Our Faculty

Meet the staff and faculty at Bridges Montessori.

Our Adminintration

Sally Padgett - Head of School
Sally Padgett

Ms. Padgett grew up attending a small Montessori school in South Florida. After receiving Master’s degrees in Family Therapy and Business Administration from Barry University and Florida Atlantic University, her true calling was to put it all together at Bridges where her boys attend. Before joining Bridges in January of 2007, Ms. Padgett was a Mental Health and Marriage Family Therapist and Marketing and Human Resource Coordinator.

Amber Resetar - Business Manager

Ms. Resetar received her B.B.A. in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and became a Certified Public Accountant in 2005. Ms. Resetar is a former business owner of Sweet Repeats in Stuart and a mother of two Bridges students.

Valorie York - Office Administrator

Ms. Valorie York joined Bridges as a parent and Classroom Ambassador in 2008. Ms. York is an invaluable member of our administrative team and always has a smiling face at our front desk. Ms. York is passionate about children and skin care and is a licensed aesthetician.


Infant and Toddler Faculty

Janet Shiller - Education Coordinator
Janet Schiller

Ms. Shiller has been an integral part of the Bridges family for over 2 decades! She began as our Infant and Toddler Directress in August of 1995 and hasn’t looked back since, currently serving as our Infant and Toddler Department Head. Ms. Shiller received her American Montessori Society Infant and Toddler Credential and has attended the Montessori Peace Education Academy. She has taken courses specifically on Interpersonal Behavior, Multiple Intelligences, Redirecting Children’s Behavior, and Conscious Discipline. Ms. Shiller’s five children have all attended Bridges, and she stated that “The education they received made a great impact on the way they learn and their enthusiasm for learning.”

Lauren Willinger - Lead Teacher Puffin

Lauren has professional experience with VPK, the Public-School system and Montessori. She has always gravitated towards Montessori philosophy and will never “go back.” In addition, she taught ballet to Pre-school children. Lauren’s major in college was Communication with a minor in Early Childhood Education. In addition to being Toddler Montessori certified, she is also certified for 3-6-year-old children. She is a member of the American Montessori Society. In her spare time Lauren can be found working out at Orange Theory since she also enjoys cooking and baking.

Veronica Vergara - Lead Teacher Chickadee

Veronica worked in Early Childhood Education for 4 years prior to joining the staff here at Bridges. She began as an Assistant Toddler teacher for 2 years before moving into a Lead teacher position. This will be Veronika’s third year as a Lead Toddler teacher. Veronica has a bachelor of The Classics degree and is Infant/Toddler Montessori certified. She is fluent in Tagalog and enjoys reading in her spare time.

Aschlei Baker - Lead Teacher Toucan

Aschlei has been practicing Montessori philosophy for 17 years and is Montessori certified. In addition, she is “Music Together” certified. Aschlei holds an A.A. degree. Her interests are diverse, and include weightlifting, gardening, kayaking, raising chickens, hiking, environmental conservation and reading.

Michelle Burton - Lead Teacher Sparrow

Michelle has been working in the Education field since 2007 and has been at Bridges since 2013. Michelle has completed coursework at both North American Montessori and I.R.C.C. She is the proud Mom of 2 young boys and enjoys scrapbooking, going to the beach and playing golf with her family. Michelle is a member of the American Montessori Society.

Primary Faculty

Megan Zeller - Lead Teacher Pelican

Megan started her Montessori career as a student! As an adult, she has 20 years of professional Montessori experience. She has held numerous positions, beginning years ago as an Assistant Teacher. Over the years, she has worked at Bridges, Turtle River and Ocean Montessori Schools in a variety of roles including Upper Elementary/Lower Elementary Department Head, and Head of School. Megan holds an A.A. degree in Elementary Education and a B.A. degree in Psychology. In addition, she is American Montessori Society certified for Lower Elementary Education. She is affiliated with the Wilson Foundation and the International Dyslexia Association. When she’s not teaching Megan loves spending time at the beach with her boys and watching them participate in basketball and the Jensen Beach H.S. Band.

Doreen Hassler - Lead Teacher Hummingbird

Doreen has been here at Bridges Montessori for 14 years. She has worked in multiple environments including Administration, Toddler, VPK and Primary. She was an Assistant Teacher in our Primary school for the past 10 years before moving into her new role as the Lead Teacher in Hummingbird. Doreen has her CDA and has Montessori certification for 3-6-year-old children. She has taken coursework through the Wilson Foundation. Doreen loves spending time with family and all things sports. She loves going to the beach, movies and reading. In addition, she loves organizing environments.

Meg Howe - Lead Teacher Blue Heron

Meg is a returning teacher to Bridges Montessori, and we’re thrilled. In addition to her 14 years of Montessori practice, she has experience working with Autistic children. She also started an In-home Montessori program for family. In addition to her Montessori certification for 3-6-year-old children she has taken coursework at San Francisco State College in Early Childhood Education. Meg is an adventure lover and enjoys skydiving, cliff jumping, swimming and camping. Her philosophy is Live, Laugh, Love.

Lower Elementary Faculty

Alyson Mann - Academic Dean, Elementary Directress

Ms. Mann has been with Bridges since it opened its doors in 1992. She began as our very first pre-primary directress. She later progressed to become our lead Junior Elementary Directress and is now Bridges’ Academic Dean and Elementary Directress. Before joining Bridges, Ms. Mann worked at Martin Downs Montessori and Summit Montessori. She is Montessori certified for birth-12, and is a member of the American Montessori Society. Ms. Mann grew up and received her training in Ireland. She enjoys sharing her culture with her students, especially Irish dancing.

Kyle Kohm - Lead Teacher Egrets (Second Grade)

Klye began his career teaching Environmental Studies in the Northeast. After about 10 years he began a more formal teaching experience in Fairfax VA, teaching 4th grade, where he stayed for several years. After enjoying some time as the “stay at home parent” for his two children he returned to the classroom here at Bridges. He has been with us at Bridges for 2 years. Kyle has a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida, and a Master in Elementary Education from the George Washington University. In addition, he is also Montessori certified in Lower Elementary Education, grades 1-3. He is affiliated with Integrated Language Arts. (ILA) Kyle enjoys swimming, paddling and surfing our local waterways. He also enjoys biking and knitting. Kyle was born and raised in Stuart, is a former Bridges parent, and the proud Dad of 2.

Dara Gyorko - Art

This is Dara’s third year teaching at Bridges Montessori. Prior to coming here, she was an Educator at the Museum of Science & Industry. Dara holds both a B.A. and M.A. degree in Social Work. Dara enjoys yoga, paddle boarding, going to the beach and traveling.

Upper Elementary and Middle School Faculty

Susan Lear
Susan Lear

Ms. Lear came to us from across the globe; moving to the United States in 1998 from Hungary. She began at Bridges as a Pre-Primary Directress in August of 2003, and previously was an Elementary Assistant at Turtle River Montessori and a Substitute Teacher at Palm Beach County Elementary Schools. Ms. Lear has her Associate’s of Art degree and her AMS Early Childhood Degree from Palm Beach Community College, an her Exceptional Student Education Degree from Florida Atlantic University. While not at Bridges, Ms. Lear is passionate about exercise and traveling.

Sarah Harlan - Upper School ELA, Cultural, Lower Reading Support

Sarrah has worked in the Education field for 15 years with 10 of those years spent working with Special Needs children. She has a B.A. in Psychology, and a Master of Early Childhood Education degree. Sarrah is affiliated with Integrated Language Arts. When she’s not teaching, Sarrah enjoys hiking and playing/adventuring with her nephews and dog. She also enjoys family time and reading.

Senior Elementary Faculty

Yoly Fernandez - Upper School Social Studies & Spanish Teacher

Yoly has 20 years of teaching experience in Miami-Dade, Broward and Martin counties. The bulk of her experience is in Montessori settings. Yoly is Montessori certified for 3-6-year-old children and holds a B.S. degree in Hospitality Management. Yoly is affiliated with ILA and the American Montessori Society. When she is not teaching Yoly enjoys going to the beach, gardening, dancing and event planning

Angela Pittman - Upper School - Mathematics Teacher

Angela is beginning her 4th year here at Bridges. Prior to that, she worked in the St. Lucie County School system for 5 years at Forest Grove Middle School teaching Intensive Math, Grades 6-8 and Algebra 1 Honors. She was the Math Department Head her last year in St. Lucie. Angela has her B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Florida, and teaching certificates in Mathematics grades 5-9 and Social Studies grades 6-12. When she’s not teaching, Angela enjoys puzzles, reading, decorating, DIY projects and all things math.

Krissy Jackson - Upper Elementary/Middle School- English and Language Arts Teacher

Krissy has 10 years of Elementary/Middle School ELA teaching experience in the Public-School system, in addition to her 3 years of ELA teaching in Montessori. Krissy also has experience in the field of Guidance Counseling. She is English Language Learning (ELL) certified, and Level Literacy Intervention (LLI) trained. Krissy holds a Master of Educational Psychology degree. She is a member of the International Literacy Association. She enjoys spending time with her 5-year-old son and writing for various motherhood/teaching publications

Noel Griffith - Upper School and Middle School - Science Teacher

This is Noel’s second year teaching at Bridges Montessori. Prior to coming here, she taught science in Central Florida for 11 years. Noel has her B.S. degree in Science Education and a M.S. degree in Sports Fitness. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, going to the beach, reading and sampling delicious food.

Karen Shipper - Physical Education Teacher

Karen Shipperi

Ms. Shipper joined Bridges in August 2008, and has served as our PE Teacher. She received her Bachelor’s in Communication/Journalism from the University of Shippensburg, and her Master’s in Exercise Physiology from the University of Central Florida. Ms. Shipper is certified with the American Heart Association and has her Florida Teacher’s Certification for K-6. Ms. Shipper incorporates activity into all areas of her life — boating, running around Disney World, or on the PE field. She enjoys being close to her daughter who graduated from Bridges.

Amy Friedrichs - Green School Coordinator

Amy has been an Elementary teacher for 10 years. She has taught Sustainable Studies here at Bridges Montessori for more than 5 years. Amy is K- 6 State certified and has a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and obtained a Master level degree from Columbia University.She has a Master Gardener affiliation with Martin County. When Amy is not at school or gardening, she loves to read and travel. Amy has been an Elementary teacher for 10 years. She has taught Sustainable Studies here at Bridges Montessori for more than 5 years. Amy is K- 6 State certified and has a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and obtained a Master level degree from Columbia University.She has a Master Gardener affiliation with Martin County. When Amy is not at school or gardening, she loves to read and travel.