Guidepost Montessori at Hollywood Beach is conveniently located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in Hollywood, Florida. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy in learning. Your child will love engaging in our outdoor play spaces, which are designed to encourage your child to explore. We welcome your family!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Viviana Castellisi, Head of School
Ms. Viviana Castellisi is the mother of three beautiful children. Ms. Castellisi has been involved in Montessori Education for over 10 years. She holds a 3-6 Early Childhood Montessori Credential and a degree in Early Childhood. Working with children has always been a joy for her, and she believes that helping support children and their families is one of the most important works our society can offer.
Having seen the value of Montessori Education for children, Ms. Castellisi feels privileged to continue supporting this work as Head of School of Guidepost Montessori at Hollywood Beach. She hopes many children can reap the benefits of the Montessori experience.
Ms. Castellisi believes each child embodies a unique and wonderful spirit. Her aspiration is to see children grow into adults who are independent, responsible and compassionate innovators.
Her Head of School position has been a life changing leadership development experience for her. Becoming a Mentor of Guides is a great challenge that offers unexpected rewards! In her free time, she loves spending time with her three children and husband, traveling to new and exciting places, enjoying gastronomic experiences, reading and exercising.
Magdelivia (Maggie) Hershkowitz, Administrative Director
Ms. Maggie earned an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and worked many years in administration. She had always wanted to be a teacher but it wasn't until she moved to Florida that she decided to pursue it. With much experience, Ms. Maggie began as an Administrator in a Montessori School in Miami Beach and fell in love with the Montessori method. When the opportunity arose to enroll in the training, Ms. Maggie took it immediately. She holds a Montessori Infant /Toddler certification from the American Montessori Society and although she has been a Lead Toddler Guide for the last 6 years, Ms. Maggie is thrilled to begin the new school year as Administrative Director giving her the chance to utilize her prior knowledge and experience . In her free time, Ms. Maggie loves going to the beach, reading, baking, dancing, road trips and spending time with her family and two children.
Monica Torres Del Moral, Admissions Director
Ms. Monica Torres Del Moral holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, a Specialist’s degree in Corporate Communications, and a Master’s degree in International Marketing. She possesses fifteen years of combined experience in higher education management and marketing.
Before joining Guidepost Montessori, she had the pleasure of serving as Executive Director of a continuing education faculty at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, a business school dedicated to offer learning and development opportunities to young professionals and companies in Latin-america.
Ms. Monica is thrilled to be a part of our Guidepost Montessori Admin Team as Admissions Director. The highlight of her work here at Guidepost is being able to connect with our families and children, and to offer all the support they need as members of our school community, in order to make their experience with us a joyful and memorable one, as they discover the magic of a Montessori education.
In her spare time, you’ll find Ms. Monica with her family in the outdoors, jogging and reading.
Katherine Elizabeth Russian, Administrative Assistant
Ms. Katherine was born in Caracas-Venezuela, studied law and worked at the American Embassy at the same time. Ms. Katherine decided to move to the states due to the political changes that her country was going to face and wanted to give her daughter, Isabella a better future.
So they came to Miami and Ms. Katherine started working in the real estate business, until Isabella graduated from high school. At that time she was offered an exciting position in Telemundo NBC Universal, as an art coordinator, then moved as production coordinator, and as marketing coordinator. There Ms. Katherine had the opportunity to work with famous celebrities and very interesting people.
From the content industry, Ms. Katherine moved to a financial position in MasterCard Latin America division as Senior Business Assistant to the CFO and lived the busy and intensive life of that great company.
Then her husband and Ms. Katherine opened their own business, an Italian restaurant called Amarone! with love and sacrifices.
Now Ms. Katherine is thrill to be part of the Guidepost Montessori family, learn as much as she can about this amazing method, and have great expectations about this new stage in her life.
Aura (Aury) Violeta Venegas, Lead Toddler Guide
Mrs. Venegas earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. Her journey learning the Montessori Method began as she discovers the benefits for her own children. Her passion is to ”build up a child” from the inside out, recognizing the value of giving them a good foundation in their early years. Understanding that in order to have an impact in society, we must start impacting our children. She loves to read, take care of her home and spend time with her family.
Miriam Carolina Machado, Toddler House Assistant Guide
I am from Venezuela. I have two and a half year, almost 3 in the United States, and I have been working for two years at Marblue Montessori Academy as Teacher Assistant in Toddlers House, I started in march 28, 2016. I am currently studying English and working hard to improve my English.
I am graduate in Industrial Relations, it is like Human Resources in my country. For many years I worked in the human resources departments of transnational companies like Colgate-Palmolive Company, Cigarrera Bigott (British American Tobacco), and Empresas Polar (Polar Industry). When my second child was born I decided to work with my husband in our own business, we had a construction corporation.
My profession gave me special sensibility with the people, helped me to understand them and provide support for them. I never thought that I was going to work with kids, but now that I am doing it, I think that it is the most beautiful and gratifying job that I have ever had.
Jeanne M (Myriam) Bellabe, Toddler House Assistant Guide
I earned my Associates degree at Florida Community College in 2010. I have 8 years of experience as a professional provider for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am a registered behavioral technician and currently hold a Direct Support Professional Certification. I have currently obtained many other certificates in behavioral health and early childhood education.
My goal is to use my diverse health and education background to implement ideas that coincide with the Montessori Method and support the Guides and children here at Guidepost Montessori. My hobbies include reading, yoga, meditation, spending time with my daughters (ages 11 and 15), dancing, nature walks, going to the beach and volunteering in my community.
Joan Ashley Celis, Lead Children's House Guide
Ms. Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Arts and a minor in Photography from Florida Atlantic University. She also holds a Montessori Primary certification from the Center of Guided Montessori. Ms. Ashley began her teaching career 7 years ago in a Montessori school as an assistant guide. As time passed, Ms. Ashley immersed herself within the world of Montessori and fell in love with the method. Due to her passion for teaching, Ms. Ashley attained certification as a Children's House Lead Guide and has spent the last 4 years as a Lead Guide. In her free time, Ms. Ashley enjoys going to the beach with her family and indoor rock climbing with her friends.
Liset Nerey, Children's House Assistant Guide
Miss Liset Nerey graduated with a technical degree from Cuba in 2003, obtaining excellent grades. She also passed a Medical Assistant course with 3.85 GPA. Miss Liset earned one year of experience in Montessori starting at Marblue Montessori Academy, as a Teacher Assistant. She has a great love for what she does and has had a great experience learning the Montessori method. This method has shown her how capable and independent children can become from an early age. In her free time she likes to breathe the fresh ocean air, listen to music,and spend time with friends.
Fanny Vivas, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Fanny earned a bachelor's degree in Education from the San Bonaventura University in Colombia as well as a bachelor's in Psychology from the Konrad Lorenz University. Shen has been working with young children for twenty years. Ms. Fanny has been in a Montessori environment for more than 4 years as an Assistant Guide. After she discovered the Montessori Method, Ms. Fanny realized how unique and successful it was for the development of children. She has two children of her own and enjoys working out to keep herself active.
Alma Vargas Santos, Lead Children's House Guide
Ms. Santos earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from National Panama University. She also holds a Montessori Primary Certification from A.M.S. and Pan-American Montessori Association. In 1980, Ms. Santos started teaching in Panama. Her first Montessori School was Panama Montessori School. After teaching there for 14 years, she then taught at Albert Einstein Institute for 6 years. In 1998, she came from Panama with all of her credentials and started working at Gulfstream Montessori School and was there for 10 years, and then at Marblue Montessori Academy for 9 years. Ms. Santos has transitioned to Guidepost Montessori Hollywood Beach in Children's House "2" and is approaching her second year. Her experience and expertise as a lead guide has been extremely beneficial to the individual growth and development of the children in the environment.
Katherine (Kathy) Cortez, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Kathy discovered the Montessori method when she was expecting her son. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Monika Hobrecker- Seckinger, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Hobrecker-Seckinger earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Mills College, California. She also holds a Masters in International Education from Framingham University, and an International teaching certificate from the European Commission of International Schools. Ms. Hobrecker-Seckinger started her teaching career at the American School of Guatemala in 1998. Throughout her career, she has been able to work in American and international schools with a variety of teaching philosophies. Ms. Hobrecker-Seckinger is looking forward to meeting and working with your children.
Ambreen Hussain, Lead Children's House Guide
Ms. Ambreen has dedicated her career to focus on delivering high-quality Montessori education to children. She acquired her Montessori Teacher’s certification from MTTI (Montessori Teachers Training Institute), and has been awarded Teacher of the year multiple times, as a professional Teacher and Directress. Ms. Ambreen brings a unique perspective to Montessori education by developing and incorporating multilingual and multicultural staff and curriculum to serve families from diverse backgrounds. She grew up in California and Florida, and enjoys spending her time with her daughter and husband, and uses her personal experience to bring a variety of materials for children to explore and manipulate in learning activities and imaginative play.
Amanda DeMarco, Lead Children's House Guide
Ms. DeMarco earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hartford, University. She holds a Montessori primary certification from the Association Montessori Internationale. Ms. DeMarco started her career 16 years ago as an assistant Montessori Guide in Litchfield Connecticut where she quickly realized that being a Montessori Guide was the career for her to pursue. She attended the New England Training Center Of Hartford where she earned her AMI diploma in 2006. She relocated to Hollywood Florida in 2013 and recently started her own business as a reading specialist and private tutor in Miami Dade and Broward County. Ms. DeMarco enjoys the beach, boating, and spending time with her son who currently is attending FIU.
Rita Atanes, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms Rita earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in Argentina. Among other activities, she worked as a writing and radio teacher in high school and College .
Already in the United States, he gave classes of religion at Little Flower Church in Hollywood to children from 4 to 7 years old. Completed her childcare and special needs trainings, and currently works as a teacher assistant in MMA since 2010.
Megan Benson, Children's House Assistant Guide
Ms. Megan has been working in childcare for 13 years. The last 4 years she taught as an early preschool teacher. She has always enjoyed working with children and loves to see how they grow in the school setting. She likes how Montessori encourages independence in the children. In her free time she loves going to the beach!
Andrea Gaiani, Assistant Guide
Mrs. Andrea earned a bachelor degree in Special Education from UJMV in 2008 and a Diploma in Early Childhood from Universidad Metropolitana in 2012 in her native country Caracas, Venezuela. She has been working since 2000 with children as a Private Tutor, Shadow Teacher, Lead Teacher in Special Education environment and preschools. In all her years of experience her focus has been making children feel valued and accepted, as well as helping them reach their full potential by integrating the three learning modalities: visual, hearing and kinesthetic, and also using creative activities and games suitable for each children. After having her first baby boy, now 14 months old, her life-long interest about the Montessori Method has grown, which is why she's excited to work at Guidepost and learn more about it. She loves to expend time with her husband and son, go to parks and explore Nature.
Nicole Farnault, Lead Guide (Lower Elementary)
Ms. Nicole has been a Montessori teacher for the past 4 years. She is AMS trained and loves being apart of the Guidepost team. Ms. Nicole has two children and she is happy to see them getting a Montessori education. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Nicholas Rafael Munoz, Elementary Assistant Guide
Mr. Nick earned a bachelors's degree in Theater from St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota. He fell in love with the Montessori method shortly after taking the job at Guidepost for campus security. This inspired him to apply, and he is now enrolled in the Prepared Montessorian Elementary Lead Guide Training program. Mr. Nick is super excited to begin his teaching career at Guidepost as Assistant Guide to Lower Elementary under the mentorship of Lead Guide Ms. Nicole. In his free time, Mr. Nick loves going to the gym and spending beach days with his awesome dog, Bruce Wayne.
Joanna Kopicki, Lead Guide (Lower Elementary)
Ms. Joanna earned an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Nova University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University. She started her teaching career 11 years ago at a Montessori school in Brooklyn, NY where she learned about the Montessori Method through an in-house training program during her first year at the school working in a Children's House classroom. The following two years she worked as a Co-Teacher in a Lower Elementary classroom there. Ms. Joanna then moved back to South Florida where she taught for one year as a Lead Teacher in the Lower Elementary class at Marblue Montessori. For the past seven years she has taken a break from being a classroom teacher to devote her time to being a Domestic Engineer (aka Stay-at-Home-Mom). In her free time, Ms. Joanna loves to read, run, dance salsa, and most of all, have fun with her two little boys.
Berlyne Noel, Elementary Assistant Guide
Ms. Noel earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Barry University. Ms. Noel began teaching 14 years ago in a traditional elementary school. However, she became quite curious about the philosophy and practices of a Montessori education and environment. Therefore, given this wonderful opportunity to experience Montessori education, she is very excited to become a part of such an exciting new way of learning. On her free time, she loves to read and write.
Tania Torres-Delgado, Lead Guide (Upper Elementary)
Ms. Tania earned a bachelor’s degree in Professional Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Barry University. She is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Elementary Montessori Education at the same institution. Ms. Tania started teaching 4 years ago in a traditional high school where she was also the varsity team volleyball coach. Once her daughter was born, Ms. Tania started researching primary programs for her, and she was completely taken by the Montessori method and philosophy. In her free time, Ms. Tania loves playing beach volleyball, coaching club and spending time with her family.
Maria Ines Goyen Castillo, Lead Guide (Upper Elementary)
Ms. Maria earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from FIU and a Master's degree in Montessori Education from Barry University. She also holds a 6-12 certification from AMS. She began her career teaching public school, but soon fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and method. After giving birth to her first child Celeste, she began her Montessori career and taught at St. Christopher's by the Sea in lower and upper Elementary. After the birth of her second daughter Amelia, she found another Montessori school closer to home. Teaching is her passion! On her spare time, Maria likes to read, listen to podcasts, crochet, and travel with her family.
Richard Brakeman, Lead Guide (Middle School)
Mr. Brakeman received a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Michigan State University. He also holds a CELTA certificate from Cambridge University. He has been teaching for the last 7 years, most recently at the highest performing charter school in New York City. He attended a Montessori school growing up, and is overjoyed to return to his roots at his new position here. In his free time he enjoys traveling, camping, and collecting board games. He and his wife were also just blessed with twin girls, whom he loves playing with.
Monica Perez, Middle School STEM Guide
Monica Perez has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Rollins College and a Master’s degree in Ecology from Universidad Central de Venezuela. However, working with children has always been her passion. For the past 9 years she has been working one-on-one with adolescents, helping them prepare for college. Currently, she is undergoing a Montessori Adolescent Program accredited under the MACTE certification. She has seen the numerous benefits of this type of education and feels privileged to be the Middle School Assistant Guide at the Guidepost Montessori in Hollywood Beach; a school that prepares children to be independent, life-long learners by allowing them to pursue their passions in responsible ways. Monica is the mother of a very active three-year old. In her free time, she enjoys practicing Yoga and taking her son outdoors to swim at the beach or play in a park.
Elizabeth Bressack, Music and Piano Teacher
Ms. Bressack has an associates degree in Music Education from Five Towns College in NY. She has been teaching piano since 1980 privately and was a manager of Mars Music, a retail music store. She has been in numerous bands and performed throughout South Florida and in NY.Her love of teaching kids piano has allowed her to lead a very satisfying career.
She has also taught general music and recorder classes in various schools . Her dedication for each child as an individual has given her an amazing love and appreciation for the Montessori method of life and education. She also teaches guitar and drum lessons.
Her hobbies include playing piano, going to concerts, bicycling, swimming, movies, hanging with her dogs.
Ouleya Arigue, Elementary Assistant Guide
Ouleya was born in Algiers, North Africa, and grew up in France, where she earned her Associate degree in Business and Management. After a 25+ career in communication and press relations in Paris, she moved to the United States back in 2014. With the will to change careers, she started her immersion in the education world with summer camp programs, after school programs, and tutoring, working for the 2 French-American schools of Broward County. This new discovered passion led her to complete her Florida's Child Care Training. Ouleya had the opportunity to work at Lycée Franco-Américain, where she taught Preschool students and was in charge of the school’s Social Media, Website & Monthly bilingual newsletter. Now, Ouleya is interested in using her knowledge and the Montessori Method to help children realize their full potential. In her spare time, Ouleya enjoys traveling, spending time in nature, and loves to cook and bake. Overall, she is very excited to be a part of the great team at Guidepost Montessori Hollywood Beach!
Paul Bates, School Security Officer
Mr. Bates earned a bachelor's degree in England, UK. Mr. Bates has been in the security field since his duty in the military forces for the British Army and police force. Mr. Bates is well experienced in the field of armed security exceeding 15 years both here in the United States and in England. Mr. Bates is happily married to his wife Adrienne and enjoys fishing, DIY hobbies and art.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.