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.

PREPRIMARY 2 – 3 YRS

Silvana Hernandez

Media Center Specialist

Tunisia Cielo

Blossoms Teacher 2‑3 Yrs

PRIMARY 3 – 6 YRS

Silvana Hernandez

Media Center Specialist

Nora Mansour

Maple Lead Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Debbie Coburn

Primary Program Director & Oak Lead Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Patty Helper

Oak Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Sara Medina

Pine Lead Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Cathy Cross

Pine Assistant Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Stephanie Carruthers

Maria Vergara‑Flores

Willow Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

Miss B

Willow Teacher 3‑6 Yrs

LOWER ELEMENTARY GRADES 1ST – 3RD

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

Megan Zeller

Banyan Lead Teacher Grades 1‑3

Taylor Liggett

Banyan Teacher Grades 1‑3

Maria Cerdan

Banyan Teacher Grades 1‑3

Christy Escoto

Magnolia Lead Teacher Grades 1‑3

Sohni Usman

Magnolia Teacher Grades 1‑3

Lynne Avvenire

Mangrove Lead Teacher Grades 1‑3

Caroline Pollifrone

Mangrove Teacher Grades 1‑3

Mike Cosenza

S.T.E.M. Lab Teacher Grades 1‑9

Nancy Kelly

Art Teacher

UPPER ELEMENTARY GRADES 4TH – 6TH

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

Jennifer Ray

Cedar Lead Teacher Grades 4‑6

Jackie Ober

Cedar Teacher Grades 4‑6

Stephanie Lipp

Cedar Teacher Grades 4‑6

Judi Dunlap

Cypress Lead Teacher Grades 4‑6

Jimmy Kniffin

Cypress Teacher Grades 4‑6

Jackie Dugan

Teacher Grades 4‑9

Mike Cosenza

S.T.E.M. Lab Teacher Grades 1‑9

Nancy Kelly

Art Teacher

JR. HIGH SCHOOL GRADES 7TH – 9TH

Jackie Dugan

Teacher Grades 4‑9

Yadel Hernandez

Poinciana Teacher Grades 7‑9

Mike Cosenza

S.T.E.M. Lab Teacher Grades 1‑9

Nancy Kelly

Art Teacher

Atlanta Visker

Media Center Specialist

AFTERCARE / NAP / SPECIALS

Rosemary Rankow

West Campus Aftercare Director

Kiara Mason

East Campus Aftercare 3 ‑ 6 Yrs /Nap

Tammy Harris

West Campus Aftercare – 3 – 6 Yrs

Alyssa Baird

East Campus Aftercare 3 ‑ 6 Yrs