TERRAVIVA’s COMMUNITY OF EDUCATORS IS SUCH A DIVERSE AND MULTICULTURAL TEAM AND WE ARE PROUD TO EMBRACE THE TRUE CANADIAN IDEAL!
ANDREA C. LOPEZ MARTHEYN KINDERGARTEN CASA MONTESSORI DIRECTRESS/FOREST EDUCATOR HEAD OF SCHOOL When I came to Canada 20 years ago, I felt as if I came into a very special land with a very special mission. Deep in my heart I knew I wanted to teach children about the Natural World and assist them in their journey, inspire them and get inspired by their simplicity and love for learning. I went to York University and studied Environmental Studies with emphasis in Education. I worked for 5 years as a Nature Specialist at Camp Robin Hood in Markham, Ontario, developing Nature and Recreational activities for children 3-12 years. I found the Montessori Philosophy in 2009 and I felt in love with this wonderful way of teaching. I decided to enrolled in the Toronto Montessori Institute; I became a Montessori Teacher in 2010 and found my first job as a Directress at one of the Montessori Schools here in St Catharines where I taught for 4 years. During my years of teaching at Beyond Montessori, My classroom was enhanced with the Spanish Language and my students would participate in outdoor educational activities on a daily basis. When the time was right, I decided to step out in faith and bring about the vision I always kept it dear to my heart: My own Montessori and Nature Program! We have been in operation since 2016, serving many families of the Niagara Region through our unique Spanish Montessori and Nature programs. My three children and my husband have been my companions in this great journey, supporting me, teaching me the great life lessons as a mother would learn. I am very grateful for this -one of a kind- opportunity to assist parents with their children's education and most of all I am honoured to have such a trust and support from our families and the community alike. I strongly believe that “You can only do small things with greater LOVE.” And although our school community is growing, in our hearts we will continue to keep the Flame of Love burning with passion and commitment to all our children in our care!
SANDRA HOLDERNEY TODDLER RECE SUPERVISOR Hi! I graduated from Niagara College for Early Childhood Education. And became a Registered Early Childhood Educator in 2010. I have worked in a variety of childcare centres throughout the Niagara Region, I have learned useful skills that have helped me along my journey in the Early Childhood Education Field.
Beginning at an early age I knew I wanted to work with children. Although I don’t have children on my own, I am married and have a dog who is a beagle named Charlie. We enjoy taking walks around the Niagara Region. I look forward to being part of the Terra Viva team!
ROSEMARY NELSON BILINGUAL CASA MONTESSORI ASSISTANT I am originally from Nicaragua. My native language is Spanish, I have lived overseas in England and Spain where I studied different courses in business. 1982 I came to Canada and decided to study Early Childhood Education in British Columbia and the Montessori Philosophy in Toronto. I have been a preschool teacher since 1992. I have fond memories of all the children I have taught in the past. I am a mother of twins. Have a husband and have 4 grandchildren, who are all a blessing to me. I am also, so thrilled to currently being enrolled with the Montessori Teacher's College in the Early Childhood Montessori Diploma and become a fully accredited Montessori Directress in June 2023. I have been with the Terra Viva family since 2020. I am happy to be a part of this team of educators, and look forward to meeting all the new Terra Viva children and their families!
BELEN VIGLIONE BILINGUAL TODDLER MONTESSORI ASSISTANT Hola parents! I am Belen and I am from Argentina!. I have been living in Canada for the last ten years. For the last four years I have gained experience working with children as Early Childhood Assistant at Grapeview Public School in the Before/After school program and at the Walker YMCA Active Kids division program. In my last training, I have also obtained my Montessori Assistance certificate from the Montessori Teachers College and I am more than ready to apply what I have learned this year with my children. I have been a part of the Terra Viva Montessori as a Bilingual Assistant, helping children to strengthen their foreign language since 2020 and I am very happy to be a part of this program. I am also, a mom of two kids, seven and three years old boys whose names are Arthur and Thomas. We are a beautiful family. I am married and I have a dog who is a black lab named Zeus ! We love being outdoors and enjoy playing sports all year round!. We speak Spanish at home giving our children the ability to speak our native language not only with us but with my family who are all in Argentina. I believe Bilingual children are more open to acceptance and tolerance to different cultures. And that is precisely why I have chosen to be a part of this wonderful and unique school. I can't wait to meet all my friends and make wonderful memories! See you soon!
MARLA MIRANDA BILINGUAL MONTESSORI ASSISTANT/ SCOTT LOCATION Hola, I am a Spanish native speaker from El Salvador with over 10 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and the Montessori method. Understanding this approach of learning has helped me in a great deal to develop the skills needed to communicate effectively with the children at their level and also encouraged me to embark in this educational journey as an owner and director of a Montessori Daycare in El Salvador. Thanks to my experience as an Early childhood Educator and business owner in El Salvador, I have acquired an excellent disposition for teamwork as well at working independently. Moreover, I love introducing children to the Spanish Language through creative circles that involve singing, dancing, playing and movement.
Growing up in San Salvador, El Salvador, I have fond memories with nature. Climbing volcanoes was my favourite thing to do! In 2018 I moved to Canada with my husband and my three children,13, 11 and 8 years old. Working with children is what I love and it is a way to make the world a better place. I enjoy reading, watching documentaries and travelling with my family. I love nature, and more specifically beaches and mountains. I have been teaching in Terra Viva for 1 year already and I can say that my Montessori journey is taking me to a new adventure, as I am now enrolled with the Montessori Teachers college in the Early Years Diploma program to become a Montessori Directress thus enriching my teaching career as I move along with our new Preschool Casa class!
Gloria del Angel Duval Bilingual Toddler RECE/ Port Dalhousie Location Hola! My name is Gloria del Angel originally from Mexico. My journey as a Early Childhood Educator, began when I became a mother dedicating the first 5 years of their life in sharing beautiful moments and taking care of them. Though motherhood I discovered my true passion and reason for being. I had opportunities to work in a daycare setting as an assistant, helping in the before and after school program. And later, through my own private home daycare where I introduced the Spanish language and culture to the little ones in my care. I kept with my desire of continuing learning more about the development of children as well as teaching my mother tongue Spanish. And in 2019 decided to studying Early Childhood Education at Niagara College. Since my graduation as an ECE, I have had the opportunity to work in several child care centers with different age groups, such as toddlers, preschoolers and before and after school students. I have a beautiful family consisting of three children, my husband, and my dog (Frida), with whom I enjoy long walks, camping and traveling across Canada, in addition, I love knowing more about the diversity of cultures, traditions, music and food which can be found in this country. I am happy to be part of the Terra Viva Montessori team, since I graduated from school I was very interested in being part of this community where I am assured I will definitely enjoy teaching my mother tongue and sharing my experiences with all the children and their families.
Emily You Toddler RECE / Port Dalhousie Location My name is Emily You. I am from Korea. We are a family of four my husband and my two lovely children who are 9 and 12 years of age. I am a passionate individual who loves working with children. I have worked in a variety of childcare centers in many different countries, Korea, New Zealand and China which helped me to learn useful skills that have helped me along my journey in the Early Childhood Education Field. I moved to Canada 5 years ago. I graduated from Niagara college for early Childhood Education. After graduated I worked with toddlers, preschoolers and before/after school students. I am always looking for new ways to improve my teaching skills and feeling highly motivated to learn about Montessori philosophy and forest school that emphasizes the importance of nature play and self- directed learning. This will be my first year at Terra Viva Montessori School, teaching the Toddler’s community and I am very excited to be a part of this community.
Kisten Chaffe Ontario Certified Teacher/Port Dalhousie location Elementary Classroom Hi there! I was born and raised in the Niagara Region and graduated from D’Youville College in Buffalo with a Master of Science in Childhood Education. Moreover, I am certified teacher by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) to teach Primary and Junior divisions. My education has taught me that children learn best outside of the classroom with hands-on experiences. It brings me a lot of joy teaching children in a simple way of understanding. For the past four years, I have been a stay-at-home mom raising my four-year-old daughter and teaching her the simple and natural ways of life. For over 14 years I have been traveling back and forth to Mexico which, I have a great love and appreciation for their culture and way of living. In my time spent there, I have lived amongst the locals, and I even learned to dance Salsa. When I came back to Canada, my brother and I opened a dance school in Niagara, where we offered Salsa, Cha Cha, and Bachata lessons. I also have a great love of animals, swimming, gardening, and reconnecting with the earth. Most of all, I am passionate about all living things and getting back to the basics of life and living. I am absolutely thrilled to be part of a team of educators that are striving to provide children with the best type of learning possible. I truly believe children learn their best through experiences and being in nature, the way that God intended. We have been given this beautiful land to learn and discover! I truly believe that living is learning, and learning is living. I look forward to sharing all of my experiences and knowledge with each child I meet, all while trying to help them achieve a better understanding and appreciation of nature.
ALVARO GLASER Bilingual Montessori Assistant/Port Dalhousie Location Elementary Classroom Office Admin Manager Hola, ¡qué tal! You can always call me Al, short for Alvaro! A native Spanish speaker who moved to the True North in 1994. Back in my native country of Colombia I completed a B.A in Economics, then here in Canada I graduated with a B.A in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Urban Planning. I also completed a degree in TESL and worked as a Spanish Instructor privately and for the Spanish Centre in Richmond Hill with focus on children, before I moved with my lovely wife Andrea to St Catharines. In the past I have worked in sales and marketing with organizations such as Best Buy and Sony electronics and managed retail stores like Henry's Camera and the Body Shop. I am currently enrolled with the North American Montessori Centre (NAMC) in the Lower Elementary Diploma program. And I will be teaching while doing my Montessori training, the Elementary Class at Port Dalhousie Location and the Forest program at Burgoyne Woods. I treasure my passion for nature walks and exploration with children, I also enjoy playing tennis and trying to be my 3 children's coach in their daily lives as they foray into hockey, basketball, soccer, drumming, piano and other wonderful activities. Children are without a doubt, the gift of life and I love to teach while learning from them because they are indeed little masters of life. As of late I have developed a fervor for drumming! Nothing keeps us healthier than a great sense of humor so you will hear many jokes from me!
Désirée von zur Gathen Bilingual After school Coordinator/Port Dalhousie location Hallo, My name is Désirée von zur Gathen and I'm excited to be a part of Terra Viva Montessori as an After School Coordinator and Forest Educator. I grew up traveling the world and am a polyglot. I have always loved working with children and began as a tutor at 12 years old. I also began teaching German, French, and English as a foreign language, and later studied Spanish and Applied Linguistics, receiving my B.A. from Brock in 2011. Most recently, I have been homeschooling my 2 sons and was an educator at an alternative private school. I love building community gardens and making nature crafts! As a Reiki Master/Teacher I also guide groups and individuals to find their favourite meditation and breathing practices. Last year I ran my summer art camp called Camp Reconnect - because my goal is always to help others reconnect with themselves, each other, and nature. I love Terra Viva Montessori because it provides the community with a beautiful service that aligns with my values of community, compassion, and respect for all people and nature.
STEF KRAMER Forest /Outdoor Recreation Educator Mr. Stef Kramer is an outdoor enthusiast and a father of two children, with vast knowledge in wilderness Camping, Fire building and safety, knife handling and sharpening, fishing, hiking, knots and the use of camp tools. Furthermore, Stef has also worked with children and youth coaching them in soccer and cycling. He has advanced knowledge in watersports; sailing, snorkeling, spear fishing, kayaking, canoeing and water safety. In the past Mr. Kramer has worked as a tour guide and a bicycle mechanic in Niagara, France, the US and Mexico. He also trained, raced and conducted bicycle repair clinics. Mr. Kramer is really thrilled to join our team and he is looking forward to the experiences that that come with this new challenge.