About Us >> Our Team

Rosemary Rae, MA,  Head of School

I tried teaching Kindergarten but it wasn’t until my daughter was 3 that I realized that this was the most enjoyable and rewarding age to work with, at least for me. It is an age of innocence and wisdom, joy and delight, clarity and heart-felt honesty, and unbridled curiosity. So I started a small school in Glen Park where I stayed with my own small group of students until I was offered the opportunity to move to the commercial space on Chenery Street. The school has now been in existence for 24 years growing and improving all the way. I love the effortless way the Montessori Method allows children to teach themselves, explore their world from many points of view, and cooperatively create a peaceful and respectful environment in which to learn and teach each other.

My favorite…Color: Sunrise peace. Food: Curry. For fun: I love to write and work with medicinal herbs


Ana-PadillaAna Padilla, Director

I was born in El Salvador, Central America. I have always enjoyed working with children even at an early age. My inspiration to become a teacher was my 4th-grade teacher. Her love and kindness towards children deeply touched my heart. I especially enjoy children’s curiosity, honesty, and desire to learn. I have been a teacher for 15 years–and a mother for longer! I love the amazing community and supportive environment at Glen Park Montessori Preschool. The students, my fellow teachers, and all of our families make this a very special second “home.”

My favorite…Color: All of them. Food: El Salvadorian. For fun: Spending time with my children and reading.

Dustin Kosek, MA, Lead Teacher in the Upstairs Classroom

This is my fourth year teaching at Glen Park Montessori and my eighth year in a Montessori classroom. Working with children has always been a passion of mine. Growing up I was either going to a camp or helping run one. This led me to a teaching job in Maui, HI where I discovered the   Montessori Method. Quickly realizing how amazing it is, I eagerly enrolled at Chaminade University of Honolulu to work on my American Montessori Society Teaching Credential coupled with a Masters of Education.

My favorite…Color: Green. Food: Sushi. For fun: Surfing, camping, hiking, building sandcastles.

Marisol Reyes, BA, Lead Teacher in Downstairs Classroom

I recently moved with my husband and fur baby, Tango, to San Francisco from Dallas, Texas. I am originally from El Paso, Texas/Juarez, at the Mexico border. In college, I was majoring in early childhood development until I was asked to observe a Montessori classroom. I was in shock with how beautiful the environment was prepared and how well the students maintained their independence, yet followed the classroom guidelines with very little redirection from their teachers. I decided there on the spot to move to Dallas to complete the AMS Montessori program. I have taught as an assistant and lead teacher in a Montessori classroom for eight years. I believe that a productive classroom should provide guidance and structure, as well as enough flexibility to inspire a child’s greatest tool, their imagination. If those perfect conditions are formed, children respond by absorbing and understanding materials, as well as developing a life-long love for learning.

My favorite…Color: Green. Food: Sushi and French fries. For fun: Cooking, discovering music, reading, and watching documentaries.

melissaMelissa Padilla, ECE Certified Teacher, Montessori Training in Progress

I am the daughter of another wonderful teacher, Mrs. Ana. I started officially working at GPM in August, 2013, but I have been working in the school since my first year of high school helping out in a variety of ways. I am now enrolled at City College and have completed the necessary units for Early Childhood Education. I have always loved working with children and watching them interact with each other. I am very happy to be an official GPM employee and can’t wait to see what the children will teach me.

My favorite…Color: Purple. Food: My mother’s sopa deres (beef soup). For Fun: Relaxing in bed with a nice book.

maria sanchezMaria Sanchez, After Care Teacher

I grew up in San Francisco. I have enjoyed working with young children ever since I was a young girl myself. Their intelligence, curiosity, and energy led me to pursue my studies in Early Childhood Education. I enjoy how the Montessori method encourages children to work independently. As a result, it gives them the confidence and esteem to accomplish their goals.

My favorite…Color: Turquoise. Food: Italian. For Fun: Listening to upbeat music.

cynthiaCynthia Buell, AA, Assistant Teacher

I am an artist and teacher with a passion for teaching children and adults. I have over 13 years of experience of teaching in the pre-school and elementary setting. I was an assistant to the director of a Montessori school in Wilmington, NC, a beautiful coastal community.  Before moving to the Bay Area this year with my husband Shawn, I was a lead teacher and creative arts director for 10 years at a creative arts school in Wilmington where we balanced our pre-school  and our after schools programs in a Reggio Emilia/Montessori approach to teaching. I have an Associates Degree in the Arts and early childhood credentials. I love sharing with my students my enthusiasm for curiosity and creativity. I am dedicated to treating every child with respect and honor.

My favorite…Color: Purple. Food: A tie between honey-crisp apples and hamburgers. For Fun: Adventuring outdoors with family and friends.

Soukaina Houkal, BA, Assistant Teacher

I was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. In 2010, I obtained my Bachelor Degree in English studies. Shortly after, I migrated to San Francisco to follow my dream of becoming a teacher. Inspired by my parents who have been in the field of Education for over thirty years, I decided to follow their path. Therefore, as a teacher my greatest aim is to be a role model. Spring 2017, I obtained my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from City College of San Francisco. With my background and experience as an Assistant Teacher, I have learned more about children. I like the Montessori Method because it offers opportunities for children to be confident and creative. I believe classroom should be beautifully designed to support children’s needs in order to encourage independence, freedom and imagination. I am glad to be an official GPM team member and excited to discover more about the children world.

My favorite…Color: Pink. Food: Moroccan and Middle Eastern. For fun: Cooking, travelling and exploring nature.

Shannon Rice, BA,
Communications Director

I worked in the classroom at GPM as an assistant teacher from 2012-2014. Since moving away from San Francisco, I have held the position as the Communications Director. I believe I am well suited for this position since I have classroom experience and understand how important clear, consistent communication is in a school’s functioning. I am very happy to still be involved in the amazing community that surrounds GPM! I have a BA in psychology from SFSU and am currently obtaining my MA at Naropa University located in Boulder, CO.

My favorite…Color: Green. Food: New Mexican. For fun: Camping, being a dog mom, and lots of yoga.

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