Venice Early Childhood & Elementary

Gail Jacquelin, LE 23B, Director Early Childhood


Gail Jacquelin has been an IVMS staff member since 2006. Gail received her child development accreditation and AMS early childhood Montessori certification from OMTEI in Orlando. She continues working on a degree program in early childhood at the South Florida University.Gail was born in South Africa and lived there until her family immigrated to the …

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Ivonne Almanza, LE 23B, Elementary


Ivonne Almanza is originally from Colombia and now resides in Sarasota. She has been working at IVMS since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Bogota, Colombia. Before coming to the United States, Ivonne worked at the Montessori School in La Paz, B.C.S, Mexico. She has taught in Latin America and the …

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Wilfriede Geletka, LE 23A, Primary


Wilfriede Geletka has been a head educator at our early childhood program since 2004. She taught previously in Youngstown, Ohio for twenty years. Wilfriede has AMI certification for early childhood, which includes children ages 3 to 7 years of age.

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Kathy Schultz, LE 23A, Primary


Kathy Schultz is a Sarasota native. She has been married 27 years and has two children, Mike and Kimberly. Kathy has worked with children for over 15 years. She is currently attending SCF to get her AS in early childhood and is certified as a VPK instructor. Her favorite vacation is to go to Ft. Myers …

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Lucy Ferris, LE 8, Elementary


Lucy Ferris has worked at IVMS since 2005. She has over 2 decades of Montessori teaching experience. Lucy holds a bachelor of science in elementary education from the University of Maryland. She also holds an AMI primary Montessori teaching certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute. Lucy is Florida state certified in the area of prekindergarten/ …

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Kristin Comeau, LE 8/9, Elementary


Kristin Comeau joined IVMS an administrative assistant in 2006 and has worked with students in a number of capacities over the years. Kristin and her two children have been involved with IVMS since our opening year in 2001. In 2009, Kristin joined our teaching staff as an assistant educator and is completing an AMS early …

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Jennifer Campbell, LE 9, Elementary


Jennifer’s background in Montessori education began in the late 1980’s. She is trained in both early childhood and Elementary I. Teaching in both public and private Montessori schools have given Jennifer a wealth of experience with urban as well as suburban settings.  She is also trained as a validator for both Middle States Association and …

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Erika Berrones, Assistant Educator


Erika Berrones joined IVMS in 2013. Erika began her journey working with children in 2004 by educating home-schooled students through tutoring and enrichment activities. From 2007 to 2009 she worked in the field of youth ministries. She has an associates degree from State College of Florida. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Elementary …

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Kellie Loucks, LE 10, Elementary


Kellie Loucks joined IVMS in 2011 and has been teaching at the preschool level for four years. She has completed the Florida child care professional credential, Department of Children and Families Director’s credential and VPK Director’s endorsement. Kellie has her bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts and is certified to teach pre-K …

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Tammy Balser, LE 10, Elementary


Tammy Balser joined IVMS in 2001 and is a founding member of the IVMS faculty. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a BS in elementary education. She is ESL endorsed. In addition, she has her Montessori elementary certification from the North American Progressive Montessori Teaching Center. Tammy enjoys teaching our youngest students. …

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Joanna Dabrowski, LE 10, Elementary


  Joanna Dabrowski has been with IVMS since 2002. She has her AA in early childhood education, birth – 6 years old from Housantic College in Connecticut. She also holds a primary  Montessori certification from Celebration Montessori School in Orlando, Florida. Joanna has worked with children with special needs since 1978. A main interest is …

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Myrna Bonhomme, LE 11, Elementary


Myrna Bonhomme has been teaching at IVMS since 2002.  Myrna has more than 15 years of teaching experience as a teacher and as a Montessori educator in early childhood and elementary. Myrna has experience in teaching art, French, and English. Myrna holds professional Florida teaching certificates in both pre-K-3 and French K-12 as well as …

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Dr. Shannon Kraska, LE 11, Elementary


Dr. Shannon Kraska joined IVMS in 2012 following more than 20 years working as an educator, writer, and clinician in the healthcare field. Shannon graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCPS), where she earned a bachelor of science in pharmacy and a doctor of pharmacy degree.  She also completed a minor in humanities …

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Stephanie Welch, LE 13, Elementary


Stephanie Welch has been on staff at Island VIllage working with kindergarten, first, and second grade students since 2004. She attended The University of North Carolina and The University of Tennessee as a fine arts major. She completed her BA at Ashford University. Stephanie is currently taking Montessori Live classes to complete her Montessori training. …

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Kristin Calandra, LE 13, Elementary


Kristin Calandra has a BA in sociology with a minor in French from Stetson University. She also studied at the CIEF in Dijon, France. Kristin holds a Florida teaching certificate for pre K-3rd grade, and is completing her Montessori Elementary Credential through Montessori Live.

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Jason Hunter, LE 14, Elementary Team Coordinator Venice


Jason Hunter has been an educator at IVMS since 2007. He has his professional teaching certificate in elementary education K-6. In 2012, Jason completed the Montessori Live MACTE certification program and is certified in Montessori education. In 2013, Jason obtained his ESE (exceptional student education) endorsement and took on the additional responsibility of being the …

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Yayle Jacob, LE 14, Elementary

Yayle Jacob

Yayle Jacob, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) in 2008 with a bachelor of arts in elementary education. After graduating, Yayle moved to Venice, and began working in a pre-school environment. After five years working with a variety of age groups at the early childhood level, Yayle decided to …

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Elaine Palmore, LE15, Elementary


In 2013, Elaine returned to IVMS after five years of working for Middle Tennessee State University as the director of the Child Development Center. From 2003 to 2008, Elaine worked at IVMS as an elementary school educator and administrator.  Elaine earned her early childhood Montessori credential from MECA-Seton in Chicago and her elementary certification from …

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Kristin Deree, LE 15, Elementary


Kristin Deree has been working in the field of early childhood education for seventeen years as an educator, writer, program director, and presenter.  Kristin joined Island Village in 2013 to teach in the lower elementary program. She is so happy and excited to join a classroom community of children after a number of years in …

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Mini Fairchild, LE 16, Elementary


Mini Fairchild was a CPA for four years in the United Kingdom, gaining a professional qualification equivalent to a UK Masters degree. Mini received her Montessori International Diploma in 1997 (from birth to six years) from Montessori Center International in London, England. Mini joined Island Village Montessori School (IVMS) in 2009, with 12 years of …

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Jill Wright, LE 16, Elementary


 Jill Wright joined IVMS in 2010 part-time while finishing her bachelor’s degree.  She graduated from USF in 2011 with a B.A. in history. She also has an A.A. in art. Originally from Ohio, Jill lived in California for 17 years before moving to Sarasota. Her daughters are both in college-one in Orlando, and one in …

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Francesca Tulski, LE 17, Elementary


Francesca Tulski moved to the Venice area in 2011 from Connecticut, where she worked as a primary Montessori guide at a Hartford magnet school for 3 years. Prior to that she worked in a public school and taught grades 3, 4, 5 and 6. She is certified by the States of Florida and Connecticut for …

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Mydahlia Glover, LE 17, Elementary


Mydahlia is originally from the Bronx, New York, and has been living in Florida since 2002. In 1991 Mydahlia received her bachelor’s degree from The State University of New York. After college, she worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines, traveling all over the world and admiring the uniqueness of each culture. After having …

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Monique Czaja, LE 18, Elementary


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. She received her bachelor’s degree from …

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Lisa Finn, LE 18, Elementary


Lisa Finn joined Island Village Montessori staff in 2013 as an educator for grades 3 and 4. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Francis in elementary education and holds teaching certificates in Illinois for grades K-9 and Florida for grades K-6. She has recently moved from Chicago where she spent seven …

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