Greetings to you! My name is Ms. Tamara and I am Mission Bay Montessori Academy's principal. To give you a little background information about me, I am originally from Washington D.C. and have spent over 25 years in both the private and public sector of education. I am bilingual in Ukrainian and English as I was raised as a very active member of the Ukrainian-American community of Washington D.C. Working with children as a teen all the way through adulthood, I followed my passion of helping children reach their academic goals while fostering individual growth and development.
After completing my undergraduate work at Boston University and receiving my graduate degree in education with a focus on Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University, I worked as a lead teacher at a montessori center, an inclusion specialist, as well as a mentor to Boston University's School of Education students. Thereafter, I moved back to the D.C. area and taught 4th grade for several years, followed by teaching math from 1st through 5th grade. Additionally, I served as an active member for MCEA (the teachers' union) where we met regularly to evaluate curriculum and ways to make our county number one. As you can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed working with students of all ages and of all different cultures, as well with like-minded adults. After obtaining my school administration certificate from Johns Hopkins, I was fortunate to do my principal internship in Montgomery County.
Here in San Diego, I taught English as a Second Language to students (ranging in age from 14 to 90) from all over the world. Learning about different cultures while experiencing teaching the adult mind was invaluable. As my passion for diversity was nurtured, I transitioned further into school administration as an Assistant Academic Director, Academic Manager, and finally as a School Director.
Now, my journey has led to Mission Bay Montessori Academy with you. It is my goal to bring my years of experience both as an instructor and as an administrator to enhance your child's learning experience while maintaining both the academic integrity and legacy of MBMA.
Please do not hesitate to reach out and introduce yourselves to me. I look forward to working with you and learning about your child's individual needs and goals. Many thanks in advance for your kind welcome and support as we move into a wonderful year ahead!
Children's House Director
My name is Ms. Samantha and I am delighted to join Mission Bay Montessori Academy as your new Preschool Director.
As a child, I knew I wanted to become a Montessori Teacher; I, too, attended a Montessori program from age two through the second grade. I feel that contributing to a child’s learning process is such a purposeful experience while I appreciate having the opportunity to share a child’s joy of feeling proud of their accomplishments.
In pursuit of my Montessori goals, I have obtained my Montessori Teacher Training Certificate and worked as a teacher for twelve years. During this time, I discovered a new passion – working with and mentoring teachers which lead me to begin a new journey as a school director.
One of the things I love about the Montessori method is the emphasis on how to speak with children as well as to be available to them; to treat each child with respect and dignity. Being a director allows me to ensure each child receives the respect and education they require.
I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year – filled with growth, exploration, and learning. I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you and work with each of you.
On behalf of the entire Preschool and Administration, thank you for allowing us the privilege of creating a purposeful learning environment for your children.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly regarding any questions or concerns and we look forward to what the new school year will bring and the extraordinary opportunities that await us all.
My name is Catherine Jewell. I am the Administrative Assistant at Mission Bay Montessori Academy.
I was born and raised in Sunnyvale in Northern California and am the youngest of three girls. I come from a family of educators so it seemed logical that I too, would go into education. I spent my high school and college years working in preschools. I graduated from UCSD in 1987 with a BA in Psychology and my California Teaching Credential.
In 1989 I joined MBMA as a teacher in a 2nd & 3rd grade classroom, where I taught for 5 years. During my five years teaching, I met my husband, Steve, right here on the MBMA campus. Steve takes care of the landscaping and his son, Jeremy, was at MBMA in 5th grade when I joined the staff. We married in 1992 and I completed my fifth year of teaching while pregnant with our daughter, Rebecca. I left the classroom in 1994, choosing to work part time while raising our family. Our son Randy was born in 1997.
In the fall of 2000, after a few part time administrative jobs, I returned to MBMA to work part time in the office to assist with registration materials and provide general office support. Over the past 20 years, my position has transformed to full time and now includes accounting, registration, immunizations, whole school communications, and so much more.
I feel so blessed to be a part of the MBMA community. I have raised my children here, with all three attending Children’s House and completing the 6th grade program. I started working at MBMA to simplify life, allowing me to have the same schedule as our children and simplify our lives. It turned into so much more, including a marvelous foundation for our children and an amazing family-like support group through the staff and families alike. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing school.