We are privileged to have most wonderful and highly qualified staff members. Lead teachers in each classroom are Montessori certified and in addition, some of our assistants are also Montessori certified teachers. Please find concise biographies of our Faculty below.
Surbhi Saini (Director) is an English Honors graduate and holds an associate degree in Fashion design. Ms. Surbhi began her teaching career in Singapore as a language arts teacher in an elementary school. Her mom retired as a principal of a Montessori School. Ms. Surbhi has two kids both of whom received attended Montessori education. While being a parent, she was enamored with the Montessori philosophy and that led her to pursue her Montessori training. Ms. Surbhi is passionate about the child centric educational approach of Maria Montessori and believes it leads children to think critically and provides a strong basis for their overall development. Ms. Surbhi is a firm believer of health and wellness. She is also a Mindfulness Educator and a motivational speaker. She hosts talks to inspire and educate people on how to practice self-awareness and live a happy life. Email Ms. Surbhi
Lilian Gilmore (Office Administrator) holds a degree in Human Resources Lilian is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and worked as a Human Resource Manager and volunteer at a children's school. Lilian resides in Milltown, NJ, with her husband and daughter. She loves to cook, travel, and make ever-lasting memories with her family. Lilian has always admired Montessori learning and has prioritized it in her daughter's life. As a parent of a student and now an employee, Lilian looks forward to working with children and her coworkers in an encouraging Montessori environment Email Ms. Gilmore
Shiraz Billimoria (Toddler Class-Room 11) received an Early Childhood Certification from Montessori Centre International - UK. Having worked with toddlers at a Montessori school in Dubai, Shiraz adds an international flavor to her classroom and to UMS. Shiraz is passionate about working with this age group because she believes this is when the child strives for independence and self-mastery.
As an early childhood educator she feels it is her métier to provide an environment that meets each child's individual needs. Shiraz is married with two daughters and a son, and enjoys cooking and traveling with her family. Email Ms. Shiraz
Prachi Sanghvi (Toddler Class-Room 11) holds a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fitness Management. She worked in India as the Coordinator of the Fitness Department with Symbiosis Center of Health Care. The 3 years of coordinating, consulting and managing experience makes her an expert with a complete knowledge of Health and Fitness. Ms. Prachi started working with the Unitarian Montessori School in the summer of 2016 as a Substitute Teacher and past three years as a Teacher’s Assistant. She believes that basic health and fitness lies in our roots and at UMS, the child gets the knowledge of becoming an organized independent person which is the right place to start.
Monica Shah (Primary Class-Room 13) holds a JD degree. She received her Montessori Certification in 2000 from CMTE in NY. She is the Program Director and Instructor at the Montessori Teacher Training Institute of Mercer County Community College. She has been teaching in the Montessori classroom since 1995. Ms. Monica is married and has two children and two grandchildren. She enjoys cooking and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Email Ms. Monica
Saima Akhlaq (Primary Class-Room 13) is a certified Montessori educator from CMTE - New York with over 20 years of experience. She has worked in various Montessori schools all over New Jersey. She has been the head teacher for both toddler and primary classes in previous schools. Ms. Saima is passionate about teaching and loves to help her students learn and grow.
She is the mother of three beautiful children. She enjoys shopping and spending time with her family and friends.
Prasadi Thambugala (Step Up Class-Room 12) is a certified Montessori teacher who feels it is a privilege and joy to share her love of learning with children. She is awed by the enthusiasm that each child has and observes each child to discover how each child would flourish into a confident and independent person. After working in the Accounting sector for over 20 years and being a stay at-home mother of two, Ms. Prasadi joined Montessori again this being her first love. She worked in a Montessori in Sri Lanka as a Teenager. She received her Montessori Diploma in the summer of 2018 while working at Unitarian Montessori School where she worked for five years. Ms. Prasadi joined Montgomery Montessori School in September 2019. She has created a sewing curriculum for the primary and kindergarten students in both schools. She also loves to share her passion for cooking and gardening with her students. She has worked as a Sunday school teacher with Elementary and Middle school children for over a decade. She has traveled extensively and has lived in Sri Lanka, Zambia and Nigeria. In her free time she enjoys reading, staying active and traveling with her family.
Email Ms. Prasadi
Ayesha Chishti (Primary Class-Room 12) has been in the field of education for over 15 years. She holds a graduate degree in Statistics. Ms. Ayesha has a very versatile teaching career, she has worked as a tutor as well as a lead teacher in both primary as well as toddler classrooms. Working with children brings her immense joy. She is very hard working and diligent and her flexibility makes her a very dear member of the UMS team. When Ms. Ayesha is not teaching, she is taking care of her two children. She enjoys cooking in her free time and hopes someday she would have more time to go back to her passion of creating beautiful paintings.
Saumya Perera (Toddler Class--Room 11) has been working at Unitarian Montessori School as an assistant teacher for the past four years. She was an elementary teacher for fifteen years, in Sri Lanka. Ms. Saumya completed a teacher assistant/childcare provider certificate in 2008 from the college of Staten Island (NY). She has been working with children for 25 years. Ms. Saumya adores her job and the children she works with. She spends the rest of her time with her three kids. Ms. Saumya enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling.