Gardengate Academy, 249 N Main St, Natick, Massachusetts 01760, United States

(508)720-0033

Gardengate Academy

GARDENGATE ACADEMY

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Gabi maza

Owner & Director

Gabi Maza brings more than 20 years experience in Early Childhood Education. Her experience includes schools  from Mexico and United States with children ages 2 to 10 years. Gabi holds a degree on  Art Therapy for Young Minds from La Salle, she is a Music Together Certified and part of Casa Alianza, a Program which provides education for Teen moms in South America. 

Gabi had taught Child Development  at Music Together, Kinder-Music and ISIS Maternity.  After working at ISIS Maternity Gabi offers parenting advice to families and educators on child development, sleep and children's behavior.  Gabi had worked as a teacher, administrator and curriculum coordinator bringing a high quality program for families in the MetroWest Area. Gabi is passionate about the Reggio approach and is willing to bring any resource necessary to expose children into this environment.

In addition, Gabi served her time for over 3 years at Harvard Labs leading young entrepreneurs finding their way to found their own business in the local areas. 

When not at Gardengate, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family,  who continue to inspire her work.

GABI'S REFERENCES

SALAM ELSAKKA

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Co-Director

Salam has over 7 years of experience working as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Education & Care with a concentration in Administration and Supervision from the University of Massachusetts - Boston.   Before starting with Gardengate, she was a Director of an Early Childhood Center in Boston and prior to that, she was an infant, toddler and preschool teacher throughout college. 

Inspired by the Reggio approach, Salam loves being able to show children their potential and  figure out ways to learn more effectively to achieve their milestones. She aims  to create a motivating community for  teachers as educators in a fast paced, ever changing environment. Salam believes that strong communities are based diversity and she is willing to provide this in a nurturing environment for all. 

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

JACKIE COUTOUMAS

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Toddler Lead & Dance Coordinator

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 8 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.

Aside from teaching dance, Jackie has worked with children ages 2 to 5 years in the last 6 years. She is a certified lead teacher by the Department of Early  Education and Care.  She is excited to transmit her passion for the Reggio Style to children and families within our community. 

In her free time, Jackie likes to watch movies, play with her puppy Brady and hang out with her family and friends.

JANET CRAMER

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Infant Lead Teacher

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. A few years later, Janet  began pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. She is Lead Teacher certified by the Department of Education and is continuing her classes at Mass Bay Community College to further her certifications.

Janet has a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. For several summers she taught her Tae kwon do skills to children ages 5-10 at a summer camp in Needham and Robert Giorgio’s School of Tae kwon do. Her love of language, nature, and art has been of personal interest to her as she explores the world with her baby students. 

During her free time Janet works as a licensed Real Estate agent and enjoys showing homes in the Metro West area! She also loves football, basketball, exercise, baking, eating and spending time with her family and friends.

ROB CARNEY

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After School Lead

Rob Carney is a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki practitioner, & Thai Bodyworker. Rob holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sustainable Food & Farming with a concentration on Holistic Health from UMass Amherst and is currently enrolled in his Master's for Business Administration at UMass Boston. Motivated by a concussion that knocked him out of activities at 17 years old, he set out on a mission to become the best version of himself and empower others in the process.

Rob has worked with many of the best nutritionists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and other integrative practitioners south of Boston. Each experience has been a stepping stone of learning and growth which has led to the next. In early 2017, Rob set out on his journey to Southeast Asia. It was here that some monumental shifts occurred. Being able to live in the jungles of Sri Lanka as the only American, Rob gained perspective and experience connecting without the use of a common language. Here, Rob worked with the children on the nearly 300 acre farm, teaching English & practices of Sustainability to protect our planet. This last experience was an enriching inspiration for our Reggio Style which he practices naturally with our children in class.  In addition, Rob has spent time working at various schools and leading classes to help the youth become more in tune with their bodies and share his knowledge of health. 

Rob brings a unique skill-set and knowledge from the world of Functional Health & Sustainability that he is excited to bring to Gardengate. He believes that children should be in touch with the natural world; including plants, animals, and having a connection to their own bodies through moving and breathing.

He looks forward to incorporating these aspects into our After School program!

LINDA BURSCH

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Preschool Lead

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 and become a certified Lead Teacher by the Department of Education and Care. During her senior year, she realized she wanted to continue schooling and chose to study Photography. She made the decision to go to Salem State University majoring in Art with a concentration in Photography with a Minor in Theatre.

Linda has 6 years of experience working with children and about 2 years of experience working for various photography companies before realizing she preferred to do freelance work. Linda shares her love and passion for the Reggio style by exposing children to nature and love for art expression. 

Outside of work Linda spends time with family and friends, watching movies, reading comics, occasionally plays video games with her siblings, painting, drawing and anything artsy as well as fitting in freelance photography work where she can. 

MARY RODRIGUEZ

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Assisting Teacher

Mary attended MassBay Community College with a Medical Coding Certificate and a Medical Office Administrative Assistant Certificate with High Honors. Mary is currently a student Penn Foster and has  five years of experience in the medical office as a Medical Records Coordinator at a nursing home. 

In 2013, Mary worked at Kathleen Daniel Nursing Home and Bethany Health Care Center bringing high quality care for their patients. Mary is excited to bring her love of nature and warm care into our classroom. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

Mary is happily married, mother of 3 children and first time grandmother of a young infant. Mary is excited to continue being part of our Program providing a nurturing and  loving environment for our young minds.

During her free time, Mary enjoys going to the movies and restaurants but best of all, Mary loves spending time with her family.