Meet our teachers.
Sharika was born in South Africa. In her final year of high school, her cousin, who happened to be the Principal of a Montessori school, invited her to the school. All it took was one day and Sharika knew straight away what she was going to spend the rest of her life doing. Montessori just made sense.
Her favourite thing about the Montessori way is the prepared environment, as it is a space where children can thrive in grace, courtesy, respect, and dignity. Sharika spent the next few years living and teaching in Montessori schools and childcare centres in London, Ireland and Melbourne. After becoming a mum, she successfully ran her own Montessori early learners program in Family Day Care.
In 2012, Sharika moved to Perth and started working at Perth Montessori. To date, she is the Playgroup Coordinator and runs school tours. Sharika is a passionate Montessori advocate and is grateful for the opportunity to meet parents and children that are new to PM and Montessori learning. She feels it's a privilege to have the opportunity to explain the benefits and workings of all things Montessori. Sharika’s favourite quote is; "Begin as you mean to go on."
Brenda is from Perth and has lived here all her life apart from a few years of her childhood when she lived in the MidWest. Brenda is qualified as a primary school teacher and has always worked in the education sector.
Before working at Perth Montessori, she ran a Kumon study centre for around eleven years. Brenda came to PM as a school parent in 2006 and became a staff member in 2008 as a Playgroup Facilitator.
The most inspiring thing about her role is to see the joy in parents’ faces when their toddlers are doing the jobs – the babies grow quickly and will often surprise their parents with what they can do! What she loves most about the Montessori way is that the development of the child is so well-articulated and that it guides both formal and informal education.
When not at work, Brenda is usually camping off-grid with her friends and family, and volunteering with her elderly church community.
The best advice she’s ever been given is; "...that other people will always make sense when we give up trying to fit them into our view and seek to understand theirs."
Cycle 1 Director and Learning Support
Caroline is originally from Dublin, Ireland and has been with Perth Montessori since 2001. She grew up in Dublin until she was 21 and then spent three years backpacking throughout South East Asia, South and East Africa, Mexico, Florida, and the Channel Islands. During this time, Caroline worked in retail and hospitality.
After high school, Caroline had the opportunity to work for a year in a Montessori school, which is what ignited her passion for all things Montessori. Caroline is inspired most by watching her students learn and grow and develop intrinsic motivation and a love of learning. She loves getting to know both students and families and being able to respect and cater for individual learning styles/needs.
Caroline has a teenage son and a six-year-old daughter so, when not teaching, she is usually chasing around after them! She can also be found at the local surf club or assisting at her local football club in winter.
Her favourite saying is; "One foot in front of the other and one step at a time and, if it's not working, change it."
Cycle 1 Director
Michelle was born in Malaysia and grew up in Perth. Before joining Perth Montessori, Michelle worked with children in various roles including being an Early Childhood Assistant Educator, KG teacher, and an eco-school Coordinator in London. Michelle has been at Perth Montessori since 2020.
The most inspiring part of her role is seeing the curiosity, joy and light in the children’s eyes when they learn something new, every day. What she most loves about the Montessori way is the fact that it resonates the most with her values and ideas about teaching in the 21st century, particularly when it comes to fostering independence in the child through active participation in a supportive environment.
When not working, Michelle enjoys dancing. She had an amazing opportunity to take part in a musical theatre course while living in London. Other passions include yoga, singing, crafting and exploring new places.
The best advice she’s ever been given is; "Stay true to yourself and follow your heart."
Cycle 1 Director
Anthea is a caring person, with a bubbly personality, who likes to help others. Born in Australia, she has Anglo-Burmese heritage. Anthea has been at Perth Montessori since 2019. She initially completed her practicum in Rivergum and went on to fulfilling roles as Cycle 1 Director/EA and Cycle 2 Director. Anthea has had a range of experiences prior to this including working at Jim Kidd Sports for ten years, babysitting for families, and tutoring for the department of communities and child protection support.
Anthea loves how the Montessori way allows for hands-on learning where the children have freedom of choice and are able to be independent and to self-correct. The most inspiring thing about her role is seeing the growth of children’s abilities and their successes over time. When not teaching, Anthea enjoys painting, swimming, going to the gym, feeding chickens, and scouting for a new pet bird.
The best advice she’s been given is; "Reflect on your learning, believe in yourself, and be fearless."
Cycle 1 Education Assistant
Kerryn was born in Melbourne, Victoria. She has been with Perth Montessori both as a parent and a staff member since 2000. What Kerryn finds most inspiring about her EA role is the satisfaction of seeing a child’s face when they achieve what they set out to accomplish. Kerryn loves the fact that the Montessori way promotes independence and allows children to develop at their own pace.
Kerryn’s hobbies include going to the gym, walking, cycling, gardening, cooking, watching Netflix and spending time with her family and pets. One thing you may not know about Kerryn is that, before her time at Perth Montessori, she did a Cook’s apprenticeship! She also has three kids, 24, 23 and 16!
Her favourite sayings are; "You can do it!" and "There’s no such word as can’t."
Cycle 1 Education Assistant
Arul was born in Malaysia and moved to Melbourne in 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) (Hons) and worked as an industrial chemist in the petrochemical industry in South East Asia. In view of her strong desire to work with children, she later pursued post-graduate qualifications in education and taught Maths and Chemistry to high school students.
Arul continued her teaching career in WA in 2014 upon relocating to Perth. Arul has been at Perth Montessori since 2019 and is currently teaching Maths for the Cycle 4 & 5 high school students and is an EA in Cycle 1 Sunflower.
The most inspiring part of her job is sharing her experiences and knowledge with her students. Arul values the Montessori way as it focuses on child-centred learning whereby children explore the material independently.
Arul can speak English, Tamil, and Bahasa Malaysia. In her free time, she attends singing, dancing and yoga classes. She also loves gardening and playing with her puppy. She has travelled to many countries over the years, which has caused her to develop a passion for charitable causes. Some of the organisations which she supports are CARE Australia and Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.
Her favourite saying is; "If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are." (Mother Theresa)
Cycle 1 Education Assistant
Udenie originally comes from Sri Lanka and is bi-lingual, speaking both English and Sinhala. Before coming to Australia, Udenie had many other roles in the workforce including being an auditor and an assistant manager at various government institutions, in addition to working as a graduate teacher for seven years.
Udenie has been with Perth Montessori since 2011 as an education assistant and has recently completed her Montessori Diploma studies for ages 3-6. She absolutely loves working with young children, through all the laughter, tears, and exhaustion! Udenie values the Montessori approach as it teaches children how to be independent.
In her spare time, Udenie enjoys cooking, gardening, and sewing. She strongly believes that as educators, we must be willing to do whatever it takes every day, for every student.
Her favourite quote is; "The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing them for school, but for life." (Maria Montessori)
Cycle 2 Director
Jayne was born in Perth and has been at Perth Montessori since 2018. Prior to this, she has had a range of very colourful experiences including being a Dancer, Actress, Clown, Nanny, Usherette, Swimming Teacher, Dance Teacher, and Occupational Play Therapist at PMH! She has also worked at Attadale Maternity Hospital, Lady Gowrie Child Care, been an Early Childhood Teacher in WA, a Montessori Teacher in California and New Zealand, tutored children, and tutored and lectured at Murdoch University in Early Childhood studies.
Jayne is inspired when researching with children, allowing their voices to be heard and shared with others. She loves that the Montessori philosophy encourages children to be part of a learning community of multi-age groupings.
Jayne was recognised for the artwork that accompanies the wording and for the work of her class and our School community, who assisted with many elements of the development of the Statement on Play for WA.
When not teaching, Jayne enjoys hiking, swimming, yoga/pilates, gardening, and going to artistic events. Her parents gave her priceless advice; "Be yourself."
Cycle 2 Director
Michelle comes from Australia and grew up in the Great Southern Region (Denmark/Albany). While Michelle is new to Perth Montessori in 2022, for the past five years she worked in other independent and department schools, most recently in Dandargan in the Wheatbelt, in a K/PP/Year 1 multi-aged group class.
Michelle loves that she is able to learn new things every day from the students and fabulous staff. She appreciates how the Montessori way enables her to meet each child where they are at and follow their lead in their learning. She particularly likes the feeling of community the Montessori approach evokes.
In the past, Michelle has been a musician of woodwind instruments and a singer, which has now reduced down to singing in the car. She has recently taken up roller-skating, which she finds thrilling, and has been dabbling in embroidery. If Michelle were to retire today, she would adopt three more dogs, a lizard, and birds.
Her favourite advice-nugget is; "Four words on which to build the foundation of an amazing life are Joy, Love, Gratitude, and Music."
Cycle 2 Education Assistant
Deb originally hails from Singapore and speaks both English and basic Mandarin. Before her time at Perth Montessori, she taught at Australian Islamic College as a lower primary school teacher. She has been at Perth Montessori since 2019.
Deb truly loves being in a community of children and their families in addition to staff that seek the best for the children’s potential to blossom. She highly values the open-ended possibilities the Montessori way has to offer and enjoys witnessing the love of learning through the children’s eyes.
When not in her role at school, Deb loves dancing, abseiling, kayaking, jogging, being creative and working on her self-growth. Two fun facts about Deb are; she has a sweet tooth, and she learnt how to change a car tyre on the way to her 33rd birthday party!
The best advice she’s ever been given is; "Be true to who you are" and "It’s never too late to learn." Her favourite saying is; "Cracker Lackers!"
Cycle 3 Director
Shamim comes from Singapore and has been at Perth Montessori since 2005. Prior to this, she taught in Kuwait for ten years.
Speaking English, Indonesian, Malay, Tamil, Hindi, and Chinese, Shamim loves being able to contribute towards the students’ growth and lives. She values the fact that the Montessori way prioritises every student’s individuality as they are encouraged to develop at their own pace.
When not in her role at PM, Shamim can be found teaching the ladies in her church and volunteering at the soup kitchen in Ellenbrook. A fun fact about Shamim is that she is married with five children!
The best advice she has ever been given is; "Be yourself and do the best that you can."
Cycle 4 & 5 Big Picture Lead Advisor
Debbie comes from Boyanup, Western Australia. She has been at Perth Montessori since 2020, originally as the Cycle 3 Director. This year, she will be starting the Big Picture Education model as Lead Advisor for Cycle 4 & 5.
What Debbie loves the most about her role is the ability to make a positive difference in a young person’s life. She values the Montessori way for being a hands-on way of learning that promotes individual learning at a student’s own pace. Prior to working at PM, Debbie has had a wide range of roles including international teaching in both Malta and Singapore in addition to being a Paramedic with St Johns Ambulance Australia and a Police Officer for six years.
When not teaching, Debbie enjoys travelling, yoga, cycling, swimming, tennis, running, golf, gardening and watching her two boys (Ike and Mack) play sport!
Her favourite quotes are: "Follow your dreams" and "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." (William Butler Yeats)
Cycle 4 & 5 Big Picture Advisor
Tamara has been at Perth Montessori since 2018. Originally employed as a Literacy Support Specialist, she has taught students across the school from Cycles 2 to 5. This year, Tamara will be working as a Cycle 4 & 5 Advisor helping implement the Big Picture Education model, which she is very excited about.
Prior to working at PM, Tamara taught internationally in Singapore, Egypt and Norway. She particularly loved the Reggio Emilia approach she used in Singapore, which has several crossovers with Montessori, including hands-on learning and respect for the child. Tamara has Anglo-Egyptian heritage, speaks both English and Arabic, and has recently become an Australian citizen.
When not teaching, she can be found singing, writing, reading, Netflix-ing, and entertaining her toddler. A fun fact about Tamara is that she has lived in eight different countries on four different continents.
Her favourite saying is; "Begin now. This time next year you’ll have wished you started today."
Cycle 3 Specialist and Cycle 4 & 5 Big Picture Advisor
Lee was born in Perth, raised in London, and speaks some German. He started at Perth Montessori in 2021, initially doing relief teaching. Before joining the school, Lee had a wide range of experiences including six years of teaching, ten years of working in event management in Europe and the Middle East, and other roles in Skyworks, City to Surf and cycle races, all in Perth.
This year, Lee will be working with students in both Cycle 3 and 4, with a focus on hands-on projects in the workshop and science room. Lee finds working with both students and staff the most inspiring aspect of his job. He loves project-based work as he can really get to know students and teach valuable life skills in a nurturing environment.
When not in his role at PM, Lee is a keen amateur astronomer, cinephile, frisbee tragic and loves taking his labradoodle down to the beach.
His favourite sayings are; "Never fear being thought a fool for remaining silent, for when you open your mouth you remove all doubt." (Abraham Lincoln). That, and; "Measure twice, cut once."
Music Specialist & Private Piano Tutor
Todd completed his musical tertiary studies at WAAPA/UWA graduating in 1994 with a Certificate in Music (Classical) and Diploma of Music Teaching. He received several distinctions for Excellence in Performance and was awarded Best Graduating Student by the Western Australian Music Teachers’ Association. Todd teaches students of all ages and levels. His areas of interest include Performance Practices and Early Education Music Application.
Todd joined the Montessori team in 2002 and soon realised the similarities between Montessori principles and the learning of a musical instrument. Each student is unique and will respond best when shown, and while havin fun! Todd's approach as an instrumental teacher at PM comes within a broader educational sense. Assisting Cycle 1 students with early concepts of numeracy and literacy. Cycle 2 students with comprehension, higher thinking and problem-solving. Cycle 3+ in the areas of confidence, self-reliance, and personal achievement.
Todd’s hobbies include restoring instruments, pianos, harmoniums, and pianolas. He recently designed and built his own harpsichord for performing authentic Baroque repertoire.
Linda comes from Jakarta, Indonesia. She speaks both Indonesian and Japanese and has taught Indonesian to the Perth Montessori students since 2014.
The most inspiring part of Linda’s job is seeing students appreciating other cultures. She also loves the way the Montessori approach allows for students to explore their creativity.
When not teaching, Linda enjoys swimming, eating out, cooking, and golf.
One of her favourite sayings is; "Happiness is not about getting all you want, it is about enjoying all you have."
Sally hails all the way from Scotland and first started work at Perth Montessori in 2004. She has always been passionate about art and feels inspired when she manages to get the students interested in it too. Sally loves everything Montessori and feels it is a fantastic way of both teaching and learning.
When not teaching, Sally can be found babysitting her two grandchildren, painting, cooking, gardening, walking her dog on the beach, or playing golf.
Her best advice is to; "Give it a go!" and "Always try your best.".
Meet our support staff.
Principal & Ex-Officio Board Director
Born and raised in Perth, Sally moved to Melbourne in 1996 looking for adventure. While studying for her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, Sally worked in after-school care and unexpectedly discovered the joy of working with children. She subsequently went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary) at Monash University, commencing her career as a classroom teacher in 2004.
Sally has travelled extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India and south-east Asia and speaks French and Spanish. In 2006, Sally spent two years living and teaching in Colombia. It was at that time that she came across Paula Polk Lillard’s book, Montessori Today. Reading this book ignited a spark in Sally’s imagination; she was determined to embrace this holistic approach and began working towards her International Montessori Teaching Diploma that year.
Sally’s passion for Montessori has sustained her throughout her career in education; from teaching in mainstream and Montessori classrooms, to investigating parents’ reasons for choosing a Montessori school in fulfilment of her Graduate Certificate of Educational Research, the child-centred philosophy of the Montessori approach has been her beacon. Sally holds a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Monash University and has worked as an Inclusive Education Leader, Deputy Principal and most recently Principal of Mount Dandenong Primary School. Sally is inspired by the privilege of working with communities to effect educational change at the school and system level. She strongly believes in the transformational power of Montessori education to change lives for the better.
A couple of Sally’s favourite nuggets of wisdom are; "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." (Maya Angelou), and "The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn." (Alvin Toffler)
At the start of 2022, Sally, along with her husband and kids, relocated to Perth for a lifestyle change and to be closer to her own family. Outside of school, Sally loves spending time with her family and dogs, especially exploring nature and discovering new places. She enjoys travel, walking, reading and cultural pursuits such as museums, galleries, restaurants and live music. Sally joined PM in 2022.
Deputy Principal & Physical Education Specialist
Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Adin has been at Perth Montessori since 2005. Prior to this, he taught Martial Arts (and still has a club in Bull Creek that he teaches at two afternoons a week).
One thing Adin enjoys about his job is that he is able to work with all classes, as this allows him to see students transition through multiple cycles over many years. When it comes to the Montessori way, Adin loves the multi-age classes and the strong social and collaborative skills that emerge as a result.
When not in his role, Adin can be found either at a playground with his sons, Zayn and Amir or tinkering with cars, a passion his dad passed onto him at a young age. Something you may not know about Adin is that he can speak five languages: English, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Italian!
Adin’s favourite quote is; "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." (Wayne Gretzky)
Finance Manager & Board's Secretary
Nina originally comes from Kenya and moved to Australia in 2004. Being multi-lingual, she speaks Punjabi, Hindi, Kiswahili and is currently learning French. Nina is a CPA qualified accountant.
Before coming to Perth Montessori, she had several accounting roles in various companies including Shell Australia as a Systems Accountant and at a legal firm in Trust Accounting. Nina came to PM in November 2020 and looks after the finances and cash flow. In her role, she loves the excitement of everything falling into place. Nina values the Montessori way due to its many, different modes of learning, some of which even involve playing games.
When not working, she enjoys walks on the beach, hiking, and watching TV. Nina is grateful for so many things, including being given the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro four years ago.
The best advice she has ever been given is; "Believe and have faith in yourself." Also; "Every day is a Gift. Remember to unwrap it with Joy and Gratitude."
Receptionist and Waabiny Coordinator
Yoh originally comes from Japan and is bi-lingual, speaking both her native tongue and English. Before coming to Australia, Yoh taught English in Japan for six years. After relocating, she worked at a local childcare centre in East Kimberly for over three years.
Yoh has been at Perth Montessori since March 2021, first working with One Tree Community Services and now PM's in-house Waabiny after-school care. As well as still being an after-school care educator, she is also the school’s Receptionist. The most inspiring part of Yoh’s role is caring and educating children and watching them grow. She also loves her role in administration as she enjoys organising, customer service, and supporting the families and children.
When not working, Yoh can be found spending time with her partner, her cat, and her friends. She also likes walking, eating out, Netflix, visiting new places, and travelling. Yoh particularly loves animals and feels very happy around them. The best advice she has ever been given is: “Don’t worry; Be happy!” and “Believe in yourself”. One fun fact about Yoh is that she used to play the piano as a child and would like to start again!