At Canberra Montessori School we strive for a culture of ‘lifelong learning’ amongst both staff and students. Our professional development program and training centre at our Holder Campus provides a pathway for all staff to develop their passions as well as increase professional excellence at the school.
The principles of Montessori education can be applied to staff just as well as students, and with that in mind, a culture of peer learning and support is in place at the school. The CMS Leadership Team provides a focus for staff to reflect on their professional practice, looks for opportunities for improvement and is an active part of the planning and development of not just the educational program but of all aspects of the school.
We support staff to not only create amazing learning environments in their own classroom, but also to be an active part of an organisation driving the education sector forward. We encourage our team to look for examples of best practice and innovation in education from anywhere in the world, not just the Montessori environments, all with the aim of making the Montessori at CMS, ‘Simply the Best’.
Anthony has developed his career in education through a range of roles including Teacher of English, Physical Education, and Sciences, as well as senior roles in Learning Support and Guidance & Counselling, before his transition into School Leadership. With a broad range of leadership experience in both state and independent sectors, Anthony is committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for students. Anthony is passionate about life‐long learning and is currently working on his PhD and MBA in addition to his previous qualifications BSc (Psych), BEd (MidYsSch), MEd(Lead), MEdSt (Guidance and Counselling), MEdSt (Boys Education), CertIV TrngAssmnt, MACEL. He is a 2017 recipient of the ACEL ACT Excellence in Educational Leadership Award.
Áine BarkerDeputy Principal
Áine holds two Montessori diplomas, (0‐3yrs) and (3‐6yrs), a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and is working towards a Master’s degree in Education. Áine has guided the Parent Toddler Programme at Holder since 2006 and in 2013 stepped into the Co‐ordinator role for PTP and Cycle 1. Now working as Director of School Administration, Áine oversees Montessori curriculum and teacher professional learning as well as assisting the Principal.
Prior to working at CMS, Áine worked in Montessori schools in Ireland and USA. She was instrumental is setting up the first Montessori school in modern China, the first government recognised Montessori school in Saudi Arabia and the first Montessori school in Bali, Indonesia. Her three children were Montessori educated at CMS in their early years while Áine guided the Parent Toddler Program for the school.
Áine is passionate about her role and believes that building positive partnerships with parents provides the best educative outcomes for our children.
Louise DraperClassroom Director
Amy DuanBusiness Manager
Amy joined the CMS team as Business Manager in 2015. She is highly experienced in school finance, having been the Finance Manager at the Canberra Girls Grammar School prior to joining CMS. Amy is a CPA with a Bachelor of Commerce, and enjoys using her skills to grow and develop the school. Amy will be on maternity leave until May 2018.
Leharne FountainClassroom Director
Leharne is part-way through her AMI 6-12 Montessori training and is also of course a fully qualified teacher. She has three children attending CMS (currently in Cycles 1, 2 and 3) and has been a part of the school community as a parent since her eldest child began the Parent-Toddler Program in 2009. Before becoming a teacher, she was a scientist working in the areas of gold and petroleum exploration, natural hazard computer modelling, and marine habitat mapping, and she has also worked with many children as manager of an education centre at one of our government science institutions.
Aileen FrostClassroom Director
Aileen joined CMS in 2017 and comes to us with extensive experience in and a passion for the world of education. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Arts Education, Bachelor of Arts Psychology, Montessori Diploma, Early Childhood (in progress).
Ros HartleyClassroom Director
Ros Hartley joined CMS in 2017. She comes to us with extensive experience in education with qualifications including Montessori Diplomas (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Teaching and Master of Educational Administration.
David HolmesClassroom Director
David has worked as both a teacher and a principal in the public sector in Western Australia.
David graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Primary and has spent the last six years working in some of the most remote schools in Australia. During this time, he worked with various age groups from 6 – 15 years. In 2013, David saw his wife transition a remote traditional classroom to the Montessori approach. From this transition, he quickly knew that he wanted to expand his understanding. David began seeking opportunities to complete Montessori training. In 2015, he got a taste completing a Foundation Course whilst in Prague and now has the opportunity to deepen his knowledge with the AMI training taking place at CMS.
David is fascinated by what motivates us and is passionate about providing an environment where children can be challenged and supported.
Kylie HunterOHSC Co-ordinator
Kylie has worked in Early Childhood since 2007 and held the role of Early Childhood Educator since 2014. She holds a Diploma of Children Services and is currently studying for her B.Ed in Early Childhood Teaching.
Halima KhurramClassroom Director
Halima joined CMS in 2016. She has been teaching since 2002 and brings a wide range of experience to our school. Halima has a broad range of academic qualifications including a Montessori Diploma (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood
Won Hea LeeKorean Director
Won Hea joined CMS in 2015 and implements our Language Other Than English (LOTE) program, bringing Korean language and culture to our classrooms. Won Hea has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Education.
Veda LimayeClassroom Assistant
Veda holds two Bachelor degrees from India, a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) and a Bachelor in Music (Indian Classical Dance, Kathak). She has completed the Certificate 3 course in Children's Services and is also currently studying for her Diploma in Children's Services (Early Childhood and Care). She has a total 20 years of experience in working with children and 11 years of experience at Canberra Montessori School.
She has always found interest and challenge in working with children. Working in a team at CMS gives her a lot of satisfaction and affection for her work.
Brigid LombardEnrolments Officer
Brigid has been involved with CMS since 2007 when her two children started attending the school. She joined our administration team as Enrolments Officer in 2016 after many years service as a volunteer at the school including as Fundraising Committee Chair and Board Secretary. She brings extensive administration experience to the team.
Darcy Scott-LoughtonClassroom Director
Darcy joined the staff at CMS in 2011 and is our Parent Toddler Director.
Darcy holds a Montessori diploma for ages 0‐3 (NAMC), and is currently studying for her Montessori diploma for ages 3‐6 (MWEI). She is also studying for a Graduate Diploma in Education. Her non‐education degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Art History (U.S.C.), a Master of Arts in Art History (U.M.K.C.), and a Master of Studies in Classical Archaeology (Univ. of Oxford). Her most interesting previous jobs have included being an art history Research Assistant and writing museum tour scripts for school‐aged children at the Nelson‐Atkins Museum of Art, and dusting very old books in the archives of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
She enjoys working in the happiest place in Canberra, and observing children as they develop and bloom in the Montessori environment.
Judy McGowanExecutive Assistant
Judy has been involved with CMS for over 20 years, initially as a parent of two CMS students (one of whom was part of the cohort of children forming the very first Cycle 2 class), as a member of the first school board, then as Office Manager for more than 10 years and currently as Executive Assistant. She has enjoyed being part of the constant growth and development of the school and the challenges they bring and says this is what keeps her job so interesting! She is currently completing a Diploma of Marketing and Communications.
Victor MicallefClassroom Assistant
Victor has a Certificate III in Education Support and a Certificate III in Health and Fitness. Victor has worked in all Cycle classrooms since the beginning of 2015 and specifically in our Afterschool and Holiday Care programs.
The wealth of experience and interest Victor had prior to joining the CMS team, supports the school as Victor guides the children in areas of fitness and health.
Watching the children learn by their mistakes and become resilient motivates Victor as he works with the children on their learning journey.
Viv MoirClassroom Assistant
Viv brings to our school a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in early childhood education for over 30 years. Viv’s passion for photography and her ability to capture those candid moments, has helped the school to see children learning during those spontaneous Montessori moments.
She continues to be inspired by the goals of Montessori education and feels privileged to be assisting children to develop their life‐long love of learning. Viv has worked at CMS since 2004 and holds a Diploma in Children’s Services
Alice QuadeClass Director
Alice runs our Saturday morning Parent Toddler Program and is currently studying the AMI 3-6 Montessori Diploma at our training centre in Holder. Prior to this, Alice was a primary school teacher from 2005. Alice has a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and several other diplomas including Hospitality and Business Management. Alice's two children have been attending the school since 2014 and she has also taken on the parent volunteer position of Spring Fair Co-ordinator.
Tom RansomClassroom Director
Tom has worked at Canberra Montessori since mid‐2013.
After completing a Bachelor of Psychology and a Diploma of Teaching, Tom began his teaching career as a high school teacher in 2008, teaching in the areas of Behavioural Science, Social Science and Religious Studies. However, at the end of 2009, the needs of his young family and the demands of life as a beginning teacher together gave him reason to leave teaching for a while. Tom left teaching with many questions about effective teaching practice, especially how to foster intrinsic motivation in students. Tom now has a Montessori Diploma (Primary).
Tom discovered Montessori when looking for a school for his children. After observing a Cycle 1 class, he was amazed, saying “there was this quiet hum of activity in the room. If I could get my year 11s or 12s to work that well, I would be very happy!”. From there, Tom read more about Montessori, and decided to return to teaching to give it a try himself, as it addresses many of the questions Tom had after leaving high school teaching.
Sukhi SahotaClassroom Assistant
Sukhi has been with CMS since 2006 working as a Classroom Assistant. She has experience working in both Cycle 1, Cycle 2 and in our Afterschool Care program "Gumnut". Sukhi has a Diploma in Childcare and Education and a Montessori Diploma (Primary).
Taryn Smith-HardyOHSC Co-ordinator
Taryn joined our CMS team at the beginning of 2017. She came to us with a Certificate III in Children's Services, and has completed her Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood after having completed numerous Montessori Institute Workshops.
Velinka VecchiBusiness Manager (Acting)
Velinka is a past parent of CMS and has joined us in the role of Business Manager whilst Amy Duan is on maternity leave.
Stephanie ViegasClassroom Assistant
Glen WatsonDirector - Teaching & Learning
Glen is a Cycle 2 & 3, AMI trained Montessorian with over 20 years of experience in a variety of teaching and leadership roles. Glen is exceptionally excited about our School Improvement Agenda and keen to contribute . He is working across Cycle 2 & 3 to complement the work of our staff and further embed the recommendations made by Mr Greg MacDonald (AMI Trainer/Consultant) who continues his journey with our school.