Hello Wonderful Families!
I am so excited to continue my journey at Athena as Lead Guide in the Primary 2 classroom. From the first moment I stepped upon the Athena campus in April of 2018, my heart immediately opened to the beauty and happiness of the community. It is a feeling of family and coming home that is familiar and important to me.
I come from a big family of loving and passionate Italians. My mother immigrated to the states when she was 14 and my father’s maternal and paternal grandparents also immigrated from Italy. From a very young age, I have been taught about the importance of family, and as a result, I have spent most of my life searching for those pockets of life that feel as connected as my own family does. My journey has brought me to many sweet places and communities and, now, I feel like I have found another little pocket of life and family here at Athena.
My teaching path and career have kept me joyfully inspired over the past 18 years. I have been passionate about learning how to best support children through nature education, social & emotional growth, sensory integration, movement, music and most of all through Montessori education over this time period. My first experience with a young child happened at age five, when my younger brother, Rocco, was born. I thought and believed he was my baby and my mother cultivated this love inside of me, not only for my brother, but for my older sister, and all people.
Upon graduation from Texas State University where I studied Environmental Science and Geography, I found a teaching job at Nature’s Way Preschool which planted the seed for my future as an educator of young children. While my mind wanted to continue this new journey with teaching, my heart needed to see the world. I bought a VW bus and took off across the states, Canada, and later threw my backpack on and traveled overseas to Asia, Europe and then to Central America. Everywhere I went, I met children and they reminded me of that seed that was planted time and time again.
Eventually my travels connected me to wonderful people in Austin, and also in India and Illinois, where I spent my time studying yoga and meditation. My studies of yoga kept returning my body, mind, and soul to how I could best serve children and their families. This inspiration in my heart led me to people who loved Montessori education. I thought to myself, “Maria Montessori was Italian and I need to check this out!” So, I did. In 2008, I decided to begin my AMI certification through the Montessori Institute of North Texas in Dallas, my hometown. In 2011, I continued to deepen my knowledge of the true roots of the Montessori Method and gained my Masters of Education in Montessori Integrative Learning from The Institute of Educational Studies. The more I learned, the more I realized that Montessori was a cultural love for me and a way of living my life with more peace.
I feel so grateful for all of the great experiences and people that have brought me to this place…right here and right now. I look forward to meeting you and your beautiful children soon!
With Love and Respect,
P.S. When I’m not having fun at school, I enjoy spending time with my partner Mark, my family, and friends. I also love traveling, swimming, hiking, reading, gardening, practicing yoga and meditation as well as helping out other people and animals in the community.