Faculty & Staff

 

Shazia Abdulla
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.


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Michelle Hahnl
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.


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Anne Wilson
Primary Assistant - Garden Room

I came to MMS after hearing such wonderful things about the school from my sister-in-law Kristee. 

The thing I love most about my job is seeing the children be successful and proud of themselves after completing something that they thought they couldn’t do. 

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children.


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Weylin Olive
Primary Guide - Forest Room

Bachelor's Degree in American Indian Studies
University Wisconsin Eau Claire

Primary Teacher's Certificate
Association Montessori Internationale

Master's Degree in Education
Loyola University

One of my first jobs out of high school was as an assistant in a Montessori classroom. I fell in love with the method and made plans to become an AMI guide. I was attracted to MMS because of the small town feel, the high standards of the school and the warm, supportive school community.

I love the connections with the families and the community. I love having such a direct contribution to growth and development of the children in my classroom.

I enjoy spending time with my family and I enjoy being out in the forest and the mountains.


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Joanie Walker
Primary Assistant - Forest Room

A former primary teacher knew my mom and was inquiring if someone was looking to work with children, and my mom suggested me. I came for an observation and fell in love with the mixed aged classroom. I have been here since 2012.

I love watching the children learn and grow into independent little people.

I enjoy spending time with my three children, hanging out in my barn, and planting my own food.


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Katie Massey
Elementary Guide - Meadow Room

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.


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Kristee Hampton
Elementary Assistant - Meadow Room

I knew I wanted to work in a school after having worked in a day care. I was looking for more structure. I found the ad for an elementary assistant and met with the guide at the time, and have loved it since. I have educated myself about the philosophy, and it has helped me raise my own sons.

I love how the children sparkle with A-ha moments.

I enjoy spending time with my family. My two sons have a busy after school schedule, and we enjoy being a part of our community.


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Robin Ward
Primary Assistant/After School Care Director

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.


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Brittany Seyl
After Care Elementary

I am a junior at Linfield College studying towards  a degree in Early Childhood Education and hope to pursue a Montessori Certification. I love the Elementary age group and am so happy to be here at McMinnville Montessori.