Staff & Faculty

The People Who Make It Happen

Montessori Educator Guides

The time-tested “Montessori” educational model and name is over 100 years old.  It remains a cutting-edge model of education, if it is fully implemented as a system.  In order to maintain our commitment to providing a superlative, fully implemented Montessori school system, Lakeland Montessori requires:

  • all classrooms have two adults, the lead teacher and a full-time assistant
  • all lead teachers must hold or be actively enrolled to receive their Montessori credentials for the age levels they are teaching.  Separate, specific Montessori credentials are required for age 3-6, age 6-9, age 9-12, and age 12-15.  For example, a teacher that is Montessori certified for age 3-6 may not teach age 9-12 students unless they hold or are enrolled to receive the Montessori credential for that age level.
  • all lead teachers must hold or be enrolled to receive Montessori credentials issued by a  Montessori teacher education program that is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), the American Montessori Internationale, the American Montessori Society, or the National Center for Montessori Education.
  • all lead teachers must have a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • all lead teachers must have a State of Florida Teaching Certificate.
  • all Early Childhood and Elementary classroom assistants are required to attend the 10 week, 50 hour, Montessori Fundamentals course with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Lakeland Montessori MACTE Montessori Certified Curriculum Coaching Consultant
Sheila Linville-Early Childhood and Elementary Montessori Coaching Consultant
  • Founder and Executive Director of Lake Mary Montessori Academy for 22 years through the present. Lake Mary Montessori Academy is a fully accredited American Montessori Society school.
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Early Childhood age 3-6 Full Certification through the Orlando Montessori Teacher Education Institute, Celebration, FL
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary age 6-9 Full Certification through The Florida Institute of Montessori Studies
  • Master of Art degree in Teaching from Rollins College
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Development from Centenary College
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools as the Montessori Coaching Consultant in August 2015
Early Childhood age 3-6 Willow classroom
Kelly DeLaCruz-Lead Early Childhood Montessori Guide
 
  • Association Montessori International (AMI) Primary age 3-6 Montessori Certification 2007
  • MACTE accredited Secondary I age 12-15 Full Certification thru the American Montessori Society Houston Montessori Center, Houston, TX
  • State of Florida Teacher Certification, Prekindergarten/Primary Education, age 3 – grade 3, Exceptional Student Education grades K-12, Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum grades 5-9, ESOL endorsed
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Master of Arts in Special Education from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Began teaching in 1997 and joined Lakeland Montessori Middle School in 2010, extensive teaching experience in both preschool and middle school
  • Parent of  one child attending Lakeland Montessori schools and one Lakeland Montessori alumna
Early Childhood age 3-6 Banyan classroom
Mabel Garcia-Lead Early Childhood Montessori Guide
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Early Childhood age 3-6 Full Certification through the International Montessori Council Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Primary Education grades K-3, Elementary Education grades 1-6, ESOL endorsed
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Former Dade county public schools Kindergarten teacher 1997-2004
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Began teaching in 1997
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2011
  • Parent of  two Lakeland Montessori students, one graduate and one current student.
Lower Elementary age 6-9 Discoverers classroom
Sandra Moss-Lead Lower Elementary Montessori Guide
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary I-II (certified for all ages 6-12) Full Certification through the International Montessori Council Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • Swedish Montessori Institute age 6-9 Montessori Teacher Education Program completion 2001, Stockholm Sweden
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Elementary Education grades K-6
  • Master of Education Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Antioch Graduate College, Keene, New Hampshire
  • Master’s Program, thesis with topic, “Language and Mathematics Achievement in the Multicultural Classroom” from Stockholm University, Institute of International and Comparative Education, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Education from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Former elementary teacher at Lincoln Avenue Academy
  • Former elementary teacher at Johannes School of Stockholm Sweden 2000-2011
  • Former Artist/Photographer teacher in Sweden and the United States
  • Began teaching in 1986
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2012
Lower Elementary age 6-9 Adventurers classroom
Disha Patel-Lead Lower Elementary Montessori Guide
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Early Childhood age 3-6 Full Certification through the International Montessori Council Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary I-II (certified for all ages 6-12) Full Certification ongoing through the International Montessori Council Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Prekindergarten/Primary Education, age 3 – grade 3
  • Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Montessori, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago
  • Bilingual in English and Hindi
  • Began teaching in 2010
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori schools in 2012
Upper Elementary age 9-12 Explorers classroom
Margo Frinzi–Lead Upper Elementary Montessori Guide
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary age 6-12 Full Certification through the International Montessori Council for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • State of Florida Teacher Certification, Elementary Education, K-6, Exceptional Student Education, K-12, Gifted, grades K-12 (in process
  • Bachelor’s Degree from De Sales University, Center Valley, PA – Magna Cum Laude
  • Former elementary teacher at Highlands Grove Elementary School in Polk County
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2014
  • Parent of one child attending Lakeland Montessori schools
Secondary age 12-15 classroom
Anna Clarke-Lead Secondary Montessori Guide and Assistant Principal of the Secondary program
  • MACTE accredited Secondary I age 12-15 Full Certification thru the American Montessori Society Houston Montessori Center, Houston, TX
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Biology grades 6-12, Exceptional Student Education grades K-12, Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum grades 5-9
  • Bachelor’s Degree double major in Marine Biology and Zoology from Humbolt State University, Arcata, CA
  • Began teaching in 2007 and joined Lakeland Montessori Middle School in 2010
Deborah Knight-Lead Secondary Teacher
  • MACTE accredited Secondary I-II (ages 12-18) Full Certification thru the American Montessori Society Houston Montessori Center, Houston, TX
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification
  • Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Sciences from University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a Minor in History from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Spent five years as a Media Specialist in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Began teaching in 2004
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2016

Administration

Laurie Harris-School Secretary
  • Former Senior Secretary for Bay Area Youth Services, Lakeland, FL 1988-2007
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2007
  • Grandparent of two Lakeland Montessori Schools alumni
Aimee Diaz-Principal’s Secretary
  • Certified Paraprofessional, State of Florida
  • Former Parent Involvement/Title One program coordinator, Discovery Academy, Lake Alfred, FL
  • Former Community Liaison for the Department of Children and Families, New York
  • 12 years as an Administrative Assistant, New York
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Currently attending Bachelor’s Degree program in Elementary Education
  • 2 years college experience in Health Information Technology, Monroe College, New York
  • Joined Lakeland Montessori Schools in 2012
  • Parent of  two children attending Lakeland Montessori schools
Heather Manrow-Co-Head of School/Principal
  • MACTE accredited Secondary I Administrator credential thru the American Montessori Society Houston Montessori Center, Houston, TX
  • MACTE accredited Montessori Elementary I-II (for all ages 6-12) Full Certification ongoing through the International Montessori Council Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Sarasota, FL
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Biology grades 6-12, Middle Grades Mathematics 5-9, ESOL endorsed
  • Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from University of South Florida
  • Teacher of the Year, Polk County Association of Charter Schools
  • Teacher of the Year, Discovery Academy of Lake Alfred
  • Began teaching in 1999 and joined Lakeland Montessori Schools as a Board Member in 2003
  • Parent of Lakeland Montessori alumna.
Josie Hill- Founder of Lakeland Montessori, Co-Head of School/Director of Finance & Strategic Planning
  • Founded Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse in 2003
  • Sole Head of School/Executive Director of Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse from 2003-2012
  • State of Florida Professional Teacher Certification, Elementary Education grades K-6
  • State of Florida Advanced Director’s Credentials, VPK endorsed
  • Early Childhood age 3-6 Montessori Certified thru the North American Montessori Center
  • Bachelor of  Degree, Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology and Business from University of Wisconsin system
  • Extensive background in education, law, finance, business operations, and construction
  • Parent of two Lakeland Montessori alumna.