Arlene Dreitzer, Reading Specialist

Since 2004, FMS Middle School students have had the honor of Arlene teaching them the finer points of writing and reading. Her eye for detail is matched by her enthusiasm for inspiring students to reach deeper into the classic texts to discover more meaning and insights. Holding a BA in Education, Arlene’s education was further expanded when she was awarded a MS in Education. Having brought over 35 years of teaching experience to her position at FMS, Arlene continued her education by accruing an additional 30 credits above her Master’s degree. She enjoys etymology, history and gardening. Her favorite thing about Montessori method is the “freedom to facilitate learning.”

Valerie DeCrescenzo, Outdoor Classroom Specialist

The Outdoor classroom (located on the Primary-aged side of the school) is one of the most desired spaces to be in on campus. Children cannot get enough of the art, nature and science jobs they experience in that space. The architect and facilitator of the Outdoor classroom is Ms. Valerie. Having joined FMS in 2001, Valerie is one of our original staff members. She cams to FMS with over 25 years of experience in education. Valerie holds a BS in Psychology and has an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from the American Montessori Society. She loves Montessori because: “We can teach to the individual; we are all different and children learn at the pace that is right for them.”

Dian Buckley, Performing Arts Specialist 

An international singer and songwriter, Dian brings to FMS a love of performance and movement. Having grown up in England, Dian has a BA in Honors Drama, including Performing Arts, and two Teaching Credentials, making her eligible to teach 5-20 year olds. She has been educating students since 2003 and is committed to helping students “find their worth” through song, dance and the performing arts. Dian is also the Creative Director of a Musical Empowerment Program called “Shine”, a production she originated to engage special needs students in the performing arts. She is currently working on her U.S. debut of “Shine”. Dian brings a quiet, confident presence to her teaching at FMS and we are delighted to welcome her to our faculty

Angela Drew, Art Specialist

Since 2004, FMS has had the good fortune of having Angela teaching art to our students. Angela’s love of the creative thought process is matched by her eye for color, patterns, and the endless variety of art classes she has facilitated for the entire school body. Angela came to FMS with three years of experience and a BA in Fine Arts. She is also qualified in Public Programing and Environmental Curriculum. She enjoys photography, hiking and fitness. Her favorite things about Montessori include “seeing the world through the eyes of a child and learning something new each day.”

Maria Pate, Spanish Specialist

Maria joined the FMS faculty in 2006, bringing with her the flavor of her native Spain. She holds an MA in Education (foreign language emphasis) and an MA in Linguistics. Once she discovered the power of the Montessori method, and the true independence it instills in its students, Maria went back to school and obtained her Montessori Certification (3-6 year olds). She came to FMS with over four years of teaching experience and infuses an enthusiasm for learning with all of her students. Maria says: “One of the things that I love about Montessori is how a student become independent. He or she will do a job for their own personal satisfaction rather than to receive praise from parents and/or teachers.”

Robert Ginther, Athletic Director/Physical Education Instructor

FMS is proud to introduce “Coach Bob” to our school community. Bob holds a BA in Physical Education and comes to our school with over 15 years of Physical Education and coaching experience. Having played third base for the San Francisco Giants Minor League, early in his career, Bob brings and unique and well seasoned approach to his current position. He has seen the positive impact that sports has had on the development of the whole child including cultivating the values of “sportsmanship, integrity and honesty.” Bob has coached Varsity baseball at the high school level, as well as Jr. Varsity girl’s basketball and softball teams. He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his new role at FMS and we are confident that he will positively impact FMS’s Physical Eduction program.