Megan Eskander – Director, Lead Primary Guide
Megan has dedicated her life and work to understanding the child’s holistic development and intend on working with families and communities to promote an awareness of the amazing potential within every child. With six years teaching First Grade in California public schools, two years of public and private preschool, and three years tutoring adults with learning disabilities under her belt, she began to explore Montessori education. After earning an AMI Montessori Primary Diploma, and a Master’s Degree in Montessori Primary Education (M.Ed.), Megan founded The Montessori House of St. Johns in her own home in 2009. Despite her growth over the years, her love for being with the children keeps her in the classroom part-time, in addition to her roles as School Director and mother of two fantastic children, Marlee and Cairo.
Kate Simer – Co-Lead Primary Guide and Spanish Program Coordinator
Kate received a B.A. in Arts and Letters from Portland State University, with a focus on contemporary literature and creative writing. She completed her AMI training at Montessori Northwest, and holds a Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. Kate first began teaching in Barcelona, Catalonia, where she lived for ten years and co-founded COLLAGE, a creative education center. Using arts and crafts, games, songs and stories as mediums to teach English, Kate developed programs for children 18 months–17 years old, and delighted in observing the progress of students who returned to the classroom year after year. In 2013, she returned to Portland with the goal of working in a bilingual Montessori classroom, and is thrilled to be a part of the The Montessori House community. Besides spending time with brilliant people one-third her height, Kate enjoys hiking, reading, singing, and taking photographs while exploring new lands.
Barb Michalk-McDermott – Primary Assistant
Barb has been working with children for most of her life. She grew up in a small town in central California. In 1987, Barb moved to San Francisco and worked privately as a nanny for most of the 15 years she lived there. She and her husband, then boyfriend, moved to Portland in November 2000. Being committed to sustainability and an eco-friendly lifestyle, Barb became a Master Recycler through Metro in Portland, Oregon. She lives in North Portland with her husband, Sean, and their two funny, curious girls, their beloved dog, fish, and chickens.
Barb graduated from the Child Care Improvement Project of the Neighborhood House and opened an in-home daycare after her first child was born in 2005. After an opportunity to grow and develop professionally with The Montessori House was presented to her, she just could not pass it up. She has loved being here. Learning from the staff, Megan, and the children has been such a blessing to her and her family. They love being part of North Portland and The Montessori House village!
Nel Bodden – Primary Assistant