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

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 BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Novi Sad, ex-Yugoslavia. Csilla is currently working on her Masters in education with a focus on art for children. 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.

Cheryl Duarte

Teacher’s Assistant

Cheryl was born in Merced and raised in Tracy. She lived 30+ years in Sacramento raising her family. Cheryl has three grown children and is the young grandma to four boys. In her free time Cheryl enjoys swimming, hot weather and is a huge film buff. Cheryl has worked at MOM since 2007. She is additionally in charge of the nappers after lunch and Cheryl brings her love and caring to that special time of the day.

Natalee Grimes

Teacher’s Assistant

Natalee was born and raised in El Dorado Hills, CA. She graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA (as did her brother and sister) with a B.S. in Psychology and English minor. Natalee joined us in 2012 and brings her youth and enthusiasm to working with our MOM students. In her free time, Natalee likes to read, travel, and cook. Natalee is a great help to Jan and Csilla in the afternoon with the older children.

Caroline Hyde

Teacher’s Assistant

Caroline was born and raised in the UK, and moved to California with her husband 11 years ago. Prior to moving to the US, Caroline worked as a Pediatric Physical Therapist and holds a Honors degree in Physical Therapy from Glasgow Caledonian University. Caroline is currently working on her Montessori Credential at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She has spent the past 8 years at home raising her 2 busy boys (both proud MOM alum), and is thrilled to have joined the MOM team! In her spare time, Caroline loves creating crazy birthday cakes, and baking delicious desserts. She and her family also love to be outdoors, hiking with their black lab, skiing, camping and having fabulous Californian adventures.