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Faculty

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Early Childhood

Infant Community Department (14 mo. - 3 yrs)

Half-Day Infant Community (HDIC)

M.Ed. Endicott Collge
B.A. University of Texas at Austin
AMI Infant Diploma, Dallas, TX

18 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2008.

Deidre Lodrig received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, the AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma from the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) AMI Training Center in Dallas and the M.Ed. in Montessori Integrative Education at Endicott College in Massachusetts.

Deidre is entering her ninth year as Lead Teacher in a Montessori toddler class. She currently leads toddlers in a morning Half-Day Infant Community class at The Post Oak School, guides afternoon and evening toddler parenting classes, Montessori Toddler Art, Montessori Toddler Cooking, and Infant/Parent classes for children up to 12 months of age at The Motherhood Center. Deidre recently completed teacher training for early childhood music and looks forward to enhancing musical experiences for young children in her classroom.

Deidre enjoys working with children aged 0 to 3 and loves to share in their curiosity of the world and their efforts toward independence. Deidre has written a set of children’s picture books which are a part of the Post Oak’s school library and has one daughter, who graduated from The Post Oak School and is now a sophomore at St. John’s School.

A.A.S. Houston Community College
Child Development Associate credential, Houston Community College
Elementary education degree, Centro de Estudios Universitarios, Mexico

15 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2009.

Lilia Magdalena Garza was born and raised in Mexico. She graduated as an Elementary teacher in 1982 from the Centro de Estudios Universitarios in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Lilia married and moved to the country to raise her three children, in a tiny rural town where she worked as a substitute Elementary school teacher and was involved in the Parent’s Association. Later she volunteered as an early childhood teacher in the school for two years. In 1995, Lilia and her family moved to Houston, where she volunteered in her children's classroom while taking parenting classes. She began working with children in 1998 as an early childhood teacher, teaching English to Spanish speaking children. She earned her CDA credential in 2000 and she obtained the A.A.S in Early Child Development from H.C.C.S in 2009. She is currently enrolled in the Primary Montessori Training at the Houston Montessori Institute. Her hobbies include reading, music and watching movies.

B.S. University of Wisconsin
M.Ed. Loyola University Maryland
AMI Assistants to Infancy Dipoloma, Denver, CO
AMI Primary Dipoloma, St. Paul, MN

16 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2010.

Sarah Moudry is a lead teacher in a Half-Day Infant Community classroom and a parent educator at the Motherhood Center where she teaches infant-parent classes. Sarah received her AMI Assistants-to-Infancy Training at The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado and her AMI Primary Training at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. She has worked with children from birth to 14 years and is the mother of three children at Post Oak. Sarah is also known for her work on the What is the Montessori Toddler Community video filmed at Post Oak in 2008 for the North American Montessori Teachers' Association.

Sarah holds an associate of applied science from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, a bachelor of science in environment, textiles, and design from the University of Wisconsin, and a master's degree in Montessori education from Loyola University Maryland.

In addition to her experience in the world of Montessori education, Sarah is an experienced clothing designer. In her most recent work at Arborwear, she was tasked with "making sure your pants fit and your witty t-shirt is baby-skin soft."

In her spare(!!) time, she enjoys running, travel (four continents down, three to go!), and seeking out new adventures.

B.A. Universidad Evangelica, El Salvador
M.A. Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

13 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2011.

Marcela Martinez was born in El Salvador. She received her BA in Elementary Education in 2004 from the Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador. She worked for six years teaching English and Spanish. In 2005 she moved to Savannah, Georgia where she worked for a private school teaching Spanish. She also holds a masters degree in Civilizacion y Cultura Espanola from the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.

She moved to Houston in 2009 and graduated in baking and pastry making at the Culinary Institue LeNotre. She is also writing a cookbook for children.

When Marcela is not working or studying, she enjoys baking, reading, running, traveling, and loves to spend time with her husband and two yorkies.

Full-Day Infant Community (FDIC)


B.A. Texas Lutheran University
AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma, Denver, CO

7 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2010.

Phoebe Yeager has come full circle of her Montessori life, working at The Post Oak School. Phoebe started Montessori as an infant in her mother's primary class and continued until her family moved to Texas when she was in the fourth grade. At 17, she started to work in a Montessori school with children 8 weeks to third grade. After high school, Phoebe studied psychology at Texas Lutheran University and received her AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado where she also lived for five years while teaching.

Since returning to Houston, Phoebe has become involved in several young professional groups. When she is not working or volunteering, you can find her reading, at one of Houston's fabulous museums, running, at the dog park or enjoying time with friends and family.

(College of Biblical Studies)
(Christian Bible School)

7 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2007.

Elizabeth DiCesare is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Family Counseling, and has always enjoyed working with children. She was attracted to Montessori education after reading about how it values the personal and emotional development of each child. She is excited to be a part of such a wonderful educational experience!

Elizabeth was born in Mendoza, Argentina, and moved to Texas when she was 18. She has four wonderful children (five including a son-in-law) and two infant grandchildren. She enjoys reading, music, and volunteering with Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

B.A. Instituto de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas
(University of Houston)
(Montessori Ideology, Colegio 18 de Marzo)

18 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 1993.

Diana Onofre grew up in Mexico. She received her B.A. in Accounting and Business Administration from the Instituto de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas, and also studied and trained for over 12 months in Montessori Ideology at the Colegio 18 de Marzo.

Diana worked in a Primary class from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 and 1996, she took time off in order to continue her education. From 1997 to 2006, Diana came back to The Post Oak School to work in Primary Home Environment. Since 2006, Diana has been working in the Full-Day Infant Community (FDIC). In her spare time she attends the continuing education program at the University of Houston.

Diana is married and has two sons. Her hobbies are traveling, folkloric ballet, watching movies, listening to music, and spending most of her time with her family.

B.A. University of Washington

4 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Lauren Bergeron grew up in Kingwood, Texas and went to study at University of Washington in Seattle. There, she earned her degree in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences with a study in Communication Disorders. In 2009, Lauren had the opportunity to move to Egypt to earn her TEFL Certification and teach in a private school. After moving back to Seattle, she continued to teach young learners through refugee organizations. Lauren decided to pursue teaching language to international learners when she moved to Spain in 2012 to lead a bilingual classroom.

Lauren had been interested in Montessori education since her time at University, and always hoped that she would be a part of its wonderful community. She plans to further her education and earn her AMI certification. Lauren loves traveling, having brunch, language, running, and photography. She has visited over 18 countries and wishes to keep exploring!

Primary Department (3-6 years)

Primary classes

M.Ed. Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland
B.S. University of Texas at Austin
AMI Primary Diploma, Portland, OR

13 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2009.

Tamara Basham grew up in El Paso, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with high honor with a degree in applied learning and development. She worked in Austin as a public school Pre-K English as a Second Language teacher for seven years. After the birth of her daughter in 2007, she decided to pursue her interest in Montessori education. With the support of her wonderful husband, she and her family traveled across the country to Portland, Oregon for her Primary teacher training and to work on her master's degree in education.

In May of 2009, Tamara earned her AMI Primary certification and was awarded her master's degree in January of 2010. Tamara and her family were delighted to return to Texas in July of 2009. She continues to enjoy finding out more about all the wonderful things Houston has to offer. Tamara has two children, a son and a daughter, who also attend The Post Oak School. Tamara enjoys reading, music, art, cooking, camping, and doing anything at all with her family.

B.A. Early Childhood Education
AMS Primary credentials
(AMS Lower Elementary training)
TEA certification, EC-6th grade

3 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Rebecca Duran  is a born and raised Texan. She graduated with high honors from The University of St. Thomas with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in teaching English as a Second Language. She pursued her interest in Montessori education by receiving AMS training at the primary and lower elementary levels, receiving her AMS early childhood credential in summer 2012. Prior to her employment at The Post Oak School Rebecca worked as a certified early childhood through 6th grade educator in Houston as a public Montessori teacher. This past summer she pursued her goal to become a certified AMI primary teacher by beginning her training at the Houston Montessori Institute in conjunction with pursuing a Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola University. Rebecca greatly looks forward to receiving both the AMI credential and a M.Ed.

Rebecca enjoys spending time with her large extended family (she has 25 aunts and uncles!! Cousins?? She lost count!). She recently got engaged to the love her life and is very much looking forward to sharing the rest of her life with her best friend. Besides preparing for her wedding and serving as in an assistant/intern Rebecca is training for her first half marathon! She also greatly enjoys cooking, baking, and exploring new restaurants around Houston. She is appreciative of various forms of art like poetry, music, performing and visual art, as well as gourmet cuisine.

Rebecca feels that working and interning at The Post Oak School is where her Montessori journey will reach new heights and depths. She is excited to be a part of a community that honors and trusts a method that began over 100 years ago.

M.Ed. Loyola University Maryland
B.F.A. Louisiana Tech University

AMI Primary Diploma, Baltimore, MD

5 years' experience in education; joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Danielle Dalsey shared her time growing up between the East coast in Southern Maryland and the South in Bossier City, Louisiana. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography degree from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Education degree from Loyola University in Maryland. She received her AMI Primary training from the Washington Montessori Institute in 2009. She was the lead teacher in an AMI Montessori Primary environment in Austin, Texas for three years before moving to be a part of the Post Oak family in August of 2012.

Danielle enjoys the great outdoors: running, biking, hiking, camping, and exploring. She also enjoys reading, music, baking, and painting in her free time. Her belief is that travel, food, and good company are the key elements for living a great story.

Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
(Houston Community College)

21 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 1993.

Alma Armendariz studied as an executive secretary in accounting in Monterrey, Mexico. At the University of Nuevo León, she studied Computer Science. She is currently studying at HCC. She has worked at The Post Oak School since 1993 as an assistant. She enjoys running and biking.

M.Ed. Loyola University Maryland
B.A. George Fox University
AMI Primary Training, St. Louis, MO

11 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2005.

Emily Hansen joined Post Oak as an assistant in 2005 and quickly fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. She began her Primary training in 2006 and was fortunate to intern with both Miriam Winton and Mirani Smith. In July of 2008, Emily received her AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis under trainer Dr. Annette Haines. Emily also holds a Masters Degree in Education from Loyola College in Maryland. Emily received a B.A. in psychology and sociology from George Fox University, and then served two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, tutoring and mentoring children in the "I Have a Dream" Foundation in Portland, Oregon. Before moving to Houston, Emily lived in Costa Rica, where she taught English classes.

Emily is also a Post Oak parent of two children, one in Primary and the other in the full-day infant community. When not at school, Emily enjoys traveling with her family, camping, riding her bike, and experimenting in the kitchen with various vegetarian recipes!

B.A. Music, Libertador Pedagogical University, Venezuela

13 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2013.

Celia Rodriguez re-joined The Post Oak School in 2013. She first substituted at Post Oak in 2008. Celia was born in Maracay, Venezuela. Motivated by her mother, she studied more than eight years of piano at the local Conservatory, in addition to other academic subjects. While in school, she created a kindergarten program in which she developed music programs for the young children. In 2001, she graduated as a music teacher from Venezuela' Libertador Pedagogical University, in addition to earning an Associate degree in hospitality management.

For more than 10 years, Celia taught music in public and private schools. She moved to Houston in 2005 with her son, and began her position as an Assistant at Post Oak in 2008. After five years of working at Post Oak, Celia takes joy every day in assisting the children in their Montessori experiences, which she calls "an education of excellence for life."

B.S. University of Nevada
J.D. University of San Diego School of Law
AMI Primary Diploma, Austin, TX

13 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2001.

Julie Parraguirre, a Reno, Nevada native, has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Nevada and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law. For eleven years she practiced labor and employment law in Houston, representing management. Shortly after the birth of her third son in 1998, Julie decided a career change was in order, earned her AMI Primary diploma, and began teaching Primary at Post Oak in 2001.

Julie has three sons, ages 15 to 19. She is an avid runner, biker, and explorer of nature. In her free time, Julie enjoys artsy crafts, movies, and live music.

(Brown Institute) (Lima, Peru)
(Goethe-Institut)(Cologne, Germany)
AMI Primary Diploma, St. Louis, MO

18 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2008.

Herlinda (Nina) Strane is a native of Lima, Peru. Nina worked as an executive secretary for an advertising agency in Lima from 1974 to 1978. She then lived in Cologne, Germany from 1978 to 1982, arriving in the United States in 1983.

Nina worked as an assistant for ten years before earning her AMI Primary diploma in 2002 from the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis, after which she taught as a lead teacher in a local Montessori school.

Nina has two full grown children who are actively pursuing successful careers. Nina enjoys cooking, crocheting, listening to music, and spending time with her two dogs in her free time. Nina is actively involved with her church, and especially enjoys participating in the women's bible studies.

B.A. Austin College
AMI Primary Diploma, Houston, TX

30 years' experience in education; joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Tamara Townsend is a native Texan. She has been involved with Montessori education for over 30 years through teaching, directing a Montessori school, and mentoring new teachers. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College in 1981, Tamara's initial connection with The Post Oak School was as an intern. She received her teaching diploma from the Association Montessori Internationale from the Texas Montessori Institute in 1982.

She and her husband and son spend time outdoors hiking, gardening, and engaging with nature. She believes that the Montessori philosophy is not only an approach to education, but a way of living. As a parent and a teacher, Tamara believes in the words, "invite, explore, experience, enjoy."

B.A. The University of Texas at San Antonio

7 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Elizabeth Matthews grew up in Houston, Texas, has a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is a certified teacher for early childhood through grade 6. Over the past eight years, before, during and after her university studies, she worked as a classroom assistant and a substitute teacher for different age groups in several schools. Her career goal is to complete AMI training and to become a primary Montessori teacher. She began the Montessori training over the summer at the Houston Montessori Institute.

Elizabeth joined The Post Oak School as a substitute in January 2012 and became an assistant in Primary Home Environment in March 2012. She fell in love with Montessori after becoming a nanny for two children who attended Post Oak. During her free time, Elizabeth enjoys scuba diving and running.

B.A. University of Florida
M.S. Florida International University
AMI Primary Diploma, Austin, TX

21 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2000.

Miriam Winton was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.A. in Education from the University of Florida, and earned her M.Ed. from Florida International University. Miriam was first introduced to Montessori education when she came to Post Oak as a substitute teacher in 1997 and then worked as an assistant at the primary level for two years while taking her Montessori teacher’s training. She received her AMI Primary diploma in August 2000. Miriam has been a Primary lead teacher for 13 years and has directed Post Oak’s summer program since 2003. She enjoys traveling, reading, exercising and cooking in her free time.

B.A.A.S. The University of Texas at Brownsville

9 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Monica Moreno was born in Brownsville, Texas. She has an Applied Arts Associate degree in child care and development. She also obtained a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Applied Business Technology Interdisciplinary along with an Associate Degree in Applied Arts in Spanish Translation. Monica has ten years of experience working with primary-age children. By working in a Montessori environment, Monica has been learning how important it is to guide and nurture children according to their developmental path. She is very happy to be part of The Post Oak School.

Monica is currently enrolled at the Houston Montessori Institute to pursue her AMI Primary credentials. Along with her primary training, she is working towards a Masters’ Degree in Montessori education at Loyola University.

Monica is happily married and has no children at the moment. She and her husband enjoy going to the movie theater, having cookouts, and spending time with their dog. Monica also loves going camping and enjoys bird-watching and nature walks.

Primary Home Environment

B.A. Beloit College
Certificat Supérieur, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)
License in Linguistics & English with major in Applied Linguistics, Université de Paris VII
Montessori Nursery Foundation Teaching Diploma, London Montessori Centre (U.K.)

25 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2010.

Dinah Chetrit received her B.A. in modern languages and international relations from Beloit College, and continued her studies of linguistics in Paris, France, with a specialization in bilingualism and the early acquisition of two languages. Her interest in and appreciation of Montessori grew when her children were young, and she received her Primary certification while living in London with her family. Upon returning to France, she worked as a lead teacher in both English-speaking and bilingual Montessori schools. In addition, she was program coordinator in a newly established Montessori school that placed great emphasis on nature studies. In 2007, after a 27-year stint overseas, she returned to the U.S. and served as a lead teacher in a Montessori inclusion classroom in New York, working closely with special needs children and Special Education teachers.

Dinah has two adult children whose independent and curious nature she often attributes to their early roots in Montessori education. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, and travel.

Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico

27 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 1986.

Norma Paulin studied law for two years at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico. She has worked at The Post Oak School since 1986; four years in Infant Community and 22 years in Primary. She currently works in Primary Home Environment. She and her husband have three children who are 28, 24, and 15 years old, and also has three grandchildren. Norma likes to spend all of her free time with her family. She also enjoys soccer, volleyball, and cooking. Norma and her husband find time to help at their church as leaders of their community.

B.S. Universidade Veiga de Almeida in Rio de Janeiro

Joined The Post Oak School in 2013.

Maurien Caron has a B. S. in Psychology from the Universidade Veiga de Almeida in Rio de Janeiro. She lived in Argentina for a semester as part of a Psychology student exchange program at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa. From 2010 to 2012 Maurien led clinical sessions to low income children and adults during her internship at the University Clinic. In 2012 she left her job as a Hospital Psychologist to support her husband when he was transferred to Houston.

Maurien did some research on Montessori methodology and found herself enchanted with the way that children are respected in their singularity and stimulated in their capacities in the Montessori method; values that she shares. This prompted her to begin the AMI Primary Teacher Training course at HMI in the summer of 2013. Maurien and her husband love traveling, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends. Maurien enjoys studying in groups; she has been a member of the Houston Freudian Field Library since January 2013. Her other passions are classical ballet, tennis and music.

 

Elementary (6-12 years)

Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3)

B.A. Centro de Educación Continua (Mexico City, Mexico)
(Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Primary & Elementary Montessori Diplomas, Mexico City

21 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2003.

Orly Kluk was born in Mexico City. She took both Primary and Elementary training in Mexico, where she received direct training from Nan Hanrath, a student of Dr. Montessori. Orly has taught since 1992, in both Primary and Elementary. She moved to Houston in 1996 and worked as a Primary directress and teacher of Spanish and art in another Montessori school until joining The Post Oak School in 2003.

Orly and her husband, also from Mexico City, have one son and one daughter, both current students at Post Oak. Orly enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She loves the Montessori philosophy not only as a way of teaching but also as a way of living.

B.A. University of Missouri
AMI Elementary Diploma, Milwaukee, WI

5 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2013.

Lindsay Mistrettawas born in St. Louis, Missouri and spent her childhood in both Missouri and Florida. She received her Bachelors of Liberal Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008 and her AMI Elementary diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in 2010. She knew from her first Montessori experience at five years old that one day she would become a Montessori teacher. She has worked as an assistant in an AMS school and taught as a lead guide in an AMI school in Austin, Texas for two years.

When not teaching, Lindsay loves to read, cook (especially pies!), swim, work crossword puzzles, and go to the movies with friends.

M.Ed. (Elementary Education) Cleveland State University
M.Ed. (Early Childhood Education) Cleveland State University
B.A. Albertus Magnus College
AMI Primary Diploma, Cleveland, OH
AMS 6-9 Elementary Credential, Columbus, OH
AMS 9-12 Elementary Credential, Houston, TX

42 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2001.

Kathy Long received her B.A. in English from Albertus Magnus College. She served in the Peace Corps from 1973–1975 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since 1977, Kathy has worked in five Montessori schools. From 2001–2008 she served as the lower school director at Post Oak. She returned to teach in the Lower Elementary in the fall of 2008. Kathy has two M.Ed. degrees and three Montessori certifications. She also has a strong interest in nature education and sustainability issues.

Kathy and her husband John have two adult sons. When not at Post Oak, she enjoys working as a volunteer at the Houston Arboretum. She completed her Texas Master Naturalist certification in 2008 and she is also a VIP (Volunteer in the Park) at Rocky Mountain National Park.

M.Ed. Loyola University
B.A. Northeastern Illinois University
AMI Elementary Diploma, Cleveland, OH

9 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2010.

Anita Taj grew up as a Montessorian. Her passion for teaching as a teenager motivated her to pursue a career of it. Her credentials include an undergraduate degree in education and sociology from Northeastern Illinois University as well as Montessori paraprofessional training. In 2012 she earned a master's degree in education from Loyola University in Maryland. Anita also has six years of teaching experience at a Montessori school in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a year in kindergarten and second grade enrichment program at a Chicago public school.

Her Hobbies include spending time with family, traveling, creating scrap books, cooking and trying new restaurants (when not in cooking-mode).

She feels her enthusiasm and her ability to create and apply new techniques for teaching make her a valuable asset to Post Oak.

B.A. Clemson University
M. Ed and AMI Elementary Diploma, Baltimore, MD

6 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2011.

Beth Smith has a BA in sociology/social work from Clemson University. She received TEFL training and certification in Barcelona, Spain. She obtained an AMI Elementary diploma from WMI and an M.Ed. from Loyola University in Maryland in 2010.

Prior to discovering her love of teaching, Beth worked as a psychiatric social worker. Beth's teaching experience includes two years in the French public school system and one year in a Montessori lower elementary classroom in the Atlanta suburbs.

Beth is a fluent French speaker, an avid baker and cook, and an outdoor adventurer. She enjoys fine art, music, and travel. Most of all, she is passionate about sharing her love of learning with children.

B.A. Dance Education, Hope College
Standard Texas Teaching Certificate-Secondary Dance

6 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2007.

Jamie Thompson is a Lower Elementary Assistant Intern. Jamie is currently going through AMI Elementary training at Hershey Montessori Training Institute. She has completed her second of three summers in Fort Wayne, IN. Jamie’s teaching experience includes teaching Dance at numerous dance studios, and within the Fort Bend Independent School District. She was also an Infant Community Assistant at Post Oak School during the 07-08 school year.

Jamie has two small dogs named Lucy and Jaques. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, working in her garden, and spending time with family and friends.

B.A. University of Delhi
M.A. University of Delhi
M. Ed Loyola University
AMI Elementary Diploma, Baltimore, MD

Joined The Post Oak School in 2011.

Simran Sood joined Post Oak in 2011 after completing her AMI training at the Washington Montessori Institute in Maryland. She is very excited to stay in the Post Oak community, initially as a parent for ten years and now as an elementary teacher and parent. Simran spent 15 years in the corporate world before choosing to follow her calling into Montessori education as a vocation. Simran completed her requirements towards earning an M.Ed. from Loyola College in Maryland in October 2011. She also has B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Delhi.

She and her husband have two children, both at The Post Oak School. The family loves to travel and will do so any chance they get! Simran is an avid reader, enjoys yoga, trekking, and jewelry making.

B.A. Concordia University Chicago

3 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2013.

Amanda Tee pursued her degree in Elementary Education at Concordia University Chicago before student teaching in Adelaide, South Australia in the spring of 2010. She loved children, but knew from early on that the conventional public school classroom context was not for her. In light of this, Amanda spent three years curating the children’s spaces and curriculum and coordinating volunteers for multiple age groups at Ecclesia Church in Houston. The space was inspired by Montessori principles and used a Montessori-based curriculum, and Amanda quickly fell in love with the Montessori philosophy as she experienced it in that setting. This led to a desire to return to the classroom, but this time within the Montessori context—a much different atmosphere than what she had experienced in conventional education settings. Amanda joined Post Oak in 2013 as a Lower Elementary Assistant and is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn and grow in that role.

Amanda and her husband live on the east side of Houston, where they enjoying gardening, making, and cooking for family and friends. Amanda is also a devoted yogi and lover of nature and loves exploring new places.

 

Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6)

B.A. LeTourneau University
AMI Primary Diploma, Houston, TX
AMI Elementary Diploma, Vancouver, BC, Canada
(AMS Administrator's Credential, Houston, TX)

28 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 1995.

Debbie Nickerson has been involved in Montessori education for over twenty-eight years. She has served as an assistant, intern, and lead teacher in both Primary and Elementary classrooms. Debbie earned her AMI Primary diploma from the Texas Montessori Institute, and her AMI Elementary diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia. She graduated from LeTourneau University with a B.A. in Business Management. Debbie has been a member of the Post Oak community for 18 years. She and her husband, both native Houstonians, are the parents of two adventurous, creative, and resourceful adults. During her free time, Debbie attends exciting antique auctions, nurtures her splendid antique roses and Texas native plants, and observes her fascinating backyard beehive.

(University of Houston Downtown)

4 year's experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2010.

Sandra De Leon joined Post Oak as an assistant in Upper Elementary and teaches Spanish to the children. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Houston-Downtown as well as getting her alternative certification in education. She is a member of the American Council of the Teaching Foreign Language (ACTFL), the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT), as well as the Urban Educators Literacy Society where she spends time reading to children, fundraising, and doing children's literature research. She also attended the Art Institute of Houston while working on her associate's degree in fine arts. Sandra enjoys volunteering and has worked with organizations such as the Houston Food Bank and the House of Tiny Treasures. Some of her academic interests include bilingual education, discipline management, special education, and art.

Sandra has a nine-year-old son who has just joined the wonderful community at Post Oak. She enjoys doing painting and crafts. In her spare time, she likes going to museums, being outdoors, especially the beach, cooking (and eating!), and exploring new places. She also loves taking her two dogs a Miniature Schnauzer and a Boxer to the dog park.

B.A. Loyola College, Chennai, India
PGDM Indian Institute of Management
AMI Primary Diploma, Bangalore, India
AMI Elementary Diploma, Vancover, BC, Canada
AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

22 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2003.

Errol Pinto holds both the AMI Primary and Elementary teaching diplomas, and the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies certificate. He has been a Montessori teacher since 1991. He joined the Post Oak School as a Lower Elementary teacher in 2003, and since 2004 he has taught been an Upper Elementary classroom teacher. Before joining Post Oak he taught in the Primary and Lower Elementary levels at the Vancouver Montessori School in Vancouver, Canada. Errol also holds degrees in Business Administration and Economics. Prior to taking up teaching, he worked in international banking, coffee cultivation, and the airline industry. His wife, Maya Pinto, is also an Upper Elementary teacher with The Post Oak School. They have two adult sons who live in Canada.

B.S. University of Houston
(Stephen F. Austin State University)
Texas Standard Teaching Certificate, Bilingual Education EC-4
AMI Elementary Assistants diploma, Columbia, Maryland

7 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2009.

Jessica Samano graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Bilingual Education EC-4 and is a member of the American Council of the Teaching Foreign Language (ACTFL) and the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT). She was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining The Post Oak school she worked as a program advisor for Texas Teachers and helped to train and certify candidates to become teachers in the state of Texas. She has also worked for Katy ISD and Alief ISD. She joined The Post Oak School in 2009 and works with Errol Pinto in Upper Elementary teaching Spanish. Jessica attended Washington Montessori Institute and received her AMI Elementary Assistants training by Kay Baker in 2010. She was one of the first to receive this diploma as this training had never been offered before.

Jessica is also a Post Oak parent. She has a son in Full Day Infant Community. She and her husband are both active members of their church where she has been a Sunday school teacher since 2002. In her leisure time she enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing, cooking, traveling and watching football- Go TEXANS!

B.A. University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
AMI Primary Diploma, Bangalore, India
AMI Elementary Diploma, Vancouver, BC, Canada

31 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2005.

Maya Pinto attended a Montessori school in India as a child. She has a B.A. (Honors) in English Literature from the University of Delhi, India, and also holds both the AMI Primary and Elementary teaching diplomas. She has been a Montessori teacher since 1983. After teaching a Primary class for six years in a Montessori school in Hong Kong, Maya worked at the Vancouver Montessori School in Canada for 16 years in both Primary and Elementary levels. She joined the Post Oak family in 2005 as the Elementary After-care director, and subsequently, from 2006 to 2012, taught in a Lower Elementary classroom. She is now teaching in an Upper Elementary classroom in our school. She is equally fluent in English, Czech, and Hindi, and her hobbies and interests include reading, cooking, and crafts. She and her husband Errol have two adult sons who live in Canada.

(Sena College, Bogota, Columbia)

9 years' experience in education;
joined The Post Oak School in 2012.

Irma Alarconwas born and raised in Colombia, where she studied hotel management and tourism. Her career in education began in 2003 as a Spanish instructor for the Continuing Education Program at the University of Houston where she was certified as an Accelerated Language Teacher. She is also a member of the American Council of the Teaching Foreign Language (ACTFL) and the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT). Irma has been part of the Post Oak family since 2004 as an Upper Elementary Assistant and Substitute Teacher for Primary, Lower and Upper Elementary, and Middle School. She is the proud mother of two children, Maria who graduated from Texas A&M and David who is a junior at Texas State. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, arts and crafts, floral design, and learning about foreign languages and cultures.

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