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Each child is valued as a unique individual. We recognize that children learn in different ways and accommodate all learning styles.  Children also learn at their own pace, allowing them to advance through the curriculum when they are ready. 

Meet The Teachers


Martha Krane

Director and Head Teacher

I'm Miss Martha, director and head teacher at Circle of Friends.  I helped open the school in 2008.  I attended Bay Path Jr. College and worked many years as a Medical Assistant.  After having my own children, I went back to school for Early Childhood Education and earned my Montessori Certification in 2006.  I reside in Westbrook with my husband and have two grown girls in their twenties.  


Deri-Ann Weiss

My name is Miss Deri-Ann. My family has lived in East Haddam since 2010. My husband, Ever, and I have four children, two girls and two boys. Their ages are 14,11,8, and 6.  Prior to being married and having children, I worked as a lead team teacher at Winfield Children's House; a Montessori school in Falmouth, Maine. I enjoy camping and spending time outdoors with my family.


Shaivite Nichols

Assistant and art teacher

Raised in an interfaith,  international community in Central Florida-by way of Arizona and New York-I left that ashram for Miami, Mexico, and Central America where she trained in a variety of fine arts media as well as jewelry making and silversmithing.

I created an art history-based studio art curriculum for Florida students at a K-8 school and co-founded a parent-accompanied, pre-kindergarten program in art, music, and science.  When my younger child graduated from MCOF in 2018, I welcomed the opportunity to join MCOF as an assistant teacher and the art teacher.

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Jennifer Hickey

Assistant teacher


I am Miss Jennie. I studied Early Childhood Education at Mitchell College in New London and hold an Associates degree. I grew up in Cheser, and now live in Cromwell with my husband, stepson, and daughter. Together we love hiking, ice skating, trying ice cream spots around the state and baking yummy treats!

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