Our school is staffed by specially trained Montessori teachers who have created a carefully arranged environment scaled physically and conceptually to children and sensitive to their needs for order and meaning. In the prepared environment, children may choose activities according to their diverse needs and desires.

“The Montessori teacher acts as the keeper of this prepared environment; she is not the focal point in the classroom. This is a distinction shared by her and the children, with the teacher serving as a link between the children and the prepared environment” – The Essential Montessori

 

Children’s House (Preschool)

Early Years: Ms. Mandeep Bhogal
Mandeep Bhogal

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Khalsa College, India
  • Montessori Early Childhood Certification, MTEC, San Leandro

Joined GBM: 2014

Statement

I was born and raised in India, where I graduated from college.  I am in my 10th year of teaching preschool.  I have been married for the past 13  years and have two beautiful children, ages 10 and 5.  I really enjoy being a part of the Granite Bay Montessori community.  In my spare time I enjoy playing with my kids, spending time with my family, traveling, cooking, and listening to music.

Blue Room: Ms. Jennifer Miller
jennifer-miller

Education

  • Liberal Studies and Child Development courses through Junior College
  • Primary AMS Certification (3-6 yrs)

Joined GBM: 2000

Statement

I am a preschool teacher, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I have been with Granite Bay Montessori since 2000. I started out as the Office Manager where I spent 7 years supporting the staff and students.  I transitioned into the classroom, where I have spent the last 9 years.  I interned from and was mentored by a very well respected, 26 year veteran, Montessori teacher.

My passion is to instill a joy and love of learning in the children and to provide a safe, nurturing environment in which the children can thrive.

I love the outdoors!!  Gardening, hiking, canoeing, camping, reading, and spending time with my family are my favorite things to do.

Yellow Room: Ms. Shanae Thomas
Shanae Thomas

Education

  • AA Early Childhood Education
  • BA Liberal Studies, 2008
  • Montessori Diploma Primary Certificate, NCME

Joined GBM: 2003

Statement

I have worked at GBM since 2003. I spent my first four years as an assistant and in 2007 I became the head teacher in Yellow Class. I enjoy working with all of the wonderful children at our school. I am looking forward to all of the new adventures at Granite Bay Montessori!

I enjoy reading, writing, and spending time with my 3 children.

Elementary

Kindergarten: Ms. Shaina Oppenheim
image-coming

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Chapman University
  • AMS Primary Certification (3-6 yrs)

Joined GBM: 2015

Statement

I have been a Montessori teacher for the past 20 years. Over the years I have taught children from Preschool through 3rd grade. My favorite grade, however, is Kindergarten. Kindergartners are full of energy, are fun to work with, and are excited to learn almost anything.  In my spare time I enjoy watching my youngest daughter play soccer or helping out with her Girl Scout Troop where I am an Assistant Troop Leader.  I also like horseback riding, swimming, and spending time with my family, which includes my 3 cats and 2 dogs.

Lower Elementary (1st-3rd Grade): Ms. Kenzie Bertain
Kenzie Bertain

Education

  • Associate of Arts, Child Development, ARC
  • Bachelor of Arts, Child Development
  • NAMC Certification, Preschool / Kindergarten
  • AMS Certification (EL I: 6-9 yrs)

Joined GBM: 2006

Statement

I have been working in a Montessori environment for 12 years and attended Montessori schools as a child.  I started working with children when I was 14 years of age, teaching dance to Kindergarteners.  That experience sparked my love for teaching.  I love the color purple, butterflies, and owls (as my students can attest to), and I am a huge San Francisco Giants fan!  My hobbies include zumba (teaching and participating) and cross fit.  I also enjoy my work as a District Manager for Arbonne when I’m not working /teaching.

Lower Elementary (1st-3rd Grade): Ms. Emily Compton, Director
Emily Compton

Director of Granite Bay Montessori 

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, CSU Sacramento
  • AMS Certification (EL I: 6-9 yrs)
  • NAMTC Certification (0-3 yrs)

Joined GBM: 2004

Statement

I am a lifelong Montessori participant. I love teaching and being a part of this community. I have a daughter named Leighton, whom I love spending time with. In my free time, I enjoy watching soccer with my family. I am a devoted Liverpool Football Club! I also enjoy traveling when I’m not working.

Upper Elementary (4th-8th Grade): Ms. Marcia Ceciliot
Marcia Ceciliot

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Child Development, CSU Sacramento
  • California Teaching Credential, Chapman University
  • AMS Certification (EL I: 6-9 yrs; EL II: 9-12 yrs)

Joined GBM: 1991

Statement

I grew up in San Francisco in an Italian / American family. I have served as a board member for the Tri City Little League, Rocklin Soccer Club, Placer United Soccer, and for STEM. I am currently serving on the OSIA (Order Sons of Italy in America) board.

I am the mother of 3 adult children as well as a grandmother. My youngest son attended GBM and graduated our 8th grade program. He is now serving in the Navy. My eldest son is currently attending school to pursue his teaching credential (like his mom) and my daughter works for a sports firm in their accounting department. I am a very proud mother!

I enjoy art, reading and hiking in my spare time.

Upper Elementary (4th-8th Grade): Ms. Valerie Ragagli

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in French for International Trade, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Joined GBM: 2005

Rejoined GBM: 2017

Statement

After a career of leading enterprise software implementations, with young children at home, I decided it was time to re-balance life.  Joining the staff at GBM gave me the perfect opportunity to be available to my kids and contribute to my community.  As part of this staff, I have worked in office administration, assisted an experienced teacher while achieving my certification, and led a Lower Elementary classroom.  This past year, my family has been on a self-imposed sabbatical living in Spain and experiencing cultures, languages, and histories outside our comfortable Northern California world.  I'm very much looking forward to this next adventure of teaching Math in Upper Elementary.

 

Upper Elementary (4th-8th Grade): Ms. Denise Apple

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, CSU East Bay

Joined GBM: 2017

Statement

I enjoy everything outdoors: camping, dirt biking, and hiking.  I recently moved to Sacramento from  Hayward.  I am a huge Giants fan! I am so excited to be a teacher at Granite Bay Montessori!

 

 

 

Upper Elementary (4th - 8th Grade): Ms. Brook Hall

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Biology, CSU Sacramento
  • Master of Arts, Geological Science, Northern Arizona University
  • Ph.D., Geological Science, University of Texas at Austin

Joined GBM: 2017

Statement

I have always loved nature. My fondest memories are consistently about something that occurred outside. While in college, I struggled to find a path on which I could study plants and animals without having to hurt or destroy any living things.  Paleontology was the answer.  The evolution of elephants continues to fascinate me.  I hope to pass my love of nature on to young people who have the same curiosity we all have about our planet and how it "lives".