Our Teachers & Staff
A teaching community dedicated to the most formative years of your child’s development.
The bond between our educators and their students is central to our philosophy. Our highly trained staff forge deep connections with each child and their families. This relationship-centric approach underpins our commitment to holistically nurture every student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic growth within the classroom.
Our team of over 25 Montessori Accredited teachers (Leads & Co-Leads), boast college degrees and esteemed Montessori accreditations from the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and the American Montessori Society (AMS). Further enriching our educational landscape is our dedicated support staff, including an additional 30+ Montessori Assistants with experience in early childhood education.
I discovered Montessori in 2015 when my son joined SMS. I quickly became an integral part of this community, starting as a lunch mom and then an assistant teacher in Room 2 in 2016. My evolution into a lead teacher in 2020 was a significant milestone, especially as I set up my first classroom. The highlight of my journey has been the lasting relationships I’ve formed, particularly with a kindergartener whose regular visits after graduation symbolize the strong bonds fostered here. At SMS, I cherish the three-year journey with each child, allowing for meaningful connections. What truly makes SMS special is the community’s support, exemplified during my recent illness, with overwhelming assistance from everyone. This sense of belonging and mutual care is why I love working here.
I started as a preschool teacher in India and have been working in the educational field for three years off and on since then. I love helping with car drop-off in the morning; seeing the kids happy sleepy faces. I love working at SMS because of the kind nature of the teachers who work here. I always feel welcomed coming into school.
This will be my 29th year in a Montessori classroom. Working at SMS has given me the opportunity to work with people from all over the world! The diversity the school has with both the staff and the families has made our large world feel closer together. Sammamish Montessori has very supportive directors who support personal growth as a teacher, autonomy in the classroom, all the while staying true to the authenticity of Montessori Method of education.
I have 22 years of experience in the educational field and this is my third year working at SMS. The most fun thing about working here is the age group of the kids. My son is now growing out of the 3-6 year age group so it is nice to have that constant here. The conversations that I have with the kids are the most fun. I love how trusting they are; they can come to me about anything. I love working at SMS because it’s a very warm and welcoming place. It feels good to work here. I’ve always been in Room 14 and it has always been a good experience.
I have been babysitting since I was fifteen and have been working at SMS for 4 years. Some fun memories I have about working at SMS have been working in afterschool club and just dancing around for a little bit after all the kids leave. I also love the end of the year carnival and crazy hair day. I love working at SMS because of the working environment. I come in and I know I have a nice support system.
I was recommended SMS for my son when arriving from England in 1989. I quickly saw what a wonderful learning experience he was having and started to volunteer in his class. I later became an assistant and in 1996 I took my Montessori training . My love for this school has grown over the years and has given me a new family and community. I have enjoyed every year like the first and after 30 years of experience the joy continues. I get to spend time with children from all over the world and learn together about diversity and cultural activities. My passion has been teaching children the practical skills they need for continued development and I love to show children how to take care of animals. Some of my fondest moments are seeing the smiles while riding ponies and blasting off rockets into the sky. I feel blessed to get to come to school everyday to see the joy of learning and exploration of ingenious materials. I truly believe in the Montessori philosophy.
This is my first job since moving to the United States. I really like working at SMS and the school is very close to my heart. It feels as if I am working with my family.
I have been in the Solar field for the last 5 years and with it came quite a bit of knowledge in construction and safety skills with different tools and kinds of work. Going on a field trip to Red Barn Farm with the school and helping at the event was definitely a good way of getting to know people and enjoying the day. I am constantly learning new things with Mr. David. The new scope of work is a very interactive and hands on experience that allows me to earn new skills and better some that I already have such as time management.
Student Enrollment Manager
This is my 14th year working at SMS and my first year working in the office. I started at SMS when my son was in kindergarten and was a reading mom. I really enjoyed working with the kids so the teachers recommended that I interview to be a staff member. My favorite thing about working here is the collogues. We are a great group of women and I have made really good friends over the years. These are people that I can count on if I need anything, absolutely anything. I love the environment here at SMS; it feels like family. We do everything together and have each other’s backs.
I have 3 years of experience in the educational field. The community at SMS is very warm, welcoming, and friendly. I’m looking forward to growth working at SMS.
I have enjoyed giving piano lessons at the school for since 2009. (Plus I have taught from my home for around 20 years)! It has been so fun to watch the students grow in their knowledge of how to play the piano. I love getting to know them each personally and smile when I see their eyes light up when they really enjoy hearing themselves make music!
Montessori has been a part of my life for the last 15 years. One of my daughters was educated in a Montessori school for just a year and I remember being in awe of the materials the teachers used. It has been 15 years since I am in this field and the Montessori method and the materials still haven’t stopped exciting me! I started my teaching journey as an assistant, after which I worked for 7 years as a science teacher for kindergarteners and elementary students in a different school. I learnt so much about the topics as I planned my lessons. This happened mainly as I strived to bring topics to the children using the Montessori philosophy of hands-on learning at every step. As a science graduate I have a strong respect for the Montessori philosophy since it seemed so much about real understanding vs just learning the concept. I had a couple years where I was teaching in my old school and Sammamish Montessori. I have been a part of Sammamish Montessori for a total 9 years, some as a lead teacher and few as a substitute teacher. I enjoy being a part of the warm community and the best part, every single day are the children! They bring joy and satisfaction day after day in my life 😊
I hold an postgraduate in Organic Chemistry. My inherent passion for teaching led me to support numerous students in their studies back in India. This year marks the beginning of my journey as an assistant teacher at SMS, and the experience has been nothing short of amazing. Observing the tangible progress in my preschooler son, who also attends SMS, has been especially rewarding. Working at SMS allows me to contribute to the remarkable transformation of these wonderful kids within the community, making each day a fulfilling and enriching experience.
Business Director / Co-Owner
I have 10+ Years of experience as a father and 20+ years professional experience. When we were approached by SMS previous owners (Chris Starling, Joan Starling, Hilary Prentice, and Janet Villella) to see if we are interested in owning SMS, we knew that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this unique and magical place. We quit our jobs and decided to fully immerse ourselves in running this school. Every day comes with a challenge (or fun) and there are countless such memories. The more recent ones (and happens often) are when we go home leaving our kid back in daycare or forgetting our own kids’ passcode during pick-up. I also came to know recently that my kid is referred to as ‘boss baby’ and that visual brings a chuckle every time I think of it. All our kids spent their formative years at SMS and our youngest is still at SMS in his Kindergarten class. Growing up in India, our parents provided us with good education even if it meant they had to forego many of life’s pleasures. Where we are today is a product of that sacrifice, and our life’s passion is to provide that foundation to our next generation. Specifically, the Montessori form of education has produced several leaders and entrepreneurs, and at SMS, we truly believe we are growing our leaders of the future. That unique opportunity to shape a child’s life is why I love to work at SMS.
I started my Montessori journey as a parent about 15 years ago and fell in love with it! I’ve been a Montessori lead for 3 years and am proud to be a part of the wonderful Sammamish Montessori Community! This is a warm and caring space that brings the true values of Montessori philosophy to the society! In my free time I practice yoga and escape to the beautiful PNW outdoors!
Front Office Administrator
I have 5 years of experience in the educational field, and this is my first year working at SMS. What I love most about SMS is the community. Since joining the school, I have felt an overwhelming sense of welcomeness and togetherness from the staff members and families alike. I love friendly environment that has been created here at SMS.
I started my teaching experience in Texas where I was for 6 years, and I have been working at SMS for 1 year. I love the environment as SMS. I love my relationship with the teachers and the kids. The kids here make my day. They make me smile and make me laugh.
As a Montessori teacher and an educator for 18 years, I find immense joy and fulfillment in my role. I am passionate about fostering a love for learning in young minds, witnessing their curiosity, and fearlessness, providing an environment where children thrive emotionally, socially, and academically, and parallelly focusing on the whole child’s development. I am continually inspired by the children’s growth, the magic of our materials, and the strong bonds we build with parents at SMS.
I started working with children in 2009. I really like coming to work at SMS. The people are very special; they feel like family.
I have 15 years of experience in the educational field. I love working at SMS because for 3 years I get to see the children gain confidence. SMS has a very positive environment. Whenever I step into the school, I feel more and more happy to be working here.
I have been teaching at Sammamish Montessori School for the past 17 years. Sammamish Montessori has helped me grow by providing a community where we learn from each other. Since I joined this school, I have not only learnt from my colleagues but also the children. The school has given a platform where we can come up with our own curriculum which is individualized to every child to help them grow as an individual. The opportunity given to set up your own classroom and make it meet the needs of the current students has made this school a fun place to work.
I have 7 years of teaching experience. My first 4 years were in a non-Montessori environment, but after learning about Montessori I have stuck with it. It’s my second year here at SMS. Working in Room 4 was a hoot; I really enjoyed my time there and it was the perfect room to start a new place in. I really enjoyed the experience of jumping into Room 7 and working in that classroom. It was a little bit chaotic but at the same time very therapeutic. Those two things are very big highlights to me, and I’m very excited to start my own room this year as an independent captain of the ship. I love working at SMS because of the Montessori aspect of it. I love the people I work with. Everyone is very warm and it is a very welcoming place. The only person who judges me here is myself. I never feel any judgment from the other staff members. I feel like I can breathe here.
I’ve had 13 plus years of experience as a teacher in addition to which I started as an aid when my children came through the school. I love being in this environment. I really feel that we can affect children. I love to watch the children from when they start here at 3 years old as they grow to their kindergarten year. We get the see a snippet of what they are going to be as adults.
Head of School
With over two decades of experience in the IT/Technology industry, my journey with Sammamish Montessori School (SMS) began in 2016 as a parent. Since then, all three of our children have been part of the SMS community, with our youngest currently in his Kindergarten year. Covid was a life-changer for many and so was it for me to pause and reflect on what I wanted to do next. With the inner passion for children’s education and as a Montessori Mom, the decision to pursue Early Childhood Education in Montessori was a natural choice. The joy of teaching and learning from children each day aligned with SMS’s desire for someone to lead the school as part of their succession plan. Being a parent, a teacher, and an administrator has provided a comprehensive 360-degree perspective, to make SMS the best place for our children, teachers, and families. The ‘aha’ moments of a child exploring a new work, or the challenge of answering their insightful questions, are aspects that I truly cherish. The feeling of community and one SMS family, where everyone is ready to help and lean-in; the fun events where children enjoy and talk about them for years to come, and the well-rounded individuals that walk out of this school each year as proud SMS graduates, are what motivate me each day!
I have 3 years of professional experience in the educational field. I started my journey with SMS as a parent in 2017, watching my son enjoy the Montessori way of learning. This opened the door for me to pursue the Montessori certification in early childhood education and transition from a Montessori parent to a full time Montessori teacher. I love working at SMS because I get the opportunity to explore ideas to create a caring environment that sparks a child’s creativity and fosters holistic growth.
This is my first year working in Montessori. I love working at SMS because the staff is so accommodating. If my kids are sick, or I’m running late, they understand and work with me accordingly. I also love working with the kids of course. When the kids run and give me a hug and call my name, it makes me so happy. It is very precious.
I started my career in education as a lecturer at a college in India and have been with SMS for 5 years. I first joined SMS as a lunch mom in room 5, then worked as a sub and am now an assistant teacher in Room 5. I feel like magic has happened that keeps bringing me back to Room 5; I have a connection to this room.
Daycare Program Leader
I have over 20 years of experience in a preschool setting. My favorite thing about working at SMS is seeing all of the student’s smiling faces. To me, the joy of working here is making this a place where the kids love to be. I love witnessing the kid’s blossoming personalities and the friendships they build as they come out of their shell.
This is my third year at SMS. Before working here, I taught mathematics to elementary students at a Japanese school in Dubai for 5 years. Being in the toddler class is rewarding because I get to see the growth the students have once they move to the primary classes. There are many great teachers here that I can learn and get advice from. Everyone has their own style but everyone really loves the kids. My sons went to school here and loved it. They are able to come back during summer camp even after graduating to see their friends and catch up.
I started my teaching experience at BSU where I worked for 4 years, and I’ve been working at SMS for two years. Everyone at SMS is very kind and supportive; we all share our ideas and experiences with each other. It gives me immense pleasure working with children and keeping them happy.
I started working at SMS in our computer lab, after school clubroom, daycare on no school days and a substitute in classroom for 10 years. I then worked with Mrs. Ward in STEAM/Montessori class for 2 years, and now I have been working with Mrs. Muldowney in Room 6 for 4 years. There are so many fun memories I have working here. The number one reason why I love working at SMS is working with the kids. Being a teacher can be tiring but being around the kids, when they make me laugh, makes it worth it.
I have 10 years of experience in a Montessori school. I started off by volunteering in my son’s school helping with math and phonics and I’ve worked at SMS for two years. The thing I love the most about working at SMS is how relaxed it is. I really enjoy working here. I have made many friends working here and I really feel like I am a part of a community; it’s what keeps everyone coming back.
My family has been in the educational field for a very long time. My grandmother was a librarian, my mom is a preschool teacher, my dad 5th grade teacher; a family of teachers. I started my educational experience at a Montessori school in Texas where I am from, and this is my third year working at SMS. Some fun things that have stuck out to me working at SMS has been doing various building projects in our classroom. We’ve done in depth space units where we created an entire solar system to hang in our classroom for planetary alignment. We have made various deep-sea creatures that the students have created and articulated. We do a lot of fun bright-eyed projects that really help the students learn about the world around them as opposed to a black and white linear thinking; the students get to do more exploration and have creativity. The students are learning about the world for the first time. Getting them to ask the questions of how and why and “what if we try this” to let them learn about the world on their own terms as opposed to the terms that we set out. I love working at SMS because it’s a small environment where we can really learn the people. It’s rare that I pass a child in the hallway that I don’t know. It feels really personal in the way that all the staff are on good terms with one another and with all of the parents. It’s a very close-knit working environment; nobody’s really a stranger.
All I ever wanted to do in life was to be a teacher. First, I taught ESL for several years, but when I discovered Montessori, I knew that was going to be my new path. Fast-forward 29 years (the last 20 years at SMS), and I still find my job immensely enjoyable and gratifying. I am constantly amazed at the timelessness of the Montessori method, and how the children connect and learn with the hands-on Montessori materials. I also love teaching our summer camps where I can share my interests – art, architecture, geography, history and nature – with my students. I am very appreciative of our school’s diversity. We have families and staff from many different countries and many different backgrounds. Throughout the year, I look forward to celebrating various festivals and holidays and learning about other cultures, customs and traditions.
This is my first year at SMS. I love to work at SMS because everyone is very friendly and supportive.
I joined SMS last year. I enjoy working here and the kids. All of the staff were helpful to me when I first started working here. Some fun things about working here have been how everyone speaks different languages. I love working at SMS because I love teaching and I love the kids.
I did my Montessori teacher’s training in 2003 and have been working as a lead teacher for 16 years. This is my 10th year as SMS. One fun thing about my experience here is observing the children’s excitement when they make their own discoveries during the learning activities. Their joy and curiosity are truly infectious. Another enjoyable aspect is the sense of community among the students, parents, and fellow teachers. It feels like a close-knit family where we all support each other’s growth. I love working at SMS because of the holistic approach to education. Seeing children explore, learn at their own pace, and become independent learners through the Montessori method is incredibly rewarding. The collaborative atmosphere among the staff and the emphasis on respect for each child’s individuality make it a truly fulfilling place to teach and learn.
This is my second year and SMS. When I first started, I was helping in many different classes. I was able to learn something different from each teacher and see different teaching styles. I love working at SMS because of the people. I never feel like I am just an assistant. I feel comfortable here.
I have been working at SMS for 1 year. I completed my Montessori training last year and had my internship here at SMS. I enjoy working with children and love to see how they grow and change over the year and how Montessori provides that nourishing environment to discover themselves and develop friendships. I love the family feel at SMS and the supportive community.
After college in 1985, I started a software business which I had for 10 years. After I sold the software business, I started a sign and display business which I ran for 27 years. Janet was a friend of the family and really wanted me to join SMS to help with the school. Working at SMS has been my first job where I wasn’t my own boss. I love working at SMS because of the great environment for the children to advance in their education.
I’ve been at Sammamish for 20 years. As soon as I came to this school to work, I have been impressed how organized and clean everything is kept. All of the staff is so friendly. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this school.
I have been working at SMS for 10 years. The thing I love most about SMS are the kids and my co-workers.
This is my first year at SMS. I love how the teacher’s help each other out at SMS.
I have over 25 years of accounting experience. I love my morning interactions with the Toddlers on their way to the playground. The kids love seeing the new animals I display in my window each day based on the theme for the week. The kids and staff at SMS are amazing! I can’t help but smile when I see the kid’s excitement.
This is my fifth year at SMS. I love the environment at SMS and the Montessori method.
I have 17 years of experience in the educational field. I love working at SMS because of the staff; they help push me to do better. I love working with the kids. Their hard work really shows in the progress that they make throughout being here and I love to watch how beautifully they blossom.
I have 20 years of teaching experience in a Montessori environment, dedicating the last seven years to SMS. My passion for teaching geography transcends into the classroom, as I include learning with real-world exploration and tales from my travels. The freedom to share global wonders with students is a privilege; witnessing their joy and curiosity unfold is simply mind-blowing. The incredible team I work with makes SMS unique for me.
After attaining my Master’s degree in India, I moved to the U.S. in 2001 and have lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for nearly 25 years with my family. My career started off working as a Medical Assistant for 3 years at the Center for Women’s Health at Evergreen. When my children enrolled in SMS, I volunteered as lunch parent, field trip chaperone and reading mom. I fell in love with the school and the Montessori method of education that I started working here as an assistant teacher in 2014 and signed up for Montessori training from AMS. After earning my Montessori Certification and interning at SMS in 2016, I have been a lead teacher here ever since. My experience with SMS has been as a parent, a volunteer, an assistant teacher and now as a lead teacher. SMS has established itself as one of the leading early education providers on the eastside for decades. It serves a diverse community with a wide range of backgrounds. I feel proud and happy that I share the immense value of growing the joy of learning, safety, and friendly atmosphere of the school. SMS has truly become a second home for my family. Both of my kids have received their early education here, and it’s been such a wonderful experience. I genuinely look forward to coming to work every day and seeing all those bright, happy little faces filled with enthusiasm for learning and growth. The camaraderie among my coworkers and the unwavering support from the management make it an absolute joy to be part of this team.
This is my seventh year at SMS but I’ve been teaching for 40 years. I started teaching in Canada teaching special education. I then went overseas to teach with a Canadian organization similar to Peace Corps. I then taught in Nigeria where I stayed for 15 years and meet and married my husband. Summer camp wasn’t available in Uganda and Gambia, so I would create a STEAM summer camp for my kids and 25 of their friends. That was the beginning of the STEAM program. I also have working in museums helping making them more accessible to school aged kids. I have also run an artisanal food business making jams and jellies. I then taught art at a Montessori school which expanded into a garden to table program where the kids would grow food and cook it for the school. My family then left and moved here. SMS was the only school who opened their doors for me. I showed them what I had to offer and they gave me a job in the After School Club; I’ve been here ever since. One of my favorite memories at SMS have been setting up the Dino Dig. It started as a very small project and turned into something quite spectacular. Starting the STEAM program here at SMS is one of my favorite memories as well. It allows the kids to take what they’ve learnt in the Montessori classroom, and build on it through a lot of hands-on, open-ended work that is not contained in a certain time period. We can continue working on things for one week, two weeks, if they want to. The students are able to leave things and come back to it. The amount of learning that goes along and re-calibration and problem solving and getting the other kids to help problem solve, it’s been fantastic. I love working at SMS because I was able to set up this program and I get to do what I think is most interesting for the children. I’ve been given the freedom to do that and work on it and have been given a whole group of people to work.
Since graduating from a pedagogical college in Ukraine in 2012, I have been working with children in various environment. There I worked as an elementary school teacher and an English tutor. I also enjoyed working in kids’ summer camps. When I relocated to the USA with my family, I started working at an early education facility where I gained experience with toddlers and preschoolers. I discovered the Montessori method when I joined SMS and I was amazed by it. I appreciate the environment, the teachers’ commitment, and the children’s friendliness every time I come to work!