our staff

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Chloe Reed

Executive Director & Upper Elementary 

Chloe has been an active part of the North Coast community since 2007.  Her love of teaching and collaborative classrooms began twenty years ago with her teacher credentialing program at the University of Vermont.  At UVM, Chloe was trained in curriculum development and assessment-based instruction which allows her to design academic programs rooted in student interests and needs rather than rely on packaged curriculum. After several years as a classroom teacher, Chloe attended Literacy Collaborative Coordinator training at Lesley University in order to become a literacy teacher trainer and coach for her district. Chloe worked in classrooms from grades Kindergarten to eighth, implemented the district’s staff development program, and acted as a bridge between administration, faculty, teachers, and parents.  Chloe has studied organizational leadership through the Master's program at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chloe is a trained Montessori Model United Nations leader and led student delegates to the New York conferences in 2018 and 2020. Chloe has held the role of Montessori parent, FMDM Board member, Upper Elementary teacher, and Director of Montessori del Mar Learning Center before transitioning to be Executive Director of Montessori del Mar Community School.  This year, Chloe will also be co-teaching the Upper Elementary with Holly. Chloe’s son, Griffin, has attended Montessori schools since pre-school.

Contact: chloedirector@montessoridelmar.org

Special Focuses: Program Development, School Operations,  Parent Communication, Montessori Model UN,  Reading & Writing Workshop

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Holly Sinclair

Upper Elementary 

Holly knew she wanted to work with children early on in her college career. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Education before going on to get her Masters in Education and Single Subject teaching Credential in Mathematics, all at UC Santa Cruz. She taught mathematics at a public school in Scotts Valley, CA and loved working with children, but she wanted to work more collaboratively with the students and connect with them on an individual basis. While pursing her professional career in teaching she also was very passionate about all things athletic with a focus on soccer. After playing college soccer she went on to coach Fort Bragg High School girls soccer and now the Mendocino High School girls team as well as the co-ed Middle School team. She feels that by working at the Montessori school she will be able to work with students both academically and athletically in a way that feels more authentic to who she is and how she wants to inspire the youth. She is excited to integrate, learn, and grow from the Montessori program. 

Contact: Holly@montessoridelmar.org

Special Focuses: Math, fitness, athletics, health

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LaViva Dakers

Lower Elementary 

As an educator and parent, LaViva has developed and pursued her life-long passion for student-based education over the past two decades. She has worked with children K through 12 in traditional programs, as well as in alternative, independent study, and blended programs. During the past four years she has done immersive training and teaching specifically in Montessori education with a year long, full-time training position at Montessori Del Mar, as well as philosophy and methodology trainings with AMI (American Montessori Internationale) and NAMC (North American Montessori Center) programs. Her greatest goal in teaching is to support, guide and joyfully challenge children to excel in their education, to which the end purpose is the full development and expression of their individual selves and as world citizens. Contact:

Lavivalowerel@montessoridelmar.org

Special Focuses: Social-emotional learning, whole child development, inquiry based learning and team-building. 

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Heather Chappell

Primary

Heather has been a beloved early learning teacher for decades in our community. Heather ran  Heather's School House in her home and also acted as assistant director at the Children's Garden. Heather describes her teaching style as encouraging "...individualized education through open-ended questions and discovery in multi-age classrooms with an emphasis on peer mentoring". This approach is an ideal match with Montessori philosophy. Heather completed NAMC Montessori Primary teacher training in 2021. She found a meaningful connection between her past practices and educational beliefs and the Montessori method.   Heather looks forward to offering a creative and individualized Primary Montessori program for our students.

 

Contact: heatherprimary@montessoridelmar.org

Special Focuses: early childhood development, inquiry based learning, social/emotional development

Robin Bott

Art 

Robin comes from a family of artists and her creativity has been fostered by her parents since she was a child. Following this path, she has taught children and adults in local schools and art institutions including Palos Verdes Art Center. Robin has over 18 years of teaching experience. We are thrilled to have Robin back at MdMCS!

Contact: robinbottdesign@gmail.com 

Karlyn DeSteno

Music 

Karlyn teaches students of all ages to access the joy of creative flow through music. Karlyn teaches music fundamentals and appreciation to our classrooms. We are excited to have this talented professional musician working with our students!

In addition, lessons in guitar, piano, ukulele, violin/viola, voice, songwriting, and music fundamentals are offered to individual students. 

Contact: karlyn.desteno@gmail.com 

Kristi Lentz-Taylor

Independent Study

Kristi joins our staff with a wealth of experience supporting homeschool families and providing one-on one virtual instruction to children of all ages. Kristi is a credentialed teacher; she holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education and literacy. Like Chloe, Kristi is trained in the workshop model of literacy instruction. Kristi also is a fluent Spanish speaker and has taught Spanish in school and private settings for many years. Kristi is pursuing her AMI Montessori training at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies

 

Contact: kristiindstudy@montessoridelmar.org

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Madia Jamgochian

Nutrition Program

Madia is the Nutrition Program chef and educator. She is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and was for many years Community Education Coordinator for New Leaf Community Markets in Santa Cruz. In Mendocino, she has more time to work on her dream of creating a cookbook. We love having her on campus!

Contact: myhealinghabits@gmail.com