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Our School

Montessori Life of Mt. Sinai practices the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), whose holistic vision of education focuses on the cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of each child. 

Through her scientific observations and work with children, Dr. Montessori developed an environment and educational philosophy based on the individual progression of the developing child.  This educational approach fosters a love of learning based on intrinsic motivation, meaning, the child engages in learning because it is enjoyable and interesting.  The adult is the link to the environment, encouraging growth and study based on the child’s interests and curiosity.

At Montessori Life of Mt Sinai, independence is an ongoing and organic process. You will see teachers accompany children from their parents’ car into the school - not so we parents can remain in our warm vehicles and make a quick exit to work, but so the children can make their own way into school. It is the essence of the Montessori curriculum that dictates that walking oneself into school is actually a work that the child must own (and will benefit from emotionally). Learning to water plants, tie shoes, clean their own space, keep peace and other skills give them independence and confidence that they will carry forward into everyday life and academia. Our school views work as tasks that range from self-care, to self-motivation, to self-development.  

In a Montessori classroom, choice frames the child’s activity in the classroom. Self-directed engagement within the environment enables children to explore their world through a multi-sensory approach based on their learning style. Some may be visual, others audio and still others are more tactile learners. The child gets to choose her task or work to master and uses a multi-sensory approach to satisfying their curiosity. The child decides when she has completed the work, is cognitively exhausted by it for the day, and/or wants to try something else. 

It is our belief that The Montessori philosophy of choice, within a structured environment, is what provides some of the key ingredients to equipping young minds with necessary tools for the 21st Century. Armed with the ability to think thoroughly, know their strengths and weaknesses, and strategically solve problems, Montessorians receive an educational foundation that is preparing the next generation of educated, confident, respectful, independent thinkers.  

Our classroom structure is created in alignment with Standards for AMI Classrooms.


Founders Welcome

Meet Dawn Maola, Founder


I believe that a child should be able to have the confidence to do what he can on his own, and have the confidence to ask others when he needs assistance. He should be able to think critically, to care for himself, to care for those around him, and to care for the world we live in and the planet we live on. He should be aware of his views and opinions and aware of the perspectives of others. He should always love learning.  These components are the core of the Montessori philosophy. These holistic dreams are what convinced me to choose Montessori for my children and obtain a Masters in Montessori Teaching.  I believe in the intangible value of the intrinsic love of learning that Montessori nurtures. I believe each child should be able to learn with confidence and develop a passion for learning so that he will be able to learn whatever skill he needs to survive in any situation he faces. Furthermore, he will know when to act independently and when to engage others for help.

Through the Montessori approach, a child develops the love of learning (which I define as loving to discover the unknown as much as enjoying the known) and love of the world that he lives in, learns to love and care for himself, and understands how to share responsibility for the world’s progress. All these must be fostered in a place where the child sees that she is a small part of a bigger world and, at the same time, can have a tremendous impact on that bigger world. No other philosophy of learning brings such a connection to the heart of its learning process.

As a Mother of eight children who were educated through Montessori's philosophy, it created a passion for Montessori which inspired me to further my education by completing my Masters in Montessori Teaching. I am excited to deliver this philosophy to our community. 



OUR MISSION is to embrace the curiosity in every child and provide a holistic learning experience which fosters a love of learning and sets them on course to reach their human potential.


Meet the Teacher

Ana Lucía Ayestas C.    

Lead AMI Certified Montessori Teacher

My Name is Ms. Ana Lucia Ayestas. 

I completed my AMI-certification, Casa dei Bambini (Children´s house/Primary 2-6) training in Perugia Italy in 1998.  I also hold a Preschool Teaching Certificate in Guatemala where I was born and raised. My 23 years of experience has given me the opportunity to live and undergo the complete Montessori experience. When preparing the Montessori environment and witnessing how the environment fosters growth and helps provide each child the possibility to reach his/her potential, I know I’ve found my passion.  

My mission as a teacher is to ensure that all children have a healthy learning experience, to empower each one of my students in the process of development, self-growth, autonomy and independence. My goal is to provide each child with an environment that cultivates his/her love of learning. 

Maria Montessori believed, and so do I, that we must educate for peace, and be part of the growth for a better world.

I am blessed to be able to transmit my knowledge to the children in our community and be a part of their learning experience.

Vision & Values



Our vision is to offer each unique child an exemplary educational experience through a calm, thoughtful learning environment wherein they are part of a caring community which provides a foundation for the next generation of educated, respectful, independent thinkers to move forward.


  • Respect

  • Inclusivity

  • Kindness

  • Peace

  • Honesty

  • Community

  • Compassion

  • Understanding

  • Equality

  • Diversity

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