Toddler

Miss Dee

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Miss Dee cherishes her wonderful memories of being raised in Florida, USA. She is currently completing her Infant and Toddler training at the Toronto Montessori Institute following two years working with our Toddler Community. Miss Dee also holds a diploma in Child and Youth Care as well as Autism and Behavioral Science from Mohawk College in Hamilton. Miss Dee has always had a passion for working with children, but struggled to find theories and methods that matched her desire to honour the child until she found Montessori.  In her spare time, Miss Dee loves to spend time outdoors hiking, playing tennis, volleyball, and softball. She also plays the violin and loves to sing!

Emily Noordam

FRENCH TODDLER ASSISTANT

Mlle. Noordam grew up in Dundas, Ontario, and began babysitting and volunteering with children at a young age. This led her to to pursue a diploma in Early Childhood Education at Mohawk College. It was there that she learned about the Montessori method and found a connection with the curriculum. She attained a job in a Montessori toddler classroom and fell in love with the way the method supported children in their learning processes and environmental awareness. Mlle. Noordam learned French from an immersive French teacher in high school, and because of that teaching method she was able to further her French and become a better French speaker. Mlle. Noordam is grateful that she now gets to have a similar opportunity to teach children the French language as she once did. She continued her studies, achieving a degree in Early Years Education at Charles Sturt University, and expanded her knowledge of Montessori through the Toddler training course at the North American Montessori Center.  Mlle. Noordam has a passion for sculpting and paint, as well as playing piano and ukulele.  She brings her love of music into the classroom and is often seen with her students gathered around for a song.

Emily Colbert

ENGLISH TODDLER ASSISTANT

Ms. Colbert was born and raised in Hamilton. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in English, she followed her passion for working with children and obtained her Early Childhood Education diploma in 2015. She first became aware of the value of Montessori education when her young siblings began to attend a school that followed the philosophy, and she loved what it had to offer to them.  After working at Lyonsgate in a support role for a year, and taking the AMI Assistant course, she is excited to be joining the Toddler environment. Ms. Colbert loves to sing both in and out of the classroom, as well as read, write, and develop her knitting skills.

Casa

Jaclyn Boyle

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Miss Boyle completed her A.M.I. Primary training at the Foundation for Montessori Education in 2014. Originally from Dundas, Ontario, Miss Boyle previously achieved a degree in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. She has also gained experience as a nanny (including some twins), a camp counsellor, and as a Montessori directress in Cambridge. Outside of school, Miss Boyle enjoys camping, travelling, and reading, as well as playing soccer and baseball.

Fatia Murati

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

Mme. Murati is currently on leave.

Mme. Murati was born and raised in Sens, France. Her parents decided to keep her home until Grade 1, during which time she was homeschooled by her grandmother who taught her to read and write. During her time in high school she was on the track and field team and would coach younger children after school in a variety of athletic activities.

After graduating high school, Mme. Murati attained a college diploma in business management from Joseph Fourier. In 2010, Mme. Murati moved to Canada to join a man she met on vacation in 2006, who would later become her husband. Their family has expanded since then to include their lovely young daughter.

When she began work at Lyonsgate Montessori, Mme. Murati knew very little English and so she made a deal with her young students: she would help them learn French if they would help her learn English. After a few months, she was so happy to see their progress in understanding and speaking French. The Montessori philosophy is now a part of her everyday life.

Charlotte Moffatt

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Miss Moffatt was raised in Grimsby, Ontario and is the middle child in a family of 9. She has been working with children since she was 13, as a babysitter, a camp counselor, an art teacher, and a Montessori directress. Miss Moffatt has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ryerson University where she studied costume and set design. While teaching an art class to a group of Montessori students she instantly fell in love and redirected her career path towards Montessori Education. She has an A.M.I. Casa Diploma from the Foundation of Montessori Education in Toronto. Miss Moffatt has worked in as a directress in New York City, USA, and London, England, and is thrilled to call Hamilton and Lyonsgate home. In her spare time she loves to travel, sew, hike, cook vegetarian food, read, learn guitar and spend time with her friends and family.

Juliet Paul

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Mlle. Paul is grateful to have attended school in French. She grew up playing soccer and hockey competitively and also has great memories of being in Girl Guides. In 2014, her family moved to Hamilton and she is happy to be close to her extended family. Once in Hamilton, Mlle. Paul graduated from Westdale Secondary School and studied Graphic Design at Mohawk College. Being around children so often, whether one of her younger siblings or her regular babysitting clients, she found she loves working with children.  In her spare time, Mlle. Paul enjoys photography, taking walks, and has a great appreciation for music and art.  She is excited to continue working with the wonderful community at Lyonsgate!

Bradley Davis

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

Mr. Davis, the second youngest of six children, was raised in a small town in Illinois, where he developed his lifelong love of music, art, and food. He is a graduate of the Community Worker program at George Brown College, which reignited his passion for learning and led to working with school garden programs and arts-based education throughout the GTA. This work led to an interest in Montessori and he’s excited to be surrounded by Lyonsgate’s environment of creativity and learning. Mr. Davis is an avid baker and is currently trying to perfect Montreal-style bagels without a wood oven. He also enjoys creating and listening to music, exploring the world with his wife, volunteering with a senior’s activity program, and hanging out with his wonderful cats, Hamish and Gracie. He hopes the grove of about 30 small lemon trees that he planted from seed will one day produce fruit. Fingers crossed!

Anita Iafrate

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

Ms. Iafrate is a lifelong learner and has always found enjoyment in teaching. She started playing piano early on and is trained with the Royal Conservatory of Music, where she attained grade 10 in piano. She also has an Elementary Specialist Certificate in piano teaching. Ms. Iafrate holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McMaster University, where she also gained experience teaching and performing, and sang in the Women’s Choir.

Ms. Iafrate has taught piano privately and in a studio for several years, and went on to study Early Childhood Education at Mohawk College. She has worked with a variety of age groups and discovered Montessori during her ECE education. Ms. Iafrate is happy to join Lyonsgate.

Outside of school and piano, Ms. Iafrate enjoys, horseback riding, baking, ballroom dancing, and being outdoors.

Lauren Peat

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mlle. Peat has lived in the United States, England, Canada, and France. She began learning French while living in England, and immediately fell in love with all things francophone. (Not least of all, croissants!). She studied English and French literature at the University of Toronto, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Boston University. A published poet and freelance literary translator, Mlle. Peat most recently taught literacy and creative writing at the high school and undergraduate levels. She has long been inspired by the Montessori philosophy, and is delighted to be sharing her passion for French with the bright young students of Lyonsgate. When not writing or teaching, Mlle. Peat can be found running, whipping up a new recipe, or working on her next big project: learning Spanish!

Elementary

Marissa Achong

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Marissa is the youngest of three sisters, and spent her childhood exploring the woods behind their home in Hamilton. She holds a Masters of Education from Loyola University in Maryland, and received her A.M.I. Elementary diploma from Washington Montessori Institute in 2010. Previously, she completed an A.M.I. Primary diploma at the Foundation for Montessori Education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University.  She has worked at both the Casa and Elementary levels, as well as specializing in guiding students with learning differences and special needs in Montessori environments. She also holds a certificate in Montessori Applied to Children at Risk from Shelton School in Texas. After class, Marissa enjoys playing board games, reading, hiking, trips to the dog park, and has an eclectic taste in music. Her young son is an enthusiastic member of the Toddler Community at Lyonsgate.

Janice Egan

FRENCH ELEMENTARY ASSISTANT

In 2000 Mme. Egan had the very good fortune to find a wonderful Montessori school for her two eldest children when they were preschool age and living in south-eastern Washington State. For four years her children learned enthusiastically, while Mme. Egan volunteered in the classroom, organized fundraisers and sat on the board of directors. Many years later she sought a Montessori for her third child, who also had a wonderful learning experience in the Montessori classroom.

Mme. Egan, having achieved a M.A. in French at McMaster University, began teaching French in a Montessori school.  The Montessori environment offers myriad opportunities to learn French in a fun and positive way. Originally from Ireland, Canada has been her home for over 20 years. In her spare time she loves to read, knit, run and garden. These are also things she loves to do with the children she teaches.

Administration

Rachel Lyons

OWNER/PRINCIPAL

Mrs. Lyons is a native of Hamilton west, and attended a Montessori programme as a child. She credits her early education for her passion for teaching and an eagerness for exploration. She received a diploma in Early Childhood Education at Mohawk College and later achieved her A.M.I. Primary diploma from the Foundation for Montessori Education in 2000. After gaining experience directing Casa programmes in Aurora, Dundas, and Ancaster, she achieved her dream of opening Lyonsgate Montessori in September 2005.

Outside of school, she is a mother of three energetic Montessori students, as well as her dog, Petunia. She loves to sing and play guitar, enjoys bicycling and hiking, and volunteers as a Girl Guide leader in the community.

Sarah Kennedy

VICE-PRINCIPAL

Mrs. Kennedy is currently on leave.

Mrs Kennedy was fortunate enough to have attended a local Montessori school as a child and has fond memories of her time in the casa and lower elementary classrooms. Having an extensive variety of volunteer experiences working with children, Mrs Kennedy attended Mohawk College for Child and Youth Work, followed by earning honors in her Early Childhood Education program. After enjoying many years in the social service sector, Mrs Kennedy returned to school to earn her AMI Montessori certificate from the Foundation for Montessori Education. She has taught in the classroom for ten years, and is now excited to move on to an administrative role in a position to support the students, families and staff of Lyonsgate. When not involved with the three “R’s”, Mrs Kennedy enjoys the three “C’s”: camping, cottaging and cruising. Most importantly, she treasures moments spent with family.

Jason Phillips

ADMINISTRATOR/ENGLISH ELEMENTARY ASSISTANT

Jason is the father of two now-graduated Montessori children and has worked in Montessori for 10  years, both in the classroom and in administration. He holds an honours B.A in English from Laurentian University, an M.A. in English from McMaster, and has a partial PhD. in Literary and Critical Theory. As a graduate student, he has taught at McMaster and Wilfrid Laurier universities, developed literature and cultural studies courses, performed research for course development and publication projects for tenured faculty, and has presented papers at conferences in Canada and abroad. Jason has also worked as a journalist and editor. After spending his first eight years in England, Jason was raised in the wilderness of northern Ontario and spent many years falling off skateboards in Vancouver before settling down in southern Ontario in order to make the world a better place through education.

Tatjana Covic

KITCHEN AND CARE

Tatjana Covic works at the Lyonsgate Primary campus and is responsible for preparing the catered lunch for each class, participates in outdoor care with the Casa children, and keeps everything clean, organized, and ready for the next day.Tatiana was born in Bosnia where she finished business high school before having to leave the country because of war, spending six years in the Czech Republic managing a crystal, glass, silver, and gem store. Tatiana then moved to Canada, got married, and had three children, one of whom is presently attending Lyonsgate.