Alexa has taught in and around the Pacific Northwest, including in British Columbia and most recently in the Seattle area. Alexa helped start and shape a Montessori elementary program and taught for years in existing Montessori programs. She is a passionate mathematician, holding a MA in mathematics on top of her MEd in Montessori Education. She loves inspiring children to get excited about math and helping them find abiding interests that become the foundation of their learning. In her spare time Alexa enjoys reading, embroidering, studying math, and spending time with her two young children. She continues to study childhood, learning and ways she can advocate for building our trust of children and youth.
Before joining Puddletown, Ali spent 4 years working in public Montessori. She was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana and graduated from DePauw with a degree in Environmental Geoscience. In 2016, Ali moved to Portland for a position at a public Montessori school as an assistant in an upper elementary classroom. She then completed her AMI Elementary training and MEd from Loyola University Maryland. As an educator, Ali is motivated by community, connection and empowerment. In addition to teaching credentials, Ali has experience utilizing restorative justice and anti-racist anti-bias (ABAR) practices. When she's not teaching, Ali is making art, hiking, or reading. She and her partner love spending time exploring all the great nooks and crannies Portland has to offer, both indoors and outdoors!
Ana (“On-Nuh”) joins Puddletown with almost 20 years of experience in the Children’s House, most recently at The Ivy School, a public charter Montessori in North Portland. Ana has two Montessori Primary education diplomas, the American Montessori Society (AMS 2005) and the Association Montessori International (AMI 2014), a Human Services Bachelor of Arts (Western Washington University) and a Masters Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola. Her education gives her a unique understanding and tools for teaching, administration, and board participation. Her work experience includes an Early Childhood internship with Head Start and several nanny positions. Ana’s passion for sharing Montessori with others, centering Equity in the classrooms, and enthusiasm for supporting Montessori teachers inspire the work she does in the community. In addition, Ana also serves as Board President of Montessori Northwest and recently was a member of Embracing Equity’s Leadership Residency Cohort 2021-2022. Outside of the school day, Ana can be found strumming her ukulele, devouring a variety of both fiction and non-fiction books, and trying out a new recipe in her home kitchen.
Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from Colorado State University. After graduating she headed a creative writing and arts program at a local Fort Collins, Colorado preschool. Andrea then moved to Portland where she began assisting and teaching at the Northwest Children’s Theater. She returned to school in 2001 to receive her Montessori Primary Diploma from Montessori Northwest and a Master's of Montessori Education from Loyola University. She has worked with many Portland public schools and local Montessori schools through outreach and other after school programs. Andrea has served on the Oregon Montessori Association Board. Since stepping back from her leadership role at Puddletown, she started showstopper cookies! In her free time Andrea enjoys baking, walking her dog, traveling, reading and swimming in the ocean.
Andy was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and moved to Portland in 2002. Andy worked all over the city before starting a family, and becoming a stay-at-home dad. He spent many years as a parent volunteer in Puddletown's Outdoor Classroom, prior to formally becoming the Outdoor Classroom assistant in 2021 when his love for the Puddletown community and for childhood wonder drove him to a new career. When Andy's not at school, he enjoys reading comic books, DJing, exploring new restaurants, live music, stand-up comedy, podcasting, and skateboarding.
In 2012 Augusta moved from Brazil to Washougal, WA, where she currently lives with her husband Tom, their son Owen (who is a student in Puddletown Elementary), and their two cats Nutella and Lightning. Augusta graduated in business administration many moons ago and worked in accounting, fashion, and the public sector. In 2020 Augusta earned her Master’s degree in teaching and recently completed her Montessori teaching certification. Working in a school like Puddletown brings a smile to her face every morning. Other reasons to smile are traveling, reading, watching movies, listening to music, dancing, spending time with her family, meditating, and learning languages. Besides her native Portuguese, Augusta speaks English, Spanish, French, and Italian.
Celine moved to Portland from San Diego in 2013, and has been nannying and teaching in toddler classrooms ever since. She first became familiar with Montessori through her roommate who was doing her Primary training and immediately felt a connection. Celine started subbing at Puddletown in 2017 and fell in love with the community and the Montessori method. In her free time, Celine enjoys embroidering, cooking, and camping.
(More info to come soon on Emily (they/them)
Before joining Puddletown in 2011 as the assistant in the Lavender classroom, Emmy worked in varied environments caring for children, including daycare, day camp, and nanny work. Emmy received a BA in Psychology from University of Hartford. Once arriving in Portland from the east coast, she received her AMI Primary diploma from Montessori Northwest. Emmy is committed to the essence of the Montessori method and believes in the marvel of the true nature of the child. She spends her free time cooking, walking, knitting and sewing, hanging out with her dogs and has a newly sparked interest in maintaining an edible garden in her backyard.
Erin has been volunteering as a Puddletown parent since 2013 and working as a staff member at Puddletown since 2017. She is a former therapist to children and families. Erin has an MS in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark Graduate College and a BA in Political Science from Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. It was at Lewis and Clark where Erin's interest in Montessori sparked, and she graduated knowing that she really wanted any of her future children to attend a Montessori program or school. As soon as she met Sam and Andrea, then the lovely teaching staff at Puddletown, she knew this was where she wanted her kids to stay, and for as long as possible. Erin wishes for and wants to work toward the Montessori experience being available to all children and interested families. She has a long history in research (marketing and scholarly), making her inquisitive, efficient and organized. She's slowly run a marathon and many halves, played roller derby competitively across the country, and now is well practiced at home improvement projects, singing camp songs and playing elaborate rounds of charades with her three fantastic children (all Puddletowners) and thespian-at-heart husband, Eddie.
Kai grew up attending Montessori schools in Juneau, Alaska from ages 5 to 14. They hold a B.S. in Psychology from PSU, an AMI Montessori Elementary diploma from Montessori Northwest, and a Master’s of Education from Loyola University. Kai has been working with children in some capacity since they were a child themself, starting with a work-study program in high school where they assisted in a kindergarten classroom, then spending many years working in the field of early childhood education. They feel strongly that Montessori education necessarily involves deep thinking about issues of justice, anti-bias, and equity and plan to keep these values front and center as they help guide the Red Cedar learning community. In their free time, Kai spends time with their sweet family bubble and tries in vain to juggle an ever-growing collection of hobbies, which include singing in an a capella group, playing guitar, songwriting, cooking, gardening, knitting, creative writing, visual arts, and ceramics.
Before joining the Puddletown family, Keith worked in the public Montessori realm for 4 years. Keith born and raised in the cornfields of Illinois, where they attended Northern Illinois University for a degree in Environmental Geosciences. Upon graduation, Keith worked as a Ranger for the National Park Service, traveling to unique places as far off as Alaska. As a lifelong learner, Keith was called to work in education where their passion for imaginative play has found purpose. Since then, they have fallen in love with Portland for its quirkiness and natural beauty. When not teaching, Keith enjoys outdoor adventures, tabletop roleplaying games, and painting their hundreds of miniatures.
Michael is known lovingly by staff and community as the Nap Master due to his gift for lulling restless nappers into dreams and creating a gentle, relaxing atmosphere. Michael writes poems and stories for children (and grownups), has produced a spontaneous musical album cassette tape ("The Pompatus Lives") and a collage book titled "From Puddletown to Universes Beyond" for (and with) the children of Puddletown. He finds kinship in the Montessori Method and with the teachers at Puddletown School. Michael is currently developing a press and production company called Cloudbound which aims to bring imaginative learning, music, poems and storytelling to children of all ages.
Sam graduated from a Quaker college with majors in Art, English and Journalism and a minor in Education. After working in more traditional educational settings, Sam volunteered in a Montessori classroom on the Oregon Coast to develop an immersion program for Spanish speaking students. He went on to get his Montessori Primary Diploma from Montessori Northwest and a Master's of Education from Loyola University in Baltimore and has been invested in Montessori education since 1996. He began teaching in Connecticut at an inner city Montessori school with the Hartford Public School system, becoming involved in the planning and development of the Learning Corridor with Trinity College. After returning to the Pacific Northwest, Sam taught at an Elementary program and worked to establish a Montessori middle school. Eventually the desire to return to the Primary classroom and a willing partner led to starting Puddletown School.
Sarah earned her AMI Diploma from Montessori Northwest, in conjunction with a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University. For over a decade, Sarah has worked in various educational settings from early childhood through adolescent programs, dedicating herself to the Montessori approach since completing her Montessori teacher training in 2014. Sarah is inspired by the very children she works with to strive to be a better teacher (and human) each day. She values learning how to best support the whole child through a trauma-informed, anti-bias and anti-racist lens. She is learning and growing alongside the children each day. Outside of school, Sarah loves spending time with her husband and dogs; baking; pulling weeds in the garden; hiking in nature; and staying engaged in mutual aid projects surrounding food insecurity and houselessness in our community.
Tai is from Salvador, Brazil and moved to the US six years ago. She has eight years experience as a Montessori Primary Assistant, and is currently enrolled in Montessori Northwest's Primary teacher training course. Tai loves nature. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping with her family. Tai's husband is a Montessori elementary teacher, and their son is part of the Red Cedar elementary community here at Puddletown.
Zil was a Montessori child, attending an AMI school in the suburbs of Chicago from ages 3 to 12. Upon graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Anthropology, they began working as an upper elementary teacher in Phoenix, Arizona and discovered that teaching is their passion. Zil has worked with children in many capacities over the last 17 years and is delighted to be part of the Puddletown community. In addition to their BA, Zil holds AMI Elementary and Primary diplomas and an MEd from Loyola University of Maryland. Over the years, Zil has traveled extensively in Central and South America, leading to their involvement in establishing one of Guatemala's first Montessori schools. In their free time, Zil loves to do yoga, cook, read, and play with their daughter, Luna.