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LePort Montessori Lomita Staff

School Administration

Marcia Clark

Head of School

Ms. Marcia Clark pursued her interests in education and marketing during her undergraduate years. This led to initially teaching at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Her love of marketing provided her experience and travel opportunities in international financial marketing. 

Years later, inspired by her own children’s progress in Montessori as preschoolers, she became motivated to move from public school teaching to pursue her own Montessori Primary credential. Ms. Clark taught Primary and Elementary Montessori classes before spending the last 19 years in Montessori administration. With both of her children remaining in Montessori schools through 5th grade, she watched the confidence and love of learning they exuded through their college years and beyond. She has now committed her life to introduce as many children and their families as possible to the Montessori Method. 

Besides enjoying her role as Grandma, Ms. Clark loves working on family scrapbooks, watching college sports on TV, and reading everything from biographies to murder-mysteries.

Annamaria Salzetti

Business Manager

Ms. Annamaria Salzetti has worked in Montessori education since 1997, and has been a Business Manager at LePort Montessori since 2010.

While working at a Montessori school in Rancho Palos Verdes years back, Ms. Annamaria was drawn to the philosophy and method of Dr. Maria Montessori, and decided to pursue a career as a Montessori educator. She received her Montessori Primary Certificate through the Montessori Centre International in London, England. She also holds an International Teaching Diploma from the North American Montessori Center in Vancouver, Canada. Over the years, Ms. Annamaria has had the honor of playing an important role in the development of many children’s lives. She enjoyed many years of teaching before transitioning to the Business Manager role at LePort.

Outside of school, Ms. Annamaria enjoys baking, gardening, and antique shopping with her husband of 19 years. She has two daughters and loves spending time at home with her family.

Infant

Nicole Konya

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Nicole has been working with children since she was 16 years of age. She graduated from Cal State, Dominguez Hills, with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. In her personal time, she loves to cook, spend time with friends, and read romance novels! Ms. Nicole spends much of her day with the toddlers. She enjoys working with them as they can communicate and share their feelings, thereby forming a bond with their teachers.

Elmira Valiullina

Head Montessori Teacher (Infant)

Ms. Elmira Valiullina is passionate about her work. Both of her parents are teachers and, ever since her early childhood, she wanted to go into the educational field. She began her teaching career in 1998 teaching music and English. She also taught at the Montessori Center in Moscow.

Ms. Elmira received her Assistance to Infancy (0-3) degree from the Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado. In fact, her roommate during training was Ms. Annette!

She enjoys having the opportunity to help children become happy and self-confident people. Besides her work in the classroom, she plays the piano, makes Montessori materials, practices yoga, and enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her 10-year-old son.

Gimma Molinelli

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Gimma Molinelli has been working as an infant and preschool teacher for over seven years. She attended Southern California Regional Occupational Center where she completed the Nursing Assistant Program, along with Harbor College where she completed the Child Development Program. Ms. Gimma is passionate about working with children and educating them to be young, independent people.

Carmen Lainez

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Carmen has been working with children professionally for 13 years, in a public elementary program, a Spanish literacy program, the Boys and Girls Club, as well as a daycare, and another Montessori school. She majored in Child Development at Harbor College.

Ms. Carmen is the mother of two children: a 9-year-old daughter and 6 year-old-son. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach and parks, as well as exploring museums.

Toddler

Lundon Garner

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Lundon has worked with children for ten years, passionate about early childhood education. She found her love for Montessori by being an assistant teacher working with toddlers and
primary-age students. Ms. Lundon received her Montessori teaching credential from the University of California Irvine. Outside of work she enjoys singing, going to the beach, working out, and spending time with her family. It is Ms. Lundon’s goal to ignite a flame of loving to learn, while bringing out the best in each child.

Francesca Ochoa

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Ochoa is currently attending Los Angeles Harbor College where she is studying child development. It was here that she was initially introduced to Maria Montessori and the Montessori Method of teaching. Prior to joining LePort, Ms. Ochoa worked as a volunteer at the YWCA World of Tots in San Pedro. Additionally, she worked for Wilmington Park Elementary Schools, assisting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Ochoa enjoys cooking, country music, trying new things, and spending time with her family and two dogs.

Julianne Belanger

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Julianne Belanger had been working as a Lead Teacher in Montessori schools for the past 8 years in the Minneapolis area before moving to Southern California. She is AMI trained at the Assistants to Infancy (0-3) level from The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO, and Primary trained from The Montessori Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN.

Marlyn Hernandez

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Hernandez is currently working towards her AA in Child Development at Los Angeles Harbor College. She comes from a traditional family allowing her to be fluent in both Spanish and English. Ms. Hernandez has always had a passion for children and particularly enjoys helping them succeed in every aspect of their lives. Her love for children began during her junior year in high school while assisting in a toddler classroom at Dolores Children Center. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Hernandez enjoys watching movies, going to amusement parks and spending time with family, friends and her dog Gizmo.

Preschool / Kindergarten (Primary)

Brittany Larsen

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Brittany Larsen, a South Bay native, holds two Montessori teaching credentials from UC Irvine, and has twelve years of Montessori teaching experience at the Toddler, Primary, and Elementary levels. Outside of work, Ms. Brittany loves art, science, drawing, painting, and visiting museums. Her greatest hope is that her students leave her classroom with a passion and love of learning.

Joey Aviles

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Rochelle Daniels

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Rochelle brings with her 15 years of Montessori teaching experience. She holds two Montessori certifications in Infant/Toddler, as well as Primary. Ms. Rochelle is the mother of two young daughters. She and her family enjoy traveling, going to the movies, and, of course, spending time at our incredible South Bay beaches.

Alejandra Jimenez

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Alejandra Jimenez received her Bachelor of Science from California State University, Northridge in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Applied Fitness and Active Lifestyle. She also has an associate degree from El Camino College with an emphasis in child development courses. At LePort Montessori, Ms. Alejandra focuses on how she can assist children individually with their physical, social, and emotional development. Ms. Alejandra has created fitness programs for children which focus on the development of balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. During her free time, Ms. Alejandra loves to explore the outdoors through jogging and hiking with friends.

Lilia Meredith

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary), Spanish Immersion

Ms. Lilia has been working with children over 25 years. She received her degree from University of California Irvine’s Montessori program. She and her husband have one adult daughter, along with a dog named Lucky. Ms. Lilia loves to walk and does so every day, including at lunchtime on school days. She is a bookworm! She loves reading everything from murder mysteries, to biographies, and even historical fiction.

Karla Salgado

Assistant Teacher, Spanish Immersion

Ms. Karla Salgado is currently working on her degree in Early Childhood Development at Los Angeles Southwest College. Ms. Karla has always had a passion for working with young children and enjoys working on art projects with her students. In her free time, Ms. Karla enjoys exploring new places with her family.

Additional Staff

Gilda Gil

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Gilda began her Associates degree work at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, completing her degree in Early Childhood Development at Southwest College in Los Angeles. She keeps busy with her three children: including her daughter at UC Santa Cruz, her son at Cal State Monterrey, and a three-year-old at home. She enjoys cooking and spending time with family.

Areli Romero

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Areli has been working with children in a preschool setting for the past four years, and as a personal caregiver for 15 years prior to that. She majored in Child Development at Theoria Technical College. For hobbies, Ms. Areli loves cooking, spending time with her family, and doing Karaoke with friends!

Marylu Cruz

Assistant Teacher

Ms. MaryLu Cruz has over 30 years of experience working with children. She completed her Early Childhood Education units at Harbor College, and has been working with preschoolers, toddlers, and infants. Ms. MaryLu is a proud grandmother of four and loves working with children. As an educator,she feels fortunate to be a part of LePort Montessori, and believes that is very important that children are actively involved discovering, exploring, learning, and having fun at the same time. She believes that teaching is about respecting, loving, and accepting the children for who they are, and providing them the tools to grow. As a native of Mexico, Ms. MaryLu is very excited to be in an environment where she can utilize her native language to help children learn another language.

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