Primary or “Children’s House”
(Ages 3 – 6 years)

Between the ages of 3 and 6, Maria Montessori called this environment Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House). Everything in the classroom is child-size and hands-on materials are designed to support self-directed discovery and learning. Your child has extraordinary powers of mind; she possesses a once-in-a-lifetime ability to simply absorb information and concepts from her surroundings, like a sponge. The prepared environment includes an array of scientifically designed materials help to develop a new skill or reveal a new concept through your child’s use and exploration. Some provide the opportunity to perfect the practical skills of caring for her own needs or for the classroom environment. Some enrich her vocabulary and open the door to writing, reading, and the parts of speech.  Others build on your child’s natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Some encourage artistic self-expression through the introduction of skills and media.  Use of the materials builds a foundation of concrete experiences of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, assisting your child to a deeper level of understanding.

Primary Faculty:

Nicola Arango

Nicola Arango

Assistant Director & Primary Coordinator

Nicola “Nicki” Arango was born and raised in Minnesota. She moved down to St. Petersburg, Florida in 2011 with her husband. Before moving to St. Petersburg Nicki worked in a Montessori school in Minnesota for 7 years. She started working at Alegria in 2011 as a lead 3-6 teacher. She obtained her Montessori training for children aged 3-6 from Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Education Center in 2013. Nicki has a degree in Business with a focus on Organizational Leadership and Management. Nicki is the level-coordinator of the 3-6 classrooms and overlooks the kindergarten program. Outside of work Nicki enjoys reading, running, and being outside in the beautiful Florida weather.


Beronica Fajardo

Primary Teacher & Spanish Teacher

Beronica was born and raised in Venezuela before moving to St. Petersburg with her husband and three sons. She joined Alegria as a Spanish teacher and is now a lead 3-6 teacher in a bilingual classroom. Beronica studied Administration and International trade in Venezuela and has her Montessori Early Childhood Certification from Montessori Academy Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida


Sara Springle

Primary Assistant Teacher

Sara grew up in St. Petersburg. She recently graduated from Emory University, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Classical Civilization. She has loved working with young children since her first job as a camp counselor, and now in her role as a 3-6 assistant teacher. Sara loves learning about the natural world with the 3-6 year olds. In her free time, Sara enjoys reading, cooking, and swimming at the beach. 


Inamaru Gil

Primary Teacher & Spanish Teacher

Ina is from Venezuela and has her degree in Initial Education from her country. Ina has worked with young children for more than 15 years. She moved to the United States 4 years ago and has since continued her education doing what she loves most, teaching children and learn from them. Ina started at Alegria as a Spanish teacher and is now the lead 3-6 teacher in a bilingual classroom. Ina has her Montessori certification for children age 3-6 from Montessori Academy Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida.  



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Yanlie Milain-Sarmiento

Primary Teacher & Spanish Teacher

Yanlie was born and raised in Cuba. She has lived in St Petersburg for the last 10 years. Yanlie started at Alegria as a Spanish teacher and is now a lead 3-6 teacher in a bilingual classroom. Yanlie has her Montessori certification for children age 3-6 from Montessori Academy Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She enjoys music, dancing and drawing in her free time.



Tamara Abrams

Primary Substitute & EDP Teacher

Tamara grew up in Delaware and moved to Florida in 2007. She has 10 years of traditional preschool experience and started working in a Montessori environment in 2018. Tamara joined us at Alegria during the summer of 2021. She is currently working on her Montessori Fundamentals Certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Tamara helps support the primary classrooms during the day and joins the toddlers for EDP in the afternoon. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, creating digital art, making jewelry and spending time with her husband and two daughters.