Our Faculty and Staff
Teachers - Monterey Park
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 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.
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. "
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."
Middle School Teacher
Mr. Mindes has returned to Meher after a 15 year absence and is now the teacher for our new middle school. Len is an AMI Elementary Teacher. He is a 1995 graduate of the Washington Montessori Institute.
This past summer, Len spent 5 weeks at the Hershey Montessori School in Ohio taking the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies course. We are excited to have him back and lead our new middle school during the inaugural year and beyond. Click to see Mr. Mindes's 2018-2019 class photo.