Lower Elementary Staff

Lower Elementary Staff

Program Director

Nancy Kestek
Director of Lower Elementary Programs

BA (Psychology), University of Washington
Montessori Early Childhood and Elementary credentials
Hired at WMS—2006

About Nancy

Hawthorn class

Emily Murray
Co-Teacher, Hawthorn class

MFA (Playwriting), Columbia University
MSW University of Washington
Lower Elementary Montessori Credential, MEIPN
Hired at WMS—2018

About Emily
Jenny Immel
Co-Teacher, Hawthorn class
About Jenny

Juniper class

Laura Ascolese
Co-Teacher, Juniper class

BS (Elementary Education) University of Delaware
MEd (Elementary Education, Montessori Concentration) Plymouth State University
Montessori Credentials - Elementary I AMS certified through MEIPN
Nurtured Heart Approach Certified Trainer
Hired at WMS—2001

About Laura
Robin Held
Co-Teacher, Juniper class

BS (psychology), University of Washington
Early Childhood and Lower Elementary Montessori credentials
Hired at WMS—2008

About Robin

Magnolia class

LeeAnn Brown
Co-Teacher, Magnolia class

BS (English Education) Florida State University
Montessori credentials, Elementary I & Level I Montessori Applied for Children at Risk (MACAR) training
Hired at WMS—2006

About LeeAnn
Alison Stern
Co-Teacher, Magnolia class

BA Goddard College
M.Ed. University of Washington Bothell
Washington state K-6 reading endorsement
Montessori credentials, AMS Elementary I, MEIPN
Hired at WMS—2018

About Alison

Spruce class

Hillary Brestar
Co-Teacher, Spruce class

Hired at WMS—2005

About Hillary
Durga Kanjinghat
Co-Teacher, Spruce class

BS (Math), University of Madras, India
Early Childhood & Elementary I Montessori credential, AMS through MEIPN
Hired at WMS—2015

About Durga

Willow class

Amy Fujimoto
Co-Teacher, Willow class

MEd (Education), Endicott College
BA (English),  University of Washington
Montessori credentials, Early Childhood & Elementary I
Field consultant for new teachers and board member of the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (MMEIPN)
Hired at WMS—2000

About Amy
Veronica Juarez
Co-Teacher, Willow class

Veterinary degree, Mexico’s City University
Montessori credentials, Elementary I
Hired at WMS—2014

About Veronica

Program Assistants & Student Support

Frances Ju
Program Assistant

Certificate, community college studies (Phlebotomy)
Hired at WMS—2008

About Frances
Erica Loaiza
Program Assistant

Hired at WMS—2021

About Erica
Saima Rizvi
Program Assistant

BS (Biochemistry), University of Karachi
Hired at WMS—2020

About Saima
Denise Crosby
Elementary Learning Support

Hired at WMS—2021

About Denise
Megan Wanless
Student Support Counselor

Hired at WMS—2021

About Megan

LE Specialists

Bryce Aktepy
Innovation & Design Lab & Aquaponics

Western Washington University (psychology and sociology)
Training and work as ABA therapist in early intervention programs
Hired at WMS—2006

About Bryce
Alexa Boss
Spanish Language Teacher

BA (Spanish, emphasis in Latin American Studies) University of Oregon
Hired at WMS—2017

About Alexa
Felicity Jones
Art Specialist

Hired at WMS—2021

About Felicity
Oscar Sialer Tapia
Soccer Coach

Hired at WMS—2022/p>

About Oscar
Coty Valdez
PE Specialist

Hired at WMS—/p>

About Coty
Ashley Westerman
Music Specialist

Hired at WMS—2021

About Ashley