Our enthusiastic and nurturing classroom staff are committed to providing a safe, stimulating, and carefully prepared environment to foster your child's development and growth.
Toddler Community – Preethy Goonetilleke, teacher and Head of School for both schools
Preethy, the founder and Head of School, is one of those unique and rare Montessorians who holds all three levels of training in the Montessori Method. She received her AMI Primary (3-6) training from Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1978, her Assistants to Infancy (0-3) training from London, U.K. in 1998, and her Elementary training (6-12) in Minnesota U.S.A. in 2006. She is the Toddler Community teacher at the Plymouth school. She also has a master's degree in education.
Preethy passionately believes in the Montessori Method. She has been teaching for over 30 years and says that she hasn't found a method to beat it.
Her favorite quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world." – Mahatma Gandhi.
Casa 2 – Ruwani Goonetilleke, lead guide
Ruwani was born and raised in Plymouth, Minnesota. Daughter of Preethy, Montessori education has been in her life since day one. Ruwani started in the Toddler Community at Little Flowers Montessori School – St. Louis Park location and graduated after her kindergarten year.
After attending Wayzata High School, Ruwani left Minnesota to attend Santa Clara University in California where she received a bachelor's degree in finance. With the hopes of working in Minnesota, closer to her family and friends, Ruwani moved home. She was soon back at Little Flowers working as an administrator. After quickly realizing that teaching was something that she loved, Ruwani began the Primary training at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. After receiving her AMI diploma, Ruwani completed a master's degree in education through St. Catherine's University.
Casa 3 – Brenda Hanlon, lead guide
Brenda began her Montessori Primary training in August 1998. Her previous career was working with children with developmental disabilities. She has a bachelor of arts in elementary education and a master of arts in special education both from the University of Minnesota. She has been teaching at Little Flowers Montessori School in Casa 3 since the fall of 2000. Both of her children began in the Toddler Community and graduated from Little Flowers Montessori School after their kindergarten year.
Toddler Community – Nicole Mastey
Nicole grew up in Becker, Minnesota. She moved to Minneapolis in 2008 when she began her collegiate studies at the University of Minnesota. Nicole was a student-athlete at the University where she received a bachelor's degree in recreation, park and leisure studies and a minor in youth studies, all while competing in basketball all four years of college. After graduation she became a full time nanny for a family she met through the University. She also teaches basketball classes at a YMCA for children ages 3-12.
Casa 1 – Nadine Edgar, lead guide
Nadine grew up in Anoka, Minnesota (the Halloween capital of the world). Her favorite childhood memories include spending summers at her grandparents' farms and camping with her family. She attended the University of Minnesota, receiving her bachelor of arts in child psychology. During her second year in college she began working for Preethy. She has been teaching at Little Flowers Montessori for 18 years now. Nadine received her Montessori Training in Minnesota in 1995 and continued on to receive her master's degree in Montessori education from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Casa 2 – Laura Gerhardt, lead guide
Laura was born and raised in Mequon, Wisconsin. She moved to Minnesota when she attended undergraduate college at St. Olaf College and has lived here ever since. She began her working career in business, but her love of children led her down the path of teaching. She received a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota and has seven years of experience teaching at the preschool and kindergarten level. Laura believes in offering a child a supportive and nurturing learning environment that supports a child’s development. Through her teaching experience, she discovered her philosophy matched that of the Montessori approach and completed her Montessori Primary training at Montessori Center of Minnesota. She is looking forward to helping the children at Little Flowers Montessori develop a lifelong love of learning.