Eden Prairie Montessori - North Location
Ms. Shonali – Administration
Shonali has been the director of EPM since she took it over in 1991, as well as being the Lead Teacher of Casa 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.
Ms. Ali – Administration
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 have a daughter together.
Fun Fact: Ali once spent a month living in Paris, France and, though she only speaks basic French, considers herself conversational to fluent in “Shakespearean English”.
Meet the Leads of Each of Our Classrooms
Ms. Maria – Casa 1
Maria joined us in September of 2019. She has been working for over 20 years in both traditional and Montessori environments. She received her AMI Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2003. Maria is originally from Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker, so the children in Casa 1 will get that little extra touch of Spanish from her. In her spare time, she loves to travel, cook, read and dance, but most of all loves spending time with her family.
Ms. Tanna – Casa 2
Tanna first joined us in May of 2014. During the 2017-2018 school year she completed the Primary Montessori Diploma at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota and returned to us in June of 2018 to lead the Casa 2 classroom! Tanna has additional education in both biochemistry and psychology. She has two children- a son and daughter- and is married to her husband Mike. She speaks Navajo and is learning Spanish! Her love of animals and insects is apparent in her classroom and home with all her pets, but don’t expect to an ant farm..it’s the one insect she hates!
Fun Fact: Tanna grew up in Arizona without running water or electricity.
Ms. Anne – Toddlers
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 and one grandchild. 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!
Ms. Rani – Nido (Infants)
Rani began in our Nido on October of 2017, after having moved to Eden Prairie from Valley City, North Dakota. While she is newer to our school, she is a seasoned veteran working with little ones. She was the Lead Infant Teacher at TL Childcare in North Dakota for 12 years. She also has a daughter of her own, so she not only works with her experience as a teacher, but as a mother. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, as well as a Diploma in Computer Application and Programming. Rani is originally from Kerala, India and speaks Malaylam and Hindi, as well as English. She moved to the US in 2002 with her husband. In her spare time, Rani enjoys baking and doing hand embroidery and crochet.
Fun Fact: Rani got married on Valentine’s Day!