Head of School - Anne Smith, Ph.D.
Our Head of School was one of the first students at High Park Montessori school when it began in a small Church on Runnymede Rd. She spent her lower elementary years happily climbing all the stairs to the top floor at 35 High Park Gardens. Dr Smith credits her experience in Montessori for the skills to adapt to multiple varying educational and professional environments, including the ability to persevere, the development of flexible learning styles, and an intrinsic motivation to learn. Now Anne’s own daughters are in the elementary program at the Mildenhall School, and Anne is bringing her experience as a clinical child psychologist, researcher, and educator to the steering of our schools.
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The Mildenhall School - Gail O'Gorman, AMI
We are pleased to announce that Gail O’Gorman has joined The Mildenhall School as Principal.
Gail has almost 30 years’ experience in Montessori education. Gail took her A.M.I. training at Sion Hill College in Dublin, Ireland, an intensive three year course in Montessori pedagogy and methodology. She started the Casa program at Humberside Montessori School and has taught at many fine Montessori schools in Ontario. She was also the founding principal Taddle Creek Montessori School in 1998.
Gail is very well known in the Montessori community and was highly recommended by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators. In recent years, she has been working as a consultant to a range of Montessori schools, to the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators on accreditation issues, and to Montessori Teachers College on adapting Montessori methodology to seniors with dementia. Gail has also lectured in the Early Childhood Education program at Niagara College. We are grateful and fortunate that she is interested in returning to a school leadership position and we are looking forward to Gail bringing her experience and expertise to The Mildenhall School.
High Park Gardens - Lee Gair, Hon.BA.
Lee has been the dynamic and inspiring Principal of High Park Gardens Montessori School for 8 years. Lee has an Honors BA in Art and Art History with a minor in Gender studies from the University of Toronto and an Art and Art History Diploma from Sheridan College. Lee attained her post graduate certification from and is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS). She has been an educator of the Montessori curriculum for 13 years. Lee is a proud member of the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA), Canadian Association of Montessori Teachers (CAMT), and the North American Montessori Teacher's Association (NAMTA). Lee continues to participate in conferences and many educational workshops for learning differences and holds certificates in these areas. She has lectured at Sheridan College about aspects of the Montessori philosophy and continues to teach Curriculum based programming to students at the college level. Lee prides herself on her commitment to assist and stimulate each child's natural curiosity and love of learning and understands how crucial a strong foundation is to foster limitless possibilities of growth and achievement.
Taddle Creek - Matt Smith, BA. AMI
Matt Smith joined the Taddle Creek Montessori School in the position of Principal in August 2015.
Matt is a Toronto native, who completed his Bachelor of Arts in History at Western University. He has outstanding Montessori credentials, including receiving his AMI Elementary diploma in Bergamo, Italy, and his Montessori Adolescent Studies diploma in Cleveland, Ohio. He has taught both Montessori elementary and middle school since 2004, at some of the finest Montessori schools in Ontario, including Montessori Academy of London in London Ontario, Humberside Montessori School in Toronto, and Clanmore Montessori School in Oakville. He founded the adolescent programs at Humberside and Clanmore with great success. In addition to being a committed educator and Montessorian, Matt is an avid outdoorsman, photographer and guitar player and worked for a decade as the Camp Director at Camp Hurontario in Georgian Bay.
It doesn’t take long in the classrooms to realize that our teachers are the best trained teachers and most eager learners.
- All of our teachers have completed undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields including sociology, psychology, education, philosophy, film, political science, early childhood education, public relations, humanities, english, special education, geography, and fine arts.
- They all hold Montessori diplomas certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and/or Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). This is additional postgraduate study following the completion of their undergraduate university degrees.
- They have all been specifically credentialed to work with the age group that they teach, through intensive classroom study and internship hours.
- Many hold additional qualifications as Ontario Certified Teachers.
- All of our classroom Assistants have completed the AMI Assistants Program, and most have additional University degrees.
We have a balanced community of new(er) teachers and experienced mentors:
- 60% of our teachers have been teaching for more than 15 years
- Only 9% of our teachers have been teaching for less than 5 years (this does not include time spent on practice teaching rotations).
- 50% of our teachers have been teaching at Mildenhall Montessori Schools for more than 8 years.
We are passionate educators who have been teaching instructors, board members of the CCMA, examiners at the Toronto Montessori Institute, consultants and mentors for other schools seeking accreditation.
Our teachers are also
- jazz and classical singers
- certified dance teachers
- aspiring children’s book authors
- incredible bakers
Our teachers have also (among other things)
- taught in Japan and the Caribbean
- played in rock bands
- worked as a paediatric nurse
- won gymnastics competitions
- trained other teachers
- studied in Australia, worked in Bali
- run a half marathon
- starred in a musical
- backpacked through South America
- traveled from Poland to China, by train through Siberia
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Our teachers come from all over the world and represent more than 10 countries, including:
- United States
They also speak many different languages including:
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Our principals send their children to our schools.
Our Head sends her children to our schools.
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