Escuela's teachers combine excellent training, strong academic qualifications and experience with warmth, openness, and a strong respect for children and their parents. Our lead teachers have their Montessori training through either the American Montessori Society (AMS) or the Association Montessori International (AMI).
Toddler Room North
A native New Mexican, Monica Chavez first gained toddler certification 27 years ago at the Pacific Coast Montessori Training Institution in San Francisco. In 1999, she earned AMS Infant/Toddler credentials through MECR in Boulder, CO. Monica has two children, both Montessori kids (16 years apart - wow!). She has been with Escuela since 2005 and is looking forward to many more years!!! Monica feels a strong connection with the Harwood Art Center as her great aunt and grandmother both attended in the late 1920’s when it was the Harwood Girls’ School. She is a grandmother of two beautiful babies, Azalea (age 3) and Cassiel (age 2). In her spare time, Monica enjoys dancing with the Festival Ballet Company of Albuquerque and also teaches ballet to children at the Ballet Theater of the Southwest.
Rita Francois has been a toddler teacher since 1999 and has an associate degree in Early Childhood from NMSU. She has been married for 30 years to an Air Force retiree and has two children and six grandchildren. “Escuela has become part of my life and I am proud to be part of this warm and caring community.”