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Staff

Meet our compassionate educators.

Maria Montessori called the adult in her classroom a Directress; some Montessori schools call them Guides. Since this term is not commonly understood outside of the Montessori environment, we refer to our adults as Teachers. Montessori Teachers have a year of specialized education from a training center that is approved by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Training can be for Infants and Toddlers (ages 0 to 3), or for Early Childhood (ages 3 to 6). Because we have Kindergarten in our Primary class, the Primary teachers are also certified as teachers by the Maryland State Department of Education. Our Montessori Assistants are all qualified as teachers by the State of Maryland for the age group they teach. We encourage them to attend Montessori Assistant training, which many do. This gives them a deeper understanding of Montessori philosophy, and teaches them the best ways to assist a Montessori trained teacher. Many of our assistants have college degrees, and all are committed to Montessori education. Aides have very few requirements from the state, other than being 16 years old. Since most of our Aides work in the late afternoon, and time to time as substitutes, we look for students who have taken the Early Childhood Education in high school or college. As with all of our staff, they must have a gentle and respectful manner with the children, and enjoy working collaboratively with the other teachers in the classrooms.

  • Ms. Laura

    School Director

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    Ms. Laura, the Director of our School

    Ms. Laura has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree both in Psychology, and an American Montessori Society (AMS) credential in both Early Childhood (“Primary”) and Infants & Toddlers. She has experience teaching classes in both age groups at previous Montessori schools.

    Ms. Laura loves the Montessori philosophy and method and enjoys continuing to learn and improve both herself and our Montessori program. She is currently attending an AMS Montessori Administrator credential program and is enjoying it very much.

    Some of her other interests are organic gardening and reading. She has current CPR and First Aid certifications.

  • Ms. Patty

    Assistant Director

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    Ms. Patty, the Assistant Director of our school,
    and is also an Infant teacher

    Ms. Patty has many years of experience working in Montessori schools in this area, as a teacher and in the office. She has the 90-hour certificate and also the 45-hour certificate in Infants & Toddlers, and also a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) certificate. Patty was our lead Infant teacher for four years, still works in the Infant room part-time, and now is also the Assistant Director of our school.

    When Ms. Patty is not in school, she enjoys doing glass art, singing, and spending time with her husband, two adult children, and soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications

  • Ms. Jessica

    Lead Montessori Primary Teacher

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    Ms. Jessica, is our lead Montessori primary teacher. Ms. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland. She also has an AMS Montessori credential for ages 3 – 6. She enjoys playing the piano singing with the children.

  • Ms. Pooja

    Teacher
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    Ms. Pooja, is one of our teachers who has been with Top Hat over the last several years. She has an Associate of Arts degree and also has a 90-hour certification, and she also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification.

  • Ms. Daisy

    Montessori Toddler Assistant

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    Ms. Daisy has worked for us as a Montessori Toddler Teacher since 2013. She has both a 90-hour certification and also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification. She really enjoys working with the younger children, admiring their energy and their curiosity, and how everything is new to Toddlers. Daisy has five children of her own, and when she is not in school, she likes to spend time with them and her husband. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications.

  • Ms. Estella

    Certified Preschool Teacher

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    Ms. Estella is a certified preschool teacher and has worked with us since 2015. She is especially valued for the calm demeanor she maintains with the children. When she is not working here, Ms. Estella enjoys working with children with special needs and traveling. She has current CPR and First Aid certifications.

  • Ms. Lilia

    Teacher

    Image of Lilia Clavijo

    Ms. Lilia has cared for young children in this area since 2004. She has both a 90-hour certification and also a 45-hour Infant & Toddler certification and training on SIDS. She also has current First Aid and CPR certifications. Ms. Lilia is especially valued for her gentle manner and genuine concern for the infants in her care. The babies are happy to see her every day and miss her when they move into the Toddler classroom.

  • Ms. Katrina

    Assistant Teacher

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    Ms. Katrina is one of our assistant teachers. She has worked with children for the last 6 years. She has her 45 hour Infant & Toddler certification. She is working on her college degree in child development. She has current First Aid and CPR certifications.

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Programs

We offer

We strive to equip every young learner with the necessary skills, knowledge, and learnings that are essential for the enhancement of their learning development.

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Infants

We help your little ones develop at their own pace.

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Toddler

Let us meet your toddler’s individual developmental needs.

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Primary

We provide new essential learning experiences for your child.

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Learn More

Find out more about the programs we offer here.

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Schedule a Tour

We understand how important it is for every parent to know what kind of environment and facility their child will be staying while studying. And we are more than happy to take you and your child on a tour in our school.

Upcoming Events

We are a learning center that conducts various fun and exciting activities that every child will surely love. Please feel free to check back our website from time to time to keep updated with our events. Click here to know more.

Diversity

The world is a better place when diverse people come together and learn from each other. We are patient with each other’s different points of view, and seek to understand first, before

Respect

Every person has a light inside themselves, and we respect the value of that light inside ourselves and others. We never demean or criticize a child, another staff member, or a parent.

Collaboration

Close contact with others can naturally lead to conflict. We seek to turn that conflict to creativity and open minded problem solving. We speak to each other often, sharing ideas and getting help with issues.

Learning

A passion for learning keeps us all feeling young and excited about life. We share our excitement for learning with the children, encouraging their curiosity and teach them how to find answers to their questions.

Responsibility

In a community, each person must take care of themselves, and shares a responsibility for the care of their environment. We all check for tasks that need to be done, lending a hand whenever possible.

Peace

We strive to maintain a sense of peace inside ourselves, and to create a sense of peace around us. We do not call out across a room; we do not hurry or rush; as adults, we restrain our emotional responses to the children so that we may calmly guide them.