• Santa Barbara Montessori School’s 39th year begins with an updated version of head teachers and support staff dedicated to provide the best possible care, instruction, and guidance to each and every child enrolled in the school’s programs.

  • SBMS’s faculty and staff is a three generational blend of veteran teachers (some with more than 40 years of Montessori classroom experiences) and new (two of the support staff are in the middle of their AMI Teacher-Training), along with a younger group of teachers who have quietly accumulated a decade of directing children at SBMS.

  • Plus, SBMS’s AMI-Trained teachers are directly involved in mentoring the next generation of young teachers through the “student teacher” programs of the AMI Teacher Training Centers in San Diego, Minneapolis, Portland, Mountain View, Denver and Loyola Marymount in Maryland.

  • Additionally, SBMS’s faculty and staff regularly attend and participate at national AMI conferences and “refresher courses,” as well as other professional development workshops and classes.

AMI Montessori Teachers

Allwyn Fitzpatrick
Erdkinder (Magnolia Class)
› Montessori Institute of San Diego (MISD), 2003

Allwyn has directed classrooms at the 6-9 and 9 – 12 year old levels, and now directs SBMS junior high—Erdkinder. Her interests and abilities include travel, the ‘outdoors,’ volleyball and other athletics, dance and performance arts—all shared with the students in the school’s programs as well as in SBMS’s After School Classes (ASC).

Frances Fitzpatrick
Upper Elementary (Sequoia Class)
› International Center for Montessori Studies, Bergamo, Italy 1972

Co-founder of SBMS, Frances has taught at nearly every level as both a head teacher and or assistant at SBMS. Teaching in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Whittier, before founding SBMS, Frances brings her talents and abilities to SBMS’s Sequoia Class each day. A talented artist and knitter, her interests include travel, golf, outdoor-ism, and anything involving her three grandsons.

Jane Angell
Lower Elementary (Red Oak Class)
› International Center for Montessori Studies, Bergamo, Italy 1972

Jane’s experiences with Montessori education go back to the late 1960s. She taught in Los Angeles and San Jose, before joining the faculty at SBMS in the 1980s. Along with her husband, Craig, she has directed SBMS’s Lower Elementary program for more than 25 years. Her varied interests include the newest Angell, her granddaughter born earlier this year.

Craig Angell
Lower Elementary (Red Oak Class)
› International Center for Montessori Studies, Bergamo, Italy 1972

Craig has been part of SBMS’s faculty for more than 20 years, directing school’s Lower Elementary classes along with his wife, Jane. His interests beyond the classroom include journalism, gardening, golf, and his life-long involvement with surfing is complimented by his master-craftsman standing as a surfboard shaper.

Margaret Barlow
Primary (Willow Class)
› Montessori Institute of West Los Angeles, 1980

Margaret has directed classrooms for more than 30 years, originally at SBMS, then at Alcuin School in Dallas, TX, and now again at SBMS. Her interests include the outdoors, and just about anything having to do with her horse, ‘Hearts’—the two of them have just made the transition from English to Western riding.

Juniper Dwight
Primary (Sycamore Class)
› Montessori Institute of Denver, 2003

Juniper began her teaching career at SBMS in the garden as a specialist teacher, and since completing her training has been a head teacher at the Primary level. Her interests include gardening, the outdoors, and arts and travel.

Cindi Kessel
Toddler (Eucalyptus Class)
› Montessori Institute of San Diego, 2002

Cindi began SBMS’s first Toddler class in 2002, and then returned in 2011, eventually taking over as head teacher in 2012. Her interests include all things involving her first child, born earlier this year. Cindi also directs SBMS’s “Montessori Beginnings,” the school’s program for young children and their parents.

Aran Klingensmith
Toddler (Primary and Toddler Programs, Director)
› Montessori Institute of San Diego, 1998

Now in the first year of the “AMI-Training of Trainers Program” (Training adults to become Montessori teachers), Aran has taught at the Primary and Toddler levels, as well as running after school programs. Her interests include dance, the outdoors, theatrical productions, and especially her role as mother of two adolescent boys in the SBMS’s junior high program.

Support Staff

Lyzkey Jimenez

Eva Hruzova

Thea Colton

Katie Goldberg

Kelly Tanowitz

Hana Shiga
(Spanish immersion)

Kim Davis

Mishelle Ordosgoitia
(Spanish immersion)

Colin Fitzpatrick

Administrative Team

Aran Klingensmith
Director of Admissions

Robert Davis
Business Manager

Lisa Schaeffer
Administrative Assistant


Jim Fitzpatrick
Head of School (HOS)
› International Center for Montessori Studies, Bergamo, Italy 1972

Co-founder of SBMS, along with his wife, Frances, Jim was a classroom teacher at both elementary levels, and launched SBMS’s Erdkinder class 12 years ago. Though spending more time in the office over the past few years, occasionally he does find his way into SBMS’s classrooms where he generally creates problems for teachers. His interests include the arts, video and film production, writing, and all sports involving boards that are stood upon.

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Celebrating our 39th Year
“Quality Education Since 1975”
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