LePort Montessori Carlsbad Village Staff

School Administration

Alison Sconyers

Administrative Support

Alison Sconyers has been at LePort Montessori in Carlsbad Village since 2013. She has shared her love of learning in the capacity of Substitute, Assistant Teacher, and Art Instructor. Prior to LePort, Ms. Alison was a Teacher at Pilgrim Children’s Learning Center for two years. Alison has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Oregon with a double major in Sociology and Religious Studies. She has been formally trained by Mona Brookes, the creator of Drawing with Children, which explores the advantages of introducing and teaching art to youth as a vital development tool. Alison and her husband Mark have been living in Carlsbad since 2001 with their two sons that attend Sage Creek High School and Valley Middle School.


Ayanthi Ratnayake

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Ayanthi Ratnayake was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her first experience with Montessori came as a child. She attended the same school where her mother taught primary children. She remembers some of her favorite Montessori materials from childhood: the color boxes and dressing frames. In hindsight, she believes that her experience as a Montessori child has led her to be more flexible in thought and more accepting of others.

Ms. Ayanthi completed her B.A. in psychology and worked at a Montessori school and a traditional preschool for over seven years. She completed her AMI Diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. In conjunction with her diploma, she earned a master's degree in education from Loyola University Maryland. She feels strongly that the Montessori approach provides a holistic approach towards learning. She loves that each day of working with young children brings new experiences and growth over time.

Outside of teaching, Ms. Ayanthi enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures, trying new restaurants, listening to music, shopping, and last but not least, spending time with family and friends.

MIchelle Burns

Assistant Teacher

Born and raised in a small Gold Rush town in Northern California, Ms. Michelle now resides in Carlsbad! She graduated from Folsom Lake College with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Michelle also holds a California Child Development Teacher Permit, and hopes to earn her Primary Montessori Certification at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She has worked in various preschool settings, most recently as a teacher in a Head Start program in her hometown. When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Michelle enjoys reading, hiking, and participating in her faith community. She is an advocate for natural wellness and spends much of her free time sharing natural solutions for health and home with others.


Kait DeGrazia

Head Montessori Teacher (Elementary)

Ms. Kait DeGrazia started her work with children 12 years ago working in a preschool in Orange County with pre-k and kindergarten students. She left the preschool to complete her BA in marketing management from Menlo College. After college, Ms. Kait worked in sales and marketing for four years before missing the joys of working with children. She received her AMS E1 Credential from The Montessori Center for Teacher Education in San Diego. She worked at the Maria Montessori school for 3 years before starting her career at LePort. 

Cristina Valdez

Assistant Teacher

Cristina Valdez began her journey in education as a camp counselor at Camp Tannery Arts in Santa Cruz, CA. The program bridged young students with local, professional artists to inspire and encourage them to follow their creative dreams through art workshops and tours of their studios. Witnessing the powerful influence this had on the children intensified Ms. Christina's passion for education. Ms. Cristina obtained her BA in Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014 and shortly after became employed as an Art Instructor at the Claraty Arts Project, where she supported the development of a new, positive, collective identity for developmentally disabled adults via arts education, training, expression and production. This role further solidified her belief that art education is essential to empowering individuals and their communities. Cristina expanded her educational experience through her role as a Youth Art Instructor at McArt Studio, located in Carlsbad, California.

Cristina was drawn to work for the Leport Montessori Carlsbad Village team for it’s specialized, child-centered learning and creative teaching opportunities. Ms. Christina brings her background in art education to LePort and loves helping students use art as a tool to express the knowledge gained in the classroom.

Additional Staff

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