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Staff Members

Our Staff all have exceptional qualifications and experience.

Executive Director 

Ayelet “Ellie” Lichtash, Executive Director, Founder
Ellie founded The Alef Bet Montessori School in 2005. She experienced the Montessori Method as a mother and saw a great need in the community for a Montessori school. Her daughter graduated the elementary program at KMMS Kehilat Montessori, Silver Spring. Ellie, an attorney by trade, practiced labor and employment law in Israel and in the United States. She has published two papers in the U.S. on Discrimination Law and Employment and Arbitration issues. She holds a Masters degree from Tel Aviv University and from Georgetown Law School. Alef Bet Montessori School was established through a community effort, led by Ellie, to bring together Jewish people of all denominations to experience Jewish life through the Montessori Method.  Ellie was a founding board member of the National Organization of Montessori Administrators Association (MAA), serving until June 2010, and currently serves as the Vice Chair to Montessori Schools of Maryland (MSM) Since January 2012 she serves as the National Representative of AMI USA at CAPE. Ellie won a 2013 Fellowship at the ConnectGen program of the Federation of Greater Washington to initiate an international organization -  Israel Montessori Association (IMA). (March 2014) Member of the IE Mo Co Legislative Committee.

Teachers & Support Staff
Farhana QuadriPrimary Montessori Teacher 
Farhana is an AMI Montessori teacher and an energetic mother. In addition to her BS in Business Administration, Farhana holds a JD degree from Kings College, University of London. She practiced law for several years before changing careers and earning her AMI Montessori certification from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College, Maryland, one of the most prestigious Montessori training centers in the country. Farhana is an innovative teacher with an acute sensitivity to children's needs and abilities. She has been teaching at Alef Bet Montessori since August 2008. 

Christine Parson, Music Teacher
Christine is an AMI Montessori teacher with a music expertise. She earned Bachelor degrees in Music and Science from St. Lawrence University, NY and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Christine completed her AMS certification in 1990 from CMTE, in addition to her AMI certification in 1996 from the Washington Montessori Institute. She has been teaching music since college and has over 15 years of Montessori classroom teaching experience. She also gives private lessons at her home in flute and teaches music programs at KMMS and Lone Oak Montessori School. We are proud to have her on our staff since 2009.

Sorah Rivkah Goodman, Primary  Montessori Teacher Primary Class. Judaic Coordinator Primary Level
Sorah Rivkah taught early childhood program at the Hebrew Academy for many years prior to taking the AMI Montessori Teachers training in Loyola. She graduated the AMI training in summer 2011 earning her AMI teacher certification. Sorah Rivkah joined our staff in September 2011. She is a beloved Primary Teacher in our school.

Amanda Hess, Elementary Montessori Teacher 
Amanda Hess has been a Montessori Teacher for several years at an AMI school in Middlebury, VA.  She holds an AMI Elementary Teaching Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College. Amanda's youth and lively disposition are an asset to our classroom. She trained as an assistant prior to taking the AMI training and enjoys her years of teaching experience. Amanda joined us as a lead teacher in the fall of 2013. We are proud to have Ms. Hess join our staff. 

Daniel Moses, Elementary Montessori Teacher (In training) Rabbi Moses has been a teacher since 2004.  He holds a Master degrees (MA) in Education from George Washington University and Advanced Talmudic Studies from Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater Washington. He graduated his BA in Talmudic Letters in Yeshivat Beit Israel in Jerusalem, Israel. Rabbi Moses has enjoyed teaching in the DC area; most recently, he taught at the Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva of Greater Washington (Boys and Girls Divisions). Rabbi Moses will be taking an AMI Elementary training this summer in Connecticut and is expected to complete his training by Fall 2015. We are proud that Rabbi Moses has been a teacher at Alef Bet since Fall 2013. He is eager about Montessori education and contributes his vast knowledge to development of Montessori materials for our Judaic and Hebrew programs. 

Kate Zierke, Toddler Teacher (In Training) Kate joined our school in the fall of 2013. She has been teaching toddlers and infants for several years. She graduated Nabraska University in Early Childhood Education. Over the next few summer Kate is pursuing her full AMI training for an Aid to Infancy Directeress (the AMI rigorous training for Infants and Toddlers). Kate is passionate about early childhood learning and is a dedicated and loving member of our staff.

Ester Bar. Toddler Teacher Ester has 35 years of experience working in early childhood programs. She joined us on November 2013. Prior to working with our school, Ester was the owner and operator of Gan Gani, a Hebrew speaking home day care provider. She was the teacher for some of the older children in our school today. Ester is expected to complete her Montessori training this summer.

Jordon Grubic, Support Staff in the Primary ClassJordon joined our school for the year of 2012, as a support staff member in the Primary Class. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education as well as an Associate Degree in Teaching, Early Childhood Education. Jordon has previous experience in both, assistant teaching and special education. He comes highly recommended and we are thrilled to have him join our staff.

Efrat Goldstein, Support Staff and Hebrew Coordinator Primary Class
Efrat joined our school in the Spring of 2014 as support staff and Hebrew Coordinator. Efrat has had wonderful experience as with children and is compassionate about children and education. She holds a JD from Hebrew University in Israel and has practice law for several years before moving to the US. Her gentle and calm disposition is a quality treasured in our school. 
Rachel Sharon, Support Staff in the Elementary and Primary Class - Hebrew
Rachel joined our school for the fall of 2013. A skilled and enthusiastic assistant, Rachel is also a fluent Hebrew speaker. Rachel has a Teaching Certificate as well as a BA from Seminar Hakibuzim in Israel. Rachel is also very accomplished in the field of teaching on individual basis and small groups. Rachel is excited to work both in Primary and Elementary classrooms. 

Hila Jacoby, Support Staff and Hebrew Coordinator Toddler Class
Hila joined our school in the fall of 2014 as support staff and Hebrew Coordinator. Hila has had wonderful experience with children and is compassionate about children and education. She is a Midwife and a Nurse in Israel and practiced in Israel for several years before moving to the US. Her gentle and calm disposition is treasured in our school. 

Administrative Staff

Janel Herman, Business Manager 
Janel joined our staff in 2007 and handles bookkeeping, accounts and financial information for the school. Prior to joining us, she was the treasurer of Beth El Preschool for many years. In addition to her BS in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland, Janel also holds an MBA from the University of Maryland. A pleasant and genial staff member, Janel will be able to assist in any questions parents might have concerning the accounts and enrollment at the school.
Amanda Boltax, Assistant Director of Communications
Amanda joined our staff during the summer of 2008 and is responsible for the editing of the school's newsletter and the website. She will also be working in other areas to enhance the communication between parents and the school. Previously the Deputy Editor for the Washington Post Sports section, she holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California. Amanda will work part-time to establish and maintain a successful communications network for the school.