Teachers

Meet Our Montessori Teachers

 

Kristin Weed

Kristin Weed

Kristin Weed has been teaching since her 1993-1995 term as an environmental educator with the Peace Corps Panama. When she returned to the states, her first job was at a public Montessori school in San Diego.  While there, she completed her Montessori AMS Elementary training, taught in both Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms, and earned a Masters in Education from San Diego State University.  

 

After moving to Washington with her growing family, she piloted the first Montessori Elementary class here at ORLA and has been a part of the growing program ever since.  She is a National Board Certified Teacher.  Besides teaching, she loves fiddling around on the piano or guitar, taking long walks with her dog, Buddy, and spending time with her husband and two daughters. Mrs. Weed's classroom welcomes back Gavin Church as her teaching assistant this year.

Teaching Montessori Children's House in the Goldfinch Group! 1/2 day tuition-based Pre-K combined with a full-day tuition-free Kindergarten.

Email: kweed@osd.wednet.edu

 

Kristine Zitny

Kristine Zitny

I truly love being a part of the Montessori pedagogy. I began my career stumbling upon Montessori during my time at the University of Montana's Laboratory Preschool in the 1990's. Since then, I have believed in Dr. Montessori and her holistic view of life, learning, and world peace. I am a married, mother of seven. Life experience, combined with the wisdom of Dr. Montessori has shown me that children need to be given well-prepared learning opportunities, to develop strengths that are already within them.

As Dr. Montessori so instinctively knew, children are our future. We need to give them the respect and educational opportunities they deserve so that they may become the problem solvers, global thinkers, and world leaders. Mrs. Zitny’s classroom welcomes Nancy O’Neil back as the teaching assistant.

Joined ORLA Montessori in September 2015. Teaching Montessori Children's House in the Sea Turtle Group! 1/2 day tuition-based Pre-K combined with a full-day tuition-free Kindergarten.

Email: kzitny@osd.wednet.edu

 


Chanda Martin

Chanda Martin

Joined ORLA Montessori in September 2013 teaching 1st-3rd grade classes. Ms. Martin welcomes Sopheap Uch-chen back this year as the teaching assistant.

Email: cmartin@osd.wednet.edu






Claire McGibbonClaire Tolstyga-McGibbon

Claire McGibbon is new to our Montessori teaching family. Claire has experience teaching in a variety of educational settings since earning a teaching degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree from Washington State University. As an experienced educator, she has 33 years of teaching experience at all grade levels. In addition, Claire is a volunteer zoologist at The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and is excited to share sensorial experiences with ORLA Montessori. Claire is excited to continue her work teaching in the lower elementary classroom while finishing her formal Montessori training. Claire loves hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, animals, service, and spending time in nature. 

Joined ORLA Montessori in September 2017 teaching 1st-3rd grade classes.

Email: cmcgibbon@osd.wednet.edu

 

Tiffany Sabatini

Tiffany Sabatini

It is such an honor to teach at ORLA Montessori!  I love my co-workers, families, and students and I love getting to work within such a unique and child-centered culture of learning.   I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and went to a Montessori Children’s House when I was young, thus began my passion for nature and for learning.

 

My journey to teaching included a lot of informal teaching and community work before becoming a certified teacher.  I worked for two years as a non-violence literacy and poetry coach for students from many cultural and economic backgrounds in Seattle.  After that, I hosted author events at Elliott Bay Book Company and trained new staff members.  I met my husband, Chris Sabatini, working at the bookstore and we then moved to Olympia so I could pursue a Master in Teaching degree at The Evergreen State College.  Go Geoducks!  We fell in love with Olympia and now we never plan to live anywhere else.  Once hired at ORLA, I studied the Montessori method at the Montessori Educational Institute of the Pacific Northwest.  I’m now in my 4th year of teaching Lower Elementary at ORLA.

In my classroom I believe in establishing a student-led community— students develop the routines, community conversations, jobs, and resources that they think they need to have safety and success at school.  Both the Montessori method of teaching and the students I work with, inspire me to keep my eyes open, to observe and to fan the flame of excitement that I see in students every day.

Linda NelsonLinda Nelson   

Growing up I  always knew I wanted to become a teacher as I enjoyed helping students learn and believe in themselves.  Olympia has always been my home (except when I went to Holland as a foreign exchange student and when I went to college at Central Washington University).  There is truly no better place to live and play. As well as teaching my other love is sports. Sports gave my life purpose from softball and water ballet as a girl to high school sports and college swimming.  

In 2010 I completed my National Boards Certification and I also have my Masters in Administration.   I love reading and participate in a monthly book group. I’ve been married many years to my sweet husband Mark who works as a Maritime contractor.

Taking care of our Puget Sound has also been an important part of my teaching. For the past 16 years, I have worked to teach students about our water quality and how their impact on our earth effect Olympia.  

Learning the Montessori teaching process has deepened my love for helping students learn and follow their passion.

 

Joined ORLA in September 2015 and ORLA Montessori in 2016. Teaching Montessori 4-6th grade classes. Email: lnelson@osd.wednet.edu