Tina Patel - Founder and Director
Ms. Patel is the Founder and Director of Montessori ONE Preschool Academy. Prior to opening Montessori ONE in November of 2007, Ms. Patel was co-founder and director of a Charter school here in Albuquerque. But her inspiration for Montessori ONE reaches back to the days when her eldest daughter attended a Montessori school, and she was â€œhookedâ€ on the authentic Montessori approach to education.Â Currently Ms. Patel's youngest daughter is a student at Montessori ONE.
As both an educator and administrator, and as a mom, Ms. Patel has extensive knowledge and experience working with students, parents, and teachers in a variety of programs. These include working with at-risk students of all ages, students who dropped out of high school, post-secondary students, and educators nationwide. From 1999 to 2003, Ms. Patel served as Vice President of the Rio Grande Educational Collaborative, where she founded and directed a re-engagement program. This highly successful program prevented 450 students from dropping out of high school and equipped them for further study.
Ms. Patel's additional experience in developing innovative curriculum and writing programs that encourage students to take ownership of their education has proven beneficial in the creation of Montessori ONE's Distinctives.
Before her foray into the field of education, Ms. Patel obtained a Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture and Planning in 1993. A tour through the impressive, new 14,000 square foot state-of-the-art Montessori ONE facility reveals this background, as well as her successful blending of both passions by applying her knowledge of design and engineering concepts to improve learning opportunities.
Sarita Prabhakaran - Primary Lead Teacher
Originally from India, Sarita Prabhakaran brings nine years of Montessori teaching experience to Montessori ONE. Ms. Prabhakaran brings a broad perspective, having taught at Montessori schools in India, New York, and Chicago. After obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Mumbai in India, Ms. Prabhakaran successfully completed the AMI primary teacher training program. She was promptly offered a position in the teacher's training centre to assist her trainer in delivering the primary Montessori courseâ€”a testimony to her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Montessori method.
Gwen Montgomery - Primary Lead Teacher
Gwen Montgomery has 25 years of teaching experience with ages 2.5 through 12 years, and was trained at the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Institute in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her teaching experience and other academic degrees, Ms. Montgomery holds a degree in Music Performance and Education, as well as a Suzuki Violin Instructor Certification from the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and teaches violin to students ages 3 to 80. Having experienced how learning can be joyfully enhanced via music, rhythm and kinesthetics, Ms. Montgomery includes music & singing daily in her classroom. She enjoys helping children solve problems creatively & bringing out the best in herself and others and loves to infuse the Montessori prepared environment within her classroom with all cultural studies. Ms. Montgomery comes from a long line of educators and musicians, and her own daughter, who just graduated from university in May 2012 with double majors in Psychology & Theater Arts/Directing, started in a Montessori school, which builds self-esteem, character and promotes the love of lifelong learning.
Krupa Thakkar - Primary Lead Teacher
After receiving her degree in India, Krupa Thakkar, having decided that teaching children was the career path she wanted to pursue, began researching the various learning environments, and found that Montessori appealed to her the most. She promptly studied to receive her International AMI Montessori Diploma in Mumbai, India, after which she taught at the Tree House Preschool and Nursery while pursuing a Masters in Commerce from the Mumbai University. During her four year tenure at Tree House, she was promoted and served as Centre Manager for the school during her last year before moving to the US. She joined Montessori One as our Primary Lead Teacher for the 2011-2012 school year. Krupa is also a registered Speech and Drama teacher at the Trinity College of London, bringing with her three years of experience teaching Speech and Drama to children and adults as well as experience conducting storytelling and phonic reading classes for children aged 2 ½ to 9 years.
Kate Mitchell - Primary Lead Teacher
Kate is a native Albuquerquean with a BFA in Art Studio from the University of New Mexico. During her undergraduate degree, Kate worked part time at Escuela del Sol Montessori as the aftercare director, while also teaching children's art classes at the Harwood. Her experiences prompted her to attend the Washington Montessori Institute where she earned her AMI certification and a M. Ed from Loyola University. Kate has since worked in a number of Montessori environments. She comes to us most recently from Washington DC where she worked to get AMI accreditation for DC public schools Montessori program. She enjoys painting, reading, camping and many other past times.
Jodi Gherardini-Welker - Toddler Lead Teacher
Ms. Gherardini-Welker holds a certification from American Montessori Society for infants and toddlers. She started working with children back in 2003, and in 2004 found her passion for Montessori. She worked for a Montessori program which was designed primarily for at-risk and disadvantaged children, and spent the summer of 2005 in Boulder, Colorado attending the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. After a year practicum, Ms. Gherardini-Welker earned her infant/toddler certification from American Montessori Society. She is also working towards her BA in Early Childhood Education.
Christie Jackson - Teacher's Assistant, Toddler RoomMs. Jackson is the Toddler Room's Teacher's Assistant. She has over four years experience working with infants through pre-school age children. A strong advocate of Montessori, two of Ms. Jackson's daughters attend Montessori ONE. A graduate of Texas Tech University, Ms. Jackson has a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialty in Child Development. At her former home in Lubbock, TX, she was the Director of a Parent's Day Out and Preschool program.
Contact Montessori ONE Preschool Academy @ Phone: 505.822.5150 | Email:
director@montessoriONE.net | Location: 9360 Holly Avenue, NE | Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122
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