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 Piña was determined to find the right educational system for her daughter. In 2008 she discovered Montessori at a beautiful small private school and 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, Jessica 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 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. Miss Piña is certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).

Jessica completed her Elementary Montessori training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas receiving her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma. In February of 2013, Jessica founded “Stichting Montessori School Aruba” and founded Nos Fortalesa Montessori School in June 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 first hand 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. Jahaira is Montessori certified for ages 9-12 and as of January 2017 has officially become the upper elementary (age 9-12) lead teacher.

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 I studied to become a teacher (PABO), but she always knew that she would one day settle at the place she considers home – Aruba. Her many experiences as a teacher 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.

As of August 2019 she has been working at Nos Fortalesa Montessori while studying to become a Certified Montessori Guide. Cecely is currently is a co-guide in both the lower and upper elementary level. Cecely will add an accredited Montessori certification (Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging) to her already impressive teaching certifications in August of 2020.

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 North American Montessori certification on Aruba and at the moment she is completing another Montessori Teacher Training (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 will be the guide in the primary as of August 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 2 years Teaching experience. Her 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 and credibility 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.


Linsy Hunt is 28 years old and she was 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 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 about the Montessori Method and knew she would love to teach and learn more about it. At the beginning of 2020 she has been taking the NAMC Primary Montessori Teacher Training and will complete this training and become Montessori certified end of October 2020. She feels motivated to keep learning and growing in the Montessori community and is has been working as the primary Assistant Teacher since August of 2020.

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