Meet your M.O.M. staff!

Gena Lawrence

Co-Founder 1986/Administrator

Gena was born and raised in Berkeley. She is proud to say she is a third generation Berkeleyite. She is married and has two adult girls (MOM graduates). One of Gena’s main goals in co-founding her own school was so her own children could attend. Gena received her B.A. in Communicative Disorders (Speech and Hearing) from San Francisco State University and her Montessori Credential from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. Gena has enjoyed being both teacher and administrator since 1981 and especially enjoys the partnership between the families and the school. Gena’s free time is spent with her family, reading, weekend vacations and the Oakland A’s.

Jan Ghirardelli

Co-Founder 1986/Co-Lead Teacher

Jan was born in Colorado and raised in both California and Colorado. She is married and has two adult boys. Jan graduated from University of Washington with B.A. in theatre. She received her Montessori credential from Seattle University and has been teaching in the classroom for 34 years. Jan furthered her education through Montessori Infant/Toddler training and incorporated an infant/toddler program in Seattle. Jan’s spare time is spent traveling, skiing, and studying Italian and music. She brings her love of music to MOM with weekly music classes and daily singing. She plays the ukulele and introduces the children to many other percussion instruments.

Csilla Horvath

Director/Co-Lead Teacher

Csilla was born and raised in Central Europe. She is married and has two daughters. She received her Montessori Credential from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, and also holds a Master of Arts in Montessori Education. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Novi Sad, ex-Yugoslavia. She loves spending time with her daughters, going to art shows and concerts with her husband, cooking and baking, traveling, and painting. She brings her love of teaching art to MOM with weekly art lessons and daily art projects.

Caroline Hyde

Co-Lead Teacher

Caroline was born and raised in the UK, and moved to California in 2003. Prior to moving to the US, she worked as a Pediatric Physical Therapist and she holds an BSc (Hons) degree in Physical Therapy, from Glasgow Caledonian University, UK. Caroline spent a happy eight years at home raising her two boys, Zach and Jake, and then joined the MOM team in 2014. She completed her Montessori training at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, in 2017. In her spare time, Caroline loves creating crazy birthday cakes and baking delicious desserts. She and her family love to be outdoors, hiking with their black lab, skiing, biking, camping and having fabulous Californian adventures!

Cheryl Duarte

Assistant Teacher

Cheryl was born in Merced and raised in Tracy. She lived in Sacramento for about 30 years before moving to Berkeley. Cheryl has three grown children, two daughters and a son, and is grandmother to four rambunctious boys. In her free time Cheryl enjoys swimming, basking in hot weather, reading about Ancient Greece, and watching films. She has been at MOM since 2006. She is in charge of the nap room and brings her love and caring to that special time of the day.

Jasmine Thompson

Assistant Teacher

Jasmine was born and raised in Concord CA. She is the oldest of 5 children, which is why she is patient and wise beyond her years. In her free time Jasmine loves to go to the beach, and visit museums. Currently she is taking pottery lessons and creating beautiful objects out of clay. After 4 years of teaching in another Montessori School she joined MOM in the summer of 2017. Jasmine is very helpful and can assist the head teachers in all aspects of their day. Jasmine also has many interests that she enjoys sharing with the children. Recently, she has been teaching ballet to our pre-K group.

Contact Us

(510) 652-5979

5723 Oak Grove Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618