Montessori By The Sea welcomes new teachers

| 16/11/2008

(CNS): Montessori By The Sea, a Grand Cayman pre-school and elementary school, has welcomed eight new faces this term. With the new teachers on board, the school’s administrators say they are excited about, and have high hopes for, a great school year. The new teachers are: Katie Campbell, Karen Jane Ryan, Brent Durksen, Amy Scriven, Mariella Alpizar, Kristina Harper, Penny Martineau, Cara Chon, and Guy Harrison.

“Each year the administration and returning staff extend a warm welcome to the new teachers who are now a part of our MBTS team,” said Debbie Thompson, the school’s principal. “Our interview process is quite extensive as we want to ensure that we have qualified professionals who support the ethos of our organization and, more importantly, our aims for the students in our community. We are confident that our new members will strengthen our school community, which strives to provide a nurturing environment that celebrates the joy of discovery and encourages students to realize that their possibilities are limitless.”

“Montessori By The Sea is a unique school and it is a privilege to work here,” said Campbell, a lower-elementary teacher.

Physical education teacher Ryan worked as a sports instructor and personal trainer in Ireland. She was a gymnastics coach in the Cayman Islands for the last three years. “I feel honored to be a part of a school that is devoted to helping each child grow toward independence by building confidence, competence, self-esteem and respect for others,” she said.

Scriven, a lower-elementary teacher from Canada says she fell in love with Montessori By the Sea immediately. “The school community is kind and supportive, just what you need when relocating so far away from home,” she said. “The school year has already been full of so many wonderful moments and I look forward to what the rest of the year will bring.” Scriven has a degree in Classical Studies from Queen’s University in Canada. She completed the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Course at The Toronto Montessori Institute.

“It’s easy to get excited about teaching students who are eager to learn,” said Brent Durksen, the school’s new Information and Communication Technologies teacher. “The genuine interest shown by the students of Montessori By The Sea in my first two months of teaching has encouraged me to put forward my best efforts as an educator. It’s a positive cycle of mutual respect that speaks volumes about the Montessori philosophy, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.”

Mariella Alpizar, a Costa Rican with a degree in psychology, says she is happy to be teaching Spanish and serving as an assistant teacher in the upper-elementary program. “I really believe in the Montessori method and I can say this is a great school,” she said. “Kids grow and learn in a friendly and respectful environment and it’s rewarding to see that they are happy and excited to learn new things everyday. It is a new challenge for me and I’m more than glad to take it. Looking back at the first months of school, I have realized that the best experience is the interaction with each child, just getting to know them and forming a bond with them. Helping and guiding them through their learning process is the most gratifying experience.”

Lower-elementary teacher Kristina Harper has been working with children for most of her life. She a has a degree in Biology, a degree in psychology and a master of science in Child Development. She also as extensive experience working with physically and behaviorally challenged children. Harper calls Montessori By The Sea the “warmest and most caring” environment she has ever worked in. “The kids never fail to amaze me with their knowledge, interest in the world and consideration of others,” she said.

Ms Cara Chon has seven years of experience in Montessori schools. "Montessori By The Sea is an amazing community of warm and friendly students, families and educators,” said Ms Chon. “Becoming part of this, has been an easy and enjoyable adjustment for me!"

Guy Harrison is an author and newspaper columnist with a degree in history and anthropology. He is a part-time lecturer on science and history topics for both upper and lower elementary. “Montessori By The Sea is a fantastic learning environment. For me it’s pure joy to talk about space, microbes, ancient Greece and so on with curious and thoughtful children who are excited about history and science. In fact, it’s so rewarding and so much fun that I can’t believe they pay me to do it!”

Photo: New teachers at Montessori By The Sea. Front row, from left: Katie Campbell, Penny Martinaeu, Principal Debbie Thompson. Back row, from left: Guy Harrison, Mariella Alpiz, Kristina Harper, Cara Chon, Amy Scriven, Karen Jane Ryan. Not shown in photo is Brent Durksen. Photo by Jared Harrison

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