IVMS Administration

Administration of all campuses

Dr. Kym Elder, Ed.D, IVMS Executive Director, Program Director Montessori Live


Kym Elder, Ed.D, is the Executive Director and founder of Island Village Montessori Schools. She received Montessori educator certification from the American Montessori Society in both early childhood and elementary levels and has worked with students from three years old to ninth grade in Montessori environments since 1994. Kym is a graduate of Pine View …

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Jennifer Ocana, Director and Principal, Venice Campus, Faculty Montessori Live


Jennifer has been a Montessori educator for nearly twenty years. She started out at Oak Meadow Montessori in Littleton, Massachusetts, and was very happy there for ten years until the call of the warm Florida sunshine finally became too strong to resist.Jennifer grew up in the Boston area and attended Emerson College. She visited her …

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Alison Rini, Director and Principal, Sarasota Campus


Alison Rini joined the IVMS faculty in the summer of 2011 and taught as a fifth and sixth grade humanities educator before serving as the Director of the Upper School in Venice. Alison has been an educator since 2000, working in New York City, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Florida. Education is her passion …

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Whitney Carter, Registrar, HOPE, Faculty Montessori Live


Whitney Carter joined the IVMS family in 2009. She enjoys working with the students and educating them on health and fitness. She has a bachelor’s in physical education and recreation from Western Kentucky University. Whitney worked for the YMCA and has managed summer programs for many years. Whitney also supports the administration staff with a …

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Jennifer Sessa, IVMS Director of Pupil Support, Faculty Montessori Live


Jennifer Sessa is the Director of Pupil Support for both Island Village campuses. She joined the staff in 2006 and has been an IVMS parent since 2003. Jennifer graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in psychology and graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a MS in quantitative analysis. Jennifer also attended the …

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Michelle Vitiello, Financial Director


Michelle Vitiello has her bachelors in accounting from the University of South Florida and has been a Sarasota County resident since 1990. Michelle and her husband Bob have one child, Nicole, who graduated from IVMS in 2013. Michelle has been the financial director for IVMS since 2007.

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Aimee Heden, Accountant

Aimee Profile

Aimee Heden joined IVMS in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. Aimee was a principal in a large regional public accounting firm in Connecticut and has over twenty years of experience in both public and private industry. Aimee currently lives in Osprey with her husband, Jonathan, and her …

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Jamie Marshall, Coordinating Director IVMS Arts Programs, Piano, Brass Instruments


  Jamie grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Muskingum University, and did graduate work in Jazz Studies at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Before becoming a teacher, Jamie worked as a professional trombonist for 20 plus years.  He began his playing career recording and performing in …

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Peter Simms, General Music, Guitar, Community Liaison, Secondary Support, Faculty Montessori Live


Peter Simms has spent 30 years as a professional musician and instructor. Peter studied classical and jazz music at Cabrillo College & Chabot College in California. He studied privately with jazz greats: Don Haas (Benny Goodman), Smith Dobson (Gary Burton), Dave Smith (Joe Pass), and Ray Brown (Stan Kenton). From classical, rock, reggae, ethnic, and …

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Bill Koss, Facilities Director, Safety


Bill Koss moved from Michigan to Florida in 1978. He has been employed in the Hospitality Industry for 30 years, mostly in upper management positions. Bill is a certified trainer for CPR/First Aid from the American Heart Association. In addition, Bill is trained through the school board of Sarasota County in crisis prevention Intervention and …

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Jan Pearman, Enrollment and Marketing, After School Programs


Jan Pearman, after owning two businesses and being retired, Jan found she needed something more than gardening and redecorating. At the same time Kym was creating something Jan had never heard of free Montessori! After attending Kym’s first meeting, Jan knew she wanted to be a part of IVMS. Jan soon became the after-school program …

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Gary Finkel, Director Information Technology

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Gary has been the Information Technology Director for Island Village since 2008. Gary brings with him many years of working with large computer and technology networks.

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Megan Luster, Office Assistant, Venice Campus

Megan Luster

Megan Luster joined the office staff at Venice campus in 2013. Megan is currently working toward getting a degree online from State College of Florida. Prior to joining IVMS, she worked as an office assistant for a local painting company as well as being hostess at the Applebee’s restaurant chain. Megan has a two year-old …

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Dr. Paul Czaja, Faculty, Montessori Live Educator Training Program


Dr. Paul Czaja has been involved in the Montessori movement for over 45 years. He received his masters degree in philosophy and his doctorate in education from Fordham University. Dr. Czaja was on the founding faculty and, eventually, headmaster at the famous Whitby School the American Montessori Center, in Greenwich, Connecticut, from 1960 until 1978. …

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Jenifer Baehr, Registrar, Montessori Live Educator Training Program

Jenifer Baehr

Jenifer Baehr joined Montessori Live as the registrar in 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern University in December 2013. She received her certificate of paralegal from the Institute of Legal Studies and worked as a paralegal for 10+ years in Fairfax, VA, while managing a privately owned title insurance company. …

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