Meet the Teachers
Meet our Primary Teachers
Eva Sikes - LEAD GUIDE - nara CLASS
Eva is originally from Florida and has worked at MOMI on two separate occasions since 2014. Prior to 2017, Eva worked as an assistant and is thrilled to be the Lead Guide in the Nara Classroom since 2022. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in theater and Master’s in education in Montessori Integrated Studies with an emphasis in Reggio Emilia.
Eva completed her AMI Montessori training (ages 3-6) from Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon in 2012. She enjoys spending time with her daughter Phoebe who is a student at MOMI herself. Eva keeps a playful spirit and enjoys creating a loving classroom where children’s curiosity and wonder is nurtured, where exploration is supported, and artistic expression is valued.
Emily Smith - LEAD GUIDE - MONKEYPOD CLASS
Emily joined Montessori School of Maui as a lead guide in 2022. While completing her Bachelor’s degree, Emily studied both early childhood education and theater. She completed her Master’s degree with a focus on Montessori Education in the Summer of 2017.
Emily holds AMI credentials as a Primary guide (ages 3-6) from Loyola University, Maryland. In addition to working as a lead guide elsewhere, she has had an adventurous career as a professional SCUBA diver and has also spent time working in wildlife refuges, botanical gardens, farms, and outside of state parks.
JENNIFER ZAINUDDIN - LEAD GUIDE - PLUMERIA CLASS
Jennifer joined MOMI in 2021. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Urban Education and Social Justice. She completed her Primary Montessori training in Melbourne, Australia and holds an Association Montessori International credential for Early Childhood Education and Care.
Jennifer has had a multitude of teaching and student experiences in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the United States. She draws on these past opportunities to inform her practice, forever supporting children in their self-discovery and development. In addition to creating a safe and inviting environment for the Plumeria students, Jennifer has two children of her own that also attend Montessori School of Maui.
MEGAN LACASSE - LEAD GUIDE - KUKUI CLASS
Megan joined MOMI in 2013. She completed her primary credential at Montessori Institute of San Diego and worked previously for a Montessori school in California for three years at the primary level - one year as the movement and gardening teacher and two years as a primary classroom assistant. Megan obtained her bachelor's degree in Human Development from UC San Diego and spent her junior year studying abroad in Ireland. She completed a master's degree in Child Development at UC Davis.
Megan feels passionate about following the child and creating an environment that fosters the child's independence. "Dr. Montessori believed, as do I, that we must 'educate for peace', which begins with the child," shared Megan. "I feel so blessed to be a member of this amazing community!". Megan loves to hike, knit, sew, and cook yummy food alongside husband Scott, daughter Mae and their dog Abby.