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About

Ixora Montessori School in Williamsburg Virginia, provides an authentic Montessori education for preschool children ages 14 months-6 years.


We are an intentionally diverse community of learners, with equity and inclusivity at the core of our guiding principles. We work to especially embrace those communities who have been marginalized or not be well represented in traditional schools.

We work to connect children to the world, themselves, and each other in a nurturing and healthy community with family engagement.


We believe that all families of young children in our community should have access to a high-quality Montessori Education regardless of financial means.


We are a member of the Wildflower Network of schools.

Wildflower is an ecosystem of decentralized Montessori micro-schools that support children, teachers, and parents. Wildflower aspires to give all children and families the opportunity to choose high-quality, beautiful learning environments as they follow life’s unfolding journey.

 

Please contact us to receive more information about our school.
Our next Information Session - To be determined.

Open House- January 31st

( 1:00-2:30)

Our Teacher Leaders

Our Teacher Leaders

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Beverlee Mendoza

Founding Teacher Leader

Beverlee was born in Trinidad and Tobago, she began her Montessori journey over 30 plus years ago when she began looking for a preschool for her daughter. Thus began her journey to become a Montessori teacher.

 

Beverlee worked as an Infant Directress for 10 years, coordinated toddler programs in 2 Montessori schools for many years and worked as a 3-6 teachers for over 20 years in schools in Trinidad, the US and China.

 

She teaches prospective Montessori teachers and consults for Virginia Center For Montessori Studies in Richmond Virginia in their Early Childhood and Infant/Toddler programs.

 

Beverlee loves spending time with her family and is a member of the American Montessori Society. She is honored to be the founding teacher leader of Ixora Montessori School and looks forward to bringing Montessori education for all, especially embracing the rich diversity of families in the Williamsburg VA. area and its surrounds.

 

Qualifications: - M.Ed., concentration in the Montessori Method, B.A. English, Early Childhood Montessori certification, Infant and Toddler Montessori Certification.

Interest: Gardening, Travel, and the arts.

Our Teacher Leaders

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Lauri Wawersik

Teacher Leader

My name is Lauri Wawersik, and I am very excited to be joining the growing Ixora Montessori Community! My teaching journey began long before my formal training as an educator. From working as a camp counselor for children with special needs, to tutoring kids in reading, I was inspired to grow my love of teaching even as a middle schooler. This led me to earn a Bachelors Degree in Special Education from Syracuse University, and graduate degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to teach Pre-K through 5th grade over the past 30 years in the Baltimore County Public School System, at St. Paul’s Lower School in Towson Maryland, and in the Williamsburg James City County School System. Throughout this time, I have maintained my love of learning and developed a passion for reading literacy and science-based literacy education.

I was introduced to Montessori when my children began attending a local Montessori school and fell in love with its philosophy. I soon started my journey as a Montessori educator through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, where I earned a Montessori teaching certification in Lower and Upper Elementary education through the International Montessori Council. Once certified, I had the opportunity to teach for 6 years as a Montessori Lower Elementary lead teacher.

The Montessori setting is where I feel most inspired! As a Montessori teacher, I enjoy seeing the children’s curiosity and love of learning grow as they make new discoveries about their interests and themselves. One of my favorite sayings is, “Practice makes progress.”

When am I not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, paddle boarding, and taking walks with my dog in our beautiful neighborhood.

Staff

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Cielomar Rodriguez

Administrative Staff

Cielomar Rodriguez comes from the Island of Puerto Rico where she completed a bachelor's degree at the University of Puerto Rico in Geography and Environmental Sciences. She then moved to Virginia in 2006 to attend The College of William and Mary where she earned a Masters and a Ph.D. degree in Marine Sciences.

 

Today, she is a wife and a mother of two awesome boys.

 

She first learned about Montessori's teaching methods while searching for the right preschool for her oldest son.  She was so impressed, she and her husband decided to enroll him.

 

She experienced its benefits first-hand by seeing her son's growth and strong educational base he developed from the Montessori's methods. 

 

This led her to believe that every child should have access to a Montessori education.

 

Because of this, it makes her proud to be part of the Ixora Montessori School and its mission to provide inclusive education of the highest quality.

 

She is excited to help the Ixora community by facilitating the communication between parents and teachers and by providing guidance to existing and prospective families.

 

Interests:

Family, cooking, gardening and the beach

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Diamond Williams

Toddler Lead Teacher

My name is Diamond Williams, and I am excited and look forward to joining Ixora Montessori. I completed my Infant/Toddler training at the VA Center for Montessori Studies and have many years of serving in the capacity as both an assistant and a co-lead teacher at an accreditedMontessori school. I look forward to meeting the entire Ixora Montessori family in the fall.

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Monica Infante

Toddler Assistant

Monica is originally from Peru and has an MBA degree in administration and is a certified Spanish teacher. Monica enjoys working with the toddlers and taught Spanish and Turkish to both children and adults in Turkey. (toddler years to adulthood).

Board Members

Joe Cross

 

Retired Founder of PMA Architects, Cross & Associates, Ltd. (Real Estate and Construction), Director of Development &Construction, Anheuser Busch/Busch Properties whose children attended Montessori.

 

Michele Mohar


Michele Mohar, MEd, is the director of Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, VA and has both her Early Childhood and Infant & Toddler AMS Credentials.  She has over 25 years of experience working with children and adults in a variety of educational settings, primarily Montessori.  Michele is a former assistant head of school and lead teacher at West End Montessori School in Richmond, VA. She is a frequent presenter on Montessori topics at both a regional and national level and is also the current chair of the AMS Teacher Education Action Commission.  


Michele Mohar, MEd, is the director of Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, VA and has both her Early Childhood and Infant & Toddler AMS Credentials.  She has over 25 years of experience working with children and adults in a variety of educational settings, primarily Montessori.  Michele is a former assistant head of school and lead teacher at West End Montessori School in Richmond, VA. She is a frequent presenter on Montessori topics at both a regional and national level and is also the current chair of the AMS Teacher Education Action Commission.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jocelyn Bell Swanson

 

Jocelyn Bell Swanson is an educator and humanities specialist, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her work with elementary and secondary learners centers around her commitment to nature-based learning, with a focus on stewardship and practical life skills. Trained in the Montessori method, she runs farm camps on her James City County farm alongside a full-time middle school and high school program. She is the Education Team Coordinator and member of the board of directors for the Williamsburg Community Growers (community garden). She developed and now directs the secondary-level training and certification program for adult teachers through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. And most recently, she founded Looseleaf Learning, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to nature education and therapy, for which she serves as Executive Director.  

 

In her pre-teaching career, Jocelyn ran her own marketing business, starting out as a writer/editor. Jocelyn has an undergraduate degree in business/communications and a Master’s degree in education. 

 

 

 

 

Kameeka Shirley

 

Kameeka is a founding Teacher Leader at Blazing Stars Montessori School and a loan originator for the Sunlight Loan Fund. She holds a B.B.A in Marketing and worked for almost 5 years at Morgan Stanley in New York before joining Teach for America as a 2017 corps member in Jacksonville, FL. Most recently, Kameeka has worked for 3 years in a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom and holds a Florida Professional Educators Teaching License with a Reading Endorsement and course work in English as a Second Language and Gifted. She is currently in Montessori training.  She is a certified Nature Based Educator through ERAFANS, trained in the Growing Up Wild curriculum and is currently enrolled in Montessori training. Kameeka is a mother, photographer, amateur naturalist and gardener. She also enjoys fitness and martial arts.

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Staff

Attractive Mature Woman

Teacher Leader

Founding Teacher Leader and Primary Guide

Founding Teacher Leader and Primary Guide

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