Board of Trustees

Since 1968, the founders of the Mastro Montessori Academy, Mary and Vincent Guarriello, envisioned an academic environment dedicated to Montessori philosophy that would help children grow into independent, self-directed learners. Their mission was to create a community for children that cultivates courtesy, acceptance, caring, and compassion. As the first Montessori school in Monmouth County and the only school in the area to be certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), we are committed to maintaining a genuine Montessori experience for children to become lifelong learners. We are honored to serve as Trustees of the Mastro Montessori Academy.

2019-2020 Mastro Montessori Board of Trustees & Administration

James Kennedy, President

Jim’s involvement with Mastro Montessori began in 2003 as a civil engineering consultant at the former building in Little Silver.   After learning more about the Montessori method, he and his wife Karen chose to educate each of their four children at Mastro, and joined the Board of Trustees in 2006. Prior to serving as President, Jim was the Treasurer and committee chair of the Academy Director search committee. Jim has also participated in planning each of the building projects at the White Road campus and is actively involved in the finance and facilities committees.  Jim is a principal of Kennedy Consulting Engineers, LLC, a civil engineering consulting firm located in Red Bank. In addition to his board participation at Mastro, Jim serves as Vice President of the Life Guard Ecumenical Foundation and volunteers as an engineering mentor to seventh and eighth grade students who compete in the National Society of Professional Engineer’s Future City Competition. Mr. Kennedy holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, as well as an M.B.A in Management from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management.


Darry Guli, Vice President

Darry became committed to the Montessori Method in 1982 after observing the children in a primary classroom at Mastro Montessori.  She has witnessed the benefits over the past three decades and has served on the Mastro board for the past 15 years. Professionally, Darry, an Advanced Practice Nurse, is currently the Director of Education for eighteen Hackensack Meridian Health Rehab facilities. Darry holds a B.S.N. from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in Nursing from New York University.


Jeremy Milonas, Treasurer

Jeremy is a graduate of Mastro Montessori and is currently a teacher at Red Bank Regional High School.  Jeremy holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Rutgers University.


Beverly Lawrence, Secretary

Beverly has a long history with Mastro Montessori, beginning when her children enrolled in the first class with Mrs. Guarriello in 1968. Bev started as the school’s assistant administrator.  Throughout the years, five of her grandchildren have attended Mastro and two others have attended Montessori in Atlanta. Beverly has served as the board Vice President at Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County for seven years and helped to rebuild to Union Beach after Superstorm Sandy.  Beverly is retired from Prudential Property and Casualty Company. She holds a B.A. in French from Manhattanville College and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.


Mark G. Guarriello

Mark joined Mastro Montessori as a Trustee in January 2015 and is the proud nephew of founders, Mary and Vincent Guarriello.  Mark has served over 30 successful and dedicated years in Human Resources, assisting, counseling and training to help develop a strong employment base for his clients.  The knowledge he has gained from his years of commitment to his profession has assisted him in helping to not only maintain, but to develop and foster strong employee relations for his clients.  Mark knows from first-hand experience the passion and commitment the founders had in developing the school. He believes very strongly in the ideals, goals, and mission Mastro has to offer. He is very active in various fundraising events, assisting many in need. Mark lives with his wife, Rosa, on Long Island, New York.


Christine Hayden

Christine is a Mastro Montessori alumni parent and was active in the school’s playscape fundraising.  Christine served as the Director of Development & Alumni Relations at The Parkside School, a private school in Manhattan, for most of her career.  She was the President of the Fair Haven PTA Executive Board for the past three years and has been a member of the New York Junior League and Junior League of Monmouth County for the past 20 years where she has served in numerous board and leadership roles.  Christine is also actively involved with WEforum and other community organizations and is a current parent at Knollwood School in Fair Haven where both her boys are students. She holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.


Andrea Proia

Andrea is an AMI Montessori alumna as well as a Mastro Montessori alumna parent and was active in the school’s fundraisers throughout her daughter’s seven year tenure at the school.  She subsequently served in various capacities on the Parent Council at The Rumson Country Day School, from class parent to chairing a major fundraising committee. Prior to moving to Monmouth County, Andrea practiced law in Manhattan for many years in the areas of civil defense litigation and then as a director of professional liability claims at a major insurer.   Andrea holds a B.A. in French Literature from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University.


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