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.”

Melissa Martin, Music Specialist

One of FMS’s original teachers, Melissa has taught in every grade level (except middle school) and is applying both her education and love of music to her current role as Music Specialist.  Melissa joined the FMS staff in 2001 with 10 years teaching experience.  She holds a BS in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music.  Melissa is Montessori certified in Lower Elementary and also has her Orff Music Certification, Levels 1 and 2.  Orff Music training emphasizes “active music making through singing, playing instruments, speech and movement.”  Melissa’s discerning eye and sharp mind elevates and inspires her students to be the best that they can be.  She has been a huge support to our music program over the years and will do all she can to inspire and help the children create their own love of music.

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 Programming 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 a unique and well-seasoned approach to his current position. He has seen the positive impact that sports have 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 Education program.