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 local Montessori schools and has helped start several new Montessori schools. As a board member of the Oregon Montessori Association (OMA), David helps with governmental relations and advocacy and 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. 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.

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.

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 aides both Toddler and Primary classes on a daily basis, and helps with administrative tasks, as well. Erica is completing a Masters in Early Childhood Education and greatly enjoys spending time with her husband, Paul, and their two young boys.

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.

Julianna Large Julianna Large, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
Jules works with Courtney as an assistant in Chickadee Grove, our all-day Montessori class. A native of Northern Virginia, she earned her bachelor's degree at George Mason University and then worked with both young children and adolescents in the Washington area. Jules is a bicycle enthusiast, which is part of what drew her to Portland, along with her love of the outdoors.

Julia Mendelson Julia Mendelson, Toddler Guide (Owl Mountain)
Julia has spent much of her life in a Montessori environment. She attended a Montessori school from ages 3-12 and while studying for her degree in International Relations Fairfield University in Connecticut, she also worked in a Montessori school toddler program. After graduation, she worked in a Montessori school in Virginia in their elementary school program and then moved west to join MCH when it opened in 2010. Julia studied at the Montessori Institute Northwest to earn her AMI Diploma for ages 0-3.

Julia's passions are the New York Times, rock climbing and volunteer work. She has done a great deal of fundraising for cancer research and political campaigns and currently volunteers at Our House of Portland, an AIDS hospice.

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
Portland native Emily Regenstreif is in her third 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
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!

Yuney Sosa Triana Yuney Sosa Triana, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
Yuney assists in our Primary All-Day classroom (Chickadee Grove). Originally from Havana, Cuba, she lived in Edmonton, Alberta, before settling in the Portland area with her husband Charlie. She has a B.S. degree in geography and has worked as a tour guide, a children’s environmental educator, and in the hotel industry. Yuney speaks three languages, and she enjoys sharing her enthusiastic nature with our children!

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.

Jenny Tilson Jenny Tilson, Toddler Guide
Jenny joined our toddler staff in 2015 after completing her Montessori training at Montessori Northwest in Portland. Her own children, now 8 and 15 years old, have attended Montessori schools since they were very young, and Jenny substituted in the classrooms at their school before she trained. A graduate of Oberlin College and Lakeridge H.S., Jenny’s first career was as a biologist and environmental consultant. She has also been a summer camp coordinator and guide, and she was the President and a working member of Portland’s Eastside Family Co-op.

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.

Courtney Walsh Courtney Walsh, Primary Guide (Chickadee Grove)
Courtney has extensive experience working with young children in both the classroom and the home. Currently, she directs our all-day Montessori primary class. Before joining our staff when we opened in 2010, she worked in the Primary (3-6) classrooms at West Hills Montessori in Lake Oswego for three years, where she also supervised during extended hours. She also served a couple of families as their regular nanny and childcare provider.

Courtney studied at Montessori Northwest to earn her AMI Primary Diploma. She has a B. A. in Psychology from Portland State University and holds her Masters of Education from Loyola U. of Maryland. A native of Washington, Courtney and her husband Mike live in SE Portland (from which she commutes to work by bicycle). She is a pianist and an avid outdoor enthusiast.

Briana Zeman Briana Zeman, Primary Assistant (Chickadee Grove)
Originally from Minnesota, Briana has spent many years as a Montessori preschool assistant, a school-aged summer program lead, and a nanny. She has traveled to Hawai’i and Colorado, studying Early Childhood Education, Sociology, and Psychology. As well as a passion for the Montessori philosophy, she enjoys the arts, camping, snowboarding, and gardening. During a trip with her sister in 2014, Briana became especially excited about the Portland area. She has enjoyed the community at MCH, and furthering her Montessori experience in Chickadee Grove. We're glad she's back with our staff again!

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