Preschool-Kindergarten Teachers

Preschool-Kindergarten Teachers 2018-02-15T09:12:20+00:00

Preschool-Kindergarten Teachers

Jessica Martin – Preschool/Kindergarten

Jessica has been a teacher at DVMS since 2001.  She graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2001 with a bachelor degree in Child Psychology.  She then received her Montessori certificate in 2005 from the Montessori Teacher Education Center, San Francisco Bay Area.  Jessica is a native to the Bay Area and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.

Marilyn Ragan – Extended Care

Marilyn was born and lived in Berkeley for 19 years before relocating to Concord as a young wife and mother.  DVMS was the school of choice for her two children, Jason and Kris and later her two grandsons Sean and Simon.  Her Pre-Primary Montessori teaching credential is from St. Nicholas Training Center in London along with her Lower and Upper Elementary training.  Marilyn has spent her entire 34 year career at DVMS, also working in the Full Day Two’s, Pre-K and Elementary programs, and as former Administrator.

Lisa Ruas – Preschool/Kindergarten

Lisa, a Florida native, attended Montessori schools in Tampa from ages 3 to 12. Years later upon her college graduation, she moved to Japan, where she taught high school English for two years just outside of Tokyo. Lisa moved to the Bay Area in 2009, and began her Montessori training at St. Mary’s College. Since then, she has worked in both Montessori elementary and early childhood programs, beginning at DVMS in 2013. Outside of school, Lisa enjoys traveling, gardening, and photography.

Michelle Siegel – Preschool/Kindergarten

Michelle Siegel is head teacher of the Half Day/Full Day Preschool/Kindergarten class at DVMS. With a love for the Montessori philosophy, the end of the 2013/2014 school year marks Michelle’s 11th year at DVMS. She has worked with children of many age groups including infant/toddler, preschool, elementary and high school age children, both in the formal classroom as well as extra curricular activities.

Michelle had a calling to work with children right out of high school and began her education in the area of early childhood development. She attended both LMC and DVC earning her credential in early childhood education in 2005. It wasn’t long after that Michelle sought out a way to enter into the Montessori Credential program and earned her AMS credential in 2010.

Michelle, her husband Morgan, and daughters Lily & Ivy live locally along with their 2 dogs, Lacy and Izzy. Both Lily and Ivy are students at DVMS.

Sharon Tye – Preschool/Kindergarten

Born and raised in the Central Valley, Sharon moved to the Bay Area and has lived most of her life in this beautiful place. Not until she had a daughter of her own did she realize how much she loved children. After being a room parent at DVMS, she took Montessori classes at St. Mary’s College and received her Montessori certificate from Fountainhead Montessori. Sharon has been with DVMS since 1988 and teaches a Pre-school/Kindergarten Half Day class. She loves dancing, attending concerts, local theater, horseback riding, cattle drives and nature!

Risa Vierra – Preschool/Kindergarten

Risa is in her third year teaching at DVMS. In 2013, she completed her Montessori Credential through St. Mary’s College of Moraga. She was born and raised in the Bay Area, a proud Oakland native and current resident. She received her Undergraduate Degree from Seattle University while on a volleyball scholarship. After graduating she returned home and began working as a family nanny. After seven years as a full time nanny, she began substitute teaching and her higher learning in Early Childhood Education. Risa is currently working on obtaining her Master’s Degree in Discipline in the Early Childhood Setting, also from St. Mary’s College. Risa loves to spend time with her family and friends, still enjoys playing volleyball weekly and loves to host dinner parties with loved ones.

Susanne – Outdoor Classroom Head Teacher

Susanne was born and raised in Pleasant Hill. She earned her BA at Cal State East Bay, then completed her Montessori Training through Contra Costa College. She began teaching at DVMS in 1998 leaving only briefly to complete her education. Susanne enjoys teaching young children and creating new activities for them. In her spare time she loves hanging out with her husband, son, and dog.

Julie Stevens – Pre-school/Kindergarten Co-Teacher

Julie has been involved in the Montessori community for over 16 years. While attending Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, she worked at a Montessori preschool and fell in love with the philosophy. She is especially drawn to the peace education component of the curriculum. Julie did her Montessori Teacher Training in San Francisco with Ursula Thrush. While studying Montessori, she worked as a nanny for twin boys. She learned a great deal from watching them grow and develop, and it helped solidify her desire to work with young children. After receiving her Masters in Early Childhood Education, she began teaching at a small Montessori school in Danville. She worked as the head teacher, and then went on to become the director. Being a director allowed for a beautiful balance of working with both children and their families. Julie and her family recently moved to Concord where her 9 year old daughter will be attending a Montessori school as she begins fourth grade. She is very excited to be joining such a wonderful school.

Kylee Koch – Preschool/Kindergarten and Kindergarten Enrichment

Kylee is proud to be a teacher at Diablo Valley Montessori School. She started her career working with children right from the start! In her teens, she loved to babysit and continued to work with children as a tennis Instructor throughout the Bay Area from age 15 through her mid-twenties. Kylee earned her Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State, focusing on the study of self-actualization.

Kylee earned her Montessori Early Childhood Credential at Saint Mary’s of California (SMC). She has been applying her training in the classroom ever since, especially Mastery Motivation and Positive Discipline theories. Kylee decided to continue her education at SMC, and is in the process of earning her Master’s Degree in Education. Her Master’s project connects gross motor skills to traditional Montessori math materials.

Kylee is a native of the Bay Area. She currently lives with her husband, PJ, in Walnut Creek. She currently co-teaches with Ms. Sharon in the Preschool/Kindergarten ½ day class, and assists Ms. Marilyn in Kindergarten Enrichment. She loves making her classroom feel like a family!

Silvia Cravero – Preschool/Kindergarten

Silvia was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the mother of 3 children and loves to dance, cook and play soccer.

Silvia has a background in early childhood education and over 25 years experience working with children ages 3 months to 7 years. Silvia earned her Montessori certificate from the International Montessori Council.

Silvia brings her experience and expertise in Spanish immersion programs to DVMS. She will be planning individual lessons for children in Spanish conducting all communication with the children in Spanish. Silvia is interested in integrated environmental awareness and sustainability and enjoys incorporating this subject into the Montessori classroom.