Toddler

Ms. Elise Gervais

TODDLER MONTESSORI GUIDE

Ms. Gervais is guiding the development of our Toddler students while Ms. Duhig is on maternity leave.

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 a diploma from the North American Montessori Centre and has trained with the Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute, a MACTE accredited school. Elise loves to observe and assist the youngest members of our society as they journey towards independence and self-discovery. Elise is also the mother of three awesome kids.

Ms Janelle Duhig (On Leave)

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 Jessica Dewey

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

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

Bio info to come.

Ms Laurie Robinson

MONTESSORI GUIDE

Ms. Robinson is the Casa South Montessori Guide.

Bio info to come.

Mme Renée Perazzo

FRENCH CASA ASSISTANT

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 Katie Sullivan

ENGLISH CASA ASSISTANT

Ms Sullivan is the English Casa Assistant in Casa South at Lyonsgate, was born and raised in Hamilton, is a graduate of the Concurrent Education program at Brock University, and 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.

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 Kim Fiocca

Learning Resource Specialist

Bio details to come.

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 Briar Beach

Primary Support Staff

Bio details to come.