Our Staff

“A Guide, Not a Teacher” – Maria Montessori

Montessori staff is not in the classroom to ‘instruct’ students in the traditional sense. They guide the child in choosing learning materials that are both appealing and challenging to the child, based upon their abilities, interests, and previously mastered lessons. Once a child has received a lesson on any material, they are free to choose it as often as they like – each time gaining more skill and insight – until they have “mastered” the work and become disinterested. This cycle is similar to how a child chooses the same bedtime stories over and over again, memorizing each page, yet still enjoying the whole story.

All of Waves of Wonder staff is CPR & First Aid Certified. All have background checks as well, through Florida’s DCF (Department of Children and Families) and/or DOE (Department of Education).

We are lucky and proud of the qualified, loyal faculty and staff whose daily team efforts provide the strong foundation of our school:

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Director and Owner

Ms. Jennifer Bartolomeo leads the programs, administration and staff ensuring smooth operations and exceptional standard of education. She is an American Montessori Society certified teacher who has been with the school since its inception in 2009. She has taught the Toddler, Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary class. Mrs. Bartolomeo has been working in education since 2005 and has a degree from Florida International University in Psychology. She is completely bilingual in Spanish and English.

Teaching and children are her first and true passion, but in her spare time she also enjoys farm life, reading, and spending family time with her husband and son who also attends the school.



Infants

Ms. Cecilia is the Lead Infant Teacher bringing over 18 years of education experience to our school.  Previously, she was a Director of a Daycare and has worked extensively with Infants and 2 year olds. She is great at making all the infants smile and laugh. She is Bilingual in English and Spanish.

Outside of school hours she enjoys spending time on her boat, dancing, going to the beach and hosting BBQs with her family.



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Infants

Ms. Rosa is the Assistant Infant Teacher. Biography to follow.
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Toddlers

Ms. Maria is our Lead Toddler teacher. She has been adored by the Waves of Wonder children since 2014, when she started in the Primary class. Ms.Maria is NAMC Montessori Certified in Infants and Toddlers and is currently studying  Early Childhood Education at Florida SouthWestern State College. She is fluent in English and Portuguese.

She is a big fan of Disney and the spirit of Christmas. She also enjoys spending time at the beach.

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Toddlers

Ms. Tiffany is an assistant Toddler teacher. She has recently joined the WOW team. Previously, Ms. Tiffany has taught Asthma education for high risk elementary children and was a Program Assistant at a local summer academy. Ms. Tiffany has a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Nursing, Pediatric Primary Care, both from Vanderbilt University. Music is her passion and she really enjoys singing. Ms. Tiffany also likes to travel.
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Toddlers

Ms. G (Gehoveidys) is an Assistant Toddler Teacher & provides After School care. She joined our school in 2016. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. She has been attending Lorenzo Walker Technical College in Naples and is currently obtaining a GED. Her passion outside of child care is travelling.

Primary

Mrs. Tania is an Acting Lead Teacher in the Primary Classroom. She came to Waves of Wonder a year and a half ago from a private school in Miami, where she taught primary and sports. Ms. Tania has studied psychology, really enjoys art and is bilingual in English and Spanish. A fun fact is that she is terrified of lizards!

 

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Primary

Ms. Marci is the Lead Teacher in the Primary class. Ms. Marci is from Wisconsin where she attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh obtaining a Bachelor in Elementary Education and minor in Spanish. After graduating, Ms. Marci moved to Illinois and started working as a teacher assistant in a middle school with 6th and 8th grade. It was there she got her first lead teaching job as a 6th Grade Science and Language Arts teacher! After that, Ms. Marci moved to South Korea and worked in two different schools: one was an American School, Busan Foreign School, where she worked with kindergarten and 1st grade, the other school was an international school called the International School of Koje, where she worked as a 2nd grade teacher. After two years in Korea, it was time to come home. Ms. Marci took a job with Collier County and moved to Florida! She was a 4th grade teacher for 3 years. Ms. Marci and her husband have a beautiful daughter, Mila, a spunky dog, Charlie, and a newborn baby boy, Matisse !
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Primary

Ms. Maria Luisa is the Assistant Teacher in the Primary Classroom. Ms. Maria has a natural talent and passion for child care coupled with experience as an after-care teacher in the public school system and three years at Dolphin Club prior to that.  Ms. Maria is currently studying Dental Hygiene at Florida Southwestern State College. In her free time she enjoys going to the beach and rollerblading. Ms. Maria also loves traveling to discover and experience new places. If Ms. Maria’s name sounds familiar, it is because her sister, Ms. Maria, is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler classroom.
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Lower Elementary

Ms. Rachel is the Lead Lower Elementary Teacher. She has been with Waves of Wonder for over three years now, previously working in the Toddler classroom at WOW and prior to that working with children with learning disabilities. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ms. Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a big proponent of the Montessori approach and continues to be amazed by her students’ daily achievements and the various ways that each student learns. In her spare time, Ms. Rachel loves the Florida sun, enjoys local events and spending time with her family.
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Lower Elementary

Ms. Pam is our Assistant Lower Elementary Teacher and has been with Waves of Wonder for 2 years. She has over 10 years teaching experience. Prior to joining Waves of Wonder, Ms. Pam taught grade 2, 3 and middle school at Baltimore Public School in Maryland and at a local private school in Naples. She has a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and Sociology. Outside of school hours, Ms. Pam enjoys gardening, reading and travelling.

Upper Elementary

Ms. Tamara is the Upper Elementary Lead Teacher. She has been with Waves of Wonder for 7 years teaching the toddler, primary and for the last couple of years elementary children. She is a Montessori certified teacher by the NAMC (North American Montessori Center) and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Ms. Tamara really enjoys watching her students expanding their natural curiosity and challenging themselves academically. In her spare time, Ms. Tamara enjoys reading, and spending time with her family, which includes her youngest, who attends Waves of Wonder in the Primary program.
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Upper Elementary

Ms. Linda is our Assistant Upper Elementary Teacher and has been with Waves of Wonder for over two years. Previously, Ms. Linda taught Pre-K4, First Grade and Third Grade for 24 years at Saint Ann Catholic School in Old Naples.  Ms. Linda has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from University of South Florida.  Ms.Linda  is also a Six Trait Writing certified teacher and possesses the Tribes Teacher (Holistic Learning) certification from Kansas City, Missouri. Naturally, Ms. Linda uses this experience to teach our elementary students art and creative writing. Ms. Linda’s hobbies include painting, swimming, Tides Club and caring for her pet birds – a talking Cockatoo named Roxanne and two Parakeets named Topaz and Celeste.





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Administrator & Substitute Teacher

Ms. Andrea recently moved back to Naples with her three children who are all attending Waves of Wonder. She previously lived in the area while attending Ave Maria University graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor in Classics and Early Christian Literature. Ms. Andrea also earned her Masters in Teaching with a focus on elementary education and English as a second language at Rollins College in 2012. She taught second grade and preschool before staying home with her children for the past few years. Ms. Andrea’s interests include running, reading, baking, and spending time with her family. She is very excited to be a part of the staff at Waves of Wonder and looks forward to getting to know the families here.
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Teacher's Assistant & After School Care

Mr. Mark Upon completing a B.S. in Criminal Justice at Florida Gulf Coast University, he discovered his passion for education and joined Waves of Wonder in 2016. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. In his spare time Mr. Mark enjoys sports, and has an interest in science and technology. He also enjoys travel and is looking forward to visiting Spain.

Healthy Lunches

Mr. Guillermo is our School Chef. For the last 6 years he has been helping various schools feed the kids nutritious and tasty meals. He truly has a desire and a love for cooking. Seeing the children enjoy what he has created for them makes him happy!

His hobbies reflect his work and are centered on none other than food, food and BBQing while spending quality time with his family. Mr. Guillermo’s twins attend Waves of Wonder’s Upper Elementary class.





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