Toddler

Ms Janelle Duhig

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Ms Duhig is the Toddler Montessori guide at Lyonsgate and 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.

Mme Allie Craigie

FRENCH TODDLER ASSISTANT

Mme Craigie is the French Assistant in the Lyonsgate Toddler programme, and previously worked at Lyonsgate before starting her family. Mme. Craigie has two children that attend Lyonsgate as Montessori students. Originally from Ottawa, Mme. Craigie studied early childhood education at Algonquin College.
Excited to come back to work after taking five years off to be with her children, Mme. Craigie loves to be outside in nature, and to both read and write.

Mr Bradley Davis

ENGLISH TODDLER 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!

Casa

Ms Andrea Doherty

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Ms Doherty is the Casa North Montessori Guide at Lyonsgate. She began her teaching career in the traditional school system but says, “I was very organically drawn to Montessori. After being suggested as a great fit for a Montessori position by a colleague, I was completely hooked! I have been blessed to see firsthand the confident, inquisitive, focused child that Montessori encourages. I believe it is the most authentic, genuine, wholesome form of education, and a wonderful gift to offer your child!”
Ms Doherty graduated from Brock University with an Honours Bachelor of Humanities for Drama in Education in 2011, and a Bachelor of Education in 2012. After years of experience working in an accredited Montessori school, Ms Doherty received her formal Montessori training, graduating from the AMI Teacher Training Program (Primary) in 2015. Her Montessori roles have led her to Toronto, to New York, and to Ireland. After years living abroad with her partner, Warren, and their puppy, Ziggy, Ms Doherty is grateful to be planting roots here in Hamilton with Lyonsgate Montessori. On a personal level, you can always find Andrea curled up with a great novel, baking anything & everything that pops up on Pinterest, or hiking the Hamilton trails with her family.

Mme Fatia Murati

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

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 Shannon Folland

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

Ms. Folland is the English Assistant in Casa North and is mom to two lovely children who are just as fond of Montessori education as she is. They remind her of this at home when they’re looking for more independence and opportunities to express themselves.
Ms. Folland has a B.A. in Child Studies from Brock University, is a certified Mental Health First Aid Responder, and a Behavioural Specialist. Her career has had a focus on therapeutic work with children and in Community Development. A major theme in her work has been the importance of beginning with children’s strengths and abilities, and that children inherently know what they need.
Ms. Folland has also been a speaker at many conferences across Ontario and was recruited by the United Nations to speak on her work with children. The basis of all of her work has begun with celebrating the incredible minds of children, and the value of seeing them as a whole person. Shannon passionately believes in the power of compassion, humour, self-development, gratitude, and teamwork and is very eager to help your children empower themselves to be their best.

Ms Nisrin Jasdanwala

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Ms Jasdanwala is the Casa South Montessori Guide at Lyonsgate. She was born and brought up in Bombay (Mumbai), India, moved to Canada in the late 1990s, and has native fluency in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. Ms Jasdanwala’s dream was to teach Casa children since she was 20 years old. That came to be in Toronto in 2002, when she received her Montessori AMI Diploma from the Foundation of Montessori Education. Her education qualifications also consist of a Masters Degree in Sociology from Bombay University, a Bachelor of Education from Charles Sturt University, and Certificates in Speech and Drama from Trinity College of London. Ms Jasdanwala has taught for 8 years in three countries: Canada, United States, and India. She also holds diplomas in Travel and Tourism and in Beauty and Hairdressing, and extends her knowledge to friends and family when they require it.
Ms Jasdanwala loves to indulge in adventurous sports, play board games, loves to travel the world, watch Broadway plays, and direct plays for children at the school. She also likes to read, enjoys Indian and Western music, loves to see Bollywood and Hollywood movies, and plays the Djembe.
Ms Jasdanwala is passionate about guiding your children’s academic, social, cognitive, and emotional development to enhance each child’s will and personality.

Mlle Juliet Paul

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

The French Casa Assistant in Casa South at Lyonsgate, Mlle Paul was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, and 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!

Ms Katie Sullivan

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

Ms Sullivan is the English Casa Assistant in Casa South at Lyonsgate, was born and raised in Hamilton, and is a graduate of the Concurrent Education program at Brock University, an Ontario Certified teacher. Ms Sullivan has worked as a camp counselor, lifeguard, and swimming instructor with children of varying ages. During teacher’s college, Ms Sullivan participated in teaching practicum with grades 3, 7, and 8 in public schools. She most recently translated her love of learning to becoming a yoga teacher, guiding people in mindful movement and meditation. Katie is also a graduate of the AMI Montessori Assistant’s Course at the Foundation for Montessori Education. Outside of Lyonsgate, you’ll find Ms Sullivan hiking in the forest, reading good books, camping, doing yoga, and exploring the world with her son.

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 Casa North at Lyonsgate.

Michelle Achong

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Details to come.

Monsieur Damien Bouquin

FRENCH ELEMENTARY ASSISTANT

Monsieur Bouquin was born in Paris, France. He grew up in the north of Paris with his brother and sister and spent the majority of his life there until he decided to move to Canada in April 2019 with his fiancée, whom he originally met during the summer of 2004 in Hamilton. Monsieur Bouquin gained experience with children at many Parisian schools where he supported them in afterschool programs, in sports activities, and in the arts. It was there he found that working with children was his calling. He can speak French, English, and conversational Spanish, which he is looking forward to improving. Monsieur Bouquin has a fascination for languages and communication. He has traveled around Europe with friends and family, got engaged in Brussels, and visited North Africa as well as Canada. Monsieur Bouquin loves cooking and discovering new tastes. The kitchen is a place where he can express his passion. He also likes soccer, spending time with family, French cheese (obviously!), and keeping up with the news every morning.

Mme 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

Mrs. 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.

Mrs. Sarah Kennedy

VICE-PRINCIPAL

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.

Ms Hilary Mattar

ADMINISTRATOR

Details to come.

Support Staff

Ms Tatjana Covic

KITCHEN AND CARE

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 is presently attending Lyonsgate.

Ms Jessica Dewey

FLOAT STAFF

Bio details to come.

Ms Mandy La Rose

SUPPLY STAFF

Ms La Rose is the on-call supply staff for the 2020.2021 school year. With the heightened health and safety protocols, including strict exclusion criteria, your children will likely be seeing a lot of Ms. La Rose.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Ms. La Rose comes from a large family and is the middle of three sisters. She has two daughters, married her high school sweetheart, and has three “fur babies” — 2 cats (Drake and Milo) 1 husky (Kira).
Ms La Rose earned her diploma in early childhood education from Mohawk College in 2013, and has been the camp coordinator for summer camps for children ages 4 to 6.
Ms La Rose grew up camping every weekend and all summer, and now enjoys sharing her family traditions with her two girls, and also enjoys drawing.