as born and raised in Aruba. In 2012 Linsy completed her “MBO” degree at EPI ‘Salubridad y Servicio’ where she gained a lot of knowledge and experience working with young children. From August of 2012 till June 2017 she lived in the Netherlands (Tilburg) and studied ‘Pedagogue’ at Fontys Hogeschool Pedagogiek. She has done multiple internships in Holland throughout those years at various schools, including Montessori schools. One of them was at ‘De Elzen Montessori School’ where she was impressed with the alternative education system where the kids were independent, disciplined and motivated to learn at their own pace. Her last internship was at “Spel aan Huis’, where she helped parents and their children by using the sensorial materials on how they can educate their children the best way. Since then she became very intrigued by the Montessori Method, she knew she would love to teach and learn more about it. She started her Primary Montessori Teacher Training at the NAMC and completed her training in October of 2020. Linsy is very motivated to keep learning and growing in the Montessori community and has been working as the primary Assistant Teacher since August of 2020.

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