Maria Montessori emphasized the goal of education, rather than its methods. This goal being “the development of a compete human being, oriented to the environment, and adapted to his or her time, place and culture.” Keeping this goal in mind and the method followed by Maria Montessori our teachers at WFMA focus on the children and observe their needs. We believe that each child develops at his or her own pace based upon their individual interest.
The staff at WFMA is committed to the Montessori Method of teaching and truly believes that this is the best way to enrich and encourage the children to learn and do their personal best. Besides their own individual achievements each of our staff members is certified in CPR and First Aid. Each of them has at least 24 hours of Continuing Education to keep up with the new approaches in discipline and classroom management.
We have a low student:teacher ratios and a close-knit group of educators. This environment along with the relationship of our staff ensures a healthy, happy learning environment for your child.
Our teachers embraces the full development of the child through Monessori education. Learn more about the Montessori learning method.
Whispering Farms Montessori Academy Teachers
Director / Owner
2008 found me at a wonderful time in my life. My young family had all grown up and they were each doing what they wanted to do and now it was my turn to realize my “dream”. The foot work had been laid out for this moment all through my life. Working with children was my passion and having a Montessori School to do it in was my dream. And this dream was about to come true in April 2008.
I pursued my Bachelors Degree in Education and followed that with my certification for Montessori Teaching from Association Montessori Internationale, in India. There after I taught in Montessori schools in New Jersey and then in Plano. Both my children started their education in Montessori schools. I was and still am absolutely sold on this way of teaching a child.
What I most like about the Montessori Method is that it is scientific and multi-aged. It gently moves the child from concrete materials to abstraction. It helps the teacher respect individuality and nurture a love of learning while guiding the child towards self-discipline.
When passion and dreams merge into reality one finds true joy – and this is what I have found here at Whispering Farms Montessori Academy.
Curriculum Director - WFMA since 2009
"The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life."
I came to WFMA with 13 years experience working with special needs as an In-Home Intervention Specialist. I understand how im-portant it is for young minds to grow with positive experiences. I en-courage children to develop critical thinking skills, to be independent and to be able to take responsibility for their own actions. As adults, we have a responsibility to see that children are exposed to many opportunities to develop these skills.
I enjoy spending time with my family and love to be out-doors ,whether its gardening or taking my dog out for a walk.
Assistant Director - WFMA since 2017
"The first duty of the educator, whether he is involved with the newborn infant or the older child, is to recognize the human personality of the young being and respect it."
My Name is Kelly Powell and I am currently the Assistant Director at Whispering Farms Montessori Academy. My education in teaching spans for over thirty years with accreditations along the way. When my three children were very young , finding a good school for them was very difficult until I experienced Montessori. Because of Maria Montessori and her passion for children and the philosophy she believed in, my children excelled in school. My Passion grew as well , so in 1992 I decided to go back to school and earn my Primary Certification as a Primary Montessori Teacher, where I taught in McKinney, Texas for the next five years. In 2000 I acquired my CDA and began an amazing journey teaching Kindergarten for the next 12 years, in McKinney as well. The past couple of years I have been working with children with Autism.
I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking out on the grill. I would love to travel more in the future!
Vijayshree (Viji) Ponangi
Lead Primary Teacher - WFMA since 2016
"The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play...it is work he must do in order to grow up."
My name is Viji Ponangi and I have had the privilege of being a part of Whis-pering Farms Montessori Academy since January 2017. I started my teaching career 14 years back when our first born child was 3 years old. I enrolled her in a Montessori school and instantly fell in love with the philosophy of the Mon-tessori teachings. That is when I decided to get myself trained and found my-self truly enjoying caring, nurturing and guiding preschoolers.
I have a Masters in Political Science and also have a Montessori certification from The American Montessori Society (AMS) which is the leading advocate and resource for quality Montessori education.
I live with my husband, our two beautiful daughters aged 18 and 12 and our adorable pet Coco in Frisco, Texas. We all love to travel to different places and en-joy the varied culture and cuisines of each place. I also enjoy watching movies and dabble in arts and crafts.
Assistant Teacher - WFMA since 2016
"The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself."
My Name is Tabitha. I have been employed with WFMA for the past two years. I began as the extended care teacher, and now am currently working with the Primary Class. First and foremost, I am a proud Mom of a 17 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. I am a Louisiana Native, and moved to Pros-per 4 years ago.
During my spare time I enjoy outdoor activities with my family.
I have a BA in education and a Minor in Early Childhood Development/Psychology. Throughout my teaching career, I have had the opportunity to work with children of all ages. Teaching is my passion and I feel fortunate to work with such wonderful children and families.
Lead Teacher, Primary Class - WFMA since 2015
My career as a Montessori teacher started in 2003, when I obtained my certification from the American Montessori Society to teach Primary (3-6 year-olds) and Elementary (6-9 year-olds) classes. My traditional education consists of a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University. I believe each child is different and should be given the time and opportunities to develop at his/her own pace. It is also very important for the home and school to work together for a child to reach his/her full potential. I encourage parent’s participation and input towards a positive and supportive partnership. I love to travel with my husband and I enjoy play time with my dog.
Co-Teacher, Primary Class - WFMA since 2017
"There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of co-operation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community."
I moved to the States from India with a background in Marketing and Human Resources. But, my family being young I decided to take on the role of full time Mommy. This opened me to the new challenge of keeping young hands and minds busy and occupied. Now, with both my children in Grade Schools I decided to turn towards educating young minds. I have always enjoyed working and playing with children, now while working with them I have this opportunity to assist in their growth, in their happiness and in helping them cultivate “self-discipline”. In the Montessori method I have found the way to be consistent and positive to help redirect these young minds to achieve self-discipline and the motivation necessary to develop good work habits for a life time.
My hobbies include playing badminton and dancing in my passion. My love for children tells me I am moving in the right direction and feel blessed to be at WFMA.
Teacher - WFMA since 2015
"The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to six."
During my time here at WFMA, I have worked with the 1-3 year old. I entered WFMA studying Biology at the University of North Texas; however, since working in a classroom I realized my passion is teaching and children.
So, I changed my Major to Early Education with my expected graduation to be in May 2019. With working in the Transition class, I am able to assist the toddlers to become happy independent children. Also, with lots of positive reinforcement, they are able to learn boundaries , personal space, and being able to control feelings and actions.
Teacher - WFMA since 2017
"The goal of The Early Childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn."
My name is April Winjeratne. I was born in the Philippines and raised in Melbourne Australia. I have worked as a lead Montessori Teacher in California as well. I have two children ages 12 and 16 and we live in Prosper Texas . I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling., but I love dancing and cooking.
I’m currently a Montessori co-teacher at WFMA to 2-3 year old. I’m very passionate about teaching and it’s an honor to be a part of their journey in discovering their true self and the wonderful talents they possess.
Lead Teacher, Beginner Class - WFMA since 2008
"To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely."
At WFMA, I have worked with all different age groups, from six weeks to six years old; however, I believe I found my niche with the 1-2 year old children in our Beginner class. Working with a variety of age groups has given me special insight into the developmental stages of children and understanding the importance of providing positive guidance and setting limits for them. I enjoy teaching children new words in English and Spanish, and helping them communicate by using these words instead of hands alone. The most important trait we practice everyday in our classroom is “being patient”. I introduce the little ones to our big world and they tell me what they think of it so far! Ms. Kiran calls me the “Child Whisperer”.
I enjoy spending time with my family and love exploring Pintrest to see what I can create. My home is in Anna, Texas and I have been married for 24 years.
Teacher - WFMA since 2017
"First the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect."
I moved to the States from Egypt 14 years ago. I earned my Associates degree in Graphic Design at Collin College. But as my family grew I felt the need to invest my time in their future. Now with the youngest one enrolled in Whispering Farms Montessori, I feel I can indulge myself and follow my passion and love for young children. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I help provide an environment that helps a child develop freely. I am glad to call Whispering Farms Montessori my home.
When I am not teaching, I love to spend time with my kids and go shopping. I enjoy music and playing tennis.
Lead Teacher, Infant Class - WFMA since 2008
"The child has a different relation to his environment form ours...the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of the soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear."
I have been interested and involved in early childhood development and education for over 35 years. Before I came to work for WFMA, I lived in California and owned my own childcare center for over 25 years. I have received enormous joy and fulfillment working with children most of my life and I know that each child is a separate individual who will develop and grow at his/her own pace and that in order for infants to thrive; they need a safe, loving environment full of people who care about them. Each touch and whisper to the child is telling him/her about the world; therefore, I strive to enrich their environment with gentle touches, soothing sounds, various textures and appropriate challenges to help them grow. I also realize how important it is to communicate with parents and offer them support when needed. Each and every day, I love what I do and look forward to the fun we have in our class room!
Assistant Teacher - WFMA since 2017
"The child has a different relation to his environment from ours...the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear"
I moved to Prosper from Columbia, where I had earned a degree in law. I am married and live here with our 4 year-old son. I have always been very comfortable and fond of young children. My love for children made it easy for me to move to a new career; taking care of young children. I believe the child should love everything he learns and that is what I love about Montessori that whatever we present to a child is made beautiful and clear. Once the child loves what he is learning, the teacher can take the back seat and can let the child guide her to his new interests.
I enjoy sports and listening to music…and of course teaching.
Assistant Teacher - WFMA since 2017
"Our aim is not merely to make the child under-stand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core."
My husband and I moved to Prosper from Minneapolis. We have two sons who are graduates now, but started their schooling in a Montessori School. I loved the way the Montessori method understood that a child needs to use his hands to learn and that this learning can not and should not be rushed. Needless to say, when my boys were all grown up I took to teaching in a Montessori school, as an assistant in a Primary Class. I enjoyed working with the 3-6yrs age group and have been teaching since 2009 in this capacity.
I have a Masters degree in Hindi and enjoy listening to Classical Music. I enjoy cooking, traveling and watching movies.
Assistant Teacher - WFMA since 2018
"He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence."
Even though I have been around young children all my life, I really did not know how I would do interacting with them in a group. This being my first job with young minds I am so pleased to discover that the children and I have hit it off. It is interesting to see them learn new things out of their own natural desire to learn. This is the most important thing I have observed in the Montessori class room, that all we need to do is prepare a class room full of developmentally appropriate
exercises and then enable the children to develop freely.
I moved to the States in 2008 and graduated from McKinney High School. I have studied cosmetology and my hobbies include going camping and staying outdoors, cooking, working out, but the best time is the time spent with family.
Lead Teacher, Primary Class - WFMA since 2013
"Eventually they become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors."
I obtained my American Montessori Society certification to teach at the Primary level (3-6 yrs old) in 1979, and my AMS certification to teach at the Elementary level (K-3rd grade) in 2005. In addition, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma City University. My interests are Montessori education, equine dressage competition, gardening, sustainable living, health wellness, nutrition, and being environmentally responsible.
I believe that each child is a unique individual and that children learn in different ways. Our Montessori classroom supports these learning differences and accommodates all learning styles. Students are allowed to learn at their own pace, moving through the curriculum as they are ready, guided and inspired by teachers. I believe that children learn best by using their senses, doing hands-on work, and discovering answers to the questions that the work inspires. Through this, the children develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence.