Childpeace Montessori School attracts some of the most talented and dedicated people from all over the country. Our staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds and they bring a diverse range of skills and expertise to our community. Photos and brief biographies are provided for each staff member at Childpeace.
Head of School
Sue graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in Sociology and Spanish. She has worked as a teacher and administrator in Montessori schools in California and Oregon since 1972 and has two daughters. She has completed numerous courses at the Center for Non-Profit Management at Portland State University. Sue is also an AMI-USA school consultant. She came to Childpeace in 1988.
Assistant to the Head of School
Crystal graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Concentration in Biological Sciences. She joined Childpeace shortly after her move to Portland in 2017. Crystal loves caring for and learning about plants and animals and enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, arts and crafts.
Rose joined the Childpeace staff in 2000 with an interest in education that was fostered by time spent as a writing tutor and assisting with children's art classes. She has a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Public Management from Portland State University. She manages the billing, accounting and HR responsibilities for the school.
Merri Baehr Whipps
Program Director for Toddler Community/Children's House/The Terrace
Merri graduated from Reed College with a B.A. in Religion. She worked with emotionally disturbed children at Parry Center for Children then received her AMI Primary diploma in 1990. She first worked at Childpeace as a CH Guide, served on the Childpeace Board while at home with her babies, then was a Guide at the Montessori School of Beaverton until returning to Childpeace in 2003 as admissions director. Merri also completed the AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies in 2008. Merri has a daughter and son who graduated from Childpeace.
Program Director for Elementary
Dawn came to Childpeace in 2000 to found and Guide our Lower EL program for its first five years. She holds a B.A. in History from Portland State University and a Master's in Education from Loyola College in Maryland. After spending some time at home with her young family, and guiding at West Hills Montessori Elementary, she returned to Childpeace as the Elementary Admissions and Program Coordinator and Childpeace parent.
Program Director for Middle School/Spanish Instructor
Nancy joined Chilpeace as a parent in 2009 and in 2012, Childpeace was delighted to welcome her to the Metro Montessori teaching team as a Spanish instructor. In 2013, she took the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence and became program director of the middle school. Nancy has a BA in Classics from Carleton College and an M.Ed. from Harvard University with a concentration in Social Studies and Bilingual Education. Nancy has worked as a social studies and Spanish teacher at the high school level in California and Oregon.
Originally from N.E. Ohio, Pat lived in Santa Rosa, California, prior to migrating to Portland in 2006, where she worked for several years as an Administrative/Human Resource Assistant in Natural Resources/Fish & Wildlife. Pat has held a long-time interest in indigenous basketry, both the utilitarian history of the art and the beauty of the finished pieces, and recently began learning full-turn twist twining, a technique of the Native Indians of the Plateau. Pat loves music, urban hikes, the farmers markets, adventuring throughout the neighborhoods of Portland and sampling the great food. Pat joined Childpeace in 2014.
Jenny moved back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest after over a decade spent living in other parts of the country. She joined Childpeace upon her return in 2014.
Dr. Elizabeth Schwarz
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Child Development and Family Relationships and then taught preschool for two years before returning to complete a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology. Elizabeth has been a Licensed Psychologist in Oregon since 2005. Before working for Childpeace, she worked in community mental health and private practice and spent time at home with her two young children.
Bryan moved to Portland in 2010 and started working at Childpeace shortly after. He enjoys hiking, cooking, photography and design.
Dan de Vriend
Dan, a native Oregonian, came to Childpeace in 2009 after a stint at New Roads School in California. He also worked at PNCA as the Sculpture Building Facilities Manager. Dan is also a musician and enjoys riding and maintaining bicycles.
Brittany is a Midwest transplant from a small town in Indiana. She fell in love with the Northwest after spending a Summer working on a lavender farm in Montana and then migrated to Portland to attend the Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class through Oregon Tradeswomen. She is a proud Oregon Tradeswomen graduate, an aspiring homesteader and Jill of all trades in training.
Albert came to Oregon in 2009 after living in Alaska for 25 years. He spends part of each year in Juneau fishing commercially for salmon on his gillnetter the Grey Seas. He is also a lifetime musician specializing in upright bass. His group Arabesque performs every Wednesday night at Hoda's on SE Belmont providing music for bellydance performers. His wife Maren is the Pine Room Guide and his daughter attends Childpeace.
Jennifer was born and raised in Portland, OR. Before joining Childpeace in 2016, she worked as a cook at Providence Child Center for Medically Fragile Children. She enjoys parenting her son Conrad, camping, hiking, photography and painting.
Anastasia graduated from Lewis and Clark College, received a Primary Level AMI Diploma in 1995 and worked as a CH Guide at Childpeace from 1995 - 2000. She returned to Childpeace in 2008 as an assistant, and is the parent of three Childpeace students.
Jimmy came to Metro Montessori in 2009 and is a founding teacher of our middle school. Jimmy holds a BA in History from Portland State U., and completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence in 2008. He has been working with Montessori adolescents since 2004, and also spent five years assisting in Upper EL classes. Jimmy is now one of our full time substitue teachers.
Samantha was born and raised in Bend, OR and moved to Milwaukee, WI in 2007. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying Early Childhood-Early Adolescence Education with a focus in Math and Social Studies before moving back to be with family in late 2013. Samantha has many years of experience in childcare programs and is excited to be a part of Childpeace and all it has to offer.
Laurel Room Guide
Jennifer has worked at Childpeace since 1993. After completing her Assistants to Infancy training in August of 1998, Jennifer became a TC Guide. She is devoted to children’s causes and is a court appointed child advocate.
Laurel Room Assistant
Laurel Room Assistant & TC EMC
Holgate joined Childpeace in 2017 after working with children for two years as an art director and outdoor educator at summer camps, as well as working at other childcare centers as a substitute teacher. Holgate volunteers at an art studio for houseless youth in their free time. They enjoy hanging out with their cat, and photography.
Oak Room Guide
Lynn completed her AMI Assistants to Infancy certification in August 2002. She has been with the Toddler Community at Childpeace since 1997, working as an assistant and, since 2001, as the afternoon supervisor as well. She is originally from the Philippines and is bilingual. Lynn lives in Portland with her husband and her son Jonathan, born in 2005.
Oak Room Assistant
Nikeya is delighted to join the Childpeace community. After obtaining her Bachelors in Liberal Arts with a Social Welfare minor, she spent a year in Spain as a teacher’s assistant for English. She’s always had a passion to work with children and be a positive influence as they grow through each stage of development. You can usually catch her with a smile on her face or hear her laughter around the corner. Nikeya enjoys being surrounded by nature, dancing in the rain, cuddling up with a good book and exploring new places.
Maple Room Guide
Stephanie graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a focus in education and psychology. She completed her AMI primary training at the Montessori Institute Northwest in 1999 and received a Master's of Education in Montessori from Loyola College the following year. She was a Guide at West Hills Montessori for three years then joined Childpeace as a Guide from 2003 - 2006. She happily returned to Childpeace in fall, 2009, after being at home with twins.
Maple Room Assistant
Wendi was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Portland State University with a B.A. in English Literature. Since coming to Childpeace in 1992, she has worked in many different capacities. In addition to her work with children, she has renovated many houses and owned and operated a furniture store. Her son Thomas graduated from the Children’s House at The Terrace and the Lower Elementary.
Pine Room Guide
Maren received her AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest in 2003 and her B.A. in Human Studies from Marylhurst University in 2004. After working in the Childpeace Club Rooms, she spent five years as a lead Guide at Juneau Montessori School in Juneau, AK before returning to join the Childpeace community in 2009.
Pine Room Assistant
Becca is so excited to be a part of the Childpeace staff. Becca joined Childpeace in 2015 after some years in other Montessori environments. She completed her AMI primary training at Montessori Northwest and holds a Bachelors in Music from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and exploring Portland on her bicycle.
Spruce Room Guide
Melanie came to Childpeace in 2014 having been an AMI Guide in both Texas and New Mexico. She graduated from Linfield College with a B.A. in Music Composition and Japanese and received her AMI diploma from Montessori Northwest here in Portland. She is delighted to return to the Pacific NW with her husband and young son. Outside of the classroom she enjoys teaching cooking classes and cello lessons, and rock hounding and playing with her son.
Spruce Room Assistant
Susan graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin with a B.A. in Studio Art. Susan worked at Childpeace before becoming a mother, and returned to Childpeace in 2004 after three years at home with her son Max.
Willow Room Guide
Venus was a Montessori child and has two children at Childpeace. She is from Austin, TX but the NW is her favorite of the places she has lived. Venus is trained at the Assistants to Infancy (The Montessori Institute) and Children's House (Ohio Montessori Training Institute) levels and has a Master's in Education. After some classroom experience elsewhere, she joined the staff of Childpeace in 2011. She loves ballet, Greece, cooking and celebrating holidays with her children, and studying human development and dance history.
Willow Room Assistant
Natalie came to childpeace in 2017 after three years assisting with children in Montessori education. She moved to Portland from the Olympic peninsula and discovered her passion for working with children. Natalie spent two years studying biology on the island of Oahu before traveling to Europe and the West Indies. She enjoys hiking, dancing, spending time with her dog and playing the guitar and violin. Natalie finished her B.S. in Social Sciences and is excited to be living and enjoying all the beauty that Portland has to offer.
Trillium Room Guide
Laura joined Childpeace in 2012, having just completed her AMI Primary Diploma. She has a MA Ed. from Lewis and Clark College and has experience teaching middle school as well as preschool. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from U. of Colorado, Boulder.
Trillium Room Assistant
Sadie graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2014 with a focus on intaglio printmaking and sculpture. She joins Childpeace this year after assisting in other CH Montessori classrooms in the Portland area. Sadie enjoys teaching art techniques and concepts to children, honoring the child, exploring peacefulness through creativity and hiking around the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting Louisville Kentucky to visit family and friends.
Sage Room Guide
Amanda graduated from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX with a degree in Communication. She worked at Childpeace as the Willow room assistant for three years before completing the Montessori training at Montessori Northwest in Portland and her Master's in Education from Loyola University. She returned to us in 2015 to be guide of the Sage Clubroom. In her free time, she enjoys reading and being outdoors with her dog.
Sage Room Assistant
Katie joined Childpeace in 2015, taking a leap from Michigan to experience life in Portland. Katie has an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education. She grew up in and around Montessori-style learning environments and is excited to be contributing to one as an adult.
Sharon joined Childpeace for the 2017-2018 school year after a summer spent serving the hospice community in the Portland area. An Oregon native, she has her Bachelor’s from Ashford University in Early Childhood Education and Administration. Sharon was pleased to join the Montessori community in 2012 coming from Head Start (State funded preschool) in Madras, OR where she began her teaching career.
Pam received her AMI Primary diploma in 2003 and guided a Children's House in West Linn for 3 years. She then completed her Master's in Education at Loyola College, and became the Guide of the Children's House at The Terrace in 2007. Her B.A. degree from Fordham University is in Art History and Studio Art.
Sarah became interested in Montessori while looking into preschools for her son, Judah. It wasn’t long before she was hooked on Montessori theory and began to realize how good it felt to put these ideas into practice with Judah. She honestly never knew that kids could be so independent and capable! She moved to Portland from Corvallis in 2013 to begin her teacher training at Montessori Northwest, which she followed up with my Master's degree from Loyola University. After her training she worked as an assistant at a local Montessori school for two years, then joined Childpeace in 2016. Outside of work, she is happiest being with Judah, her "colorful" group of PNW friends and her family in Connecticut when she can make the long haul.
Terrace Assistant Guide & Intergenerational Liaison
Carol is an AMI certified teacher with a background in physical therapy. She received a Master's of Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst College in 1996. She joined Childpeace in the spring of 1999. Carol coordinates the Intergenerational Program at The Terrace, helps make deliveries from the main building to The Terrace, and is the third staff person available to the classroom and nap room.
Juniper Room Guide
Jessica Parman joins Childpeace this year after working for nine years at Near North Montessori School in Chicago, where she was born and raised. While at Near North she worked as a Lower Elementary Assistant and Intern and Upper Elementary Lead Guide. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois, Chicago and completed her AMI training at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Outside of the classroom Jessica can usually be found spending time with her three year old son, riding her bike, practicing yoga or doing art. She is so glad to be in Portland where the biking is bountiful, the food is fantastic and the trees are tremendous.
Juniper Room Assistant
Casey grew up in the gorge and appreciates calling the PNW home. She enjoys exploring new places, local and abroad, and she hopes to travel to every continent at some point. She loves creating, either crafting of some sort, in the kitchen baking and cooking, or making up stories or plays, mostly in her head. She is a current student at PSU, and spent a year studying abroad in France.
Myrtle Room Guide
Claire received her AMI elementary certification in Bergamo, Italy after assisting in other Montessori schools. She has a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. She joined Childpeace in 2005.
Myrtle Room Assistant
Rachael graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Spanish. She has worked with children in Bellingham, WA in an urban farm environmental education program. She loves to dance, play soccer, read and ride her bike.
Redwood Room Guide
Denise is a native of Washington State and joined our staff in 2014 after working as one of the founding Elementary Guides in a Nyon, Switzerland bilingual Montessori Elementary program. She holds a B.S. in Biology and prior to becoming a Montessori Elementary Guide, she spent 12 years in Hospital services coordinating blood and tissue donations. She has also worked in outdoor education with the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve as an Estuary Education Interpreter and for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a Production manager for their EstuaryLive programs.
Redwood Room Assistant
Sierra moved to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark College where she graduated with a degree in English and Psychology. She is originally from the Seattle area and has a deep love of reading, baking, hiking and kayaking.
Birch Room Guide
Amy is a graduate of Portland State University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. Amy joined our Childpeace Staff in 2010, bringing her ten years of Montessori Elementary teaching experience to the Juniper Room and now to the Birch Room. Amy is also the proud parent of her son, Owen. In addition to her work in the classroom, Amy enjoys hiking, knitting, crafting, and spending time with friends and family.
Birch Room Assistant
Katie moved to Portland in 2011 to attend Oregon College of Art and Craft, where she received a BFA in Fiber Arts. She is passionate about hands-on education and has taught art and boatbuilding to pre-K through 12th grade students in the Portland-Metro area. In her spare time she enjoys making, cooking, reading and hanging out with her two rabbits.
Hawthorn Room Guide
Stephanie graduated with a B.A. in Cultural Studies and French from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Upon graduation, Stephanie joined the Peace Corps and spent several years living and exploring West and North Africa. She completed her Montessori Training and Master's Degree at Loyola College in Maryland and has worked for the past 10 years in both private and public Montessori schools. She has returned to Oregon, with her family, after many years in Nevada. In addition to classroom time, Stephanie enjoys biking, cooking, knitting, travel and walks to the dog park and playground.
Hawthorn Room Assistant
Larch Room Guide
Greg received a B.S. in Biology from Portland State University before completing his AMI elementary training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego in August 2002. He has a great deal of teaching experience, including time spent as an assistant and a Guide in local Montessori elementary schools. Greg joined Childpeace in 2002.
Larch Room Assistant
Josh is the assistant in the Upper Elementary Larch Room. Josh joined Childpeace in 2002 and has worked in both Lower and Upper Elementary programs. He has an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute NW and a BA in music from Portland State University. Josh has toured and recorded professionally with several bands including the Five Fingers of Funk and Tezeta Band. Josh enjoys woodworking, blacksmithing, felting, all kinds of art and gardening.
Upper El Spanish Teacher
Katie joined Childpeace in 2006 after teaching Spanish for several years in a variety of independent schools throughout the Northwest. Here at Childpeace she has enjoyed creating and implementing the Spanish program used in the elementary classes. Katie graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Spanish literature and studied in Morelia, Mexico and Madrid, Spain. She also spent time on a fellowship studying cooking in the Spanish Basque country. In her free time, Katie enjoys gardening, sewing, cooking and spending time with her husband, Chuck and daughter, Libby.
An graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in English Literature and History. He enjoys photography, reading, being married, and his young son Jonah and daughter Mae. An came to Childpeace in 1995.
Elementary Aftercare Assistant
Elementary Aftercare Assistant
Joey received a bachelor's degree in Developing World Studies from Pitzer College in 2007. He is a guitar and drum instructor and has worked as an educator for ten years everywhere from Tanzania to youth detention centers of Los Angeles. Joey is a computer software engineer and web designer, author and comedian, and has a passion for sharing his passions and encouraging students to learn through experimentation.
Elementary Aftercare Assistant
Zoey returned to Portland after ten years in New York City. She graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in Fine Art. She is excited to bring her knowledge of art to Childpeace Montessori.
Hope recently moved from Knoxville, Tennesee to Portland, Oregon. She received her bachelors from the University of Tennessee in Communication Information and her Masters degree in Physical Education, Wellness and Exercise Science. She loves running, hiking, baking and spending time with her husband and their new puppy, Milo.
Program Director/Spanish Instructor
Nancy joined Chilpeace as a parent in 2009 and in 2012, Childpeace was delighted to welcome her to the middle school teaching team as a Spanish instructor. In 2013, she took the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence and became program director of the middle school. Nancy has a BA in Classics from Carleton College and an M.Ed. from Harvard University with a concentration in Social Studies and Bilingual Education. Nancy has worked as a social studies and Spanish teacher at the high school level in California and Oregon.
Grete joined Metro in 2016 as the Assistant to the Program Director. In 2017, after completing her AMI Orientation to Adolescents, Grete became a Metro Guide specializing in Language Arts and Civics. Grete holds a B.A. in English Literature as well as Masters degrees in Theology and Creative Writing and Literature for Educators. Raised in Santa Cruz, CA, Grete has also spent time living in the UK, New Zealand and Vanuatu as a student and volunteer. Prior to her arrival at Metro, Grete taught English language arts and humanities to 7th and 8th graders at The Waverly School in Pasadena, CA.
Jon came to Metro Montessori in 2012 after taking the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence. He holds an M.Ed. from U of Alaska and a BS in Business Administration from the U of Montana. He has worked in public elementary, middle, and high schools as a Math/Science/Forensics teacher, an Indian education counselor, a Native Youth Olympics coach, and in a behavioral needs classroom. He has studied abroad in New Zealand, and worked on a sailing catamaran and a goat farm in Hawaii. Jon is our middle school specialist in Science and Business.
Juan José Bueno Holle
Juan completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence and joined Childpeace in 2014. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from UNAM (Mexico City) and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. He has taught Reading at the elementary level, Math and English at the high school level, Writing and Linguistics at the undergraduate level and English to adults. Juan was born in Mexico City, grew up bilingually in southern California and is excited to be on the west coast with his wife, Nadxieli, and their daughter, Paula.
Sara joined the Metro Montessori team in 2014. She grew up near Seattle and is delighted to be back in the Pacific Northwest. She has a BA in Education and Language Arts from the University of Redlands and an MA in Montessori Education from St. Mary's College of California. She holds an AMS Montessori preschool credential, a Oregon State English Language Arts teaching credential and she completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence in 2014. She has taught at the middle school and preschool/kindergarten levels in Montessori schools in California, Alaska and Florida. Sara is our specialist in Language Arts.