LePort Montessori Encinitas Staff

School Administration

Cecily Cortez

Head of School

Cecily Cortez earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University San Marcos and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Sociology from San Diego State University. It was there that she studied transformative methods of education, focusing on individualized learning, caring communities and building strong teams to support students, specifically in higher education settings. After earning her MA, Ms. Cortez worked for a Latina mentoring program through MANA de San Diego where she learned program management, event planning, recruitment and strategic program planning.

Ms. Cortez served as Business Manager for LePort Montessori Carlsbad Village where she was able to see her passion for transformative education played out daily through the Montessori method. After more than 3 years as campus Business Manager, she was honored to serve as Head of School for the Carlsbad Village campus and now resides as the Head of School for the Encinitas campus.

When Ms. Cortez is not working, she enjoys practicing yoga, dancing, reading and spending time with her family (which includes five dogs).

Audrey Prisk

Business Manager

Miss Audrey Prisk received her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Dance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and spent time performing around the country before settling into a career in management, most recently with BHLDN by Anthropologie. Audrey is passionate about personal development, growth, and fulfilling the responsibility that is nurturing our younger generation to become the greatest versions of themselves. With an extensive family history in education, Audrey is well-versed in the importance of the child/teacher relationship and has spent time substitute teaching in San Diego County, but fell in love with the Montessori philosophy the first moment she stepped foot in a LePort classroom. She is currently studying to receive her Early Childhood Education credits.

Audrey loves being active outdoors and is most typically found with a friend or four biking, surfing, eating Handel's ice cream, and enjoying all that North County has to offer.


Areli Ramirez

Junior Montessori Teacher

Ms. Areli Ramirez was born in Mexico, and has lived in San Diego since she was 5 years old. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Children's Services from California State University, San Marcos. Ms. Areli earned child development units at Mira Costa College, where she obtained two AA degrees in Human Development and Behavioral Science. She has worked and volunteered at several child care centers, in both home-based care environments and in licensed preschool settings. She loves working at LePort, and has especially enjoyed learning about the Montessori philosophy and how it applies to infants and toddlers. In addition, Ms. Areli works part time with children and adults with special needs. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends


Laura Garcia

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Laura Garcia received her Assistants to Infancy Association Montessori International certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2018. Prior to her training, she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Baja California. She has been working with children for multiple years, including work at a children's hospital called Hospital Infintil de las Californias.

In Ms. Laura's spare time she enjoys hiking, taking road trips, and doing yoga.

Alison Sconyers

Assistant Teacher

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.

Nicole Anderson

Head Montessori Teacher (Toddler)

Ms. Nicole Anderson is an experienced early childhood educator with a passion for knowledge and growth. Her first experience with Montessori teachings happened to be with LePort as a substitute teacher where she fell in love with the program and faculty. Ms. Nicole has been working with children for 10 years and completed her early childhood education at Palomar College.

Ms. Nicole began her career as a nanny but eventually felt at home in the preschool setting. She understands the importance of early brain development and finds joy in being a positive and encouraging role model to many. In her free time, she enjoys nature, reading, art, and music with her husband and daughter.

Katy Bowen

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Katy Bowen is deeply invested in building relationships with children and their families. Her interest for how children learn is a passion that drives Katy to be supportive and understanding. Having completed her Associates degree in early care and education with MiraCosta College, she then pursued her bachelor’s degree in child development with Point Loma Nazarene University. When she recognized the Montessori method to be the most effective and impactful way for children to learn, she desired the standard of excellence with LePort Montessori.

During her personal time, she loves being with her family, church community, and playing sports with her three children!


Lisa Reynolds

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary)

Ms. Lisa Reynolds has worked for LePort Encinitas since October 2017, when she was hired as an Assistant Teacher and After Care Coordinator. Her strong work ethic, dedication, and commitment to the Montessori philosophy made her the ideal candidate when a Head Teacher position came available the following school year.

Before she found Montessori, Ms. Lisa worked as an ESL instructor in Shenzhen, China for four years, with children ages 3 to 17. Prior to her work in China, she taught ESL for 18 months in Yonago, Japan. She moved back to America in 2016 to train as a Montessori Primary teacher at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She is excited to share her Montessori training, as well as her experience abroad, with her students. Outside of work, Ms. Lisa enjoys running, reading, drinking coffee, and of course, spending time with loved ones.

Manoha Ratnayake

Junior Montessori Teacher

Ms. Mano moved to the United States in 1979 after completing her AMI training in Sri Lanka. She moved to Minnesota and has over 40 years of experience working with children as a lead teacher and director in Montessori schools as well as traditional preschools. After spending decades in Minnesota, she and her family moved to California due to the warmer weather. She obtained her ECE credits shortly after moving to CA and has been working in Montessori schools ever since.

Ms. Mano believes that every day is a new day and is full of potential. She loves the energy that young children bring. She believes in the Montessori principle: "show me how to do it for myself," and enjoys seeing this come to life in the classroom.

When not at work, Ms. Mano enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, going to plays, gardening, meditating, and exercising. A fun fact about Ms. Mano is that her daughter is also a Montessori teacher and works at LePort Montessori Carlsbad Village!

Ely Heredia

Head Montessori Teacher (Primary), Spanish Immersion

Mrs. Ely lives in Chula Vista CA. She grew up in Tijuana B. C., where she studied at a private college and obtained a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. After graduation she began to work in a Montessori school, and it is there where she began to have an interest to learn more about Montessori education.

Ms. Ely eventually moved to Chula Vista, and began the teacher certification program where she obtained a diploma from the American Montessori Society for teaching children 2 1/2- 6 years. She has several years of experience working as a Head Teacher, both in Tijuana and in the United States.

Ms. Ely decided to be a teacher when she was very young. She even attended a Montessori school during her preschool years, and she retains very beautiful memories of her preschool teachers. She loves animals, shopping, visiting cultural and historical places, and going to museums. She likes going to the gym and swimming, enjoys going to the beach and playing with her puppies. She loves to travel and spend time with family.

Ivonne Aguilar-Corona

Junior Montessori Teacher, Spanish Immersion

Ms. Ivonne Aguilar, originally from Chula Vista, California, grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. She obtained her B.A. in Preschool Education from Escuela Normal Particular "Colegio Ensenada.” She is excited to be a part of the LePort family and combine her passion for working with children with her experience and expertise in education. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.

Additional Staff

Bronson Dunayevich

Assistant Teacher

Mr. Bronson has experience in a variety of fields, such as food service, security, and administration, but has particularly enjoyed his work in child development, which led him to obtain his ECE units from Palomar College. His interest in early childhood education began when he started substitute teaching at a preschool in Escondido. Over time, Mr. Bronson had the opportunity to substitute teach in a variety of school settings throughout San Diego county. He enjoys interacting with the children and being able to influence their lives in a positive way. Mr. Bronson spent some time substitute teaching at LePort Encinitas, was very impressed with the Montessori approach to education. In his off time, Mr. Bronson enjoys coordinating events for a fantasy card game. Mr. Bronson also enjoys spending time with friends.

Cydnie Dolegowski

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Cydnie earned a Masters in Social Work degree from Arizona State University with a specialization in health/mental health services. Teaching and education were always part of her behavioral health practice. Ms. Cydnie was also able to study Early Childhood Development and Education at Palomar College, which has allowed her to substitute as an assistant preschool teacher at many excellent programs/schools in North County for ten years. Her training included infant and toddler development and curriculum. Earning a certification in Montessori education is a professional goal of Ms. Cydnie’s. Ms. Cydnie is also the single adoptive mother of a special needs daughter from Russia. Parenting has been both a challenging and rewarding education, resulting in a particular interest to help support special needs children.

In her her spare time, Ms. Cydnie enjoys reading, watching PBS T.V. programs, following politics, floral design, and coloring.

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