1551 Laperriere Ave., Ottawa

Tel.: 613-729-3300

Shona Salati

School Supervisor and Head Directress

Ms. Shona, the head directress of First Journey Montessori was trained and certified by the North American Montessori Centre (NAMC). Ms. Shona was born, raised and educated in England. Her previous experience includes working as a support assistant for both a high school and primary school while in England. She holds a certified diploma in special needs and multi-sensory techniques, including experience working with dyslexic children. Since 1999 she has worked in the capacity of Toddler Directress, setting up and running Montessori classrooms in the Ottawa area. Her skills and dedication to the principles of the Montessori Method have gained her a highly respected reputation with Ottawa parents who have experienced her patient and loving approach with young children.

Ms. Shona also holds her Montessori NAMC certificate for Casa, ages 3-6, as well as experience working in the capacity of vice-principal. She has thirteen years of experience teaching the Montessori Method, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to further expand her teaching experience by leading the programs at First Journey Montessori.

Curtis Salati


Curtis and Shona began to brainstorm the idea for First Journey Montessori in the late 2000s, making the endeavour a true family business. Curtis performs an administrative role that ensures the business side of the school runs smoothly. This includes developing registration materials, designing policies and procedures, contributing to the curriculum, and undertaking marketing activities. His contribution is important in maintaining the school’s status as a licensed child care centre in Ontario.

Curtis holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts from Carleton University, graduating in 2011 and 2015, respectively. His educational background in political science and public policy, along with his work experience in the federal public service, is a great asset to First Journey Montessori. This experience allows him to support the school with the requirements it is expected to meet under various legislation, including the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA).

Jeanette Ngo

Toddler Directress
(Early Childhood Educator)

Ms. Jeanette is the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) and Toddler Directress. She was born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, but moved to Ottawa to continue her post-secondary education. Originally, Ms. Jeanette studied Business Marketing, but then realized working with children was her passion. Ms. Jeanette began to study Early Childhood Education at Algonquin College, and recently completed her studies in summer 2017.

Ms. Jeanette has worked with different age groups (toddler, preschool, and school-age), and has experience assessing a child’s early development, and creating and implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum plans in various learning centers. Ms. Jeanette is dedicated to providing a positive learning experience for children. Her patience and attitude gives her a nurturing approach that is well-received by the children in her care. Her knowledge and passion allows her to create the ideal learning environment that meets the needs of each individual child. Ms. Jeanette is thrilled to support early childhood development at First Journey Montessori.

Amanda Marshall

Toddler Directress
(North American Montessori Training)

Ms. Amanda was born and raised in Ottawa. She has been working with children for over 15 years and has done so in many different environments, such as daycares, before and after school programs, summer camps, and group homes. Working with children has always been a passion for Ms. Amanda, but it wasn't until she stepped into her first Montessori school that she really found her calling.

Ms. Amanda raises two children and works full-time as a Montessori Toddler Directress.  Ms. Amanda completed her North American Montessori Centre (NAMC) toddler training in spring 2017. She loves working alongside children, helping them discover their own passions and inner talents. There is nothing she finds more rewarding then watching the children in her class grow and thrive in their Montessori environment, and knowing that she had a part to play in their growth.

Irma Matute

Casa Assistant
(Early Childhood Educator)

Ms. Irma has been working as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) for the past 14 years in Ottawa. During those years, she has worked with a number of age groups, including infants, toddlers, preschool children and school aged children. She is registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) and also holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Ms. Irma recognizes the importance of language during a child’s early years. To speak more than one language is important in today’s world. Therefore Ms. Irma actively sings to the children in English, French and Spanish in order to facilitate the child’s ability to learn different sounds. Ms. Irma enjoys listening, observing and coaching children while they play. She recognizes that it is a great privilege, and a great responsibility, to be a part of a child’s early years, as it is this time that is crucial to their development. For Ms. Irma, being a teacher and working with children is truly inspirational.

Ms. Laila Daou

Ms. Laila Daou was born in Manchester, England and shortly after moved to the United Arab Emirates where she spent most of her childhood. She came to Canada with her family in 1998 and has lived in Ottawa ever since. In 2006, Ms. Laila decided that early childhood education was the direction she wanted to take her career and began to study the Montessori philosophy at the Canadian Montessori Academy in Ottawa.

The following spring she received her AMS certification for the Casa Program and also the Special Needs Program. Ms. Laila brings with her six years of experience working as a Montessori Directress in a Casa classroom. Her passion for the Montessori approach creates an ideal learning environment, while her attitude and enthusiasm allows her to have a nurturing approach with children.

Through her professionalism, Ms. Laila has built excellent relations with parents, and has stayed in contact with many of them long after their child has moved on to elementary school.

Caren Kaminsky

Resource and French Directress

Ms. Caren is the resource and French directress for the casa and toddler programs, engaging in one-on-one and group activities in both classrooms. She is a trained Montessori educator with over 15 years of experience in Ontario and Quebec as an educator and early childhood centre supervisor. Ms. Caren believes that forming a bond with students and planning innovative and interesting programs is very important for a child’s education and their early development.

Throughout her career Ms. Caren has developed an ability to recognize and accommodate the unique needs of the children in her care, coupling it with a healthy respect for individual family beliefs. Ms. Caren is a great addition to First Journey Montessori and looks forward to contributing to its safe, secure and loving environment. This includes providing nurturing care that promotes a positive learning experience for the children, giving them ample opportunities to grow.

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