Faculty & Staff
The faculty and staff of Montessori County school are a passionate group of educators who are devoted to creating and sustaining an environment of respect and joyful learning for children and families.
Meghan Kane Skotheim
Head of School
Meghan has been a member of the Montessori Country School community since 1993 when her oldest son joined the toddler class. She has served as a room representative, French teacher, substitute teacher, and head teacher. Meghan received her undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of Colorado, her Montessori training from the Rocky Mountain Training Center, and her Master’s in Education with an emphasis on early childhood from Seattle University. Her years of teaching and parenting have strengthened her belief that the first twelve years of life are profound. She considers it an honor to spend time in the presence of young children, following their lead.
When she is not in the classroom, Meghan spends most of her time with her children, Benjamin, Maxwell, and Rebecca, and her husband Kris. She loves to spend time at her cabin on the Olympic peninsula, reading novels, and enjoys gatherings with her extended family.
Associate Head of School
Karla first became acquainted with the work of Maria Montessori while studying Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she graduated with Honors. Karla came to MCS in 1987 to work as a classroom assistant; she loved how the philosophy of Montessori translated into the actual classroom experience and received her Montessori certification shortly thereafter. After serving as a classroom teacher, she became the Associate Director in 1991. Before coming to MCS, Karla worked as the Executive Director of the American Cetacean Society in San Pedro, CA.
Karla’s time outside of school is spent hiking, climbing, indulging her passion for books and music, trekking in the Himalaya, and doing volunteer work for street dogs in India and Nepal.
Elaine and her husband moved to Bainbridge Island in 2000. She holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Elaine worked as a Technical Writer in several high tech companies until her daughter was born. Her daughter started at Montessori Country School as a toddler and finished as a 5th grader. Being a parent volunteer in the classroom and school office allowed Elaine to discover how much she enjoys being at school and watching her daughter and other students blossom into confident and compassionate people. Elaine joined the elementary staff in 2011, and she has enjoyed getting to know all the students, siblings, parents, and grandparents when they come through the office. Elaine loves to sew, read, bake, and spend time with her family and friends.
Dorothy Mak Thompson
Communications & Development Manager
Dorothy is delighted to be a part of Montessori Country School both as a parent and member of the staff. She loves getting to know MCS families, and to share the stories of our school with the community. She is excited to help create wonderful events that support our school and bring families together.
Prior to life on Bainbridge Island with her family, Dorothy lived in New York City for over a decade. She pursued a career in marketing, public relations and events, leading print and digital efforts in the magazine publishing and hospitality industries. Dorothy graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Art History.
A few of her favorite things are children’s picture books, bubble tea, calligraphy, and time with her family.
Teaching Faculty & Staff
As a military child, Shirley grew up in Europe, Asia, and across the United States. Shirley earned her undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Family and Child Science, from New Mexico State University where she graduated with honors. She received her AMS Primary Credential from The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Springs, Maryland and throughout her Montessori career has held the role of lead teacher, assistant, and currently offers extra support in the classrooms. Before coming to Montessori Country School as a Primary Teacher in 2013, Shirley ran her own Montessori preschool for several years in New Mexico.
Shirley has four children and spent her early adult years raising her family, volunteering in her children’s classrooms, and serving in her church. She now has eleven grandchildren who bring joy to her world. She enjoys spending her time outside of school with her family, friends and animals. She likes antiquing, home design, gardening, and spends as much time as possible at the beach.
Zach Bohonos is the teacher's assistant in the Maple Classroom. He lives and works on Bainbridge Island, living with his wife, Aubrey and their two cats. Zach did most of his growing up on Bainbridge, later traveling to Winnipeg Manitoba to attend University. After completing his Bachelor of Arts and a Public Fire Paramedic program, he moved back to Washington to be closer to family and the magical, beautiful environment of Home.
Zach has been working with children since he was in High School - coaching youth sports and teaching swimming lessons. His goal is to create a comfortable, welcoming environment where children are able to grow into critical thinkers, armed with knowledge and imagination. There will be a common component of physical and environmental education in most activities he leads outside. In the classroom Zach is passionate about being able to tell a good story - placing an emphasis on reading, writing, and history as a means to do so.
He is excited to be a part of the MCS community. The Montessori learning environment has been a welcome change in style and strategy to education and development. His goal is to further his own education and experience as a teacher - the Maple classroom seems to be the perfect place to be to continue honing these skills as a leader, role model, and professional educator.
Upper Elementary Guide
Jaclyn was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. After earning her BA in History from University of California at Berkeley, she embarked on a fellowship teaching in Oakland public schools. For six years, Jaclyn taught high school and elementary students with special needs.
First as a parent, then as an educator, Jaclyn discovered and fell in love with Montessori education. This newfound professional curiosity led to work as an Education Specialist at a Montessori school. During interim summers, Jaclyn pursued AMI Elementary training with Montessori Northwest.
In 2016, Jaclyn, her husband and two daughters moved to Bainbridge, returning to her husband’s native home. She was thrilled to join MCS in 2016 as both a parent and an Upper Elementary teacher. They have thrived in the natural beauty and warm community of the island. Jaclyn enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, hiking, camping, climbing, reading, cooking, and learning how to tend a yard.
Isobel Coney is a teaching artist, living and working on Bainbridge Island since 2001. A former parent of Country School students, she was educated and taught in public school in the United Kingdom before moving to Bainbridge Island. She graduated from the Scottish College of Textiles and has a postgraduate diploma in Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University. She also has a Postgraduate Certificate in Art Education from Goldsmiths College, London.
Isobel has worked in the textile industry, and as public-school teacher in London, including work in the studio of fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. One of her most important goals as an art teacher is to give all students opportunities to make art in their own unique ways, learning new skills and techniques through their work. She encourages each student to respond to their own creative instincts and become more confident sharing their ideas and creations.
Isobel has taught all age groups, in many different settings, schools, and public events during her twenty years in the Pacific Northwest. She progresses her own textiles and ceramics work and has exhibited in local galleries.
Lower Elementary Guide
Joelle has always considered herself a Pacific Northwesterner, even during her middle childhood years in Texas and Alabama. She lived in Portland for the majority of her Pacific Northwest years, until moving to Bainbridge Island with her husband and daughter in 2007. Joelle credits her parents with starting her Montessori career when they enrolled her in Childpeace Montessori at the age of 2.5. Despite a few interruptions, Montessori education is where Joelle has returned again and again, and she relied deeply on its methods and materials when homeschooling her children for the last 12 years. Joelle also has a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education, and is certified to teach in Washington. She is beyond joyful to be returning to the Montessori classroom.
Joelle lives in a local cohousing community with her husband and son, while her daughter (a former MCS student) is off in New York City for college. The family’s three cats enjoy lounging about and begging for treats. In her spare time, Joelle is a voracious reader, a knitter, swimmer, and sewist, loves learning languages, and is often seen walking or biking for transportation around the island. Occasionally, you might see her driving her VW camper off the island to enjoy outdoor adventures with her family.
Cheryl earned her BA in Developmental Psychology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. She was introduced to Montessori education in 1997 when she began her work as an Assistant at Montessori Country School. She earned her AMS Primary Teaching Certification through the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest. Cheryl took a sabbatical from MCS when her daughter was born; she taught part time for a local preschool. During this time she earned a Master’s in Teaching and K-8 Teaching Certificate. Cheryl went on to teach third grade at a Montessori inspired elementary program in Kitsap County. Her passion for teaching is motivated by the excitement children have about learning. She believes it is an honor to witness the moment at which a child makes a new discovery and finds a new level of independence.
Cheryl grew up in Santa Cruz and Paso Robles, California. Outside of teaching, Cheryl enjoys knitting, reading, hiking and camping, traveling, and swimming in Puget Sound with her family. Her daughter is a 2007 graduate of Montessori Country School.
All School Support Assistant
Kim comes to us from Seabeck, WA and has lived in Kitsap County since 1997. She developed her passion for the Montessori philosophy as a teacher at The Farm Montessori in Poulsbo. She also has teaching experience in the public schools and the Silverwood School. When her boys were younger, Kim was an active school volunteer, working with the staff and students to develop an environmental education program in her boys’ elementary school.
Kim grew up in California and graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a teaching certificate from Western Washington University. Outside of school, Kim loves to travel to see her boys, Brandon and Finnegan, and extended family with her husband, Greg.
Kim also enjoys exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Some of her favorite things to do include hiking in the Olympics, paddleboarding on the Hood Canal, and skiing Crystal Mountain. She looks forward to supporting your child and the greater MCS community to the best of her ability.
Danny joined MCS as our music teacher in 2022.
Infant & Toddler Guide
Elizabeth, a Colorado native, spent much of her childhood nurturing a love for the outdoors. After graduating with a BA focused on multi-cultural anthropology and gender identity, she went on to begin her career working in early childhood education in Ethiopia as a volunteer teacher. After her return to the United States, she was introduced to the Montessori philosophy as an assistant in a Montessori classroom. She immediately fell in love with the Montessori method and quickly realized her life’s calling. She returned to school to obtain her International Montessori Certification for the Primary level. She went on to teach at a public charter school in Denver and later, internationally, at a school in Albania.
Elizabeth most recently completed her second Montessori certification for Infants and Toddlers at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. She later returned to MECR in a different capacity as one of their teacher trainers. Elizabeth is deeply passionate about working with families with infants and children of toddler age. In 2016, Elizabeth was asked to be a part of the American Montessori Society’s inaugural cohort for the Emerging Leadership Program.
Elizabeth loves living on Bainbridge Island and being part of the Montessori Country School as both a teacher and a parent. She is excited to raise her children in the same place where her husband grew up. When she is not in the classroom, she spends her time taking walks, reading, traveling, and struggling to learn how to both knit and play ukulele.
Pearl earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies with a double minor in Arts in Education and Theater from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York in 2013. A former east coast resident, Pearl began her Montessori journey as an assistant teacher in 2014 for two years in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Pearl also taught nature and science programs at a Mass. Audubon wildlife sanctuary for 13 years, 3 of which she was the Assistant Director for their summer day camp.
In 2016, Pearl obtained her Masters from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated in 2018 with a dual M. Ed in Early Childhood Education & Creative Arts in Learning with Moderate Disabilities and Sheltered English Instruction endorsements. While teaching first grade in public school, Pearl missed the methodology that Montessori classrooms embody and found herself incorporating Montessori elements into her classroom.
After graduation, Pearl moved to Washington to join her husband who had recently been restationed due to his job in the Navy. This became an exciting opportunity for Pearl to continue her work in honoring how important environmental education and hands on experiential learning is for children of all ages. Since arriving in Washington, Pearl has been a lead Montessori teacher for two years and recently earned her Montessori Teaching Certification for Early Childhood. She is excited to join the Montessori Country School's community in the fall of 2021!
In her spare time Pearl loves going on hikes, reading, and volunteering at various organizations that promote environmental and wildlife education.
Reading & Language Specialist
A Seattle native, Hollind graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Special Education. She has focused her 25 year career on teaching and educational support. This includes serving as an Assistant Director at a K-5 school in the early 90s, where her responsibilities included hiring and training teachers, managing school admissions, and curriculum design. Hollind has developed a deep respect for Montessori education during her time as an assistant in the Lower Elementary classroom. She especially appreciates how the Montessori classroom is thoughtful and beautiful, yet simple in its design. She values the way in which the classroom fosters curiosity and success among the students. Hollind lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband and daughter (a former MCS student), where she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking with friends, and traveling with her family.
Infant & Toddler Assistant
Caitlin joined MCS in 2023.
Quibs was born and raised in Texas, but has lived in various places around the country all their life. They studied Photography and Sculpture, earning a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. From a family full of educators, they have worked with children most of their life, including teaching water safety and swim team etiquette for three years. Quibs frequently volunteers for hurricane relief, including cleaning and reorganizing their sister's Primary Montessori classroom post-Hurricane Harvey. They were captivated by the beautiful Montessori environment and intrigued by the materials. They immediately enrolled in the AMI Elementary program and M.Ed in Montessori Studies at Loyola University Maryland.
Quibs has always had a passion for finding beauty in the world around them. In their free time, they enjoy doing puzzles and spending time with Molly (their dog and the Maple classroom dog) outdoors hiking, camping, and swimming. They are so happy to be a part of this lovely community at MCS and PNW as they continue to secure their roots in this beautiful space.
Mary McCormic-McInnis came to MCS in January of 2022 and returns for her practicum year as she works towards her Early Childhood Montessori certification through MEIPN. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the Evergreen State College, where she studied printmaking and French. She began her professional career out of college teaching at a collaborative arts preschool in Olympia, followed by 10 years working as a professional baker.
Mary spent years volunteering at Odyssey Multiage program, where she came to appreciate the wonders and great joy that children find through learning together. Her professional career also included working with teens and adults with disabilities through Visualize Kitsap and as Life Enrichment Director of Madrona House, studying and training on best care practices for caring for people with dementia. Before MCS she taught for several years at Scrappy Art Lab. When not at MCS, she plays guitar and sings in the local trio, Songbird.
Mary has lived most of her life on Bainbridge, where she still resides with her husband and teenage sons. In her free time she loves hanging out with her family, and any dogs she can find and swimming in the Salish Sea.
Ellie Montaperto is an Island girl through and through. She grew up on Whidbey Island and has lived on Bainbridge Island for 17 years, raising two children with her husband Greg. Ellie graduated with a BA from The Evergreen State College and has since had a varied professional career. She became passionate about education while serving a year with Americorps. She’s worked in public school classrooms as an ELL and Special Education Para and has worked as a Museum Educator at the Burke Museum, Seattle Maritime Museum, and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. She has a special interest in languages, multicultural learning, and history. Her first exposure to Montessori was through living in Italy and learning about the woman on the thousand lire note.She’s excited to join the Montessori community and continue learning alongside your children.
Cydnie joined the Spruce classroom in 2022.