Kathy Khatib – Director
Kathy has a B.A. in English, History and Art History, from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She received her Montessori training at the Centro Internazionale Maria Montessori in Perugia, Italy, where she remained for four more years, as training course assistant to Maria Antonietta Paolini, who had been Maria Montessori’s assistant for 30 years. She has been privileged to work with hundreds of children, for many years, as Montessori teacher and school administrator.
Karen Thornton – Office Manager
Karen lived in the Chicago area and moved to Naples in 1999 with her husband of 39 happy years. Karen has worked in many office positions ranging from switchboard operator, retail, outside sales, customer service, credit /collections supervision and administration. Karen received her Florida Childcare credential. Karen and Mona share the position of Office Manager and are grateful to be members of the Garden School Staff.
Ramona “Mona” Summers – Office Manager
Mona was born in Dresden, Germany. She and her husband ran a successful catering business. They now reside in Naples with their daughter Nea, and attendee of the Garden School. Mona has received her Florida Childcare Credential. Karen and Mona share the position of Office Manager and are grateful to be members of the Garden School Staff.
Gina Magee – Teacher
Gina received her training at the North American Montessori Training Center. She worked 17 years at Hagerstown Children’s School in Hagerstown, Maryland. She has had the privilege of working at The Garden school of Naples for the past two years. Gina has received her Child Development Associate credential as well as Florida Childcare credential. She is the mother of two grown children, and is also mom to a sweet fur-baby.
Yesim Tepehan – Teacher
Yesim grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Istanbul, Turkey. She moved to the United States eight years ago where she obtained her B.A. in Early Childhood Education Child Development in Florida. She worked as a VPK teacher at Collier County Public Schools for three years. She has her Florida Child Development Associate Credential. She is married and has two sons; one attends the Garden School. This will be her second year teaching at The Garden School.
Vadha Rajaratnam- Teacher
Vadha was born in Sri Lanka formally called Ceylon, where she received a B.A. in Education, and musical education degree at the Royal Schools of Music. She was interested in pursuing a Montessori education so she received her Primary Montessori diploma in Sri Lanka. She moved to Boston in 1975 as a Primary teacher. While living in Boston, she became interested in the Suzuki Piano training and then received her Suzuki Piano Training at Kingston University in Canada where she went on to open her own music school called Rhythm Keys Music Academy. In 1983, she received her Elementary Montessori Certification in Bergamo, Italy. She then returned to Boston and continued to teach in the Elementary Montessori Program for 33 years. Five years ago, Vadha moved to Naples with her husband, where she received her Florida Childcare credential. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to teach at the Garden School of Naples, where she can continue a career that she is passionate about.