Our Staff

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Meg Allen, Director and Lead Montessori Teacher

Hi, my name is Meg. I took over as the director and lead teacher at Stepping Stones Montessori in August of 2017. After receiving a degree in Interpersonal Communication from James Madison University and working with adults with disabilities for several years, I became interested in working with young children. I started working as an assistant in a Montessori classroom in downtown Seattle in 2006 and quickly fell in love with the child-centered, skill based approach. I was blown away by how capable and independent the children were! I completed my MACTE accredited Montessori Teacher training for ages 3 to 6 at Spring Valley Montessori in 2008.

 

I worked at the University of Washington Children’s Center at Radford Court for 8 years before relocating to Ithaca with my husband, Alan, and our young son, Archer, to take over Stepping Stones Preschool. I love learning along with the children, seeing their joy of learning develop, and helping them reach their full potential.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and son. I love backpacking, swimming, reading, biking, vegan cooking, and playing with our two cats, Ozzy and Josie. 

Alan Loomis, Assistant Teacher and Music Specialist

Hello! My name is Alan. I have been working with young children since 2007, in both play-based and Montessori programs. I have an Associate’s in Early Education, as well as a Montessori Infant and Toddler Certification.

 

What I appreciate about the Montessori Method is the free work period, the care of self and others, the connection to the natural world and the peace curriculum. I also enjoy bringing music and movement activities to the classroom.

 

In my spare time I like making music, gardening, cooking and I love exploring the outdoors with Meg and Archer.

Stacey O’Brien, Assistant Teacher and Art Specialist

Hello! I’m Stacey O’Brien. I am an assistant teacher at Stepping Stones Montessori in Ithaca, N.Y. I began substitute teaching at Stepping Stones in fall 2019 and came on full-time the following year.

 

At Stepping Stones, I provide weekly process-focused art lessons and overall support for Montessori learning. I enjoy sharing my love of art and the creative process with young learners. 

I have been an educator for more than a decade, specializing in art and pre-K education. Since graduating from college, I have worked in preschools in Ithaca and Doha, Qatar. Over the last several years, I have led local sensory and process art classes to toddlers and preschoolers as well as private art lessons to local families. Each summer I direct an inclusive backyard art “camp” for children. 

I hold a degree in Studio Art from SUNY Cortland. My interests include hiking, biking, swimming and skiing. I live in the Fall Creek neighborhood with my husband and two elementary-aged daughters.  

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Heather Fae Calla, Assistant Teacher

Hi, I’m Heather Fae (Fae for short). I’ve worked in a childcare setting for over ten years, caring for children ages newborn to nine years old.  My passions include music, art, being in nature, traveling and sharing these loves with the children I care for in educational, nurturing and fun play. 

 

I am so happy to be at Stepping Stones, in my first Montessori position, and to get to know the kids and families better.