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.

PRE-PRIMARY 18 MOS-3 YRS

Samantha Salerno

Blossoms Lead Teacher

Nancy Succes

Saplings Assistant Teacher

MacKenzie Meyer

Seedlings Lead Teacher

Tunisia Cielo

Blossoms Assistant Teacher

Catherine Cross

Saplings Assistant Teacher

Nicole Brady-Murray

Seedlings Assistant 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

Alex Badalamenti

Maple Assistant Teacher

Jacqueline Creps

Oak Assistant Teacher

Carole McHale

Pine Assistant Teacher

Maria Vergara-Flores

Willow Co-Teacher

Angel Glass

Maple Assistant Teacher

Patty Helper

Oak Assistant Teacher

Joann Barajas (Miss B)

Willow Assistant Teacher

LOWER ELEMENTARY GRADES 1ST – 3RD

Christy Escoto

Magnolia Lead Teacher

Lynne Avvenire

Mangrove Lead Teacher

Sohni Usman

Magnolia Co-Teacher

Caroline Pollifrone

Mangrove Co-Teacher

Krista Fisher

Magnolia Co-Teacher

Stephanie Carruthers-Reading

Mangrove Teacher

UPPER ELEMENTARY GRADES 4TH – 6TH

Jennifer Ray

Cedar Lead Teacher

Judi Dunlap

Cypress Lead Teacher

Stephanie Lipp

Cedar Co-Teacher

Jimmy Kniffin

Cypress Co-Teacher

Jackie Ober

Cedar Assistant Teacher

Morgan Alonzo

Cypress Assistant Teacher

JR. HIGH SCHOOL / HIGH SCHOOL
POINCIANA & SEQUOIA

Karen Asofsky

Math Teacher

Mike Cosenza

STEM Teacher

Tricia Frigo

Entrepreneurship Teacher

Jacqueline Dugan

Language Teacher

Yadel Hernandez

Digital Media/Technology Teacher

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Media

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

Library

Sylvana Hernandez

Library East Campus

Band

Tommy Mitchell

Band Teacher, Junior High &High School

Music

Angelina Bell

Music & Chorus Teacher

Language

Jaqueline Dugan

Languages Coordinator

Spanish

Veronica Fiz

Spanish Teacher

Art

Diane Brooks

Art Teacher

Gardening/Library

Jonathan Howell

Gardening/Library Teacher