About Montessori East

Montessori East Primary & Pre School

Beginning with the classrooms, you'll find a unique environment like no other.  Many schools claim to be "child focused" and to foster "a love of learning through individualised teaching" but this is only truly evident and possible in a Montessori classroom. 

"In a world of infinite possibility we create a thoughtfully prepared environment to nurture a child's natural love of learning."


Facilities

Attention to the physical environment of the school is a high priority, providing students with a home away from home, where beauty and function come together in a classroom that looks and feels like no other. Facilities include;

  • Large well equipped classrooms.
  • Dedicated library space recently constructed.
  • Large full kitchen facility for the primary students.
  • Kitchen area for pre-school students to prepare food.
  • Art room 
  • Outdoor area for pre-school with ample natural features upgraded in 2012.
  • Outdoor green space and vegetable gardens for each class.


Governance

Montessori East is run by the Eastern Suburbs Montessori Association (ESMA), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The members of ESMA are primarily parents associated with the school. The  ESMA Board of Directors oversees the management and operation of the school and supports the Principal in growth and development of the school.

The Board of Directors are:

Simon Johnston, President
James Purvis, Vice President
Daniel Birch, Treasurer
Amy Adamson, Secretary
Andrew Barkway Jones
Sara Hofman
Phillip Freeman
Zina Kaye

School Principal:  Bill Conway
Finance Manager:  Leon Cohen

Annual Report 2016

If you are really curious about the finer details of the school read the Annual Report here

The 2017 AGM was held on 19th June. A copy of the Constitution  and the Certificate of Incorporation can be viewed here.

Funding

Our school receives per capita financial support from the following government programs:
Australian Education Act Recurrent Funding
Early childhood and Care Grants Program



History

Montessori East was incorporated in 1981 after first opening its doors 1978 with a small preschool group.  We have grown through the years, occupying various sites, and our aim has always been to provide a more inspiring and nurturing environment for children to learn.

Vaucluse and Bronte 1978 - 2001

The school was started by a group of parents who were keen to see a quality Montessori school in the eastern suburbs. The first class was housed in the Wentworth Church Hall in Vaucluse and remained there for many years. Montessori East became more popular and outgrew its premises in Vaucluse, necessitating the opening of a second campus in Ocean Street, Bondi, which relocated to Randwick in 1994. All campuses flourished and in 1997 the first Primary class was opened, initially in a small room at the Vaucluse campus then later re-locating to a new site at Bronte.

Bondi 2001 to present

In October 2001 we secured a current site at Wellington Street, Bondi, making it possible to unite all programmes under one roof. The Vaucluse campus was closed in 2005. Today, Montessori East is a well-established school and still the only Montessori primary school in the Eastern Suburbs.

Montessori Schools around the world

Montessori schools first came to Sydney in 1915 after two Australians travelled to Rome to take part in the first Montessori teacher-training course run by Dr Montessori herself.  By 1915 there was a Montessori school in Sydney, at Blackfriars in Chippendale, and one soon after in Pyrmont. In the 1960s there was a resurgence of interest in Montessori in Europe and North America. This renewed interest in Montessori schools also reached Australia. Montessori East is one of over 150 Montessori schools in Australia and a part of one of the single largest education systems in the world with over 22,000 schools in 110 countries.

Staff
Administration
Pre-Primary
Primary
Bill Conway
Kathryn Wyer
Kelly Silva
Leon Cohen
Sue Honey

Bill Conway, Principal

Bill has been Principal of Montessori East since 2007. His background includes classroom teaching, guidance counselling and principalships in schools in the US, Colombia, New Zealand and Australia. His experience in Montessori began when he was 18 when he started his training as a Montessori teacher, however did not complete it. His education career took him to mainstream schools before 'coming home' to Montessori East to serve as its first full time principal.

Kathryn Wyer, Marketing & Communications

Kathryn joined our administrative team in 2009 after enrolling her daughter into Montessori East. With the aim of being actively engaged as a parent and utilising her professional skills, Kathryn’s work at ME has been a perfect fit for her and the school. Her rich background in marketing, communications and administration has included top level management positions in major companies. Kathryn looks after our school communications, website, publications and assists with school events.




Kelly Silva, Finance Assistant

Kelly assists our Finance Manager and coordinates the After School Clubs program as well as the school canteen service. Kelly has been a part of the ME community for many years, primarily as a parent and now working part-time.


Leon Cohen, Finance Manager

Leon has a long history in the area of finance and business. He worked as an accountant in South Africa prior to immigrating to Australia. His work has included finance director and chief financial officer for a large chain of jewellery stores. Leon has been our Finance Manager since 2008.

Sue Honey, Administration

Sue keeps the school running like clock work. She will most likely be the first person parents and visitors come into contact with when enquiring or visiting our school. Along with her warm smile and joyful disposition, Sue takes care of the front desk, enrolments, the school register, parent events and many other important aspects of school life.  Sue is originally from South Africa and has now made Australia her home with her two lovely children. 


Ana Perger
Aristea Bezos
Franny Flynn
Jeni Peterson
Kay Urquhart
Lay Koon Ng
Mozelle Ediriweera
Sylvie Baudoin

Ana Perger
Lead Teacher
Elouera class
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

Ana has Bachelor in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Free University of Berlin. and she completed her AMI Montessori teaching qualification in Sydney.



 


Aristea Bezos
0-3 Program

Franny Flynn
Co-Lead Teacher 
Cooinda class
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

Franny joined ME in 2009 and has taught children in Cycles 1 and 2 for more than 15 years.  She holds an AMI Montessori teaching qualification and a Bachelors of Teaching (EC) from the University of Western Sydney.

 


Jeni Peterson
Co-Lead Teacher 
Cooinda class
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

Jeni has been the Cooinda lead teacher since 2008 and since returning from maternity leave, she now shares this role with Franny Flynn.  They're a great team drawing on each others collective experience.

Kay Urquhart
Assistant Teacher
Elouera class
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

Kay joined Montessori East in 2013. She is a fully qualified AMI Montessori teacher and a fully qualified Early Childhood Teacher. Kay is currently completing training to be a Montessori Teacher Trainer.  Previously she has held lead teacher positions and been a special needs teacher at various Montessori schools since 1993.  She has a wealth of experience and we are delighted to have her wisdom at Montessori East.

Lay Koon Ng
Assistant Teacher
Cooinda class
Cycle 1, 3-6 years

Lay completes the Cooinda team working part-time.  She holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Singapore University and Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education & Care from ACMS and a Diploma for 3-6 years.

Mozelle Ediriweera,
Assistant Teacher
Elouera class 
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

With an extensive history of Montessori teaching spanning over 15 years, Mozelle brings to ME a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, often sought for advice about managing children and parenting. Mozelle earned her AMI Montessori teaching diploma in 1992 in Sri Lanka then completed her Bachelor of Teaching in Sydney in 2003.



Sylvie Baudoin
Assistant Teacher
Cooinda class
Cycle 1, 3-6 year olds

Sylvie has worked at ME for more than 10 years. With a Bachelor of Arts and Montessori training in her background, Sylvie has carried out several roles in the school, mostly as a classroom teacher assisting the directress. Being a native French speaker, Sylvie adds a bit of foreign language into the classroom environment. 

Adelaide Jones
Amy Goldman
Fiona Mackenzie
Kei Ikeda
Phil Macken
Raji Sivapalan
Sharon Tan
Siobhan O'Gorman
Violetta Stojcevski

Adelaide Jones
Assistant Teacher
Waragal
Cycle 2, 6-9 year olds

Adelaide joined us in 2016. She has a Bachelor of primary education and Bachelor of international studies from UTS and has experience working with children with additional needs. Adelaide loves music especially singing and is learning to play the cello. 

Amy Goldman
Assistant Teacher
Wobbegong class
Cycle 3, 9-12 year olds

Amy is an assistant teacher in Cycle 3 (9-12 yo) and completed her AMI Montessori Teacher Training qualifications in 2017.  With a BA in Art and Design and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the UK, Amy is constantly finding ways to enhance her knowledge and skills.


Fiona Mackenzie
Lead Teacher
Wobbegong class
Cycle 3, 9-12 year olds

Fiona began her teaching career in New Zealand over 30 years ago. She decided to become a Montessori teacher after her daughters started attending a Montessori school and after joining ME in 2003. Fiona became a fully qualified AMI trained Montessori teacher and has led the Cycle 3 class for more than 10 years. Besides teaching, Fiona has a keen interest in sound technology, music and writing. She has most recently participated in training in the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University (NY) and is currently taking a graduate course in writing.


Kei Ikeda
Lead Teacher
Wangaree class
Cycle 2, 
6-9 year olds 

Kei completed her AMI Montessori training in 2011 and prior to that worked as an Assistant Teacher at Montessori East. She received her Bachelor in Education at UNSW in 2005 along with her Bachelor in Dance. Kei has always endeavoured to combine her interest in primary education with her love of contemporary dance. 


Phil Macken
Assistant Teacher
Wangaree class
Cycle 2, 6-9 year olds

In 2002 Phil came to work at Montessori East as an Assistant Teacher. His background was primarily in the area of art and design having completed a BA in Visual Communication. Over the past decade Phil has become an important part of the ME community, not only in the classroom but also in running our physical education program, art instruction and several after school clubs.


Raji Sivapalan, 0-3 Program & Education Leader

Raji started her Montessori career at ME as a Cycle 1 (3-6 years) directress in 1988 when the school was located in Vaucluse. Since then she has gained her qualifications as a Cycle 2 and 3 teacher (primary 6-12 years) and in 2011 she completed 0-3 training. In 2012 she started a 0-3 years program at Montessori East and it has grown significantly since then.  As the school's Education Leader, she also spends time in the classrooms with the teachers and children, sharing her wisdom and deep love for the children and Montessori education.


Sharon Tan
Lead Teacher
Waragal class 
Cycle 2, 6-9 year olds

Sharon loves learning.  She graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Education, she also holds a Bachelors in Economics and a Masters in Commerce from UNSW. Sharon joined Montessori East in 2011 and she completed her AMI Montessori Teacher qualification in 2016. 


Siobhan O'Gorman
Learning Support Teacher

Siobhan O’Gorman is our Learning Support Teacher and she has extensive training and experience in working with children who require specific attention. Siobhan is a fully qualified Montessori teacher pre-school (age 3-6) and primary school (age 6-12).




Violetta Stojcevski
Assistant Teacher
Wobbegong
Cycle 3, 9-12 year olds

Violetta joined our team in 2017 and she has experience in a broad range of educational settings.  She holds a degree in Primary / Early Childhood Education and completed the AMI Montessori 3-6 training in 2013. Her experience includes working in the Torres Strait Islands. Violetta is passionate about Educateurs sans Frontieres and crazy about our oceans.


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