LePort Montessori Irvine Spectrum Staff

Spectrum North and Spectrum South Campuses

School Administration

Krista Bartolome

Head of School

Ms. Krista Bartolome is an experienced educational administrator, passionate Montessorian, and first and foremost--a parent. Driven by her strong desire to see children and adults reach their fullest potential, she takes pride in providing the best education possible to the families under her care.

In her free time, Ms. Krista enjoys walking around town with her husband, two young children, and dog Annie; immersing herself in a mystery novel; window shopping for her plant collection, and indulging in new local eateries (recommendations always welcome!).

Karyn Gharib

Business Manager

Karyn holds a Master of Arts degree in German from the University of Oregon, and has over 15 years of experience teaching in English as a Second Language and early childhood classrooms. She also served as Head of School at Montessori preschools in the Atlanta and Portland metropolitan areas for over a decade.

Karyn became intrigued by the Montessori method during her undergraduate studies in education. She maintains a deep interest for this unique approach due to its profound respect for each child’s individuality, careful nurturing of each child’s curiosity, and on-going encouragement allowing each child to reach his/her greatest potential. She joined LePort in 2014, and is thrilled to be taking part in the invaluable work being done to guide children’s learning and development from infancy all the way through middle school.

In her free time, Karyn enjoys spending time with family, movies, music, cooking, and exploring the gorgeous natural surroundings in Orange County.

Jen Greaux

Administrative Support

Mrs. Greaux was first introduced to Maria Montessori’s method in college while assisting an AMI teacher in a lower elementary classroom. Throughout her college career, Mrs. Greaux continued to work as an assistant at both the primary and elementary levels. Inspired and curious she then became motivated to pursue her certification. Mrs. Greaux received her AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Education Center of Arizona in 1999. She also holds a B.S. in Speech and Language Pathology from Arizona State University.

Mrs. Greaux possesses a deep admiration and appreciation for the Montessori Method, believing that it is very fulfilling to help children develop, acquire knowledge, and build character.

Ana Rivas

Head of School

Ms. Ana is an educational entrepreneur, homeschooling parent, and lifelong learner. Her experience working with children dates back to her teenage years when she took an opportunity to assist in a home daycare. From that moment, she was inspired to guide young children--particularly toddlers. Her determination for understanding their psychology and behavior led her to fill positions such as Director of Curriculum, Assistant Director, Montessori Specialist, "Parent and Child" Instructor, and Head Teacher in various educational settings. Ana has experience coaching teachers at schools on the east and west coast. She has served as an advisor and guest lecturer for training centers and schools in China and the Philippines, furthering the impact of Montessori education worldwide. Ana received a Montessori Assistants to Infancy Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She is an alumna at the University of Hartford and is currently in the midst of Primary training at the Montessori Training Center of Northeast.

When she's not immersed in Montessori, Ana enjoys spending time with her family, exploring nature, and creating art. Ms. Ana believes education happens at every moment and in many forms. She is honored to support LePort's Montessori team as they aim to provide quality education for children across the nation.

When Ms. Ana meets a new student, she frequently recalls a quote by Dr. Maria Montessori: “It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”

Wendy DeCosta

Business Manager

A native of Orange County, California, Mrs. Wendy DeCosta began her career with LePort Montessori in 2013 as the Administrative Director for the Huntington Harbor campus, bringing a new level of excellence and service to our cherished families and staff. In 2015, Mrs. DeCosta took an opportunity to join the team at LePort Orchard Hills and serve as Administrative Director of this young and vibrant campus. With her expertise, professionalism, and warm, caring personality, Mrs. DeCosta is a true asset to the Orchard Hills students, families and staff.

Prior to joining LePort, Mrs. DeCosta operated her own successful, licensed, in-home family day care for 2 years, offering high quality, nurturing care for a number of wonderful children, including those with special needs. As any of the parents she has worked with will attest, Mrs. DeCosta’s caring warmth, compassion, and love for children is a true gift. This, coupled with her rich palette of business management and operational experience from the spa/salon and apparel industries, makes Mrs. DeCosta uniquely suited to foster the continued success and growth of our Orchard Hills campus and offer her wholehearted support to all LePort students and their families.

In her free time, Mrs. DeCosta enjoys spending time with her husband of 18 years and their two children, as well as camping, hiking, running, and spending long days at the beach.

Adriana Sosa

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Adriana Sosa was born and raised in Colombia. Her love for children inspired her career path towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language Education at the University of Pamplona, Colombia. She has been working closely with children for many years, in traditional schools and as a nanny, as well. Ms. Adriana is bilingual in Spanish and English. She enjoys working with children and seeing the child’s performance and how they learn and develop their potential. She has completed her child development classes and worked as a Teacher Assistant at LePort Montessori. In her spare time, Ms. Adriana loves spending quality time with her son Noah and her husband. She loves outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and going to the beach.


Annette Castillo

Head Montessori Teacher (Infant)

Ms. Annette’s passion for children inspired her to pursue a career in early childhood education beginning in 2012, shortly after attending Long Beach City College, where she earned Early Childhood Education credits and a Teacher’s Permit. In early 2014, Ms. Annette discovered LePort Montessori in Encinitas, California where she started as an Nido Assistant Teacher. Since then, Ms. Annette has grown to love Montessori education. She earned her AMI Montessori credential for ages 0-3 from The Montessori Institute in Denver, Colorado. She has worked with infants, toddlers, and preschool children since 2012 and as a Montessori Guide since 2018.

Above all, Ms. Annette enjoys developing strong relationships with the children, parents, and staff of LePort. Outside of work, she loves spending quality time with her son, Matteo, her husband, and her pug.

Jodie Bato

Head Montessori Teacher (Infant)

Ms. Jodie Bato was born and raised in Southern California. Her love for children and education set her on the path of Early Childhood Education. After two years of being an assistant teacher in the infant program, Ms. Jodie knew that her passion lies with Montessori and made the decision to take the training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. There, she earned her AMI Diploma in 2021. Before joining LePort, Ms. Jodie spent time volunteering at the UCI Medical Center in their Child Life Volunteer program where she provided support services for children and their families to ease their feelings of discomfort and fear brought on by hospitalizations. In her spare time, Ms. Jodie enjoys spending time with family and friends and learning new skills.

Fariba Bavafa

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Fariba Bavafa has 20 years of background in Agricultural Research. After immigrating to the United States with her family, her love for children inspired her to pursue a certificate of Early Childhood Development from Irvine Valley College. She had a wonderful experience volunteering at IVC's Child Development Center. She is blessed with this great opportunity to work at LePort Montessori. Ms. Fariba loves to see independence in children, and also loves to work with children in all ages especially infants.

In her free time, Ms. Fariba enjoys meditation, reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and her two wonderful sons.

Hannah Stickney

Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Hannah grew up in Lake Arrowhead, CA, where she enjoyed the natural opportunities for learning found in nature and moved to Orange County, CA in 2018. She has studied Psychology and Early Childhood Education and is excited to continue learning how to serve her community with this knowledge. Mrs. Hannah has many years of experience as a nanny as well as in a traditional childcare setting with both preschool and school age children. She finds LePort attractive due to their welcoming and collaborative nature both to families and their staff. Montessori has been a preferred approach of Mrs. Hannah's since her first introduction to the method in her first Early Childhood Education class. Mrs. Hannah is passionate about psychology and enjoys learning about how best to care for and help develop the children she works with both from an educational and psychological background. She also enjoys doing crafts with her husband.

Vidya Peters

Head Montessori Teacher (Infant)

Ms. Vidya holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations. She worked in a corporate firm for 6 years before she became a mom of two young children. She previously worked as the head of her Sunday school for almost ten years, which inspired her to pursue a career in working with children. She completed a diploma in Montessori Early Childhood Education from the North American Montessori Center and is excited to work with children at LePort. Being around children always gives her joy and she believes that children are the most important work. Ms. Vidya is excited to contribute to their growth and development. In addition to English, she is fluent in 3 other languages. In her spare time, Ms. Vidya enjoys spending time with her husband and children, and connecting with close friends.

Neda Dorvash

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Lesley Romo

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Brenda Chavez

Head Montessori Teacher (Infant)

Ms. Brenda was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States when she was a young child. At an early age, she helped take care of her siblings, and from that time forward she set her sights on a career in early childhood education. Before starting with LePort, Ms. Brenda worked as a nanny for nearly two years. She later enrolled in the child development program at Cerritos College, earning an associate degree in Early Childhood Development. She went on to earn her AMI Montessori Diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2018.
Jessica Sosa

Jessica Sosa

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Jessica Sosa is a Spanish native speaker born and raised in Peru. She worked for 15 years as a social worker, helping children and their families. Ms. Jessica is delighted to guide her young students on their educational journey. Her dedication and enthusiasm for early childhood education create an exciting and stimulating learning environment, where each child feels valued and supported in their development. In addition to her passion for education, Ms. Jessica deeply appreciates spending quality time with her family. Along with her child and her husband, she enjoys significant moments that strengthen family ties and enrich their daily lives. Her commitment to education and her love for the family intertwines, providing our students with a warm and enriching educational environment.

Anel Wauldron

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Paula Marquez

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Paula Marquez was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her Bachelor's Degree at University of California, Irvine in Language Sciences. Ms. Paula is striving to earn her license as a Language Pathologist assistant to help children who have difficulty speaking . She is bilingual in Spanish and English as she was raised in a Spanish speaking home. Ms. Paula enjoys helping children learn and develop crucial skills with patience and understanding. She loves to see children develop pride in themselves as they accomplish any task. In her spare time, Ms. Paula enjoys watching movies, learning new skills, going out with friends and reading once in a while. Ms. Paula is also trying to learn new languages like Japanese and French.


Priya Rajkumar

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Priya Rajkumar received her AMI Montessori training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego and her Early Childhood Education units at Irvine Valley College in 2014. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Food Science and Nutrition at SNDT University in India. She is a mother of two young children and understands the impression that quality early childhood education can make in a child's life, boosting their confidence and encouraging them to learn. She volunteered at her child's Early Childhood Learning Center and continues to volunteer at Alderwood Elementary in Irvine. Ms. Priya is very passionate about working with young children, helping them learn while encouraging their natural curiosity. She unwinds by listening to music, reading or playing board games with her children.

Tasneem Najam

Assistant Teacher

Ms.Tasneem Najam was born and raised in India. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Irvine Valley College in 2022. She has two children, both of whom attended Montessori schools. This sparked her interest in early childhood education, specifically in the independence and creativity that children develop under the Montessori method. Ms.Tasneem lives in Orange County with her husband and children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, walking on the beach and cooking new foods. She looks forward to helping children develop a love for education.

Samantha Peraza

Junior Montessori Teacher

Ms. Samantha’s love for children began when she would take care of her younger sister, at a very young age of 6. Throughout high school, she took on various leadership roles in which she mentored children and led her fellow peers. Ms. Samantha also volunteered at local elementary schools and read books weekly to young children of all ages. After completing high school, she enrolled at Irvine Valley College and completed her Early Childhood credits. Before starting with LePort Schools, she worked in retail and was assistant manager for a restaurant.

After starting at Leport Schools she instantly became fascinated with the Montessori philosophy. She was inspired to see young children involved in purposeful work and to see the joy on their faces when they learnt a new skill. Ms. Samantha is also a native Spanish speaker and has worked in primary classrooms such as Spanish Immersion. She loves her roles as an Assistant Teacher and as a Montessori mom of her infant. She believes there is nothing more rewarding than working with children and being a part of their everyday learning. Outside of school, Ms. Samantha enjoys spending time with her infant and family and loves to shop and go to the movies.

Dinora Rodriguez-Mercado

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Dinora was born in El Salvador, and later moved to the States at age seven. Ms. Dinora grew up in Long Beach and then moved to San Marcos to pursue a higher education. She studied Human Development.. Ms. Dinora then went on to work in after school programming, as well as behavior therapy. She is very interested in the Montessori Method and the way it relates to her experience in assisting children to increase their independence and reach their individual goals. She is excited to keep learning. Her free time is spent with her partner and their two amazing dogs, Scooby and Piglet, going on long walks, playing ball with them and laying on the couch watching an animated movie. She enjoys reading poetry and doing yoga. She is always looking for new ways to learn something new and teaching her dogs a fun new trick.

Natalie Verdeja

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Natalie started her career with children by babysitting in small groups. She has experience working with children with special needs, and is currently pursuing her Early Childhood Education units. She is looking forward to learning and experiencing Montessori education.
In her free time, Natalie likes spending time with her family and going to the beach. She has one dog named Deebo.

Lisa Burt

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Lisa is a life-long resident of California. She believes strongly in Montessori Philosophy. She has many years experience working with children of all ages. Ms. Lisa started her career at LePort in 2018 as an assistant teacher. After watching the toddlers flourish in their program she decided to become a head teacher. She is now eagerly seeking her Infant/Toddler certification at The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She is looking forward to guiding children on their journey through the Montessori environment. In her spare time, Ms. Lisa loves spending time with her adult children and running outdoors.

Adriana Ramirez

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Adriana Ramirez was born in Queretaro, Mexico, and raised in Orange County. She loves her culture and visits Mexico often. Her interest in education began in high school, and she was enthusiastic about teaching Elementary. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from California State University Fullerton. She has been working closely with children for many years, in traditional schools and as a behavioral therapist. In 2017 she joined LePort and immediately was fond of the Montessori philosophy. She believes that children can uncover wonders by being curious and that Montessorians will graciously guide that learning experience.
Ms. Adriana enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. In her spare time, she paints, reads, hikes, bakes, and visits museums. She loves being a mother and is thrilled to learn and explore with her son.

Treisa Casteel

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Treisa Casteel has worked in education since the early 2000s in various Montessori schools. Her passion has always been with the toddler age. She thinks they are inquisitive- wanting to know why things work the way they do and are always asking questions. Ms Treisa began working in Montessori education at a LePort school back in 2004. After 10 wonderful years supporting classrooms, she received Montessori Assistants to Infancy (0-3 teaching) credentials in 2014 from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and going to the movies with her son. She also likes to think of new, engaging activities for her students and create them herself for the class to enjoy.

Farnoosh Nejadnasrollah

Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Farnoosh Nejadnasrollah was born in Iran and graduated in Agricultural Science from the University of Gorgan (Iran). Her love for children inspired her career path towards a degree in Early Childhood Education from Irvine Valley College. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends. Mrs. Farnoosh also enjoys reading books, cooking, and taking long walks.

Ivette De Haro

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler), Spanish Immersion

Ms. Ivette De Haro was raised in South Orange County, CA. She attended Saddleback College where she completed her A.A. in Liberal Studies and earned a Certificate in Early Childhood Development. She worked as a nanny for several years and during this time she was exposed to the Montessori method through the children for whom she cared. She started working at LePort Spectrum North as an Assistant Teacher in February of 2013 and began her training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego the following year. She earned her Montessori Diploma in August of 2015 and began working at LePort Spectrum South as a Head Teacher in the Infant Community and became the Head Teacher of the Spanish Immersion Toddler Class in January of 2018. Ms. Ivette’s greatest joy is watching the children explore their environment and learn to speak and understand Spanish fluently during their time in her class. In her free time, Ms. Ivette enjoys spending time with her family and her two dogs.
Flor Pfeifer

Flor Pfeifer

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Flor was raised in southern California. She grew up speaking Spanish and English. Ms. Flor has always loved working with children. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development in 2014. She received her AMI training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2017. She has been working with children since 2015. Ms. Flor enjoys watching infants and toddlers gain their independence and loves when they can finally say, “I did it!”

Ms. Flor is very excited to be part of the LePort team. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and her dog.

Maria Villegas

Assistant Teacher, Spanish Immersion

Mrs. Maria Villegas is a mother of three children, one son and two daughters. She comes from a traditional Mexican family, from a little state in Mexico called Morelos. Her first language was Spanish but she developed an interest in English and worked toward bilingualism. She is currently enrolled at Santa Ana College, taking child development classes to get her Associates Degree. Prior to taking child development courses, she received her nurse assistant license where she worked as a certified nurse for an Alzheimer facility for 14 years. Although she was happy with her position, her true passion is working with children. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and her dog.

Anita Singleton

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Kindergarten / Preschool

Pilar Costello

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Mrs. Pilar Costello was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She earned her B.S. in Accounting from Ricardo Palma University, and specializations in Management and Finances from ESAN Graduate School of Business. Mrs. Costello worked for over ten years in the business field until she relocated to United States.

Mrs. Costello became interested in the Education field and the Montessori philosophy through a friend who is a Montessori teacher. She earned her Early Childhood Education credits from Saddleback College and joined LePort in 2014. She completed her AMI Montessori Diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2019. In her free time, Mrs. Costello enjoys spending time with her husband and her dog.

Claudia Alberson

Assistant Teacher

Before starting at LePort, Ms. Claudia worked in the retail and customer service fields. She has an associate degree in Humanities and Communications from Santa Ana College. While completing her AA degree, Ms. Claudia took several early childhood education courses and developed a passion for working with children. She is continuing her studies, working towards her goal of a bachelor's degree in Childhood Development. In her spare time, Ms. Claudia enjoys reading books and learning new things, such as American Sign Language.

Emma Jones

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Emma earned her B.A. in Marketing from the University of Thailand, and received her primary diploma from MISD. She has worked with children from 3 to 6 years old for over a decade. Ms. Emma has traveled abroad throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and volunteered at the United Nations Organization. She enjoys learning about different cultures and has studied many languages including French, Japanese, Turkish and Arabic, in addition to her native Farsi. Ms. Emma has a son and husband that make her life colorful, and she enjoys skydiving, biking, skiing and writing in her free time.

Neda Farabi

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Neda was born in Iran. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from Bahai Institute of Higher Education. She also received credit for the practicum course regarding children with learning disorders. She has worked as a teacher, counselor for youth and teenagers, and a university professor instructing courses such as Teaching Methods, Principles of Education, and Developmental Psychology. In the last five years of her stay in Iran, she had been working as an education director of a child development center. She also worked as a consultant and specialist to help children with learning disorders. Neda immigrated to the US with her husband and two children in 2013. She joined Leport Montessori schools in 2014 as an assistant teacher. In May 2017 she obtained her Montessori diploma for the age group of 2.5 to 6 years from the Montessori Institute of San Diego (MISD). Then she continued her work in Leport as a primary head teacher. Neda updated her knowledge for assisting children with special needs by participating in the Inclusive Education Course at MISD and received her certificate in the Summer of 2019. Shortly after that, she went to Italy to attend a Music Therapy course and obtained yet another certificate to enable her further in her career.
Neda found her job compatible with her innate passion for working with children and serving the society.

In her free time, Neda enjoys spending time with her family and doing various activities such as going for hikes and being in nature. Furthermore, she enjoys reading, playing the guitar, watching movies, and being actively involved in community services.

Lubna Hammoud

Assistant Teacher

Lubna Hammoud was born and raised in Syria with her first language being Arabic. While living in Syria, Lubna earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and she used her degree to help tutor elementary students. When she moved to the United States, she decided to continue working with children and follow her passion. Ms. Lubna has always had an interest in learning about child development. She received her education at Irvine Valley College. She is very happy to be working at LePort and is grateful to be part of this amazing community. Lubna is a mother of three wonderful children.

Andrea Aparicio

Assistant Teacher, Spanish Immersion

Ms. Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education Sciences and an additional Bachelor’s in Psychological Science from the University of California, Irvine. During her time at UC Irvine, she completed her field work as a reading tutor for elementary students in the city of Santa Ana. It was through her hands-on experience and studies on early childhood development and education, that she developed an interest and passion for working with young children. Ms. Andrea was born in Southern California, but later moved to Michoacán, Mexico when she was four years old. She spent most of her childhood in Mexico before returning to the U.S at the age of nine. Ms. Andrea is also fluent in Spanish and is very excited to be a part of Leport and its Spanish immersion program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, watching movies, and going for a walk in the park.

Jamie Kim

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Jamie Kim earned her B.A. in Mathematics for Secondary Education from San Diego State University in 2007. She had taught students in middle schools and high schools for several years. While Ms. Kim was taking the teaching credential program to become a Mathematics teacher, she realized her love and passion for the young children. As she raised her children, she realized the importance of early childhood education. Ms. Kim learned about the Montessori method from a family member and was immediately interested. She researched more and more, and ultimately decided to pursue a career in Montessori education. She earned her AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma and Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. Kim joined LePort Schools in 2012 and has been working with the children from infancy to 6 years old as a head teacher. She lives with her husband and her three children in Orange County. Ms. Kim and her family enjoy spending time together indoors and outdoors which gives a variety of experiences and fun memories to her three children.

Frida Yeo

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Frida Yeo has her bachelor's degree in Economics and Management from the University Of Surabaya, Indonesia. She got married and moved to the United States with her husband and gave birth to two beautiful girls. After volunteering at her children's school, she became interested in working with children, and went on to earn her Advanced Early Childhood Certificate from the University Of California, Los Angeles and her AMI Diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Frida is Montessori Primary trained.

Frida worked one year at First Methodist Church Preschool in Santa Monica and three years at Clover Elementary School in Los Angeles as an Instructional Assistant. She likes to spend time with her family in her free time. She enjoys traveling and cooking with her children.

Gabriela Nodar

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Mrs. Gabriela Nodar started her teaching career in 2013 in a non-traditional way. Her first experience with the Montessori approach was when her first daughter began her school journey many years ago in Santa Barbara County. Ms. Gaby loved the approach. She began homeschooling her other children when they were very young and discovered that she really loved teaching. Ms. Gaby holds a Primary Montessori training certificate and has practiced the method in a school setting since 2019. Prior to immersing herself in Montessori, Ms. Gaby studied nursing in Mexico. She has worked as a Spanish translator and as a Teaching Assistant for the Carson School District. Ms. Gaby has three wonderful children. In her leisure time loves to hike and spend time with her family.


Gabriela Kenney

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Mrs. Kenney received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Vanguard University, where she was also a 4 year starter on the women’s soccer team. She then went on to complete her Assistants to Infancy (0-3 years) training at the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia, as well as Elementary (6-12 years) training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Mrs. Kenney first joined LePort in 2014, and taught at the toddler and both lower and upper elementary levels. She took some time off after having a baby in 2021, and returned to our LePort Spectrum North team to lead a lower elementary class in 2023. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Kenney enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, playing soccer, and doing DIY projects.

Afsaneh Namiranian

Assistant Teacher

Afsaneh Namiranian (Afi) is from Tehran, Iran. She has been a certified Montessori teacher since 2014, and received her degree in Houston, Texas. Ms. Afi worked in Montessori schools for five years, before moving to Irvine, California in 2016. While she was working in Irvine Valley College, she finished her degree in child development. Ms. Afi loves to work with children because they give her positive energy. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog, and loves to travel.

Lorine Dapic

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Mrs. Dapic was born in Brazil, with strong influences from her Italian and Spanish family. These frequent interactions with languages and cultures inspired her to attain a bachelor’s degree in German Literature. She had previous professional and personal experience in the field of education, but it wasn’t until motherhood that she discovered her true calling. Prior to joining LePort, she volunteered for two different schools in Southern California. She believes there is always something new we can learn from children. In her free time, Mrs. Dapic enjoys reading, exploring the world with her children, and spending time with friends.

Fiore Mastrangelo

Assistant Teacher

Fiorella Mastrangelo is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina who earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology in her home country. Specializing in creating supportive and inclusive learning spaces, her expertise in the field equips her with skills in emotional intelligence, behavioral management, and student assessment. With experience as a special education teacher, Fiorella has mastered the art of crafting individualized educational strategies. In her free time, she loves going to the beach and spending time with family and friends. Fiorella is very excited to be part of the LePort Spectrum North team.

Masha Karbovskaya

Junior Montessori Teacher

Masha is a passionate educator with a strong background in mathematics and economics. She holds a Master’s Degree in mathematics from Moscow State University and a Master’s of Arts in Economics from New Economic School in Moscow. While working as an IT and business analyst at Accenture, Masha discovered her true calling in education. Over the years, she has been involved in various teaching roles, including English instruction for adults and young children. Additionally, she has served as a math teacher and Montessori teacher in different Montessori schools in Ithaca, New York. Her dedication to the Montessori Method led her to earn Elementary Montessori credentials in 2019. Beyond the classroom, Masha is an active member of her community. She runs a math circle for local children and volunteers as a leader for a competitive math club. She also serves on the board of her children’s swim team. In her leisure time, Masha enjoys running and handwork hobbies, and is always eager to learn something new. Spending quality time with her three children is one of her greatest joys as they explore the world of knowledge together.

Middle School

Cassandra Kolacinski

Head Montessori Teacher (Middle School)

Mrs. Kolacinski was born and raised in Orange County. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California-Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior. After working for a year for a sales and marketing company, she decided to go back to school to pursue her true passion of teaching. She went back to the University of California-Irvine and graduated with her M.A in Teaching, along with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She later added a Single Subject Mathematics Credential.

Mrs. Kolacinski has taught Math 6, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 in San Diego County and Los Angeles County, she is ecstatic to have returned to her native Orange County! She is very excited to be working at LePort and truly believes in their teaching principles and approach. Mrs. Kolacinski hopes to create a love and excitement for learning in her students, by making learning meaningful, relevant and enjoyable!

Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, trying new things and spending time with her husband and dog, Layla.

Cindy Tabin

Head Montessori Teacher (Middle School)

Mrs. Cindy Tabin received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Riverside and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton. Mrs. Tabin has worked with children for many years, both in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining LePort Montessori, Mrs.Tabin taught fifth grade, conducted private tutoring for a variety of ages, and managed a Mathnasium math learning center. She has been fortunate to have had opportunities to teach students with a range of different ability levels, from gifted students to students with special needs, and is keenly aware of the need to individualize to a student’s particular skill level. Mrs. Tabin also believes in the importance of connecting personally with her students, mentoring them to grow as responsible and successful citizens. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, and cat. She loves to play sports--on any given day of the week, chances are you’ll find her at one of the many parks in Orange County, playing softball!

Robin Cheney

Head Montessori Teacher (Middle School)

Robin was born in New York, but spent the first few years of her life in Europe, where she attended a Montessori School in Amsterdam. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. In 1996, after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Art History, Robin fell in love with Montessori’s educational philosophy. Her first teaching job was in a program that aimed to mainstream deaf and hard of hearing students, so she acquired skills in sign language. She spent three years teaching lower elementary, three years teaching upper elementary, and then discovered her true passion was in working with middle schoolers, teaching all subjects. Robin has really enjoyed working with adolescents since the early 2000s, and one of her favorite things is for students to visit after high school and beyond and share their successes with her. In 2012, Robin appeared on Jeopardy! in the Teacher’s Tournament, and she is always looking for fun new experiences like that one. She spent a summer in the cloud forest of Ecuador, teaching English to the residents of a small village. In her free time, she is an avid reader who loves to travel, cook, and volunteer.

Additional Staff

Vidya Konkala

Assistant Teacher

Vidya received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Food and Nutrition from Nagarjuna University in India. She previously worked as a Microbiologist prior to entering the field of education. She has been working in Montessori education since 2019.

Katherine Tinio

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Kat was born and raised in Orange County. She grew up in a bilingual household and speaks fluent Tagalog. Her passion for working with children started when she would participate in outreach programs in the Philippines with her family. In 2020, she received her Bachelors in Social Work in Washington, DC. She has experience working with special needs children and with low income families in the DC metropolitan area. In her free time she likes to explore new restaurants and go shopping.

Haeyeon Song

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Haeyeon received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea and worked in a variety of industries for 10 years until relocating to the United States. She began her journey of teaching children when she was in the Montessori Teacher Education Program in St. Louis, Missouri and earned her American Montessori Society credential in 2012. In her free time, she likes walking on trails with her husband and two young daughters, and she enjoys spending time doing leather crafts to make accessories.

Lilian Capel

Junior Montessori Teacher, Spanish Bilingual

Lilian is a dedicated and passionate native Spanish speaker from Argentina. She is an educator with a profound love for the Montessori method. Having worked in multiple Montessori settings in North Carolina, Lilian wholeheartedly embraces the Montessori philosophy, fostering young minds with care and dedication in a supportive environment. With a genuine commitment to guiding students toward a brighter future, she finds immense joy in being surrounded by children and creating an enriching atmosphere that nurtures their love for learning. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Lilian enjoys exploring various cuisines, reading, tending to her plants, engaging in genealogical research, and spending quality time with her family. Through her passion for the Montessori method and dedication to young learners, she enables students to grow and thrive in a caring and empowering setting.

Carina Reyes

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Allison West

Physical Education Teacher

Coach West is an active mother of five with a passion for fun and fitness. She has a background in education and enjoys sharing her love for learning with every child she encounters. Coach West focuses on social-emotional learning in her teaching. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at the University of Portland. Coach West has experience as a yoga teacher, P.E. teacher, literacy teacher, and volleyball coach.

Cole Fencl

Music Specialist

Mr. Cole Fencl was born and raised in Huntington Beach and is still abiding there with his wife and son. Cole has over 19 years of musical experience varying in symphonic wind instruments, guitar, bass, piano, percussion and chorale. From an early age, he knew his passion was in teaching music to others, and Cole has had the pleasure of teaching privately and in classroom settings all over Orange County for several years. Some of his more recent ventures include assistant directing the band program, directing and building the music program, and conducting the advanced string orchestra ensemble at Orange Coast Musical Arts.

Inoka Fernando

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

Charina Goseng

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Charina Goseng’s undergraduate studies focused on children and adolescent development with a minor in Spanish. Prior to joining LePort, she conducted volunteer work for low income families in an elementary school setting and helped in aiding high school children with special needs. Charina has also worked as a substitute teacher in Montessori education for many years. She hopes to share her passion for arts with the children using colors as a form of expression and creativity.

Gurpreet Kaur

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Gurpreet was born and raised in India. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and an additional Bachelor of Education degree from India. Ms. Gurpreet has four years of teaching experience in mathematics in elementary and middle school. She was inspired by her mother to choose this profession because her mother was a math teacher, as well. Ms. Gurpreet loves to work and spend time with children. She is very passionate about teaching and working with children, helping and encouraging them to learn new things. Ms. Gurpreet is also a math tutor. She helps her nieces and a nephew in their studies. She likes to spend her leisure time with her family and dog. Ms. Gurpreet loves listening to traditional and classical music and dancing.

Shaheen Haque

Assistant Teacher

Bio coming soon.

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