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Our Teachers & Administrators

nancy bowman

Nancy Bowman,
Head of School

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Casey Webb

Casey Webb,
Webb Road Campus Administration

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Lane Mari,
Admissions & Development

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yolanda palmer

Yolanda Palmer,
Civic Road Campus Administration & Publications

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marilyn sandborn

Marilyn Sandborn,
Billing Office

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kiyo jannereth

Kiyo Morimoto,
Special Projects

Ava Meysembourg,
Special Projects
ms. renae

Ms. Renae

Ms. Renae has 13 years’ experience teaching, with half of them at CMS! She graduated from University of Florida with a B.A. in English and French and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language as well as a M.A. in Education- Curriculum & Instruction. Renae has also completed NAMTA’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies, as well as her FL State Teaching Certificate.

Miss Renae has taught at schools all over the Tampa Bay area when a fellow teacher introduced her to CMS, her life changed forever! Ms. Renae received her AMI Elementary diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego.

She loves the outdoors and when she isn’t teaching you can find her swimming, camping, dancing, enjoying the beach, or chasing around her son, who attends CMS! Ms. Renae loves to travel and experience new cultures. She is fluent in French.

ms. emoke

Ms. Emoke

Ms. Emoke was born in Hungary and has travelled all over the world. She received a B.A. in Teaching English at the Middle School Level as well as a B.A. in English & Romanian Language Education both of which she completed at the Juhasz Gyula Teachers Training College, part of the University of Szeged, one of Hungary’s most distinguished universities.

Miss Emoke has also received P.I.E.C.E. Training at the Early Learning Coalition Program for Inclusive Care and Education, a series of trainings in the social and emotional development of young children. She has extensive experience teaching elementary school in Hungary as well as teaching English as a second language to high school students and adults. Her favorite part of teaching is being able to follow the development of her students and see them engage in the learning process. She loves the diversity of Montessori classrooms and all of the colors of the world! Ms. Emoke is in the process of training for her AMI Elementary Training Certification at the Montessori Institute of Atlanta, Georgia.


Ms. Maria

Ms. Maria was born in Queens, New York, and came to Florida in 1990, where she completed her A.S. at Hillsborough Community College and completed her B.A. at Florida International University. Maria is a graduate of the AMI, Montessori Assistants to Infancy Training in Denver, Colorado.

Maria has been with CMS for ten years, and has been able to work in all of the classrooms, teaching Spanish to all levels of students. She is a mother to three children who have attended CMS since they were toddlers and is proud of her children’s independence, kindness and resilience.

Maria’s dedication to teaching is fueled when she witnesses the capability of a toddler when the prepared environment aids him to his independence.

ms. diane

Ms. Diane

Ms. Diane came to CMS in 1995 when she enrolled her oldest son in the elementary program and a year later her younger son joined the primary program.

Ms. Diane attended Brooklyn College in New York and received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and completed her Montessori training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas, Dallas where she received an AMI Elementary diploma.

Ms. Diane practices yoga on regular basis and is certified in yoga basics. She can speak, read and write in Greek and is currently learning to play classical guitar. Ms. Diane feels privileged to see the satisfaction and joy on the faces of her students as they make discoveries, master a skill or gain independence.

ms. jean

Ms. Jean

Ms. Jean is in her 18th year as a teacher at CMS, and has been working in Montessori classrooms for 33 years. She was born in Wales, United Kingdom, is a mother of 3 sons and a nana to 6 beautiful grandchildren.

Ms. Jean has a degree in Primary Education from University College of Wales and she received her Montessori Primary Training from St. Nicolas College in London. She is also a certified instructor and parenting coach with the International Network for Children and Families, and teaches a Redirecting Children’s Behavior class at CMS.

Her favorite part of teaching is when a child “gets it”. While she isn’t teaching you can find her playing with paint, paper and creating beautiful scrapbooks.

ms. baan

Ms. Baan

Ms. Baan has taught for over 20 years, 17 of them at Community Montessori School! She began her journey with Montessori when a family who she was a nanny for convinced her to observe their child in a Montessori school. After observing, she fell in love with the idea of creating an environment where children have the opportunity to develop and become independent without external pressure from adults.

She knew that this was a place she wanted to be! Baan completed her AMS Primary Training at the Montessori Teacher Training Institute of Miami, Florida. She also has a B.A. in Psychology from Pace University in New York.

Ms. Baan has working knowledge of Arabic and French which she uses in the classroom. Baan’s favorite part of teaching is watching a child concentrate on a piece of work and then be able to say “I did it!”

ms. phyllis

Ms. Phyllis

Ms. Phyllis is an AMI Certified teacher who has taught at CMS for over 15 years. Phyllis grew up in a small town in New Jersey near the ocean, then moved to Manhattan, but later returned to complete college.

Ms. Phyllis has always loved an intellectual lifestyle! She has an Associate’s Degree for Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, NYC, a B.A. from Keen University in New Jersey, and a M.A. & PhD. from University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Phyllis received her Montessori Assistant To Infancy Training in Denver, Colorado. Her favorite part of each day is “seeing” the Montessori philosophy and theory in practice. She enjoys the challenge of knowing, understanding and loving each child for who they are and experiencing the mystery of who they are becoming.

Ms. Rashda

Ms. Rashda is an AMI Certified teacher that has worked at Montessori schools all over the world. She has been a part of CMS since 2006 and has worked in our Primary, Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms.

She received her B.A. from University of the Punjab in Pakistan. Rashda has two Montessori diplomas; she received her Primary Diploma from the Karachi Center in Pakistan and her Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. Rashda has two children at CMS and is fluent in English, Urdu and Arabic.


Ms. Sakura

Ms. Sakura was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. During her school years she had the opportunity to live in Beaufort, SC and Granada, Spain as an exchange student. She holds a BA in Spanish from Kansai University of Foreign Languages and is fluent in Japanese, Spanish and able to converse in Cantonese.

Ms. Sakura has lived all over the world including Hong Kong and Amsterdam, where she became familiar with Montessori education. She has two children that have attended CMS since Primary and over the years she has observed their passion for learning, kindness, responsibility, and independence grow, which has made her a true believer of Montessori education!

Ms. Sakura loves to see the satisfaction on a toddler’s face every time they make a new discovery!


Ms. Rozina

Ms. Rozina is a mother of a beautiful son and an AMI certified teacher that has worked at Montessori schools all over the US and the world! She received her Primary Diploma from the AMI Training Center in Hyderabad, India. Ms. Rozina has worked at schools in India, Atlanta, Boston, and Maine.

When she isn’t in the classroom you can find her cooking, reading, being in nature, taking photos, listening to variety of music, spending time with her pet rabbit, Oreo, and most of all spending quality time with her son and family!

Dr. Maria Montessori’s life and philosophy has been a great inspiration for her to follow and she has applied the knowledge and experience that she has gained over the years to provide her son with a foundation for life.


Ms. Jamie

Ms. Jamie’s first experience in a Montessori environment was at the age of 19 in Southern California while working on her Associate in Arts degree in Elementary Education.

She graduated with her B.A. in Mass Communications at USF’s St. Petersburg campus. While working on her degree part-time, Ms. Jamie worked at a local Montessori school as an assistant in the Primary classroom (and later on in the Upper Elementary classroom) for ten years. Ms. Jamie has had the opportunity to work in both private and public sectors of education, and for three years she worked at a public magnet school.

She had the opportunity to teach photojournalism in the journalism program in two local schools. After three years in public school, she realized that her philosophy for education differs dramatically and wanted to work in a Montessori setting again. Luckily, she found her way to CMS! During her free time she enjoys being outside taking pictures, swimming and playing guitar.


Ms. Yolanda

Ms. Yolanda was born in Honduras and came to Florida 25 years ago. She has been at CMS for 14 years, working at the Primary Campus. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and before coming to CMS she worked in the Hillsborough County Public School System with ESOL students with their learning.

She has two children, and her daughter attended CMS from the age of three up until the 8th grade. She loves working with children, and her favorite part is teaching with children in a way that is enjoyable for them.

Community Private School in Tampa, FL

Ms. Linda

Ms. Linda was born in China and is fluent in Chinese. She graduated from XI’AN International Study University and earned a B.A. in English/Tourism.

Ms. Linda worked for China Travel Service, one of the leading travel companies in China, for 8 years as a licensed national tour guide. She won numerous awards for her performance and customer satisfaction. Ms. Linda moved to the U.S. in 2005 and she and her daughter are happy to be a part of the CMS community!

Ms. Linda’s favorite part of teaching is the “help me do it myself” moments. Children’s confident smiles are unforgettable! Ms. Linda loves reading and traveling.


Mr. Sam

Mr. Sam has been working with adolescents since 2004, and was introduced to CMS and Montessori education in 2008. He joined the CMS Adolescent Program and continued until 2012. After a few years away, he is thrilled to rejoin the CMS family. His favorite part of teaching is seeing the beauty and potential in an age group that many people take for granted.

Mr. Sam received a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from USF. He also has an AMI Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota, and completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies at the Hershey Farm School. Mr. Sam also had the opportunity to travel to Russia, where he was invited to lecture in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and via webcast on his experiences in Montessori adolescent programs.

An avid gardener and outdoorsman, Mr. Sam can be found playing outside somewhere on the weekends. We warmly welcome Mr. Sam back to CMS to join us as the Lead Guide of the Adolescent Program. 


Coach Jose

Coach Jose was born in Argentina and moved to the US in 2001. After graduating from Instituto Provincial de Educación in Cordoba with a B.A. in Physical Education, he has dedicated his life to working on sports education.

Beside his B.A. in PE, he also has his USSF License (United States Soccer Federation) for coaching soccer. He has been a PE and soccer coach for over 20 years and has spent time working at soccer clubs, at private schools and in Montessori schools in Argentina and in CA, IN and FL. Coach Jose encourages young people, especially children and teenagers to do physical activity and consider it as a habit for a better lifestyle.

Coach Jose is fluent in English and Spanish and can converse in Italian and Portuguese. When he is not coaching, you can find him spending time with his three children and lovely wife.


Mr. Barr

Mr. Barr has been playing guitar and other instruments since the fifth grade! He attended Loyola University in New Orleans on academic and music scholarships and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Classical Guitar Performance. He also did Master of Music studies at both Loyola and Tulane Universities and taught guitar and music theory at both schools and at the New Orleans Institute of Music.

As well as classical music, Mr. Barr also performed electric guitar, bass, voice and keyboards in bands for a number of years, including performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and performing as the opening act for such bands as The Ramones and Duran Duran.

In 2005, Mr. Barr began the Adolescent Guitar Program at CMS and now he teaches Upper Elementary Music and Band, the Lower Elementary Music Program, the Violin Program, and the Adolescent Recording Technology Program! Mr. Barr also provides private instruction in guitar, keyboard and violin.


Ms. Michelle

Ms. Michelle received a B.A. in Marketing from the University of South Florida but always dreamed of being a teacher! After raising two children, adopted from Kazakhstan, she fell in love with Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. She appreciates the idea of respecting the child, creating a prepared environment that facilitates learning as well as being a guardian of the child’s concentration and inner development. Ms. Michelle completed her AMS Lower Elementary Training Certification, in Maitland, Florida and she was able to complete her required internship at CMS working under Ms. Diane in our Lower Elementary classroom.

Ms. Michelle is from Pennsylvania, but has lived in Florida most of her life. She loves traveling around the world and has visited China, Iceland and many European countries. She enjoys dancing, art, yoga, photography and overseas mission work.


Ms. Elizabeth

Ms. Elizabeth was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and spent most of her life there! After studying in New York at the Fashion Institute of Technology she graduated with a major in Painting from University of New Orleans. She has also spent time teaching private art classes as well as at the Children’s Program at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Ms. Elizabeth has recently returned to her passion of painting and enjoys selling and showing her work both locally and nationally in both galleries and on-line.

Ms. Elizabeth is married to a musician and has one daughter (a former CMS student!) who is a ballerina studying with the Atlanta Ballet so she comes from a pretty creative family! In her spare time she loves to travel and gets much of her inspiration for her art from her adventures.

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