Faculty

Teacher Excellence

The Montessori teacher functions as a guide, role model, demonstrator, record keeper and meticulous observer of each child’s behavior and growth. Like the teacher’s students, the teacher is an active and curious learner. The Montessori teacher showcases a delight in continual inquiry and growth, with a respect for each child’s unique learning styles and interests. It is the Montessori teacher who prepares the active, developmentally appropriate learning environment furnished with specially designed materials where students explore, discover, and experience the joy of learning.

The Montessori teacher goes through a comprehensive course of study of approximately 1,200 hours of instruction to prepare them to be a highly skilled, highly qualified Montessori teacher. Teachers must demonstrate their ability to create Montessori materials for all subjects and participate in classroom observations and supervised teaching.

In the last year, student teachers complete a teaching practicum in which they intern as a teacher with a certified Montessori facility. A Montessori Lead Teacher (Directress) must have a Bachelor’s Degree, have State mandated teaching credentials, plus Montessori credentials.

Assistant Teachers must have their High School Diploma and additional training. Instructional Coordinators must have a Masters Degree, teaching experience, and Montessori certification.

It is the responsibility of the teacher to create a positive energy in a non-threatening environment, have the ability to relinquish control and instead empower children to build themselves day after day. Turtle River Montessori takes pride in our highly qualified Lead Teachers and Assistant Teachers with a broad range of backgrounds, and we are fortunate to have them as part of the Turtle River family.

JR. HIGH SCHOOL / POINCIANA

Veronica Sibajas

Integrated Studies

Karen Asofsky

Math Teacher

Emily Howard

STEM Teacher

Tricia Frigo

Entrepreneurship Teacher

Jacqueline Dugan

Language Coordinator/Jr. High Spanish Teacher

Yadel Hernandez

Digital Media/Technology Teacher

Veronica Fiz

Spanish Teacher

UPPER ELEMENTARY GRADES 4TH – 6TH

Jennifer Westaway

Cedar Lead Teacher

Stephanie Lipp

Cedar Co-Teacher

Jimmy Kniffin

Cedar Co-Teacher

Jackie Ober

Cedar Assistant Teacher

Jaqueline Dugan

Integrated Studies Teacher

Veronica Fiz

Spanish Teacher

LOWER ELEMENTARY GRADES 1ST – 3RD

Caroline Self

Banyan Lead Teacher

Christy Escoto

Magnolia Lead Teacher

Lynne Avvenire

Mangrove Lead Teacher

Stephanie Carruthers

Banyan Co-Teacher

Christina Johnson

Magnolia Co-Teacher

Sohni Usman

Mangrove Co-Teacher

PRIMARY 3 – 6 YRS

Nora Mansour

Maple Lead Teacher

Debbie Coburn

Oak Lead Teacher

Sara Medina

Pine Lead Teacher

Brianna Johnson

Willow Lead Teacher

Maria Vergara-Flores

Maple Co-Teacher

Patty Helper

Oak Assistant Teacher

Joann Barajas (Miss B)

Pine Assistant Teacher

Kathie Moran

Willow Co-Teacher

Alex Badalamenti

Maple Assistant Teacher

Kylla Thompson

Willow Assistant Teacher

PRE-PRIMARY 18 MOS-3 YRS

Samantha Salerno

Blossoms Lead Teacher

Monique Roy Whitcomb

Saplings Lead Teacher

MacKenzie Meyer

Seedlings Lead Teacher

Ana Valdes

Sprouts Lead Teacher

Holly Acosta

Blossoms Assistant Teacher

Nicole Brady-Murray

Saplings Assistant Teacher

Trish Hough

Seedlings Assistant Teacher

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Media

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

Library

Sylvana Hernandez

Library East Campus

Art

Matthew Engel

West Campus Art Teacher

Gardening/Library

Jonathan Howell

Gardening/Library Teacher

 

Music

Catherine Cross

East Campus Music Teacher

Music/Band

Jill Carbone

West Campus Music/Band Teacher