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Our Team

IMSP Leadership

Kateřina Stanislavová

Executive Director, Director of Czech Program

Kateřina is the founder and executive director of the International Montessori School of Prague and a community coordinator. While searching for a school with an alternative educational approach for her three children, she discovered the famous Montessori method. She immediately fell in love and since 2002, when she founded the IMSP, she’s been a keen advocate of Montessori education.

Kateřina holds Master's degrees in Economics and Special Education, and has attended Montessori Administration trainings and workshops led by Tim Seldin and Peter Davidson. She is a team player and using her strong leadership skills she boosts and maintains a positive morale among the staff and encourages teamwork. She lays great stress on achieving superior quality both in her personal and professional life. When not working at the school, Kateřina enjoys travelling, reading, sports, spending time with her family and relaxing in nature.

Pherooz Karani

Head of School

Originally from Boston, Pherooz came to IMSP from Florida.  She attended a Montessori school herself and credits the educational model with developing in her the skills and passions that guide her work today. She has been in education for over twenty years, teaching in Infant, Toddler and Primary classrooms before moving into administration. It is her greatest joy to pass on the legacy of Montessori education to new generations of children.

Pherooz attended Northeastern University and received her BA in Theatre and a Minor in Elementary Education; she also earned a Master in Education with a focus on Montessori Integrative Learning from Endicott College in Massachusetts. She holds Montessori teaching credentials for every age group served at IMSP: she received her AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma (ages 0-3), from the Maria Montessori Training Organization in London, her AMI Primary (ages 3-6) Diploma from the Ohio Montessori Training Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, and recently has her AMI Elementary (ages 6-12) training here in Prague. Pherooz has also completed a Montessori Administration degree with CMTE in New York. In her free time, Pherooz enjoys traveling, reading, going to concerts and attending theatre performances.

Lucie Třešňáková

Business Manager

Lucie was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She has been in administrative positions since 2010 and brings plenty of experience working in school environments in a variety of roles. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and discovering new coffee shops in her free time. She even spent a year abroad exploring Canada!

Jiřina Slánská

HR Manager

A graduate from the University of Palacky with a master’s degree in human resources management, Jiřina has over 20 years of HR experience. Working in the corporate sector and managing a team of 500 people across the Czech Republic and Slovakia until 2018, Jiřina has since pivoted to freelance projects and advisory work. Looking forward to rejoining an office setting, Jiřina is excited to be a part of the IMSP team. 

Caryn Khoo

Marketing Director

Originally from Malaysia, Caryn holds a Bachelor's Degree with a double major in Writing and Communications from Monash University, Australia. After graduating from university, Caryn did her internship in a Public Relations firm in Thailand and spent a year working in an American advertising agency: Leo Burnett, Malaysia. Following this, Caryn joined a branding agency for four years, which led to her role as a Brand Consultant. In the years she had spent working with DIA Brands, Caryn is most proud of her biggest portfolio: Progresif, a challenger telecom brand in Brunei that gained a remarkable 25% from a 5% market share within 3 months of its successful brand re-launch. In 2016, Caryn moved to Prague, to further her desire to work in early education and completed her TEFL Certification and AMS Montessori Training for Primary-aged children while working at IMSP as a Primary Teacher. In 2021, Caryn will be returning to her first passion while channeling her love and knowledge in education into Marketing. In her free time, Caryn enjoys cooking without following a strict recipe, tasting good food, traveling, and cuddling with her cat!

Toddler Team

Ivana Obradović

Toddler Coordinator

Ivana has been with IMSP since 2005, first serving as a substitute teacher and progressing to school leadership, responsible for the Toddler level, where she is also a lead teacher.

Ivana originally comes from Croatia and is a mother of three children.  When looking for a school to enroll her children in, she first encountered Montessori and recognized the monumental potential it has to change both the way we view education and the means by which we accomplish it. She is certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), holding an Assistants to Infancy (ages 0-3) diploma from the Montessori Institute Prague. Ivana believes that each child has a unique potential and that the relationship between parent and child is the most essential component in both their relationship and the development of the child.

ANKY BESNARD

Toddler 1 Lead Teacher

Anky is originally from France and holds a doctorate in Biological Anthropology. She has been teaching for 25 years and has worked in Montessori schools in France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. She has also taught English and French in schools all around the world, including China, Georgia, Peru, and Honduras. She is certified to teach and supervise students with special needs, and she also holds an AMI Montessori 0–3 year old diploma. In her free time, she likes to go swimming, hiking, cycling, and traveling. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, she spent two years sailing in the Mediterranean Sea!

Lindsey Taylor

Toddler 2 Lead Teacher

Lindsey is originally from Texas, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies at Southwestern University. She completed her TEFL certification and discovered her passion for working with children while teaching English as a Second Language in Costa Rica. She has spent the past three years working as an assistant in a Montessori school in the US, which further fueled her passion for education and love of the Montessori Method.

Lindsey enjoys practicing yoga, cooking and doing creative projects in her spare time. She loves to travel and learn new languages!

Primary Team

Veronika Newkirk

Primary Coordinator

Originally from Jablonec, Veronika first pursued a law career, gaining a Master of Arts in Legal Studies from Charles University.  After having her first child, Veronika discovered Montessori and fell in love.  She volunteered with IMSP for a year before pursuing her American Montessori Society (AMS) Primary training in the US.  After teaching at a Czech Montessori school, Veronika opened her own Montessori school in Prague, teaching and directing the program for five years before moving back to the US.  Since 2013, Veronika has been teaching in 3-6 Montessori classrooms in the US.  Veronika is excited to be moving back to Prague for this opportunity.  In her free time, Veronika enjoys reading history and popular science as well as travel, sightseeing and nature walks.

MARCIA BISCO

Primary 1 Lead Teacher

Marcia grew up around the Great Lakes of the United States. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori emphasis, in addition to her AMS Primary Diploma. She had worked as a Program Assistant in a Montessori Teacher Education Program in Ohio and taught the Early Childhood Language Arts course to Montessori student teachers. She has lived in Europe for the past 12 years, teaching in kindergartens in Germany and Hungary. She enjoys nature, hiking, baking from scratch, hand sewing, genealogy, and mythology.

KATEŘINA CHABIČOVÁ

Primary 1 Teacher

Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Kateřina first discovered Montessori’s pedagogy teachings as part of her university studies, where she studied Art Education with a focus on children education at Charles University. She also spent a part of her studies at the University of Lapland in Finland. She has three years of experience in a Montessori environment, where she likes to implement artistic activities as part of the classroom work. Her work experience includes lecturing creative workshops on architecture and urbanism as well as working in the field of gallery education. In her free time, Kateřina enjoys yoga, biking in nature or playing the violin.

Lisa De Silva

Primary 2 Co-Teacher

Originally from Western Australia, Lisa completed her high school diploma and went straight into the workforce in the retail industry. After spending several years in said industry she discovered an interest in early childhood education, and completed her Certificate IV in Education Support which qualifies her to work as an Education Assistant for mainstream and disabled children. 

Since coming to Prague she has furthered her love of work in early childhood education and completed an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Assistant Certification. In addition, she holds the TEFL Certificate. Her recent teaching experience includes being a classroom teacher in Australia and teaching English to young learners in a Czech language school. Lisa has now completed the AMS Primary (3-6) training program. In her free time, Lisa enjoys photography and art as well as dancing and traveling.

AMBER BARRETT

Primary 2 Co-Teacher

Amber comes to us from Portland, Oregon; she holds an AMI Primary diploma as well as a Master’s degree in Education. She has been working with children in a wide variety of classroom environments for over 15 years, including as a lead teacher at a small Montessori school in Hillsboro, Oregon, prior to setting sail for Europe. She is very excited to be returning to a Montessori classroom after a year spent in a traditional school! In her free time, Amber enjoys hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, nature walks, and reading.

Elementary Team

Amy Sexton

Elementary Coordinator

Amy comes to us from North Carolina. She holds AMS Montessori certifications in Primary and Elementary levels and, for the past three years, has also served as a teacher trainer at  Duhovka Montessori Institute, an AMS training center in Prague. After a decade of teaching both Primary and Elementary children, she is excited to begin a new endeavor supporting classroom teachers and stepping into leadership as an area coordinator. In her spare time, Amy enjoys reading, music, being out in nature, and learning about other cultures.

Joyce McCusker

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Joyce has been a Lower Elementary teacher for 17 years. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, she grew up near Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a degree in history and political science from Duke University in Durham, NC, after spending her junior year abroad in Hong Kong.

Having homeschooled her two daughters using Montessori methods and materials, Joyce trained to be a Montessori Elementary teacher at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, earning an Elementary 6-12 credential. In 2002, she began teaching in the Lower Elementary at Sunset Hills Montessori School in Reston, VA, where her children attended through sixth and seventh grades, respectively. Joyce attributes her daughters’ academic success to the foundation they received and the love of learning they developed during their Montessori years. She strives to inspire all her students to become their best selves. When not in the classroom, Joyce enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, reading, visiting museums, and traveling.

Ruth Švandová

Lower Elementary Czech Teacher

Ruth has spent her entire life in Prague, and has been a Montessori advocate and enthusiast for six years now. She is currently studying Primary and Elementary education at the J. A. Komensky University in Karviná, and is completing an AMS Elementary (6-12) Montessori training. Previously, she has taught in an Elementary classroom at the Modřany Montessori school, and as an assistant teacher in our Primary 2 classroom and as our Upper Elementary Czech teacher. In her free time, Ruth enjoys Latin American dance, sport and music.

Greg McCracken

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher

Greg has been involved in the Montessori world since the oldest of his three children started first grade in 1987. Originally from western Pennsylvania, he studied theatre and acting in New York City in his early twenties, and then moved to the Los Angeles area where for 15 years he cared for his three children as an at-home dad. While in L.A., he completed a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. He also occasionally worked as a carpenter in L.A.

In 1997, Greg and his family relocated to a small town near Washington, D.C. Inspired by his children’s Montessori experience, he pursued a credential for Elementary I and II at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has taught in both Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori classrooms since 1998. He loves teaching, but when not in the classroom, he also loves taking photographs, playing music, reading, hiking, traveling, visiting museums and bookstores, and learning about and discovering new things.

Irena Andělová

Upper Elementary Czech Teacher

Ms. Irena comes from the beautiful spa town of Františkovy Lázně. It has been her dream to become an educator since being inspired by her own elementary teacher. She graduated from the Pedagogical High School in Karlovy Vary and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and English Language from the Purkyne University in Ústí nad Labem. During her university studies, she moved to Prague and began teaching at the Gate of Languages Elementary School.

Irena’s life was changed by a move to New Zealand two years ago. During her travels, she experienced different cultures and environments and emerged with a new understanding and approach which eventually led her to IMSP. She was excited to join the AMS Elementary (6-12) training this summer. Irena  spends her free time travelling, practicing yoga, hiking, or with her fiancée, friends and her dog Vicky.

Tereza Veselá

Upper Elementary Czech Teacher

Tereza was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She holds a master’s degree from the University of International Relations and speaks four different languages. She loves traveling and has traveled extensively in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy, and has always strived to be a true citizen of the Planet Earth.

Tereza had discovered her love for education when homeschooling Elementary age children, and is currently completing an Elementary and High School teaching diploma at Charles University in Prague, set to finish in September 2022.

Her life motto is to live consciously in all aspects of life and be kind to people while maintaining good care towards nature and the environment.

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