Michelle San Agustin fuses her classic AMI Montessori training with her master's in Art Education. Her personal mantra is "To each his own in his own time." Her own journey to arrive at this space between Montessori and Art Education includes enlisting in the U.S. Air Force as an air traffic controller, venturing solo to various countries, curating an art gallery, guiding inner city youths as an art mentor, studying Fine Arts at USC where she graduated cum laude as a Discovery Scholar, establishing her own photography business, leading classrooms as a head teacher focused on gently guiding children and educating families of the Montessori philosophy, and steadily being on the President's List during her Graduate School studies in Art Education.
Constantly finding herself in positions that lend themselves to creating order out of chaos, it is within this space that she finds herself yet again. Jumping into the world of Montessori in 2010 (AMI-USA), Little Eden slowly began taking shape as she sought ways to include art into her daily life and classrooms as a lead teacher working with toddler and primary aged children.
Her vision became more clear after each passing year and finally materialized while earning her Masters in Art Education. Designing a program that seamlessly blends art education into the Montessori Method, Michelle started Little Eden in her own home. Little Eden is named after Michelle's mother because she hopes that the amount of unconditional love and endless compassion that a parent holds for their child is translated in what Michelle offers here at Little Eden.
Natty is originally from Thailand and she's currently enrolled in a Montessori teacher training program. She received her BFA in Media Arts from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi in Thailand. She was an art tutor during college when she realized how happy she was to teach children. The children filled her with energy and inspired her.
Her passion for working with children continued as she moved to the US as an au pair and a nanny. The children helped her to open her mind and learn something new. She says, "I love when kids ask me ‘why’ questions. It challenges me to find a good answer or explanation and I really enjoy that."
Her aim is to use her Montessori teacher training, her art skills, and also use her experiences to help the kids develop their imagination to enjoy and learn about life and other subjects in a creative way. In addition to all of this, she also enjoys continuing to practice her favorite creative hobbies of drawing and playing the ukulele.
Miss Alex’s passion for good and healthy food started at a very young age. Her father’s family is from a small village in Italy where everyone grows their own food and Miss Alex’s parents wanted to continue that tradition and always had something exciting growing in their garden. At UC Berkeley, Miss Alex studied Sociology and Conservation and Resource Studies, both with a concentration in Food Systems and Agriculture. There, as the Operations Manager of the Student Organic Garden Association, she discovered her true passion of making healthy food accessible to everyone.
Miss Alex taught several undergraduate led classes about gardening and food justice, but her love for teaching young kids began when she taught cooking classes for Sprouts Cooking Club. Everyday her and her students explored the world through food, making dishes that most of the kids had never tried before. With these classes she realized the best way to spread the wonder of sustainable and healthy living was through our young friends.
Everyday she comes to Little Eden so excited to see the preschoolers’ smiles and pure joy they receive from gardening and being in nature. When she’s not gardening at Little Eden, she is gardening at home, climbing mountains, and cooking big delicious meals.
Colleen is originally from New Jersey. She moved to Ohio to Pennsylvania and now she is back in her hometown in New Jersey! She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Stockton University in New Jersey and a Masters in Education from Kent State University in Ohio. She realized her passion for education when she joined her sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and her advisor had a positive impact on her life. For three years, she worked with college students at various universities, but she realized her love of helping others in another way. She works with Little Eden by performing administrative tasks like organizing enrollment and re-enrollment, answering emails, creating the lunch menu, behind the scene tasks, and much more.
In addition, she enjoys baking, cooking, and eating delicious vegan food. She loves to spend time with family and friends and to take photography.