Wheaton Montessori Staff
Ms. Chiste has an undergraduate degree in Dance and Theatre from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), in Glassboro, NJ. She took the AMI Montessori training in Phoenix and received an M.Ed. from Loyola College in Maryland. Mrs. Berdick and Ms. Lingo have enjoyed working with her since 1995. Ms. Chiste has served the school as admissions director, community director, and as the teacher for ballet, creative movement, drama and sports skills. Both of her children attended WMS. In her spare time, Ms. Chiste enjoys music, reading, and following hockey.
When Laura S.’s daughter started as a young 2-year-old, she joined her big brother in Ms. Chiste’s classroom. Reflecting on this big step, Laura had this to say:
“So excited for our little buttercup to get to go to school with her big brother. So many thoughts and feelings on my end. I was feeling a bit sad about missing my little side kick yesterday until we had orientation and I remembered why I love Wheaton Montessori! Yes it will be a transition for both of us, but she was so excited by the material and she already loves her teacher Ms. Chiste; she wanted to bring her a flower on her first day. Jon woke her up this morning and said, “Livie are you ready for your big day?!” Both of them were so excited. I’m especially grateful that she will get to start in his same classroom and I have so much peace of mind knowing he is with her.
The best part about the Montessori curriculum is that I never worry that my kids are going to be unhappy at school. They get to spend their time exploring their environment with loving classmates and staff. Plus, knowing that the student teacher relationship is a long term one that will only become stronger with time. I’ve seen that first hand with Jon. If she has to be away from me and begin her own little life experience, there is no where I’d rather see her develop her first experiences with the outside world and school.”
“Four-year-old Iris fell in awestruck love with Ms. Chiste on her very first day at WMS, and our whole family has been #TeamChiste ever since. She nurtured Iris’s intense passion for metal insets and encouraged her love of writing (even when all she wanted to write about were “difrnt anaml prinseses who wor makup on thar faces” every day). Throughout her elementary years and into junior high, her first WMS teacher has remained a touchstone for Iris — it just feels good to her to know Ms. Chiste is there.” – Amy Milligan, parent of a Wheaton Montessori Jr. High student