Sarasota Faculty

All Sarasota Faculty Members

Martha Barrett, LE 1, Early Childhood


Martha Barrett, currently our head educator for our Sarasota early childhood and VPK program, joined our staff as an early childhood assistant educator in 2006. Martha has assisted in both toddler and 3-6 year old classrooms at New Gate School. Martha speaks fluent Spanish and is originally from Central America. She has five children who …

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Richelle Rucker, LE 1, Early Childhood


Richelle, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, is thrilled to join the team of fantastic educators and Island Village staff—among them, beloved friends, families and former New Gate co-workers—for the grand expansion of IVMS Sarasota on Clark Road! Richelle has made great strides in personal and professional growth as a ‘Montessorian’ for over 12 years, particularly …

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Whelma Thompson, LE 2, Elementary


Beginning in 2012, Whelma Thompson will be a head educator for our lower elementary program.  In 2010, Whelma joined IVMS faculty to support lower elementary learning environments as a Montessori consultant. Whelma was a board member of Island Village Montessori for 10 years. She has been a Montessori educator for almost 20 years working with …

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Lowell Myers, LE 2, Elementary


Lowell Myers joined Island Village in 2013. She has had extensive experience with children working for organizations such as the Outward Bound program and Art Relief International located in Chang Mai, Thailand. She attended New College for her undergraduate studies. Through the University of South Florida, Lowell is pursuing her master’s degree in early childhood …

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Maggie St. Laurent, LE 2, Elementary


Maggie joined IVMS in 2013. Maggie has been with the Montessori family for over 4 years. She has her bachelor’s degree in education from University Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Lima Peru. Originally, from Tarma, Peru, Maggie has been teaching in both public and private schools for more than 20 years. Maggie previously worked at New …

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Macla Evans, LE 3, Elementary


Macla Evans joined IVMS in 2011 as a substitute and began as a full time teacher at IVMS north in 2012.  Macla has a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education.  She is also AMI London certified in Montessori Education for ages 3-6.  She is a native Spanish speaker.  Macla’s entire 15 year teaching career …

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Kat Ricker, LE 3, Elementary


Kat Ricker has a bachelor’s degree and AMS certification in early childhood. In 2010, Kat joined the IVMS Sarasota faculty to work with the youngest students as Martha’s teammate. For the past year, Kat has worked with Whelma Thompson and will continue to do so in the new Clark Rd. campus.

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Kristen Grannell, LE 3, Elementary


Kristen Grannell joined the IVMS staff in 2013.  She was an active volunteer at IVMS and other elementary schools for five years before deciding to pursue a career in elementary education.  Kristen has a BA in geoscience from the University of Southern Maine and is currently enrolled in Sarasota University and Montessori Live, working on …

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Yolanda Chona, LE 4, Elementary


Yolanda Chona joined IVMS in 2006 at the Venice campus and the Sarasota campus in 2009. Yolanda has a Florida K-6 teacher’s certification and a B.A. in business from Indiana University. Yolanda completed her AMS Elementary I credential.She fell in love with Montessori methodology while searching for an early childhood program for her son who …

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Kim Spencer, LE 4, Elementary


Kim Lea has been with the IVMS family since 2010. She has been working in educational settings since 2000, with seven years experience as a counselor before that. She has taught sixth grade gifted math and science, fourth grade, and eighth grade science. She enjoyed her time in curriculum development at GWIZ as well as working in their summer …

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Sandra Goyette, LE 4, Elementary

Sandra Goyette

Sandy Goyette joined Island Village Montessori School in January 2014.  She moved to Florida from Massachusetts in June of 2013 and is thoroughly enjoying the area and the weather!  Sandy earned her Bachelor of Education from Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA and her Master of Education from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA, with …

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Christine Schaefer, LE 6, Elementary


Christine Schaefer, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, has a BA with distinction in human development from Eckerd College. She received her early childhood teaching credential from the American Montessori Society while working at New Gate School. She also has an associates in applied science. Chris spent 6 years volunteering at Ashton Elementary School working with …

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Pamela Pare’, LE 6, Elementary

Pamela Pare

Pamela joined IVMS in 2013 and has been an educator since 1994 after graduating with a B.A. in English and an M.Ed in Elementary Education from University of Florida.  She started her career in Melbourne, FL working in public schools.  After getting married, she moved to Orlando and worked in a Catholic School where she …

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Jessica Hickerson, LE 6, Elementary


Jessica Hickerson joined the IVMS staff in 2013. She has a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, where she majored in photography. She is currently enrolled in the early childhood program at SCTI to earn her national CDA and received her Florida teaching certificate in Art K-12. Along with teaching children, art is …

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Donna Turoff, LE 7, Elementary


Donna, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a minor in psychology from Stetson University. She obtained her Elementary I credential from Seacoast Center for Montessori Education. She taught at New Gate School in Sarasota for 8 years. She worked in all levels of elementary and spent the …

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Debbie Vale, LE 7, Elementary


Debbie Vale, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, has been a Montessori guide for since 1994. Debbie has an elementary Montessori credential, a BS in communications and broadcasting from SUNY Oswego, and a Teaching Credential from Cal State LA. She has completed the program at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, and is currently a …

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Almu Fernandez-Anderson, LE 8, Upper School


Almu, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, has 20 years of teaching experience, 13 years of which are teaching in a Montessori environment. Almu holds a B.A. in human development from Eckerd College, and a second B.A. in elementary education from the University of Valladolid in her native country of Spain.Almu is currently engaged in an …

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Agnes Yu, LE 8, Upper School


Agnes Yu has been a parent and faculty member at IVMS since 2008. She received her AMS certification for 3 to 6 year olds from the Orlando Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Agnes has also earned her lower elementary Montessori certification through Montessori Live and has completed training for upper elementary at the Montessori Teacher Education …

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