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.