The Founder-Ms. Sierra

   I love children and am proud of myself for having a childlike spirit. My 5-year old 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 enlightened me my purpose-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 a mother would not do for her son. After giving birth to my son, my life is 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 I 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 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. 

My educational credentials:

  • A certified Montessori Teacher

  • Ongoing training with Myteachstone program through First 5

  • MA in International Education Management

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

  • BA in English at Beijing Language & Culture University

My professional background: ​

  • Chinese Teacher for preschoolers at Word of Grace Chinese School (current)

  • Preschool 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 

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my son and 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.

Assistant Teacher- Ms. Katherine Tan

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 tons of joy and happiness. This love leads her to a great deal of volunteering work at their schools, 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 gives Ms. Katherine a tremendous sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. She is constantly inspired by their innocence, love, and sense of humor. In her spare time, she likes cooking, singing, dancing, painting, hiking and traveling, as well as spending time with her family and friends. Currently Ms. Katherine is on First 5's Myteachstone Teacher Training Program.

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