We have an amazing team of support staff; including a counsellor and classroom assistants. Our classroom assistants all have a solid foundation of Montessori knowledge, enabling them to assist in the Montessori environment.
Please see our full support staff list below.
Alex Garneaux has worked at MMA since 2014. She works as a classroom assistant in Alpha and Gamma. Miss Alex finished her community support and education assistant program at Camosun college. When she is not working at the school she is hiking or painting. Miss Alex values inclusion in the community.
Ali Paul has been at Maria Montessori Academy since 2012 and her role in our community is primarily as a Classroom Assistant. In the past five years however, she has worked with all ages and continues to spend time with our preschool and kindergarteners before and after school. She pursued her Early Childhood Education, after completing an undergrad in creative writing. When she’s not at Maria Montessori Academy; she’s tediously working on her novel, taking photographs, practicing yoga and enjoying nature!
Amy Mayer has worked at MMA as a Classroom Assistant since 2014. Miss Amy studied developmental services at Loyalist College in Ontario and Educational Support Worker at Georgian college Ontario. Miss Amy is creative and loves art, musical theatre and her Dogs. Miss Amy also spends as much time as possible up the ski hill.
Breony Ayers has been at MMA since 2012. Miss Breony completed her training in Social Services, and Mental Health in 2005. Miss Breony loves spending time with children and continues to learn from them everyday. Miss Breony has worked as a classroom assistant in Sigma, Delta, and Omega. In her free time she enjoys dancing, singing, and exploring Victoria.
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.
Elizabeth Post began at MMA in 2016 as a Classroom Assistant, following her graduation from Camosun College Education Assistant & Community Support Program. Elizabeth is currently a Classroom Assistant in the Sigma middle school classroom, and has also enjoyed two previous years of working in the upper and lower elementary classrooms. Since beginning at Maria Montessori Academy Elizabeth has completed her Montessori Classroom Assistant training. With her Elizabeth brings care, support and an open mind to the classroom. When Elizabeth isn’t at MMA she enjoys spending time with family, outdoor adventures, the joy of singing and a dash of Yoga for good measure.
Laura Ledesma fell in love with the Montessori Method of Education at the age of 15 but could not pursue those studies in her home country. Instead, she graduated from the National University of Colombia with a BA in Geology and then proceeded to follow her true passion; Montessori Education. Miss Laura took her Montessori Early Childhood Certification in 2012 and went to work as a Montessori teacher. She moved to Victoria to join her husband and is currently taking her Lower Elementary Montessori Certification. She is very excited to be joining the MMA team as a teaching assistant in Upper Elementary. On her free time she likes watching movies, swimming, salsa dancing and family outings with her husband and 4 year old son.
Louise Goodwin lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic; ophthalmic/aural nursing in Britain, and later obtaining a B. Ed and a Dipl. Sped from U.B.C. She has worked as a teacher and therapist with children with deaf-blindness, sensory needs, Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. More recently she obtained a post-graduate diploma in Mental Health and undertook the Maria Montessori Academy Classroom Assistant Course. Miss Louise tries to keep up her French and sign language and joined the MMA family in 2014; she enjoys working with and supporting children in this caring environment. Miss Louise enjoys her family of eight siblings, continuing to support/raise her three children and granddaughter.
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.
Mitchell has been working as a Classroom Assistant in Kappa since 2018. For the eight years prior he worked exclusively with special needs adults and youth as a Life Skills Worker. Mr Mitchell has a Fine Arts Diploma from North Island College and has formally trained in Butoh dance, improvisational sound and movement, theatre, film and national team level sports. He has worked as a headlining artist from Haida Gwaii to San Diego, where he mentored youth and adults while facilitating community art projects such as cultural murals, street theatre troops, filmmaking and performance art. He is a co-author and designer of a National Best Seller: Be the Change Cards and has worked as a professional intuitive with high profile clientele including Canadian team Olympic athletes. Mr Mitchell loves his family time camping, playing, laughing, and crying.
Nicki Atherton has been a part of the Sigma community at MMA for the last two years. She has an eclectic background of experiences such as working as a Army Reserve, Lighthouse Keeper, and Trek Guide in the Himalayas. She has been teaching in BC for the past three years and looks forward to getting her Masters in Counseling. When Miss Nicki is not thoroughly enjoying her time as Sigma’s Special Education Coordinator, she can be found hiking mountains with her new husband, cooking tasty treats, and planning her next adventures to foreign Countries.
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.
Suzan Faraj grew up in Jordan and she recently moved to beautiful Victoria in 2015. Miss Suzan graduated with a BA in English Language and Literature. She has been a passionate and dedicated teacher and administrator for the past 24 years. The MMA community welcomed Miss Suzan, helped her transition become easier and the students have sparked her energy and passion. This year, she is looking forward to getting to know Sigma students better to help them reach their goals, and learn something new every day. Suzan loves the outdoors, she likes discovering Victoria’s hiking trails and enjoying her time with her family.