Sid Leck

Ms. Leck was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. Her parents were both born and raised in Kitwe, Zambia, and moved to South Africa to attend university before she was born. Sid received a BA in Sociology from the University of Cape Town. After leaving her first job out of college, as an Assistant Fashion Buyer in Johannesburg, she traveled to Europe. It was in London, England, whilst working as a nanny, that she first discovered Montessori. She then studied at the Maria Montessori Training Institute (AMI) in London to become a Primary Montessori teacher. Working first at a Montessori school on Long Island, New York, she later moved to Oakland, California, to join GLM. She has worked in our community as a lead teacher in one of our primary/preschool classrooms for nineteen years, later transitioning into the administration as the Assistant Head of School, and in 2017 she assumed the role of Head of School. Her inspiration is one of supporting and empowering both children and adults to be their best, most fulfilled selves so that they can live fully, thrive and give back to their community. Her passions include running and hiking in nature, cooking with the treasures of food that California has to offer, spending precious family time, as well as traveling our amazing planet!

Nancy Haskins

Ms. Haskins is a Bay Area native, born in Richmond, California. She was raised in a very loving Italian family and was lucky to have most of her immediate family members close by. She graduated from Richmond High and then from Contra Costa Jr. College with an A.S. in Computer Sciences and began working immediately for the Diablo Valley School District. She was hired by GLM in 1984 as the Office Manager after enrolling her daughter in the school. Nancy loves the outdoors, hiking, gardening, going to A’s games (Go A’s!) reading, cooking, and spending as much time as possible with her family and close friends. Although she is not a Montessori teacher, she has a great respect for the Montessori approach to education and for the GLM teachers and staff.

Mariana Bissonnette

Mariana was born and raised in the SF Bay Area and is grateful to have family close by! She has had a various roles in education – from health education to teacher recruitment, after school programming to classroom instruction. She could see that the current educational model didn’t seem to meet the needs of children, teachers or even parents and started looking for something that might just do all three – and she found it! Mariana found Montessori Education through Grand Lake Montessori in 2010 when she came for an observation for an opening in the Camellia class. She was instantly hooked! Here was an educational framework flexible enough to meet the needs of all students and structured enough to allow the child to maximize their potential! Mariana earned her AMI 3-6 credential in 2012 and her AMI 0-3 credential in 2016. At Grand Lake Montessori, she spent 8 years in the classroom as both a support and lead teacher and is excited to be working with school-wide instructional support as Director of Instruction. Mariana also runs the parent support program, P.E.A.C.E. at Grand Lake Montessori that runs low and no-cost parenting support groups and classes to the broader community. Mariana has two children – a GLM alum and a current GLM Primary student and in her “free” time, she loves being outdoors with her husband, kids and two dogs.