Staff bios: Learn more about our highly-qualified and experienced staff.

Administration

Head of School

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James Farwell, jfarwell@msfortmyers.com


Mr. James grew up in Woodbury, MN attending several Montessori schools throughout childhood including Woodbury Montessori (3-4 years old), Nokomis Montessori School (Kindergarten), J.J. Hill Montessori (1st grade) and Valley Crossing Community School (5th – 6th grade).  A lifelong learner and teacher, Mr. James has served for three years as a Sunday school teacher (1st - 3rd graders), six years as a snowboard instructor (11 – 13 year olds), one year as a teaching assistant at the University of Florida, has served as an occasional guest speaker at Florida International University several times from 2009-2013, and taught financial analysis courses.  Mr. James enjoys finding ways to better serve our students, families, and staff.  In his free time, he enjoys working on the school facility, playing soccer, weight lifting, growing fruit trees, reading, and discussing self improvement. 


Credentials


  • Head of School since 2013.
  • Montessori Administrator Credential - September 2016.  Seton Montessori Institute, an American Montessori Society (AMS) affiliated teacher education program.
  • B.S.B.A. in Finance and minor in Spanish - University of Florida.  Significant college coursework in early childhood education at Nova Southeast University.
  • Florida Department of Children & Families - Staff Credential, Director Credential, Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Director Endorsement, 40 hours of child care training, numerous continuing education courses
  • Certified Instructor of 15 Hour Redirecting Children's Behavior Course
  • Published contributor to Montessori Leadership magazine published by the Montessori Foundation.

Assistant Head of School

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Jodi Davis, administrator@msfortmyers.com

Ms. Jodi grew up in the Kansas City area where she gained her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kansas.  She began her career in Early Childhood Education while working at a Montessori school on the island of Maui, Hi. where her passion for Montessori philosophy began.  After returning to Kansas, Jodi completed her Montessori Primary Certification training through American Montessori Society (AMS).  While finishing up her certification Jodi moved into the Assistant Director position. She continued to work within Administration until taking time off to be with her newborn son.  In her free time Jodi enjoys adventures with her Fiance and their young son, cooking with her family and relaxing in the outdoors.


Credentials


  • Served in school administration since 2015
  • MACTE-Accredited, AMS  Early Childhood (3-6 year old) teaching credential
  • B.A. in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Kansas
  • Florida Department of Children and Families - Staff Credential, Director Credential, Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Director Endorsement,  45 hours Child Care Training
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's  Behavior course
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-Aid Certified

Office Manager

Terri Shippey

Terri Shippey, officemanager@msfortmyers.com


A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Terri began her career in Montessori right after high school. She worked in a small Montessori school as a summer job. This summer job lasted 10 years. During those 10 years, she obtained her Montessori Diploma.  Ms. Terri was given the opportunity to become a Director of Montessori School in Amarillo, Texas. It was there that Terri gained experience managing a Montessori school. She moved to Fort Myers, Florida in 2008, where she and a few of her co-workers spent the next 8 years transforming a small childcare center in the Dunbar area into a beautiful Montessori school that offered quality education to lower income families.  Ms. Terri loves the outdoors and spending time with her two horses and photography. She enjoys all sports. She loves the Houston Astros, Rockets and Texans. 


Credentials


  • 10+ Years school administration experience
  • Spent a summer at the University of Texas 
  • Montessori Diploma – Texas Montessori Education Center
  • Florida Department of Children & Families - Staff Credential, Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK), 40 hours of childcare training, numerous continuing education courses American Heart Association - Infant & Child CPR, AED, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen training
  • ALICE training
  • A.S. in Early Childhood Education- Rasmussen College
  • Working on Her B.S. in Early Education- Rasmussen College
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified

Office Assistant

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Ms. Sarah

Ms. Sarah was born in Hialeah, FL and relocated to Cape Coral, FL when she was young. She has had many years’ experience working with children, including 6 years as a Sunday school teacher working with ages 2-6, and helping to take care of younger members of her large family while growing up. She has also had 2 years’ experience as a lead teacher in a toddler level classroom. She is currently working on obtaining her Associate’s Degree in psychological studies at Florida Southwestern State College. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading and writing, drawing, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs. 


Credentials


  • 8+ years of childcare experience
  • Florida Department of Children and Families – 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Infant & child CPR and First-Aid certified
  • ALICE training

Primary age Level (3-6 Years Old)- Green Door

Green Door Lead Teacher

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Ms. Danielle 

Ms. Danielle has been teaching Montessori since 2001 and loves working with primary age (3-6 years old) children.  In her free time, Ms. Danielle enjoys spending time with her three children and two grandchildren.  


Credentials


  • American Montessori Society (AMS) Primary Credential (3-6 years old) -  Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute
  • National Child Development Associate (CDA), Charlotte Vocational-Technical Center
  • 15+ years teaching experience
  • Certificates: Montessori classroom leadership, The Montessori Foundation
  • Florida Department of Children & Families – 45 hours of child care training, numerous continuing education courses
  • 15 Hour Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course

Morning Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Cristina

Ms. Cristina is a Cape Coral native.  She is now attending Florida Southwestern State College working towards her Bachelors in Elementary/Early Childhood Education. She has previous experience working with children in various ages of the Early childhood age levels. She has also worked with high school aged students with special needs in the Baker Buddies Program.  Ms. Christina enjoys working with young children in the Montessori environment!


Credentials

  • Associate Degree
  • Florida Department of Children and Families - 45 hours Child Care Training


Aftercare Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Wendy

Ms. Wendy came to us from Fort Wayne, Indiana along with her son and daughter. She  grew up on a lake vacationing in Florida. While raising her 3 children, Wendy was also a foster parent. She currently holds another position working as a paraprofessional in the Lee County Public Schools.  Ms. Wendy loves all things in nature and anything related to music, art, water activities, the beach, and ocean life. 


Credentials


  • Licensed Foster Care Provider in Indiana
  • Paraprofessional-Lee County
  • First Aid and CPR certified
  • 18 years Home Educator
  • 5 years Teaching Assistant in Montessori/Public School
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training

Primary Age Level (3-6 Years Old)- Red DOOR

Red Door Co-Lead Teacher

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Ms. Aisha

Ms. Aisha was born and spent time up until high school in Corning, N.Y. After high school her family moved to the Fort Myers area. Ms. Aisha joined our school as an assistant teacher from 2014 - 2016.  She then spent three years in the Lee County Public School system as a middle school paraprofessional, as a grade 8 lead teacher, and then as a grade 1 lead teacher.  After gaining experience working in various learning environments, Ms. Aisha  returned to Montessori, her preferred method of learning.  She enjoys spending time with her young daughter and family.  


Credentials


  • 2014 - 2016 Montessori assistant Teacher at our school, promoted to lead teacher in 2019.
  • MACTE-accredited, American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood (3-6 years old) teaching credential (Graduation expected June 2021)
  • Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education, Southern Technical College.  
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training (in progress)
  •  Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training 
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified

Red Door Co-Lead Teacher

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Ms. Ana 

One of most experienced staff members, Ms. Ana completed her Early Childhood (3-6 years) Montessori Teacher Training in 1984 and taught for several years at Alexander Montessori School in Miami, FL.  She then opened her own school, Christian Montessori Children's House in Miami, FL,  for 3-6 year old children which she ran for 10 years.  She moved to Cape Coral and soon began work as a lower elementary school lead teacher (grades 1-3) from 1996-2001 at Michigan Montessori Elementary School, the first public Montessori school in Fort Myers, FL.   After Michigan Montessori Elementary School shut down, Ms. Ana worked as an elementary school teacher at James Stephens Intentional Academy, an international baccalaureate school, before joining Renaissance Montessori school in 2010 where she was an elementary lead teacher until 2015.  After a short retirement, Ms. Ana rejoined the Montessori community at our school.


Credentials


  • AMS Early Childhood (3-6 years old) Montessori Teacher credential, Montessori Teacher Training Institute (MTTI), Miami, FL
  • AMS Lower Elementary Teacher  credential, Barry University, North Miami, FL
  • Master of Science Degree in Montessori Education, Barry University 
  • Bachelor Degree in Human Resources and Management, Trinity University, Miami, FL
  • Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL
  • Primary Teacher (PreK-grade 3) Certification, University of South Florida
  •  Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training 
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified

Afternoon Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Rita

Ms. Rita grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota but still visits her hometown in Colorado every summer. She moved to Cape Coral, Florida after high school. She previously worked as a childcare provider in an abused women’s shelter for 3 years, and was also a kids jiu jitsu coach for 2 years. She is the oldest of her siblings and has been babysitting since she was 12. She is currently working towards getting her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In her free time she likes to spend time with her family and try new fitness classes. 


Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families - 45 hours Child Care Training
  • 5+ years of childcare experience

Toddler East

Toddler Department Head and Toddler East Lead Teacher

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Ms. Livia 

Ms. Livia has a long career in teaching starting with first lamaze (childbirth) classes from 1987-1993, as a certified substitute teacher and teachers aide in the early 1990’s working with elementary, special needs, and high school students, in 1991 as a Head Start program working with 4 and 5 year olds, in 1992 as an administrator in a early education childhood program, in a preschool classroom from 1994 – 1997, and since 2000, Ms. Livia has served the Montessori School of Fort Myers where she earned her Infant/Toddler Montessori Credential.  Ms. Livia loves spending quality time with her family and her granddaughter.  She likes reading, gardening trying new foods, and is very active with her bible classes.


Credentials


  • American Montessori Society (AMS) Infant/Toddler Credential (0-3 years old) - Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute
  • North American Montessori Center – Infant/Toddler Montessori Credential, 2004
  • Florida Department of Children and Families – 45 hours of childcare training, many years of continued education
  • American Heart Association – Infant & Child CPR, AED, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen training
  • 15 Hour Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course

All Day Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Pam

A life-long Montessori teacher, Ms. Pam began teaching at Florence Foster Montessori School in Chicago, IL in 1986 where she taught until 1989 when she moved to Fort Myers.  Ms. Pam has taught at Montessori School of Fort Myers since 1990 as an assistant teacher and is a strong presence in the classroom.  She loves working with our children and is very skilled in keeping her classroom running in good order.


Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families – 45 hours Child Care Training
  • 25+ years of in-service training courses in a variety of early childhood education topics
  • American Heart Association – Infant & Child CPR, AED, First -Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen training
  • 15 Hour Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course

Aftercare Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Irene

Ms. Irene is a native from Fort Myers, Florida. She is studying at  Florida Southwest College for education. She has previous experience working at Early Childhood Centers around town. Ms. Irene's family is from Belize. 

In her spare time, Ms. Irene enjoys relaxing, watching television and movies.



Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Infant and Child  CPR and First-Aid Certified
  • Working on Associates Degree in Education


Toddler West

Toddler West Lead Teacher

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Ms. Kristen

Ms. Kristen comes to us from Boca Raton, FL. where she grew up. She recently moved to Cape Coral, FL. She plans to attend FSW to complete her major in Education, first she will be working towards her Montessori certification. Kristen has experience working with two different families as a nanny where she gained her enjoyment in working with young children. In her spare time, Ms. Kristen likes to spend time with her family, babysit for friends and go to the beach with her boyfriend.


Credentials


  • Infant/Toddler Credential (0-3 years old), Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute, anticipated graduation in summer 2020.  SMTTI is accredited by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS).  
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Infant and Child First-Aid and CPR certified
  • Certified Medical Assistant, AAMMA
  • HIPPAA, Certified
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's Behavior course

Aftercare Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Melanie

Ms. Melanie studied in Michigan prior to relocating to Cape Coral, Fl.  She has previous experience working with infants and children in Michigan. In her free time, Ms. Melanie enjoys spending time with her three teenage children and her husband, boating and going to the beach.


Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Fire Extinguisher Trained
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's Behavior course

Toddler Far West

Toddler Far West Lead Teacher

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Ms. Briana

Ms. Briana is an Early Childhood Education major at Florida Southwestern State College.   Prior to joining our school, she volunteered at a child care center in Northfield, IL. 


Credentials


  •  American Montessori Society (AMS) Infant/Toddler Credential (0-3 years old) - Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (In progress)
  •  Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training 
  •  Certified Instructor of 15 Hour Redirecting Children's Behavior Course 
  • Infant and Child First Aid, AED, and CPR certified

Aftercare Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Kiara

Ms. Kiara was born and raised in New Jersey, and moved to Florida with her  family.  Ever since she has taken child development in school, she has loved to learn about the first few years in a child's life. Ms. Kiara speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.  In her spare time, Ms. Kiara enjoys spending time with family and friends.


Credentials


  •  Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training 
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's Behavior course


Infant

Infant Lead Teacher

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Ms. Joyce 

Ms. Joyce was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil where she studied Bio medicine. Soon after moving to Florida she found her love of teaching at a small Montessori school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She joined our school in 2013. Her nurturing spirit and love of young children makes her a wonderful addition to our Infant program. In her free time Joyce enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Credentials


  • Infant/Toddler Credential (0-3 years old), Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute.  SMTTI is accredited by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS).
  • Bachelors Degree in Bio medicine from Centro Universitario de Maringa in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Florida Department of Children and Families –  Staff Credential, 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's Behavior Course

Assistant Teacher

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 Ms. Melanie

Ms. Melanie studied in Michigan prior to relocating to Cape Coral, Fl.  She has previous experience working with infants and children in Michigan. In her free time, Ms. Melanie enjoys spending time with her three teenage children and her husband, boating and going to the beach.


Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Fire Extinguisher Trained
  • Infant and Child CPR and First-aid certified
  • 15 Hours Redirecting Children's Behavior course

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Jody

Ms. Jody comes to us from Cincinnati, OH.  In 2004, she relocated to Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and three sons.  Ms. Jody loves working with children and has twenty years experience working in the Early childhood education field. In her spare time, Jody loves to travel, spend time with her family and dogs.

Credentials


  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child  Care Training
  • 20 years experience in childcare