Our Teachers

Our highly experienced teachers are educated professionals who are Montessori trained and certified.  They are dedicated to the education and development of our students.  At our school, students stay with their teachers for multiple years providing unique opportunities for the children and teachers to get to know and respect one another.  This strong relationship helps children prosper during their time at Traditions Montessori. 

Primary Classroom:

Shannon Waller -- Lead Teacher

Shannon is certified with the American Montessori Society through Houston Montessori Center.  Her 15 years of Montessori experience began as an assistant while attending the University of Houston.  She has a passion for sharing the Montessori philosophy with children and parents.  The last 10 years as a lead teacher has been most rewarding.

A Note from Mrs. Waller:  My favorite experience of the Montessori method is the confidence and a love of learning it fosters in children.  As a teacher, seeing a child's face light up when he/she has achieved a new task, large or small, is truly amazing every time.  My husband Cody and I have recently moved back to the area from Houston.  We have two daughters Madelyn and McKinley.  As a family we enjoy outdoor activities, watching movies, playing board games,  and support the Aggies.  

Mrs. Nithya Kalyani-- Lead Teacher

Mrs. Nithya is certified through the Association Montessori Internationale and holds an Indian Montessori Center Primary Course Certification.  She has over eleven years of experience in setting up and running many environments successfully.  

A Note from Mrs. Nithya:
My husband and I moved from India to the United States in 2016. Our daughter lives with her husband in Dallas, and our son is working in California. I have had a long and satisfying experience implementing the Montessori Method in several public schools in India, and am happy to continue teaching here too. I strongly feel that the excellent materials, and the learning process enable the child to work independently, observe carefully, and think deeply and scientifically. The techniques employed, and the philosophy nurture a calm, balanced mind and a respectful attitude.

Mrs. Cindy O’Hern -- Assistant Teacher

Mrs. O’Hern is a native Texan who is passionate about teaching. She received her Bachelor of Science in Curriculum Instruction from Texas A&M University and has earned the Texas Master Reading Certificate. She has extensive experience teaching elementary students in both regular and special education classrooms. Her experience includes teaching students in both the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. 

A Note from Mrs. O’Hern: I have been married for over 30 years and have two grown boys. I love living in College Station because there is always so much to do as well as being around all the college students.  What drives me to love teaching is watching the learning take place in young children.  There is just something special when the "light in the eyes comes on" in a child.  I believe the Montessori methodology, using the discovery model allows each child to learn and grow at their own pace.  The structured, hands-on approach helps to keep children focused on the task at hand and improves the learning process.  

Mrs. Denise Bailey -- Assistant Teacher 

Mrs. Bailey received her bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and has 16 years of teaching experience in preschool education.  She was actively involved with Girl Scouts for 14 years, working with girls at the troop, service unit, and council levels.  
 She has been married to Dave for almost 30 years, and they have a daughter, Michelle, a teacher in Frisco, TX, and Gabby, their 11 year old beagle.

 A note from Mrs. Bailey:  I have been married for almost 30 years and have a daughter that is a teacher in Frisco, TX and an 12 year old beagle named Gabby.  After being away from Texas and living in the Cincinnati area for 18 years, it’s great to be back and now living in College Station! I’m excited to be rejoining the education field and am really eager to be involved with Traditions Montessori! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, gardening, crafting, cooking, and travel.  

Mrs. Hayet Alatoree -- Assistant Teacher/Spanish Teacher

Hayet is a native of Mexico. She has a degree in Tourism. Hayet realized her passion of interacting with  others and worked for 18 years in the area of telecommunications.  Hayet came to United States in 2006 and discovered her passion for education while helping at an Elementary in College Station for the dual language program for Math and Reading. She has been working as a Spanish Teacher and Assistant Teacher in the Montessori system for over 5 years.

A Note from Mrs. Alatorre: 

I’ve been married for 25 years, I have a daughter that attends Texas A&M University. My daughter and I enjoy watching movies and going to the gym together. My family loves going to Mexico to visit extended family and spend quality time together.  I enjoy working with children and helping them enjoy learning. 

Liza Gentry -- Substitute Teacher

Liza is a native of the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia and St. Croix.  She began her college career pursuing a degree is Hospitality Management. While serving as a teaching assistant in an elementary school, Liza realized her passion for working with children and changed her major to Early Childhood Education.  She ultimately completed her A.A.S. degree is Early Childhood Education and has accumulated over 6 years experience working with pre-school children.  

A Note from Mrs. Gentry: One of the many things I love about the Montessori program is how it encourages each child to develop his/her inner discipline and leadership potential.  Montessori's hands-on approach allows the child to experience joyous accomplishments and acquire a natural love of learning that will last for a lifetime.  I have been married almost 20 years and have two children, both of whom have attended Traditions Montessori.  I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family in my spare time. 


Elementary Classrooms:

Mrs. Diana Bethke -- Director/ Lead Teacher

Mrs. Bethke is a certified Montessori teacher with North American Montessori Training Center.  She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Science Education. She has taught for over 14 years in both the Texas Public School System and Montessori Classrooms.  

A Note from Mrs. Bethke: My husband, Trey, and I are blessed to have two wonderful children.  My hobbies include spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, gardening,  traveling, and attending A&M sporting events.  I have a passion for the way Montessori education truly gives children the chance to grow and discover their place in the world.  I love the way students gain personal empowerment, independence, respect for others, and take pride in their individual differences.  I look forward to a successful, happy, and prosperous year at Traditions Montessori School!

Mrs. Anna Ledbetter -- Lead Teacher

Mrs. Ledbetter is certified through the American Montessori Society and Texas Public Schools.  She has over eleven years of teaching experience in Montessori and has experience with a public charter school.

A Note from Mrs. Ledbetter:  I've been married to my best friend, Rob, for over 20 years.  We have two wonderful children.  As a family we enjoy Family Fun Night which includes movies or board games. I run half marathons and sprint triathlons to stay active. I love the way Montessori teaching leads the students from concrete (using materials) to abstract (not using them). The elementary students discover many of the “rules” of math themselves which builds a stronger memory for the concept. The wonderful way the Montessori students take pride in their ownership of their community is amazing.


Mrs. Shelia Keelan -- Lead Teacher

Mrs. Keelan first started teaching Montessori over 20 years ago in a Pre-K/Kindergarten year old classroom.  Even though she loved that age group, she was given the opportunity to teach elementary.  Sixteen years later, Shelia is still immersed in the elementary environment and has truly found her passion.  Shelia is certified through the North American Montessori Training Center.

A Note from Mrs. Keelan: I love the way Montessori gives students a hands-on foundation and instills a love of life-long learning.  I have been married to the love of my life, David, for over 30 years.  I enjoy spending time with my three kids, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and my grandchildren!  I love to spend the weekends and summer with my family in Matagorda at our bay house reeling in those red fish.


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