Allison Bjork, Guide (Vermont Street)
Allison was born and raised in Portland and, with the exception of a few years spent living on Martha’s Vineyard, has always been an Oregonian. After earning a BA in English from the University of Oregon, Allison followed her passion to the Montessori Institute Northwest, where she received her AMI Montessori teaching certificate. First joining the West Hills Montessori family in 1997, Allison taught as a Primary guide until 2000, when her first son was born. After raising her three wonderful and active boys, Allison returned to West Hills in 2010 to resume her work as a Primary guide in the West building. In her free time Allison loves cheering on her boys (including her husband) in their sporting events. She also enjoys reading and running with Oscar, her big lovable Lab!
Carrie Caffee-Martin is a native Oregonian who grew up in “old Cedar Mill.” After attaining her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in English from Lewis & Clark College, Carrie’s love of travel took her to Africa and Europe. Back in Portland in 2006, she attended an open house at the Montessori Institute Northwest which forever changed her career path. Carrie earned her AMI primary Guide certification from MINW in 2007, completed Master’s in Education at Loyola University of Maryland, and spend the next decade working in an established Montessori school community in Portland. Carrie’s strong background, depth of experience, passion and insight are among the wonderful assets she brings to her work at West Hills.
Carrie married her high school sweetheart and they currently live in Northeast Portland with their son, Vincent, a student in the Hawthorn Room, Lucy Cat and Diesel 10 the Fish. In her spare moments, Carrie enjoys reading, cooking, and house projects.
Ashley Crawford, Guide (Vermont Street)
Ashley comes to us with a diverse background in teaching, having most recently worked in Tanzania with an organization called WorldTeach, in which she guided students ages 8 – 18, as well as oversaw other volunteer teachers in the program. Ashley came to Portland to attend Montessori Northwest, where she completed her AMI primary teaching certification in June 2014. Additionally, she is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she earned a BA in Anthropology. Ashley also holds a Masters of Education Degree from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.
Jane Heaton, Guide (Lake Oswego)
Jane brings a unique and diverse background to her work at West Hills. Prior to joining the West Hills staff in 2014, Jane worked in a Montessori school in Prague, Czech Republic, where she guided a group of students, ages 18 months – 3 years. She also brings experience teaching English to adult learners. Jane came to Portland to attend Montessori Northwest, where she completed her AMI primary teaching certification in June of 2014. Additionally, she is a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Arts, and holds a Masters of Education Degree from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.
Stacy Coyle, Guide (Lake Oswego)
Stacy was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she lived until she was eight. Her family then spent a few years in Arizona before settling in Portland. Before taking the AMI teacher training, Stacy worked for three years as a Montessori classroom assistant. She joined the West Hills community in 2006 as a Primary Guide, a role she continues to embrace and enjoy. Stacy lives in Portland with her husband, Thomas, and daughter, Keira, who attends our Elementary program in the Redwood Room. As a family they love going to the coast and Mt. Hood, swimming at the local community center, or dining out at one of Portland’s many wonderful restaurants.
Lauren Hodges, Guide (Vermont Street)
Lauren Hodges comes to us with a rich background in working with young children. She holds an AMI Primary Teaching credential from Montessori Northwest, where she completed her teacher training in 2014. Additionally, she is a graduate of Marylhurst University, where she earned a BS in Human Studies. We first met this warm, sincere and engaging woman when she completed her student observation and teaching requirements at Montessori Pathways with master guide, Mary Ann Parker. Lauren worked as a classroom assistant at our Lake Oswego campus in the Hawthorn class community with long-time West Hills guide, Stacy Coyle, before joining accepting the lead guide position in the Butterfly class.
Crystal has been a devoted and enthusiastic member of the West Hills community since 2006, when she joined the staff at Vermont Street. Over the years, she has played a variety of integral roles at both campuses. Crystal holds a BA in Applied Linguistics from Portland State University and taught English oversees before joining the staff at West Hills and pursuing her AMI Montessori Primary teaching credential at Montessori Northwest. Crystal lives in Corbett, Oregon with her husband, Richard, her son, Wylie, and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting and felting, vegetarian cooking, and exploring nature.
Lydia Mirocha grew up in Oakland, California, where he mother is Head of an established Montessori program. Lydia attended her mom’s school from the time she was a toddler and through 5th grade. She transitioned into a public middle school for 6th grade, but the seeds of her future career had already been sown. After graduating from Sacramento State University with a degree in Liberal Studies, Lydia attended the Montessori Institute Northwest here in Portland, where she earned her AMI Primary teaching credential in 2008. She completed her MA in Education from Loyola University the following summer. Lydia joined the West Hills community in 2008, and was a much loved Guide in the Sunflower class for six years. She left that classroom in 2014 in order to devote her attention to her newborn twins, Audrey and Jack. She told us at that time that she would like to return to her work at West Hills as soon as her children we ready to attend a Montessori toddler program, and we are so glad she did! When she’s not at West Hills, Lydia enjoys times with her husband, Mark, and their children. Other interests include hot yoga, cooking, and eating good food.
Jordan Modic joined the West Hills community following his graduation from Montessori Northwest in 2015. He spent the following year assisting Jessica Sturdivant in the Maple Room, and serving as Lead Guide in the Extended Day class. Jordan grew up in Montessori, attending a Montessori school in Pennsylvania all the way through high school, and later working as a classroom assistant in a Montessori primary classroom. Jordan also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He also holds a Masters Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland.