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“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” - Maria Montessori
Vera began working at Wimberley Montessori School as a part-time assistant in the Primary classroom. She became certified in the Primary classroom and began her role as Lead Guide in 2015. Vera happily became Director of Wimberley Montessori in the Spring of 2018, as well as, continuing to be Lead Guide in the Primary classroom. Vera feels that everything in her life has led her to this point in her career with children and adults. Vera holds a B.F.A., AMS Primary Montessori Certification, 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training and Children's Yoga training. Vera received a Best of Wimberley award for the best teacher in the 2018-2019 school year.. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and has run several start up businesses in organic farming, art and yoga. Growing up Vera lived on the East and West coasts, the deep South, the Southwest and the Midwest. After graduating college she lived in England and Ireland. These experiences developed in her an understanding of the great beauty in the differences of people. Vera is passionate about meeting children where they are in their development and is excited to continue to grow and expand the school to include more outdoor classroom time. Vera is rarely idle and loves spending time with her two extraordinary children, her many rescue pets, gardening, creating art work, researching educational development, and teaching yoga. Vera feels her calling is to serve and at Wimberley Montessori School she is here to meet the needs of her students, amazing teachers, wonderful support staff, and parents.
Michelle grew up in Iowa next to the Missouri River where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet. She worked for Gateway (computer company) as an Administrative Assistant, and later as a Marketing Manager in the Tradeshow department where she was able to visit many US cities. After moving to Texas she continued her work with Gateway until her first child was born, then became a full-time mom. Michelle went back to work when her kids started school, working as Marketing Director of an imaging company and filling in as a medical assistant when needed.
After volunteering at her children’s Montessori Schools and later being hired as an assistant in the Lower Elementary class, she realized that instilling in children an excitement for learning and preparing them for life was her calling and received her AMS Lower Elementary Certification. Michelle has been at Wimberley Montessori since 2011, assuming the title of lead guide in January 2015. Michelle loves spending time with her two children, Lexi and Cade, who attended Montessori schools from pre-K through 8th grade and now attend KAPS as high-schoolers. They stay busy taking care of their pets (7 dogs, 8 cats, 4 guinea pigs…), traveling, hiking and participating in 5k’s.
Melanie grew up in San Antonio and moved to Austin to attend St. Edward's University. She graduated from UT with a BS in Speech Communications. After finishing the AMI Montessori training in 1989, she taught in Primary classrooms for 21 years. Melanie began working at Wimberley Montessori School teaching in the Primary classroom. While observing the Upper Elementary students she became fascinated with the age group and their work. When a teaching position became available in Renee Boschert's class in 2010 she jumped at the chance to work with 9-12 year old students. Working with Renee as her mentor for 4 years was magical. It served to light a fire under Melanie for teaching and guiding the older children which continues to burn brightly. She became intrigued with project-based learning and began integrating it into the core curriculum. Melanie also blends art with units in Biology, History, Literature and Creative Writing. Melanie is a trained language therapist and works with children at the school who need extra coaching in beginning reading. The two humans who inspire Melanie the most are her daughter and son-in-law, with their intelligence and shared passion for lifelong learning.
Sarah McSweeney has an extensive background in music, starting with piano lessons and music theory at age 6. She sang in choirs, played flute and trombone in school bands, entered and won many competitions, and has performed on stage in front of large audiences including opening for Colbie Caillat in Ringgold Georgia and singing the national anthem for a crowd of 40,000 people at a Giants vs. Diamondbacks baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sarah graduated with a Bachelors of Music Education degree with a major in piano and minor in voice. She has 20+ years of teaching experience, including private music lessons in piano, flute, guitar, ukelele, and voice, group guitar lessons, children’s choir, general music theory classes, and small ensemble groups. She continues to teach, perform, compose and record original music, both locally and internationally with Grammy award-winning producers such as Ruslan Sirota (work with Diane Warren, Ne-Yo, & Josh Groban) and Grammy-nominated Pat Manske (recordings with Lloyd Maines of the Dixie Chicks, Robert Earl Keen, & Terri Hendrix).
World travel changes people. Itzel White (Angélica Itzel Núñez Juárez) is proof of that. She met her future husband, "el güerito" in her hometown of Morelia, Michocán, México. After a little convincing, he managed to persuade her to quit her job testing water quality for Pepsico and travel to Canada for a summer of language learning and exploration. With a bachelor's degree in biochemical engineering, Itzel had never really considered teaching as a career. However, she soon fell in love with learning language and decided to pursue teaching her native tongue, Spanish.
After returning to Morelia unemployed, she began doing course work in teaching Spanish to foreigners in Mexico. She quickly developed a talent for it and found herself teaching Spanish to people from all over the world. After 8 years of teaching in her hometown and now with a one-year-old and husband to boot, the family decided to return to central Texas, el güerito's stomping grounds, and make a go for it here. After her second child was born, Itzel had a chance to continue teaching Spanish to students through her entrepreneurial endeavor, Bridge the Gap Spanish. She furthered her education in teaching Spanish as a second language through continued coursework from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.
Itzel understands that the connection between language and culture is inextricably bound. Learning another language opens the window to learning another culture. Not only does it foment a great respect for diversity, but also more importantly a deep realization of our commonality as human beings. Itzel brings that to all of her classes in teaching not only language but also a deep level of understanding of Mexican culture and tradition. She also makes the best enchiladas on the planet.
Anne grew up in Kerrville, Texas loving the outdoors and spending weekends riding horses and rounding up cattle. She went to college thinking she could solve all the world's environmental problems by obtaining a Master's degree in Environmental Management. She spent the next 20+ years in enforcement of environmental laws working as a chemist, hazardous waste investigator, and then manager, and special assistant to the Enforcement Director of the State's environmental agency. When she and her husband were blessed with twins later in life, she decided upon early retirement and became a full-time Mom. After the kids started school, Anne began a new part-time career as a contractor specializing in bookkeeping and office management where she currently provides services for two businesses in Wimberley. Anne and her husband, Tim, and children, Alexandra and Sean, live in Wimberley and love to spend time at the beach, play with their dog Buddy, spend time with friends, or read books/play games.