The staff at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School and St. Francis Academy are the core of the Earth School community. With an average of 10+ years tenure, the staff of the Earth School provide our students with a breadth of experience and training unmatched in the Northwest. Each teacher (known as “guides” in Montessori) at the Earth School, with the assistants, special teachers and support staff, contribute to an educational experience that ensures each student receives the very best possible educational experience.
For more info about a staff member, including their contact details and a brief bio, please click on their name below: (more bios coming soon)
Sister Therese Gutting
FSE, Head of School
Sister Therese Gutting FSE, Head of School, was raised
in Wisconsin with three brothers.
Finishing degrees in education at the University of
Minnesota and Viterbo University, Lacrosse Wisconsin,
she taught at schools in Wisconsin, Vancouver, B.C.
Sister Therese taught at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Duluth, working with fellow FSE Mother Colleen Kimbro.
At the same time she served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching business at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) in the evenings.
In 2001, Sister Therese was hired as interim dean at FDLTCC. The following year she became vice president of academic affairs, a post she held up until 2009.
Sister Therese founded and directed the Northwoods Computer Center in Duluth, Minnesota,.
In 2009 she returned to Queen of Peace as principal.
In 2012 she came the Earth School, where she has been instrumental in the growth and advancement of the school.
Sister Therese enjoys reading, fishing, football (especially the Green Bay Packers) and
adventure. Her favorite foods are seafood, hot sauce and cheese.
Head Guide, Larch Room
I attended California State University and Marylhurst College, receiving degrees in education and social science. I received my Montessori training at the AMI Montessori institute in Los Angeles, California. I received my AMI diploma in 1980.
Guide, Fir Room
BA in Human Studies from Marylhurst University
Montessori Primary certificate from Montessori Northwest
Member- AMI, NAMTA, OMA
Assistant, Fir Room
Attended Shaver Elementary, Parkrose Middle School, and graduated from Parkrose high school. I also attended Portland State University majored in social science with a minor in Psychology. Gradated from Portland State June of 2008.
Guide, Juniper Room
AA, Pierce College
BA, San Jose State
MA, Marylhurst University
Mary Ellen Churchill
Guide, Redwood Room
I hold a B.S. in Geography from U.O. I received a Special Education Endorsement for Handicapped Learners from Western Oregon State. I attended Portland State and earned a basic teaching certificate. I also hold an AMI Primary Diploma from Montessori Northwest Training Center. I am a member of AMI, NAMTA and OMA
Head Guide, Alder Room
AMI Montessori Guide certification for children ages 6 through 12, Washington Montessori Institute
M.Ed. Loyola University
Blosser Institute/P.S.U., Certified Orton-Gillingham Multi-sensory Reading/Writing/Spelling Practitioner, 2014 – present
Sister Jacinta Coscia
FSE, Guide, Pine Room
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Master of Science in Elementary Education
Bachelor in Educational Philosophy in Rome, Italy
AMI training at Montessori Northwest here in Portland
Guide, Hawthorn Room
As a child, Carmel Norman attended a Montessori primary school in Florida, and credits the Montessori method for igniting a life-long interest in the nature, science, and exploration in general. After earning a bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of Georgia and a master’s in marine biology from Northeastern University, Carmel re-discovered her love of Montessori education and moved across the country to take the AMI elementary training in Portland at Montessori Northwest. She also completed a master’s degree in Montessori education through Loyola University. This will be Carmel’s fourth year working in a Montessori elementary classroom.
Carmel enjoys taking advantage of the multitude of outdoor activities available in the Pacific Northwest, especially adding to her knowledge of the flora and fauna of our area. She also enjoys gardening, yoga, knitting, and exploring the beautiful Oregon coast.
Guide, Willow Room
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of San Carlos – Technological Center, Cebu City, Philippines. I received my Montessori training from O. B. Montessori Center, Inc., Metro Manila, Philippines where our trainers were Bergamo-trained Montessorians. Currently, I am working on my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at Concordia University.
Guide, Walnut Room
B.A. International Relations and History, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
AMI Primary Certification, Montessori Northwest, Portland, OR.
AMI Elementary Certification, Montessori Northwest, Portland, OR.
SAINT FRANCIS ACADEMY (SFA)
Head Guide, SFA
Sister Anne Clare Keeler
Director of Curriculum
AMI, NAMTA, OMA-EAA.
Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Freiburg in West Germany, and Boston College.
B.S. Biology (Botany Track) from Portland State University; 2014
Born: Hyde Park, Chicago, IL. My parents taught me to love and serve others.
BA in English and minor in Professional Writing from Portland State University
Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University
Montessori Adolescent Training this summer 2016
Graduated High School from Clearwater Central Catholic, Florida. I hold a B.A in Psychology from Loras College, Dubuque, IA. Class “E” coaching license from the US Soccer Federation.
BA in Religious Studies from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., 1988.
MA in Educational Policy and Foundations from Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2006.
I am a hopeless jack-of-all trades who somehow found in gardening a satisfying unity of hand, mind, and heart. Passing on the knowledge of how to grow and prepare our own food and how to care for our landscape and its creatures seems a supremely valuable thing to do, hence my work at FMES, and I also just like kids and how they view the world. I enjoy spending time with my wife and children, walking our dog while listening to audio books, cooking, playing Texas Hold’em, and writing. Check out my urban agriculture blog at: www.urban-ag-solutions.com.
Came to Oregon from Montana to attend the University of Portland, graduated magna cum laude with a BA in liberal arts. She holds an AMI Montessori diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute, with experience as a CH guide. In 1985 Mother Francine invited her to take Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training to assist with faith formation in the school. She holds CGS certificates for CH (3-6) LE (6-9) and UE (9-12).
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Saint Mary’s College 1986
Masters in Pastoral Ministry, Boston College 1991
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training, all three levels, 1996-1998
BA Hispanic Studies
Lewis and Clark College,
Portland, OR 2000-2004
Study abroad: University of Granada
Granada, Spain 2002-2003
AFS High School exchange program
Master of Library Science from Emporia State University, 2004.
B.A. from Portland State University, 1996. Also attended Earlham College (a large number of Earlham students go on to become librarians, probably because the Earlham libraries are so good), and Xavier University, where I took Montessori education classes, although stopped short of certification. I went to Montessori school as a child and really appreciate the method.
Since my youth I wished to be a teacher of elementary students, however spent decades in a business career. Now working as the receptionist/bookkeeper, I am so happy to be able to interact with children and their family members on a daily basis.
Oregon State University, BS Biology
Pacific Northwest College of Art, BFA Painting
Montessori 101 Certificate, Montessori Northwest Training Center
Undergraduate and graduate work at California State University Fullerton, Marylhurst University.
Literature and American Studies.
AMI Montessori Training at the Montessori Institute of Los Angeles
Research / Role Play (3rd Year)
1974: University of Santa Cruz, BA, Psychology
1975: University of Oregon, MS, Counseling
1980: Texas Tech University, Ph.D., Psychology
Sister Helen Jean Brickman
FSE, Bookkeeper / Accounts Payable
BA from Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI, MA(+) from St. Louis University, St. Louis MO. Counseling Degree OSU, Corvallis, OR
Attended Whitman College’ did daycare and foster care until my children were in school, then was secretary to the principal at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, WA for 5 years. Was recruited to work for a lien service which I did for 10 years, then bought the business and ran it successfully for 13 years until retirement. Four of my grandchildren have attended Montessori Schools, two at FMES. I believe Montessori is the best education a child can have. I have been a volunteer at FMES for 14 years