Faculty & Staff
Head of School
I discovered Montessori more than fifteen years ago, and have completed and taught all three levels of Montessori training (Assistants to Infancy 0-3, Primary 3-6 and Elementary 6-12). I moved from Pakistan to the United States twenty years ago, and made my home in the Montessori community. I have lived and traveled all over the globe and have gained a myriad of experiences in both establishing and growing schools. Having worked at all three levels has given me a broad and profound understanding of Montessori philosophy.
When I am not at school, I enjoy cycling, reading, seeing live music, eating, and am a great sous chef in the kitchen. I love to travel every chance I get and enjoy discovering the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I am thrilled to join this sweet community here in McMinnville and am looking forward to getting to know all of the families.
Primary Guide – Garden Room
Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) Trained
RIE Center Los Angeles, CA
Trained Labor and Postpartum Doula
Birthingway College of Midwifery – Portland, OR
AMI Diploma at the Primary Level
Montessori Northwest – Portland, OR
B.A. in English, Minor in Art
The University of New Hampshire
Master’s in Education
Loyola University Maryland
My journey to Montessori education has been one fueled by my passions for natural human development and individual potentials. While working on my Bachelor’s Degree I volunteered in special education programs within the university. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree I moved to Portland, Oregon to further pursue my interest in special education: I worked as a Teaching Assistant in a K- 3rd grade Behavioral Learning Center for the Beaverton School District. This experience sparked a curiosity in me as to how education affects our development--especially before the child enters the first grade. I had many questions and knew I needed to gain more experience working with younger children.
I began working in Reggio Emelia inspired, RIE, and Montessori schools where I quickly built an array of knowledge regarding the infant, toddler, and young child (ages 0-7). I consider myself a lifelong learner and it was during this time that I also had to the honor of becoming RIE trained, and took Labor and Postpartum Doula courses. Working with families and communities became very important to me; it wasn’t long until I felt the itch to get my Montessori diploma and lead a classroom community.
After earning my Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma and Masters in Education I taught at the Montessori Academy of Colorado. During that time we had our daughter and my husband and I found ourselves longing to go back to where we considered home: the Pacific Northwest.
It is with a warm and joyful heart that I join the McMinnville Montessori School community; bringing the best of my education and experience to the children and your families!
I’ve worn several different hats in the world of education and Montessori education specifically has my heart. In public education (and even some private schools) children are a part of the whole but not what drives the ship. I get to take the whole child into consideration and provide holistic education (mental, physical, social, emotional). I love that what I do can set children up for both short and long-term success in every area of their lives. My greatest joys come from watching a child revel in his/her accomplishments.
When I’m not at work you will most often find me reading, writing and spending time with my husband and daughter. We like visiting the many areas of the PNW to visit friends, study nature, and take in culture. When we are more settled in this area you may also find me looking to connect with the birth work community, on a pottery wheel, practicing body work on my massage table, or in my kitchen cooking and practicing amateur herbalism.
Primary Assistant – Garden Room
I have a deep love for children. I have worked and been involved in many different roles from nannying, assisting in centers, summer camp counseling, and have owned and operated a successful in-home childcare and best of all; raising my own 3 wonderful children.
McMinnville Montessori has been my first Montessori experience, and it has been incredible. The care, passion and love for each child as an individual here, is a constant inspiration for me.
Primary Assistant – Garden Room & After Care
Dominique comes to us after 12 years away from the Montessori community pursuing her entrepreneurial passions and raising her children. She has a BA in French, and a M.Ed. with an emphasis in Montessori education. She is very happy to be back to the important work that we do here at Mcminnville Montessori.
Primary Guide – Forest Room
I received my AMI Primary Diploma in 2007 from Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Human Studies from Marylhurst University in 2010. I grew up in the Oregon City/Milwaukie area In fact, all of my family still lives there. I currently live in Newberg with my kitty, Lady Olive as of August 2018. It has been fun learning about a new area and seeing all the great things to see and do in the Newberg and McMinnville area. Some of the my favorite things to do are: thrift store shopping, spending time with my cat, tending my houseplants, baking, reading, old movies and getting my craft on. My favorite flower is a peony and my favorite colors are a toss between grass green and bright blue.
Primary Assistant – Forest Room
Hope is a McMinnville native who recently graduated from Linfield College with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has a strong passion for educating young children, as well as helping them to develop their emotional and social skills. In her free time, she takes ballet with her niece Trinity and loves to take her dog Sparkles on long walks.
Primary Assistant – Forest Room & After Care
I was looking for something different after working in the food and beverage industry for 15 years and it brought me to working at High Desert Montessori in Reno. When I moved to Oregon, I found MMS and applied for a job here.
I love that I get to see and hear new things the children learn. And, I get to learn from them.
I enjoy hiking, cooking, swimming, mushroom hunting. I love collecting rocks and crystals.
Guide – Elementary House
AMI elementary diploma, MNW
Bachelors of Science, Biology, PSU
I found Montessori in a roundabout way. While reminiscing about working in environmental education with an old co-worker, they mentioned that Montessori was the best thing they'd ever experienced as far as being a teacher goes. I went home and did a quick internet search for this term I'd never heard of. Within half an hour, I knew I'd found what I wanted to do with my life.
As for MMS, as I planned for my move back to the Pacific NW, I began looking for a small school in a nice community that was doing authentic Montessori. I found MMS.
I love so many things about my job that it's hard to pick just one. I love when I give a lesson and a child's eyes light up when they get and they just go wild on that work for days after. I love the creative ways there children are always coming up with to demonstrate what they've learned. I love how caring and compassionate the children are towards one another in the moments when it really matters. That's one of the things that I especially love to see.
In my free time, I enjoy reading books, mostly to see if the children will like them, but occasionally for myself. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with my husband making tasty food, and can almost always be found with some variety of craft material in my hands.
Assistant – Elementary House
I'm Austin Massey, you may have already met my wife, Katie Massey. She's the Elementary guide here at McMinnville Montessori.
I've had a long work history doing many different things over the years. Being homeschooled, I started working when I was 7, which might sound strange but my mom cleaned houses and I went with her. So I learned early that jobs were just things everyone had. (And what 7 year old doesn't want $5 a week). I like learning new things, and fixing things that break.
When Katie got a teaching job in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I started volunteering my time for camping trips and outings. During that time I also worked part time at the Montessori Farm school in Espanola, NM.
In Katie's second year at Journey Montessori School, I started running a Dungeons & Dragons aftercare program. It's a great experience that involves communal storytelling, social skills, math, reading, and writing.
Now I'm doing something that I've wanted to do ever since Katie came home from her first week of training talking nonstop about Montessori philosophy. I'm working as an assistant in an elementary classroom, with my best friend, (wife), Katie. I'm so very excited to here, and to be part of this community.
Assistant – Elementary House & After Care
I’ve always enjoyed spending time with children and felt I had a connection with them which is why I started working with them at an early age. While in high school I worked with children as a preschool assistant at a work/study program in California. I have since received an Associate Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education.
Starting a new adventure working with older children in the Elementary House is something that excites me. In my spare time I enjoy baking, cooking, all kinds of crafts, and most recently I've started canning.
Class Mascot – Elementary House
Hi, my name is Ezri. I am a cute 2 year old pup, and I love to play. I hang out in the Elementary House, where I watch lessons, sleep on the floor, and give cuddles to anyone who is feeling sad. I enjoy sitting in the comfy chair while children read to me, and playing when we have recess in the field. I love watching sunlight bounce off of sequin shirts, and following Penny the Hamster when she goes on her roll in her ball.