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
Primary
San Francisco, CA

MICHELLE BECKA
Primary Trainier
Portland, OR

NADXIELI TOLEDO BUSTAMANTE
Course Assistnat
Assistants to Infancy
Portland, OR

MARA CASTRO
Classroom Assistant
Alder Montessori
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

ELISE HUNEKE-STONE
Director of Training
Elementary
Portland, OR

ELLEN LEBITZ
Training of Trainers Program
Elementary
Portland, OR

NANCY LECHNER
Director of Training
Assistants to Infancy
Portland, OR/Bay Area, CA

BRADEN PEMBERTON
Admissions & Marketing
Portland, OR

JAMES PHELPS
Interim Executive Director
Portland, OR

POLLI SOHOLT
Director of Training
Primary
San Francisco, CA

CORINNE STASTNY
Course Assistant
Primary
Portland, OR

CHRIS TROSTEL
Training of Trainers Program
Elementary
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.

Sarah Louderbaugh - PRESIDENT Elect

A long-time MNW supporter, Sarah is one of our newest Board members having joined a year ago. She is currently Assistant Head of School at MSB, where she taught and assisted for nine years prior to being roped into admin. She has been connected to Montessori for much of her life and has a strong belief in the power of education to support lasting social change. This, coupled with a passion for learning, engaging with others, and exploring the world, made Montessori a natural fit for Sarah. She is getting ready to take a year-long personal sabbatical and looks forward to broadening her impact and having more bandwidth to devote to the important work we do here at Montessori Northwest.

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.

DEB PRATT - Treasurer

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.

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 DAGGETT

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.