Peter Turkaly, Volunteer Athletic Director & Assistant Soccer Coach
A lifelong sports enthusiast, Peter has volunteered with RMS athletic programs for several years, and served as a parent volunteer on the Athletic Advisory Committee. Peter excels in communication and organization, and is enthusiastic about improvements and additions to RMS Athletic programs. Coach Turkaly has volunteered to assist Coach Baldini for several years at RMS with soccer. As a high school athlete, Peter participated in soccer, swimming and track & field, and continued with swim team in college. Turkaly has completed whitewater kayaking instructor training (Class II-V), and swiftwater rescue training. He currently participates in leagues for adult recreational ultimate frisbee, and adult indoor and outdoor soccer.
Gianni Baldini, Soccer Coach
Coach Baldini was a player-coach on two teams in Italy before moving to the US. He was VCU Technical Director (1980-84) and VCU Head Soccer Coach (1985-87). Baldini was the first assistant soccer coach at Longwood College in 1998. On the high school level, Baldini started the soccer program at Clover Hill High School and was there from 1984-1986. He started the girls’s soccer program at Patrick Henry High School in 1989. In 1999, Coach Baldini started the soccer program at RMS, and has been here since then. He continues to run coach clinics for Chesterfield and Powhatan County, give private lessons, and runs soccer camps each summer. Coach Baldini holds the following licenses: USA soccer federation B license; Italian Soccer federation coaching C license; Italian soccer federation A license for under 18 players.
Felecia Jefferson, Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach
Coach Felecia has been interested in sports and physical activity from an early age, enjoying unstructured outdoor play, as well as kickball, softball, basketball and stick ball. In middle school, she played on the basketball and softball teams, and continued playing on her high school teams. Jefferson played intramural basketball in college. In 1988, Coach Felecia presented the idea of a co-ed basketball team to RMS, and has been coaching continuously here at RMS since. She has coached co-ed teams, all boy teams, and is now Varsity Girls. To her, sports are not a “girl” or “boy” thing – it is all about skills. Felecia is proud that women’s sports have been recognized over the last 20 years, and she is excited that our girls at RMS have the opportunity to play, and for possible career opportunities.
Gabriella Kaszala, Girls’ Basketball Coach
Coach Gabriella grew up in Hungary. She has always been a sport enthusiast. As many little girls, she started out learning gymnastics and ballet at age 6. At age 7, she was recruited by a scout team to train with the U8 group of the Division II local basketball team. She fell in love with the game and played it ever since. In her high school years while she was competing in her school basketball and track and field team, she also played in a division II basketball team. Her commitment to the sport continued even when she moved to college to become a science teacher. She was member of the college basketball team throughout her college years. She has never stopped playing even after graduating from college. While working as a middle school teacher she continued playing with the city’s first division team. Since in the US she always kept herself active. She never says no to an invitation to play any sports. Besides basketball she loves skiing and playing tennis, squash, and soccer. She was also assistant coach for her son’s recreational basketball team in a local league. While she is very involved in her children’s education (two current and one graduate of RMS) and the Montessori life, a love for education what also keeps Coach Gabriella close to the school. She is really excited to share her love of the GAME and to teach the girls some cool skills and sportsmanship. One of her mottos in life is an old Roman saying: “A sound mind in a sound body”- Keeping your body fit is EQUALLY important as keeping your thinking sharp. Improve and take care of BOTH every single day.
Nilay Patel, Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach
Coach Patel is entering his third year as the head coach of the boy’s varsity basketball team at Richmond Montessori School. Prior to taking the reins of the boys program, Patel spent six years coaching middle school and high school basketball in Chesterfield, Henrico, and in several private schools around the area. In the year prior to coming to RMS, while coaching at Tomahawk Creek Middle School, they racked up a 14-0 record and won the Chesterfield County Middle School Tournament. Outside of RMS, Patel works for Henrico County and wears several different hats. He enjoys working with kids, engaging in sports, spending time with his family and traveling. Nilay Patel’s goal on the court and in life is the same—learn every single day.