Our Team

Our dedicated and experienced staff are committed to the success of our students and the growth of Montessori. 
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The Montessori Northwest staff are committed to excellence in AMI teacher training and professional development within our Pacific Northwest Montessori community and beyond. We hold ourselves to a high professional standard, striving to model those same guiding principles of Montessori that we one day hope to see in the world.

Click on photos to learn more about ouR staff

KATE ANDRADE
Course Assistant
Assistants to Infancy
San Francisco, CA

ELISE AREVALO
Course Assistant
Primary
San Francisco, CA

MICHELLE BECKA
Training of Trainers Programme
Primary
Portland, OR

NADXIELI TOLEDO BUSTAMANTE
Course Assistnat
Assistants to Infancy
Portland, OR

MARA CASTRO
Classroom Aide
Alder Montessori
Portland, OR

JENNIFER DAVIDSON
Executive Director
Portland, OR

JANET DOMINGUEZ-ORTIZ
Classroom Assistant
Alder Montessori
Portland, OR

ROBYN ELLIS
Finance Director
Portland, OR

MARIA GARCIA
Lead Guide
Alder Montessori
Portland, OR

PAULA GIBSON-SMITH
Course Assistant
Elementary
Spokane, WA

GLENN GOODFELLOW
Development Director
Portland, OR

ANDREA HIPPENSTEEL
Admissions Director
Portland, OR

ELISE HUNEKE-STONE
Director of Training
Elementary
Portland, OR/Spokane, WA

JOHN KENAGY
Information Systems Manager
Elementary
Portland, OR

MERRETT KRAHN
Course Assistant
Elementary
Portland, OR

NANCY LECHNER
Director of Training
Assistants to Infancy
Portland, OR/San Francisco, CA

LIANA ORAM
Course Assistant
Elementary
Portland, OR

BRADEN PEMBERTON
Community Ed. Director
Portland, OR

GINNI SACKETT
Director of Training
Primary
Portland, OR

GLORIA SINGH
Regulatory Compliance Specialist
Portland, OR

POLLI SOHOLT
Director of Training
Primary
San Francisco, CA

CORINNE STASTNY
Course Assistant
Primary
Portland, OR

NICHOLAS STOCCO
Communications Director
Alder Montessori Director
Portland, OR

SARAH WERNER ANDREWS
Director of Training
Primary
Portland, OR


Our Board of Directors

MNW Board Members, Trainers, and Staff at 2015 Retreat

MNW Board Members, Trainers, and Staff at 2015 Retreat

Montessori Northwest's Board of Directors is a keystone of our ongoing expansion and success. Selected for their expertise, professionalism, and dedication to the growth of Montessori, these individuals volunteer their time and energy to plan and secure MNW's long-term goals. 
 

MELISSA HARBERT, PRESIDENT

Melissa’s career in Montessori Education began nearly four decades ago. She received her AMI Primary level training in the very first course at Montessori-NW, taught in the classroom for many years, and has been a Montessori school administrator for the last twenty years. Melissa is currently the Executive Director of Lewis & Clark Montessori Charter school in Damascus, Oregon, a publicly-funded, 350-student Montessori program for primary through adolescent-aged students. Melissa holds an MA in Counseling, and consults and coaches for Montessori program development and non-profit organizations in a variety of settings.

KRISTEN GRAU, TREASURER

Kristen is an Oregon native with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Accounting from Portland State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant working as a Senior Accountant at Delap LLP and is a member of the Oregon Society of CPAs. She enjoys working in learning environments and believes that teachers are invaluable to our society’s success.

AMY ESHELBY, SECRETARY

Amy discovered the beauty and wonder of Montessori in 1998. After her AMI Elementary training at WMI and Loyola in 2001, she taught lower elementary at Montessori School of Beaverton and Childpeace Montessori. Amy served on the Oregon Montessori Association Board for 3 years and is currently on the MNW Board, having joined in June of 2013. Amy has lectured for parent nights in schools around the Portland area as well as presented at the 2009 AMI Elementary Alumni Association conference in Maine. She is mother of a bright and energetic son (currently in the Upper El at Childpeace) and lover of animals, art, and nature.

JENNIFER DAVIDSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jennifer is a leader in the administration of Montessori teacher training centers in the United States. Her Montessori career began at Montessori Northwest in 2001, helping to develop MNW’s current organizational structure. She currently serves on the Montessori Leaders Collaborative, the MACTE board, and the AMI Summit Stewarding Council. She directed the 2013 International Montessori Congress steering committee and has presented at conferences around the world. In 2010 she was selected for the Oregon Montessori Association Outstanding Dedication Award. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College, an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest, and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. She believes that compassionate and respectful education contributes to peace, and that peace is possible.

CAROL BRIGGS

Carol is a Montessori parent with experience working in sales, marketing, and management for the Xerox Corporation. Most recently she has worked as the Assistant to the Development Director for West Hills Christian School. She has a degree in Business Administration from Lewis & Clark College and has volunteered with several organizations including Northwest Children’s Outreach.

JACKIE COSSENTINO

Jackie's Montessori career began as a parent, and quickly evolved into researcher and administrator, and university professor. An ethnographer by training, since 2001 she has drawn from her direct experience as head of an independent Montessori school and principal of a large, urban public Montessori school to produce an internationally recognized body of scholarship on Montessori education. Jackie's 26 years in education have included roles as a middle and high school English teacher, an elementary school principal, a professional developer for schools, districts, and museums, and a professor of educational leadership at the University of Maryland and a Lecturer in Loyola Maryland’s Montessori Studies program. She received a B.A. in History from Smith College and an M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

EMILY DAGGET

As a child, Emily attended Montessori programs in the Portland area through middle school. She credits her education with fostering a love of learning that continues to serve her today. After completing a BA in English Literature from Occidental College, Emily spent several months traveling abroad. Amazingly, this experience lead her to reconnect with her Montessori roots. About a year later, she enrolled in MNW's primary course, and enthusiastically delved back into the world of Montessori. Since receiving her AMI diploma and M.Ed. from Loyola University, Emily has assisted in primary and elementary classrooms and currently works at Montessori School of Beaverton. She hopes to use her background as a Montessori child turned teacher to advocate for high quality education for all children.

DEB PRATT

Deb is a Montessori parent who was first introduced to Montessori education in 1983 and has been an enthusiastic supporter and advocate ever since. Raised in Los Angeles, Deb moved to the Northwest to attend the University of Oregon where she did her undergraduate work in Psychology with a special senior year focus in Program Evaluation and Development. She has held numerous board positions throughout the years including Childpeace Montessori, Oregon Junior Racquetball Association and Oregon Riders Unlimited, a therapeutic riding program. Deb spent the past 25 years in management within the legal technology industry, most recently with LexisNexis. She is currently taking a personal sabbatical to travel, spend more time with her family and in community service work.

KIMBERLY PRAY

Kimberly attended Montessori as a young child growing up in Eugene, Oregon and is now a Montessori parent. She is an attorney with the Rose Law Firm, where she focuses in assisting business owners as they transition the ownership and control of their company in areas such as corporate governance, estate planning & administration, and other general business and taxation matters. Kimberly also works as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Oregon School of Law. Prior to her legal career, she worked in non-profit management and fundraising. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University, a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law, and an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Washington School of Law.