Director/Elementary 1 Teacher
Janice received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida in 1966 and has Montessori certificates for the 3-6 and 6-9 age levels. A teacher for over 30 years, Janice continued in her parents footsteps: her mother was an elementary school teacher at Anna Maria Elementary; her dad, Mr. Higgins, was the chemistry teacher at Manatee High in the 1950s and 1960s. Janice was trained by Dr. Caleb Gattegno, creator of the Words in Color approach to teaching reading. Before starting the school, she was a reading consultant to public schools in California and Ohio, and conducted workshops to train teachers in the use of Words in Color and the Cuisenaire rods. Janice and her husband, Peter, have 4 grown children, Amy, Kara, Justin, and Kristopher, and 10 grandchildren, Anna, Colin, Nathan, Quinn, Roman, Grant, Rocco, Daphne, Genevieve and Baby Kristopher.
Jayne is a graduate of New College of Florida and has been a teacher and coordinator of childrens’ educational and recreational programs for more than 25 years. She has worked in a Montessori environment since 1994, and has been a teacher at the Center since 1996. She received her Montessori 6-9 credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Maryland, and her 9-12 credential from the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest. She is an advocate for Edible School Gardens.
Rachel Wallace Reid
Rachel is an alumna of the Center; she was a student here from 1976-1984. She received her B.A. in art history from the University of Central Florida in 1994 and an M.A. in art history from the University of Florida in 1997. Rachel was a museum educator for four years before returning home to the Center, where she has taught since 1998. Rachel completed her Montessori training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. Rachel is delighted that her son, Evan, was a student at the Center.
Born and raised in Peru, Giannina studied Business Administration and worked for several years in Peruvian travel agencies before coming to the United States 13 years ago. She is married to Adan Caycho and has one son, Diego, in the Level 3 classroom.
Elementary 1 Assistant
Melanie Kersey was born in Savannah, Georgia. She has lived in the Bradenton area for the past 15 years. During this time she previously worked at the Center for ten years. Her children, Elayna and Ethan, are Center alumni.