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Our Teachers

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Alison Evans
Head of School

Co-founder Alison Evans is an AMS-certified Montessori primary teacher through the Montessori Institute – New England (MI-NE). She received her B.A. in mathematics from Middlebury College and an M.Ed. with a Montessori Concentration from Gordon College. Alison has been a teacher trainer for MI-NE, creating and delivering a course on classroom management. She holds a Massachusetts teaching license in elementary mathematics as well as Director certification by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Alison is the co-author of three books through her partnership with Master Class Materials (MCM) which are available on Spring Tea: A Celebration of Grace and Courtesy for Children 3 – 6A Biography of Maria Montessori for and by Children, and We Love Slugs! She also holds certification as a Mental Health First Responder, Parent Educator (Redirecting Children's Behavior), and a NCMPS Montessori Coach. 

Alison has two children, both of whom attended Montessori schools when they were young. They are now successful college students; Alison’s son is studying English Literature and Saxophone Performance and her daughter is studying Mathematics and Computer Science. In addition to Alison’s dedication to Montessori education, she is an enthusiastic, amateur photographer (check out our Instagram feed) and loves to get outside to observe plants and wildlife no matter the season!

Melanie Bohanan completed her Montessori teaching credential through the Northeast Montessori Institute (NMI). Melanie is Lead Teacher certified by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and is taking classes at Northern Essex Community College to complete her degree in Early Childhood Education. Melanie has also completed the Montessori Assistant training at Northeast Montessori Institute. 

Melanie is married and has three middle- and high-school aged children who keep her busy and engaged in a variety of activities from theater to sports. Melanie grew up in rural Puerto Rico and speaks fluent Spanish. She enjoys introducing young students to her native language and culture through songs, activities, and daily conversation.


Melanie Bohanan
Lead Teacher

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Mariaisabel Sosa Valdez

Assistant Teacher

Mariaisabel Sosa Valdez fell in love with early childhood education while working at a preschool in Georgia. After moving to Massachuestts, she decided to follow her passion for teaching and is currently working towards her Teacher certification through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). She holds a B.A. in Advertising from the University of Puerto Rico. In addition, Mariaisabel has taken classes in Building Classroom Community and has begun taking classes in Montessori math and Child Development. 


While Mariaisabel does not have children of her own, she is an aunt to three nephews and godmother to four children. She grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she loved spending time with family, going to the beach, and watching sunsets. She looks forward to sharing her cultural heritage and native language, Spanish, with Birch Tree students and helping to foster a nurturing and engaging learning environment in the classroom. 

Manuela Garcia joined the Birch Tree team in July of 2023 and is currently working towards her Teacher certification through the Massachusetts Department of Education and Care (EEC). Manuela began working in early childhood after having two children of her own. Her first position was as a behavioral technician with children on the autism spectrum. In this role, she worked under the supervision of a board certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA.) Manuela loves every part of her job helping young children to achieve their goals and make improvements in areas that need strengthening. Prior to her work in early childhood education, Manuela worked in the medical field and is qualified as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). 


Manuela is the mother of two young children. Her son is in elementary school and her daughter is finishing her kindergarten year at Birch Tree. Manuela loves to dance and lists bachata and merengue as particular favorites. Her favorite place to visit on vacation is the Dominican Republic. 


Manuela Garcia
Assistant Teacher

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