Meet Our Staff

Montessori of Gainesville Staff

The quality of the team of teachers is fundamental to the success of any school.  The experience, knowledge and skills of the staff are our most valuable assets.  We are very fortunate to have on our staff the following individuals:

Administration
Deepa Simlot - Owner and Administrator

Simlot,  Deepa

Deepa is a Montessori Certified Teacher for 3-6 year olds.  She has 3 children, all of whom are Primary Montessori graduates.  While volunteering in her children’s classes she discovered the beauty and power of Montessori philosophy and materials, and decided to make it her career.  She worked in the telecommunications industry as a computer engineer for 15 years before discovering that she would rather be around children than computers.

Daryl Bell – Assistant Director

Bell Daryl 9003 264734161

 

Daryl has over 20 years of experience as an educator for students of all ages in four different countries. Most recently, Daryl was the Lead Educator for the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester, VA. Daryl holds a BA in History and Education from the College of New Jersey. He has been with MCDB since 2015.

Amanda Williams – Office Administrator

Amanda has been working with children since 2009, ranging in age from infants to 13 years. She has an Associate’s Degree from Northern Virginia Community College and will be completing her Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2019. She has been with MCDB since 2015.

Lead Teachers
Amanda Hurt – Primary Lead Teacher

Hurt Amanda 9012 264734173

Amanda has a degree in Early Childhood Education from University of South Carolina Upstate.  She is a Montessori Certified teacher from Northern Virginia Montessori Institute in Ashburn, VA.  She has been working with children since 2008. She has been with MCDB since we opened in 2011.

Kelly Levine - Primary Co-Lead Teacher

Kelly has a Montessori Teaching Certificate from North American Montessori Center and an Associate’s in Science degree from Northern Virginia Community College. She taught at a Montessori School in Rock Hill, South Carolina for 6 years before moving to Northern Virginia. She has been with MCDB since 2017.

Debbie Black - Infant Lead Teacher

Debbie is a Montessori certified teacher from Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher
Education Center in Palm Harbor, FL. She has an Bachelor’s Degree in Education from
Valdosta State University in Georgia. She worked in a Montessori classroom for 12
years in Florida, 9 years as a Lead Teacher.

Meghan Maenza - Primary Co-Lead Teacher

Meghan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from George Mason University. She is a Montessori Certified teacher from Northern Virginia Montessori Institute in Ashburn, Virginia. She joined MCDB in 2016.

Stacy Montandon - Primary Lead Teacher

Stacy holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Emporia University. She received her Montessori Certification from Northern Virginia Montessori Institute at Belmont Greene for 3-6 year olds. In addition to being a Montessori teacher, Stacy has extensive experience working with children with special needs as an Associate Behavior Therapist for preschool age children and a Special Education teacher for elementary age children in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Stacy served as a Primary Lead Teacher and Kindergarten Teacher at our Chantilly school from 2010 to 2017.

Bahar Afrasyab - Pre-Primary Lead Teacher

Bahar is a Montessori certified teacher from Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kurdish Language and Literature from Sulaimani University in Iraq. She worked with children from 1999 to 2012, teaching Kurdish, Persian and Arabic Languages before moving to the United States. She has been with MCDB since 2014.

Marina Ventura – Pre-Primary Lead Teacher

Ventura Marina

Marina is a Montessori certified teacher from Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from Northern Virginia Community College. She has been with MCDB since 2012.  

Assistant Teachers
Sandy Garcia – Primary Assistant Teacher/Montessori Intern

Sandy is pursuing her Associates Degree in Teacher Education at Northern Virginia
Community College. She has been with MCDB since 2017. She is a candidate for
Montessori certification from Montgomery Montessori Institute in Rockville, MD.

Madhu Meka - Primary Assistant Teacher

Madhu has a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesley Women’s College in Hyderabad, India.
She worked as a Math and Science teacher for third grade students while she lived in
India. She worked as an Assistant Teacher at a local preschool prior to joining MCDB in
2019.

Rosa Campos – Infant Assistant Teacher/Intern

Rosa studied Obstetrics for two years at the Institute of San Luis, Peru. She has been
working at MCDB since 2012, teaching Spanish to Primary and Pre-Primary children.
She is a candidate for Montessori certification from Institute of Advanced Montessori
Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Remedios (Remy) Narvaez – Primary Assistant Teacher and Extended Day Teacher

Narvaez Remy 9018 256523222

Remy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Santa Isabel College in the Philippines.  She taught Pre-School and Elementary age children in Philippines for more than 10 years before moving to Northern Virginia.  She worked as a Primary Montessori Teacher in the Philippines for 4 years, and at a Montessori Center is Arlington for 16 years. She has been with MCDB since 2012.

Stephanie Atkins – Toddler Assistant Teacher

Stephanie studied Early Childhood Education at University of South Carolina Upstate. She has been working with children from infancy to teenage years since 2004.She has
been with MCDB since 2018.

Cherene Chung – Toddler Assistant Teacher

Cherene has an Associate of Science Degree from Northern Virginia Community
College. She is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from George
Mason University. She has been with MCDB since 2016.

Claudia Beazley – Spanish Teacher and Extended Day Teacher

Claudia studied Early Childhood Education at Instituto Pedagogico Raul Porras Barrenechea in Peru. She has been working with children ranging in age from 2 years to 5 years since 1992.

Donna Cary – Music Teacher

Ms. Donna is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and early childhood music educator. Ms. Donna has been presenting music programs to children for over twenty-five years in Kentucky and Virginia. Ms. Donna’s music and movement classes are a hands-on exploration of various expressions of music, including song, rhythm, theory and performance.

AJ Rudnick - Yoga Teacher

AJ Rudnick is a YogaFit trained instructor who has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2006. She was first drawn to yoga as a classical musician to help overcome tendonitis, control asthma, keep mentally alert, physically fit and reduce stress. She has taught yoga to children as old as 2 and adults as young as 82.

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