The staff at Bellevue Montessori School is made up of dedicated individuals from a broad range of educational and professional backgrounds. Our ten lead teachers are devoted Montessorians who hold 4-year college degrees and training credentials from MACTE-accredited teacher training programs (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education). Likewise, the majority of our support staff has either completed or is in the process of completing their MACTE-accredited training. Our five specialists bring their expertise and excitement to each and every classroom. The diversity, experience and dedication of our staff contributes to making Bellevue Montessori School a strong community where children flourish.Please Select:
Aparna Chintala Room 1 Head Teacher
I completed my Montessori training in 2004 and interned for a year at Bellevue Montessori School and taught science for two years. I then worked as a head teacher at Marymoor Montessori before accepting a head teaching position at Bellevue Montessori School where I am now in my eighth year as a head teacher. I hold a Master of Science in Child Development from Madras University. Teaching children is a joyful, rewarding and humbling experience. I am really lucky that I have found what I truly love. In addition to teaching, I enjoy gardening, reading, watching movies and cooking.
Brad Meyer Room 2 Head Teacher
I am well into my second decade as Head Teacher in Room 2. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Central Washington University. In 2004 I became a certified Montessori teacher while interning at Mercer Island Montessori. In my off hours I enjoy woodworking, especially woodturning, thoroughbred horse racing and spending time with my wife and two boys.
Mona Srikanth Room 3 Head Teacher
I grew up in Mumbai, India where I earned my Bachelor of Architecture degree. I then moved to the United States where I earned a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My two daughters attended Montessori schools which led me to my career in Montessori education. I received my American Montessori Society Early Childhood teaching credential through the Montessori Center for Teacher Education. In my spare time I love to read and garden. I have been a part of Bellevue Montessori School as a former parent and now a head teacher. I live in Bellevue with my husband and two daughters.
Amy Swanson Room 4 Head Teacher
In 1997 I began work working at Bellevue Montessori School. I graduated from Western Washington University where I majored in English literature and minored in child psychology. I later received my Montessori certification while interning at Bellevue Montessori School. My life away from school consists of my wonderful husband and our two beautiful daughters. When I'm not teaching your children, I am busy at home being a mom: cleaning, making dinner, helping with homework and enjoying my family. I have also discovered hot yoga to relax and loving running and taking walks.
Sharon Kim Room 5 Head Teacher
I was born, raised and educated in the Seattle area. After graduating from the University of Washington I completed my Montessori certification and internship in 2009 and accepted a head teaching position at Bellevue Montessori School. I look forward to coming to work every day. I enjoy shopping, spending time with friends and family, and am thankful for everything I have.
Marnie Stromseth Room 6 Head Teacher
I've been teaching a primary classroom at Bellevue Montessori School. I have a Montessori certification for primary and lower elementary and a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. I support the Montessori philosophy that nurtures the child's whole development: cognitive, social, emotional, physical and inner spirit. Both of my boys attended Bellevue Montessori School from preschool through third grade. My sons are currently in high school which keeps my husband and I busy at home. I enjoy spending time with my family, working with children in the classroom, gardening and yard work. I like learning and sharing my knowledge about the natural world - geology, zoology and botany.
Deniz Bozkus Room 7 Head Teacher
I was born and raised in Turkey where I received a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering. My husband, son and I moved to the United States in 2007. I received my certification from Spring Valley Montessori Teacher Education Program and began working at Bellevue Montessori School in 2008. Bellevue Montessori School is a special place with a positive atmosphere and where staff members receive professional recognition and encouragement. Outside of school my interests include Reiki healing, reading and cooking.
Eileen Ventura Teaching Assistant
My husband and I are both from Michigan and after graduating from the University of Michigan we moved to Washington. Our son now attends the University of Washington. I have worked with children through teaching and social work. I returned to Bellevue Montessori School in 2012 after working here years ago. I enjoy the professional yet friendly atmosphere as well as the children and their parents. My hobbies include walking, gardening, reading, and arts and crafts, especially jewelry-making.
Maria Bollman Morning Activity Club Teacher and Associate Teacher
I have worked at Bellevue Montessori School since 1985 and feel truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful school. I was born in Greece and immigrated to the United States with my daughter in 1972. After receiving my Montessori training in 1986 I became a teacher at Bellevue Montessori School and have been here ever since, enjoying what every day brings. I love my job and working with children. All three of my grandchildren attended Bellevue Montessori School. When I am not at school, I love cooking, walking, my church, and visiting with friends.
Preethi Balasubramanyam Associate Teacher
After completing American Montessori Society training from the Montessori Center for Teacher Education I began working at Bellevue Montessori School since 2006. I like working at Bellevue Montessori School because of the wonderful environment and professional, friendly staff. I live in Redmond with my husband and daughter. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design from Bangalore, India where I worked as a fashion designer for 3 years. I enjoy working for one of the most reputable Montessori schools on the Eastside.
Kailey Lee Associate Teacher
I majored in journalism and broadcasting at Gwangju University and have a Korean literature certificate. I worked with children for five years as an assistant director in Korea. After moving to the United States I completed my Early Childhood Montessori Teaching Certificate training and interned at Bellevue Montessori School. This is my third year as a Montessori teacher and I am so excited to be teaching at Bellevue Montessori School again. I want to help and guide young children to a bright and healthy future. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking and volunteering at my church preschool with my daughter.
Rohini Batra Associate Teacher
I joined Bellevue Montessori School for the 2015-2016 school year as an intern. While interning, I received my Montessori Certification through Montessori Center for Teacher Education. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked for 11 year in the for-profit work, out of which, I ran my own social enterprise for 4 years. I started supporting the Montessori philosophy when my daughter attended a Montessori school in California. My experience with that school was so pleasant, it inspired me to quit my marketing profession and pursue a career in Montessori. In my quest to make the work a better place to live, I decided to touch the souls of these little children as their teacher. I hold an MBA from University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from Delhi University. I enjoy spending time hiking with my family and friends.
Siraprapa Saezim Associate Teacher
I am from Bangkok Thailand where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree. Through my social work with children, I found it very rewarding to aid in their social development. This led me to become a Montessori teacher and following my internship at Bellevue Montessori School during the 2015-2016 school year, I became a certified Montessori teacher. I bring to the classroom my love of art, music, and passion for learning about other cultures and traditions.
Rani Appiah Kindergarten Teacher
I am an experienced Montessori teacher with a Bachelor of Communication degree from Madurai Kamaraj University. I have my American Montessori Society primary certificate as well as a NAMC Montessori Lower Elementary Teaching diploma and have been teaching at Bellevue Montessori School since 2015. I have a strong interest in nature and science and am excited to be able to share this knowledge of the world with my students. I am married and have two adult children.
Nathan Cox Lower Elementary Head Teacher
Born and raised in the Seattle area, I began my time at Bellevue Montessori School as an infant teething on the desk of the school's founder. I moved to the classroom where I stayed through my elementary years. After college and Montessori Elementary training, I returned in 2000 as the head teacher in the Lower Elementary classroom. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two beautiful children who attend Bellevue Montessori School. In my spare time I enjoy making and listening to music, reading and cooking.
Debbie Haugen Upper Elementary Head Teacher
My husband, son and I moved to Bellevue from Nova Scotia, Canada, 18 years ago. When I came to Bellevue Montessori School it was to follow a passion and ten years later here I am! My love of the children, staff and their teaching styles led me to take the training to be an Elementary Montessori teacher. As the head teacher of the Upper Elementary classroom, I get to watch the children grow and experience each "aha" moment. I can't think of a better place to be! Prior to working at Bellevue Montessori School I worked as a computer manager in government and at a university doing research in neuropsychology.
Laurel La Valle Assistant Director
Montessori education has been a part of my life since 1978 when I began Montessori training at the Santa Monica Montessori Teacher Training Institute. Prior to my Montessori training I attended Western Washington State and the University of Washington. When my husband and I moved back to the Northwest I began teaching in the Lower Elementary Classroom at Bellevue Montessori School and then taught in the Upper Elementary Classroom. Bellevue Montessori School is the brightest, friendliest and most authentic Montessori School I have found. I am now the assistant director at Bellevue Montessori School and enjoy collaborating with and supporting our staff along with the daily joys of working with children. My two girls are now grown but we continue to meet for delicious Sunday family dinners, usually created by my husband.
Kathryn Cox Office Manager
My husband and I moved to Bellevue in 1972 following graduation from Montana State University. I began working at Bellevue Montessori School in 1973 as a classroom assistant, moving into the position of office manager in 1974. My husband and I have two adult children who attended Bellevue Montessori School through fourth grade and are now both educators. I enjoy cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with my grandchildren, both of whom are students at Bellevue Montessori School.
Cheryl Grimm Administrative Assistant/Activity Club Supervisor
I have worked in a Montessori setting since 2000. After receiving my Montessori certification, I was a head teacher for nine years before accepting the position of activity Club Supervisor at Bellevue Montessori School. I am enjoying the added challenges of administration. the children, families and staff make coming to work every day a pleasure. I learn many new things from both the children and staff each day. Bellevue Montessori School feels like home to me and I feel blessed to be a part of this community. I am married and have raised two amazing sons. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, scrapbooking and reading.
Nelima Dighde Science Specialist at the Main Campus and Park Campus
I have a Master of Science in Biochemistry and worked as a research assistant for Hoechst in India before coming to the United States. I acquired my Montessori training through the Montessori Center for Teacher Education, then began my teaching at Bellevue Montessori School where I have taught for four years. I thoroughly enjoy all the aspects of seeing children blossom. When I'm not at school I love spending time with my husband and two daughters, going on walks, listening to music, sightseeing and traveling to India.
Kari Hailey Music Specialist at the Main Campus and Park Campus
I graduated with a degree in music, focusing on vocal performance and music education from the University of Washington. I am trained in Musicgarten, a Montessori based music program. My music classes weave a broad background of drama, world, classical and folk music into the curriculum. With great joy, I have been teaching music to children for nine years. In addition to teaching music, I assist with special education reading programs in public school, am an elementary art docent, storyteller, vocal performer and fiber artist. I have two boys, now eight and eleven, who attended Montessori preschool and early elementary.
Bridget Ardissono Spanish Specialist at the Main Campus
I developed my passion for Spanish while in an exchange program in Costa Rica. While attending college at Southern Oregon University, I spent a year abroad attending the University of Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico where I traveled extensively. I returned to Oregon where I completed a degree in elementary education with a minor in bilingual education and an endorsement in Spanish. While there I was chosen to participate in a summer work study program in the Canary Islands in Spain. After graduation, I worked in Oregon as a high school Spanish teacher for 5 years during which I visited Peru and Ecuador. When my boys attended Bellevue Montessori School I had the opportunity to pilot and develop a Spanish curriculum for young children.
Toni Carter Spanish Specialist at the Park Campus
I was born in Venezuela, raised in Guatemala, and attended school in Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela. I teach children Spanish through activities, games, songs, reading and writing in Spanish, and culture from Latin America and Spain. In addition to teaching at Bellevue Montessori School I have taught Spanish at Seattle Pacific University, Bellevue College, Bennett Elementary and PACCAR Corp.
Britt Boyd Drama Specialist at the Park Campus
I grew up in the audience of Seattle Children's Theatre and am delighted to now teach there and at Bellevue Montessori School. I joined the Seattle Children's Theatre as an apprentice after earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington. In addition to my work at Seattle Children's Theatre, I have served as a teaching artist for a number of theaters and schools in the Pacific Northwest. Professionally, I have appeared on stages around the country including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. I love swashbuckling, musical theatre and exclamation points - all of which might appear during my classes!