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The team

Montessori Community: Rob

Rob Gueterbock BA MA Mont Dip (AMI) Rob is Head of School. He trained at the Maria Montessori Institute (MMI) in London, under Lynne Lawrence and Hilla Patell, and went on to head one of their 5 model schools. Previously Climate Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace, Rob is part of the teacher-training staff at the MMI.

Karen Pearce Mont Dip (AMI) Former Head of School at the MMI, Karen ran their model Children’s House from 1990 to 2008 under the mentorship of Hilla Patell. Director of Pedagogy at TMP, she continues to mentor Montessori guides, is a lecturer on the AMI course and runs the MMI’s post- diploma course on the science of observing children.

Paul Pillai BSc MSc Mont Dip (AMI) Paul is trained at the 3-6 level (under Lynne Lawrence), the 0-3 level (under Silvana Montanaro and Judi Orion) and the 12-18 level. Previously co-founder of an international telecoms business and later consultant at the WAVE Trust, Paul heads the Birth to Three programme at TMP.

These are the people who will be working with you and your child each day.

Priscilla Benedini B.Arch Mont Dip (AMI) is trained at the 0-3 level under Judi Orion and 3-6 under Ruby Lau, Cheryl Ferreira and Hilla Patel. She began her Montessori career in 2004, working with Karen in the MMI’s model Children’s House. She has also worked as an architect in her native São Paulo, running Montessori workshops for parents and schools.
Stephanie Firth OWSI Steff came to Montessori through her children, who attend The Montessori Place (Infant Community and Children’s House). A former Open Water Scuba Instructor, Steff is now enjoying life on land (but close to the sea), and has completed the AMI Assistants course.
Peter Friend BSc Pete has a degree in psychology, sport and exercise science, and experience working with vulnerable young people. Previously Head of Business Development for a London-based sports marketing company, Pete is on the AMI teacher training course for 6-12 year olds.
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Magda Correard BA Magda began her Montessori career in Paris, where she worked at an Infant Community. After completing her Assistants to Infancy training, she started and ran an Infant Community in Poland, before moving to be with us in Brighton. Her two daughters attend the Elementary and the Young People’s Community.
Lea Morpurgo BSc Mont Dip (AMI) Lea studied applied psychology and was working as a SEN assistant in a primary school when she found her way into the Montessori world. She trained at the MMI, where she worked for a year before moving down to Brighton with her husband, a deacon at St. Martins.
Effie Smythe BSc Mont Dip (AMI) Effie studied Graphic Communication before training to be a Montessori guide, completing the AMI 3-6 diploma in June 2015, and the Observation Course the following year, where she followed the development of 2 young children in detail, over the course of a year. She has for some years before this been supporting children and young adults with disabilities.
Laura Martinez Stone Mont Dip (AMI) Laura trained at the MMI in London and worked at their model school before moving down to Brighton with her pilot husband Ed, to join The Montessori Place. Laura has more than eight years of experience working with children – first as a Suzuki violin teacher, and then later as a Montessorian.
Esme Young BA Mont Dip (AMI) At age 15 Esme was in the girl punk band Skinned Teen and some years later made her first short film, about teenage girls. She has worked with young people for a number of years, most recently as Training and Progressions Co-ordinator at the charity HAFAD.
Resident Chef
Freia Barry Grande Diplome de Cuisine (Paris) Freia trained in Paris, gaining experience in a range of restaurants before returning to Brighton. She gained widespread recognition for her fish shop and seafood delicatessen Fish at the Square in Kemptown, and has a long-standing interest in local seasonal food.