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Meet Our Administration


Ms. Christina Chiaffarano entered the field of education seven years ago, and earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She began her career by counseling underprivileged children at the elementary level in public schools. Upon switching careers to Montessori Education, she acquired her Montessori Society Credential in Early Childhood (AMS) from the prestigious Montessori Teacher Training Institute (MTTI), under the guidance of 

Mrs. Beverly McGhee (Head of MTTI). Ms. Chiaffarano served as a Lead Teacher at Small World Montessori for three years under the directorship of the Head of School, Mr. Vayani, and then went on to acquire her Director's Credential in Early Childcare with VPK endorsement. She is the Director of Admissions at Small World Montessori. 

Ms. Christina Chiaffarano

Director of Admissions

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Ms. Karem Amaya serves as the Director of Curricula for Small World Montessori Schools. She is originally from Bogota, Colombia, where she lived until she was 13 years old.  After moving to the United States, she lived in Chicago for 10 years before relocating to South Florida. Ms. Amaya graduated from the College of DuPage with her degree in Applied Science in Fashion Design. She obtained her Montessori Certifications from American Montessori Internationale, specializing in ages 3-6 and 6-12. Ms. Amaya joined our team in 2022, and brought with her 18 years of experience as a Montessori teacher. She is grateful for the ability to help her students learn in organic ways in an authentic Montessori atmosphere. At Small World Montessori School, Ms. Amaya enjoys and integration and appreciation of all cultures and ethnicities. 

Ms. Karem Amaya
Director of Curricula

Ms. Katiuscia Merlo is originally from Hoboken, New Jersey, and serves as a Director of Curricula for Small World Montessori Schools and a Lead Primary Techer at our Miramar Campus. In this role, she assists in both the creation of our Montessori Curriculum, and its implementation in our classrooms. Ms. Merlo received her Associate of Science at Nova University, and her Montessori Certification in Primary Education with Directors Credentials from Pan American Montessori Society. She has been a part of Small World Montessori since 2020 and brings with her over 23 years of experience in the Montessori field. Ms. Merlo enjoys her position because of the child centered and family oriented values of the school community.

Ms. Katiuscia Merlo
Director of Curricula

Ms. Anna Rendon serves as the Assistant Director of our Miami Gardens campus. In this role, she oversees all building operations and ensures that all students who enter our doors receive the best care and instruction. Ms. Rendon also acts as the Toddler Coordinator at both of our locations, where she oversees and assists in the implementation of our Toddler Curriculum. Originally from South Florida, she attended Keiser University and Miami Dade College. She later received her Montessori Certification from the American Montessori Society with Infant and Toddler Credentials and Director Credentials. Ms. Anna has worked with Small World Montessori Schools for over 12 years, using her knowledge and experiences to help both students and teachers grow and succeed.

Ms. Anna Rendon
Assistant Director
Coordinator for Toddler Program 
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Ms. Ana Hernandez serves as an Assistant Director at both our Miramar and Miami Gardens campuses. Born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, Ms. Hernandez received her associate degree in liberal arts from Broward College. She is currently attending the University of Florida to obtain a Bachelor of Political Science. Prior to her role at Small World Montessori, she oversaw the order management and record keeping of a dietary supplement company. Since joining the school in January 2020, Ms. Hernandez manages all contractual obligations for both student and employee files, ensuring that all school records remain up to date. She enjoys our campus culture because of everyone's eagerness to lift each other up and work collaboratively.

Ms. Ana Hernandez
Assistant Director

Ms. Estefania Ramirez serves as the Administrator of Finance at both our Miramar and Miami Gardens campuses. Originally born in Colombia, Ms. Ramirez graduated from Florida International University with her Bachelor of Accounting. Prior to her role at Small World Montessori, she worked as an Office Administrator and Billing Specialist for a commercial landscaping and irrigation company. Since joining our family in April 2021, she assists families during the enrollment process to ensure there is a mutual understanding of tuition and fees, assists with schedule changes, uniform orders, and oversees all financial concerns. Ms. Ramirez enjoys the relationships that she has gained during her time at Small World and attributes the positive culture of the school to the collaborative efforts of the Administration, staff, and parent community. As a member of our parent community herself, Ms. Ramirez shares a deep appreciation for our teaching staff, and through her son has experienced the growth that our students undergo as they advance through our programs.

Ms. Estefania Ramirez
Administrator of Finance
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Ms. Olivia Payne serves as the Administrator of Communications and Marketing at both our Miramar and Miami Gardens campuses. Originally from Palm Beach County, Ms. Payne obtained her Associate of Arts in 2019 and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Communication with a Minor in Sociology at Florida Atlantic University. Prior to her role at Small World Montessori, she worked as an Administrative Assistant and Customer Service Specialist for a medical office. Since joining our family in April 2022, she oversees all parent and teacher communication, school events, social media, and marketing. Ms. Payne most enjoys the welcoming and encouraging community culture that has been built by students, parents, and staff at Small World Montessori Schools. 

Ms. Olivia Payne
Administrator of Communications and Marketing 
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