Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Leslie K. Brisendine

Primary Teacher

Leslie Brisendine has a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Area Studies from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. She also took graduate courses in Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She completed her 1-6 teaching certification at Texas A&M University – Commerce, as well as receiving an endorsement in ECE and ESL.

For the past 20 years, Leslie has been teaching in Dallas ISD, splitting those years between kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten. Leslie believes that teaching in the Early Childhood setting is her calling, and that the early years are so foundational to creating life-long learners.

Leslie is currently pursuing her Blended Primary Montessori Certification through Montessori Institute of North Texas. In her rare freetime, she enjoys scrapbooking and singing. She is beyond excited to put into practice all that she is learning in her classroom at Downtown Montessori.

Favorite quotes:

“One test of the correctness of education procedure is the happiness of the child.” Maria Montessori

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Albert Einstein


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Olivia S. Chriss

Primary Teacher

It is an honor to serve the community and families of Dallas.  I am excited to be starting my 7th year in education and look forward to making meaningful lasting relationships at Downtown Montessori as a Primary teacher.  I graduated from Texas Tech University with my Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Economics and completed my Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Texas A&M University - Commerce.  

I come to Downtown Montessori with 6 years of classroom experience from Plano and Dallas Independent School Districts. I spent the past 5 years teaching a blended Pre-K 3/4 class in Dallas. I believe each child has unique gifts and talents, that when let flourish can change the world.

 Favorite Quote:

“Early childhood education is the Key to the betterment of society.” -Maria Montessori

 


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Isabel Velazquez

Primary Guide

 

 


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Lite (Lily). Maminabulewa

Primary Teacher

My name is Lite Lilyanne Maminabulewa. I was born in the Fiji Islands and grew up in the Bay Area where I graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Liberal Studies. In 2018, I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Master’s in Education. I have been an Early Childhood Teacher in Dallas ISD for the past five years and am so excited to be teaching Blended Primary at Downtown Montessori! 


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Marcela A. Raymundo Ortiz

Primary Teacher

Marcela R. Ortiz has a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico de Oaxaca-Mexico and a master’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from Alliant International University-San Diego CA, work for 6 years in the business field.

In 2006, Marcela moved to Dallas and got a certification in teaching EC – 4 Bilingual (Spanish). Since then, she has been serving Dallas ISD, teaching in all grade levels from pre-k to 5th grade. Lately as a pre-k teacher she realized that her passion is in early childhood. She thinks the same as Maria Montessori when she said that “Early childhood education is essential to the prosperity of society”.

Marcela is currently pursuing her Montessori certification as primary guide by American Montessori Society AMS. She speaks French very well and loves to travel. She is very excited and happy to continue her career as a Primary Guide at Downtown Montessori.

Favorite quotes:

“Early childhood education is essential to the prosperity of Society” –Maria Montessori

“Work is love made visible” -Khalil Gibran

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better” -Albert Camus

“I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it” -Margaret Thatcher


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Marisela Rocha

Primary Teacher

My name is Marisela Rocha, I’am a Dallas native, graduate from DISD, obtain B.A in Interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at Arlington 2014. I have been a preschool teacher for the past three years, currently working on obtaining AMI Montessori Primary certification. My heart is to teach and educate the youngest one. As an educator your role is to provide not only academic but also love and support, to encourage and make learning fun and enjoyable.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”  Ghandi 

"Educating  the mind, without educating the heart is no education at all”  Aristotle

“Education is the best weapon for peace “ Maria Montessori 


Phone: (972) 749-2500

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Paige D. Staricha

Primary Teacher

Paige Staricha has a Bachelor of Business of Administration in Management from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taken graduate courses from the University of Texas in Literacy Curriculum, along with having obtained certifications in Early Childhood - Sixth Grade Generalist and English as a Second Language. 

For the last five years, Paige has taught Pre-K in Dallas ISD. After her time as a Shelton Scholars Tutor, she was intrigued with Montessori principles and elements. She is currently completing her Blended Primary Montessori Certificate at Montessori Institute of North Texas. Paige is eager to be back into the classroom guiding students, their discoveries, and especially their futures. 

During her downtime, Paige is aspiring chef and yogi who enjoys spending time with her family, and being outside when the Texas weather cooperates.

Quotes:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss

"A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist." Eleanor Roosevelt