Discover Montessori School
Discover Montessori School
3460 Jingle Pot Road, Nanaimo, BC
3460 Jingle Pot Road, Nanaimo, BC

Our Teachers & Staff

Administrative Team

Cynthia Dyer

School Principal & Executive Director of Discover Montessori Society


Cynthia holds Montessori certification in Toddler, Primary and Elementary levels, as well as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Diploma, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care Diploma, and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership. Cynthia is a past co-chair of the Vancouver Island Montessori Association (VIMA) and has been involved for with Montessori both as a parent and teacher before moving into a Leadership position.  Cynthia also facilitates Montessori parenting classes and teaches Art.


Karin Barker

Office Administrator, Farm School Project Manager


Karin holds a B.A with majors in Anthropology and Communications from Simon Fraser University, and a Diploma of Technology (Broadcast Communications) from BCIT.  After working in visual effects and post production in Vancouver, Karin was instrumental in opening our Parksville Campus in 2008 where her son completed the Casa program, followed by the Elementary and Middle School programs at DMS. Karin supports the school community as Office Administrator and managed the Montessori Farm School Campus project.

Cali Tourangeau-Pater



Info to come



Agricultural Education Team

Joel Roszmann

Farm Manager


Joel has a Diploma in Leadership and Management from Kent, and a B.A  in Social Sciences from the University College of Maastricht, the Netherlands.  He is the owner/operator of the BCCA accredited children's camp called Camp Narnia which is focussed on outdoor education and skills-building in nature.  Joel also brings horticultural experience from his time as Farm Manager at Metchosin Farm where he oversaw the operation of the Seed farm and Plant nursery and led school-group visits to the farm.  Joel ran school garden programs in SD61 called Growing Young Farmers and was active in Metchosin Healthy Communities Advisory Committee, and Student Workforce for Sustainability and Development.

Brad Jackson

Farm Manager


Brad holds a B.Sc in Biology with minors in Biomedical Science and Nutrition from the University of Guelph. He spent 20+ years as owner/operator of Stonehaven Farm Greenhouses Ltd in Elmira, Ontario where he oversaw the growing of a wide range of plants, including certified organic tomatoes and peppers. He kept a mixed stock farm of sows, beef cattle and poultry utilizing veterinary courses to ensure the health and wellness of his animals. With two hundred acres of mixed grain farming, Brad was also responsible for the farm machinery. Brad is a member of the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, and the Friends of French Creek.


Toddler Program Faculty

Kaitlin Jackson

Toddler Program


Kaitlin holds a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English Language Arts) from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. Kaitlin provided tutoring, aide and respite services to children with behavioural and physical challenges from 2011-2015, and also worked at the Bragg Creek School as a Teacher’s Assistant. In 2016 Kaitlin completed the AMI Assistant’s training and ECE and has with our Primary and Elementary teams for many years.  Her love of the first plane of development led her into the AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma program in Portland, Oregon.  She is thrilled to be opening the first Toddler class. 

Darla Thiara

Toddler Program


Darla is the mother of three DMS Montessori educated children, and first came to the school as a parent. She is drawn to child development and early childhood education, and spent time fostering young children before completing her ECEA and AMI Montessori Primary Assistant Certification.  She worked in our Casa program for many years before taking her AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma course in Portland, Oregon.


Robyn Slegers

Toddler Program


Information to come

Casa Program Faculty

Kathleen Hancock

Casa 1 AMI Montessori Directress, Casa Manager & Vice Principal


Kathleen has been a lead teacher with Discover Montessori School since receiving her AMI Montessori Casa training in 2007 in Vancouver. She also holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in History and Botany.  Passionate about the outdoors, Kathleen has worked in community and outdoor recreation in the past and is passionate about sharing her love for the outdoors with our students and families.

Lauryn Huang

Casa 1 AMI Classroom Assistant


Information to come

Valerie Mermet

Casa 2 AMI Montessori Directress


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

Jodi Donaldson

Casa 2 AMI Classroom Assistant


Jodi first experienced Montessori while assisting with Discover Montessori School’s summer program as a young adult. Jodi completed the Early Childhood Educator program, including the additional Infant/Toddler and Special Needs training. Jodi has worked with supportive child care at the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, and has since completed her AMI Montessori Assistant's course. As part of Discover Montessori School's Casa Program, Jodi absolutely loves working with the students. 

Liliane Jean-Francios

Casa Classroom Assistant


Liliane holds an AMI Montesssori Diploma from France and competed her ECE from Northern Lights College. She has been working as a Casa teacher in Duncan and Shawnigan Lake and is thrilled to be joining our team in September 2023.

Shally Li

Casa 3 AMI Classroom Teacher


Shally holds an AMI Montessori Diploma from London, UK, and is currently participating in the Association Montessori Internationale's Trainer of Trainers studies. She holds 2 degrees in Foreign Language studies in French and English.  Shally taught in the International Montessori School (English/Mandarin) in Hong Kong for 13 years before becoming a Montessori mentor to Guidepost Montessori International in Hong Kong.


Kelly Jackson

Casa Program

Kelly received her AMI Montessori Casa Diploma from TMI / Foundation of Montessori in Toronto and holds a B.A. from McMaster University.  She completed her BC ECE and managed our Parksville Campus from 2008-2016. She moved from BC for a time, working as a Montessori Casa teacher in Charlottetown, PEI and in Halifax.  She and Brad (above) are thrilled to be coming back to BC to support children at the Farm School Campus.

Joyful Belino

Extended Day Montessori Program


Joyful moved to Canada in 2017 and completed her AMI Primary diploma in Vancouver in 2020. She started this journey by volunteering at a child care centre of Saint Louis University while she was taking Communication Arts.  Joyful involved herself as coordinator of Amigos Para Tubo, a charity organization co-founded by her father to help marginalized children in remote and mountainous areas in the Philippines where she collaborated with school administrators and local businesses to distribute school supplies and offer food programs along with arts and music classes.


Elementary Program Faculty

Andrea Saam-Lawry

Elementary 1 AMI Montessori Teacher


Andrea completed a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Malaspina Univeristy-College (now Vancouver Island University). In addition to AMI Montessori Elementary Teacher certification, she holds a Professional Certification of Qualification for teaching with the BC Ministry of Education. 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 2 AMI Montessori Teacher


Zeny holds an AMI Elementary Diploma and a BC Independent School Teaching Certificate. She worked in the ESL department at an international school chartered by the embassies of Canada, the UK and the USA in Moscow, Russia. Zeny holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters in Science Education as well as Registered Professional Teaching Certification  in the Philippines. At the International School, Zeny pioneered the beginning of the Biology department and was the Coordinator and Head of Instruction in addition to teaching laboratory and natural science courses. She worked as a Middle School Classroom Adviser and Biology teacher before she joined the college Department teaching Laboratory Sciences. Alongside her teaching workload, she was  an adviser to an Indigenous Student Group in the Philippines which aimed to promote and preserve indigenous arts, songs and dances.

Sarah Campbell

Elementary 3 AMI Montessori Teacher


Sarah was lucky enough to be a student in Montessori classrooms from the age of 2 until 10 in Detroit. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Education from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Assessment from Concordia University in Montreal, a Montessori Teaching certification for ages 3-6, an AMI Elementary Teaching Diploma from Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon, as well as a Masters in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore.  She has taught in classrooms in Michigan, Montana, and Arizona and has led canoe trips and outdoor education programs in Vermont, Ontario and Quebec. Sarah also worked for the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations in Tofino helping to coordinate their Tribal Parks initiative 12 years ago.  She is delighted to be back on this beautiful island again with her husband and two children and loves exploring, playing music, and continually learning.


Adabanke Faloyle

Elementary 4 AMI Montessori Teacher


Adabanke holds Association Montessori International diplomas for Casa and Elementary children ages 3-6 and 6-12 and has completed the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies for students age 12-18.  She has completed a Masters in Education in Curriculum Studies at UVic and also holds a BSc. in Microbiology. Adabanke has taught for 12 years in Montessori Schools in Morocco and Nigeria.  Fluent in English and French, Adabanke brings a deep love and respect for children to her classroom.

Stephanie Ingram

Elementary Events Coordinator


Stephanie holds a BSc. in Biology from VIU, and a MSc. in Zoology from UBC.  She completed the AMI Montessori Assistant’s Training course in 2017 and worked in our Primary program for 3 years before moving into the Elementary program. Stephanie has been a part of the Discover Montessori family since she was 3 years old as a Casa student, and completed the DMS Montessori Elementary program to grade 7 (the highest year available at the time). As a young adult, she volunteered as a drama instructor and a reading companion, and now serves the community as Elementary Events Coordinator.

Shanelle Holden

Elementary Classroom Assistant


Shanelle holds a B.A from North Idland College and a Bachellor of Education from VIU.  She has experience working in SD#62 and #71 as a TOC/EA and Camp Counsellor as well as a Classroom Assistant at Selkirk Montessori School.  She is passionate about nature education and has worked in student engagement at Mary's Farm and Sanctuary/ Mary's farm School in Victoria.

Elan Tombs

Elementary Classroom Assistant & Music Teacher


Elan has a B.A in Music (in Jazz Studies) from VIU and holds an Association Montessori International Assistant certificate.  Prior to joining DMS, Elan worked with students as a private music teacher for 6 years and has played music, in various bands, all over the island.  His favorites instruments include piano, voice, and electronic music.  Elan is passionate about teaching children and sharing his passion for music with them.

Kirsten Bradshaw

Elementary Classroom Assistant & Music teacher


Kirsten has a B.A in Music (in Jazz Studies) from VIU and holds an Association Montessori International Assistant certificate.  She has taught Elementary music at DMS. She has played live music in Nanaimo and Vancouver Island for many years, and has worked with students in trombone, trumpet, and voice lessons.  


Elementary Classroom Assistant 


Information to come

Rehanne Newcombe

French Specialist Teacher


Information to come

Middle School  Faculty

Gail Conway

AMI Middle School Guide


Gail holds the Association Montessori International Orientataion to Adolescent Studies diploma, as well as a B.A. in Physics, MSc. (Astronomy), and a PhD (ABD)(Astrophysics).  Gail was a faculty member at Vancouver Island University for 16 years before joining the team at Discover Montessori School. Prior to that she taught grades 4 -12. Gail has been instrumental in the development and implementation of our authentic Montessori Middle School Program.

Fiona Trotter

Middle School AMI Assistant


Fiona holds a Master of Library and Information Studies and a B.A with honours in English from UBC.  She is completing the Association Montessori International Assistant Orientation to Adolescent Studies. Fiona has over a decade of experience planning and delivering child and youth programming with Camp Narnia, Nanaimo Foodshare and with the Richmond and Vancouver Public Libraries.  She is passionate about language, literature and literacy for children and young adults.
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