fbpx

Our leadership team is a diverse group of people who came together at LePort in the pursuit of a common goal: developing and delivering a great educational experience for children, one that teaches Knowledge for Life.

Our shared ideas about education motivate us to get up every morning excited about the day’s work ahead. These shared ideas form the foundation for a spirit of camaraderie, a culture of learning, and a joyful dedication to achievement that touches every aspect of LePort Montessori. They are:

  • A deep conviction that a great education is crucially important in shaping a young person’s life, and that offering such an education is a noble and personally meaningful charge.
  • A commitment to a unique educational approach that doesn’t fall into the trap of teaching either content or method, but delivers on both—an approach that equips each child with Knowledge for Life, and prepares him in his whole being for the adventure that lies ahead.
  • Passionate Professionalism in our work—a dedication to becoming the best we can be, as people and as professionals. We live the mastery mindset we want to instill in our students. We love asking why, over and over again, until we get answers. And we love being challenged, by each other and by our community of students and parents, to always improve.

Jennifer Iarossi

Vice President

Ms. Jennifer Iarossi graduated with honors from Northwestern University, then worked for nearly a decade as a strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Along the way, she discovered the works of Maria Montessori. Ms. Iarossi pursued the Montessori teacher training courses at all levels--completing her AMI infant and toddler training, MCI primary training, and AMI elementary training. Ms. Iarossi then went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Loyola University Maryland. In addition to her passion for Montessori education, she enjoys challenging hikes in snow-packed mountains and is an aspiring triathlete. Ms. Iarossi traveled across the country to join LePort in 2013 and she is proud to have her two children attend the Huntington Harbor campus.

Education

Fatima Asghar

School Leadership Advisor

Mrs. Asghar has been working in Montessori classrooms in some capacity since 1989. She was immediately drawn to Maria Montessori’s ideas after she first observed a Montessori environment-she was amazed at the level of concentration and independent work displayed by the children. Mrs Asghar quickly came to appreciate the uniqueness of the Montessori Method, and to believe deeply in the difference that it can make in the lives of children. In 1997, Mrs. Asghar received her AMI Diploma in her then hometown of Hyderabad, India. After moving to the United States, she taught for two years in a Montessori school in College Station, Texas. She then moved to California in 2000 to join LePort’s Huntington Beach campus team as a Head Primary Teacher. In 2008, Mrs. Asghar was promoted to the position of Montessori liaison. While continuing to teach a full class, in her new capacity she also took on the role of offering teachers both administrative and academic support. Over time, her quiet leadership and genuine dedication to students and staff earned her the deep respect of teachers, parents and management. In 2010, Mrs. Asghar was offered, and heartfully accepted, the position of Head of School at LePort School Huntington Harbor. As the Head of School, Mrs. Asghar oversees all operations, and ensures that each student at the school receives the highest quality Montessori education. In her spare time, Mrs. Asghar enjoys playing basketball and tennis with her family, cooking, sewing, and decorating.

Human Resources

Audrey Kelly

Recruiting Specialist

Audrey Kelly had the good fortune to be introduced to Montessori as a child through her mother’s small school in the Chicago suburbs. Later, her family relocated to sunny Southern California, where Audrey attained her B.S. in Business Administration at CSU, San Marcos. She had the opportunity to manage operations in a variety of industries including film and live event production, investment banking and real estate development. The common thread throughout every industry was her thrill at connecting dots and finding solutions. Additionally, she loves interacting with people and enjoys the human element in a corporate structure. She is delighted to be a part of the Human Resources team, as she is able combine the best of both worlds.

Audrey joined LePort in July 2012, after actively pursuing an employment opportunity that would be fulfilling to her and her family. She sought out the school for open positions and was excited to bring her journey full circle back to Montessori. She is also elated that her own children are able to share the LePort experience as students. In her free time, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family and friends and experiencing all that California has to offer. She loves to “get off the beaten path” and loves a good planned…or spontaneous…adventure!

Rose De-Grads

Talent Coordinator

Rose De-Grads graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Communications and Media Arts. She has diverse experience in public relations, marketing, and education. Upon regularly volunteering in her son’s Montessori classroom, she realized the joy she felt while working with children. Rose returned to school and earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton. She has happily been working at LePort since 2013.

In her free time, she enjoys taking regular trips to Disneyland with her family. She also has a passion for travel and enjoys learning about different countries and cultures.

Outreach

Franci Ramynke

Director of Marketing

Franci Ramynke received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at California State University, Fullerton and is currently pursuing her MBA. Irvine, California holds a special place for Franci as her childhood hometown, and attended Irvine High School. Prior to joining LePort Schools, Franci held marketing positions in fashion retail and for the last five years in post-secondary education. Her experience in post-secondary education led her to pursue a more comprehensive understanding of the impact early education had on students, which led her to the benefits of the Montessori philosophy.

Franci lives in Orange with her husband Tony, a local psychotherapist, and her teenage daughter Ashley. In her free time, Franci enjoys running, reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. If the family cannot be found during the weekend at the neighborhood organic coffee house, they can be seen exploring the record stores and art galleries of Los Angeles.

Richard Unten

Art Director and Web Developer

Shortly after his first child was born, Richard became fascinated by the educational approach of Dr. Maria Montessori while researching various pedagogical activities. Despite settling his family down in one of the nation’s top public school districts, Richard sought out the best, most authentic Montessori program for his son. His search concluded with LePort Montessori. Known as a “Montessori Dad” among his peers, Richard is passionate about spreading the word about the school that he chose for his own two children.

Yuen Liang

Outreach Consultant

Ms. Yuen Liang received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan in Honors Economics and Philosophy and her Master’s Degree in Management from the Australian National University. During her studies at ANU, she began to learn about Dr. Montessori's pedagogy and has been studying her educational principles ever since. While living in Japan, she received a diploma from the North American Montessori Center and worked for two years at a Montessori school in Okinawa. She continues to be actively involved with the Montessori programs her children attended in Taiwan and Japan. She is really excited to be making an impact in LePort’'s unique immersion program.

Operations and Development

Peter Mali

Director of Business Operations

Peter Mali was born in Singapore but is blessed to call Southern California home for most of his life. He started his professional career in the restaurant industry, overseeing operations for multiple franchise locations. His background is in business but he has diverse experience in operations, customer service, and training. Seeking a more fulfilling career, Peter joined LePort in October 2011. He is thrilled to have his twins enrolled at LePort and see first-hand the benefits of Montessori. In his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with his family and friends, along with staying active playing sports and exploring the outdoors.

Sarah Sherlock

Director of Campus Operations

Sarah Sherlock is a native southern Californian with vast experience in education, project management, compliance, and social services. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Forensic Sciences. Prior to joining LePort, Ms. Sherlock worked extensively in higher education as both an administrator and a faculty member. While the start of her career was primarily in social service and government compliance, her most rewarding work has been in education. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching British television, and spending time with friends and family. She is thrilled and honored to bring her talent and experience to LePort!

Bianca Solorzano

Admissions Services Partner

Bianca Solorzano has spent her entire career working in Montessori Education and has worked with children and their families for over a decade. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from Cal State Fullerton, her Associate Degree in Communication Studies, and is currently completing her Master's Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University, Maryland. She also obtained her AMI Assistants to Infancy Certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Ms. Solorzano has a passion for child development, specifically from pregnancy through age 2. She spent many years working directly with infants as a Montessori Lead Infant Teacher: giving lessons, assessing their development, teacher training, working with parents, and more. In addition to teaching, Ms. Solorzano has led a variety of Educational Parent and Child classes at both the Infant and Toddler levels for LePort Schools, spoken at Parent Education Events, and trained Assistant Teachers on Montessori and best practices in Infancy. She also spent time as the Interim Admissions Director at the LePort Spectrum Campus. Also an entrepreneur in this field, she independently focuses on Parent Education: guiding on infant development, giving parent talks, and working directly with families. She finds that basic development and Maria Montessori’s methods support each other in countless ways, which is why she loves what she does! In her spare time, she loves backpacking around the world, singing, playing her ukulele, hiking, swimming in the ocean, and continuing to learn, explore, and grow in this marvelous adventure we call life. She is happy to be a part of a team whose core values align so well with her beliefs, as they keep what is best for the children at the heart of everything they do.

Finance

Rebekah Lee

Director of Accounting

Rebekah Lee earned her BA in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton, with a focus in Accounting, in 2003. After graduation, Rebekah went on to work for the 5th largest public accounting firm in the US, and spent her time auditing and providing technical assistance to clients in a variety of industries. After earning her CPA license and leaving public accounting, Rebekah served in various accounting roles, including a start-up company providing English immersion courses to Spanish speaking adults seeking college degrees.

Rebekah is excited to use her experience to develop the accounting department and assist with the growth of LePort Schools across the country. Outside of work, Rebekah loves to spend time with her daughter and husband. Additionally, she enjoys pushing herself through workouts at her local Cross fit gym, and watching her husband compete in jiu jitsu tournaments.

Darshee Shah

Director of Payroll and Tax

Ms. Darshee Shah joined LePort Schools with over eight years of experience in public accounting, specializing in taxation and audit. In 2001, Darshee received her B.A. from the University of Mumbai, India with a dual-major in taxation and accounting. She stayed in India for her initial professional experience, then later moved to California, where she earned her CPA license, and continued to expand her range of expertise in taxation and other areas of accounting.

When Ms. Shah decided to make a career change to private accounting, she was thrilled to discover LePort Schools. Here, she is able to apply the full range of her skills in providing critical financial services and guidance to an incredible network of schools.

When away from work, Darshee loves spending time with friends and family, cooking, and traveling with her husband, Vishal, a Manager at Deloitte Consulting.

Jean Chung

Corporate Counsel

Jean Chung received her B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara and J.D. from Whittier Law School in Orange County. After becoming an attorney, Jean worked for several law firms based in Southern California, where she gained considerable experience in employment and immigration law. Before joining LePort Schools, she was Of-Counsel at Kinaga Law Firm, where she represented clients in litigation and administrative proceedings, drafted legal documents, and advised clients in general business law and immigration law.

Jean lives in Irvine with her husband, her son, and two dogs. In her free time, Jean enjoys reading, dancing, sewing, and knitting.

Stay in touch with LePort Montessori

Please fill out the form to receive additional info, as well as invitations for upcoming event. If you share your phone number, our admissions team will call to answer your questions or set up a tour.

By providing us with your phone number, you consent to being contacted by LePort Montessori and/or its affiliated schools regarding their educational programs, whether such contact is by phone, autodialer, recorded message, or text. Please note: Your consent is not required as a condition of enrollment.