Mark & Alison Aromando, Owners
Alpine Montessori of Sparta and Oak Ridge is owned by Mark and Alison Aromando. They grew up in Florham Park and Summit, met in high school, graduated from Villanova and Georgetown Universities respectively and then when married, settled in Madison, NJ, where they currently reside with their three children ages 8, 12 and 14.
They know first-hand the challenges of looking for good childcare and early education, as they were both working in NYC when their children were young. Finding the right childcare and opportunity for education is one of the most important decisions parents have to make and, therefore, they want to help others as we all try to balance work and family.
Through the Alpine schools, they provide the same loving and safe environment to families that they searched for years ago when their children were young. Through the Montessori method, Alpine offers a philosophy that fosters self-directed growth for children with a natural curiosity and desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect. Through the Alpine staff, they develop students who are knowledgeable and capable with a strong sense of self. As a result, Mark & Alison are thrilled to own such special schools responsible for the development of the whole child and fortunate to witness daily the powerful effects of a place ‘where early engagement becomes education for life’.
Melissa Dugan, Director and Lead Teacher
Melissa has been with Alpine Montessori since 1992 and has been a certified director for the past eight years. Melissa is certified in Early Education from County College of Morris and is trained in CPR and first aid. Melissa says, “I just love the innocence of children. They are pure of heart and truly want to learn. My happiest moments are when a child masters a new skill and feels so proud of themselves.” She loves to spend time with her grandchildren and in enjoys reading, crafting, and walking.
Regina Davis, Lead Teacher
Regina has been with Alpine Montessori since 2004 and has been teaching for over twenty years. Regina has a teaching degree for N – 8th grade from Brockport State College and is trained in CPR and first aid. Regina says,’I love spending time with the children. Seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new is fantastic.” In her free time you may see her on Lake Hopatcong enjoying a variety of outdoor activities like boating, kayaking, and water skiing. When the weather gets colder, she loves to ski, but she always finds some time to just sit and cherish a good book.
Emily Connolly, Lead Teacher
Emily has been with Alpine Montessori since 1999. Emily has a Bachelors degree from William Patterson University in History with a minor in Early Childhood Education and is trained in CPR and first aid. Emily says, “I love everything about Alpine Montessori. I am happiest when singing with the children and teaching them something new.” She’s kept busy as a mom of two young boys who are very active in their local sports teams. She also loves to bake.