Headwater Hills Montessori School

Our Staff

“But an adult if he is to provide proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the child who is watching him can clearly see his actions in all their particulars.” - Maria Montessori

Expand on the below to read about the amazing staff at Headwater Hills Montessori School.

Nancy Ernst Richards - Principal and Middle School Teacher

I began teaching in 1996 at the pre-K CASA level and, along with my students, moved up through the grade levels. I now take great joy in teaching the middle school level for the past 15 years. I’m grateful that no one wants to graduate me! Being a part of that mysterious unfoldment of each child is deeply rewarding. More than what children can ‘produce’, or ‘show’ us, I care deeply about each child’s inner experience and see that the environment we provide for children teaches them as much, if not more, than the actual lessons we teach. I love to explore the juncture where best practices in education meet with the inner being of each child. One of the greatest delights has been the opportunity to witness the development of my own son, who began Montessori at the age of 13 months and graduated from our middle school program. The curiosity, compassion and strength of character fostered at our school are serving him so well in university now. It is, additionally, an ongoing pleasure to provide support to the school community in the leadership and administrative capacity of Principal at Headwater Hills School. 

Regan Ross - CASA Teacher

Like so many CASA teachers before me, I came to the Montessori Method later in my working life. I worked in the mining sector (assistant geologist) and the consulting engineering world (environmental analyst) before staying at home to care for my three children. A coincidence introduced me to the Montessori method and my life was changed. I loved the way the method assumed that children were already intelligent and capable and how it focused on the whole child. So many of my questions and concerns about children, our public school system and our culture were answered by Maria Montessori. I only wish that my own children could have had a Montessori experience.

Prince Edward Island is where I began my training as a CASA directress/teacher at Island Montessori Academy. I quickly became certified as a CASA Directress through the North American Montessori Center. When we moved to Ontario, I trained at the Toronto Montessori Institute and worked at a Montessori school in Brampton to become MACTE accredited. I was thrilled to be asked to join the team at Headwater Hills – the staff, the property, the children and their families work together as a wonderfully supportive Montessori community - I actually sing on my way to work.

Rocco Russo - Elementary Teacher

Rocco has been a Montessori elementary teacher since 2009. He joined Headwater Hills Montessori School as our Elementary teacher in September 2017, bringing his four sons with him. Rocco is also our Phys. Ed. program coordinator. When not at the school, Rocco often finds himself helping out at the basketball games for one of his sons.

Bronte Howard - Educational Assistant

I never intended to be a teacher. My sights were on Physiotherapy. When my mother’s friend needed help in their boarding school for a term, it was an immediate conversion. I received my Teaching Certificate from Exeter University(UK) in 1964. A teaching practice observation in a one room schoolhouse, children age 5yrs -12 yrs was inspirational, totally different from my own educational experience, and set me on the Montessori path. A Southampton (UK) primary school was my first position. Leaping from there to Seattle, Washington, then we were whisked to San Diego, where conveniently a new Montessori school was built right next to us – a perfect fit for 2 sons and myself for 2 years.

Since 1993, Orangeville has provided my journey with Montessori meeting up and working with this amazing remarkable group of teachers in CASA, Elementary, and Middle School. My son asks why do I still teach? It is addictive. It is grist for the spirit to witness a child’s enthusiasm when he/she discovers, creates or achieves something themselves, and to do so in the company of such committed, engaging friends is invigorating. This also is a great place to keep my marbles! 

“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.” Maria Montessori

Dalanda Bah - French Teacher

Since October 2012, I have been teaching French to the students from age 2 and up at Headwater Hills Montessori. French is my first language and teaching it to young kids is such a joy for me. Through songs, rhymes, games and role play I make French an enjoyable learning experience. Working with the students at Headwater Hills Montessori School makes it easy for me to come to the school every day because as much as I love teaching them, I also enjoy learning from them. I appreciate the support of the administration, the faculty, and the parents at Headwater Hills Montessori School. I am here because everybody makes me feel welcome.

Velisa Samaroo - Administrative Assistant

Velisa is our school's Administrative Assistant. Her son is also enrolled at Headwater Hills Montessori School.


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