Faculty & Staff

South Florida Montessori Academy is a growing school that places high value on individuals who are dedicated to the ideals of authentic Montessori education and want to make a difference. We strongly believe that great teachers are our best asset.

Ms. Martyna

Founder / Executive Director

 

Martyna founded South Florida Montessori Academy in 2010 after receiving her AMI Primary Montessori diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, CA. Later, she received her AMI Montessori Assistants to Infancy diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver, completed the AMI/NAMTA Montessori Adolescent training in Chicago, and received the AMI Elementary Montessori diploma from the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis. Born and raised in Poland, Martyna is fluent in Polish and Spanish. She has lived in sunny Florida since 1996 and in her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, running, kayaking, hiking, etc. Martyna holds M.Ed. degree in Montessori education from the University of Hartford and M.S. degree in leadership from Nova Southeastern University. 

Ms. Ana

Administrative Director

 

Ana is a Miami native with Cuban roots. She spent 10 years working in the public school system as a school counselor, but fell in love with Montessori philosophy and began a new chapter in Montessori education. Ana holds a M.S. degree in Counselor Education and B.A in English from Florida International University. She is a graduate of the AMI Montessori School Administrators course in Houston, TX. Ana is a Montessori mom of 2 beautiful girls and loves to spend time with her family traveling and enjoying the simple things in life. Her hobbies include writing, reading, and planning the next trip. Ana oversees all administrative tasks at the school.

Ms. Zahavah

Academic Director

 

Zahavah is a daughter of an Air Force Master Sargeant, so as a child she moved all over the US. Because of that, she appreciates the vast and varied geography, culture, and citizens that make up our country. She received a B.S. degree in Sociology & Criminal Justice and was on her way to obtain a law degree, when her children motivated her to make a career change, and she became a Montessori teacher. Zahavah obtained her AMI Primary Montessori diploma at Montessori Northwest and her AMI Elementary Montessori diploma at The Montessori Training Center Northeast. She has over 22 years of experience working with children and her goal in life is to change the world one child at a time. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, exercising, and matchmaking for her community.  

Ms. Denise

Operations & Administrative Assistant

 

Denise is originally from Westchester County, New York and moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2013 after backpacking through Europe with friends. She earned her B.S. degree in Business from Berkeley College in White Plains, NY. Denise has worked as a property manager throughout South Florida before having her daughter. She often takes mini trips within Florida with her two dogs and sometimes her cat comes too. Denise loves to travel with her family, go to the beach, camp, boat, and look for the next adventure. 

Ms. Ashley

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher (ages 9-12 years)

 

Ashley was born and raised in Guatemala and has been living in Florida since 2012. She completed the AMI Montessori Elementary Assistant course at the Montessori Training Center Northeast in Hartford, CT and holds a B.S. degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Florida International University. Ashley is fully bilingual in Spanish and English. She loves music and has been singing since she was 3 years old. As a member of a high school chorus, she won several singing trophies. Ashley spends her free time drawing, painting, going to the beach, and volunteering helping those in need.

Ms. Caterina

Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher (ages 9-12 years)

 

Caterina is originally from Italy. She is fluent in Italian, Spanish and English. Caterina received her AMI Montessori assistant teacher certificate at the Montessori Institute of North Texas in Dallas. She loves cooking and spending time outdoors with her husband and a teenage daughter.   

Mr. Danny

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher (ages 6-9 years)

 

Danny was born and raised in New Jersey and later moved to Boston to study developmental psychology. He acquired over ten years of experience within the Montessori community wearing numerous hats at different Montessori schools where he worked. Danny received his AMI Primary Montessori diploma in 2012 from the Montessori Institute of San Diego and led a primary classroom for over 5 years. He earned his AMI Elementary Montessori diploma at the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis. In his free time, Danny enjoys spending time with his friends and family, reading, and photography. 

 

Ms. Arlene

Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher (ages 6-9 years)

 

Arlene is originally from the Northeast United States and completed her BA degree in psychology at Marist College in New York. Since graduating, she has worked with many different organizations serving children, including children with disabilities and foster agencies. Because of her Dominican and Puerto Rican roots, Arlene is fluent in Spanish. She enjoys spending her free time being outside and keeping active.   

 

Ms. Lina

Primary 1 Lead Teacher (ages 3-6 years)

 

Lina was born and raised in Colombia and joined our school in 2016. She speaks English and Spanish. Lina received an AMI Primary Montessori assistant certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola in Maryland. A few years later, she graduated from the Houston Montessori Institute in Texas with an AMI Primary Montessori diploma. Lina is a Montessori mom and in her free time enjoys going to the beach with her family, reading books and admiring art.

Ms. Ximena

Primary 1 Assistant Teacher (ages 3-6 years)

 

Ximena is originally from Bolivia. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been working with children for over 10 years. Ximena received her AMI Primary Montessori assistant teacher certificate at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. One of her favorite hobbies is coloring mandalas and spending time with her daughter. 

Ms. Lyla

Primary 2 Lead Teacher (ages 3-6 years)

 

Lyla was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She completed her BA in History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI. Lyla received her AMI Primary Montessori diploma from the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis and has been working with children for over two years, both inside and outside of the classroom environment. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading and going to the beach. 

 

 

Ms. Jenny

Primary 2 Assistant Teacher (ages 3-6 years)

 

Jenny is originally from Venezuela. She has a degree in accounting and is fluent in English and Spanish. Jenny received her AMI Primary Montessori assistant teacher certificate at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Phoenix, AZ. She is a Montessori mom and has been working with children for over 10 years. One of Jenny's favorite things to do is going to the beach with her family. 

 

 

Ms. Andrea

Toddler Lead Teacher (ages 18 months - 3 years)

 

Andrea was born in Colombia, lived in England and France for many years, but finally decided to settle in beautiful South Florida. She received her AMI Assistant-to-Infancy Montessori diploma from the Montessori Institute of North Texas in Dallas. Andrea is a Montessori mom of 3 amazing children. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.   

Ms. Adriana

Toddler Assistant Teacher (ages 18 months - 3 years)

 

Adriana was born and raised in Nicaragua, where she graduated from Universidad Centroamericana with a degree in psychology. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Adriana is a Montessori mom and has worked with young children since 2014, both in New York and Florida. She loves coffee and collects coffee mugs.  

Ms. Agota

Floater Teacher and Aftercare Supervisor

 

Agota was born and raised in Hungary where she graduated from Eotvos Lorand University with a degree in special needs education. Before moving to Florida, she lived in the Netherlands. Agota has over 20 years of experience working with special needs children. She is a Montessori mom of 2 wonderful children and her hobbies include painting and making jewelry.

Ms. Gariana

Floater Teacher and Aftercare Coordinator

 

Gariana is a South Florida native with Haitian roots. She speaks fluent English and Creole. Gariana studied dental assisting before switching to a more personally rewarding career in early childhood education. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, going to the beach and spending time with her family. 

 

 

Ms. Jazmin

Elementary Spanish Teacher and Aftercare Coordinator

 

Jazmin is originally from Colombia and she has 3 children and 6 grandchildren. She studied business management and fashion design, later becoming a university professor for fashion design. Jazmin received her AMI Montessori Elementary assistant teacher certificate from the Montessori Stoppani in Mexico. She is a licensed medical massage therapist and an experienced seamstress. Jazmin loves working with children, treating them with respect, tolerance, and love. Her passions are in drawing, sewing, and painting. 

 

 

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