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.
Ann Schlenker joined Maria Montessori Academy in 2017 and is currently a Classroom Assistant in Delta. Miss Ann has a Bachelor of Music degree from UVIC, a AVCM certificate in Piano from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and is in the process of completing her Montessori Classroom Assistant certification. Her passions include playing the piano, gardening, crafting, baking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
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.
Debbie Crosby has been a classsroom assistant at MMA since 2017. She received a B. A. in English from the University of Waterloo, B. Ed from Queens University and ACE Tesol Certification from Mount Royal University. Debbie has taught pre-schoolers through to adults in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. When not at school, Debbie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing her clarinet, learning to play her drum kit & ukulele, writing, hiking, reading, travelling, planting seeds and watching her garden grow.
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.
Jessica began working at MMA in the fall of 2017 as a classroom assistant in Gamma and Kappa. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours with Distinction, in Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Victoria and she also holds an Early Childhood Education Assistant Certificate from the Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute. Outside of work, Jessica loves knitting, cooking, reading, studying languages and yoga.
Kat Taddei has been at MMA since 2015, where they work primarily in Omega. When they’re not at MMA enjoying a lively discussion of Kurt Vonnegut’s writing style or the challenge of balancing chemical equations, Kat is busy writing, producing, and performing in the local theatre community. Kat has a bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing with minor in journalism from the University of Victoria and has recently completed their Montessori Classroom Assistant Certification.
Kayla McBride is a Classroom Assistant student in the Bluebell classroom. In 2010 Miss Kayla received her ECCE certificate, the same year in which she started educating at MMA. Miss Kayla is working on her practicum to become a fully certified Early Childhood Montessori Guide. In her spare time she loves to be in the kitchen and doing arts and crafts!
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.
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.
Zach Cameron began at MMA in 2017 working in the out-of-school-care program. Currently he is the classroom assistant in Lambda. He graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies and is currently working towards his Montessori Classroom Assistant certification. Outside of work, he enjoys relaxing with friends and family, and exploring nature.