Norma Bolinger - Montessori Director (
Ms. Bolinger is originally from Vancouver, Canada and has extensively traveled and worked throughout the world – St. Maarten, Australia, Bahamas and the U.S.  She received her AMI Primary Directress Certification from Vancouver, Canada; studied Community Recreation from Quebec, Canada; earned an AA in Early Childhood Education from Ohio; and gained her Staff Credential and Director Credentials from the state of Florida.  Previously, Ms. Bolinger has worked with Head Start programs and has served as Directress of Toddler and Primary programs, as well as School Director.  She rejoined the VIMSIA staff as Montessori Director in 2011.

PRIMARY:   3 to 6 year olds

Mandy Boyle, Primary Directress/Primary Coordinator (
Ms. Boyle was born in Ireland and travelled extensively while growing up.  She received both Primary and Elementary AMI Montessori Certification in Dublin, Ireland.  In 1994, after teaching in various schools, Ms. Boyle moved to St. Thomas to work at V.I. Montessori School.  Initially she came for one year; that one year now exceeds 20!  Since her arrival she has seen the school expand in students, land and buildings and is very happy to be part of this growing close knit community.

Simone Summer, Primary Directress/Primary Coordinator (

Simone was born and raised in Stt. As a child, she attended VIMSIA and was a student of Ms. Keating, who is now retired.  Simone has been teaching Montessori for approximately 20 years, in the US, here at Vimsia between 2001-2011(I think these are the correct dates???!) and for the last 5 years in New Zealand.  Her love of travel and learning about different cultures has grown from her upbringing in our largely diverse and multicultural island and now brings her back.  

Although Simone will continue to enjoy her adventures to foreign lands, her heart and home will always be here, surrounded by the crystal blue sea and love for diverse island life.

Hannah Upp, Primary Directress (
Ms. Upp ("Señora Arriba") is originally from Oregon, but has spent the past 10 years on the East Coast.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Bryn Mawr College.  Ms. Upp received her AMI Assistants Training at the Washington Montessori Institute and is pursuing her Primary AMI Certification through the Montessori Institute of the Northwest.  She has studied and taught in Buenos Aires, Argentina, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.  Ms. Upp joined VIMSIA in 2014.

LOWER ELEMENTARY:   6 to 9 year olds

Erica Huber, Lower Elementary Directress (
Ms. Huber grew up in Charleston, SC.  She has a Masters of Education in Elementary Montessori Education and her AMI Diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland.  She has a passion for outdoor activities and is an avid sailor, kayaker and climber.  She is currently pursuing a Master Gardener Certification, as well.  She has a strong background in Art, her father having taught Art at the college level in Charleston as she was growing up.  Ms. Huber comes to VIMSIA in 2015 with her daughter, Annabelle, who will be in Upper Elementary.

Jessica Di Francesco, Lower Elementary Directress 
Ms. Di Francesco received her diploma from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) for elementary (ages 6-12) from the Montessori Training Center of New England. She received her Master of Education from the University of Hartford and holds a B.S. in Advertising and Marketing. Jessica was a toddler assistant at the Cobb Montessori School, CT, then a lower elementary class assistant at the Montessori Magnet School, CT, and a lower elementary teacher at the Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School since 2015. Jessica’s talents and interests include; martial arts instructor, drama specialist, singing, and board member for the Connecticut Regional Burning Man event. 

Neysa Hess, Lower Elementary Directress (
Ms. Ms. Hess is originally from Indiana.  Before arriving last March, she family and her lived in Sedona, Arizona. She has a Bachelors Degree in liberal arts with minors in History, Anthropology, and International Studies.  She completed her Montessori training with Hershey Montessori Institute in Ohio in 2013. She is very passionate about Montessori and will gladly discuss Montessori with anyone! Ms. Hess has 2 children in the Montessori program here at VIMSIA.   Gabriel is in the Upper Elementary  program and Katarina in Lower Elementary with Ms. Huber. Ms. Hess is an avid reader and has been spending her free time playing in our Caribbean waves. 

UPPER ELEMENTARY: 9 to 12 year olds

Kate Ludick, Upper Elementary Directress
Ms. Ludick holds two diplomas from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) for elementary (ages 6-12) and adolescent (ages 12-18). She has certification from the Green School Educator Course at the Green School in Bali, Indonesia, and a State of Ohio teaching license for all grades K-12. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Cleveland State University. Special training includes “All Kinds of Minds” (Mel Levine) approach to learning differences, Montessori Model United Nations teacher training, and Orton-Gillingham method for teaching reading, writing, and spelling from the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education. She has taught, directed and developed programs for over eight years at Montessori and progressive/alternative schools emphasizing best practice and holistic learning in the USA, Canada, Spain and Indonesia. Kate is a yoga instructor (Cleveland Clinic School of Yoga), enjoys the outdoors, sports, reading, writing and travel. 

Caroline Morrison, Upper Elementary Directress (
Ms. Morrison, originally from North Carolina, is a long time St. Thomas resident.  She has a B.A. in education, an AMI Elementary Teaching certification, and a Masters in Montessori Education.  Ms. Morrison has held various positions at VIMSIA prior to her current role and has been a Montessori and PGIA parent since the late 1990’s.  Both of her children - Travis and Kelsey - attended VIMSIA.

montessori assistants

Nicole Donastorg, Spanish Infusion Teacher's Assistant
Señora Donastorg was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  She is currently working on her degree in Early Childhood Education.  Starting with VIMSIA in 2011, Señora Donastorg has worked in the Bougainvillea and La Casa programs, as well as her current roll in Lower Elementary.  She has two children, Audrianna and Destiny, both attending VIMSIA.

Camille Hernandez, Spanish Infusion Teacher's Assistant

Señora Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and is a long time resident of St. Thomas.  She will be completing her degree on Psychology this year. Being fully bilingual, she had the opportunity to teach English in Puerto Rico and taught Spanish and Art in St. Thomas for 12 years.  Señora Santiago has been instrumental in our Spanish Infusion efforts.  She is the Spanish Speaking Assistant in Mrs. Hess’ Lower Elementary classroom. Señora Santiago has worked at VIMSIA since 2011.

IMG_1331 (1).JPG

Nikiha Mercer, Teacher's Assistant Spanish Infusion

Señora Mercer was born and raised in St. Thomas.  Her Spanish language skills come from her "abuela" who is from Puetro Rico.  Señora Mercer's heritage is a mix of Hispanic and Tiano Indian.  She is currently working on her BA degree in Allied Health Care Business Management majoring in Phlebotomy. Starting with VIMSIA in late 2016, she has been working in the primary class. Ms. Mercer has two beautiful daughters ages 1 and 3 years of age. She is excited about her opportunity to work with VIMSIA. 

Mayrovi Santana, Teacher's Assistant Spanish Infusion
Ms. Santana is a fully bi-lingual native Virgin Islander and a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School.  Along with her role as the Spanish Speaking Assistant Teacher in Ms. Upp's classroom, she also teaches English as a second language and is currently enrolled to receive her certification in ESL.  She became a part of our Spanish Infusion program in 2014 and is very happy to be part of the VIMSIA family.  

Fremyl de la Rosa, Teacher's Assistant Spanish Infusion

Meneka SubinTeacher's Assistant

Stephanie Miles, Teacher's Assistant Spanish Infusion

Spanish & Physical Education for Elementary


Adalio Araujo, Spanish and Physical Education (
Señor Araujo is a native of São Tomé, Africa, and holds a MA in Linguistics obtained in Besancon, France.  Since 1989, Señor has been offering a quality Spanish program to students starting at the elementary level.  In addition, Señor teaches Physical Education and coaches our elementary soccer teams.  He is a FIFA-certified soccer coach and has refereed JV/Varsity soccer for more than ten years.  Our soccer program is unparalleled on the island, and since the inception of inter-school elementary soccer several years ago, our elementary teams have dominated!

Andy Gever, Spanish Teacher & Spanish Infusion Coordinator (
Originally from California, Señor Gever has travelled extensively. He holds a BA in African and Latin American Studies, with minors in geography and anthropology.  He also has studied foreign languages such as French, Spanish and Italian.  He has lived in Europe and Latin America, the great majority of these years in Spain, where he worked as an English teacher and translator.  Señor Gever teaches Spanish in both the Montessori program and the International Academy and he coordinates our Spanish Infusion Program - which covers Casa through the DP.  He joined VIMSIA in 2012.

Michele Weichman, Spanish Teacher Montessori and PGIA
Michele Weichman was born in New Jersey.  She holds a B.A. in Spanish from Rutgers University and is currently working on her Master's Degree in Education Administration.  She has taught in the United States and in St. Thomas.  Señora Weichman teaches Spanish in both Montessori and PGIA and is the student council advisor.  Señora Weichman joined VIMSIA in 2013 and her daughter, Carly, is currently in the PGIA.