- Our Team
About Children’s Garden Montessori
Located off Spengler Street, behind Washington River Protection Services inside the Tri-Cities Research District Business Complex in Richland is Children’s Garden Montessori, a Cadence Education® School.
Here, our trained, qualified and caring staff takes a Montessori, hands-on approach to learning and provides quality programming and dedicated teachers for children from 1 year old to 8 years old.
Our students are encouraged to be active and creative explorers, as well as independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners. Each child is treated as an individual and encouraged to progress at his natural ability while still reaching desired age-level goals. In addition to core curriculum offered for preschool through second grade, we provide before and after school care for enrolled school age children.
Children’s Garden Montessori is lauded for its warmly decorated, homelike environment found throughout the school. Our family-friendly policy is one that welcomes parent visits any time of the day. We host monthly events and parties celebrating major holidays that lend a fun, celebratory feel on campus. We also offer multiple age-appropriate playgrounds and an outdoor learning environment.
- Toddler Care (ages 1 year to 3 years)
- Primary (ages 3 to 6 years)
- Elementary (ages 6 to 8 years)
Our many years of experience and deep commitment to the importance of each child’s early educational experience drive the school to continually grow. We work to meet the unique needs of each child stressing the importance of each classroom as a community and working to build strong social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.
Children’s Garden Montessori strives for diversity in our staff, parents and children. Each member of our school is treated as an individual, with a general sense of respect for individuality being important.
Meet Kaitlynn Smart, the Director. Kaitlynn has been with Children’s Garden Montessori for over a decade! Kaitlynn has a strong passion for early childhood education and is a natural at her position. Kaitlynn assists parents with enrollment, billing, and other school policies and procedures. Kaitlynn has two beautiful children, Hadley and Mason!
Montessori Program Director
Children’s Garden has been a part of my family for the past 25 years. I built the curriculum for the 1st and 2nd grade classroom from the ground up. I hold a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a Montessori Certification. Recently I joined as a school administrator to assist in further training, guidance, and development of our toddler through elementary programs. A piece of being the Montessori Program Director still allows me to utilize my teaching skills and fulfill my passion of providing a strong and accelerated learning environment for children. I am proud to be a part of the school. I am married to my husband, Rick and together we have three grown boys who are now married and giving me beautiful grandchildren!
Lead Teacher in Nest
Amber has recently relocated from the great state of Texas, where she worked previously in a Montessori School. Amber holds a Master’s Degree in Education and loves teaching these little one year olds! Amber has primarily worked with toddler aged children for over 2 years. Amber will soon be married to her fiancé Eric, who works for Bechtel. Amber and Eric love to explore the area, try new food, and spend time with their dog!
Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room
Meet Kimberly Goude, the Lead Teacher in Rainbow Room. Ms. Goude has been with the school since 2009. Ms. Goude is a kind and compassionate teacher. Ms. Goude enjoys anything to do with holidays, children, and animals. She holds her Montessori credential for primary aged children.
Lead Teacher in River Room
Meet Tina Lucas, our lead teacher in River Room. Tina has been at Children’s Garden since 2006. Prior to Children’s Garden, Tina worked at a Montessori school in Yakima. Tina loves watching her youngest daughter, Kiera compete in cheer competitions. Tina enjoys traveling to the Seattle area to visit with her sisters and spending quality time with her daughter, Ashley. Tina holds her Montessori Certification for Primary aged Children.
Lead Teacher in Sunshine
Meet Stacey Kennedy, our Sunshine room lead. Stacey holds a Montessori Primary Certificate and has been with Children’s Garden for over 2 years. Ms. Kennedy enjoys watching children grow and loves it when her students show her the new lessons they have mastered. Stacey enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her three wonderful children.
Lead Teacher in the Branch
Meet Sofia Olvera, Lead teacher in the Branch. Ms. Sofia enjoys spending her days with these busy 2 year olds! She is a kind and patient. Ms. Sofia is bilingual and speaks both English and Spanish to the children each day. Sofia enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends. Sofia currently holds her Montessori teaching credential for toddler aged children as well as a state certificate from Columbia Basin College in Early Childhood Education.