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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
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. 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. 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. Read more
Ms. Asa Samoori
Ms. Asa Samoori
Toddler English Teacher
Ms. Asa received her AMI Montessori Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2018, followed by completing her master’s degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University, Maryland in 2019. She has worked in AMI Montessori schools since 2016. Ms. Asa is grateful that through her career, she gets an opportunity to serve the children. Read more
Ms. Melissa Vazquez
Ms. Melissa Vazquez
Toddler Assistant Teacher / EDP Assistant
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
Toddler 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. They founded the Centro Comunitario Esperanza, AC in 2000 to provide quality Montessori education to children from 3 to 6 years old. Read more
Ms. Meaghan Yolles
Ms. Meaghan Yolles
Primary Spanish Teacher
Ms. Meaghan Yolles was a Montessori child herself, having attended Santa Barbara Montessori from the primary through elementary years. She developed a love for working with children from a young age, and after working in traditional education for six years, realized her passion for Montessori. After graduating from Skidmore College in upstate New York with a Bachelor's degree in Education Studies, she spent the following years working in elementary classrooms both in Spain and California as well as working as a fine motor specialist at an occupational therapy clinic. 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.
September 11, 2020
Toddler independently brushing his hair at La Jolla Montessori School

Building Toddler Independence in Your Child!

Independence is the ability to do things by ourselves while thinking for ourselves For two year-olds, building toddler independence in a Montessori classroom is illustrated by […]
August 18, 2020
Preschooler learning cursive in English and Spanish in Montessori classroom

The Importance Of Bilingualism In Early Childhood Learning

Studies have shown that it is far easier to learn a second language when you’re younger and the mind can better manage multiple neural pathways to […]
July 1, 2020
Primary student blindfolded while solving puzzles

Explaining Scary News to Kids

Toddlers and Preschoolers Need to Feel Safe, Not Scared Explaining scary news to kids is something parents can avoid altogether. Whether the topic is a pandemic […]

Upcoming Events

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

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