Founding Director of New Sharon French Montessori School Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in JP
Linda Chery-Valentin was arraigned today.
The director of Arc-en-Ciel Daycare in Jamaica Plain pleaded not guilty Tuesday to trying to run down parishioners of her host church and threatening the priest.
Prosecutors say Linda Chery-Valentin allegedly drove her SUV at the church’s rector and a parishioner on Sunday, May 6. She got out of the vehicle, prosecutors say, and pushed the rector, saying, "You are going to be sorry."
Chery-Valentin, 46, of Natick directs the Arc-En-Ciel Daycare and Montessori School from the basement of the 61 Rockwood St. church.
She is also the founding director of Le Petit Prince Ecole Montessori Internationale, a new French bilingual Montessori school opening in Sharon this September. The school holds an information session from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Sharon Community Center.
"Father George, the church's priest, told FOX 25 that the owner of the daycare decided to hold an open house, but did not mention the event to church staff. He said Chery-Valentin was mad that there were not enough parking spaces," the TV station reports.
Chery-Valentin was arraigned on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault and battery, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.
WBZ reports that parents are having a hard time believing the charges. It also has video of her lawyer responding to the allegations.
The dispute has its roots not in the May 6 incident, but rather in a long-simmering legal wrangle, according to WBZ. The daycare's lease was not renewed after it ran out in October 2010, parishioners told the TV station. WBZ also reports that Chery-Valentin was ordered by the judge not to enter the church or rectory, though she can still go to her daycare in the basement of the complex.
Meanwhile, the licensing of the Montessori schools "falls out of our auspices," said Frederic Catlin, president of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts Board of Directors.
A Montessori school is "not a franchise," Catlin said.