Coreen Clark

Ms. Clark was born in Denver, Colorado and was raised on the east coast in Alabama and Maryland. She comes from a large, close-knit family and has more than a dozen nieces and nephews who sparked her love of children. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a psychology minor from Brigham Young University in Utah, and she moved to the Bay Area in 2012. In San Francisco, she worked with elementary-aged children for over 3 years and gained experience with preschoolers at Friends of Potrero Hill Preschool. She came to Grand Lake Montessori after working as an Assistant Teacher in a primary-age classroom at LePort Montessori Preschool in Emeryville. Ms. Clark joined GLM in 2018 and finished her AMI Montessori Certification in 2021. She believes strongly in the Montessori philosophy of allowing children the freedom to explore and learn independently and at their own pace. Ms. Clark has a particular interest in art, stories, film, and geography. She also loves music and plays piano in her spare time.

Joaquin Dehoyos

Bio coming soon.

Jeffrey Chu

Born in British Hong Kong and growing up in the Bay Area, Mr. Chu has always been interested in personal stories. He was intrigued by the stories his father told of his great-great-grandfather coming to America, of how his family has straddled two continents for many generations. His search for meaning took him to study Chinese at UC Berkeley and getting a master’s in classical Chinese at Peking University in Beijing. In China, while teaching English, Jeff discovered his love for teaching elementary children; where his search turned to understanding what it meant to be human. After coming home, he happened upon Montessori and discovered that Montessori gave him a framework to do just that.
After completing his AMI elementary diploma in Minnesota in 2012, Mr. Chu ran a successful elementary classroom in Hollister for six years. Jeff now joins GLM as the elementary lead teacher.
While he hasn’t found the meaning of life, he has made it his mission to help his students find meaning in theirs. When not teaching, Mr. Chu spends time with his wife Tracy and two cats, studies Spanish, reads history, plays the piano, and is in the middle of restoring a 1972 VW beetle.

Janelle Ledesma

Janelle was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is the first generation to grow up in the United States. Her appreciation for education started at a young age, as she watched her mother complete her high school and college education while speaking little to no English. Education was not as accessible to her mother in the part of Mexico where she grew up and knowing this gave Janelle an impression as to how valuable education was. As she worked on her degree in nursing at Contra Costa College, she began working in an elementary after school program in Richmond, CA. She worked with second graders in an ESL program. Watching the children learn and grow inspired her. She was so moved by the students that she

changed her degree and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Family and Human Development. Although Janelle knew her place was to teach, she felt that in a traditional educational setting, the needs of children were not always being met. She set out to find the missing piece and discovered it in the Montessori pedagogy. Through her exploration in Montessori education, she has worked in infant, toddler and primary classes, but fell in love with working with elementary aged children. Janelle completed her AMI elementary training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. In her spare time, Janelle loves to hike, read, cook, and spend time with her family and friends.

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 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, her AMI 0-3 credential in 2016 and self-published a Montessori parenting book, Babies Build Toddlers, in 2020. 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 the greater school community of staff, parents and children as Director of Instruction. Mariana also runs the parent support program, The PEACE Program, at Grand Lake Montessori that offers free and sliding-scale parenting support for the broader community. Mariana has two children – two GLM alums! – and in her “free” time, she loves being outdoors with her husband, kids and dog, Sequoia.