The Children’s Montessori School

Our Exceptional Educators

Ms. Bailey
Hannah Bailey


Miss. Bailey is the head teacher in the CASA One licensed child care centre, where she partners with children and their families to provide meaningful experiences. She was attracted to Montessori as the practice itself encourages a love for learning and encompasses the whole child. Among other things, Miss. Bailey brings her love of the arts into to the classroom.


“I have always been inspired by a child’s sense of wonder when it comes to observing the world. I believe children are strong, capable and resilient. While I teach young children, I too am always learning.”


Miss. Bailey joined CMS having worked as a program instructor at the Peterborough Family Resource Centre and in public programming and learning at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is a registered Early Childhood Educator and a graduate of Fleming College. She also attended George Brown Theatre School and has taken workshops through the Toronto Montessori Institute.

Mr. Blackmore
Thomas Rhys Blackmore
Upper Elementary II


Mr. Blackmore leads the Upper Elementary Two program at CMS. In teaching the school’s eldest students and preparing them for secondary school, he strives to instill in them accountability – personally, as peers, and as community members. His students contribute to their learning environment and to the school community as a whole. Mr. Blackmore says he chose CMS for its focus on the individual student.


“I hope that I am successful in ensuring that my students are comfortable and confident in being themselves. It is my goal to create a learning environment that embraces individual differences amongst my students.”


Mr. Blackmore began his teaching career in 2010 when he lived in Busan, South Korea. He first became involved within the CMS community in 2011 by volunteering as an Art Instructor. He completed his Bachelor of Education at Trent University in 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western University and also has additional qualifications in Special Education.

Ms. Bond
Alice Bond


Miss. Bond is the CASA program assistant, and joined CMS for her first role as a Registered Early Childhood Educator. She has extensive experience working with children and has taught dance for more than a decade. She brings her positive attitude and her affinity for the arts to the youngest students in the school. Miss. Bond was first introduced to CMS when she was asked to choreograph a spring recital. She says she was immediately impressed by the students’ respect for one another, for their teachers, and for their community.


“I love seeing the process children go through when they’re learning a new skill. Whether it be a new step at the dance studio, or learning how to write their own names in CASA One, it’s amazing to watch them practise and practise until the day they finally get it!”

Gianne Broughton


Madame Broughton teaches French to students from Middle Elementary through to Upper Elementary Two at CMS. She became bilingual in high school and loves nothing more than conversing with her students in French. However, these conversations are often inspired by a grammar lesson – her favourite thing to teach.


“I find it most rewarding when students realize that they can do something that they thought they couldn’t do, and when they get excited about an idea.”


Madame says she chose to join CMS because of its inclusive philosophy. She has taught and tutored for many years, and has also worked in international rural planning and development – a career path that took her to Burundi, a French-speaking country in Central Africa. She holds a Bachelors of Arts, Bachelor of Education and a master’s degree, and has additional qualifications in French as a second language, English as a second language, and Dyslexia Support Worker.

Ms. Clark
Brittney Clark
Associate Teacher


Miss. Clark is an associate teacher who supports teaching and learning in the elementary classrooms. She especially enjoys inspiring her students when she’s teaching her own favourite subjects – arts and math. But regardless of the subject, she always strives to create an inclusive environment for her students, where they can feel comfortable expressing themselves.


“My desire to want to help children learn is what has inspired me to teach. Their ability to use what they’ve learned in the past and to apply it to new challenges always amazes me.”


Miss. Clark holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Education from Trent University.

Mrs. Cook
Sarah Cook
Upper Elementary II


Mrs. Cook is the associate teacher in Upper Elementary Two at CMS and prides herself on teaching the whole child – meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of every individual. She became a teacher to share her love of learning and, to help make a difference in the world around her. In her classroom, her students are challenged in every way, and she strives to inspire them to become contributing members of their school community and beyond.


“I use my personality to the best of my ability to help my students feel comfortable and give them kind, caring guidance. I also try to model hard work and personal growth for my students, as I’m always learning from my experiences, students and colleagues.”


Mrs. Cook holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from University of Guelph, and attended Trent University for additional science/Forensic Science courses. Her Bachelor of Education degree is from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and she has completed an additional Special Education course. She also holds a Paraprofessional Certificate from the Toronto Montessori Institute.

Mrs. Dass
Popo Dass
Lower Elementary I


Mrs. Dass teaches the Lower Elementary One program at CMS and her daughter also attends the school. She believes that it is her job to make learning an adventure, igniting children’s curiosity and supporting them in working to their full potential. In her classroom, she encourages successful experiences and watches the children’s inner drive develop and grow. Mrs. Dass has spent her entire career teaching at CMS – and she finds it particularly rewarding to see her students learn to read their first books using Montessori materials.


“When students are self-motivated, there is nothing that they can’t accomplish academically.”


Mrs. Dass holds an Early Childhood Education diploma, and is a MACTE Accredited teacher with a diploma from The Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Mrs. Deck
Julie Deck


Mrs. Deck directs the music program at CMS. She thrives on developing young musicians, and her commitment and dedication reaches out into our community – Mrs. Deck is also the director of the Peterborough Children’s Chorus Junior Choir. She says she chooses to pursue her passion, and to share what she calls “light bulb” moments with the children because the school fosters an environment in which children are encouraged to explore their natural curiosity and seek answers to their questions.


“Music brings expression, depth and a language beyond words. It is a discipline that takes time to evolve and it is throughout that journey that students discover things about themselves.”


Mrs. Deck holds a Bachelor of Music (Organ Performance and Theology) from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Education from Trent University.

Mrs. Giroux
Susan Giroux
Upper Elementary I


Mrs. Giroux teaches in the Upper Elementary One classroom. There, her favourite thing to teach her students is how to wonder and to question. In doing so, she also works to build self-esteem, and to provide her students with a foundation that they can rely upon in years to come. She says that when a student experiences success, there is an instant boost of confidence. She works to set her students up for success in as many ways as possible every single day.


“I feel privileged to have a front row seat to help change the world – I believe we have something to learn from each child.”


Mrs. Giroux says she has found CMS to be a community in which all students and staff members feel valued. She enjoys the small class sizes and the opportunity for individualized education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and has additional qualifications to teach kindergarten, primary and junior math, special education and religious education.

Mrs. Howcroft
Erin Howcroft


Mrs. Howcroft teaches the CASA Two program and is also a CMS mom of three alumni. She also, however, refers to her students as her “children” and interacts with them accordingly, building trust and fostering strong relationships. Mrs. Howcroft creates fun for her students as she encourages them to be themselves and to explore the world around them. As a mother and an educator, she is drawn to the CMS environment for its sense of community, its positivity and its small class sizes.


“I believe that the innocence, awe and excitement that children have makes every day different, every day exciting and every day challenging.”


Mrs. Howcroft holds an Educational Assistant diploma, and is a MACTE Accredited teacher with a diploma from The Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Ms. Kirk
Tamara Kirk


Miss. Kirk is the CASA Two program assistant. She strives to brighten every child’s day and her optimistic personality regularly shines through. She believes strongly in the successes relative to the Montessori method and says small class sizes and individual learning are key. Miss. Kirk can often be found leading the CASA students in science experiments, continually motivated by watching her students’ little faces light up. She describes CMS as a closely-knit community and a big, happy family.


“My most rewarding moments are when the children read their first book. The proud smiles on their faces demonstrate all their hard work. Plus, at the end of the school year, it’s always amazing to see how each child has grown academically and emotionally.”


Miss. Kirk holds an Educational Assistant diploma from Fleming College and has completed the Paraprofessional Certificate from the Toronto Montessori Institute.

Mrs. Rathwell
Khrystie Rathwell
Lower Elementary II


Mrs. Rathwell teaches the Lower Elementary Two program and is mom to two current students. She began her career at CMS and says she hopes to never leave! In her classroom, she is particularly proud that children work at the level that best suits them. At any given time, numerous levels of mathematics and language lessons are ongoing. To her, Montessori is the perfect educational model – one to which she was drawn as a student teacher.


“I love the light bulb moments, when something that didn’t make sense, or is brand new, all of a sudden clicks with a child. It is hard to put into words, yet fascinating to witness!”


Mrs. Rathwell has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English from Trent University and is a graduate of the Trent-Queen’s Concurrent Education program. She holds a Montessori Paraprofessional Certificate from the Toronto Montessori Institute, and is a MACTE Accredited teacher with a diploma from The Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Ms. Robbins
Jennifer Robbins


Miss. Robbins is the CASA One program assistant, and was drawn to the montessori classroom for its sense of wonder and calm. She contributes to this child-centered classroom, and says it’s the most rewarding profession she can imagine. She is in awe when the children in her care experience moments of discovery, reach milestones, and develop and grow as individuals. Miss. Robbins describes the CMS community like a family – a supportive environment that encourages growth and ensures that every child experiences success.


“It’s incredible to see the children become aware of the sounds in words. As they trace the sandpaper letters, and learn the sounds they make, they learn to recognize those sounds in words. The joy they express in this learning is awesome!”


Miss. Robbins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with an emphasis in early learning and child development from Trent University.

Mr. Smith
Jason Smith
Middle Elementary


Mr. Smith teaches the Middle Elementary students at CMS. A former Montessori student himself, Mr. Smith came to CMS having lived in both the UK and the US. In the classroom, he shares his learning from both his personal and professional experiences abroad. In addition, he has great enthusiasm for the study of nature.


“I want to inspire children to be the best that they can be and help guide them toward a connection with the natural world and the amazing organisms that inhabit it.”


Living in London, England, as well as California offered Mr. Smith opportunities to teach and tutor. He has also worked and volunteered at two museums and is particularly interested in the study of early societies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History, and has additional qualifications in special education and high school English.

The Connellys
The Connellys,

Jennifer Connelly, Principal

Brendan Connelly, Administrator


Principal Jennifer Connelly has been a teacher at The Children’s Montessori since it began in the basement of a church in 1997. Less than 10 years later, in 2005, she and her husband, Brendan, assumed ownership of the school. Both Jennifer and Brendan were born and raised in Peterborough and are proud to be living, working and contributing to the community they call their own. The Connelly’s daughters, Isabella and Faith, attend the school, and are proud to share their parents with their more than 100 schoolmates.


The Connellys attribute the school’s vibrancy to its community – to students and their parents, staff members and teachers, who all play important roles to ensure an academic and social setting in which students are poised to prosper and succeed. Jennifer and Brendan live and lead with the school’s values of excellence, co-operation and respect.

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