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Meet Our Teachers

Merrill Preece

Director & lead teacher


My passion is working with young children and I have been working in Montessori classrooms for over a decade.  I initially fell in love with the Montessori philosophy because of its purposefulness, its goal of meeting children at their individual levels, and its guiding principles of peace, compassion, and understanding. Through working with various interpretations of the philosophy, I have found that the part that most speaks to me is the acknowledgement that the work of early childhood (the miraculous 0-6 years) is the most important work of a person’s whole life, that it shapes the person they will become. It is my greatest desire to be an ally and a guide to children during this stage of their lives.

Through my approach to Montessori, I strive to help children process their emotions and social interactions, to empower them by encouraging their independence, and to connect them with the amazing natural world that they are so innately drawn to.  As a naturalist-in-training, I also bring substantial knowledge of nature to the classroom and encourage children to use their senses, explore, and connect with the natural world in everyday life.


Juliana Garzon
assistant teacher

My Montessori journey began after the birth of my daughter in 2010. During my search for a parenting style and philosophy that felt right for my family, I found myself drawn to the Montessori Method.

I believe there is nothing more important than positively affecting the lives of children in their early years. I know that the example set by our own behavior as parents and teachers has a powerful effect. At the same time, I know that our children can influence us for the better, and I value this interchange. 

I met Merrill in 2014 while we were both pursuing our Early Childhood Education certification at the Montessori Institute for Teacher Education at Spring Valley. After an internship at Issaquah Montessori School, I spent five years as the Art and Science teacher at Minor Avenue Children’s House, a Montessori school with 3 preschool classrooms.

Before my daughter was born, I practiced architecture for 7 years with an emphasis in Alzheimer's care. I have a Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.


Jonathan Preece

Music Teacher

I am a classically trained pianist who has been teaching music to the greater Seattle area for over a decade. Learning music improves memory, concentration, multi sensory skills, motor control, verbal reasoning, literacy, and executive function. However, music does far more than just feed the brain, it feeds the heart and soul and enriches us as individuals. I believe music to be an essential part of being human and my mission is to endow as many people as I can with such a resource, starting with my local community. To learn more about me, visit my website at:

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