Sarasota Faculty

All Sarasota Faculty Members

Christine Schaefer, LE 1, Elementary


Christine Schaefer joined the IVMS staff in 2012. She 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 …

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Marcia Hemmings, LE 1, Early Childhood


Marcia was an IVMS educator in 2007 and now that she is relocating back to Venice she is excited to be part of the Island Village Montessori family again. Marcia has eighteen years of teaching experience, fifteen of which were in Montessori environments. She has an American Society Certificate (2005), and a VPK certificate (2006) …

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Whelma Thompson, LE 2, Elementary, Faculty Montessori Live


Whelma Thompson has been a head educator for our lower elementary program since 2012.  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 over 20 years working with three …

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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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Martha Barrett, LE 2, Elementary


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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Shannon Price, LE 3, Elementary


Shannon is from South Carolina, and has been a Montessori educator in public schools for ten years.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood from the Francis Marion University in 2005. She had Montessori training through the Florence District 1 Montessori Training Program, and was an educator there for four years. She was …

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Lisa Stortstrom, LE 3, Elementary


Lisa Stortstrom joined IVMS in 2014-2015. She is Montessori certified in and has taught early childhood and lower elementary learning environments. Both of her certifications are from The Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Chevy Chase, MD. Lisa has also taught special education in both Montessori charter and public school settings. She has a master’s degree …

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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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Monique Czaja, LE 4, Elementary, Faculty Montessori Live


Monique joined Island Village Montessori School as a head educator and teacher trainer in 2008. Monique has AMS Montessori elementary I and early childhood certification and has been teaching in Montessori environments since 1978. She also has a PreK-3rd teaching certification. Monique has been involved with training teachers since 1986 and is a faculty member for …

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Kristen Grannell, LE 4, 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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Macla Evans, LE 4, 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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Rebecca Johnson, LE 6, Elementary


Rebecca joins IVMS for the 2014-2015 school year. She has been involved in Montessori education for 12 years and has a BS from the University of South Florida. Rebecca has two daughters, who attended Montessori School until 8th grade.  Rebecca enjoys the water (sailing, swimming and boating), camping, reading and being with family and friends.

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Elizabeth Brock, LE 6, Elementary


Elizabeth  joined IVMS in 2015. She has 8 years of previous early childhood educator experience.  She has her degree in Elementary Education and is currently working towards a master’s degree.  Elizabeth enjoys spending time on the water, with family and pets (3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 turtles and guinea pig). Other favorite activities are reading with …

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Selena Ackerland, LE 6, Elementary – Language Interpreter


Selena Ackerland joined IVMS in 2014 as a sign language interpreter.  She worked in the Dominican Republic for six years with the deaf community, and has been working as an educational interpreter in Florida for the last seven years.

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Donna Turoff, LE 7, Upper 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, Upper Elementary, Faculty Montessori Live


Debbie Vale, joining the IVMS staff in 2012, has been a Montessori guide for since 1994. Debbie is a faculty member for our accredited educator training program, Montessori Live. 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 …

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Almu Fernandez-Anderson, LE 8, Upper Elementary


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 will complete Elementary II  certification …

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Emmaly Rogalski, Educator LE 8, Upper Elementary, Faculty Montessori Live


Emmaly Rogalski joined Island Village in 2015. She is a double major graduate from UNC Charlotte with Bachelor of Art degrees in elementary education and psychology. She holds an American Montessori Society certification for 6-9 year olds and is certified for K-6 elementary. She has eight years of teaching experience in a Montessori classroom and three …

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