All of our classroom teachers are BC Certified teachers with Montessori certification. Our specialty subject teachers are all BC Certified teachers with background knowledge in Montessori philosophy. In our preschool/Kindergarten classrooms, our teachers all have their Early Childhood Education certification as well as teaching credentials through the provincial regulating bodies.
We boast low student to teacher ratios with each classroom having one classroom teacher and one Classroom Assistant.
Please see our full faculty list below.
Mr. Patrick Vincentine comes from a family of educators. Born and raised in Ontario he graduated from Concordia University and taught at the Montreal School for the Hearing impaired before travelling overseas. Mr. Patrick was principal of an English immersion school in Hualien, Taiwan for 5 years. Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Patrick settled in Victoria and soon found work as a teacher with Maria Montessori Academy. After completing Elementary, Middle and Secondary Montessori training he was part of a team which initiated the Senior school. When not guiding traffic in the parking lot, Mr. Patrick enjoys mountaineering, running and hockey
Christine Tuttle has been a member of the MMA family since 2007. Miss Christine graduated from the University of Victoria with a BA in psychology in 2006 and went on to pursue her true passion; education. After graduating from UBC with a B.Ed, Miss Christine came to MMA as a teacher in the Gamma classroom and immediately fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. Miss Christine went on to complete her Montessori certification and in 2015, she was hired as Vice Principal. Miss Christine loves spending time outdoors with her family, riding bikes, reading books at the beach, and going camping.
Deborah Arcuri has been a member of the MMA office team since 2007. Miss Deborah has a wealth of experience having previously been the Office Administrator at Greater Victoria Christian Academy and West-Mont School. When Miss Deborah is not at school she loves to spend time with family, especially her grandchildren. Her passions include line-dancing, scrapbooking, walking, and travelling with her husband, Ron.
Ginette Timmerman has been with us since 2017. She comes to us with a various background of Office Administration & Chinese Medicine. When Miss Ginette is not in school, she can be found with her family and two kids, gardening, playing outdoors, running and doing yoga.
Renée Pelletier has worked at MMA since 2011 as our Office Administrator. Miss Renée loves being the one to welcome new families to the Academy as well as being a liaison between parents, teachers, and the administration. Miss Renée has a Certificate in Accounting and Computing as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science. She is Mom to two amazing children, both who are fortunate to have attended MMA since preschool/kindergarten in 2008. When she is not at school, she can be found playing with her dog, Evie, working in her garden, or on her road bike (which is her new passion).
Jennie Lewis has worked at Maria Montessori Academy since 2011 as our Financial Comptroller. Miss Jennie loves working at the school and being responsible for the accounting operations of MMA. Miss Jennie has a CPA, CA designation as well as a Master’s in Public Administration. When she is not working, she is spending time with her family, gardening, or practicing yoga.
Maria Butler began working as the school counsellor at MMA in 2015. She meets with students from Pre-School through to Grade 12 for personal and/or academic counselling and loves getting to know each student who comes to see her. Miss Maria received a B.A. (hons.) and then a post-graduate teaching certificate (for high school) from the UK. After moving to Canada in 2000, she completed a B.Ed. (elementary and middle school) and then an M.A. in Counselling Psychology a few years later. Miss Maria taught in the UK and in Victoria before deciding to pursue counselling – something she has always felt drawn towards. When not at school, Miss Maria enjoys dance classes and fun family outings with her husband and two children.
Preschool/Kindergarten Classroom Teachers
Sara dePol has worked at Maria Montessori Academy since 2006. Upon completion of her Montessori and Early Childhood Education with the Angela Martin Montessori Training center, Miss Sara has thoroughly enjoyed her time working with the Preschool/Kindergarten classes. She is passionate about watching young children discover their individual potential and providing them with the fundamental skills they will use throughout their lives. When Miss Sara is not at MMA, she can be found enjoying her time with her family.
Diane Ulrich works with the Pre/K children in the Lavender Room. She has an Ontario Teaching Certificate, an Independent School Certificate, a Montessori Casa Certificate and an ECE. Miss Diane has taught Kindergarten in the Ontario and B.C public school systems and has been a Montessori Directress for over 30 years. Outside of school Miss Diane enjoys gardening, golfing and spending time with her four grandchildren.
Janelle Doucette has been a preschool kindergarten teacher for more than 20 years at MMA. She has a BFA from Concordia University and a Diploma in Education from McGill University. After moving to Victoria in 1991 she studied at the Angela Martin training center and obtained her Montessori diploma. She loves working with children and their families, and being able to see how Montessori education can make such a difference in their lives. Janelle loves the community that MMA offers and enjoys teaching in such a positive and supportive environment. She is a mom of two children who both went to MMA and are now in University. When she is not working, Janelle loves cooking, playing with her family, and going for walks with her two dogs, Max and Zoe.
Kyung-Hee Kim has been part of Maria Montessori Academy since 1996. She started her teacher training at the Angela Martin Montessori Teacher Training Centre and completed both Early Childhood and Elementary level of training in 2001. Kyung-Hee also has an Early Childhood Education certificate as well as a BC Independent Teaching certificate. Inspiration from her own children who have attended Montessori schools in Korea, she found her passion as a Montessori teacher. Kyung-Hee finds joy in observing the developmental and growing process of her students during the Preschool and Kindergarten years. In addition to teaching, Kyung-Hee is often hiking with her two dogs at the Mt. Doug trails. She also enjoys training at the Pilates and Barre studios.
Trudi Samson is a Preschool Classroom Teacher in the Sunflower Room. She was educated at Montessori Centre International, St Nicholas in London (UK). She worked as a teacher in the UK and Sweden, before moving to Canada in 2001. Trudi loves to travel and is always planning her next trip abroad. She dreams of one day selling up, buying a yellow camper van and taking to the road!
Willow Polis began at MMA in September 2020. She completed her Montessori ECE training at the Angela Martin training centre in 2006, since then she worked at St. Christopher’s Montessori School in Oak Bay. Miss Willow loves spending time with her husband and two boys. In her spare time, Miss Willow can be found going for a hike with her family, going to yoga class or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.
Elementary Classroom Teachers
Marilyn Triste joined MMA in the year 2000 as the Culture Teacher for the lower elementary classes. Since then she has been the Head Teacher for the Alpha Class. Miss Marilyn has also been involved in the training of teachers at the Angela Martin Montessori Training Centre. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Research, a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Communication, and a Diploma in Montessori Elementary Education. Miss Marilyn is a true believer in awakening the sense of wonder in every child. She imparts her enthusiasm for cooking, baking and gardening to her students, teaching them skills for everyday living.
Lesley Duthie has been the classroom teacher in Beta (Lower Elementary) since 2010, and taught for three years at a Montessori school in North Vancouver. She has an MA in Art Education from the University of British Columbia and has worked in art gallery education as well as in corporate training and communications. Miss Lesley leaped into a Montessori training program in Vancouver, after observing her daughter (now an MMA graduate) thrive at a preschool there. Miss Lesley’s greatest joys outside of school are gardening and horseback riding.
Jodi Brown began her Montessori career by embarking on her AMS certification in 2009, and immersed herself in the MMA community immediately upon arriving in Victoria in 2014. She is now the directress in Gamma. Miss Jodi holds a BA degree from Whitman College in Washington, and attained her teaching credentials from Western Washington University. Prior to MMA, her diverse experience included teaching English in the Japanese public school system and physical education to elementary students in Australia. Miss Jodi has a busy family life with three children, and enjoys running, reading and taking in all of Victoria’s wonderful natural surroundings.
Miss Sandra is currently the directress for the Kappa classroom. With twenty years teaching experience, she has taught at preschool, lower elementary and upper elementary levels. She also has a graduate degree in Library and Information Studies, with a thesis in award-winning young adult literature. When not teaching, Sandra enjoys cycling with her son, David.
Sue Thorne began her career teaching medical professionals about Nutrition and Wellness. She switched gears and started in the school system with preschool, then lower elementary and eventually moved into the upper elementary level. As well as UE, Miss Sue now teaches adults again, with the Montessori Classroom Assistant training course. She has her undergraduate degree in Science and an MA in Education as well as a Montessori Certificate in Elementary I and II. On a personal note, Miss Sue is a long distance runner, a kayaker, and a cyclist. For quiet time, she loves to read and garden. Most importantly, Miss Sue loves spending time with her own children and extended family.
Rachel Hartsook has been teaching at the Academy since January 2009. She first taught preschool/kindergarten music and worked as a classroom assistant, while completing her Montessori Elementary credential. Miss Rachel began teaching in the Delta classroom in September 2011, after a large wait list prompted the new classroom to open. Miss Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria. She loves teaching her students about the world, different cultures and history. In her spare time Miss Rachel enjoys reading novels, going for walks, and singing in a community choir.
Sigma Classroom Teachers (Middle School)
Lee Patterson has worked as a Sigma Director since 2015. Since joining the MMA community, he has been involved with coaching soccer, helping with other sports, and the creation of the senior school garden. Lee is a graduate of the University of Victoria, having completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in French, as well as a Bachelor of Education, with a focus on Middle School. He is currently undertaking his Montessori training through the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program.
In his free time, Lee enjoys a wide array of activities, including: swimming, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, hockey, skiing, kitesurfing, camping, cooking, reading, and gardening.
In 2013, Melissa began her teaching career at MMA as a specialty teacher of French and Music and also as a Classroom Assistant in Upper Elementary. She completed her B. Ed through the University of Victoria in 2012 and then became interested in the Montessori philosophy, completing her Montessori credentials in 2016. Currently, Melissa teaches in the Sigma classroom. She finds great passion in teaching Mathematics and Language Arts.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking, making delicious food, learning new things, and enjoying good coffee.
Morgan is motivated to help students learn deeply about things they’re interested in, so as to help them build their confidence, resilience, and love of learning. He has taught a range of subjects including Math, Laboratory Science, and Social Studies. Experienced in public, private, and post-secondary schools, Morgan holds a B.Ed. in Geography from Simon Fraser University and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of BC. Morgan has a particular interest in applying Montessori teaching in the Senior School context, and is in the process of completing further credentials with the Cincinnati Secondary Montessori Teacher Education Program. On any given day you might find Morgan exploring the Salish Sea by sailboat or zodiac with his family, reading science fiction, or making pizza in his backyard wood-fired oven.
Omega Classroom Teachers (High School)
Aaron Gillatly came to Maria Montessori Academy after 6 years in the public system, and arrived just in time to be there at Omega’s very beginnings. An enthusiast in politics, Mr. Aaron has been fortunate enough to attend Teacher Institutes in Democracy held at both the Provincial legislative and the Parliament in Ottawa. When not boldly defending the value of the Oxford Comma, Mr. Aaron can be found riding about on a motorcycle with his club, the Angry Pandas.
Kathy McIntosh first joined MMA in 2018. She has a BSc. in Chemistry and a DVM. She practiced as a veterinarian in Calgary and Regina for 10 years before getting her BEd. from the University of Calgary in 2004. She has taught Mathematics and Science for Grades 6 – 10 for over 10 years in different private schools in Calgary. She will be teaching Mathematics for Grades 9, 10 and 11 as well as Foods 9. When she is not teaching enjoys cooking, baking, knitting, running and spending time with friends and family.
After graduating high school in Toronto, Miss Brooke made the trek across Canada to attend UVic for Creative Writing. After graduating with a BA in Hispanic Studies (plans change sometimes!) she travelled Mexico for a while. Soon after, a BEd from UVic occurred, which led her to MMA in 2008. French teacher and part-time in Sigma, to start. Then full-time Sigma teacher from 2009-2017. A certification in Secondary Montessori in 2013 from Houston, Texas. In 2017 Miss Brooke decided it was finally time for her to graduate Middle School, and she moved into Omega, where she’s been ever since. Outside of school, Miss Brooke loves hiking around this beautiful island, drinking oat-milk lattes, reading, taking photos, and writing down ideas for her future book.
Haley Rymer has worked at MMA since 2011 teaching science to grades 9-12 students. She received her bachelor of science in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2009 and went on to get both her teaching certificate and her Montessori certification. Haley brings an inquiry based, hands on approach to science that encourages students to explore and make their own discoveries about the world around us. When Haley is not at school she enjoys cooking, hiking and spending time with her family.
Riley joined Maria Montessori Academy in 2020, first as a Teacher On Call, and now as a part time high school science teacher. He received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 2012. While his major is secondary mathematics, he took a minor in drama and spent five years working as a musical theater performer in Vancouver. He then spent two years teaching mathematics at an international private school in Vancouver before moving to Victoria and joining the MMA team. If you don’t find him in the classroom, you will probably find him on the golf course, or playing something from his expansive board game collection.
Dominique de Chantal
Dominique de Chantal has been teaching upper level French at MMA since 2014. Dominique has a French Canadian background and took her teaching education at UVIC along with a bachelors of English Literature. She also has a bachelors of Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership from Mount Royal University. Dominique is an active equestrian and loves spending her weekends competing or camping with her Appaloosa horse Elmo. Keep an eye out for them around Elk Lake Park.
Stephanie Charlebois has been member of the MMA team since moving from Toronto in 2016. She holds a Physical Education & Health degree from U of T and is a MACTE certified Casa Directress. Miss Stephanie has shared her love of French language and culture throughout her 10+ year career in Ontario, teaching exclusively in French and bilingual Montessori classrooms. Her family of four is fully immersed in life on The Island—each part of a local team or group in either field/ice hockey, rowing, hiking or rugby. They are determined to get more time on the water and cycling in this amazing part of the country.
Susanne Ledingham has been involved with art education for over 20 years. After moving to Victoria in 2004, Miss Susanne began working at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, developing art programs and teaching art classes. Using her experience both as an artist and as an art historian, Susanne brings a multi-cultural emphasis to her classes while focusing on process and play in order to gain mastery and skill. When Miss Susanne is not thoroughly enjoying herself in her MMA art studio, she can be found kayaking on Mayne Island, taking in a yoga class, playing around with her own art projects, and having tons of fun with her family.
Sandi Henrich has been teaching art classes and developing art programs and workshops in Victoria since 2002. Her teaching approach is centered on encouraging creative expression and process-based art exploration. Miss Sandi has a degree in History in Art from the University of Victoria and a background in visual arts. When she is not making art, Miss Sandi loves to spend time with her creative family enjoying the beauty of nature.
Karoline Mikolajewski joined Maria Montessori Academy in 2021 after several years teaching special education music in Victoria, BC. Originally from Ontario she studied music at the University of Tennessee specializing in piano and voice with a second emphasis on choir and band music education. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University in Northern Ontario. She holds both an Ontario and BC teaching certificate. On weekends she can be found backcountry camping, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. In the evenings you can find her listening to and playing all types of music. Karoline highly values cross curricular education, sports, is fluent in German and loves to draw.
Physical Education/Outdoor Education
Andrew Farrell began at MMA in 2007 as a PE and Outdoor Education Teacher as well as a Classroom Assistant in Serenity. Andrew finished a Geography Degree at the University of Victoria in 2002, followed by teaching English in Japan, then returning to the west coast to complete a Bachelor of Education at UBC in 2004. His first teaching stint after UBC was as a Social Studies Teacher in Comox, moving there so that he could be on the mountain on a more often. Andrew left MMA for a year to run an alternative school but returned on an on-call basis in 2017,and is back to four days a week in 2018. Andrew and his wife have two young daughters at home, who love to go camping, biking, paddling, swimming and playing in the snow with their dad as often as possible. Andrew loves the outdoors, snowboarding, and paddling. Growing up in Ontario, Andrew played all sports that were in season. He continues to stay active outside of school chasing his daughters around playgrounds and beaches and playing squash on a regular basis.
Christina Hofmann has been a part of the MMA team since January 2011. Previous to her time at MMA, she worked at St Michaels University School working in the Outdoor Education Department. Miss Christina has a Human Kinetics degree from Trinity Western University and Outdoor Experiential Education degree from Queens University. What she loves most about working at MMA is all the laughs and good conversation she has with her students and co-workers. Five things Miss Christina could not do without are: skiing, hot tea, friendships, family, and camping.
Courtney Rasura has worked at MMA since 2014 as a Learning Assistance Teacher. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2013. Miss Courtney has further specialized in Special Education, earning her certificate in 2015. She enjoys creating individualized programs to meet each students unique needs and to celebrate their wonderful strengths. Miss Courtney is also trained to teach using the Barton Reading and Spelling System. When Miss Courtney is not at MMA she is with her family. Her family expanded in November 2015, with the addition of a beautiful baby boy. Together they love to travel and see what new adventures they can discover.
Miss Jess began at MMA in 2019 as the Inclusive Education Coordinator. Miss Jess completed her undergraduate degree at UVIC in 2003. After spending time travelling, Miss Jess decided to follow her “inner guide” and complete a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus in Montessori pedagogy. Shortly thereafter, Miss Jess attended UBC to obtain her Bachelor of Education degree and BC teacher certification. Miss Jess taught at public Montessori schools in the West Vancouver and Vancouver School Districts for 12 years before moving to the Island. Miss Jess and her family are busy enjoying all that this beautiful Island has to offer and are thoroughly enjoying being part of the wonderful MMA community.