Montessori Children's House - A Montessori Center on Portland's Riverfront
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MCH Staff

Working well with young children requires training, talent, mature judgment, and practice. Our staff is the most important aspect of your child's environment. We furnish the Children's House with wonderful activities and attractive surroundings because children are naturally drawn to things that are esthetically pleasing, comfortable to use, and well designed to achieve their purpose. Nevertheless, it is in selecting our adult staff that the school ultimately distinguishes itself, as any experienced Montessori parent will tell those who inquire. We bring together individuals with the right qualities and background and then enable them to practice their profession in the way they know best serves the children and their families.

David Cannon David Cannon, Administrator
After teaching in the Montessori Elementary program (ages 6-12), David spent 20 years as the administrator of two other Montessori schools in Portland and has helped start several new Montessori schools. As a board member of the Oregon Montessori Association (OMA), David helps with advocacy and has served for many years as the OMA's treasurer. David has also served on the board of other nonprofit organizations and as a city planning commissioner and member of the City Club of Portland's Research Board.

David has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and did graduate work at the University of Illinois. He earned an AMI Montessori diploma in Washington, DC before moving to Portland to teach. His son and daughter attended Montessori schools, live in Portland, and are now engaged in teaching, public service, and the arts. David and his wife Jo live in SW Portland and enjoy hiking, travel, music, and being with their grandchildren.

Courtney Beckford Courtney Beckford, Toddler Assistant and All-School Support
Courtney worked with children for four years in her native Southern California before moving to Portland early in 2016. She was also trained as a film and television makeup artist (and contributes wonderful face-painting at MCH picnics!) Courtney not only works with our toddlers in the latter part of each day, but she is our "on-call substitute" for morning work who is enjoyed by the children and staff in each of our classes. She lives a short streetcar ride from school in the Downtown area.

Holly Caprio Holly Caprio, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
A full-time primary class assistant, Holly has state teaching certification from California, where she worked with a diverse population of children in different types of settings for six years. She emphasized science while earning her bachelor's degree from Cal. State University, Fullerton. In her free time, Holly has enjoyed coaching children's soccer. She moved from California to Portland in 2016 and lives on the west side.

Amelia Combes Amelia Combes, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
Amelia has been a Montessori preschool assistant in Portland and Beaverton for over 10 years. She took a leave from MCH while her son Garrison was a baby. Now that Garrison is enrolled in our toddler program, we happily welcomed Amelia back to our staff. Originally from Kansas, Amelia has an Associate degree from PCC. She, husband Jeffrey, and Garrison live in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area.

Erica Garcia Erica Garcia, All School Support
Originally from Santa Rosa, CA., Erica moved to Portland in 2009 and has been with us since 2012. Currently, she spends much of her time in charge of our kitchen and laundry activities and has also worked with both Toddler and Primary classes on a daily basis. Erica has studied Early Childhood Education at the master's level, and she hold a bachelor's degree in human services. She has also worked for a law firm. Erica and her husband Paul, and their sons Lazarus and Elias live in the Pearl District, and Elias currently is a member of the Tanager Meadow classroom.

Laura Gossett, Toddler Assistant (Owl Mountain)
Our new assistant in Owl Mountain, Laura worked as a class assistant in France and the Caribbean, as well as doing home care for families in Europe and the US. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee. She is originally from Chattanooga and has more recently lived on the Florida Gulf Coast.

Rochelle Holmberg Rochelle Holmberg, Primary Guide (Tanager Meadow)
Rochelle is in her tenth year leading a Montessori primary class in Portland. She has been with MCH since we began in 2010. A native of Eugene, Rochelle has a B.A. in music from the University of Puget Sound and a master of education degree from Loyola College in Maryland. Her AMI Montessori training is from Montessori Northwest.

Rochelle enjoys creating materials for her own classroom, especially those that employ her sewing and knitting skills, which she shares with her students. She is also a violinist and plays in a community orchestra. She loves books and reading and has worked at Portland's legendary Powell's Bookstore. Rochelle and her husband Jesse live in Southeast Portland with their son Charlie, a new member of our the MCH toddler community.

Hannah Krafcik, Primary Assistant (Tanager Meadow)
Hannah joined MCH late in 2016, having recently moved to Portland from New York City. She has a background in administration and marketing with nonprofit cultural, social, and educational programs. She is now focusing her interest on early childhood development. In Portland she has also worked with children at the Zenger Farm and has a strong interest in developing environmental education. Hannah has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida and a master's from NYU.

Liz Lachmar Liz Lachmar, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
Liz is taking part in a Montessori training program that involves a year of practicum, which she is serving here at MCH. She is originally from Logan, Utah and now resides in SW Portland with her husband Shane. Liz has a lot of experience caring for children, mainly in the home, and she has also worked in care of the elderly.

Julia Norman Julia Norman, Assistant Administrator/Toddler Assistant
Julia Norman is a native of Florida and a graduate of the University of Georgia. She has a master’s degree in education from Loyola U. in Maryland. Before moving to Portland in 2012 she taught at Northwoods Montessori School in Atlanta, Ga. Julia has contributed to MCH in many ways in the classrooms and office. She currently assists with the administrative work and is a morning assistant for the Heron Cove toddler class.

Julia is an accomplished photographer and enjoys other arts and crafts, as well. She has traveled extensively abroad and enjoys sharing her experiences and adventures with children in stories, photos, cooking, and more. Like many of our staff, Julia attended Montessori schools herself as a child.

Emily Regenstreif Emily Regenstreif, Toddler Assistant (Heron Cove)
Portland native Emily Regenstreif is in her fourth year as a toddler assistant in Heron Cove. Previously, she spent 7 years off and on working at the Mittelman Jewish Community Center, primarily working with the day camps, vacation camps (ages 3-12), and the drop-in childcare program (ages 6 months - 5 years).

Emily is an avid sports fan, especially college basketball, and she also enjoys creative writing and writing movie reviews. She has volunteered with programs like Kids on the Block and The Oregon Food Bank.

Andrea Roberts Andrea Roberts, Toddler Assistant (Heron Cove)
Andrea joined the Montessori Children's House staff in 2011 as a toddler assistant. She has more than fourteen years of experience working in Portland-area Montessori schools, including Childpeace Montessori and Montessori of Alameda. Andrea has been a lead teacher in our toddler community during the summer. One of her many strengths is that she speaks Spanish.

Andrea majored in Early Childhood Education (with a minor in art) at Grambling State University in Louisiana. She lives in North Portland and enjoys cooking, baking, and painting in her home art studio. At MCH one of her signature contributions is to organize treats and greetings for staff birthdays and other special occasions!

Marika Ross Marika Ross, Toddler Guide (Owl Mountain)
Marika earned AMI Montessori diplomas in both the primary (3-6) and infant/toddler levels at Montessori Northwest in Portland. Before returning to Portland in 2016, Marika taught in the area of Santa Cruz, CA. After a couple of years as a primary guide, she decided to work with the younger children, took that training, and led a toddler class in Santa Cruz. Marika has a bachelor's degree from Middlebury College and her master's of education from Loyola (MD). She was a national champion swimmer at the college level. Marika is originally from Milwaukee, WI, and currently lives in NW Portland.

Krista Speigner Krista Speigner, Primary Assistant/Summer Guide (Tanager Meadow)
Krista moved to Portland in 2014 after working with Montessori preschoolers in Atlanta, where she had previously earned her AMI Montessori primary teaching certificate. She's a graduate of the University of Georgia and also earned a master's in education at Loyola U. in Maryland. Before she became a teacher, Krista facilitated the creation and implementation of a summer program for at-risk boys in Georgia. She and her husband Tommy enjoy the urban amenities of living in NW Portland, where he recently opened his own business.

Courtney Walsh Courtney Walsh, Primary Guide (Chickadee Grove)
Courtney has extensive experience working with young children in both the classroom and the home. At MCH, she directs our all-day Montessori Primary class. Before joining our staff when we opened in 2010, Courtney worked in the Primary (3-6) classrooms at West Hills Montessori for three years, where she also supervised during extended hours.

Courtney is a native of northeastern Washington. She earned her AMI Primary Diploma at Montessori Northwest and a B. A. in Psychology from Portland State University and holds her Masters of Education from Loyola U. of Maryland. An avid bicyclist and outdoor person, Courntey has recently become an active member of the National Ski Patrol. She and her husband Mike live in Milwaukie.

Kate Weltner Kate Weltner, Toddler Guide (Heron Cove)
Before joining MCH in 2012 Kate had previously taught for several years at West Hills Montessori School in Portland and served as a family child care provider and consultant. She has AMI Montessori teaching certificates at both the 0-3 and 3-6 age levels. A native of the New York City area, Kate has a B.A. in psychology from Skidmore College and a master of education degree from Loyola U. in Maryland. Her Montessori training was at Montessori Northwest.

Kate enjoys travel, the outdoor life, children’s arts and crafts, and writing. She has worked in Australia and Argentina and speaks Spanish. She and her husband Zack live in SE Portland.

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