Teresa Chocano is the former Director for the Orcas Montessori School. IN 1991, soon after moving to Orcas Island, she served as assistant in the Montessori school classroom for two years before attending Antioch University to earn her Washington State Teaching Credential and Masters in Education. She has endorsements as K-8, Early Childhood and K-12 music teacher. Both of her children attended Montessori preschools, her daughter here on Orcas.
Over the past 20 years, Teresa has participated and watched the school’s progress from its early days to the present. As director of the Montessori School since winter of 1998, she has fund-raised and overseen building improvement and expansion projects. Teresa has watched the school’s population grow in size and parent enthusiasm for the program lead to the establishment of a Montessori classroom in the public school for grades 1-3.
Before returning to the Montessori School, Teresa taught and performed music, wove tapestries, and was a substitute teacher for grades K-12. She especially enjoys the rewards of interacting on a daily basis with our children and their families and observing the benefits of the Montessori environment on the lives of our families.
Tom Rubottom has been involved with the Montessori community since 1994, when he began as a teacher’s aide at the Northwest Montessori School, Seattle’s oldest A.M.I. Montessori classroom. He received his professional Montessori diploma from the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia in 2000, and has been living and working as the head guide of the Orcas Montessori School ever since. Tom’s education also includes a B.A. in psychology from Bowdoin College.
“While I came to Montessori largely by chance, I have been both inspired and humbled by the experience of seeing Dr. Montessori’s methods ring true with such an incredible diversity of children, and I feel exceptionally lucky to have been able to play a role in bringing her work to an island that offers such energy and support to our program.”
When not in the classroom, Tom fills his day by taking in the beauty of Orcas, playing his bass and his banjo, and enjoying life with his partner Madeline and their son Finnian.
Skye Robertson is the current Teaching Assistant for the Orcas Montessori School. Before starting at OMS in the spring of 2021 Skye worked in local child care settings. Skye served as an Outdoor Environmental Educator at summer camps in Maine and Washington. She designed activities and curriculum for campers, as well as supervised high and low ropes courses and led hiking and ski trips.
Skye is an avid birder and enjoys reading short stories and poetry. You may see her around town as she volunteers for several local non-profits in her spare time.
Jai Brisbon is the current Director of Orcas Montessori School. She started her career in Early Childhood Education over 18 years ago in a small Montessori school as a classroom teacher. After spending 8 years as a classroom teacher in public and private schools she focused her energy outside the classroom supporting teachers, schools, and communities, ensuring all families who choose will have access to high quality Montessori classrooms.
Jai has served as Head of School of an AMI school in Dallas, TX.
Most recently Jai has been the principal liaison on a multi-year research project exploring the efficacy of Montessori education as well as the short, mid, and long-term impact of Montessori education in the first 9 years of a child’s life.