Growing Up Montessori is a traditional Montessori pre-school for children ages 18 months - 6 years old. Our program is self-directed and encourages independence and the love of learning. The teachers at Growing Up Montessori provide a fun, stimulating and structured environment that supports the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of each child. The teachers continuously update the classroom materials, guide the children through individual and group lessons and observe each child to ensure that the developmental needs of each child are being met. The children learn to express themselves, problem solve and be self-directed individuals.
ABOUT MISS KATE:
Originally from Western New York, Kate has pursued a dual career in theater arts and early childhood education since graduating from New York University in 2001. In New York City, Kate worked with a variety of theater companies from established non-profits to small start-up arts-collectives while working with children both as a private care-giver and as a teacher at Beginnings Nursery School.
Eager for new artistic opportunities and a chance to live in the beautiful southwest, Kate moved to Santa Fe in 2005. She was delighted to be hired as a teacher in the 2-3 year old classroom at Desert Montessori, and shortly thereafter, Kate began creating and performing with Theater Grottesco, a Santa Fe-based physical theater company. While teaching at Desert, Kate received her Montessori Pre-School/Kindergarten Certification through the North American Montessori Center. She also designed and taught gymnastics and creative movement classes at Desert Montessori.
From 2008-2011, Kate worked solely with Theater Grottesco as the Managing Director and a company artist. She managed the daily operations of the company while continuing to create and perform theatrical works; she also assisted the Artistic Director in the teaching of physical theater techniques to both young people and adults.
After the birth of her first son Luke in 2011, Kate joined the team of wonderful educators at Growing Up Montessori School, and took on the leadership role of Co-Director in 2015. She is deeply grateful to be part of this wonderful, lively community and feels very lucky to be able to support both the teachers and the families during their time at Growing Up Montessori.
CERTIFIED MONTESSORI TEACHER
CERTIFIED MONTESSORI TEACHER
ABOUT MISS TRACEY:
Tracey Shonteff was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She is an organized, well-rounded teacher who loves working with children and is inspired by the way children learn.
Tracey’s first Montessori teaching position was as an assistant at Forest Hill Montessori in San Francisco, California in 2000. Fascinated by the children’s focus and independence in the classroom and amazed at how three, four and five-year-olds used hands-on materials to learn language, math, and science and engage in cultural lessons, Tracey realized she had found her calling and decided to pursue Montessori training.
Tracey received her Montessori Early Childhood training in New York and did her practicum years at Ridgewood Montessori in New Jersey. At Ridgewood, Tracey worked with a wonderful and inspiring teacher who had an enormous impact on the teacher that Tracey is today. It was through this mentorship that Tracey learned the art of observation.
Following her practicum years, Tracey moved back to San Francisco where she had the pleasure of working as head teacher at Corte Madera Montessori. In 2005, Tracey moved to Santa Fe and joined Desert Montessori School as lead teacher in the Kindergarten classroom. After two years in this position, Tracey was inspired to further her education, and she completed the Elementary Teacher Credential Course through the San Francisco Bay Area Montessori Teacher Education Center. She spent her practicum year at Desert Montessori as lead teacher for first, second, and third grades.
In 2010, Tracey was able to follow her dream of opening Growing Up Montessori School: a traditional Montessori learning environment that encourages independence and a love of learning. At Growing Up Montessori School, Tracey is a teacher in the Butterfly Class as well as the Director of the school. She is a loving and supportive teacher and she both nurtures and challenges her students through attentive observation, generous encouragement and wonderful sense of play.