Meet Our Staff

Cindy Acker, Head of School Consultant

Cindy Acker Hamilton Montessori School

Cindy is our consulting Head of School of Hamilton Montessori School. She is the founder of The Child Unique and The Montessori Elementary School of Alameda (MESA). She has several degrees in education, human development, spirituality, cultural studies and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley. Cindy has also been involved in public policy, representing Montessori schools in California. She is a published author and a national keynote speaker. Apart from her passion for education, Cindy is a singer and choir director in Novato and a mother of three adult children. Cindy speaks Dutch and Spanish.


Neringa Willis, Director

neringa willis

Neringa’s home is the country of Lithuania and she is fluent in both Lithuanian and English. She has her Bachelor of Education degree from Klaipeda University in Lithuania and her AA degrees in Behavioral Science from Santa Rosa Junior College. Neringa was the Lead Teacher/Assistant Director at a Montessori school in Petaluma for 8 years which she enjoyed, but felt that she was ready to stretch her abilities and knowledge beyond her years of preschool teaching experience. We welcome Neringa to Hamilton Montessori School as our new Director.  


Melissa Morales, Teacher 


Melissa says that she knew teaching would be her career since she was 14 years old.  She began her education in the childhood development and began studying Montessori education shortly thereafter.  She has worked as an assistant teacher and lead teacher for the past six years in San Francisco. Melissa is a parent and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.


Dean Robinson, Assistant Teacher 

Version 2

Dawn has a background in language studies, in music, and in early childhood education.  She holds a B.A. in English Literature With Writing Emphasis, from Dominican University, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, from Pacific University of Oregon.  She earned 24 ECE units in Early Childhood Education, studied for two years on Montessori training while teaching concurrently, and took part in two years of study in a Single-Subject English Teaching Credential through Dominican University.  She has taught, and tutored children in classes from preschool to high school for eighteen years, in Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and various other methodologies.  Kids are some of her favorite people; she holds the imagination which they embody in high regard.


Esther Wanlaja, Assistant Teacher 

(bio and photo coming soon)

Gloria Cunha, Substitute Assistant Teacher

Gloria Cunha

Gloria has more than 15 years of classroom experience, working in San Francisco.  She is a nature enthusiast, involves the outdoor experience fully in appreciation of the earth and in outdoor sports activities.  Gloria brings a joyful spirit to children.  She lives in the Hamilton neighborhood.