1971–AMI preschool diploma from the Montessori Institute in Los Angeles
1976–AMI elementary diploma from Sion Hill College, Dublin, Ireland
Lael has over 40 years of Montessori teaching experience: 3 years of preschool and 37 years in the elementary classroom. Her teaching experience includes the Southwest (Santa Fe, Dallas) and the Northwest (Corvallis, Portland. She opened Zia Montessori Elementary School in Portland in 2000. In 2003, the School was relocated to Spokane with the name Southside Montessori Elementary Elementary School.
The school relocated to Spokane in the fall of 2003 with a name change becoming Southside Montessori
Elementary School. Southside is in its 9th year.
Along with her vast teaching experience, Lael has consulted for various schools and given workshops in Sweden, Canada, and the United States. She pursued her interest in public relations and parent education. She developed two Montessori slide shows that were distributed for 23 years both nationally and internationally by the North American Montessori Teacher Association. The slide shows were used for parent education and in education classes at colleges, universities, and Montessori training institutes.
Lael served as editor of the AMI magazine, Family Life. She also served as Assistant editor and member of the advisory board of Montessori Explorer, a Magazine for elementary children.
Four years of volunteer work with the Dallas Museum of Natural History, including on-site digging and the eventual reconstruction of a 75 million-year-old mosasaur (a swimming reptile), combined with several years of world travel have enriched the life experiences she brings to the classroom.
Lael enjoys sharing her experiences, enthusiasm, love of learning, and humor with her students. Her passion for teaching is apparent in the lives of the hundreds of students she has touched. Many of her students are now pursuing their own careers and raising Montessori children. Many have stayed in touch with her to this day. This, she says, is the real benefit of her profession.
MaryAnn has been a part of Southside Montessori for the past 4 years. She shares her many interests and talents with us and is deeply beloved by our students and parents.
MaryAnn has long had a commitment to good, nutritious food. Formerly the owner of Junebugs Cafe, a South Hill restaurant, MaryAnn also managed the Thursday Farmers’ Market in the South Perry District for three years. Before joining the classroom, she had a catering business. Her current passion is turning children on to the joy of healthy eating. Her fun and tasty approach to our snack and cooking program has turned some of the pickiest eaters into children willing to try almost anything!
MaryAnn has begun a tradition that is loved by all the Southside families. It is the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The children make all of the food as well as the decorations! Parents and grandparents are invited to join us for a delicious luncheon.
Most of all, MaryAnn enjoys helping children discover their strengths, find their voice and become self-reliant individuals.
Stretch and Grow
Angela provides our weekly PE class.
Esta is our Theater Teacher. Esta taught theater in Phoenix for 30 years before relocating to Spokane. Additionally, she is a children’s author and has published 3 books: Rebecca and the Comfy Cozy Feeling, Rebecca and the Purple Bracelet, Rebecca and the Garden.