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Ms. Sierra

Garden of Joy Montessori International School

I love children and am proud of myself for having a childlike spirit. My own little boy has brought me tons of joy, hope and fulfillment. This love has led me to work in several Montessori schools and become a certified Montessori teacher after having worked extensively in the field of education in China, UK and US. As a matter of fact, my love for my son and for children in general has defined the purpose of my life - to become a child advocate, to embrace and implement the essence of Montessori philosophy in modern times, and to nurture future generations into independent and intelligent global citizens with intercultural competence, creativity and compassion.

In July 2011, I came to the US and studied Translation & Interpretation at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. In August 2012, out of my passion for international education and intercultural communication, I switched to the inaugural International Education Management program, and graduated with honors in December 2013.

There is nothing which a mother would not do for her son. After giving birth to my son, my life was forever changed (for good). I always remember Mr. Honey-Jones (the founding Principal of The British School of Beijing - an international school for children of expatriates) once said to me, "Sierra, whatever you do, you do the best!" The truth is, whatever I do, I give it my heart and soul. This is even so when I become a mother, I strive to become the best mother I could. Such desire has eventually led me to the establishment of Garden of Joy Montessori International School.

I cherish the spirit of "Live to Learn", and continue to improve myself through professional and personal development. I am a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS), Bay Area Montessori Association (BAMA), and Bay Area Childcare Network Group. As such, my inspiration is

constantly renewed throughout ongoing Montessori training, Early Childhood Education workshops, child development classes, conferences, and frequent group network meetings.

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family. I practice yoga (I am a certified yoga instructor in China), and I like jogging, hiking, salsa dance, and watching movies. I am also a dedicated Toastmaster, having obtained Advanced Communicator Gold and Competent Leader certificates.

  • A certified Montessori Teacher

  • Ongoing training with AMS, BAMA, and First 5's Quality Matters Program 

  • MA in International Education Management

  • One year's training in Translation & Interpretation (English/Chinese)

  • BA in English at Beijing Language & Culture University

My Educational Credentials

  • Chinese Teacher for preschoolers at Word of Grace Chinese School

  • Teacher at several Montessori preschools

  • Inaugural San Francisco Summer Program Coordinator for Boston University

  • Independent Translator for Elfenworks Productions LLC., translated the book "Intelligence & Compassion in Action: The Seven Pillars for Social Entrepreneurs" written by founding CEO Dr. Lauren Speeth

  • Head of School Services & Facilities and a founding member for The British School of Beijing 

My Professional Background

Ms. Katherin Tan
Assistant Teacher

Garden of Joy Montessori International School

A mother of two boys, Ms. Katherine has a master’s degree in Mathematics from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong Province, China. She truly enjoys being a mother as her sons bring her tremendous joy and happiness. This love leads her to a great deal of volunteering work at their schools over the years (3D Preschool, Kinderwood Children’s Center and Stratford Schools). She is an active member of Parent Committee at Stratford Schools, helping the schools to organize events on the class and school levels.

Being around children, watching them grow and learn, and being a part of their lives give Ms. Katherine a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. She is constantly inspired by their innocence, love, and sense of humor. Striving to be the best teacher she could possibly be, after having finished Myteachstone Teacher Training Program provided by First 5, Ms. Katherine is currently on a 2-year Apprenticeship Program to obtain her Associate Teacher permit. In her spare time, she likes cooking, singing, dancing, painting, hiking and traveling, as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Ms. Margarita Cereno
Spanish Teacher

Ms. Maragrita - Spanish Teacher

“For me, working with children is the best thing and becoming a teacher is the dream that came true. I enjoy every minute when I am around the precious little ones. I am so excited to join the amazing team under Ms. Sierra’s leadership at the prestigious Garden of Joy Montessori International School!”

Born in Mexico, Ms. Margarita is a mother of four children. She attended a bilingual Teacher Assistant Training program for three years at Instituto A. Fleming A. C. In her home country. Ms. Margarita has been working in the filed of early childhood education for almost a decade. 

Ms. Judy He 
Assistant Teacher

Ms. Judy He

“It gives me great joy to interact with the little ones, listen to every word they speak, and to witness their growth day by day.”

Ms. Judy He is currently a student at De Anza College. For the past two years she has been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Because of her love for children, she has also taken some Montessori education and other Child Development courses while in college. She has worked as an assistant teacher in a preschool for three years. Like Ms. Katherine and Ms. Margarita, she is also very patient, empathetic, and responsible.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument.

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