Our Facility

Like the first Casa dei Bambini founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907 in Rome, our school facility is also “a house for children”. It is a special learning environment designed for your child to grow, explore, experience, care for, and learn from.

The house has been completely re-designed to provide spacious and inviting classrooms for our Toddler, Casa and Elementary programs, as well as an indoor recreational area for pre and post-care, an outdoor playground, a garden to grow flowers and vegetables, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a special Montessori Resource Centre for children and parents. Parkdale Montessori School’s design is child-focused, child-sized,and abounding with natural light.

Our school is situated in a quiet neighbourhood called “The Civic”, on a large property with mature, blossoming trees and flower gardens. A large city park is less than one block away, down a quiet lane, and another is only a few blocks away.

Our unique and beautiful facility is not be just a school, but a community of children. It is the ideal “home away from home” learning environment!

Our Staff

Parkdale Montessori School is a non-denominational, private school, licensed under the Ontario Child Care in Early Years Act, and governed by the Ministry of Education. Parkdale Montessori School is a proud sponsor of the Montessori Society of Canada (AMI Alumni in Canada), and a Member School of the Montessori Quality Assurance (a division group committed to the principles of the Association Montessori Internationale).

School Owners:

Husband-and-wife team, Claude Flight and Sandrine Flight are the two founders and owners of Parkdale Montessori School. They currently lead a team of 20 people, who are professionally Montessori-trained head teachers, assistants, and devoted support staff.

Sandrine Flight, B.A., M.Ed., AMI. Sandrine was born in Belgium and spent her childhood in both Belgium and France. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, and Film Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa. She received her AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) diploma at the Casa level from the Foundation for Montessori Education, Toronto. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Education (Montessori concentration) from Loyola University, Maryland. Sandrine has been working in Montessori for the past 15 years and taught in schools in both Toronto and Ottawa. She is a member of the Association Montessori Internationale and the Montessori Society of Canada.

Claude Flight, B.A., B.Sc., M.A., PMP. Claude is originally from Newfoundland. Prior to opening Parkdale Montessori School, Claude spent his working career in Project Management and Marketing for 25 years. He obtained his undergraduate degrees and Masters of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland, while his Master’s in Project Management is from George Washington University and Université du Québec. Claude also holds a Certificate in Criminology. Claude offers consulting services and has lectured at The Montessori Foundation international conference. Claude is also a children’s book author and most recently published “Sally’s Stomach”.

The Administration Team

School Director:

Véronique Belway, Baccalauréat Suisse, Maturité Fédérale, MCI, B.A (in progress), ECE (in progress). Véronique was born and raised in Switzerland. Véronique has had the wonderful opportunity to be a Montessori child herself since being the daughter of a Montessori teacher/school owner and attending a Montessori school as a child. Véronique obtained her Montessori diploma at the Casa level from St. Nicholas Montessori College, London. She has over 20 years of experience teaching in the Casa environment and 4 years of experience teaching French at the Elementary level. She worked in schools in British Columbia and Ottawa where she taught in both English and French before taking on the position of School Director in 2012. Véronique is currently studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a B.C. university, as well as taking psychology courses through the University of Ottawa, and working towards an Early Childhood Education diploma.

School Administrator:

Jasmine Steadman, DCS, CRLA, MEY, ECE (in progress). Jasmine was born and raised in Quebec. Jasmine graduated from Heritage College with a DCS in Office System Technology, specialization in Micro-publishing and Hypermedia, and a CRLA Regular Tutoring Certificate. Jasmine worked for the government of Canada and in management within the service industry but decided, after discovering the Montessori philosphy, to pursue a career with children. She obtained a Montessori Assistant certificate and is currently pursuing her studies in Early Childhood Education with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Jasmine worked for many years in the Toddler, Casa and Elementary classrooms before taking on the role of School Administrator. Jasmine also acts as our Summer Camp Supervisor and Extended Care Supervisor.

Finance Manager:

Rebecca Schwartz, B.A, B.Ed, MEY. Rebecca grew up in the small town of Almonte just outside of Ottawa, where she always knew she wanted to be involved with educating children later in life. She graduated from University of Ottawa with a double major in English Literature and Psychology, and later went on to complete her B.Ed at the Primary/Junior level. She also has a Montessori Early Years certificate, obtained in Ottawa. After being a Casa Assistant for a few years, Rebecca spent a year in the position of School Administrator, covering a staff maternity leave. She has since taken on the role of Finance Manager and remains part of the administration team while working with children at the Casa level.

Head Teachers:

All Head Teachers have Montessori certifications qualifying them to teach at either the Toddler, Casa or Elementary level. They also hold undergraduate degrees, as well some hold an Early Childhood Education diploma.

Danielle Essiembre, B.A., ECE, AMI. Danielle is originally from New Brunswick and graduated from the Université de Moncton with a Bachelor in Fine Arts Education in 1995. After a few years teaching in the public school system, she moved to Vancouver to obtain her diploma at the Casa level and her ECE certificate at the Montessori Training Center of British Columbia in 2001. She has worked as a Head Teacher in Vancouver and in the Ottawa area ever since, and has taught in both English and French. Danielle is an active member in both the Association Montessori International and the Montessori Society of Canada, participating in local, national and international refresher courses, workshops and conferences.

Jessica Robson, B.A, DSW diploma, Montessori diplomas. Jessica was born and raised in Ontario. Jessica graduated from Ottawa University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She then went on to graduate with Honours in the Development Services Worker program at Algonquin College before deciding to pursue her career in Montessori. Jessica holds a Montessori certificate at both the Casa and Elementary levels. Jessica has been working in the education field for almost 15 years, and has taught in both English and French. Jessica has worked with children with special needs, as Head Teacher in Elementary, as Head Teacher in the Casa environment, and is currently the Head Teacher in the Toddler program.

Linda Wrigley, B.A., HBOR, AMI. Linda holds an AMI elementary teacher’s certificate from Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. She has been teaching Montessori in Canada for almost 15 years with ages 6-12 and taught in France for two years. In France, she implemented a Montessori Model United Nations program and escorted students to two MMUN meetings in Geneva. She is an active member of the Montessori community. Her foundations are in outdoor/environmental education. She implemented the “going out program” in elementary in all her classes. Linda is passionate about teaching in a hands-on interactive learning environment and enjoys having access to the natural environment as an extension to the classroom.

Teresa Smith, Bachelor of Journalism (Concordia University, Montreal), AMI. Teresa grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario where she attended a Montessori School until she was ten years old. She has lived throughout Canada (from Montreal to Kamloops), as well as in Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Denmark. In 2014, after five years working in daily news journalism, Teresa decided to retrain in early childhood education. It was the best decision she ever made. Teresa completed her AMI Montessori training in Vancouver. She worked as a Head Teacher at Toddler level before taking on the position of Head Teacher in the Casa program.

Assistants:

Our team includes: Angèle, Amelia, Florina, Kim, Matthew, Rachael, Rebecca, Tanya.

Assistants hold undergraduate degrees or are in the process of completing their degree. They also either have a Montessori certificate and/or Early Childhood Education diploma, or previous experience working in Montessori.

Chef:

Gordon, diploma in Tourism, certificates (Contemporary cuisine, Chinese pastry, Chinese cuisine, safe food handling). Chef Gordon worked for 15 years in hotel management and for 8 years in the food and service industry. Prior to joining Parkdale Montessori School, he worked in another Montessori School in Ottawa, and as a chef, a pastry chef, and a sushi chef in various restaurants and settings. Gordon is the winner of des Entremets de Restaurant Boutique – le 62e Grand Salon d’Art Culinaire du Québec, 2001, organisé par La Société des Chefs, Cuisiniers et Pâtissiers du Québec.

Note:

All staff members undergo police checks and CPR/first-aid training.

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