MCDC Montessori School Staff

Our (MCDC) Montessori School Staff members are selected with the utmost care and scrutiny under the authority of Director Marijane Schafer, who is a Montessori Certified teacher.

One basic idea of the Montessori philosophy is that carried, unseen with each child, is the person the child will become. To develop to the fullest physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual potential, the child must have freedom-achieved through order and self-discipline. To aid this fulfillment is the teacher’s ultimate goal.

A young child’s world is full of sights and sounds that appear chaotic. From this chaos the child gradually creates order and learns to distinguish among the impressions which assail the senses, thus slowly gains mastery of self and the environment. The teacher guides and directs each child on their individual quest for order and understanding of the world around him.

Head teachers called “guides” or “directresses”. The Montessori teacher carefully prepares and maintains the aesthetic, enriched, orderly learning environment. She is essential in bringing together the child and the materials and in guiding children’s social and emotional development. She makes daily observations in order to follow each child’s initiative and capture his or her interest when introducing appropriate materials.

A material chosen by the teacher to present to a child is considered developmentally appropriate and is most easily mastered when it corresponds to a child’s particular “sensitive period” for learning. Spontaneity is the key to the learning process in a Montessori environment.

Our standards are uncompromising when it comes to the well-being of your child. Sound character, experience and demonstrated proficiency in the classroom, the required education and professional certification, but above all, a commitment to children and teaching – these are the criteria by which we have built an exceptional staff. Certified Montessori teachers direct each class. Our student-teacher ratio never exceeds twelve to one.

Montessori School Staff – Administration

Marijane Schafer Founder And Executive Director Of Montessori Child Development Center

Marijane Schafer

Founder And Executive Director Of Montessori Child Development Center

Marijane, grew up in Michigan. As a child she loved to be out of doors, ride her horse, swim in the lakes and play in the woods. She was visiting the children’s center at the local hospital, as a young college student, and was introduced to the Montessori Method. Fascinated by what she saw she immediately began to observe Montessori Schools. She was hooked.After completing her BA she went on to Chicago to take the Montessori Teacher’s training. In 1978 following 8 years of teaching at 2 other schools she co-founded MCDC. It is important to Marijane to be very involved in the everyday operation of the schools so you will see her in the driveway at arrivals and dismissals keeping things moving and having a chance to say hello to each of you. 🏫👩‍🏫📚

Lewis Board

President Of Montessori Child Development Center's Board

A San Diego Native. Lew grew up in the neighborhood of Mira Mesa. As enterprising youth man, he cut lawns, delivered papers and washed cars for extra money. After he finished school he worked in the retail and the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years. He was even a stand-up comic for a few years! He has used his natural business acumen to help his wife, Marijane, run the Montessori Programs since 1995.💼🌟📈

Maureen Schwersensky Director Of Montessori Child Development Center

Maureen Schwersensky

Director Of Montessori Child Development Center

Miss Maureen is a San Diego native and enjoys helping families call this area and MCDC home. She is the mother of four, grandmother of seven. Three of her grandchildren have gone on to elementary school from MCDC and two still attend and are flourishing. Maureen began her career in education over 25 years ago. She received her training in Early Childhood Development and pre-school administration. In 2006 she joined MCDC as a support teacher and fell in love with the Montessori method. She was promoted to MCDC’s Administrative Assistant in 2019 and in 2020 she took over as School Director. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, crocheting and cooking. 🍳🌟

Upstairs Montessori Classroom Teachers & Staff

Vanit Dhaliwal Lead Montessori Primary Teacher For Upstairs Classroom

Vanit Dhaliwal

Lead Montessori Primary Teacher For Upstairs Classroom

Education has been Vanit’s passion for as long as she remember. She holds a BA in General Science, Masters in Zoology and a Bachelor of Education from Punjabi University in India. When her 2 children were young they went to a Montessori school in Encinitas and she became intrigued with the Montessori Education system. Vanit joined MCDC in 2003. She completed my Montessori training and interned at MCDC. She was on deck when her lead teacher retired and took over as an excellent head teacher.👩‍🏫🌱🌟

Elizabeth (Betty) Webb Montessori Support Teacher Since

Elizabeth (Betty) Webb

Support Teacher Since 2008

Meet Mrs. Betty, our cheerful Montessori support teacher since 2008! With a passion for arts and crafting, she brings creativity to life in the classroom. When she's not snapping photographs or cheering on the Padres, she's strumming her guitar and writing enchanting melodies. Her specialty in music adds a harmonious touch to our learning environment, making every day a fun and inspiring adventure for her students. Come and join Mrs. Betty's class, where education meets imagination! 🎨🎸📸

Pooja Khimsara Montessori Support Teacher In Upstairs Class

Pooja Khimsara

Montessori Support Teacher In Upstairs Class

Pooja Khimsara lights up our MCDC community with her Montessori magic. Since 2016, with a little break to welcome her own bundle of joy, she's been our go-to for all things Practical Life and Art. Imagine a teacher whose life revolves around Montessori not just at school, but at home too—both her kids are MCDC proud grads (one graduate & the second one graduating in 2024)!

Pooja, with her AMI certification, is all about diving hands-first into creative adventures, making arts and crafts the heart of learning. She's got this incredible knack for making every child feel special and seen, encouraging them to express themselves in the most colorful ways. Her approach? It’s all about fun, creativity, and nurturing that inner spark. With Pooja, every day is a journey of discovery, helping our little ones grow into confident and curious explorers.🎨🌟✨

Downstairs Montessori Classroom Teachers & Staff

Krystal Brown Lead Montessori Primary Teacher For Downstairs Classroom

Krystal Brown

Lead Montessori Primary Teacher For Downstairs Classroom

Ms. Krystal was born and raised in San Diego, California, where she attended San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. Shortly after graduating, Krystal discovered the Montessori method and became deeply interested in studying it. She’s always had a passion for helping others grow and flourish. Krystal obtained her AMI Montessori diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. After graduating, Krystal began her career at MCDC and is now one of the head teachers. Krystal enjoys reading, yoga, and watching the sunset at the beach.📚🌱👩‍🏫

Catherine Worthington Montessori Support Teacher

Catherine Worthington

Support Teacher

Meet Mrs. Catherine, our spirited Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten support teacher! With a twinkle in her eye, she'll whisk you away into a world of stories, making learning an enchanting adventure. When she's not in the classroom, you might find her cuddling her cat or lost in a movie marathon. And oh, have you heard about her specialty? Mrs. Catherine is a devoted doll collector! Each one has a tale, and she can't wait to share them with her students. With Catherine around, learning's never a dull moment! 🌟🖌️🏫

Jennifer Kelley Montessori Support Teacher & Lead In Extended Care

Jennifer Kelley

Support Teacher & Lead in Extended Care since 2006

Meet Mrs. Jennifer, our magical Montessori support teacher and Lead in Extended Care Services since 2006. With a sprinkle of joy and creativity, she helps children grow like her beloved garden at home. When she's not nurturing young minds, she's off to Disneyland with her daughter, capturing memories with her camera or hunting for unique antiques. Mrs. Jennifer's classroom is a special blend of fun and learning, where dreams take root and imaginations soar! 🌱✨