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Our Teachers

Though many Montessori programs focus on the materials and the environment, these elements are minor compared to the importance of the teacher. It is through the loving relationship of the teacher that the child first makes contact with the environment and then is given the confidence and support to explore.

Teachers are chosen based on following principles:
  • The confidence to love a child in a way that leaves room for his spirit to develop and independence to flourish, but that is still sensitive and nurturing when the child needs it.
  • The ability to observe a child and judge when it is appropriate to step in to help and when that help would rob the child of the joy of his own achievement.
  • The sensitivity to recognize sparks of interest in the child and indirectly provide means for the child to explore that interest in a way that the child always feels is their own discovery and effort.
  • The knowledge of how to redirect a child or correct a child in a way that is positive and is sensitive to the child's pride of achievement or fear of failure.
  • Qualifications: Our Montessori teachers hold AMI Montessori degrees and fulfill state licensing requirements for early childhood educators. Our teacher assistants are bilingual in English and the target language and also fulfill state licensing requirements for early childhood educators.

Kristin McAlister graduated from Brown University with a BA in Developmental Psychology and Biomedical Ethics. She has a Masters in Urban Education from Kings College, University of London and an AMI primary (3-6 yrs. old) diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute in the UK. She was Montessori raised from birth and attended Horizon Montessori School under Diane Roberto and Ruffing Montessori School (until age 12) under David Kahn (Cleveland Hts., OH). She is also a NYC Board of Education certified secondary school teacher.

All full time, part time and on call staff have completed criminal record searches, provided letters of reference, medical referrals and have had personal interviews.

Centennial Montessori School is committed to providing an environment free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and disrespectful or other similar conduct based on, but not limited to, race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), color, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver's license issued under Vehicle Code section 12801.9), ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation. It also prohibits discrimination, harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. In addition, Centennial Montessori School prohibits retaliation against individuals who raise complaints of discrimination or harassment or who participate in investigations. If you (as a student, family member or staff member) believe you have been harassed or discriminated against (by a staff member, community member or student), immediately contact the Head of School at 650-340-1230 or kristi@centennialmontessori.org.

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