Our Guides

Miss Regina | Nido Lead Guide

Mom bioHello! My name is Miss Regina and I am the Nido Lead Guide at MCS. My love for children came at an early age, coming from a family of seven children. Being in a big family the idea of independence, responsibility, and natural consequences were understood at a young age. These ideals helped foster my love for Montessori in everyday life and helped me to understand that Montessori isn’t simply a teaching method, it is a way of living that allows children to develop into beautiful and independent members of society. Because of this, I fell in love with Montessori, and it became only natural to me. I followed this passion and started a Home Day Care in Rocklin, Ca, until my husband, myself, and two daughters moved to Santa Cruz. During the following years, I went on to have four additional children, raising them through my Montessori knowledge.

When time came to find a Montessori school, my husband and I looked all over the county and couldn’t find one that we liked. This led to a wonderful idea of starting our own! We started this school in 2003 with the help of my in-laws. Since the start of MCS, I have been a large part of the development and operations. The last couple years my children have gotten older, and haven’t needed me as much, so I was delighted to step in and become the Nido Lead. I am excited at the opportunity to continue my love for guiding infants. Their growth is amazing, both mentally and physically, and I love to nurture and guide that development.

Miss Alicia| Nido Assistant

Alicia Hi Nido families, my name is Alicia Romero. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz. I graduated from the University of Santa Cruz in 2012 with a B.A. in anthropology and a minor in education. Right after graduating I moved to Brazil where I lived with my husband and my son for 3 years. Now, I am back in Santa Cruz, and have been working in MCS for over a year. Throughout my work experience I have worked in diverse educational settings; from working in pre-schools, to teaching English, and now working with infants. All of my work experience has given me different views on styles and theories of teaching. That is why I’m still debating whether I will pursue a Montessori teaching certification or a M.A./Credentials in education. As of now, I am very happy to be working alongside Ms. Regina, Ms. Jacklyn and Ms. Asia in the Nido room.

In my spare time I enjoy going to the beach, exercising, reading and spending time with my family.

 

 

Miss Jacklyn| Nido Assistant

Jacklyn

My name is Jacklyn Wigley. I am 26 years old and consider myself a Santa Cruz native. I have been working with kids professionally for 4 years. I’ve worked with families with one child as well as families with multiple children. I feel comfortable watching many children at one time. Although I love working with all ages, I am especially drawn towards children 0-4 years old. I am very experienced in my field and also possess several certifications including: CPR (including infants), and First Aid. I’ve been working at Montessori Community School in the Nido room since early May 2017. I believe this school is a wonderful spot for your child to begin their education both academically and emotionally. I work with such an amazing team, and feel so lucky and proud to be part of such a great school.

When I am not working you can find me outside with my adorable puppy and boyfriend. We love being outside, whether it’s lounging on the beach or hiking in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains we are surrounded by.

 

Miss Asia| Nido Assistant

Hi, I’m MissAsia bio (2) Asia and I am one of the assistants in the Nido classroom. I’ve always had a passion for working with children since I was young. I am the second oldest out of seven so I have a lot of experience with nurturing and taking care of children. I just recently became a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl! I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from San Jose State University.

 

I love to read, go on walks by the beach, dance, and absolutely love being a new mom.

 

 Puffin Guides

Miss Roxie| Puffins Lead Guide

Hi! I’Roxie (3)m Ms. Roxie, and I have worked at MCS off and on since 2012.  I have worked in early childhood education since 2006, and have lived in Santa Cruz for 9 years and counting.  I have a B.A. in psychology from UC Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Education (M.Ed) from Loyola University Maryland.  I received my Assistants to Infancy (0-3) AMI Montessori teaching certification at Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon.

In my spare time, I enjoy going to the beach, working out, yoga, dance,  and spending time with friends and family.

 

 

 

Miss Akiko| Puffins Assistant

Akiko

Hello, my name is Akiko Yamatani.  I am an assistant teacher in the toddlers’ classroom. I was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan.  I graduated a nursing college in Tokyo, and worked as a public health nurse for five years.   When I came to the United States ten years ago, I decided to do what I liked to do the most, so I started working with children.  I worked for a Japanese daycare in Campbell for a while, and started working Montessori Community School in November 2016.  Everyday, I feel my decision was right.  Everyone in our classroom is so precious and brings me a joy.

When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, my husband and six year old daughter.  I am learning Japanese calligraphy.  I also enjoy Zumba and watching Netflix.

 

 

 

Miss Amanda| Puffins Assistant

amandaHi toddler families! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Amanda. I have been a part of the MCS community for the past 5 years. After welcoming my youngest son in August of 2016, I am ready and very excited to be returning to the classroom to work alongside Ms. Roxie.

I earned my B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Upon graduating, I obtained an alternative Montessori credential for birth to three years, and haven’t looked back ever since. Over the last 8 years I have worked as an assistant and lead guide in toddler classrooms as well as a member of administrative teams.

I join the Puffin community not only with experience and knowledge, but most importantly an ability to love and respect each individual child as they follow their unique path of development. I look forward to getting to know each of you and your beautiful children.

I am mama to Wynn (4yrs in Otters), and Kane (1yr in Nido), and wife to my husband Will. During our free time you’ll likely find us at the beach getting salty and sandy.

Miss Lori | Puffins Afternoon Assistant

LoriHi, I am Lori Duino! I am a California native, currently living in the Santa Cruz Mountains or more specifically, Brookdale. I attended college at the University of Davis, receiving my Bachelors of Art in 1992. Later, I went back to school at Cabrillo College, earning 32 units in Early Childhood Education.

I have worked in the childcare industry for over ten years and began work at Montessori Community School in 2014. This is my first job working with the Montessori philosophy and curriculum, and am delighted by the focused learning and attention to grace and courtesy that is a huge part of the Montessori classroom environment. In my three years at this school I have felt both happy and grateful to be part of a warm and professional staff that includes lead guides, assistant teachers and administrative employees. I love working with toddler age children and especially enjoy reading the students stories and singing songs to them while perched on top of the outdoor climbing structure.

In addition to my work at Montessori Community School, I am also pursuing a Master’s of Fine Art as an online student at the Academy of Art University. I am also a huge animal lover, from the smallest creature to the largest, I adore them all. My own pets include one very black cat and a tiny lizard. I think they are both totally amazing.

I also love to travel, having been fortunate to acquire a few stamps in my passport. However, more recently I have enjoyed traveling within the United States, horseback riding in Colorado and viewing Orcas in Washington State. My bucket list includes but is not limited to traveling to Italy, Spain and Portugal and also seeing Jack White perform live.

 Primary Guides

Miss Foruzan | Dolphins Lead Guide

Foruzan'Hello, my name is Foruzan! I began my Montessori journey when I sent my first child to a Montessori school. I was amazed at how the Montessori environment helps children develop to their full potential by using all of their senses and working at their own pace. This encouraged me to pursue a primary diploma (AMS) and become a Montessori guide. I have been working and guiding children since 2009, and have been with MCS for almost 6 years now.

I also hold a BA in political science and worked as a librarian and researcher in the international institute of political science for twelve years.

I moved from Ottawa, Canada to Scotts Valley in 2003 and have lived here since. I have two amazing and joyful boys whom I am extremely proud of. I enjoy reading, swimming, walking and baking.

 

Miss Megan| Dolphins Assistant

Hello! MeganMy name is Megan, and I am currently working with kiddos as an Assistant Guide in the Primary Dolphins Class. I am ecstatic to be a part of the MCS team! I attended the Pennsylvania State University for Psychology, and have worked with children throughout my life!

Working with children has become my life’s passion, and Montessori values are ingrained in my approach with kiddos to increase independence, as well as a zeal for life! I am passionate about supporting individuality, while fostering community, and respect for your fellow classmate.

When I am not at school, I love to hike with my crazy dogs, make jewelry, go beach combing, and camp every chance that I get!

 

 

Miss Joy | Otters Lead Guide

joyHello. My name is Joy. I am the “Otter” primary class lead guide.

I have been a Montessori primary guide for close to 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 Veronica | Otters Assistant

VeronicaHowdy! My name is Veronica. I am currently serving as one of the assistant guides in the primary Otter class.

My Montessori journey commenced upon birth. I am a Montessori kid! Born to a Montessori teacher and attended Montessori schools through the age of 9. While my Montessori education may have provided me with much needed skills in pouring, lacing my shoes, and reading, it has also contributed to much more complex facets. I have learned what true community and solidarity is, developed self-discipline and independence, have been encouraged to imagine, and been promoted to believe in lifelong learning. These are deeply valuable lessons, and so I found myself returning to the Montessori philosophy but this time as an adult in a teaching role. I commenced my AMI primary training at Montessori Northwest in Portland this past year. Prior to that I worked in a Montessori inspired school in the Santa Cruz area and completed my Bachelor’s degree in linguistics at UCSC (Go banana slugs!)

When I am not spending time with the little ones I enjoy traveling, getting doggie cuddles, and trying new and delicious foods, yum.

Miss Jessica |Otters Assistant

Jessica

Hi!  I am so excited to be joining the team here.  I grew up in a small town called Three Rivers, in the foothills of Sequoia National Park.  I have loved spending time with kiddos since I started babysitting at 13.  I spent a few years teaching and assisting at a preschool in Jackson, Wyoming, and felt most inspired when I was assisting in the Montessori classroom. I am passionate about the way Montessori respects and nurtures the individual child, and can’t wait to get to know each child here. I am committed to continuing my education in early childhood education at Cabrillo.

I love spending my spare time reading, biking around town, hiking and camping.  I am looking forward to having a great year learning together!

 

 

Miss Ariel | Outside Assistant

Ariel

Hi, my name is Ariel and I am working as the outdoor assistant for the two primary classes. I was introduced to Montessori when I began attending a Montessori school myself in kindergarten. I still have fond memories to this day of the elegance and grace each of my teachers had while finding resolutions to the many challenges that came up throughout the days. I have always loved spending time with young children, as I come from a large family and grew up surrounded by children of all ages and stages of development.

I am currently finishing my B.A. at UCSC in Sociology with a minor in Education and intend to continue my future career in education. In my free time I enjoy traveling, playing with animals and making new friends.

 

 

 

Miss Georgia | Aftercare Guide

georgiaHello! My name is Georgia and I will be working as an aftercare guide. I grew up in Sacramento and moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC. I am a second year working on my Bachelors in Psychology and Education. I have worked with kids my entire life, helping my aunt with her daycare and volunteering with groups that help children in need. I love the Montessori school ideals and how self-sufficient the children learn to become. I’m very passionate about my work with children and love everything I learn from them on a daily basis.

In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and make new recipes I find on Pinterest.

 

 

Administration

Miss Madelynn | Head of School

Madelynn bio

Hi there! 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 methodology and during my middle school years they started this wonderful school, MCS.

I have a strong background in Business Administration, holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I started working at MCS as the Assistant Director and became Head of School after three years, delighted at the opportunity to lead our school. This is now my second year as Head of School and it is the most wonderful position, something I look forward to doing for many years. My goal for our school is to create a warm and inviting community, where everyone feels welcome, and all children are supported as they unfold their unique personalities while receiving the very best AMI Montessori education.

This is such a special community and I am delighted to be a part of it; our parents, guides, and children are filled with love and constant support.

When I am not at work, I love to hike, swim, travel, and spend time with my family. Any chance I get I am exploring the world, learning about diverse cultures. I am also mama to two special (and energetic) puppies Buster and Georgia who keep me on my toes!

Miss Lauren| Assistant Director

LaurenMy names Lauren Davis, I grew up in Sonoma County, and decided to start a new adventure in Santa Cruz about 5 years ago. I have been with Montessori Community School since April 2015, and working as the Assistant Director since August 2016. I am currently a student at Cabrillo, slowly working on getting a Communications Degree. Before working here I had no prior knowledge of Maria Montessori or her work, but I immediately felt connected to the community here, and more importantly the Montessori way of thinking. The growth I have personally witnessed in some of the children here is undeniable. I have worked in childcare on and off all of my life, volunteering to coach teams in the Special Olympics, to working as a professional face-painter for children’s birthday parties. I love children and I love working with them because every day is different, and every day they make me laugh.

In my free time, I like to take Aerial hoop classes, go to concerts, and Giants games.

 

 

Miss Jade| Floater and Cook

JadeHi I am Miss Jade. I moved to Scotts Valley, with my now husband, in 1992. We have raised two boys who have grown up and gone to Vine Hill, Brook Knoll, and Scotts Valley High. I was fortunate to be a stay at home mom up until they were in 6th grade. When I began getting involved with Autism and the wide spectrum of different needs children, it sparked my interest in early childhood education and I began going to Cabrillo College where I have earned 17 units in ECE and an A.A. degree. Currently, I am enrolled at San Jose State where I am pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree. I have been at Montessori Community School, in many facets, since 2015 and have enjoyed spending time with the children in a caring, learning community.