Meet Our Staff

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
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. Natasha Garcia
Administrative Assistant
Natasha Garcia is a native San Franciscan who has recently relocated to San Diego. Natasha graduated from San Francisco State University where she received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education. As a teacher and preschool director, Natasha has always believed in the transformative nature of a Montessori education for young children. Read more
Ms. Elena Mann
Toddler English Teacher
Ms. Elena Mann was born and raised in Mexico City. She has been living in San Diego since 2003 and has over 30 years of experience as a Montessori guide. She has a passion for children and their development. Nothing satisfies her more than seeing children work with independence, creativity, and dedication. Read more
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. 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
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
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