Meet Our Staff

Dr. Maria Montessori
The child’s conquests of independence are the basic steps in what is called his or her natural development.

- Dr. Maria Montessori

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  • Our staff includes Montessori trained directors, teachers, childcare workers, and assistant teachers who love children. Our staff is dedicated to providing maximum adult consistency for the children in our care. We participate in meetings and seminars in order to renew interests and develop new abilities. GBMS supports every educator with the opportunity to further his or her education. We support each teacher’s individuality and appreciate the special contributions each offers. We value dedication, professionalism and a sincere love of children. All staff members participate in annual CPR & First Aid training and undergo a health and background screening process including finger printing as required by the Department of Children and Family Services.

  • Meet the Executive Director

    Deborah LaPorte, Executive Director

    Welcome to Greenbrook Montessori School. I’m Deborah LaPorte the Executive Director/ CEO and founder of Greenbrook. My Montessori journey/ story goes way back…to 1971. I was a college student on my way to a BA in Behavioral Science, looking for a part time assistant teaching job. I found my way to a Montessori school. As luck or fate would have it I was hired by a wonderful teacher who later was acknowledged as a “Montessori living legacy.” Sonnie took me under her wing. It couldn’t have been a more perfect beginning. My mentor changed my life. I will forever be thankful for her guidance and inspiration. She actually drove me to the Montessori Training Center and handed me over to yet another “Living Legacy” for formal training and so my journey began.

    My husband (also a Montessori teacher) and I opened our first school with our toddler in tow in 1975. We were on a mission to create a beautiful environment and facilitate experience that would provide the framework that would encourage our child (all children) to fulfill innate potential. Our school expanded. One program led to another as our family grew to include three children and two schools. Our children are all grown, professional “Montessorians” in their own right and are continuing our family legacy. Our ten grandchildren are either alum or current students. We are an all Montessori all the time family!

    I have been passionate about Montessori since first stepping into a classroom. I was struck with the thought that I never wanted to leave and here I am, over forty years later, never wanting to leave. I realize I am happiest when in the presence of the children. I also realize that it is “the child” who reminds me of the most important things in life. It is “the child” who brings joy and hope to our world. There is nothing more precious than children. Nor is there a more important time than early childhood. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the children and families who are part of our community and am delighted to now be the mentor who provides guidance and inspiration to those coming after me.

  • Meet the Head of School

    Victor (VJ) LaPorteVictor J LaPorte is a second generation Montessorian. Having grown up in a family of educators, he has devoted his life to the education of the young child and the continued growth of high quality Montessori programs. V.J. is a Montessori certified teacher himself, having spent years in the classroom environment, guiding 3-6 year olds. He is also a Montessori credentialed administrator, now serving as Head of School. His dedication, professionalism, and belief in the Montessori approach to education has helped shape Greenbrook into the school it is today.

  • Meet the Teachers

    • Julia Rasmussen
      Teacher

      Julia Rasmussen

      Teacher

      My name is Julia Rasmussen and I would like to welcome you! I am the Lead teacher in the Green Room as well as the Educational coordinator/Co-Director. I have been working along with the LaPorte Family for over twenty years. I am Montessori certified to teach (0-3) year olds as well as (3-6) year olds. I have worked extensively with all of our age groups.

      I also have a degree in Elementary Education and had worked with older children in a variety of capacities before finding my home in Montessori with little children. I enjoy the daily challenges we encounter and love seeing the joy and wonder on the children’s faces as they explore our learning environment. I am looking forward to sharing in your child’s development.

    • Kim Surber
      Teacher

      Kim Surber

      Teacher

      Hi. My name is Kim Surber and I have been a teacher at both our schools (Buffalo Grove Montessori and Greenbrook) for over 15 years. I have experience working with all our age groups from infants through kindergarten age. I enjoy the developmental challenges and personality formation particular to this age group. I have found my home with the twos/threes and I am Montessori credentialed for 0-3 year olds.

    • Kathy Damore
      Teacher

      Kathy Damore

      Teacher

      My name is Kathy Damore. I have a twenty-five year relationship with our organization. I taught for 10 years at our sister school, Buffalo Grove Montessori, before relocating with my family and teaching elsewhere. I raised my family while continuing my love of Montessori. Several years ago, I returned to the area and rejoined our dedicated staff, now at Greenbrook.

      I enjoy every day! I love working with the children and feel privileged to watch them grow.

    • Crystal
      Teacher

      Crystal

      Teacher

      My name is Crystal and I will be one of the Montessori teachers in your child’s classroom. I wanted to share a little bit about myself. I have a Montessori Teacher’s Certificate in Early Childhood from Seton Montessori Institute. I have worked with children and families for over twenty years in a variety of ways. Over those years I have owned and ran a home day care, assisted in Montessori programs, was a Master Teacher in a traditional day care center, and a Lead Teacher in a Montessori school. I have worked with children ranging from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. I have also led staff and parent workshops.

      I am a life-long learner who enjoys spending time with family and friends. I am looking forward to getting to know your child and your family as we embark on this journey together at Greenbrook Montessori!

    • Husnara Begum
      Teacher

      Husnara Begum

      Teacher

      I take pleasure to introduce myself to you as the co-teacher for the Blue Room at Greenbrook Montessori School. My name is Husnara Begum and I’d like to share a bit about myself. I have been married for more than 27 years and I live with my husband and two grown sons. I started my teaching career in 1998 and was introduced to Montessori. Since then I’ve continued my journey to learn and grow to be able to serve the young friends. I hold three Montessori teaching credentials for early childhood, two from the United Kingdom and one from the United States.

      Working with younger children has always been my passion. I strongly believe in providing the environment for joyful learning! The phrase “I did it” brings smile to my face and I look forward to being a part of your child’s growth this year and more to come, here at Greenbrook Montessori School.