Teacher Bios

Broadwater School

Beth (Mary Elizabeth) Smaka

Classroom Assignment: Lower Elementary 1st-3rd

Has been a teacher in the district since 2004.

Started in a Montessori classroom in 2005 and completed Montessori certification in 2007

Training/Certification:  B.A. in Elementary Education; AMS Certification in Lower Elementary (ages 6-9) from Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (MEIPN); Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Montessori Instructional Strategies Lower Elementary certification

Personal Statement: “I enjoy Montessori because of the relationships that students, families and teachers form as they learn and grow together over the years.”

Annie (Rhiannon) Tague

Classroom Assignment:  Lower Elementary 1st – 3rd

Years in District: 9 years

Years in Montessori: 7 years

Training/Certification: B.A. In Elementary Education with a minor in Reading,  AMS Certification for Lower Elementary Montessori, Master of Fine Arts in Education with an emphasis in Montessori

Personal Statement: “I truly believe that Montessori classrooms provide the most natural way for children to learn.  The hands on, individualized materials and methods are what allows the Montessori child to understand concepts to their core.  I love the passion and understanding that I see from my students.  The community that is developed in a Montessori classroom is so unique and real-world.  For three years I get to stay with a student and their family.  I get to watch them interact as a learner and a teacher as they progress from a first year to a third year.  It truly is a community of learners and teachers, including me!”

Jodi Majerus Delaney

Classroom Assignment: Upper Elementary 4th/5th grade

Years in District:  6 years

Years in Montessori: 5 years

Training/Certification:  B.A. Broadfield degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Visual Arts and an Area of Concentration in Ceramics, a minor in History for Secondary Education, and an Area of Concentration in Middle School Teaching, 2004
Lower Elementary Montessori Certification: North American Montessori Center, 2009
Upper Elementary Montessori Certification: North American Montessori Center, 2012

Personal Statement: “I enjoy teaching with a Montessori philosophy because it helps me meet the differing needs of my students as effectively as possible.  The Montessori materials and lessons meld together with the District’s public school curriculum to provide a rich wealth of learning opportunities that can be tailored to individuals.  The multi-age aspect of Montessori classrooms also provides for a host of benefits to children as they progress through the program and become leaders in their own right.  I feel the emphasis on teaching young people to do and think for themselves, and learn to problem-solve independently, are great skills they will use for the rest of their lives.”

Central School

Elizabeth (Libby) Kenney

Classroom Assignment: Lower Elementary 1st – 3rd

Years in District: 5 years

Years in Montessori: 5 years

Training/Certification: Lower Elementary certification from North American Montessori Center

Personal Statement: “I believe Montessori style schooling makes learning fun and enjoyable for the students. I really enjoy watching kids learn at their own pace and guiding them through their discoveries.”

Amy Casne-Fetz

Classroom Assignment: Lower Elementary, Grades 1-3

Tony Napoletano

Classroom Assignment: Upper Elementary, Grades 4 and 5

Smith School

Shannon Matthies-Callahan

Classroom Assignment: Lower Elementary 1st – 3rd

Years in District: 13 years

Years in Montessori: 14 years

Training/Certification: Montessori Teacher Education Center of San Francisco Bay Area/Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education/ Master of Science in Education, Learning Developments/National Board Certified Teacher

Personal Statement:  “I enjoy Montessori because of the connections I get to build with my students and their families. Having the same student for three years closes learning gaps over summer break. I know the families and children and we are able to work together to best educate the child because we have time to develop a strong rapport of trust and understanding while working as a team.”

Katy Wright

Classroom Assignment: Lower Elementary 1st – 3rd

Katy Wright graduated with degrees in Theatre and Russian from Middlebury College in Vermont.  She went on to receive her K-8 teaching credential from California State Northridge and her Montessori certification from Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute in Kalispell, MT.  She is currently working on a master’s degree in Montessori at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN, which she will complete in May 2015.  She sings with Big Soul Band, is active with Grandstreet Theatre, and has two teenage sons.  Katy believes that the individualization and multi-age environment in Montessori education is the answer to our nation’s much needed education reform.

Personal Statement:  “In my opinion, Montessori works because the teacher approaches each student as an individual and works to observe and assess the student and then create an environment with materials, support and self-monitoring so that success and progress occur naturally. I love the observable concentration and joy in both the children and adults in a Montessori classroom!”

Debra Beaver

Classroom Assignment: Upper Elementary Montessori 4th and 5th

Years in District:  1 year

Years in Montessori: 1 year

Training/Certification: Upper Elementary certification (in progress) from Center for Montessori Teacher Education New York

Personal Statement: “One of the aspects I appreciate about Montessori education is that it taps into children’s natural curiosity about the world.  Students are encouraged to take an active role in their learning- to find answers to their questions.  There are typically a variety of ways students can show what they know, which supports a wide range of learning styles.”