Ethan joined CHMS as Interim Director in 2018. He has been educating children and families for over 20 years: as a school librarian, a classroom teacher, and for 18 years as education director and curator at a local museum. He holds a BS in Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and brings with him a wealth of educational and administrative experience. The Montessori method is so important to Ethan because it allows children the opportunity to explore their own educational paths with each child at the center of his or her own learning experience, an opportunity that ensures a special depth of understanding in every lesson mastered.
Jody Curtis, Office Manager
Jody has been the administrative assistant in the CHMS office since 2013. 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.
Germaine Koomen, Lead Teacher for Jade Door Elementary Classroom
Germaine has over 25 years of teaching experience in both public and independent schools in Massachusetts. She is Montessori-certified at the Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary levels and holds Master’s degrees in Elementary Education and Reading. Additionally, she received an advanced graduate certificate in Montessori STEM education.
Germaine has significant experience in environmental education and her work has been recognized by the Essex National Heritage Commission and National Park Service. She was presented the MA Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education twice and was selected as a presenter for three national American Montessori Society conferences. Germaine has a great love of peace education and has served as the Montessori coordinator for the Global Art Project since 2010. Additionally, she has experience as a Montessori teacher trainer. Germaine has two daughters and enjoys fiber arts, singing and kayaking. She is very excited about relocating to Camden.
Paula Johnson, Co-Lead Teacher for Orange Door Primary and Lead Teacher for Kindergarten
Paula will be teaching alongside Zoë Foster as Co-Lead Teacher of the Orange Door morning Primary classroom, where she guides a multi-age group of 3-to-6-year-old children. During afternoons, Paula leads the Kindergarten program for 5 and 6 year olds from both Orange and Blue Primary programs. She brings 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 Belfast with her son and 2 dogs.
Zoe Foster, Co-Lead Teacher for Orange Door Primary Classroom
Zoë teaches alongside Paula Johnson as Co-Lead Teacher of the Orange Door primary classroom. Previously, she served on staff in 2013 before deciding to spend time at home with her two young children. Zoë received her Montessori certification from Northeast Montessori Institute and has her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. In addition to teaching in Montessori schools for 10 years, Zoë has taught children's theater camps and workshops and was a founding teacher at the Juniper Hill School in Alna, Maine, which is a model for nature based education. She lives in Thomaston with her husband and two daughters, both of whom attend Children's House Montessori.
Elizabeth Barnum, Assistant Teacher in Orange Door Primary Classroom
Elizabeth has a deep appreciation for the Montessori educational approach and has worked with Godly Play (a Montessori-inspired method of religious education) at the primary and elementary levels in the churches where she has served since 2003. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Divinity from Harvard. She also works part-time at the United Christian Church in Lincolnville Center and is thrilled to have moved to the Mid Coast in 2018.
Ning Sawangjaeng, Lead Teacher in Blue Door Primary Classroom
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 and was soon inspired to pursue and complete her Montessori teacher training. Ning has served as a Primary Lead Teacher at CHMS since 2015.
Marney Holmes, Lead Teacher in Yellow Door Toddler Classroom and Toddler Extended Day
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.
Faith Bruce, Assistant Teacher in Yellow Door Toddler Classroom and Extended Day
Faith serves as Assistant Teacher in the morning toddler classroom and in the Primary Extended Day program. She is also currently studying at URock for a B.S. in Mental Health & Human Services with a concentration in infant and adolescent development. She and her husband Sam have been active CHMS parents for the past three years with their son Theodore. They live in Camden with their rescued and much-loved furry friends.
Teresa Taylor, Assistant Teacher in Blue Door Primary and Elementary Art Teacher
Teresa has a longtime connection to Montessori education and Children's House. Her experience 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.
Angela McIntyre, Assistant Teacher in Kindergarten
Angela lives in Rockland where she enjoys building beautiful gardens and growing food. She has lived at sea for years, working with a semester-at-sea program and still is passionate about life on the water. With one foot on the water and one on land, she has enjoyed work in early childhood and elementary classrooms in Rockland's elementary schools.
Caroline Jacobs, Assistant Teacher in Blue Door and Extended Day
Caroline is a recent graduate of Unity College with a degree in Adventure Based Environmental Education and has had the opportunity to grow as a teacher at Juniper hill school in Alna ME during her studies. Her love of education and teaching has led her to the Montessori pedagogy and she hopes to investigate it further in the coming years and grow as an educator. She and her fiancé live in Brooks in an off the grid house with their much-loved dogs and cats.
James Annis, Assistant Teacher and Floater in Primary, Elementary and Aftercare
James comes from a long line of a teaching family where he currently lives in Rockport, Maine. With great interest in helping youth, James furthered his education at the University of Maine at Orono with a large focus in elementary education and childhood development. James has had training and experience with hands-on learning in the classroom and has assisted with past CHMS summer camps. He is looking forward to expanding his knowledge and understanding of Montessori experience as an Assistant Teacher.
Children's House Montessori School • 58 Elm Street, Camden, Maine 04843 • Phone: 207-236-2911