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.

South Campus Director

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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, 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Certified in Redirecting Children's Behavior course

South Campus 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

South Campus 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 trainin

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

All Day Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Tori

Ms. Tori is originally from Asheville, North Carolina. Her family moved to Southwest Florida shortly after her father retired from the United States Air Force. She is currently working on her degree in education, where she discovered her love of the Montessori method. In her free time, Ms. Tori enjoys sewing, woodworking, and spending time with her family and dog. Ms. Tori is excited to learn more about the Montessori philosophy and grow as an educator. 


Credentials

  • Working on her 45 hours with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Holly

Ms. Holly was born in the Philippines  and moved to the US when she was nine years old. She is the youngest sibling of four older sisters. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in School Psychology.  Ms. Holly gained experience working with children after babysitting for a family for 7+ years and several years experience working in a preschool setting. In her free time, Holly loves to travel, bake and spend free time with her family.


Credentials


  • B.A. in Psychology from Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Preschool teacher since 2018
  • Infant and child CPR, AED, and First Aid certified
  • Florida Department of Children and Families - 45 hours Child Care Training

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Mikayla

Ms. Mikayla is a native Southwest Floridian with many different experiences working with children including 10 years as a church nursery volunteer and Sunday school teacher for 3-4 year olds, a summer music camp leader, and a Home Depot Kids Workshop volunteer.  Ms. Mikayla is currently pursuing an education in Elementary Education at Florida Southwestern State College.  She loves the concept of independence that the Montessori method provides to students.


Credentials


  • 10+ years of childcare experience
  • Associates Degree - Florida Southwestern State College
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training
  • Certified in Redirecting Children's Behavior course

Aftercare Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Wendy

Ms. Wendy grew up on a lake vacationing in Florida.  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
  • 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 Lead Teacher

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Ms. Aisha

Born, raised, and educated in 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)

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Sophia

Ms. Sophia was born and raised in the Philippines, where she began college before moving to the United States as an exchange student, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship with a major in culinary arts.  After finishing college, Sophia worked in hospitality and culinary at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina. During that time, Ms. Sophia realized that her true calling was to work with children. She has since re-enrolled in school to obtain a second degree, this time in early childhood education. 


Credentials


  • Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education – In progress
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship – Major in Culinary Arts – Miriam College – Philippines
  • Hospitality Professional Certificate – American Hospitality Academy (AHA)
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care Training- in progress

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/Earl 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




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, 2017
  • North American Montessori Center – Infant/Toddler Montessori Credential, 2004
  • Florida Department of Children and Families – 40 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 – 40 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

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. Ms. Irene's family is from Belize. 


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



Credentials


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

Toddler West

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Veronica

Ms. Veronica comes to us from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She brings with her a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Human Resources. Ms. Veronica has over 6 years experience working with children of the early childhood age to elementary. 


Credentials


  • Master's Degree- Human Resources Director 
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Early Childhood Degree 
  • 6 years Childcare Experience
  • Working on her 45 hours in Childcare Training Florida Department of Children and Families.
  • Fire Extinguisher Trained
  • CPR Certified
  • Redirecting Children's Behavior-Certified


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- in progress
  • Fire Extinguisher Trained

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


  •  Infant/Toddler Credential (0-3 years old), Summit Montessori Teaching Training Institute, anticipated graduation in summer 2019  SMTTI is accredited by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS). 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (In progress)
  • Florida Department of Children and Families – On-going training
  • Completed 15 Hour Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course
  • Infant and Child First Aid, AED, and CPR certified

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. This Spring she plans to attend FSW where she plans to major in Education. 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

  • 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
  • Redirecting Children's Behavior Certification - In progress

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 before joining our school in 2013. Her nurturing spirit and love of young children makes her a wonderful addition to our Infant program.


Credentials

  • Montessori Lead Infant Teacher since 2012
  • 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 – 40 hours Child Care Training
  • First Aid and CPR certified
  • Fire extinguisher trained

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- in progress
  • Fire Extinguisher Trained

Assistant Teacher

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Ms. Alexis


Ms. Alexis has spent the last several years working in childcare and early childcare education. She is currently working on her last two semesters of the Bachelors of Elementary Education program at Florida Southwestern  State College. Ms. Alexis enjoys working with children and is excited to help them learn and discover their amazing and unlimited potentials by creating an environment of positivity and encouragement. 


Credentials


  • Associates Degree in General Studies
  • Florida Department of Children and Families- 45 hours Child Care training
  • CPR/First Aid Certified