Monterey Park ‒ Teachers


Maria Rivera, Primary Teacher

Ms. Rivera is with us for her thirteenth 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 2013-2014 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 classes in a Montessori school in the Los Angeles area during the mid 80’s then became a full time Montessori teacher for 12 years. Since then, she has loved being in a Montessori environment. 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 Deigo.



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 here to see Ms. Tenold's 2013-2014 class photo.



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.


Len Mindes, 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 here to see Mr. Mindes's 2013-2014 class photo.



Monterey Park ‒ Assistants

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 thirtieth 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.


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. She is assisting in Aleli Roque's class.


Salena Bayon, Primary Assistant

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


Ji Young Suh, Primary Assistant

Ms. Suh is Mrs. Rivera's full time teaching assistant. She is starting her eleventh 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.


Michelle Gonzalez, Lower Elementary Assistant

Ms. Gonzalez (Samantha & Jacqueline’s mom) joined our staff seven 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.


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 Collage and is the mother of a 5 year old daughter currently in Mrs. Rivera's class.


Monica Lopez, Middle School Assistant

Ms. Lopez is a full time classroom assistant to Len Mindes' middle school class at Meher Montessori School.



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.




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.


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.



Johvana Tinajero, Assistant Teacher

Johvana Tinajero started with us in February of this year 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.





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 Administrator

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

(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.