The following is from Our Montessori: 

Longtime Montessori Method practitioner Sarah Marinelli has been named Educational Director at Our Montessori School, which has locations in Westchester and Putnam counties.

Marinelli is a Purdys resident. 

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The announcement was made by Betty Hengst, who held the position previously and who cofounded the 47-year-old private school with her late husband Werner Hengst. She will remain active as owner and educational consultant.

For the past six years, Marinelli has been a site director at Montessori preschool The Alcott School, on its Dobbs Ferry campus. 
In her new position at Our Montessori School, Marinelli will be responsible for supervision and training of faculty and will handle general administrative duties.

She also will be the school’s liaison with county and state education officials and will spend part of her time teaching in the classroom. Marinelli’s expertise extends to helping children with learning differences, in which capacity she works with their families and therapists.

Marinelli has been a devout advocate for more than two decades of the Maria Montessori method. Marinelli holds a Montessori pre-primary credential, for 3- to 6-year-olds, from the American Montessori Society. She is an award-winning, classically trained singer with a master’s degree in music from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“Montessori teaching is true to my heart,” said Marinelli, who first became familiar with the Montessori Method as a young girl growing up in Columbia, Mo.

“We lived down the street from a woman who started her own Montessori Children’s House. Her name was Mary Angela Johnson, and she became my Montessori mentor and second mother,” Marinelli said. 

She went on to earn an American Montessori Society teaching credential from New England Montessori Teacher Training Center in Boston.

Expressing her educational philosophy, Marinelli said, “I believe that children need time to explore, create and relax, so they can develop and learn at their own pace. In our competitive culture, child-directed spaces, where children aren’t held back or pushed ahead by the level of their peers, are to be treasured.”