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

Matthew Engel

English Teacher

Emily Howard

Jr. High Math/STEM Teacher

Jacqueline Dugan

Jr. High Spanish Teacher

UPPER ELEMENTARY GRADES 4TH – 6TH

Stephanie Lipp

Cedar Co-Teacher

Christy Escoto

Cedar Co-Teacher

Jessica Sevilla

Cedar Co-Teacher

Morgan Alonzo

Cedar Assistant Teacher

Jacqueline Dugan

Integrated Studies Teacher

LOWER ELEMENTARY GRADES 1ST – 3RD

Stephanie Carruthers

Banyan Lead Teacher

Caroline Self

Gardenia Lead Teacher

Christina Johnson

Magnolia Lead Teacher

Lynne Avvenire

Mangrove Lead Teacher

 

Sohni Usman

Banyan Co-Teacher

Mila Ilincic

Magnolia Teacher Assistant

Joanna Thatcher

Mangrove Teacher Assistant

PRIMARY 3 – 6 YRS

Nora Mansour

Maple Co-Lead

Debbie Coburn

Oak Co-Lead

Monique Roy Whitcomb

Pine Lead Teacher

Sara Medina

Virtual Kindergarten

Kathie Moran

Willow Lead Teacher

Maria Vergara-Flores

Maple Co-Lead

Nicole Delvecchio

Oak Assistant Teacher

Lily Goodale

Pine Assistant Teacher

Cathy Cross

Willow Assistant Teacher

PRE-PRIMARY 18 MOS-3 YRS

Samantha Salerno

Blossoms Lead Teacher

Nicole Brady-Murray

Saplings Lead Teacher

Amie Miller

Seedlings Teacher

Ana Valdes

Sprouts Lead

Joanna Bair

Blossoms Assistant Teacher

Ellie Williams

Saplings Assistant Teacher

Courtney Reed

Seedlings Teacher

Brigitte Fischer

Sprouts Assistant Teacher

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Media

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

Library

Sylvana Hernandez

Library East Campus

Art

Matthew Engel

West Campus Art Teacher

Foreign Language

Veronica Fiz

Upper El. Spanish Teacher

Gardening/Library

Rebe Holden

Library Teacher

 

Music

Catherine Cross

East Campus Music Teacher

Music/Band

Jill Carbone

West Campus Music/Band Teacher

Foreign Language

Jacqueline Dugan

Lower El. & Jr. High Spanish Teacher