Our Staff

Karen Cichy

Owner/Director and Lead Teacher

 

Prior to opening the Woodland Nature Montessori School, I had 10 years experience as a Montessori Lead Teacher in the Primary environment,  and a total of 18 years of teaching experience. I started a Montessori toddler program, and have been a lead teacher in Montessori toddler and primary environments, as well as substituting in a lower elementary program.  I was a volunteer for three years at Orangewood Elementary in Fort Myers specializing in the “No Student Left Behind” reading program. I have been a resident of Fort Myers for 31 years and have raised two children and a stepson.

 

Credentials

  • Early Childhood Credential (3-6 years old) – The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. CGMS is accredited by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and affiliated with the InternationalMontessori Council (IMC).

  • Associate of Arts Degree – Florida Southwestern State College and Indiana University

  • Florida Department of Children and Families – Director’s Credential, Staff Credential, 45 hours Child Care Training

  • State of Florida - VPK Lead Teacher Certification

  • 11+ years of Montessori teaching experience and training courses in a variety of early childhood education topics

  • Infant & Child CPR, AED, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen training

  • Certified Instructor of 15 Hour Redirecting Children’s Behavior Course

Kayla Rose Iannuzzo

Office Manager

 

I am the office manager here at Woodland Nature Montessori School. I attended Summit Questa Montessori School in Davie, Florida from preschool through middle school. I spend my summers there volunteering in the early childhood classrooms while in elementary school through high school. I attended Florida Gulf Coast University but would return to Summit on the weekends and over the summer to work as a lifeguard, camp counselor, and aftercare teacher. I graduated FGCU with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Double Minor in Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary studies. I then returned to Summit to attain my Montessori Teaching Certification. I worked at The Montessori School of Fort Myers with Karen for two (AMAZING) years and am so happy to be working with her again. I have also gone through Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Conscious Discipline. Montessori is a passion of mine and I am super excited to be able to share and help to educate the community on the philosophy. My Montessori background has sparked a passion for learning and made me a lifelong learner, I am constantly trying to learn new things. I love being in nature, being around animals, teaching kids, meditating, doing yoga, reading, and practicing reiki and bringing peace and love wherever I go.

Erica Waller

All Day Assistant

 

I am a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, where I double majored in Environmental Studies and Criminal Justice. At a young age I found my love for the environment, and through an internship in college, it bloomed to a passion for teaching children about their local environment. I have worked in Environmental Education for three years, and I am excited to begin utilizing Montessori teaching skills to help children be more involved with nature and to develop a strong sense of place. I am also involved with a local historical kayaking group, a young professional’s network, and I am part of a K9 search and rescue team.

Tina Dashner

Afternoon Assistant

 

I recently graduated from Florida Southwestern State College with my Associates in Science Degree and am furthering my education in Microbiology. Growing up on over 15 acresof land made me realize my love for nature at an early age. Though I’ve only recently started learning about Montessori, I’ve been engrossed in it and very eager to learn more. For many years I’ve volunteered with the developmentally disabled youth and found my passion for it when one of the students opened up to me and talked for the very first time. In my free timeI’ve also volunteered at the Red Cross, the Imaginarium, and many Special Olympic Events. My goal is to mentor and inspire youth to grow and become whatever they set their minds to!

Tami Bowen

Music Teacher

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Ms. Tami is our music teacher at Woodland Nature Montessori School. 

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