Our Staff

Amrutha Kanumuri


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.


Carmel Moreno

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.


Lisa Savoya

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.

Deepika Rajvanshy

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.

Negar Fallah

Negar Fallah

Toddler Lead Teacher

My name is Negar, and I am proud to be Lake Meridian Montessori school’s toddler teacher! I got my Masters in Project Management 11 years ago, but when my daughter was born, I decided to change my career and got a certificate to teach early childhood since I had found the true passion of spending time with kids more and more. This will be my seventh year at Early Childhood educator and caregiver.

It is wonderful to work with our youngest learners, helping each child progress in all areas. Their development, social, language, and motor skills are the challenges which I am honored to accept daily.


I strive to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment, and feel that have been fortunate and blessed to be part of very first steps of so many lovely babies which I remember all of them and they all have their own places in my heart.


I look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on the children’s growth and to new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers.

Hulya Portakal

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.

Terra Williams

Terra Williams

Assistant teacher

Hello my name is Terra Williams. I am from Canada. I studied at the University of Saskatchewan. I have been a teacher for over eight years. I Worked at Columbia University as a librarian in NYC. I then found my love in teaching when I moved to Rochester NY as I taught 4th grade. I continued teaching and moved my career to England where I taught 6th grade. After leaving England I moved to South Florida where I began teaching at a Montessori School. This is where I found a love  for the Montessori philosophy.

I enjoy hiking, nature and cooking. I look forward on meeting all of you and I hope to make a bright future for our children.