Mandy works with children in:
I am proud to say that this will be my 10 th year at Athena and my 20 th year in Montessori! My role is Education Director at Athena. I work closely with Lisl Friday and Heather Sundquist to help support the teachers and families in our community. My many years in the classroom as a Montessori Guide has been instrumental in the development of the skill set needed to take on my new role at Athena as part of the leadership team. My job consists of helping teachers learn and grow so they feel fulfilled in their work. I work closely with families on several levels, from helping them find outside resources that may be needed for their child, to helping them choose the next school community, and to just listening, because parenting is the hardest job on the planet. I am often in the classrooms observing, and these observations allow me to get to know every child on our campus.
It is my goal to help create a school that supports a nurturing learning environment—an
environment where children and families feel safe and held to develop, play, and learn how to be part of a community. I think an emotionally safe classroom environment is the perfect place for children to practice these skills. I thoroughly believe and trust in the Montessori process. Over the years, I have observed children exhibit the focus and drive to learn in the way that Maria Montessori herself spoke about over 100 years ago.
I enjoy the opportunity to continue being around children even though I have transitioned out of the classroom. Working with children for so many years has made me a better person and most certainly a better parent. My partner, Shawn Calamari, works at Austin Montessori in an Upper Elementary classroom. Our seven year old son, Matteo, graduated from Athena and currently attends Headwaters Montessori. Matteo has brought so much joy and adventure into our lives, as well as many humbling learning opportunities.
I look forward to learning and growing with all the members of our school community this year.
Feel free to reach out anytime.