Discover Montessori teachers are passionate professtionals with Association Montessori International (AMI) certification.


Cynthia Dyer, Nanaimo Cynthia Dyer, Nanaimo

Cynthia Dyer

School Principal, Executive Director  of Discover Montessori Society, Elementary Music & Art Teacher


Cynthia holds Montessori certification for both Primary and Elementary levels, an ECE Certification, a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care, and a Masters of Educational Leadership.

Cynthia is a past co-chair of the Vancouver Island Montessori Association and has been involved for many years with Montessori, first as a parent, then a teacher.  Cynthia is Discover Montessori School's Principal and Executive Director and keeps her hand in teaching our Elementary Art and Music.

Cynthia writes two Montessori blogs for parents, and facilitates Montessori parenting classes. She is delighted to oversee the growth of Discover Montessori School in Nanaimo and Parksville, BC.

Karin Barker, Nanaimo Karen Barker, Nanaimo

Karen Barker

Office Administrator


Karen holds a BA from SFU, with a Double Major in Anthropology and Communications, and a Diploma of Technology in Broadcast Communications from BCIT.  She was instrumental in  opening our Parksville Campus in 2008 (then called Oceanside Montessori School).  Karen serves the school community as Office Administrator, and is also working on the Farm School Project.

Our Primary Program Faculty

Kathleen Hancock, Nanaimo Kathleen Hancock, Nanaimo

Kathleen Hancock

Primary Montessori Directress, Nanaimo Campus


Kathleen has been a Directress with Discover Montessori since receiving her AMI Montessori training in 2007. She also holds a BA from UBC, in History and Botany, and has worked in community and outdoor recreation in the past. Kathleen is passionate about sharing Montessori education, and her love for the outdoors, with our students and families.

Valerie Mermet, Nanaimo Valerie Mermet, Nanaimo

Valerie Mermet

Primary Montessori Directress, Nanaimo Campus


Valerie moved to Canada from the south of France in 2000. In 2003, she began wotking with Discover Montessori School as the French and Dance Specialist Teacher. Literally inspired by her students, Valerie completed her AMI Montessori Primary cetification in 2008, and joined Discover Montessori School as a Primary Directress.  Valerie brings a global and ecological perscpective to the classroom, having studied Organic horticulture in England, as a member of Kabudu, a professional West African dance and drumming ensemble, and having also lead expeditions and volunteer trips to Nepal. 

Jane Krickan, Parksville Jane Krickan, Parksville

Jane Krickan

Primary Montessori Directress, Parksville Campus


Training under Nicole Marchak, Jane received AMI Montessori certification in 1999.   She subsequently taught in the Lower Mainland for 15 years before relocating with her family to Vancouver Island.  Jane has had many unique opportunities to work and study with great thinkers in Early Childhood and Cognitive Development, and is passionate to understand and provide the best experience she can, as a Montessori Directress at Discover Montessori School's Parksville Campus.

Jodi Donaldson, Nanaimo Jodi Donaldson, Nanaimo

Jodi Donaldson

Primary Classroom Assistant, Nanaimo Campus


Jodi first experienced Montessori while assisting with Discover Montessori School’s summer program. Jodi has completed the Early Childhood Eductator and Care program, including the additional Infant/toddler and Special Needs training. Jodi has worked with supportive child care at the CDC, and has since completed her AMI Montessori Assistant's Course. Jodi joined Discover Montessori School's Primary Program, and absolutely loves working with the students. 

Kaitlin Jackson, Parksville Kaitlin Jackson, Parksville

Kaitlin Jackson

Primary Classroom Assistant, Parksville Campus


Kaitlin studied at Mount Royal College before completing a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English Language Arts) at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Kaitlin provided tutoring and aide/respite services to children with behavioural and physical disabilities from 2011-2015, and worked at Bragg Creek School as a Teacher’s Assistant. In 2016 she completed her AMI Montessori Assistant’s training and is a valuable member of our Parksville Campus Primay Program team.

Brenda Laub

Extended Day Program, Nanaimo Campus


Information to come

Our Elementary Program Faculty

Andrea Saam-Lawry, Nanaimo Andrea Saam-Lawry, Nanaimo

Andrea Saam-Lawry

Elementary Teacher


Andrea competed a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History and English,  She holds BC College of Teachers certification, in addition to AMI Montessori Elementary Teacher certification. Andrea has travelled and volunteered in Europe, South America, and Asia, including Hsin Chu, Taiwan, where she created the curriculum for, and taught, the 'English as a Foreign Language' program to preschoolers at the America Montessori School. 

Zeny Belino

Elementary, Nanaimo Campus


Information to come

Rehanne Newcombe

French, Nanaimo Campus


Information to come



Music, Nanaimo Campus


Information to come

Jodi Donaldson, Nanaimo Aviva Stein-Wotten, Nanaimo

Aviva Stein-Wotten

Elementary Resource Teacher


Aviva holds a Bachelor of Arts with minors in Languages & Culture, and Liberal Studies as well as a Bachelor of Education, from Vancouver Island University. She grew up in Nanaimo, and has travelled in Europe, the United States and eastern Canada. Aviva is the Reading Specialist in the Elementary program and teaches Art to the Lower Elementary students. Aviva is an avid photographer, and is excited to begin teaching photography in the Elementary and Middle School programs. 

Our Middle School Program Faculty

Gail Conway, Nanaimo Gail Conway, Nanaimo

Gail Conway

Middle School Guide


Gail has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Masters in Science in Astronomy, and a PhD (ABD) in Astrophysics.  She also holds teaching certifications in math, science, english, and social studies, and is a graduate of the NAMTA / AMI Montessori  Orientataion to Adolescent Studies. 
Gail was a faculty member at Vancouver Island University for 16 years before joining the team at Discover Montessori School.  She has been instrumental in the development and implememntation of our Montessori Middle School Program.
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