Staff

Maria Montessori Family

Directress

In the prepared Montessori environment, a child is permitted to choose and work freely with self-correcting materials.  The adult in the classroom is a specially trained Montessori director.  The directress’s role in the classroom is foremost to prepare and maintain the environment for the children, adapting it to their ever changing needs as required.
The classroom directress continually observes the children in their environment so that she/he can best accommodate their needs.  The role of the directress is not that of a traditional teacher.  They are not there to merely teach.

The Directress is the link between the environment and the child

Once a child is introduced to the materials through a one-on-one presentation for each exercise, the child is then free to use their own innate potential to educate themselves using the senses they were born with.  This frees the child to learn in a non-graded, non-competitive environment at their own pace without negative or judgmental pressure.  The child learns for the sheer joy of it and not just to please a teacher or for external rewards.

“while I work with the children, I speak to them with gentleness, always keeping their dignity intact” MMS Directress

Interim Head of School

Jennifer McCracken

Administrative Staff

Janet Mercredi

mms.admin@montessorisaskatoon.ca

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

 

Janet was raised in a small town in southern SK, and although she has lived in Saskatoon since 1994, she will always be a small town girl at heart.  Janet raises two children and two dogs with her husband and feels our children are our future.  She is excited to be part of the Montessori family.

Janet has 20 years of office experience in a variety of office settings, including banking, sales and customer service, health and safety, HR recruiting and bookkeeping.  Her education includes Human Resource and Labor Studies Certificate, Tax Preparation Certificate, Basic Bookkeeping Certificate and she plans on furthering her studies to complete the DFA-Bookkeeping Services Specialist designation program.

Stepping Stones

Jessica Duchene, Program Coordinator

STEPPING STONES – Program Coordinator

B. A., Bilingual Certificate, Early Childhood Education 

Jessica grew up in Saskatoon and spent her school years from kindergarten to grade 12 in French Immersion. She received her Bilingual Certificate in 2005  and also holds her Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Linguistics which she received from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010.

Upon completing her degree, Jessica began subbing as an education assistant with the Catholic School Division, bringing her knowledge and skills to MMS in 2011.

Jessica is currently completing her Early Childhood Education through Saskatchewan Polytechnic. She also works with the Saskatoon Autism Society throughout the year in various programs and camps.

Diana Hale, Educational Assistant

STEPPING STONES – Educational Assistant

Diploma of Nursing & ECE II

Diana was raised on the family farm east of Saskatoon.

Being the youngest in a family of nine, as well as having a large extended family , she grew up surrounded by siblings , cousins , and nieces and nephews. Many hours were spent organizing games , reading stories and exploring nature.

Farm life instilled Diana with an appreciation for the outdoors. She developed a great love for gardening which she continues to enjoy today. Planting vegetables and nurturing perennial gardens has become a favorite summer pastime.

Following high school Diana entered the College of Education at the U of S. After completing her first year at the University she chose to enter the Diploma of Nursing Program at SIAST in Saskatoon. She completed her studies and graduated to become a Registered Nurse.

Her career in Early Childhood Education happened quite by chance , and she can’t imagine doing anything else ! Diana is passionate about early learning. She enjoys encouraging children’s natural curiosity , helping them explore their environment , and sharing with them her love of children’s literature.

 

Diana spent many enjoyable years working in a sixty space multi-age early learning center. During this time she completed courses to obtain her Early Childhood Education Level ll. She has also worked as an Assitant Director-Kindercare Teacher at a before and after school program within the public school system. Here she had the opportunity to develop and implement her own early learning program.

 

Diana has always been interested in the Montessori approach to learning , and looks forward to working with the Montessori team.

 

Casa/Kindergarten

Kimberly Dill, Directress

CASA TERRA – Directress

B.Ed., B.A.

Kimberly was raised in Winnipeg, MB and has lived across the Prairies. She graduated high school in Cold Lake, AB and moved to Saskatoon in 2008 to pursue post secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan. Kimberly completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a History major and a French minor in 2013. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Education degree and graduated with distinction.

Over the years while earning her degrees, Kimberly worked with the Saskatoon Public Schools as a substitute Educational Assistant. She also worked at Coles Bookstore during this time. During the summers, Kimberly would work as a Playground Leader for the City of Saskatoon.

When Kimberly discovered Montessori education, she immediately was drawn to its philosophy and values. Kimberly is passionate about literature, leadership development, personal growth, EAL education, and life-long learning. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Program with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Lydia Filson, Directress

CASA ACQUA – Directress

B.A., B.Ed.

Lydia grew up near Ottawa, ON before moving to Saskatoon during high school. At 18, she spent some time volunteer teaching in South America where she became interested in education and childhood development. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Sociology at McMaster University in 2013, and then came home to Saskatoon where she began her Bachelor of Education and worked part-time for the YMCA, completing her degree, with distinction,  in 2013.

After graduating, Lydia began substitute teaching for Saskatoon Public Schools, before deciding to act on her goal of living and working abroad. She lived in London for six months, teaching Grade Four and Special Needs. After that she lived in Australia, substitute teaching Special Needs, then obtaining a position as Lead Directress of a Casa Classroom at a Montessori Child-Care center. Here, she developed her interest and experience with Montessori philosophy and programing, and decided it was well suited to her goals, beliefs, and values as an Educator.

Aside from an interest in education, Lydia’s personal interests include travel and history, international development, environmental sustainability, and food and nutrition. She is currently enrolled in a course with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and looks forward to applying what she learns in the classroom. Lydia is delighted to be joining the MMS community.

Shawna Lepage, Directress

CASA SOLE – Directress

B.Ed., with Distinction

Shawna was born and raised in Saskatchewan.

With 5 younger siblings, teaching has always been a part of Shawna’s life. In her early twenties, she began working with the Boys and Girls club and later taught Sunday school and organized events for the children.

Working with children led Shawna to work with Community Living in various roles, including mentoring adults with special needs and as a summer camp counsellor and coordinator. Shawna was also involved in the Buddy Program as a role model and mentor for children with special needs.

While earning her B.Ed. degree at the U of S, Shawna worked as a substitute education assistant. She graduated with distinction in 2008 moving into her first teaching role with Grades 3 and 4 at Confederation Park School.

After having her first child, Shawna decided to open her own day care which she then ran for 5 years. Incorporating the Montessori philosophy and principles in which she strongly believes, she offered the children a natural hands-on learning experience.

Shawna is excited to be a part of the very unique learning environment at Maria Montessori School and to have her children attend the Stepping Stones and Elementary programs.

Fernanda Chagas, Educational Assistant

CASA SOLE – Educational Assistant

Fernanda was born and raised in Fortaleza, Brazil.

She studied Linguistics and Literature at the Federal University of Ceara. Her passion for children began through literature. She developed her first publication on Universal Children’s Literature. Passionate about the children’s universe, her next publication was on Children’s Literature in Portuguese Language.

While studying, she worked as an educational assistant at Christus School, a highly traditional Catholic School in Brazil. Working with many children that needed special attention, Fernanda realized for the first time how important different teaching methods were important for them. She was shortly promoted in the school and started working as an English Teacher from grade one to four in elementary.

Daughter of a teacher, her mother always implemented Maria Montessori’s philosophy during her growth. Freedom, gentleness and independence were constant lessons throughout her development. At the university, she had the opportunity to study and increase her knowledge about the Montessori method.

In 2016, Fernanda moved to Saskatoon with her family and began working at MMS, where she could practice her knowledge and passion for education and Montessori’s philosophy.

French Enrichment

Kimberly Dill, Casa French

CASA FRENCH DIRECTRESS

B.Ed., B.A.

Kimberly was raised in Winnipeg, MB and has lived across the Prairies. She graduated high school in Cold Lake, AB and moved to Saskatoon in 2008 to pursue post secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan. Kimberly completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a History major and a French minor in 2013. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Education degree and graduated with distinction.

Over the years while earning her degrees, Kimberly worked with the Saskatoon Public Schools as a substitute Educational Assistant. She also worked at Coles Bookstore during this time. During the summers, Kimberly would work as a Playground Leader for the City of Saskatoon.

When Kimberly discovered Montessori education, she immediately was drawn to its philosophy and values. Kimberly is passionate about literature, leadership development, personal growth, EAL education, and life-long learning. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Program with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

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