Meet Our Teachers and Staff
Pacific Crest is accredited through the AdvancedED.
All of Pacific Crest’s Primary and Elementary teachers are trained through Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training centers. Our Middle School teachers attend Montessori trainings for the adolescent level; these are offered by the North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) in partnership with AMI.
HEAD OF SCHOOL: Dorrie Knapp Guy
Dorrie Growing up in a small college town in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, her years in Montessori education are rooted in her own early childhood experiences in a Montessori Primary school. With a BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA and experience working at Pacific Crest beginning in 2005, she went on to earn an AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute in DC and a Masters of Education, with a focus on adolescent education, from Loyola University in 2009. She returned to Pacific Crest School in 2009 to teach in the Middle School and in Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms.
In late 2015 she stepped into administration as the school's Operations Manager, and she became Head of School in 2016. She completed program certificates in NAMTA's Whole-School Montessori Management and the NWAIS New Heads Institute in 2016.
Dorrie lives in Ballard with her husband and two nieces. She finds inspiration through her work with the dedicated and creative teachers, staff, parents and children of Pacific Crest as each discovers with joy their own unique gifts and character.
“Directing our action toward mankind means, first and foremost, doing so with regard to the child. The child, that ‘forgotten citizen’, must be appreciated in accordance with his true value. His rights as a human being who shapes all of mankind must become sacred, and the secret laws of his normal psychic development must light the way for civilization.” (Education and Peace)
Assistant Head of School
Jennifer took the dive into the Montessori world when her then three-year-old daughter joined a “children’s house” classroom back in 2000, and has worked in Montessori school administration since 2004. She received AMI Primary training (ages 2 ½ - 6) from Montessori Northwest in Portland, a B.A. in history from the University of Washington, and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland.
In her spare time, she can be found learning a new tune on the ukulele, singing in a local community choir, reading a good book, quilting, or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” —Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
Annie hails from Newport Oregon and has been involved in Montessori education since 2001 and a teacher since 2010. She holds AMI diplomas from Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, for both Assistants to Infancy (ages 0-3) and Primary (ages 3-6). She holds a BA from the University of Portland. Her Master’s in Education is from Loyola University in Baltimore. When not teaching children, Annie enjoys Vashon life, paddle boarding, hanging out with her boys.
“One test of the correctness of educational procedures is the happiness of the child.” Maria Montessori
Elly began working at Pacific Crest in 2013 after graduating from Washington State University with a BA in Elementary Education and a Washington State teaching certificate. She completed her AMI Primary training at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Growing up on Bainbridge Island she developed a love for the outdoors and now that she lives in Seattle she enjoys spending free time backpacking and hiking with her two dogs.
“We must realize the truth of our new mission. This is what I want to impress on you, do not transmit knowledge, but take care of life, which has the possibility of bettering all life. It is a great thing to do, yet so simple.” -Maria Montessori
Jen has been working in Montessori education since 1998. She is Montessori trained and has taught in Toddler Community, Children’s House and Elementary classrooms. She has a BA from St Olaf College in Minnesota and a Masters of Education from Loyola University. Before guiding the Lower Elementary, she worked at PCS in Learning Support, receiving specific training in programs such as Wired for Reading, Handwriting without Tears and Orton-Gillingham, to work with students having difficulty with literacy, math and writing. She feels fortunate to work at a school that expresses and explores compassion for the world around us.
“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.”- Maria Montessori
Sonya joined Pacific Crest in 2000 after receiving her AMI Elementary diploma in Milwaukee. She holds a Masters of Education from Loyola University of Maryland and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was an instructor for wilderness programs that worked with youth. She enjoys sharing in adventures with her children hiking and camping in the forests, mountains and arid regions of the West.
"If the idea of the Universe be presented to the child in the right way, it will do more for him than just arouse his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any interest and more satisfying." - To Educate the Human Potential
Erin has been teaching at PCS since 2006. She holds a Master's in Teaching from the University of Washington as well as a Masters in Conservation from the University College London. Prior to completing her AMI Elementary training in Minnesota in 2009, she worked in the Edmonds School District teaching math at Meadowdale Middle School. Her first career was in wildlife conservation. She has worked in a variety of protected areas in Africa, including mountain gorilla conservation in Uganda and marine turtle preservation in Kenya.
Katherine is from New Jersey and has been teaching for 14 years, 11 at PCS. She holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College in the teacher training program. I love working at a school where the staff are so deeply committed to improving their practice, rooted in a deep understanding of Montessori philosophy and a belief in the potential of all people. A Montessori quote that I keep in mind relates to education as a means to creating a better world.
"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live." -- Maria Montesssori
Peter is originally from Maine and is currently in his 7th year at PCS and his 6th year as a Middle School teacher at PCS. Peter holds a B.A. from Colby College and his NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies. I enjoy how each day brings new and various opportunities for exploration and engagement with students at PCS, from discussing books, writing, and algebra to days spent outdoors working at the farm or skiing at Crystal Mountain.
"In this fierce battle of civil life a man must have a strong character and quick wits as well as courage; he must be strengthened in his principles by moral training and he must also have practical ability in order to face the difficulties of life. Adaptability--this is the most essential quality." (Dr. Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence p. 61)
Chuck joined the Pacific Crest Middle School staff in 2006. He holds a B.A. from the University of Washington in Political Science and completed the AMI-NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Ohio. He lives in Ballard with his wife Gina and enjoys gardening, home improvement projects and tromping around in the woods. Pacific Crest offers the opportunity for adolescents to develop skills and perspective not available in a traditional setting, highlighted by working on the school's farm on Vashon Island.
"Work on the land is an introduction both to nature and to civilization and gives a limitless field for scientific and historic studies...there is an opportunity to learn both academically and through actual experience what are the elements of social life." -- From Childhood to Adolescence
Amy joined Pacific Crest in 2003. She earned her BA in History from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College in Washington. She received her Montessori training in 2005 at the AMI-NAMTA Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Ohio. She likes to read, be with her kiddo, and think about food.
Sean taught at the Pacific Crest Middle School from 2002-2008 and returned in 2014. He grew up on the plains of eastern Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Biology. After graduation he joined the AmeriCorps program, working in a middle/high school in an undeserved community in Denver. Later, Sean did a second year with AmeriCorps in Seattle working to manage a non-profit woodshop that served many populations in the Puget Sound region. Sean is married and has twin boys that keep him busy all the time.
"What I enjoy most about working at this school is the variety of work that we get to explore with students. From academics to cooking to building a stage, I truly enjoy working side-by-side with our students on many different projects".
"Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make it understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence." -- Maria Montessori
Inma is from Córdoba, Spain and has been teaching Spanish at PCS for 16 years! She works with everyone from Primary through Middle School. Inma holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Foreign Language and Literature from the Universidad de Filosofía y letras, Córdoba.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart". --Nelson Mandela
Rob has been with Pacific Crest since the Middle School's founding in 1991. Rob has an MFA from the University of Washington where he studied under Jacob Lawrence. His vibrant art studio in the Middle School building is home to a vintage Seattle Time’s printing press, a Pfaff sewing machine, fashion dress form, as well as all the classic art making materials. Students from 1st grade through 8th grade work on individual and group projects ranging from mural-sized stencil paintings, to architectural models, to mini pet portraits.
Jennifer has been the manager of the Pacific Crest Farm for 8 years. She has spent seasons working on farms in Maryland (where she grew up), Alaska, Ireland and the Snoqualmie Valley of Washington. She has done conservation work and volunteer management with EarthCorps in Seattle and was active in the University Heights P-Patch garden.
"The care of the earth is our most ancient and our most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope". --Wendell Berry
Gavin started at Pacific Crest in 1993 developing the aftercare program. She was trained as a primary assistant by Kathleen Lloyd, working with her for 5 years and then moving into elementary. During the past ten years she has had training in different systems of language learning support, including Wired for Reading, Wilson and Orton-Gillingham. Her greatest joy comes from working with students to help build skills in reading and writing. Gavin loves reading fiction and poetry, playing board games with friends and is about to start her 15th year volunteering for the Seattle Aquarium's Beach Naturalist program.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” - Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Jacquelyn is currently in training to receive her Elementary AMI Diploma at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She holds a Master's in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University and received her Bachelor's of Arts in Economics and Government from Georgetown University. She taught second grade children in Maryland Public Schools and took time off from education to stay at home while her children were very young. Prior to teaching, Jacquelyn worked in policy as a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon and for Oregon State Representatives. She enjoys facilitating children’s exploration of their world. In her free time, Jacquelyn loves to rock climb, run, bike, cook, garden and spend time with her family.
“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” - Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
Sue - Business Manager
Tamara - Front Desk
Frank - Director of Finance and Operations
Sophie - Communications
Megan - Admissions