Meet the MKU Hillsborough Team

Elina Burdin - Owner

From My Family To Yours – A Letter From The Owner

Since the age of three, playing with my dolls and pretending to be a teacher, I knew that I wanted to have a career in childcare. I spent every summer of my childhood with my grandma at her camp job and grew up in the childcare environment. As a teenager, I myself worked in a summer camp and a day care center. At the age of 20, I moved to America from my home country of Latvia. I moved here with my family, a single suitcase and no money in my pocket. I was quickly forced into a part time job to support my family, putting a higher education on hold. I applied to New York University and thankfully got accepted, however, people around me stressed that a career in childcare or education was unrealistic and would not give me a good life. I was pushed away from the industry I was passionate about and into a different one. I worked, managed a company for nearly 10 years, got married and had two children. Because I didn’t truly have a passion for my job, I made my focus raising my kids. In my heart, I didn’t love my job and I knew I couldn’t continue in the same manner as I had so I decided to leave my job and finally pursue childcare and my true calling.

I had vaguely heard of the Montessori Method but it wasn’t truly on my radar and as a busy parent I didn’t have time to figure out its benefits. However, when I began to get complaints of my son’s behavior in class, I knew something had to change and public education just wasn’t working. I rediscovered Montessori education and quickly realized it was perfect for my son. Montessori advocates for each child to learn at an individual pace and follow their interests while still learning everything necessary to advance. Each child then begins the day with a desire to learn and learning becomes something that each child looks forward to rather than dreads. My son began Montessori at the age of 7 and has remained in the Montessori environment till this day.

Upon doing my research for my son, I became a strong believer of, and a passionate advocate for, the Montessori Method. My dissatisfaction with the public education system, paired with my love for childcare, made me decide to dedicate the rest of my life and career to it. I have made my life’s goal to make a difference in the lives of children with the Montessori Method and through it to better our community and help each child grow to love education.

Welcome to our Family!

Adele - Head Teacher

Adele is the head teacher for the Primary class. She is highly qualified Montessori trained teacher with fifteen years of experience. She has devoted her entire career to helping children grow and reach their full potential. Nothing brings Adele greater joy than seeing a child excel in her classroom. Adele holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Adelphi University and continued her education through American Montessori Center where she earned her Montessori Diploma. Adele will head the kindergarten program.

Lynne - Infant/Toddler teacher

Lynne comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience as an infant/toddler teacher. She has a degree in early childhood education and has worked with all ages. She is CPR and First Aid certified.
Lynne is passionate about creating positive learning experience for children. She devotes her free time to changing the environment to create new challenges for children. She is energized by S.T.E.A.M program she is able to offer to very young children. Lynne considers herself a researcher and a mentor of best practices for children.

Karen - Infant teacher

Karen comes to us with a wealth of experience in an early childhood education. She is our infant teacher who supports the infants’ strengths and helps to develop the skills they need to master. Patience, kindness and love are qualities Karen exudes naturally. She is pursuing her studies in Montessori and is excited about the Reggio approach which we have instituted in our new art and engineering studio.

Pamela Bianco - Art teacher

Ms. Pam has two NJ teaching certifications, one for elementary education and the other for art education. She did her student teaching for elementary school general subjects in a second grade classroom and worked as a personal aide in a kindergarten classroom before taking her first teaching position. She loves seeing how children’s artwork reflects their development and what’s on their minds and in their hearts. She enjoys creating opportunities for them to make and appreciate art including most recently twelve years teaching art for a pre-k through 12 th grade special services school district, an experience
she called art-on-a-cart-in-a-car because she drove to classrooms in multiple buildings every day with her supplies in bags and boxes and a wheelie cart in her car. She is happy to work in an actual art room now, encouraging and sharing the children’s excitement and sense of accomplishment as they draw and paint and make things there.