Montessori Community School Administration

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Madelynn | Head of School

Hello all, my name is Madelynn, and I am the Head of School here at MCS! I have been entwined in the Montessori philosophy since birth; growing up, my parents and grandparents had a deep love for the method and when I was young, they started this wonderful school, MCS.

I have a strong background in Business Administration, holding a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College and a master’s degree from Notre Dame de Namur University. I also have my AMI Montessori 3-6 training from Montessori Northwest and am currently finishing my master’s in education from Whitworth University. I started working at MCS as the Assistant Director in 2013 and became Head of School after three years, delighted at the opportunity to lead our school. This is now my eighth year as Head of School, and it is something I look forward to doing indefinitely.

My goal for our school is to create a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone feels welcomed, and all children are supported and respected as they unfold their unique personalities while receiving the very best AMI Montessori education. This is such a special community, and I am proud to be a part of it; our parents, guides, and children are filled with love and constant support.

I have one little, Odin, who just joined the Nido community; it has been exciting being on the parent side of the school! When I am not at work you can find me playing soccer, watching my husband Matt play beach soccer (die-hard soccer family!), or going to/watching niner games!

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Aurora | Assistant Head of School

Hi! I am Aurora and I am excited to take on the position of assistant director and work alongside Madelynn, my sister. I started my Montessori journey when I attended this school, MCS, in the Toddler and Primary program when I was a child! My parents also started this school so I have spent my entire life surrounded by the philosophy and developing a love for working with children. When I was just 14 I used to spend my summers or days off school helping my mom in the Nido classroom. I have always been drawn to working with the babies. Last year, I assisted in the Nido program and loved immersing myself into the classroom fulltime. I also did my AMI Montessori assistants training for 0-3 and plan to continue my Montessori education moving forward.

My goal as assistant director is to be a source of support for families and staff so we can bring our community together and make it the very best place for our little ones to learn and grow.

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Regina | Playground Supervision

Hello, my name is Regina. Our MCS has been a dream come true. Before we opened MCS, my husband Bill and I could not find quality education at the preschool level in this area and were placed on very long waiting lists. Seeing the need and having Montessori knowledge in our background, it all came together and we created this school, which our last three children have attended. Over the years, I have helped out in many different capacities: Nido lead for 5 years, project planner, seamstress, tour guide, assistant guide in all classrooms, and currently playground supervisor. My husband Bill and I are very hands on and love to be part of the community. Montessori has been our love and passion. Many challenges have happened over the years, but with every wave, we feel truly blessed to provide the best school possible for our community.

I have raised six children, the youngest being a Junior in high school now. I also have 5 dogs and 3 cats who have become my babies, along with two grandchildren. All my children have gone to Montessori schools and I deeply love the philosophy. Coming from a large family myself, the Montessori method was just a way of life, promoting independence and working as a family to accomplish our goals.

In my spare time, I love to garden, sew, work on construction projects, and cuddle my cats!

Nido Guides

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Zoe | Nido Lead Guide

Hi there! My name is Zoe and I am the Lead Guide of the Nido classroom. I have worked at MCS for the last 4 years and I am so excited for this upcoming school year.

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz. I’ve worked with children of all ages in many capacities; tutor, behavioral technician, after school science program coordinator, babysitter etc. I graduated from Sonoma State University in 2019 with a BA in Early Childhood Development. In Spring 2021, I took a course at UCSD and am now a Lactation Education Consultant.

I graduated from the Montessori Institute of San Diego where I received my AMI 0-3 diploma (woo!!) in 2022. I spent 8 months participating in the course online and then 5 weeks down in La Jolla where I was able to learn hands on and collaborate with other educators. Although San Diego is beautiful, I am definitely a NorCal gal!

I love being able to watch infants communicate and evolve into the people they are going to be. It’s super important to me that babies feel accepted, and respected in our environment. They thrive with our trust and our love! Our classroom is full of joy and positive energy, which is something I take a lot of pride in. When I’m not working, you can find me at the beach or walking around town.

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Jayden | Nido Assistant

Hi, my name is Jayden North and I am very excited to be joining the MCS community! I have lived my whole life here in Santa Cruz and attended Montessori Community School in the Otter class. I earned my Early Childhood Education units at Cabrillo College and Theoria Technical College. I am very excited to be returning to MCS and revisiting all the memories I have from my time attending the school! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, riding my two amazing horses, and enjoying time outdoors by camping, fishing and exploring all the wonderful things nature has to offer.

In my free time, I love going on hikes, eating at mostly any local restaurant, traveling to new places, spending time with my nieces, trying new recipes and watching movies. Thanks for having me on board!

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Katy | Nido Assistant

Hello! My Name is Katy and I’m excited to join the Montessori Community school family! I just moved to Santa Cruz from San Francisco and am so excited to be by the mountains and oceans!

I spent the last 8 years in the bay area going to school at city college of San Francisco and working as a swim instructor and preschool teacher. I have achieved my early childhood certificate and am working towards a trauma certificate. I love teaching children about emotions and how we can move through them together.

When I’m not at work or school I love to do yoga , ecstatic dance and go to the beach! So excited to form relationships with your children and families!

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Maeve | Nido Assistant

Hi there! My name is Maeve and this is my first year in the classroom at MCS!

I’m so excited for this upcoming school year and the opportunity to support your babies through their development on their quest for independence. My previous experience includes over a decade of nannying, and babysitting. I graduated with my BA in Education and Literature in 2021, and I’m currently halfway through my early childhood education units. It’s so special to be able to witness and support the communication that infants develop and to have the opportunity watch them evolve into themselves. I have fallen in love with the Montessori method and can’t wait to keep exploring!

I just moved to Boulder Creek with my cat and my partner. I’m so grateful to be apart of the mountain community! In my free time, I’m swimming in a body of water somewhere, or laying in a hammock and reading a fun book. I can’t wait to get to know y’all!

Puffin Guides

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Jessica | Puffin Lead Guide

Hi! I am Jessica, the Lead Guide of the Puffins Community. I am starting my 7th year at MCS, and my second year as Lead of Puffins. I have worked as a Primary Assistant Guide to Miss Joy, as the Assistant Director, and I am feeling enthusiastic about continuing as the Lead of Puffins! I love to help develop the independence that the toddler age group craves, to create loving and strong connections with each child along with their families, and to witness the amazing changes and growth that this age group experiences. I believe strongly in the promoting the natural capabilities and curiosity that children show us, and in allowing the children to lead me in their learning path as we grow together. I have an Associates of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, and have received Certificates of Achievement in Infant and Toddler Development Antibias Curriculum, ECE Administration, Working With Culturally Diverse Families, and Curriculum Planning from Cabrillo College. I am committed to continuous learning, and am currently pursuing my AMI Montessori training program for the 0-3 Assistants to Infancy Diploma through Montessori Northwest.

I live in Capitola with my husband Louie and our 2 cats, Ace and Gary. We love to go camping, to get to the beach and enjoy our unique Santa Cruz climate, and playing games, although I am happiest when I get to spend a hot day swimming. I look forward to learning more about each one of your families and how you enjoy your time together!

Miss Kim | Puffin Assistant

Hello, I’m Kim and am so excited to start my 6th year here at MCS!! I started my journey in the Nido room, and quickly fell in love with the babies! I felt so honored to watch them grow and learn, to be a part of their first school experience. There were lots of giggles and hugs, and so much fun. I watched year after year the little ones grow and move on, they are all amazing children with amazing families!

This year, I will continue in the Puffin class, where I will be assisting Miss Jessica and the toddlers. Although I will miss the babies and Nido team, I am super excited to learn and grow with Puffins! It is going to be an exciting year!!!

Miss Nicole | Puffin Assistant

Hi there I am Nicole!
I have been working with toddlers for almost 10 years! I have 12 units of ECE from Stanislaus University and I plan on taking more before the year is done. I love working with kids, they bring such a joy and light to the world. I love the way that a child gets a concept and their eyes light up, it is the best feeling ever.

I was born in California and spent most of my childhood in Minnesota, I miss the snow! I am new to the Scotts Valley area, and excited to see the area. When I am not at school I am usually at the beach with a book or hanging out with my family. I am very excited to be apart of the Montessori Community and looking forward this new school year!

Jellyfish Guides

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Andrea | Jellyfish Lead Guide

Hello! I am Miss Andrea, but feel free to call me Andy! This is my third year with MCS and my first year as the Jellyfish Lead guide. I graduated from UCSC in 2021 with a double major in Film and Digital media and Latin America and Latino studies and am currently completing my AMI Montessori 0-3 training with Stopanni Montessori.

During my last year at UCSC, I discovered that teaching and being part of the development and growth of children was the path I wanted to pursue for a career, so I’m very excited to continue my journey alongside this team, and to support our community in any way that I can. Since starting at MCS I have fell in love with the Montessori method and plan to further my career as a Montessori educator. I am so excited to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for all our children.

In my free time, I love going to the beach and watching the sunset with some ice cream or boba milk tea, having game night with my friends. and exploring my creativity by creating new and bold makeup looks.

Miss Tuesday | Jellyfish Assistant

Hi! My name is Tuesday and I am thrilled to be joining the MCS community. I’m so excited to be one of the assistant guides in the Jellyfish classroom. I have been teaching in childcare for the past 8 years but this will be my first time in a Montessori setting.

Montessori has always been a philosophy I’ve personally been drawn to, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to dive into the teaching philosophy here at MCS. Children are individual beings who are capable of much more than they are often given credit for. Montessori recognizes how incredible the young mind truly is and provides the enrichment that I believe children crave.

I look forward to continuing to learn each day, as well as cultivating a nurturing relationship with every student and their family. We’re all in this together and I feel honored to be a part of this beautiful community!

Miss Hannah | Jellyfish Assistant

Warm Greetings, I am Hannah. This is my second school year as an assistant guide in Jellyfish, and working with Andy and Tuesday has been wonderful thus far.

I will have been with the Montessori community school for a full year as of December ’23 and I have so enjoyed my time familiarizing myself with the Montessori Method in a community of women and guides who do amazingly at embodying the mission of the school.

Having worked in two other educational settings prior, each of them vastly different experiences and valuable in their own ways, I feel excited to share that during my time at Montessori I have gotten married and am welcoming a baby in January! I have also reignited my education journey focusing on early childhood education, and feel honored and grateful to apply what I have learned and will learn to both the professional and personal aspects of my life.

Dolphin Guides

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Joy | Dolphin Lead Guide

Hello. My name is Joy. I am the Dolphin primary class lead guide.

I have been a Montessori primary guide for over twenty years now. I first became interested in Montessori while living in France and teaching English as a second language. During a discussion about different educational methods, Montessori came up. I was intrigued by a way of teaching that followed the child’s interests and fostered independence, self motivation and a love of learning. I chose to do my training in Mountain View, California and received my AMI certification in 1989. The following year I moved to Paris, France and worked in a bilingual Montessori school for several years. My daughter was born while I was in France, and I decided to return to the United States to spend some time being a stay at home mom with my family close by. Later, I moved to Santa Cruz and began teaching again at a Montessori based school in the Santa Cruz mountains. I joined the Montessori Community School teaching team back in July 2016. It is great to be a part of such a warm, friendly community!

In my free time I enjoy running, hiking in the mountains and at the beach, reading, travelling when I can, and spending time with my wonderful family.

Miss Tori | Dolphin Assistant

Hello friends, my name is Miss Tori. I’m excited to be joining the Dolphin classroom this year! I was the Otter assistant last year and excited to work under Miss Joy in Dolphins this year. I love the Montessori method of education and am looking forward to my second year with the children as an assistant guide. I’m passionate about aiding children in learning how to better care for themselves, the environment, and the people around them, and am excited to see your child grow this year. I hope to help the children build a sense of belonging, confidence, and enthusiasm for learning more about the wonderful world they live in.

In Spring 2022, I graduated from Bethany Global University with a double major in Education in Missions (focusing on the Montessori Method) and Bible & Theology Studies, with a minor in Intercultural Studies. In addition, two summers ago I received a certificate in Early Childhood Montessori Theory and Practice at the Christian Montessori Training Center in MN.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy sunsets on the beach, playing my guitar, spending time with friends, thrifting, traveling, and volunteering when I can! I am originally from PA, and just recently moved to the Bay Area this fall. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the West Coast, making new friends, and hiking in the redwood forests any chance I can get.

Miss Izzy | Dolphin Assistant

Hello! My name is Izzy and I am an Assistant Teacher in the Dolphin classroom. I’m starting my second year at MCS; last year I was a jellyfish assistant and this year with Dolphins. I took my Early Childhood Education coursework through Montessori’s training program. I’m honored to be a part of such a devoted team and contributing to a safe and engaging environment for children to grow.

I have worked with many children ranging from toddlers to teens through my work as a babysitter and Behavioral Technician. I truly love witnessing and supporting children as they progress into independent humans and figure out how to navigate the world.

In my spare time, I love creating art and jewelry, playing with my two dogs, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Otter Guides

Mrs. Madelynn, Head of Montessori Community School
Miss Melissa | Otters Lead Guide

Hi Everyone! My name is Miss Melissa and I am excited to begin my first year as lead of the Otters. I have been with MCS for the past two years; the first year in Jellyfish and the second year assisting Primary. This year I have taken over as the Lead of otters after finishing my AMI Montessori 3-6 training last year through Montessori Northwest. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can while working with all of the children and families, while also implementing my knowledge of the Montessori philosophy to best support the children within our care.

I was born and raised in New Jersey and have been involved in early childhood education for over 15 years. I relocated to the bay area with my partner and our two dogs after living in Los Angeles for 2 years.

In my free time I enjoy going to the beach and being outdoors. I am an avid animal lover and I love taking road trips. I also try to visit family and friends in New Jersey as often as I can.

Miss Heidi | Otter Assistant Guide

Hello, my name is Ms Heidi!

This is my second year with MCS. Last year I assisted in Dolphins and this year I will be assisting in the Otters classroom. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of such a cohesive team of compassionate heartfelt professionals.

I am a mother of a 8 year old boy who ultimately was my biggest inspiration to want to learn, grow, and embark on my educational journey in Early Childhood Education. I’ve experienced so much self discovery in the process of being a mother and learning about child development. I am currently working towards my AA in ECE. I was deeply inspired during my studies when the montessori philosophy was introduced to me. My son attended a Montessori school, which greatly impacted my ambition for the montessori method. I have 3 years experience working in a preschool setting and I also have background working in the behavioral health field. I am thrilled to learn and practice Montessori methods here at MCS.

I look forward to getting to know the children in the upcoming school year. It brings me great joy working with children and to get to help them along on their journey towards independence.

Miss Cristina | Otter Assistant

Hiya, my name is Cristina!
I grew up in England and this is my first ever year working not just at this school but in any American school and I am so beyond excited for the experience!

I am currently an assistant in the Otters primary classroom and am loving getting to know every member of the MCS community children, parents and staff.

I graduated from the University of Winchester in October 2018 with a degree in Childhood and Community Studies and have been working in education since finishing university. I have a wide range of experience working with children and young people up to the age of 19. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about the Montessori way of education and put those methods into practice. The thing I love most about working with young people is forming strong trusting relationships with the children that I work with.