The majority of the staff has been here over 10 years. Some have been here over 25 years.


Meher Montessori Schools

323 724 0683


2009 South Garfield Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(t) 323 724 0683
(f) 323 724 0028

Serving children 2½ -14 years


943 Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001
(t) 626 798 1171
(f) 626 798 6790

Serving children 2½ - 6 years



Preschool / Kindergarten
8:15am - 2:15pm

8:15am - 3pm

Monday - Friday
7am - 6pm


Adela Muñoz
School Director

Contact Adela with your questions
323 724 0683


Fun Facts


Meher Montessori Schools are located in Monterey Park and Altadena, California, about 15 minutes and 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles respectively.


Primary: 2½-6
Lower Elementary: 6-9
Upper Elementary: 9-12


Our teachers hold the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma in addition to their undergraduate degrees. The AMI diploma is earned after a full year of study at an AMI Teacher Training Center, passing rigorous written and oral examinations.


We consider each child’s admission and placement individually, regardless of race, religion, color, gender, or national origin.


For enrollment in our afterschool programs or our extended daycare, please contact Adela Muñoz, our School Director.


Our student body is a veritable United Nations with over 12 countries and many cultures represented. All nationalities, cultures, creeds and persuastions from any background are welcome at our school.




We welcome and encourage parents to participate in the many opportunities we offer to join our school community. At Meher Montessori, we live the notion that “it takes a village to raise a child”, and our inclusive attitude toward our families reflects our belief that together we create outstanding individuals and exemplary world citizens.


Extended daycare is available Monday through Friday, from 7am to 6pm.

Our Faculty and Staff

Teachers - Monterey Park


Maria Rivera
Primary Teacher

Ms. Rivera is with us for her 17th year! She is a teacher in one of our primary classrooms. She is a graduate of Western Mindanao State University in the Philippines where she achieved two B.S. degrees. One is in chemistry and the other in elementary education.

In addition, she has a Certificate of Specialization in Pre-school Education. Maria graduated from The Montessori Institute of San Diego with her AMI Primary Teacher's Diploma. Click here to see Mrs. Rivera's 2018-2019 class photo.



Aleli Roque
Primary Teacher 

Aleli Roque has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Literature from the University of the Philippines. She first began teaching music in a Montessori school in the Philippines during the mid 80’s then became a full time Montessori teacher in the early 90’s. Since then she has loved being in a Montessori environment and has continued teaching in the Los Angeles area for the past 12 years. She received a Certificate in Child Development through UCLA extensions and a Music Specialist Certificate for Early Childhood from Pasadena City College. She recently graduated from the AMI Primary Training course at the Montessori Institute of San Diego.



Allison Tenold
Lower Elementary Teacher

Ms. Tenold hails from the great state of Washington and is our AMI Montessori elementary teacher for the Lower Elementary classroom with children from 6-9 years of age. Allison joined us in 2011 as an assistant in both the Upper and Lower Elementary classrooms. In 2013 she completed her Montessori Elementary training at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. She holds a Masters in Education from Eastern Washington University and is credentialed to teach in the WA public schools. Allison is passionate about the Montessori philosophy as she was a Montessori child herself. Click to see Ms. Tenold's 2018-2019 class photo. Here is how Allison describes her experience at Meher:

"Coming to Meher each day is joyful. The school is surrounded on all sides with windows in a beautiful brick building with a lovely patio full of flowers and trees, and our class plants fresh vegetables in the gardens outside that we harvest and eat together. We are a loving, accepting community that strives to have healthy minds and bodies. Meher also connects me to an international community. My current class represents 9 different ethnicities, and it was even more diverse with last years’ graduates.  Diversity is invaluable in a classroom because we can learn, discuss, and honor everyone’s differences, with presentations about families’ backgrounds, festive lunch parties for cultural celebrations, or mere interaction with each other. It is also like a family here because we are a small, private school where many families and staff members have been here for years. Montessori education aims to maximize each student’s growth by guiding them at their level of readiness. At Meher, we have the flexibility to find the right environment and lessons for each child. Students are not rushed to move to the next grade level and there is also nothing stopping the child from reaching a new height. The children are allowed and encouraged to express themselves and it is delightful and special to see them develop their own unique personalities and to get to know them. "


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Emily Strand
Upper Elementary Teacher

Emily Strand joined her first Montessori community back in 2008 in San Rafael, California. She spent many years in a Lower Elementary classroom first as an assistant, and then became a Head Teacher after her training was complete when she received her AMI diploma from The Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in 2011. She is originally from the San Diego area and attended San Diego State University. Emily has also completed the AMI Inclusive Education training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She is now thrilled to be at Meher in the Upper Elementary class and is eager to do many community projects with the class! She really loves working on math, art, and cooking with the children. In her spare time, she is usually enjoying a hike, run or training for a triathlon. Click to see Ms. Strand's 2018-2019 class photo. Emily relates:

"The families and staff at Meher are so supportive and caring; it is so great to have such a strong community.  Also, as the Upper Elementary teacher, I really enjoy taking my students on various outdoor education trips throughout the year.  Being away for a week in nature can be a really transformative experience for them, and I feel lucky to be a part of it."


Assistants - Monterey Park


Cynthia Martinez
Primary Assistant

Ms. Martinez is an assistant in the primary classrooms and also works in our after school primary day care. Cynthia is a very special staff member because this is her 34th year of service in our school. She started with us in September 1984 when our Monterey Park facility opened.

Besides having completed course work for her Child Development I certificate, she has completed a special course on the Montessori Method for the paraprofessional.


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Anette Mills
Primary Assistant

Ms. Mills started working at the Meher Montessori School in Monterey Park in 1992 as a part-time P.E. teacher. She also worked with the primary children in extended day care in the afternoon. She completed her required child development courses at East Los Angeles College.



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Salena Bayon
Primary Assistant

Ms. Bayon is with us for her 18th year. She is the assistant in the Primary classroom. Her daughter Kaya is currently in the upper elementary class with Ms. Strand.




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Ji Young Suh
Primary Assistant

Ms. Ji Suh is Mrs. Rivera's full time teaching assistant. She is starting her 13th year at Meher. Ji was with our school for many years as a parent. Her two children, Joon-Woo and Erica are former students. She is a graduate of Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea and received her Child Development Certificate from Patten University.




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Michelle Gonzalez
Lower Elementary Assistant

Ms. Gonzalez (Samantha & Jacqueline’s mom) joined our staff 10 years ago as a substitute teacher and a librarian. Michelle earned her certificate in Child Development from Rio Hondo College.





Nancy Ramirez
Primary Assistant

Nancy Ramirez works assisting in the Primary classrooms as well as the Primary and Elementary after school day care. She has twenty one years experience in child care.

"I started at Meher many years ago, and this is much more than a job to me, it's my passion.  Everyday I enjoy watching [the students] grow and learn and become smart, independent individuals."




Royann Kulwicki_2018.jpg

Royann Kulwicki
Primary Assistant

Ms. Kulwicki joined our staff in 2013 and is assisting in Aleli Roque's class. She completed her required child development course work at Pasadena City College and is the mother of a 5 year old daughter currently in Ms. Tenold’s class.




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Monica Lopez
Middle School Assistant

Ms. Lopez is currently an assistant teacher in Ms. Roque’s class and is attending the Montessori Institute of San Diego for her AMI Primary teacher training.

"Meher allows me the flexibility to take on many roles at once. I love that I can be a leader, supporter, and a student as well, as the kids teach me something new every day. I enjoy watching the students master their conceptual and creative skills with the different classes and work provided for them. "



Marlene Alvarado
Primary Assistant

Marlene Alvarado has joined Meher this school year as an additional assistant for the primary classes. She worked for Meher years ago and is happy that she is back with us. A little interesting trivia, her father, Rudy Heiner, was one of the St. Paul’s Church members that helped build our school’s building. His original tile work can be seen throughout. Marlene relates:

"Returning after 30 plus years, I am amazed Meher Montessori still upholds its high standard of education. The love and dedication of the staff still exists. They love what they do and do what they love -- "teaching". I am so happy and proud to be back amidst this great environment and look forward to seeing the children learn and grow in a positive direction."



Teachers and Assistants - Altadena


Althea Wildhaber
Director/Primary Teacher

Ms. Wildhaber is the director/teacher at our Altadena site. She has worked in the primary classrooms at both the Monterey Park and Altadena schools, as well as before and after school daycare.

In addition to completing her required child development course, she has also earned an AA in Social Sciences from PCC. Althea graduated from The Montessori Institute of San Diego with her AMI Primary Teacher's Diploma. Althea describes her experience this way:

"I love that the Montessori Method fosters independence and leadership skills through a mixed age environment. What makes Meher Montessori such a special place is the diversity and feeling of community the students, parents, and staff have developed over the years."



Victoria McCray
Primary Assistant

Ms. McCray has been with the Meher Montessori School since 1986. She completed her child development classes at Pasadena City College. Victoria is the assistant teacher in Mrs. Wildhaber's classroom and she also does the day care in the mornings, greeting the children and parents. Here is how Victoria feels about working at Meher:

"I like working at the Meher Montessori School because it gives me the opportunity to experience and work with children of different ages working individually and together in the same classroom."




Johvana Tinajero
Assistant Teacher

Johvana Tinajero started with us in 2017 at our Altadena school as an assistant teacher. Her daughter Julia, has been a student at Meher since she was two and a half. She has her associates degree in child development and her certificate in child development. She has previously worked for the Montebello School District and the Temple City School District.  She is attending the Montessori Institute of San Diego for her AMI Primary teacher training. Johvana terms her experience this way:

"What I like most as a parent/teacher's assistant at Meher is that the staff/my coworkers are extremely supportive, not just with me but with all parents, students, and staff. It's genuine."




Adela Muñoz
School Director

Mrs. Muñoz started with the school as a part time substitute teacher in September 1992 and became our assistant director in 1993.

She became the school's director in 2004. Adela graduated from the AMI Teacher Training at the AMI Montessori Institute of Los Angeles and holds an AMI Primary Teacher’s Diploma.




Elodia (Kookie) Chavez
Business Admin.

Ms. Chavez (parent of Meher Alum Evita & Eli) is the school's business administrator. She is in charge of all student records, county required student reports, payroll, and human resources.




Linda Joe
School Graphic Designer

Linda (aka Mrs. Yoshida – recent Meher graduates Taylor & Timmy’s mom) is in the office one day a week. She is in charge of the school newsletter and with her graphic arts background also makes materials for the school.




Karina Page
Library, Garden, Special events

Karina Page gives all-round support in the Schools, developing the gardens and library, purchasing supplies, and helping with special events. She has recently begun offering elective class material as well.




John Page
Founder & Executive Director

Mr. Page founded the Meher Montessori School in Altadena in 1972. He taught there, as well as administrated, until 1982 when he started an affiliated school in Alhambra. Then for the next 2 years he taught in Alhambra, as well as doing its administrative work, until starting our Monterey Park School in 1984.

He is a graduate of UCLA and the AMI Montessori Institute of Los Angeles. Mr. Page holds an AMI Primary teaching credential from the Montessori Institute of Los Angeles and an AMI Elementary teaching credential from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.


Accreditations & Associations

"Certificate of Recognition", Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) since 1972


Awards & Accomplishments

Los Angeles Times "Featured story" detailing Meher Montessori Schools as an example of an authentic Montessori School