Dr. Estrada - Principal
Mrs. Laurente - Music
Early Childhood Teacher Bios:
I have taught grades TK-3 since 1992 and joined the Early Childhood Montessori team at Cottage Elementary in 2015. Teaching in a Montessori classroom is exciting to me because Montessori education is a dynamic way of learning with beautiful materials in an environment specifically prepared to foster independence and interest in all curriculum areas. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy bargain hunting, reading, traveling, and spending time with my family.
Over the past twelve years, I have taught every grade level from TK-6th grade, ten years of which have been in a Montessori environment! I am excited to join the Cottage Elementary TK/K team! I was originally drawn to Montessori education by the desire to meet each child’s academic, social, and emotional needs while honoring their individuality. When I am not teaching, I currently enjoy spending time with my dog Bentley, reading, cooking, and planning my upcoming wedding (New Year’s Eve 2019). As Montessori said, “The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
I have been teaching since 2007 in the San Juan Unified School District. I have had the pleasure of teaching kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grade. I started my Montessori journey this fall and can’t be more thrilled. I look forward to each year and each group of students I meet. When I’m not teaching I love reading, traveling, and taking walks with my family. My husband and I have one son, Maxwell, and he is the highlight of our lives.
Lower Elementary Teacher Bios:
Mrs. Horrell-Se and Mrs. Trumbly
I have had the opportunity to work with many students around the world, from Minnesota to the Northern Mariana Islands, and I am grateful to now call Cottage Elementary home. I began using the Montessori method in 2011 and love how it simultaneously fosters independent learners and conscientious community members. Outside of teaching, I love to spend time with my husband, our daughter, and two cats. I enjoy travel, games, baking, and being outside.
Greetings! My name is Donna Hale and I am so lucky to be a part of our Montessori program here at Cottage! I have a CA teaching credential, a Master’s Degree in Best Practices of Teaching, a full Montessori Credential, and I am certified to teach GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design). I have many years of experience teaching lower elementary grades, but 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are definitely my favorite grades. I have two teenage daughters who keep my husband and I very busy! I love to read, travel, play video games, watch movies, and spend time with my family!
Miss Bailey and Mrs. Ganissan
My name is Mrs. Watts. I have been teaching for over 18 years. I chose to become a Montessori teacher because I love the independence it fosters in our students, the peaceful environment we can create, and the mindful behaviors it encourages. I love day trips with my family to the ocean or mountains, as well as just spending time at home with my pets.
I enjoy teaching Montessori for a million reasons. The ones that stand out to me the most are that I am given the opportunity to get to know my students so well by working with them one on one, in small groups, and being able to stay with them for multiple years. I love planning and presenting lessons, thinking of new ways to challenge or help my students, and preparing my classroom for memorable and meaningful learning experiences by creating a clean, safe, comfortable and functional environment.
Upper Elementary Teacher Bios:
Mr. Bravo and Ms. Cox
Mr. Bravo - Introduction Letter
Ms. Cox Introduction Letter
Greetings Cottage families. My name is Chans Folger and I am honored to be teaching 4th and 5th grade here at Cottage. This will be my 10th year teaching, all of which have been within the Montessori setting. I look forward to meeting all of my students families and building a strong community. Some fun facts about myself are that I have a teenage daughter who is currently learning to drive (yikes), I like to be out in nature, surf, build things, take my 4 dogs out to the river and ride motorcycles. I am looking forward to another outstanding year and hope to see you all around campus.
Mrs. Ferguson and Mrs. Valenti
English Language Development Teacher:
Title 1/Montessori Instruction Coach: