Elizabeth Harmon

  • School Leader

Bio coming soon!

Meghan Gwin

  •  Director of Education
  •  Director of Teacher Education Program

Meghan has extensive experience in the field of education. She has been teaching for over 14 years in Montessori classrooms. She holds three AMI Diplomas and advanced certificates in the field of Montessori education, ages 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12, and has nearly completed a Master’s degree in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is also currently pursuing a Masters of Teaching degree from Concordia University in Portland. Meghan owned, operated and taught at Gresham Montessori Center in Gresham for ten years, which included infant, toddler and primary classrooms. Locally Meghan has taught at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School, Childpeace, The Ivy School, and Little Genius Montessori. She enjoys guiding children to discover things about the world and how they can make a difference in it.

Bozena Struk

  • Director of Operations

Bozena is a native of Poland but lived for 10 years in Northern Louisiana. She is a dedicated advocate for women and children, attachment and positive parenting. She previously led the childcare’s program at a Domestic Violence shelter in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she gained extensive experience in support services, crisis intervention and child abuse and neglects prevention and intervention. She worked passionately for undeserved families for their safety, independence and stability. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from Grambling State University and Master’s degree in Public Health from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. She has a young daughter whom she spends time when not at work. Bozena enjoys reading, writing, dancing and spending time at the beach.

Pamela DeVelder

  • Staff and Resource Coordinator

Pamela recently relocated to Portland from Florida. She and her family spent this summer of 2014 traveling the United States, camping in beautiful state and national campgrounds. This was an experience Pamela believes is ‘beyond words’. For the past eight years she has been working with toddlers as a Lead teacher in a Montessori school. Pamela has her Montessori certification through NAMC as well as a Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential. She looks forward to continuing her education in areas that will increase her knowledge and skill in the Montessori method and philosophy. Pamela is very excited to be a member of the MOA family! She is looking forward to experiencing the seasons of the Northwest. She enjoys art, camping, hiking, gardening, reading and spending time with her grandson Shen.

LEAD GUIDES

Rebecca Clements

  • Lead Guide
  • MOATEP Student in Practicum

Rebecca grew up in Portland enjoying the region’s natural treasures with her family. She grew up with her three sisters camping, skiing, hiking and learning to love the “great outdoors”, rain or shine. When she couldn’t go outside she read books with great interest. She graduated from University of Massachusetts with a BA in literature and a love for the arts. Her first administrative job was assisting the President of the Art Institute of Boston. Later she worked at the University of Rhode Island and at the Portland Habilitation Center. She returned to Portland with her husband to raise their son Zach who started at MOA at 18 months and graduated when he was six years old. He now attends the Ivy School. Rebecca truly appreciates all that she learns about Montessori and the children here each day. Rebecca is a student in MOA’s Teacher Education Program.

Padmini Alphonse

  • Lead Guide
  • MOATEP Instructor
  • Field Consultant

Padmini is a native of India and a naturalized citizen of the United States. Prior to joining MOA in the fall of 2007, Padmini had 18 years of experience as a teacher with children from ages 3 to 6. She spent 6 years in India as a senior teacher in a Nursery School setting and the rest of her 12 years’ experience were in California, Illinois and Oregon. Including her present service at MOA Padmini has about 22 years of teaching experience out of which 12 years have been in Montessori schools. Padmini’s educational training includes a B.A. degree in religious studies, teaching diplomas in Nursery Education from India and an American Montessori Society (AMS) certified diploma in Early Childhood education. Padmini’s co-curricular activities include singing, dancing and some art work which she teaches the children in class. She enjoys composing and singing Indian songs, and she loves cooking. She often uses her singing and cooking talents for raising funds for charitable works, by way of producing musical albums in Indian music and cooking for up to 200 people at a time. In addition to her many interests, Ms. Padmini volunteers her time to the school Home of Love in Chennai, India. Home of Love is a nonprofit organization raising orphaned girls in India. It was begun in 1992 by Ms Padmini’s husband Rev. Dr. Martin Alphonse.

Krista Wianecki

  • Lead Guide
  • After School Director
  • MOATEP Student in Practicum

Krista was born and raised in Los Angeles, California in a small beach town called El Segundo. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Psychology. During her four years at OSU she fell in love with Oregon and decided to make it her home. Krista previously worked at the Montessori School of Manhattan Beach where she discovered her love for the Montessori Method and her passion to help children learn and grow each day into confident independent beings. Krista has held many roles at MOA. She has been the Lead Guide in the Arctic and Meadow rooms. Krista is MOA’s Closing Director, overseeing the school each day. She also has been MOA’s Art Director, providing creative opportunities in every classroom. Krista recently completed her Infant and Toddler Montessori credential and has nearly completed all the requirements of her Early Childhood Montessori credential through MOA’s teacher education program.

Victor Ramirez

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOATEP Student in Practicum

Victor is working on the academic portion of MOA’s Teacher Education Program. He has been working at MOA since 2011. He was born in Mexico and moved to he United States when he was nine years old. He has worked in an Assisted Living with seniors. He has experience with children of all ages in a variety of settings. Victor is a proud member of the Montessori of Alameda community.

Ailemys Cabot Torres

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOA Teacher Education Program Graduate

Ailemys is a graduate of MOA’s Teacher Education Program. She came to our community in 2011 with over three years of experience in childcare with children ages 18 months to 8 years old. Ailemys is a native Spanish speaker from Cuba. She received Teacher Assistant training from the Pedagogical Higher Institute in Cuba. After moving to Portland, she became actively involved with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization. She enjoys music and dancing with her friends and family. Ailemys compassion for children and beautiful smile are a wonderful addition to our infant community.

Stephanie Sequeira

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOATEP Student starting practicum in Sept

Stephanie is originally from Torrance, CA. Her family relocated to Oregon when she was a young child. Her family is from Managua, Nicaragua. Stephanie speaks both Spanish and English fluently. She graduated from Warner Pacific College with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Services in 2014. She came across The Montessori Philosophy during her studies and instantly found herself determined to learn more about the philosophy behind Montessori. She is currently enrolled in the MOATEP program and is a lead teacher in one of our Infant Environments. Her passion in life is working with children, she has always believed in the quality of providing children a place where they can explore and learn. She has extensive experience working with children in many settings such as home preschool, daycare settings, Outdoor School, art schools, public school Sun Programs and more. She also has experience working with children with mental and physical abilities. In her free time she volunteers with a program called Young Life Capernaum, working with children who have special needs. She also loves camping, hiking, scrap-booking, reading, baking, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Greta Salas

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker

Greta come to MOA with coursework started in her Montessori AMS certificate from the Centro de Ensenanza in Mexico. She started working with children as a nanny then was hired to teach at the Center Educative Madrid in Mexico. That is where she learn about the Montessori Method. She speaks Spanish fluently has lived many places including Alaska, Mexico and Arizona. She moved to Portland with her husband in 2014 and loves it here. She enjoys cooking vegetarian recipes, hiking, swimming and biking all over the Pacific Northwest. Greta’s goal is to someday have her own little Montessori school near her family in Mexico.

Bella Thomas

  • Lead Guide
  • MOATEP Student in Practicum

Bella is a South Florida native and has recently moved to Portland to pursue her Montessori education through AMS. She has had a love for infants and young children her whole life, with many young family members and siblings to care for. Bella began working with young children at the age of eleven, conducting an infant and toddler story-hour at her local library. Before coming to Portland, Bella spent two years as an assistant teacher at Turtle River Montessori in Jupiter, FL. During this time, she designed curriculum for and taught after-school classes focused on gardening and art. In her free time, she enjoys reading, babysitting, painting, sewing finger puppets and classroom materials, and nature walks. Bella is a student in MOA’s Teacher Education Program for infants and toddlers.

Linda Ramirez

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOATEP Student starting practicum in Sept

Linda is fluent in Spanish and speaks conversational French and Portuguese. She comes with a strong background working with people. Linda has worked with adults and our older community as a trainer, caregiver and manager. She describes herself as energetic, enthusiastic and patient. As a mother she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the classroom.

Laura Gonzalez

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOATEP Student starting practicum in Sept

Laura came to MOA with a lot of experience working with children. For the past ten years she has been working with preschool-aged children with a focus on building nurturing relationships based on respect for each child and family. Most recently Laura worked in a local preschool as an Assistant Teacher. She helped build a classroom community that was emotionally supportive of each child. Before that she was a Lead Teacher in a school in Washington. Laura is happy to be part of MOA’s great teaching team!

Celia Mejia

  • Lead Guide
  • Spanish Speaker
  • MOATEP Student in Practicum

Celia was raised in a small town in Guatemala. She went to school to become a bilingual secretary in Spanish and English. She also studied one year of Psychology at the University Mariano Galvez de Guatemala. It has been her dream since she was eight years old to be a teacher. After she graduated from school her first job was as a teacher teaching basic English and math. Celia is proud to be in MOA’s teacher education program and a part of our community. Ms Celia was raised in a small town in Guatemala. She went to school to become a bilingual secretary in Spanish and English. She also studied one year of Psychology at the University Mariano Galvez de Guatemala. It has been her dream since she was eight years old to be a teacher. After she graduated from school her first job was as a teacher teaching basic English and math. Celia is proud to be in MOA’s teacher education program and a part of our community.

Anne Courts

  • Lead Guide

Though she grew up in northern Virginia, Anne earned her bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College here in Portland, majoring in Studio Art and minoring in English. In 2010, she earned her 200-hour registered Yoga Teacher certification in Chesapeake, Virginia. Anne’s Montessori calling came naturally when seeking the most fitting childcare option for her highly independent toddler daughter. Completely taken with the personalized, peaceful, and meticulous Montessori Method, Montessori has since become a huge part of their lifestyles. Anne completed her AMI Assistants to Infancy certification from Montessori Northwest in Portland in August 2017, and in July 2018 she will finish her Master of Education in Montessori Education from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Anne adores the toddlers in her class and loves playing guitar, teaching yoga, and helping young children discover their greatest potentials!