Ms. Elise Gervais


Elise grew up in an old schoolhouse in rural South Western Ontario. She worked in many different work environments (bartender, baker, actor, University Administrator, School bus driver, etc.) before finding her way to a Montessori school in 2013. She became enamoured with the work of Maria Montessori and has an Infant and Toddler MACTE accredited diploma from the Canadian Montessori Teacher Institute, a diploma from the North American Montessori Centre, and a B.A. in English Literature from The University of Windsor.

Elise is the mother of three awesome kids!

Ms. Vanessa Findlay


*Bio info to come

Mlle Ellie Wilson


Mlle Wilson is the Toddler Classroom French Language Assistant at Lyonsgate. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day in Sheffield, England, but moved to Canada with her mum as a toddler. As a child, Mlle Wilson was always dancing, singing, or being silly — challenging her imagination!

In high school, she had the opportunity to participate in two exchanges, one to Geneva, Switzerland, and one to Charteauguay, Quebec. These experiences allowed her to deepen her understanding of the French language and exposed her to the rich cultures associated with each location. Her enjoyment of these experiences encouraged her to pursue an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Ottawa, Majoring in French as a Second Language with a Minor in English. With this degree came the hope of becoming a French teacher.

After finishing her degree summa cum laude, Mlle Wilson decided to move to Hamilton with her trusty sidekick and cat Tina, to be closer to family. In her time off, she enjoys photography, dancing, and spending time with friends and family. Mlle Wilson is thrilled to be a part of the Lyonsgate community and hopes to inspire a love of language in young minds.


Ms. Briar Beach


Ms. Beach is the Montessori Guide in Casa North. She was born and raised in Hamilton, received her degree in Communications Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a recent graduate from AMI’s Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto. Ms. Beach has worked in several different industries as a hostess, cashier, and a camp counsellor. She always knew that she wanted to work with children and found her love of Montessori through her older cousin who is also a Montessorian. She was lucky enough to be able to complete her first Montessori observation at Lyonsgate before she attended the Foundation to become a Montessori guide. Outside of Lyonsgate, Ms. Beach is often spending time with her friends, family and dog Dasher, baking, playing sports, or watching one of her favourite TV shows.

Mme Fatia Murati


Mme. Murati is the Casa North French Assistant at Lyonsgate. She 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 two children, both of whom attend Lyonsgate.

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.

Ms. Kathy Canessa


Ms. Canessa is the English language assistant in Casa North.

Bio info to come.

Ms. Laurie Robinson


Ms. Robinson is the Casa South Montessori Guide.

Bio info to come.

Mme Renée Perazzo


Mme Perazzo is the French language assistant in Casa South.

Mme Perazzo was born in Quebec and raised in Ottawa where she grew up in a bilingual environment. She has lived in the Hamilton area since her family moved here in 1978. After years of working in the wellness field she took the opportunity for volunteer work at Ecole Monseigneur de Laval where her two amazing children attended school. It was such a wonderful experience being around the children that she developed a passion for working with them. Since 2004, Mme Perazzo has been a Montessori French Teacher and Assistant. In 2007, she completed the Montessori Assistant Course in Paris, Ontario.

Mme Perazzo enjoys badminton, volleyball, kayaking, long walks, board games, reading books, puzzles, and mostly just spending time with her family that she adores.

Ms. Jessica Dewey


Ms. Dewey is the English language assistant in Casa North.

Bio info to come.


Marissa Achong


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 Casa North at Lyonsgate.

Michelle Achong


Details to come.

Anne Prat Kalonji


*Bio info to come

Caitlin Pace


Details to come.

Ms. Danielle Pine


Bio info to come.


Mrs. Rachel Lyons


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.

Mrs. Sarah Kennedy


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


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.

Ms. Hilary Mattar


Details to come.

Support Staff

Ms. Kim Fiocca


Bio details to come.

Ms. Allie Craigie


Ms. Craigie was the French Assistant in the Lyonsgate Casa and Toddler programmes for 10 years before transitioning her role to become the Learning Resource Specialist at the Lyonsgate Primary (Casa and Toddler) campus. Ms. Craigie has two children that attend Lyonsgate as Montessori students. Originally from Ottawa, Ms. Craigie received her Registered Early Childhood Educator diploma from Algonquin College, received her A.M.I. Montessori training from the Washington Montessori Institute, and her MACAR (Montessori Applied to Children at Risk) training from the June Shelton School and Evaluation Center.

Ms. Craigie loves to be outside in nature, and to both read and write.

Ms. Sydney Relic


Ms. Relic is the Primary campus support staff at Lyonsgate. She was born and raised in Hamilton. Ms. Relic has worked in multiple industries as a hot food/deli clerk, baby sitter, cleaner, and custom cabinet maker. She was raised by her father, who always encouraged her to lead in self-directed and hands-on activities. Growing up Ms. Relic attended daycare and, being one of the longest attending children there, she had the opportunity to help out in the other classrooms. This is where she first discovered her passion and love for working with children. Through her friends and family having children, and Ms. Relic’s love and knowledge for building and creating, her interest was drawn towards Montessori. Ms. Relic is often spending time with friends, family, and dog Zeus, planning events, trying new activities, and building things.

Ms. Tatjana Covic


Ms. 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. Ms. Covic 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. Ms. Covic then moved to Canada, got married, and had three children, one of whom attended Lyonsgate.

Ms. Janelle Duhig (On Leave)


Ms. Duhig is the Primary support staff and has worked as Lyonsgate’s Toddler Montessori guide at Lyonsgate; she was always told to one day work with children. As an adolescent, she was a camp counsellor and babysitter. Prior to becoming a Montessori teacher, she was a travel agent as well as an event planner, but her love for working with children always prevailed. After reading about the Montessori philosophy she knew that this was the career path for her.

Ms. Duhig graduated from the Toronto Montessori Institute in 2013 and has had the privilege of teaching children from 15 months to 6 years of age.

Ms. Duhig is also a certified prenatal yoga instructor and yoga birth coach, and enjoys going on walks, reading, and painting.