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Welcome to La Jolla Montessori School!

An English/Spanish Bilingual Immersion Montessori school for ages 18 months - Kindergarten.

Our bilingual immersion program is integrated into the Montessori Methodology. So, children receive both an authentic Montessori English language education and an equally strong Spanish language program. This assists the child to fluently speak their non-native language by the completion of Kindergarten. It also increases their thought processes and problem-solving skills.

 
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About La Jolla Montessori School

La Jolla Montessori School is all about teaching your children well. Our focus is to teach each child in ways they respond via the Montessori Method. LJMS provides experienced, worldly and well-educated English and Spanish teachers who observe your children and their strengths as individuals; then, builds a learning program around them to complement their personal interests and pace in both English and Spanish. The result: children will learn concepts that foster their self-esteem and independence.


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Why Choose La Jolla Montessori School?


At La Jolla Montessori School, building your child’s academic, social, intellectual and artistic growth in two languages is what motivates us. Via individualized learning, we go the extra mile to stimulate, challenge and create a ‘whole child’ who loves to learn and express his or her curiosity. Most importantly, what the child learns in the classroom continues at home. Parents learn to let their kids do things themselves!

 

Our Staff

Kelly McFarland, M.Ed.
Kelly McFarland, M.Ed.
Director
Kelly McFarland attended Santa Cruz Montessori School from toddler through Kindergarten. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she worked in a traditional preschool. After seeing an ad for a Montessori assistant teacher, she fondly remembered her own learning experience and taught at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco for several years. Read more
Heather A. Davis, Ph.D
Heather A. Davis, Ph.D
Director
Heather Davis grew up on Long Island, New York and has lived in several regions of the country. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Child Development from the University of Georgia (2001) and spent the first 15 years of her career working in public teacher education. Read more
Kristin Edwards, M.Ed
Kristin Edwards, M.Ed
Co-Founder
Kristin Edwards, M.Ed, is the Director & Co-Founder of Lifetime Montessori School and Co-Founder of La Jolla Montessori School. Her mission is to provide a quality Montessori environment for children to help prepare them to become Joyful learners and problem solvers. Kristin wants your child to love everything about school, no matter their age. Kristin Co-Founded Lifetime Montessori school in 2007. She and her team have built this San Diego school from scratch into a 180 student toddler-thru-elementary school powerhouse during this time. Read more
Ms. Hannah Welch
Ms. Hannah Welch
Administrative Assistant
Ms. Hannah Welch is from Albany, NY, and recently moved to San Diego to pursue her dream living in California by the beach. She loves helping others and making everyone’s job easier so she has always thrived in administrative work. Hannah loves being around children and knew La Jolla Montessori School would be the best fit as she truly believes it is the best way for a child to learn and grow. Read more
Ms. Mara Smith
Ms. Mara Smith
Primary English Teacher
Ms. Mara Smith holds an AA in Child Development, a BA in Liberal Arts, a public-school teaching credential, and an AMI Primary degree. When she started her educational journey, she fell in love with working with children. Her journey started when she took her first course in child development and decided that was where she wanted to focus her future. Mara worked in a traditional elementary classroom for two years. After that, she worked as a Montessori teacher for eight years. Read More
Ms. Natasha Garcia
Ms. Natasha Garcia
Primary English Teacher
Natasha Garcia is a native San Franciscan who relocated to San Diego to pursue who Montessori training. Natasha graduated from San Francisco State University where she earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education. As a teacher and former preschool director, Natasha has always believed in the transformative nature of a Montessori education for young children. She completed her Primary training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Read more
Ms. Adriana G. Prado
Ms. Adriana G. Prado
Primary Spanish Teacher
Ms. Adri is a native Spanish speaker, born in Mexico and raised in San Diego since she was a child. After completing her education in Child Development, she was first introduced to Montessori in 2011, while working as a Spanish assistant teacher in a Primary classroom. During that year, Ms. Adri became passionate about the Montessori philosophy and decided to become a trained AMI Primary Guide at The Montessori Institute of San Diego (MISD) in 2012. Read more
Ms. Lilia Garcia
Ms. Lilia Garcia
Toddler Spanish Teacher
Ms. Lilia Garcia received her Associated Degree in Early Education from Southwestern College in 2006 and then her AMI Assistants to Infancy and Primary Diploma for children ages 0-6 years old from The Montessori Institute of San Diego (MISD). Ms. Lilia worked as a Spanish Toddler guide at MISD’s Children’s House for the past 14 years. During the summers, she assisted in the Assistants to Infancy teacher training at MISD. Read more
Ms. Yvette Medina
Ms. Yvette Medina
Toddler English Teacher
Ms. Yvette Medina has guided young children for the past 10 years, always enjoying her time with the children in her classroom. Yvette has a Montessori diploma and is currently working on her Master's Degree in Special Education. Read more
Ms. Melissa Vazquez
Ms. Melissa Vazquez
Toddler Assistant Teacher
Ms. Melissa Vazquez graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Arts and Sciences in 2017. After completing her B.A., she continued her preparation in the field of Child Development while working in elementary school computer science programs as a coding teacher at ThoughtStem LLC. In early 2020, Ms. Melissa pursued an infant/toddler teacher position at KinderCare Learning Centers where she developed her instructive practices. Read more
Ms. Andrea Zapata
Ms. Andrea Zapata
Toddler English Teacher
Ms. Andrea Zapata moved a year ago to San Diego from Cancun, Mexico. Having grown up with a really big family on her mom's side, she knew she always liked being around children. She would even create her own daycare with her cousin’s children. She recently graduated from MISD where she took the Montessori training. Andrea worked in a traditional preschool in Mexico for two years prior to moving to San Diego. Read more
Ms. Carmen Gaxiola
Ms. Carmen Gaxiola
Primary Spanish Teacher
Ms. Carmen Gaxiola was born in Torreon Coahuila, Mexico. She has been an AMI Montessori Guide for 21 years. Ms. Carmen studied English at St. Louis University in St. Louis Missouri and earned a degree in Education Administration from Anahuac University in Mexico City. She studied Montessori in 1999 at the Montessori Institute of San Diego (MISD). As part of her commitment to children from a Montessori perspective, in 1996 she and her sister started a Community Montessori project In Tijuana Mexico. Read more
Ms. Kathleen Soussou
Ms. Kathleen Soussou
Primary English Teacher
Ms. Kathleen Dian Soussou, born in a family of educators, is a native from the South of France, where she received a Master’s degree in English and American Literature/Civilization from the University of Provence. She then earned a teaching degree and got certified as an English teacher by the French Ministry of Education. For nine years, Kathleen was a teacher of English as a foreign language, teaching at the high school, middle school, and university levels, during which time, she had the honor of serving as part of the jury for the French Baccalaureate twice. Read more
Ms. Angela Leyva
Ms. Angela Leyva
Toddler Spanish Teacher
Ms. Angela Leyva has been teaching in Montessori environments for over 10 years. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. Afterward, Angela took the opportunity to study abroad in Avila, Spain for 6 months. Upon her return, she attended The Montessori Institute of San Diego where she trained as an ‘assistant to infancy’ (0-3 years). Read more
Ms. Michele Richardson
Ms. Michele Richardson
Toddler English Teacher
Michele Richardson has worked as a Montessori teacher for over 20 years. Michele has a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University; a Diploma in Montessori teaching from St. Nicholas in Dublin, Ireland; a Musikgarten certification from Toronto, Canada; and a Diploma in Fashion from The Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She worked at Toronto Montessori Schools in the Toddler room and Children's House. In San Diego, she worked at Mission Bay Montessori Academy for 15 years in the Children's House. Read more
Ms. America Villa
Ms. America Villa
Primary Assistant Teacher
Ms. America Villa is from Los Ángeles, California. She was raised in Tijuana, and recently moved to San Diego. America loves helping others; since she was young she loved being around children. Four years ago, she started working in a traditional elementary school, but when she had the opportunity to work at La Jolla Montessori, she didn't think twice about taking the job! America really loves working at La Jolla Montessori School and believes the Montessori method is the best way for a child to learn. Read more
Ms. Nayibe Martin
Ms. Nayibe Martin
Breaker/Toddler EDP Teacher
Ms. Nayibe Martin grew up in Colombia and has lived in California for the past 14 years. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher, even from a young age. She loves children and the beauty they bring into the world. She wants to help them develop into the beautiful people they are destined to become. After the many hours she dedicates to teaching young children, Nayibe (or Yibe) feels as though she is doing something right when she hears a child say ‘I love you’. Read more
Ms. Radhiya Mohammed
Ms. Radhiya Mohammed
Breaker/Toddler EDP Teacher
Ms. Radhiya Mohammed is originally from Iraq and came to San Diego 11 years ago. She is a junior in college and is still continuing her education. About two years ago, she started working as a substitute teacher in preschool. After substituting at La Jolla Montessori school, she discovered that she loves working with the primary and toddler children. Read more
Ms. Huri Mohammed
Ms. Huri Mohammed
Breaker/Toddler EDP Teacher
Ms. Huri Mohammed is originally from Iraq and came to San Diego 12 years ago. She is a freshman in college. She loves taking care of her younger siblings. She learned about the Montessori method and how it helps children grow independently, construct their personalities, socialize, and learn how to read and write at a young age; through her sister Radhiya, who is an Assistant Teacher here. Read more

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Blog & School Updates

Our Montessori school blog is filled with advice, lessons, and resources for parents and educators of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school children.
February 4, 2022
Toddlers learning shapes and math at Preschool La Jolla

Are Montessori Children Led?

Most preschoolers are taught two ways: parent-to-child and teacher-to-child. But at La Jolla Montessori School, a toddler, primary and Kindergarten in La Jolla, a third form […]
January 26, 2022
Girl learning how to put words together in cursive in Primary Classroom at La Jolla Montessori school

The Benefits Of A Bilingual Brain

There are many benefits to a bilingual brain.  According to statistics, 40 percent of the world’s population are monolinguals, 43 percent are bilinguals, and the rest […]
January 25, 2022
Girl playing with bells in Primary Classroom at La Jolla Montessori school

Are Montessori Toys Educational Toys Or Learning Tools?

In the late 1800’s, Dr. Maria Montessori designed specific educational toys to help toddlers refine their five senses. These Montessori toys, intended to improve sight, sound, […]

Upcoming Events

Exploring our world is a cornerstone of the La Jolla Montessori school methodology. Here is a list of our upcoming Events.

Contact

We welcome you to call or email us today to talk and visit the school.

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