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Discovery Montessori preschool is delighted to introduce our teaching team. In addition to their teaching experience, our staff bring warmth, passion, and creativity into our classrooms. They are the heart and soul of Discovery Montessori preschool and are excited about creating a quality learning environment for all of our students.

Our Staff

Stacy Nivert – Executive Director

Stacy Nivert is one of the founders of Discovery Montessori preschool and past President of the Board of Directors. Stacy has 25 years of experience in the fields of media and communications, government, politics, and public relations. Throughout her career, she has provided high-level strategic advice to major organizations such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and World Vision. Prior to moving to the U.S., Stacy was a media and policy adviser in the State Government of Victoria (Australia) where she advised the Premier and Cabinet in matters relating to health, human services, planning, environment, climate change, and community services. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Management.

Kim Colon Melendez, Assistant Director

Kim Colon Melendez has more than 11 years of experience working with children, including six years of working in a preschool. She joined Discovery Montessori in 2020 as our assistant director and supports all aspects of the school’s operations.

Victoria Mulvihill – Education Director (Providence)

Victoria is an experienced educator who has been a lead teacher in a PreK Counts class for four years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Keystone College and is working towards her Master’s degree in Educational Development and Strategies with an instructional coaching endorsement from Wilkes University.

Katie Casey – Deputy Director of Education

Katie has more than three years of experience in teaching and early childhood education. Prior to commencing in the education field, Katie worked in farming. She holds a Bachelor’s in Music and is completing her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

Kerry Kizer, Teacher

Kerry is a PA-certified teacher with more than 10 years of experience working with children aged 2-6. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Keystone College in 2011. She has a passion for reading, cooking, and being with her children.

Katlynn Battenberg, Assistant Teacher

Katlynn Battenberg is a Licensed Practical Nurse with five years of experience. She joined Discovery Montessori in 2020 to work with all of our students as an assistant teacher.

Meaghan McGovern, Assistant Teacher

Meaghan has five years of experience in early childhood education, primarily working with 2-3-year-olds and assisting with preschool programs. Meaghan holds an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Theology.

Stephanie Moore, Assistant Teacher

Stephanie is an experienced child care professional with more than eight years of experience. She has worked in a range of settings and has substantial experience in early childhood development and working with preschool-age children. Stephanie graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

Lori Czacher, Aide

Lori Czachor joined Discovery Montessori in 2020 after 19 years of experience in the medical field. Lori works with all of the children as a floater, especially during drop-off.

Marietta Police, Cook

Marietta Police has a passion for food, healthy eating, and farm-to-plate food production. She has previously worked in restaurants and as a private chef. Marietta has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Penn State University and is designing our greenhouse in addition to delivering our food program.

Our Board

Marianne Davis, President

Marianne Davis is a certified teacher currently implementing special education programs for Valley View School District. Marianne has extensive experience in special education, working with people with intellectual, physical, and mental health disabilities. Prior to working at Valley View, Marianne worked as an AT Specialist at UCP of Northeastern Pa. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Wilkes University and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Marywood University.

Martha Davis, Vice President

After working in health care administration, Martha Davis is a stay-at-home mom with three young children. She has been an active community member in Scranton creating, leading, and participating in community groups to connect parents and pursue common interests.

Michelle Dudley, Secretary

Michelle Dudley has 11 years of experience in the education field working in both public and private sectors, which include curriculum development, individualized student instruction, online instruction, and educational guest speaker. She is working on her Ph.D. in general psychology with an emphasis in cognition and instruction, which will be completed in 2016. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing with a minor in economics. Her teaching certifications include elementary education (PA K-6), Montessori Secondary I, and ESL. Currently, Michelle teaches sixth-grade English language arts.

Aaron Nivert, Treasurer

Aaron Nivert is an accountant with extensive experience in corporate finance and business operations. He is currently Chief Financial Officer and Quality Manager at Nivert Metal Supply, Inc., a 75-year-old local business located in Throop, Pa. Prior to joining Nivert Metal Supply, Aaron was Chief Financial Officer at Primus Telecommunications Australia Pty. Ltd., Australia’s largest alternate telecommunications carrier with more than $300 million in annual revenue. His professional experience encompasses management of accounts receivable and payable, daily cash flows, and preparation of monthly financial reports and taxes.

Nicole Costanzo, Director

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Stacy Nivert, Non-Executive Director

Stacy Nivert has 18 years of experience in the fields of media and communications, government, politics, and public relations. Throughout her career, she has provided high-level strategic advice to major organizations such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and World Vision.

Prior to moving to the U.S., Stacy was a media and policy adviser in the State Government of Victoria (Australia) where she advised the Premier and Cabinet in matters relating to health, human services, planning, environment, climate change, and community services. She holds a Master of Arts in Communication Management.

Patricia Staples SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director

Patricia Staples has more than 30 years of experience in Human Resources in both profit and not-for-profit organizations. Pat has been with the C3 Group since July 2013 as a Senior Human Resource Specialist. In this role, she provides outsourced human resource services to clients including ensuring regulatory and legal compliance, advising on employee relations issues, developing human resource policies, employee handbooks, and position descriptions, and recruiting staff. Pat has worked with many organizations to develop competitive and cost-effective benefit plans and programs designed to fit the culture and meet work/life balance issues. Pat also served on the Board of Directors for the Luzerne County Head Start program for more than 10 years.

Carina Havenstrite, Parent Representative

First and foremost, Carina is a proud parent of two wonderful children who attend Discovery Montessori preschool. She and her husband own and operate a working alpaca farm in Covington Township called Alpacas of Windy Haven Farm. Professionally, Carina currently works at the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, where she writes and manages grants, primarily related to law enforcement and the local response to the opioid epidemic. Previous to this position, Carina worked as the director of a large, local HIV case-management program, where she gained extensive experience in direct patient care, public health, and effective grant management. Carina specializes in the development and implementation of new and innovative grant-funded programs.