A Seminole Montessori teachers role is more that of a guide or a facilitator rather than a “teacher”. She guides the children through the curriculum sequences by providing lessons and key experiences that peek their interests, encourage further exploration, and thus allow children to make their own discoveries.
Dr. Montessori considered the science and art of observation to be a fundamental necessity for teachers to understand and support the individual development of each child. Therefore, our teachers become a “student of the child”. They utilize various observation techniques and assessments tools as they evaluate and record information about each child. From these, they are able to make individual lesson plans for each child while remaining alert to changes in the child’s interest, progress, mood, and behavior.
Meet Our Teachers
Karen Leavesley, Director, Lead Teacher
Karen’s first experience with Montessori education was when she enrolled her two-year old son in a Montessori school and watched the experience bring sanity and serenity back to her family. “I had to discover how it was done”, says Karen. Her favorite thing about Montessori is how each child is empowered to discover the world outside and the world within as each becomes a life-long learner. “It is a miracle unfolding and I love to watch!”, says Karen. Originally from Tullahoma, TN, Karen enjoys reading mysteries, science fiction, watching old movies, playing with her children and grandchildren, befriending the homeless and gardening in her spare time.
Karen’s favorite quote from Maria Montessori:
“The child is father of the man.”
Doreen Benedict, Teacher Assistant
Doreen’s first experience with Montessori education was when visiting Miss Karen and Seminole Montessori and couldn’t believe how peaceful the classroom was. Her favorite thing about Montessori is the environment in the classroom and watching the children work and respect one another. Originally from Rothesay Bute, Scotland, Doreen enjoys spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, traveling, history, painting and the occasional date night with her husband in her spare time.
Doreen’s favorite quote from Maria Montessori:
“Inspire the children.”
Rachelle Ogletree, Teacher Assistant
Rachelle’s first experience with Montessori education was when she enrolled her first born child at age 3. She couldn’t believe how peaceful and welcoming the children were. She was amazed at how her daughter loved being at school and watching her flourish and become more independent. Her favorite thing about Montessori is watching each child blossom and how the environment adapts to each child. “I am inspired because even the adult can learn something in the Montessori classroom if they are willing. I love the, ‘I can do it myself’ attitude”, says Rachelle. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Rachelle enjoys reading, spending time with family and watching comedy movies in her spare time.
Rachelle’s favorite quotes from Maria Montessori:
“If teaching is to be effective with a young child, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence.”
“Even very small children have a profound sense of personal dignity; and that if adults neglect to respect it, their souls may remain wounded, ulcerated and oppressed in a way adults seldom realize.”
Alex Andra Fabre, After Care
Alex’s first experience with Montessori education was at Seminole Montessori. Her favorite thing about Montessori is the concepts that are taught to the children in order to guide them toward self-discipline and having compassion towards themselves and others. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL, Alex enjoys reading, writing, spending time on nature walks with “Dharma”, her dog, arts and crafts, traveling, visiting historical landmarks and museums, volunteering, playing the clarinet and spending time with friends and family in her spare time.
Alex’s favorite quote from Maria Montessori:
“Follow the child.”
Ebony Andrini, After Care
Ebony’s first experience with Montessori education was at Seminole Montessori. Her favorite thing about Montessori is the Montessori learning environment and how it enables the children to become more developmentally advanced by allowing them to work in mixed age groups. She loves watching the children teach each other, as well as learn from each other. Originally from Miami, FL, Ebony enjoys cooking, reading, shopping and hanging with friends and family in her spare time.
Ebony’s favorite quote from Maria Montessori:
“Follow the child.”