Guidepost Montessori at Peoria is a new Montessori community in Peoria, Arizona. 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 bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy in learning. Your child will love gardening in our engaging outdoor play spaces filled with native plant species and 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
Shara Gurule', Co-Head of School
Ms. Gurule' has over 18 years of Montessori work in which she has experienced many different roles. She has taught in the oldest Montessori school in Albuquerque, NM. She holds an AMS and AMI certificate. She has owned and operated her own school, was the Director of a local Montessori and founded/directed a non-profit corporation that aimed to support local Montessorians and collectively operate a school. In her free time, Ms. Gurule' enjoys staying active, exploring the outdoors and participating in a little amateur rock hounding with her family.
Lynda Lothe, Co-Head of School
Mrs. Lothe has joined us as Guidepost Montessori of Peoria’s Co-Head of School. She has recently moved from Flagstaff, AZ where she was the Director of the Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff - Cedar Campus Middle School. Mrs. Lothe has broad administrative and leadership experience in public Montessori schools, public traditional schools; as well as the corporate sector. Her passion for life-long learning and developing our new young members of this society into independent, generous, contributing members of society, is what definitively aligned her beliefs with Guidepost Montessori’s core values. Yes, even starting at the youngest of ages! Mrs. Lothe enjoys spending time with her active husband and two sons laughing, running, hiking and going on sunny Arizona adventures.
LeAnna Gonzalez, English Children's House Lead Guide
A little about me, while in high school I was involved in the Child Oriented Occupational Program and it was through this program that I first discovered my enjoyment of being part of a child’s learning process. I worked in other childcare positions for various organizations, but while attending college I took a position as an after school teacher at a Montessori school and my life changed forever. I was amazed at what and how the children were learning, not only in comparison to what I’d seen in my previous experience but the overall process as well. I began to learn more about Maria Montessori and the Montessori Method. I had often observed the children light up from the inside as they discovered for themselves something new using the Montessori materials. This was when I knew I had found my life’s true calling. I received my Association Montessori International certificate from the Montessori Education Center in Phoenix, Arizona in 2003 and have been a lead guide for 15 years.
Maricela Aguilar Balderas, Spanish Immersion Children's House Lead Guide
Mrs. Maricela Aguilar earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Universidad Autónoma de la Laguna in México, she also holds a TEFL certification. She has experience with children and teenagers as a psychotherapist. She started her teaching career 7 years ago in Mexico and USA, falling in love with teaching, she enjoys the curiosity that children show when they speak a second language.
In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband, her dog Luna and visiting her family in Mexico.
Kristine Worthington, English Toddler Lead Guide
Ms. Kristine started her teaching career 30 years ago in Southern California, where she was Montessori trained and certified. In addition, she earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from Chapman University. Ms. Kristine has taught in a variety of schools throughout her career, however, she is excited to be back in the Montessori environment where she first started. She loves children and is passionate about the Montessori Method. Outside of work, Ms. Kristine loves spending time with her husband, two daughters, and fluffy golden doodles; Charley & Crystal.
Jennifer Hernandez, Spanish Immersion Toddler Lead Guide
Jennifer Hernandez is Guidepost's newest Spanish Immersion Lead Guide. She studied at the University of Arizona and earned a degree in psychology. Her background is in mental and behavioral health working with children with a variety of challenges, and helping them thrive in their environments. Ms. Hernandez understands the importance of meeting every child's unique needs and is truly excited to start her Montessori journey and bring Dr. Montessori's philosophy into the classroom.
Danae Bobo, Upper Nido Lead Guide
I am a teacher, mother, artist, and a baker. Once I discovered Montessori, I knew I had to become a part of a community that provides a beautiful, engaging, environment that is the most natural way for children to learn.
I have been a guide in Montessori environments for over 4 years and hold my Montessori Assistant Certificate along with Guidepost’s In-House Lead Guide Training through Prepared Montessorian. I am excited to guide the next generation of young minds here in beautiful Peoria. I believe each child embodies a unique and wonderful spirit. My desire is to see children grow into adults who are independent, responsible, and compassionate human beings.
Elisa Mancuso, Lower Nido Lead Guide
I have been working as an Infant Montessori Lead for the past 3 and a half years. From day one, I fell in love, and I knew that working with infants was where I was meant to be. I am beyond excited to start my journey as a Lead in this classroom.
I was born in Arizona, but I grew up in Oregon. I ended up back here three and a half years ago. I have an eight-year-old daughter who has been in Montessori for the past 3 years. It has been an amazing experience watching her independence grow since entering into the Montessori environment. Aside from spending time with her, I enjoy going to concerts, playing games, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything outdoors.
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.