Lower Elementary

Eagles

Lynda Apostol  – Lead Teacher

Born and raised in El Paso, TX, Ms. Lynda moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay area as a teenager. She remained in California for nearly two decades where she went to college, met her husband, and started a family. She recently relocated to Austin.

Ms. Lynda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. She holds several teaching and administrative certifications in both California and Texas and is currently working on obtaining her Elementary Montessori certification at the Montessori Center for Teacher Education in San Diego, CA. Ms. Lynda is bilingual in English and Spanish, loves to travel, and is an avid reader.

As a long-time educational leader, Ms. Lynda has had the fortune of instructing different groups of teachers & students, has met people from all walks of life and has gained valuable perspectives that have shaped her personal and professional growth. Her diverse experience, love of learning, and passion for doing what is best for children led her to the Montessori education.

Ms. Lynda’s interest in pursuing a career in Montessori came after experiencing it as a parent. She was immediately drawn to the philosophy and read every book she could find about the method. The more she learned, the more convinced she became that Montessori was her calling. Years later, she is excited to finally begin her journey as a Montessorian with School in the Hills!

sith_mattias

Matthias Gautreaux – Intern

Mr. Matthias received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisiana, a Master of Liberal Studies in Arts and Literature from the University of Denver, and is certified in Sound Engineering from The Recording Connection, as well as ESL (Bridge TEFL). He is currently pursuing his Montessori Elementary teaching certification from the Houston Montessori Center, and he is excited to be part of the Montessori community.

Mr. Matthias is a documentary film producer and has trained at New York Film Academy. He is an actor, screenwriter, recording artist, visual artist, and musician (singer-songwriter), who enjoys dancing. His musical talent includes percussion instruments and guitar. He has over a decade of experience performing acoustic Reggae music and Mento. As an educator, he is able to relate with each student on an individual basis, due to his international upbringing.

 

Bobcats

sunshine-2Sunshine Woodard – Lead Teacher

Ms. Sunshine received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI and a Master’s degree in Education in Montessori 6-9 from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She has over 15 years of experience in education. After obtaining her teaching certification and while still finishing up her Master degree, she held an Assistant Teacher position at a small private Montessori for two 6-9 classes.

Ms. Sunshine was drawn to Montessori because it felt natural to her. She felt like she found the educational method she had been searching for her whole life. She loves to think outside the box and have freedom in how she accomplishes something; therefore, when she began researching Maria Montessori and her method, she found that it aligned with those thoughts and feelings. Ms. Sunshine believes in giving children time to learn at their own pace, not as a generalized whole, and the Montessori lifestyle allows her to do that.

Ms. Sunshine’s goal is to help each individual child find what works best for them to learn and develop their distinctive personality. Each child has a unique way for learning and growing, and developing in the world. If we want our world to be better in the future, then it is our responsibility to bring out the best in the children that will one day be in charge of it. Education is lifelong learning! Ms. Sunshine loves to work with children to bring out their talents, their best selves and creating an environment that is emotionally safe, challenging, fun, and alive!

Gabe Rothschild – Co-Teachergabe-2

Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Mr. Gabe has had a passion for the creative and performing arts from a young age.  He attended Houston’s High School for The Performing and Visual Arts where he studied theater.  Mr. Gabe graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Visual and Media Arts.  After college he worked in a variety of childcare and education positions including nursery music-man and camp counselor. He received his Montessori Elementary teaching certification from the Houston Montessori Center.

In 2008 Mr. Gabe moved to Japan for two years where he taught and helped run a number of English schools in the greater Tokyo area.  Upon returning to Austin he opened and operated his own food truck along with his wife while still working with young minds in such programs as youth outreach through Austin Parks and Rec.  Now Mr. Gabe is excited to join the SitH staff and bring his talents fully to early childhood education.  He enjoys working with young minds and inspiring creativity and confidence!

Mr. Gabe strives to awaken, encourage, and foster intelligence and kindness in his students and hopes to help them find their voice and to facilitate a space where they can share it, grow it, and show it.  Mr. Gabe was drawn to the Montessori philosophy because he appreciates an environment where students can learn from each other.  Fun in the classroom is of the utmost importance to him as he believes a happy child is more receptive, creative, and productive!

Mr. Gabe continues to perform in music and comedy venues around Austin and looks forward to sharing and sparking artistic ability in all children.

 

Stingrays

viktoria-SViktoria Gorelik – Lead Teacher

Ms. Viktoria developed her passion for the Montessori Method after watching her own three children go through the program. The love, the joy, and the confidence that is instilled in the children made her decision to become a Montessori teacher a no-brainer.

Ms. Viktoria understands the importance of education, thus she is constantly educating herself. She received her Montessori Primary certification from the world-renowned Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from City University of New York. She also has a Floral Design Certificate from Parsons School of Design, and a Montessori Toddler certification from NAMC. She received her Montessori Elementary certification from the Houston Montessori Center.

Ms. Viktoria has seen time and again that each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. She believes in figuring out each child’s unique strengths and capitalizing on these as well as gently guiding children through the Montessori curriculum.

Ms. Viktoria was born and raised in the “Northern Venice” – St. Petersburg, Russia. She later moved to Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Viktoria finally landed in Austin, TX where she resides with her husband, three children, a guinea pig, and no dog (yet).

Mie Brandt – Assistant

Born and raised in Denmark where Ms. Mie worked as an RN for 21 years. When she moved with her husband and two children to Austin 19 years ago, she realized that it was time for her to pursue a different career.

Ms. Mie began selling “Usborne Books”, and during one of her book fairs, she had the opportunity to observe in a Montessori Classroom. After experiencing this method of teaching young children, she was sure that she wanted to learn more about it. She loved how wonderful it was to see children move around in their classroom with such passion for exploring and learning.

Ms. Mie worked as an assistant in a toddler classroom here in Austin for a year, and during that year she received her Primary teaching certification from the North American Montessori Center. She was a lead teacher in a Primary classroom for 9 years. After this, she retired, but she was unable to stay away from education, so after 4 years she came back and started working as a substitute teacher for School in the Hills. Now, she has the pleasure of working with children at the elementary level.

 

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