Meet the MCS RI Staff and Board of Directors
"When there have been roadblocks or challenges for our child, the MCS RI staff has worked with us to identify and carry out solutions that have broadened our parenting perspective and have gotten us onto the next steps." -MCS RI Parent
Amy Borak, Founder and Head of School
Amy spends her days at MCS RI overseeing the school and classroom culture, observing each classroom, coaching MCS RI's teachers and managing the day to day operations of the school, while planning for its long term strategic vision. It is of utmost importance to Amy that MCS RI is a community that recognizes and cultivates the innate goodness within each child, family, and staff member. Amy is an experienced Montessori educator and social worker with over 20 years of experience woking with children and families. She holds an Infant/Toddler Montessori credential, completed the 3-6 y/o Montessori training and earned her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work in 2004. Amy welcomes phone call inquiries, emails, and visits. Please be in touch!
Karina Fagan, Toddler Lead Instructor
Karina joined MCS RI as the Lead Toddler Teacher in September 2018. She is a trained Montessori Toddler and Primary teacher with over 12 years of Montessori experience with children ages 18 months to 6 years old. She is a former foster parent, a new mom, a lover of children, and a former MCS RI board member. Karina is honored to be a part of the team of educators at MCS RI.
Karina is originally from Brazil and holds a bachelor degree in accounting. Despite working as an accountant full time in her home country, Karina always found time to volunteer at local orphanages and schools. She has come to the US as an au pair back in 2004; at the time her host family had 5 children, ranging in ages from newborn to 5 years old. Through her work with host families, she learned about the Montessori method and found that its believes aligned very well with her own, so becoming a Montessori teacher was a natural next step.
Marissa Brodie, Primary Co-Lead
Marissa will be returning for her sixth year at MCS RI as the Co-Lead in the Primary room. Marissa enjoys working with children to cultivate and foster their own unique gifts. She is a lover of learning herself and brings that spirit to all she does and MCS RI. In addition to completing her training as a Montessori Primary guide, Marissa earned her M.Ed in Early Childhood Education and holds her state certification in RI. She is honored to be a part of the growing team at MCSRI!
Candice McLean, Primary Co-Lead
Candice is one of the Co-Lead Preschool Teachers, who has recently joined the Montessori Community School of Rhode Island team. In 2006, she graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Psychology. Since graduating she has been working in the Early Childhood field for 11 years. From a very young age, Candice has known she wanted to be a teacher. She enjoyed playing school as a child, and loved her real life school experience. It was during a stay in France that set her decision to be a teacher, in stone. As a foreign exchange student, she was given the opportunity to teach English to a group of young children, and the rest is history. Over the course of her career, Candice has helped set and nurture the learning foundation of hundreds of children. Her greatest joys have been establishing connections with children and watching them reach their full potential. As a former resident of Providence’s South Side, it has always been her dream to go back and teach the children of her childhood community. With the help of Montessori Community School of Rhode Island she is once again able to fulfill this dream.
Shanell (Nellie) Cuddy, Primary Assistant and Roots and Wings Lead Instructor
Nellie is very excited to be joining the Montessori Community School of Rhode Island team this year as the 3-6 Assistant teacher and After School Lead Instructor. Nellie is new to the Montessori world, however, has worked in the education field in different capacities for almost 10 years! While at Ithaca College, she volunteered at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was an opportunity of a lifetime. After graduating, she came to Rhode Island by way of Americorps and now calls Providence home. She brings fun, positive, energy to those around her and can’t wait to share it with children. Nellie is a big kid at heart, and is eager to learn and grow alongside her students. She is passionate about incorporating music and kinesthetics into learning and is looking forward to bringing the two together.
Victoria (Tori) Beckett Lead Infant Teacher
Tori, originally from CT, adores Rhode Island and it’s diverse communities and environments. She is a double alumna of the University of Rhode Island, with a BS in Child Psychology and BS in Marine Biology in 2017 and an MS in Human Development and Family Studies Developmental Science with a concentration in Early Childhood Education Management in 2019. She has been working with children and families in a variety of capacities for the past decade. She is incredibly excited for the opportunity to join MCS RI, to learn more about the Montessori philosophy, and to get to know the families in our community.
Marishell Mata, Assistant Toddler Teacher
Marishell was born in New York and shortly moved to Dominican Republic. Her family came to RI when she was 3 years old. She grew up on the South Side of Providence, in the same neighborhood that the school is in. She feels a strong connection with the community around us. This past year she graduated from Rhode Island College (RIC) with a Bachelor’s in Youth Development with a concentration in Spanish and Psychology. She loves working with young children because she believes that they are our future. She also loves reading and learning new things. Marishell served as MCS RI’s intern from RIC during the 2018-2019 school year and is excited to join the team in a full time role this school year.
Gina Marciano, Director of Operations
Gina joined MCS RI in August of 2015. As the Director of Operations she supports Amy in the business management of the school. Her role involves a diverse set of activities including: Finance & Accounting, Administration, Development, Marketing, and Human Resources. Gina has over 10 years of experience in the field of nonprofit program management. Prior to joining MCS RI she spent five years managing a training center that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their business goals. She has dedicated her career to working for nonprofit organizations that promote social and economic justice through breaking down barriers to accessing education. She has lived and traveled extensively abroad in Latin America and speaks Spanish fluently. Gina holds an MBA from Babson College, a BBA in Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a graduate of the Harborlight Montessori School in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Board of Directors
Amy Borak- President/Founder
Ruth Corley- Board Chair
Kevin Darrow- Vice Chair
Stephanie Preston- Treasurer
Sharice Enis- Secretary
Olatunde Kamson - Member
Colleen O’Donnell - Member
Aarin B Clemons- Member
Laquia Anthony- Member
Sarah Arnsten - Member
Lindsey Brickle - Member