Keerun started as our lead Preschool 1 teacher in the summer of 2015, after receiving her AMI diploma through Metro State at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. However, she has been with us since June of 2012. She realized that she wanted to become a teacher when her littler brother was born and since then has been teaching for over 10 years. She is of Pakistani decent and speaks fluent Urdu. Her interests include skydiving, the Chicago Bears and hiking and exploring waterfalls. Born in England, she also loves travel, having visited the Netherlands, India, Pakistan, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic… along with a personal bucket list of places she’d like to visit one day! She was married in November 2016 to her husband Mourad!
Fun Fact: In 2005, she wrote and essay for MTV to volunteer during her Spring Break helping to rebuild after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. She was one of the ones chosen and has since returned with the same program (both times as a team leader) to help out after the devastation of Hurricane Rita and Sandy.
Ms Veronica – Preschool 1 Assistant Teacher and Spanish Teacher
Veronica started with us in September of 2012. She holds an Early Childhood Education degree and has over a decade of childcare experience. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is of Mexican decent and uses her Spanish language skills to teach the children in fun and engaging ways. She is married with 2 children. She loves to sing and often using songs to teach the children Spanish.
Fun Fact: Veronica likes doing Zumba. She claims that it’s the only way she can dance.
Ms CandyAnn – Preschool 2 Assistant Teacher
CandyAnn joined us in May of 2016. She brings with her a BA in Early Childhood Education and almost 20 years of experience. She’s a Twin Cities native (third generation city girl!) and is very close to her family. As a true Midwesterner, she is of Scandinavian/German decent and even speaks a little German. She also owns her own cleaning business. Her laugh has brightened up our classrooms!
Fun Fact: CandyAnn is a googling fanatic!
Ms Alla – Preschool 1 Teacher’s Assistant
Alla has been with us since September of 2008. She has over a decade of childcare experience, as well as 2 children of her own with her husband. She is originally from Minsk, Belarus and speaks Russian. In her spare time, Alla enjoys movies, taking walking and seeing museums.
Fun Fact: Alla collects magnets from the countries she has visited. So far her collection includes ones from Italy, Germany, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Austria and Poland.
Karen has been with EPM since the beginning! She holds both a BFA from the University of Kansas and a Montessori certification from the College of Saint Catherine and has been teaching for over 40 years. Karen often leads music in her classroom either the guitar or the piano. She is married to her husband Lynn and together they have 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
Fun Fact- Karen is a world traveler! She and her husband spend 2 years traveling through Europe, North Africa and Asia- 35 different countries in all!
Neelia has been with us since June of 2010 and holds a AMI Montessori Teacher Diploma from Sri Lanka. She has been a Preschool Teacher in Montessori schools for over 16 years. She is married with 3 grown children of her own. In addition to teaching, Neelia enjoys many crafts such as sewing, painting and flower arranging, as well as cooking.
Fun Fact: Neelia enjoys doing charity work and has a special love of working with disadvantaged children.
Tanna joined us in May of 2014, with an Associate Degree in Biochemistry. However, children and teaching have always been a passion on hers and she has been working with them for over 20 years. She is married with 2 children and a cat name Bullseye (who occasionally makes an appearance on Show and Tell days). Tanna is of Diné/Navajo decent and she speaks the native Diné/Navajo language. She plays the flute and also enjoys art, bugs and reading… as well as playing practical jokes on her co-workers (all kind and ones the kids can help out with and laugh along with).
Fun Fact: Growing up in Allentown, Arizona, Tanna had no electricity or running water. There were also no lakes nearby, so she remembers that anytime they got a good rain, she would put on her swimming suit and go run around in the puddles and mud!
Having been with us since January of 2007, Manji comes to us with a decade of childcare experience. She holds a plethora of academic achievements, including an Associated Degree in Science, a Diploma in Lab Technology, a Diploma in French and a Diploma in Computer Programming. She speaks fluent Sinhala (native language of Sri Lanka) and conversational French. She enjoys cooking and has traveled to many countries, such as Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Singapore.
Fun Fact: Not only has Manji visited the UAE, she lived in Dubai for 23 years! She also went on a Desert Safari in Dubai.
Nancy has been with us since September of 2012. She hails from Cleveland, Ohio and is one of three girls in her family. She received her BS in Education from Kent State University and has over 10 years of experience with children beyond her years at EPM. Nancy has two cats at home, Bernie and Sommerset.
Fun Fact- Nancy taught swimming in college and still loves to swim. She’s also a talented knitter and loves square dancing!
Anne has been with us since March of 1998. She has almost 20 years of experience, including running her own in-home daycare. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Child Development and a Montessori Certification from KHT-AMS Montessori. She also has 3 grown children of her own. In her spare time she enjoys watching sports and movies, as well as reading and continuing to learn!
Fun Fact: Even though Anne loves to learn about other cultures, she has never been on an airplane!
Sharon began at EPM in June of 2011 and holds an Early Childhood Education degree with over 5 years of childcare experience. However, she has even more than that as she has a son and a daughter of her own. She enjoys reading in her spare time and also has a particular love of theme and water parks!
Fun Fact- Sharon played the clarinet all through high school. She is an avid foodie and enjoys tasting new flavors!
Katie started with us in July of 2016 and has a BS in Education from Winona State University. She brings 20 years of babysitting, nannying and teaching experience to our toddler room. She is married to her husband Zach and they are hoping to adopt a dog soon. She loves to sing and scrapbook.
Fun Fact- Katie can touch her tongue to her nose!
Ms Megan – Toddler Assistant Teacher
Megan has been with us since April of 2014 and has since been floating in all of our classrooms, but often is found in the Toddler or Infant room. She has been working with children for over 15 years and has her BA in Elementary Education. She has one child, a daughter, with her husband, Eric. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, she moved to Minnesota when she was very young. Megan writes in her spare time. She has a particular interest in penning short stories, but is also working on a novel!
Fun Fact: Megan started out as a parent at our school. She volunteered and helped out so much that when a position opened up, we approached her about whether she wanted to become an employee.
Nadia started at EPM in October of 2012. In addition to her years working with us, Nadia has over 10 years of babysitting experience. She enjoys playing soccer in her spare time, as well as reading and writing.
Fun Fact: Nadia was a volunteer at our school for several months before she was hired on!
Shyami started at EPM in November of 2003. She holds a Montessori Diploma from Havelock Gardens Training Center for the Montessori Method in Sri Lanka, as well as a Preschool Education Diploma and a Bachelor’s of Science degree. With over 30 years of experience working with children, you can trust that your little one is in good and loving hands. She is often heard saying that she has more children than she can count because she feels so much love for the babies she cares for.
Fun Fact: Shyami loves to travel and has been such areas as the UK, Thailand, Singapore, the Maldives Islands and the United Arab Emirates (among others)!
Karim joined us in December of 2013, bringing with her a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and over 15 years of experience. She is originally from Peru and brings her Spanish skills to our Infant room! Her and her husband Marco have 2 daughters. She loves to sing and dance and is often heard singing to the babies.
Fun Fact- Karim is a very talented artist. Many of the decorations you will see in the baby room come from her artistic hands!
Deb joined us in February of 2016. Before joining us, Deb spent many years as a nursery nurse caring for newborn babies. She is a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and has over 30 years of childcare experience. Deb is from Eden Prairie and is married with a grown daughter. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading and sewing.
Fun Fact: Another one of Deb’s hobbies is making rosaries.
Xenia has been with us since August of 2010 and holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She is originally from El Savador and her native Spanish to help make our Infant Room authentically bilingual! She is married and had a little boy in March of 2016.
Fun Fact: Xenia is learning to play the piano!
Marielle comes to us with almost 10 years of childcare experience and a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education. She is from the Philippines and speaks both Tagalog and Karay-a. She is married to her husband Eugenio and her favorite memories involve the first time she met him (awwww!).
Fun Fact- She loves to cook, especially Filipino food!
Ms Beth – Administration/Float Teacher
Beth is our all purpose helper. She fills in in the office, in the classroom, helps out with the more business aspect of childcare and everything in between! She first started with us in April of 2013. She hold both a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and an Associate Masters in Communication. She has over 25 years of experience working with kids, including being a married mom of three. She has visited most of the US and several countries in Europe, including France, Switzerland, Italy, England, Germany and Ireland.
Fun Fact- Beth is an avid golfer and loves to hit the green when the weather allows!
Dora is our all hands on deck helper! She helps in all the classrooms and helps out with the tiding of our environment. She joined us in August of 2016 and is from Lima, Peru. She speaks Spanish and Italian and has a son. She is working towards her CPA and loves learning and the children!
Fun Fact: She was able to visit the Ruins of Machu Picchu in Cuzco, Peru and counts it as an unforgettable experience!
Shonali has been the director of EPM since she took it over in 1991 and she was also the Lead Teacher of Preschool 1 for over 20 years. She holds both an Early Childhood Education degree and a Diploma from the Association Montessori International in Colombo, Sri Lanka (where she is originally from). Teaching is her passion and she’s been doing it since 1982. Prior to becoming the director of EPM, she worked at St Bridget’s Montessori House of Children in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Hastings Montessori in Hastings, Minnesota and La Pepiniere Montessori in Edina, Minnesota. She is married to her husband, Bill, and they have two children – a daughter currently studying in Australia and a son at college in California. In her spare time, Shonali enjoys gardening, scrapbooking, hiking and is a fantastic chef.
Fun Fact- If Shonali could be on any TV show, it would be Dancing With the Stars! She also has the best memories of her family dog, Maggie.
Ali began at EPM in March 2014. While you may see her floating in and out of the classrooms, her main home is the office. She is originally from Stoughton, Wisconsin and went to the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse where she received her BA in Theatre Arts with a Performance emphasis and a minor in English (with an emphasis on Classics). She still acts in locally and semi-professionally in and around the Twin Cities in her spare time. In fact, she spent a summer during college understuding and preforming at Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN. Ali has been a nanny and babysitter since 1996. She got married in 2014 to her husband Mike and they welcomed their first child, a little girl, this past July!
Fun fact: Ali once spent a month living in Paris, France and, though she only speaks basic French, considers herself conversation to fluent in “Shakespearean English”.