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 peach. 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.

Kristine Flores, BA, Lead Teacher in Upstairs Classroom

I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with children in a Montessori environment for over 9 years. It is truly amazing to recognize and understand the significant changes in children’s brain development from birth to 6 years of age. This is such an instrumental time for their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I earned my BA in Psychology with an emphasis in child development at the University of Colorado in Denver in 2002. After graduating college, I observed a Montessori classroom and my desire to work with children solidified. I was so inspired as I watched children move around the classroom with such ease and purpose; I immediately knew this moment would lead me to pursue my own unique path of growth, education, and purpose. I obtained my AMS Early Childhood Credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado, in 2014. I am so excited to continue my joyful path of teaching at Glen Park Montessori.

My favorite…Color: All hues of of blue; especially near sunset. Food: Guacamole; anything with avocado. For fun: Reading and road trips.

cynthiaCynthia Buell, AA, Intern and 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.

Alicia Stein, BA, Intern and Assistant Teacher

I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I received my BA in Elementary Education from Dominican University of California. It was not until I stepped into a kindergarten classroom that I realized I had a passion for teaching young children. I soon found Montessori and decided to pursue my Early Childhood Education Montessori Credential at St. Mary’s College of California, where I will graduate from in December. I have been working with young children for several years and love it! Their curiosity, excitement, and desire to learn makes coming to work every day a joy! As a person who attended a Montessori school, and now as a teacher and observer, I have admired the independence and self-discipline children develop within a Montessori prepared environment.

My favorite…Color: Purple. Food: Chinese. For fun: Traveling and taking pictures, art journaling, and spending time with family.

maria sanchezMaria Sanchez, Afternoon 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.

Soukaina Houkal, BA,
Afternoon 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.

Abigail Pena
Afternoon Teacher

Hello! My name is Abigail Pena and I am currently obtaining my BA in Child Development (with a concentration in Early Childhood Education) at San Francisco State University. For as long as I can remember, I always knew it was my calling to be a teacher. Before moving to San Francisco, I attended De Anza College and took my first Child Development classes. I felt very lucky to find that these classes further assured me that this field was for me. While enrolled in the ECE classes, I worked at a bilingual Montessori preschool and stayed for an incredible year (and a half!) that was full of growth and joy. My time there showed me that the preschool years are an amazing time of development and discovery! It brings me joy that I have the opportunity to guide children through their educational journey, as their excitement for learning is inspiring and contagious. These early years are so critical, and I feel it is very important to teach children early on how to exist in a peaceful manner, where they are provided opportunities to become caring and productive members of their community. I prefer an educational environment where children are respected, and where spontaneity and curiosity are supported and encouraged. Having a warm, nurturing environment is so important for children’s’ emotional, intellectual and spiritual development, which I feel a Montessori setting provides. I am thrilled to be a part of Glen Park Montessori Preschool and am delighted to be a figure that your child will seek guidance and support from!

My Favorite… Color: Turquoise. Food: Mexican & Korean. For fun: Painting, picnicking, hiking, reading and yoga.

Shannon Rice, BA,
Communications Director

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

My favorite…Color: Green. Food: New Mexican. For fun: Hiking with my pups, traveling with my husband, and lots of yoga.

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