• Meet our Staff:

  • Gabi Maza

  • Salam Elsakka

    Center Coordinator
  • Jaclyn Coutoumas

    Dance Lead Teacher
  • Janet Cramer

    Infant Lead Teacher
  • Linda Bursch

    Toddler Teacher

  • Michelle Lopes

    Pre-K Lead Teacher
  • eamonn

    Eamonn O'Hara

    Piano Teacher
  • Mrs. Li

    Chinese Lead Teacher
  • Brooke LeBlanc

    Group Teacher's Assistant
  • Carol Kagan

    Yoga Lead Teacher
  • Sara Williams

    History Lead Teacher
  • Gabi Maza


    Gabi holds a Bachelor’s in Child Development and has 15 years of experience working with families and their young children in National and International Schools. She became certified in various disciplines such as Social and Cognitive Development as well as Art Therapy. She has been an active member of Casa Alianza, a non-profit organization based in Latin America dedicated to rescue children from the streets and help them educate teen mothers who have no resources. Gabi is also a member of Family Promise, helping families with their basic needs, coaching and offering parenting education.

    Gabi is the Founder of Gardengate Academy, an Enriching Program located in the Metrowest Area. She also owned Mi Escuelita a Bilingual Immersion Program based in Weston that hosted families in a Regio Emilia style methodology. Gabi also shared her experience at ISIS Parenting as a Child Development Instructor providing Parenting, Art Development, Spanish, Child Development classes along with Music and Movement to children, ages 3 weeks to 5 years. Gabi is also a certified instructor of Music Together. Gabi has a great passion for children’s learning, she strongly believes that children’s potential is enormous and takes every opportunity to let children explore in a fun engaging way while bonding with their family.

    During her free time, Gabi enjoys being with her family, dinner with friends, playing board games and paddle boarding and yoga.

    Read Gabi Maza’s interview with Boston Voyager Magazine CLICK HERE

  • Salam Elsakka

    Daycare Director

    Salam holds a Bachelor’s in Early Education & Care with a concentration in Administration and Supervision from the University of Massachusetts – Boston. Salam has been working with children ages 2 months – 5 years for over 6 years. She was a Director of an Early Childhood Center in Boston for a year and prior to that, she was an infant, toddler and preschool teacher.

    She loves being able to show children their potential, figure out the ways that they learn the most effectively and help them achieve their milestones. She also loves working creatively with teachers and motivating them to reach their potential as educators in a fast paced, ever changing environment. She really enjoys working with diverse backgrounds and learning all about different cultures.

    Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

  • Jaclyn Coutoumas

    Lead Dance Instructor
    Jackie graduated from Dean College with a bachelors in dance and a minor in business. She takes passion in her teaching and choreographing as well as encourages creativity, confidence and being active! Her work has been showcased in numerous shows throughout college and her most recent work was performed in Danceworks at Fitzgerald Theater. Jackie has been teaching dance for over 7 years in local Dance Studios and most recently at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Her styles include ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, salsa and musical theater.
    She is very excited to be a part of Gardengate Academy™ Team and share her knowledge and love for dance.
    In her free time, Jackie likes to watch movies, play with her puppy Brady and hang out with her family and friends.
  • Michelle Lopes

    Lead Teacher Toddlers & PreK

    Ever since Michelle was little she dreamed to be a teacher. Michelle has been in the Early Childhood field for over three years now with children ages 6 weeks to Kindergarden. Michelle obtained her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from MassBay Community College and became an EEC certified preschool teacher after completing her studies.

    Years before she graduated, Michelle volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and always looked for ways to participate, engage and enhance the children’s ministry at her local church. These experiences confirmed her love for teaching and gave her the confidence to pursue a degree in Early Childhood.

    Outside of work, Michelle is a mom and wife. She enjoys decorating her home, cooking, singing, going on walks with her son, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Janet Cramer

    Teacher's Assistant

    Janet holds as BS/MS in Computer Science. After working in this field for 14 years she decided to stay home full time with her four children. When her youngest entered first grade, Janet became a foster parent and fostered several children in need of temporary homes. Now that her children are out of the house, she is pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. She is currently attending Mass Bay Community College taking the classes necessary to get her certification.

    Janet has a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. For the past 5 summers she has taught her Taekwondo skills to children ages 5-10 at a summer camp in Needham during the month of July. She has also taught pre-school classes at Robert Giorgio’s School of Taekwondo. During her free time Janet enjoys watching football and basketball, exercise, baking, eating and spending time with her family and friends.

  • Linda Bursch

    Toddler Teacher
    Linda has always had a passion for teaching and made the decision to study Early Education and Care at 12 years old. When it was time to go to high school, she chose to go to go to J. P. Keefe Technical High School to study Early Education and Care. After graduating she continue her passion on studies and started her education in Art Photography in Salem State University with a Minor in Theatre.
     Linda has a little over 6 years of experience working with children leading Toddler Classes and building curriculum offering always a warm environments in their rooms. In addition, for the last 2 years Linda have worked for various photography companies.
    Outside of work Linda spends time with family and friends, watching movies, reading spending time with her siblings, painting, drawing and anything artsy as well as fitting in freelance photography. 
  • eamonn

  • Eamonn O'Hara

    Piano Teacher

    Eamonn O’Hara was a scholarship student at both the New England Conservatory Prep School and the Boston Conservatory. His principal teachers were with Jonathan Bass, Ramon River and Hilda Shapiro, and he also took masterclasses with the legendary Leon Fleischer.

    Eamonn teaches at the Amadeus Music School in Lexington; he has previously taught piano at LexiMusic, and pedagogy at the Boston Arts Academy. He brings to his students not only his extensive teaching and performing experience but also his in-depth study of the Alexander Technique, in order to help them employ natural and effective movement in developing their piano playing.

    Eamonn is a versatile performer who has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at a wide range of venues in New England, and has also performed as symphonic pianist with the Cape Ann and Melrose Symphony Orchestras.

  • Chinese Teacher

    Lead Chinese Teacher

    Mrs. Li was born and raised in China, she graduated from college with honor and move to United States with her family over 10 years ago. She believes that learning another language will open our children’s minds. Mrs. Li have taught young students for 10 years in the Public School system both advance and beginners level.

    She holds a Massachusetts Teacher’s License in Mandarin, and currently teaches in Wayland Elementary School. She is enthusiastic, inspiring and caring her class is interactive and always student-centered.

    In her spare time, she being with her family and cooking. 

  • Yoga Instructor

    Yoga Instructor

    Mrs. Carol is an experienced yoga and dance instructor based in Metrowest. She has been teaching Yoga to young children for the past 15 years. Her technique is playful while encouraging children find their balance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from Cornell University. In addition, Carol is certified to teach children’s yoga from Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, MA and is and EEC certified preschool teacher. 

  • History Lead Teacher

    History Lead Teacher

    Sara holds a BA from Brandeis University in Classics and Classical Archaeology. In addition, she hold a Masters from Tufts University in Teaching.  Sara has taught in the last 14 years History in Hopkinton High School. She is the mother of 3 wonderful children who attended Gardengate Academy Charlie, Lucy and Meghan. Her biggest passion (aside from her awesome family) is Art History! Sara is able to transmit this passion to children by offering interactive classes with hands on activities and stories from all over the world !

    When she isn’t teaching History, Sara enjoys doing lots of arts and crafts with her kids, specially slime!  She also loves to spend time in Maine during summer, read and play with her five guinea pigs and one turtle.

  • Brooke LeBlanc

    Classroom Assistant

    Brooke is currently a Sophomore at Natick High School. She has worked with children of all ages all throughout her middle and high school careers in multiple settings, such as Special Olympics, leadership groups within the high school, workshops with younger students, and one on one mentoring. Brooke really enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities and observing the happiness and joy that radiates from the kids.

    During her free time, Brooke enjoys playing volleyball and lacrosse, spending time with family and friends, eating pizza, and watching Netflix.