Meet your M.O.M. staff!
Co-Founder 1986 / Semi-Retired Administrator
Gena Lawrence is married and has two adult girls, both 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 enjoyed being a teacher/administrator for 35 years, and especially enjoyed the partnership between the families and school. Though she is semi-retired, MOM still benefits from Gena’s wealth of knowledge and experience in running a small preschool.
Gena’s free time is spent with her family, reading, taking weekend vacations, and watching the Oakland A’s.
Co-Founder 1986 / Retired Co-Lead Teacher
Jan Ghirardelli is married and has two adult boys. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in theatre. She received her Montessori credential from Seattle University and taught in the classroom for 35 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, studying Italian and music, and spending time with her grandson. Once the pandemic is over, we are looking forward to having Jan back at MOM for her weekly music sessions with the children.
Head of School / 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 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, skiing, biking, camping, and having fabulous Californian adventures!
Jamie was born and raised in Southern California, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend college. She has a B.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Early Childhood Education Certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles Extension. After working as an outdoor science educator in San Francisco and afterschool teacher at a Mandarin-English bilingual school, she joined M.O.M. in 2020. Jamie is an aspiring Montessori teacher and is excited to learn and grow. She plans to begin her Montessori training in the near future. In her free time, Jamie likes to go on hikes, practice photography, do hand embroidery projects, volunteer at the local animal shelter, play with her cats, and tend to her large collection of houseplants!
5723 Oak Grove Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618