Our Staff

Amrutha-Kanumuri

Amrutha Kanumuri

Director

My journey into the Montessori philosophy began when my two teen daughters (now) attended Montessori school in their younger years. As a parent, I strongly believed in early childhood education and was deeply involved with our children and their education from their preschool years and provided for them the best foundation through Montessori philosophy and learning environment. Since then, I am a firm believer and have been advocating for the Montessori approach and philosophy. I am passionate in serving the young curious minds in helping them explore to their independent potential. Every day is a new and unique day observing and guiding the children towards their overall development and providing fulfilled environment. I love interacting and building relationships with the families of the school community. In my personal time, I enjoy outdoors doing a run in the neighborhood or hiking and our family likes to travel to experience different cultures. I am an AMS (American Montessori Society) certified Montessori Professional, and have worked for several years at Montessori schools. I attend several continuing education trainings in early childhood teaching and management programs regularly. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Information Systems.

Carmela

Carmel Moreno

Montessori Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Carmel, I am a native to Washington state and I grew up in North Bend. I obtained an associate in teaching through Montessori Center for Teacher Education in Bellevue, Wa. I have also completed Early childhood courses at Everett Community College. In my free time I enjoy exploring the beautiful nature that this state has to offer through hiking and camping. Spring is my favorite season, I am getting more into gardening and love watching things grow. It’s an honor to be part of your children’s growth and development, and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you.

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Lisa Savoya

Montessori Lead Teacher

Hello my name is Lisa Savoya, I am from Southern California. Before I moved to Washington, I taught traditional pre-school for several years. When I moved to the Kent area with my husband who is from Washington, I worked at this school known as Montessori Time School as an assistant, I liked the method so much I decided to get my teaching certificate. I stayed on at Montessori Time School as a lead Teacher for twenty years. Other professions I have had before teaching pre- school are Interior design and Floral Design. In my personal time I enjoy hiking, nature, archery and art. I am happy to be back at Lake Meridian Montessori School and look forward to the opportunity to teach your children and get to know all of the families.

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Deepika Rajvanshy

Montessori Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Deepika Rajvanshy and I am from India. I have been working with children close to ten years. My experience has been drawn from a variety of settings including international schools of large sizes and Montessori schools. I have a master’s degree in English literature and bachelor’s degree in arts. We moved to Washington state in 2008 when my husband got a job here. My Montessori journey started when my son joined Discovery Montessori School in 2011. I started volunteering there and got inspired by the materials and methods in the Montessori setup. I decided to pursue Montessori certification and completed the Montessori teacher diploma. I have been working for the last seven years as a Montessori teacher. We are a family of five with two growing kids and a dog. Both of our kids started their learning journey in Montessori setup. In my personal time, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and spending outdoor time with family. I’m delighted to be part of the Lake Meridian Montessori family and looking forward to meeting all the wonderful children and their family.

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Hulya Portakal

Assistant teacher

My name is Hulya. I am from Turkey. I am a Turkish Language and Literature teacher. I came to America two years ago. I worked as a teacher in Turkmenistan and Tanzania. I have three children. I love learning and teaching. I like to read, listen to music and walk outside in my spare time.

Errica-Torres

Erica Torres

Assistant teacher

My name is Erica and I am from Los Angeles, California, first generation Salvadoran American. I am a mother of two school age children, and a pet mom to 2 dogs, 1 cat and 2 birds. I enjoy working with young children and helping them achieve their fullest potential. I enjoy exploring the beautiful areas that WA state has to offer. Previously I worked as a nanny and am pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. I look forward to working with your children.

Puneet-Saini

Puneet Saini

Toddler Montessori Lead Teacher

Hello, My Name is Puneet Saini and I am originally from India and our Family moved to Washington in 2016. I graduated from Delhi University in India, with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. During this time after moving to the United States I had the privilege to familiarize myself with progressive visions on education which inspired me to teach. I’ve been working with children for about 3 years. I have a passion for early childhood education and training future educators. I love the opportunity to see and be a part of any child’s growth and accomplishments. My hope for our young students is that they feel safe in their school environment and that they love school. Outside the classroom, I spend time with my family. I have two children and there always seems to be something going on in my house! I am most content going for walks, taking photographs, spending time with my family and friends, and I am always ready for a trip to the beach! I am truly honored to be given this opportunity and look forward to immersing myself completely in our school and in our community.

“Free the child’s potential and you transform him into the world.”

– Maria Montessori

About Us

Educating children as Montessori Time for over 20 years, our school is now Lake Meridian Montessori. We provide quality schooling for toddlers 18 months – 3 & preschoolers 3 – 6 year olds. We are located on Kent’s East Hill and serve Kent, Renton, Maple Valley, Covington, Auburn, and Federal Way.

Our school follows the Kent School District’s calendar year. We offer many opportunities for personal growth for your children. Our teachers provide a positive and nurturing environment with individualized attention.

“Education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”

– Maria Montessori

Our Goals

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”

– Maria Montessori

Enrichment Opportunities

Spanish Program – We offer an intensive Spanish program for all students. Statistics show the best time to learn a 2nd language is during the early years (ages 18 months – 6).

  • When children learn multiple languages at a young age, they develop a life-long love of communicating with others.
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • By incorporating foreign languages into curriculum, children develop a greater appreciation for diversity.
  • When young children learn about the structure of other languages, their ability in English is enhanced.
  • When children learn a second language at an early age, they will achieve a more native grasp of both grammar and pronunciation in the second language.
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • Employers in the United States will continue to value employees who can speak multiple languages, especially Spanish.
  • Children in foreign language programs have tended to demonstrate greater cognitive development, creativity, and divergent thinking than monolingual children.
  • Several studies show that people who are competent in more than one language outscore those who are speakers of only one language on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence.
  • Studies also show that learning another language enhances the academic skills of students by increasing their abilities in reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.

Music Program – Using the Cycle of Seasons program from Musikgarten, students will celebrate their love of nature and gain independence through activities involving the four seasons. This music program develops listening, focused attention, imagination, creativity and self-expression.

  • An arts education, especially musical, exposes children to the incomparable.
  • Children at this age, for the most part, are naturally receptive to the nuances of pitch and rhythm.
  • Young children are less inhibited than they might be after they enter elementary school. They are ready to jump right in and give it a go!
  • Fine and gross motor skills can be improved through improvisational dancing and handling of the instruments.
  • Vocal and speech development can improve through singing.
  • Listening skills and concentration improve with aural training.
  • The old-fashioned goals of sharing and cooperation are reinforced with the sharing of instruments and encouragement of other students.
  • One of the most important benefits is the proven positive effects music has on brain development in the areas of language and reasoning.
  • There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.
  • Children learning about the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
  • A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a “me first” attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.
  • Through music lessons, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
  • Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for a group of children playing recorders to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal.
  • Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
  • Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing,” as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. In the music classroom, students can learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.
  • Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.
  • Field Trips – We go on several field trips during the year. Some of our past field trips have included seeing a play at Carco Theater, visiting Remlinger Farms in the fall, and going to the Fire Station.
  • Show and Tell – Children learn to speak in front of a group and practice their listening skills, as well as learn to take turns and respect others’ point of view. Items shared include items such as natural artifacts, books and cultural items.
  • Book Club – Parents and children have the opportunity to buy books, videos, and software at reasonable prices through the Scholastic Book Club.
  • Activities of a Religious Nature – No specific religious belief will be emphasized, however we welcome ethnic and cultural diversity which helps to raise children’s awareness as well as gain an understanding and respect toward all peoples of the world.