The mother of two grown children, Katy has been involved in education for many years. Working with children has always been a joy, and she believes that helping support children and their families is some of the most important work our society can do. She holds a BA from Colby College and a MEd from Plymouth State University as well as an AMS Elementary I credential. Having seen firsthand the value of Montessori education for children, she feels privileged to continue supporting this work in her role as Director of Children's House Montessori School. She hopes as many children as possible can reap the benefit of the CHMS Montessori experience.
Jody Curtis, Office Manager
Jody has been the administrative assistant in the CHMS office for some time. Prior to coming to CHMS, her background included working for a local non-profit, connecting adolescent students to their communities through a variety of community service programs. Jody also worked as a middle school art teacher for many years in Belfast while raising her two children. Now, a grandmother and advocate of Montessori education, she has loved watching her own grandchildren thrive as Montessori students.
Jackie Grannis-Phoenix, Head Teacher and Lead Primary Teacher
A graduate of Bates College in Lewiston Maine, Jackie earned her Early Childhood Montessori Certificate at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. She began teaching at the Children’s House in 1996. She has also led workshops for the Maine Montessori Association and is a teacher trainer for the Northeast Montessori Institute.
One of Jackie’s goals is to bring her love of the world and its various landscapes and cultures to the children in her classroom. Over the years Jackie has deepened her understanding of Montessori principles through parent education, teacher training, home schooling, teaching in a Reggio Emilia pre-school, and most of all parenting. Both of Jackie’s sons have benefited tremendously from their Montessori experiences and she enjoys noticing how that foundation continually supports their growth.
Teresa Taylor, Assistant Teacher in Blue Door
Teresa is excited to rekindle her connection to Montessori education and Children's House. Her experience at CHMS spans over twenty years and has included being an art teacher, aftercare teacher and parent. Her three children, who are now teens and young adults, attended Blue Door many years ago.
Paula Johnson, Co-Lead Teacher for Orange Door
Paula will be teaching alongside Ning Sawangjaeng as Co-Lead Teacher of the Orange Door primary classroom, where she guides a multi-age group of 3-to-6-year-old children. She brings nearly 25 years of experience in Montessori education in the Midcoast area.
Paula was an assistant and lead teacher in the early years of Children’s House Montessori before becoming founder and Head of School of Cornerspring Montessori School in Belfast. Paula lives in Lincolnville with her husband and son.
Ning Sawangjaeng, Co-Lead Teacher in Orange Door
Originally from Thailand, Ning graduated with a bachelor's degree and worked in Bangkok before moving to Maine where she pursued a degree in Elementary Education. She came to CHMS initially as an assistant teacher in Blue Door and was inspired to pursue her Montessori teacher training.
Kathryn Armstrong, Lead Upper Elementary Teacher
Kathryn brings a rich and diverse background to CHMS. Kathryn was raised in Thomaston, Maine and graduated from college with a degree in Art History. Shortly thereafter she spent several months in Valparaiso, Chile, teaching surfing, photography, and English to underprivileged and at-risk youth. She is fluent in Spanish and an accomplished sailor.
Kathryn was previously an assistant teacher in the Orange Door primary classroom, where she fell in love with Montessori education and decided to continue her work in that area. She has completed the initial session of Montessori Training at the Seacoast Center in New Hampshire and brings to her students many rich experiences, strong leadership skills and a commitment to community service.
Leah Trommer, Lead Lower Elementary Teacher
Leah comes to CHMS and Jade Door classroom with eleven years experience teaching for and running the Tanglewood 4H Camp and Learning Center’s School Programs (the Open Air Classroom). She has also taught for the Chewonki Foundation, The Ecology School, and College of the Atlantic’s Field Studies Program, in addition to substitute teaching.
Passionate about Montessori's hands-on learning methods, she continues her training towards Montessori certification. She is an avid nordic and telemark skier and enjoys running, biking, and gardening.
Marney Holmes, Lead Toddler Teacher
Marney has been part of the Children’s House community for over 10 years, with her children attending CHMS, as well as working as a substitute in all classrooms. Later, she served as Blue Door Assistant Teacher before beginning her formal Montessori training and becoming Lead Teacher with the toddlers.
With a background in food and nutrition, she is especially drawn to working with children in the Practical Life area, particularly coming up with food preparation activities that the children love. Marney lives in Camden with her three children.
Kate Blodgett, Assistant Teacher for the Toddler Program
Kate joined CHMS in September 2016. She grew up in Hawaii and moved to the east coast to attend Northeastern University where she studied Biology. She returned to school to earn her teaching certificate. She lives in Searsmont with her husband, Chandler, and 4 sheep. Kate loves gardening, hiking, cross-country skiing and canoe trips.
Children's House Montessori School • 58 Elm Street, Camden, Maine 04843 • Phone: 207-236-2911