Costa Mesa Primary: Teacher Biographies
Costa Mesa Primary: Teacher Biographies
Meet Our Teaching Staff
Our teachers are all fully qualified Montessori teachers, many with bachelor and graduate degrees.
Mrs. Megan Villa, Lead Toddler Teacher
Hi, my name is Mrs. Villa. I have been working with children for the past 12 years starting as an intern in a special needs classroom in 2002. I found Montessori while studying Child Development in college. I studied Infant/Toddler Montessori at the University of California, Irvine and Primary Montessori (Ages 2.5-6) at the Montessori Teachers Academy in Dana Point. The toddlers have always been where my heart is, I love watching them absorb everything around them. What draws me most to Maria Montessori's philosophy is how teachers are taught to "follow the child", as well as the hands on approach that children, especially toddlers, need. We meet them where they are at developmentally, and help foster independence and a love of learning that can last a lifetime. Outside of the classroom I enjoy going to musicals and concerts with my husband, and will be finishing my childbirth educator teaching certificate this year. Children and families are my passion, I look forward to another great school year with your children at ICMA. God bless!
Ms. Rhonda Cleland, Assistant Toddler Teacher
Hi, I am Ms. Cleland. I feel so very blessed to work here at ICMA with Mrs. Villa and our wonderful toddler class. I bring with me 23 years of experience working with infants/toddlers, preschoolers & pre-k. For 18 years I volunteered as a teacher for the Children's Ministry in my church, teaching preschool through 6th grade. I have my associate teachers permit in Early Child Development from Irvine Valley College.
I am passionate about toddlers, I love their expression when they figure something out on their own, they are so happy and proud of themselves. I also enjoy going to church, reading my bible, sewing, arts & crafts, photography and riding my bike. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children and know we will have an amazing school year. Blessings!
Mrs. Sarbhjeet Singh, Assistant Primary Teacher
My name is Sarbhjeet Singh, and I am an assistant teacher here at this wonderful academy. Since 2004, I have been working with kids, and I am passionate about my job because I love children and enjoy spending time with them. I was born in India and moved to Minnesota in 1999 after my marriage and before finally settling down in Southern California. I can speak four languages and have been to Malaysia and New Zealand. I have a loving husband who is a Project Manager for an IT company and two lovely kids, one a freshman in high school and the other a 7th grader. I grew up in Mumbai and have a bachelor's degree in Commerce and Administration and a Diploma in Interior Design. Apart from kids, I enjoy gardening, cooking, taking care of my wonderful family as well as decorating my beautiful home.
Mrs. Stephanie Rivero, Lead Primary Teacher
My name is Stephanie Rivero and I am so happy to be a teacher here at ICMA Costa Mesa. I have been working with children for ten years. I started at Saddleback Valley Unified School District where I did an internship in high school, and from then on I knew that I was passionate about child development and not only teaching, but helping children to bring out their full potential. I love to bring Gods word into the classroom and feel blessed to be able to help children grow closer to God here at ICMA. I found Montessori while studying child development in college and was drawn to the fact that this philosophy can meet each child where they are at individually. I studied primary montessori , ages 2.5-6, at the Montessori teachers Academy in Dana Point. Outside of the classroom I enjoy tutoring children in spanish lessons, visiting my family in Bolivia, and singing. God bless!
Miss Allison Embrador, Primary Co-Teacher
Hello, my name is Allison Embrador, otherwise known as Miss E, and I was raised in Whittier, California. I graduated from California State University of Fullerton with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development. While studying, I believed children are the future and each child is unique and develops in their own way. I have a passion to teach children and help shape their minds. Luckily, I found International Christian Montessori Academy which gave me a wonderful opportunity. During my time here, I committed myself to the Montessori training which I then became a certified Montessori teacher. I am thrilled to be at ICMA and cannot wait to learn, embrace, and even share my ideas of teaching. In words of Maria Montessori, "Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future."
In my free time, I am devoted to my family and can be often found somewhere by the beach. I practice living a healthy life by doing yoga, pilates, and maintaining a well balanced diet. I strongly believe in God and prayer. Also, I am positively happy to find a career and passion that fits perfectly together because that is something you do not find everyday.