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Our Team

Administration and Office Staff

Kateřina Bečková

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 Zachařová

Business Administrator

Lucie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University Hradec Králové. She spent half of her professional career serving long-term, mentally ill people, first directly with clients and then as a head of a non-profit organization.  Even though she left social work, she is still interested in psychotherapy and related fields.  Following that, she worked as a head of a study center within a private college. For the past eight year, Lucie worked in a small software company.  In her free time, Lucie likes running, inline skating, cross-country skiing and canoeing. You’re most likely to find her in nature during her travels here or abroad.  She likes to work with both people and numbers so was happy to join the IMSP team as the Business Administrator where she could combine both aspects.  

Eliška Hladká

Office Manager

After graduating from high school, Eliska began pursuing a degree at the Czech University of Agriculture.  After almost two years of studies, Eliska realized that she wasn’t passionate about the subject and decided to enter the workforce full time.  Eliksa spent time as an Event Manager before moving into the corporate work as a receptionist and office assistant.  She is happy to be working in the education sector now.  In her free time, Eliska enjoys spending time with her family and partner, playing with her, visiting her cottage and watching movies. 

Martina Ettelová

Marketing Specialist

Martina graduated with a bachelor degree in Social Work and Politics from UJEP in Ústí nad Labem and then a Master's degree program at the Faculty of Education in Hradec Králové. During her studies she gained experience working at Škoda Auto as well as an external evaluator in Assesment Centers for selecting new employees. After graduation, she spent a year studying English and working in London. After her return, she worked mostly in international companies as an HR specialist and recruiter. For the past few years, she has worked as a HR Marketing Manager at Monster Worldwide, one of the largest job portals in the world. In her spare time she devotes herself to his family, two sons and a partner. When time permits, she enjoys skiing, visiting foreign countries, loves Scandinavian design, attends ceramics classes, paints on porcelain, and spends time with her friends over a good glass of wine.  

Marie Dernovšková

Marketing Specialist

Marie has a master’s degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering from Czech Technical University and also spent a few years studying at the University of Economics Prague. During those studies, she started to work full time in marketing – first, as a Marketing Manager for CZ and SK for gaming brands like Nintendo,  following that, as a marketing specialist for phones, tablets and notebooks with ASUS Computers. She joined our team in June 2016 as an external Montessori specialist.  She immediately felt in love with the Montessori system of education and therefore greatly enjoys her role in promoting this educational method.. During her free time, she prefers being active - 

from a variety of sports such as dancing, acrobatics, fire spinning, and running to the sport she is most passionate about, kitesurfing. And that’s why she also likes to travel and learn foreign languages.

Toddler Team

Ivana Šket

Toddler Coordinator, Toddler 1 Lead Teacher

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.

Martina Průšová

Toddler 2 Lead Teacher

After attending the traditional Czech educational system, Martina began to explore education when her children, now ten and fifteen years old, were born. She examined various alternative education options and fell in love with Montessori. Initially, she completed the Czech National Montessori course for children ages 3-6 years, as well as the Respect and be Respected training and a number of workshops and courses based on the musical and psychomotor development of children.

She has completed her AMI 0-3 training at the Montessori Institute Prague and holds a Czech preschool teaching diploma. Since 2011, she has worked as the lead teacher in a Montessori Toddler classroom, led lessons and workshops for parents and children, and worked with teachers through the Helping Schools project. She loves working with children and watching the world through their eyes. In her free time, she enjoys baking and cooking non-traditional dishes, swimming, exploring mountains, and discovering natural beauty. 

Mikaela Lammers

Toddler 1 Assistant Teacher

Mikaela is originally from Texas, where she completed a bachelor’s in international business and French. She discovered her passion for teaching while working at a nursery and preschool in Longview, gaining experience with children aged six months to three years, and later had the opportunity to teach in France as well.

Mikaela has gained a TEFL certification here in Prague, where she later began teaching business English to adults. She fell in love with the Montessori method while shadowing the toddler classroom at IMSP, appreciating the freedom, independence, and passion that it nurtures within each student. 

In her free time, Mikaela enjoys learning languages and exploring new cultures, traveling, ceramics, international film, and rafting. 

Lindsey Taylor

Toddler 2 Assistant 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!

Šárka Vinařová

Toddler Childcare Teacher

Šárka graduated with a master’s degree in English language and Social Sciences. She worked as a teacher for a couple of years before she became a manager at language schools, where she actively promoted open communication, trust and ownership. After her career in management, she studied to become a professional coach. 

Šárka’s passion lies in unleashing the potential of an individual. Fully aligned with Montessori values about personal development, she joined IMSP in the spring of 2018 to learn more about children’s development. She has fallen in love with the method, which honors each child’s unique essence and potential. She is eager to practice her natural facilitator’s role and gentle guidance with the Toddlers.

In her free time, she enjoys running, roller skating, drawing and hiking. She prefers being surrounded by nature and natural materials.  

Primary Team

Veronika Newkirk

Primary Coordinator and Primary 2 Lead Teacher

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.

Caryn Khoo

Primary 1 Co-Teacher

Originally from Malaysia, Caryn graduated with a BA, with a double major in Writing and Communication. Following this Caryn spent three years teaching both children and adults, furthering her desire to work in early education. She completed her TEFL Certification as a means to do so. Caryn is currently completing her AMS Montessori Training for Primary age children. During her free time, Caryn enjoys cooking, good food, and traveling. 

Geraldine Coiro

Primary 1 Co-Teacher

Originally from Scotland, Gerry initially pursued a degree in Zoology at the University of Glasgow. Through her love for travel, she discovered her passion for working with young children whilst working at an international school in Denmark and later in Seychelles.

Her love for Montessori’s philosophy and educational principles transpired from her work in an International Montessori school in Seychelles and was her rationale for completing a Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy: Early Years Educator through the London Metropolitan University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, a wide variety of music, dancing Salsa Cubana and seeking adventure through travel.  

Lisa De Silva

Primary 2 Teacher

Originally from Western Australia, Lisa has a Certificate IV in Education Support which qualifies her to work as an Education Assistant for mainstream and disabled children as well as 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 was thrilled to join the AMS Primary (3-6) training this summer. In her free time, Lisa enjoys photography and art as well as dancing and traveling.

Barbora Hořejší

Primary Czech Support Teacher

After gaining her International Baccalaureate at the English College Prague, Bára went on to study Special Education at the Palacký university in Olomouc. During her studies, she traveled to China, where she was introduced to the Montessori Method and hoped then that she’d come to work in a Montessori classroom one day.

Bára’s great passion is music, leading to her bachelor’s in Music at the University of Bristol, and the degree in Music Therapy which she is currently pursuing. She is very excited to bring her love of music to the classroom and use it as a teaching tool with the children.

Besides music, Bára enjoys hiking, yoga, and travel; wave if you see her cycling to school!

Emma Payne

Primary Support and Childcare Teacher

Originally from South Africa, Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages and Linguistics from the University of South Africa.  She has also completed her TEFL certification.  She developed a passion for teaching when working in Thailand with secondary school students. Emma has enjoyed teaching English, music, gym and after-school programs in Thailand, South Africa, Taiwan and Vietnam over the past eight years.  In her free time, Emma enjoys travel, reading and swimming; she is engaged to IMSP team member, Wesley Vinay.

Michaela Tučková

Primary Support Teacher

Misha has taught in our Toddler classrooms since 2014, after previously serving at IMSP as the Primary and Toddler substitute, Childcare teacher and Administrative Assistant. Although she had originally pursued a degree in Physics, she developed an interest in Montessori education when volunteering in Montessori schools in the United States, and now considers education her defining passion. Misha loves her work with children but also takes great pleasure in leading workshops on Montessori education and child development as she believes working with the parents is equally important.  She holds an AMI Assistants to Infancy (ages 0-3) from the Montessori Institute Prague and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Pedagogy. Currently, Misha is pursuing an AMI Primary (3-6) diploma, from the Montessori Institute Prague as well.

Like many others at IMSP, Misha loves to travel and explore other countries and cultures. When at home, she spends her free time reading, cooking, and with various arts and crafts.

Susanna Kaletski

Primary Support and Childcare Teacher, ESL Teacher

Originally from the United States, Susanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. While at university, she volunteered as a teacher leading workshops in poetry and English Language Arts for children in underserved communities in West Alabama. She spent two years as a nanny in New York City before moving to Prague to complete her TEFL certification and pursue a career as an ESL teacher for primary age children. Susanna also has a background in piano and ballet and enjoys reading, knitting, and travel.

Natálie Cihlová

Primary Support and Childcare Teacher

Originally from the Czech Republic, Natálie studied graphic design and classic art in Plzeň. After her graduation, she moved to England where she lived for three years, working as an au pair and nanny for children from infancy through Elementary. While in the UK, she completed training as a professional nanny for children with special needs. Natalie also helped lead art classes and summer camps as a teacher in England. In her free time, Natálie is passionate about photography, enjoys travel and painting, and is currently researching a zero-waste lifestyle.

Lenka Míkovcová

One-on-One Aide

Lenka joined the IMSP team during the 2017-18 school year.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Public Administration at the University of Economics in Prague, and studied in an international diploma program at UC Berkeley Ext in California. Prior to becoming a mother,  Lenka worked with the Vice Prime Minister of Economic Affairs of the Czech Republic, focused on public funding in science and education.  Lenka also worked for the Sue Ryder Foundation. A writer, Lenka has published various parenting bulletins with practical tips for parents as well as a story called “Baboo the Baby Elephant and the Sharing Puzzle,” which later also become a play.  In her free time, Lenka enjoys spending time with her family, writing her next story, and traveling. 

Elementary Team

Amy Tobias

Elementary Coordinator Lower Elementary Teacher

Amy joined the IMSP team in 2009 and has since taught in both the Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms. She holds AMS Certifications for the Primary (ages 3-6), Lower Elementary (6-9) and Upper Elementary (9-12) levels, as well as a B.A. in Psychology.

Amy has been working with children in Montessori schools since 1992. Aside from leading classrooms, her experience includes developing and integrating curriculum, creating character education programs and setting up new classrooms and schools. Originally from the Chicago area, Amy has appreciated living in different areas of the United States as well as England. She enjoys traveling, cultural exchanges, long walks and all things canine.

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 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 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.

Wesley Vinay

Elementary Support and Childcare Teacher

Hailing from South Africa, Wes earned his Bachelor of Arts in Cinematography from AFDA, The School for the Creative Economy.  Following that, he also completed his TEFL certification. For the past three years, Wes has been teaching English in Taiwan and Vietnam.  He became interested in Montessori when he was introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach and began researching alternative educational models.  In his free time, Wes enjoys travel, exploring new cultures and films.  

Tomáš Anděl

One-on-One Aide

Tom is originally from Karlovy Vary, in the western part of the Czech Republic.  He attended the Pedagogical High School in Karlovy Vary and later moved to Prague to continue his studies, which included English language courses at the Burlington School of English in London.

Growing up in a family of musicians, Tom was drawn to singing and music from at early age.  As a singer, Tom pursued a career with a band, Goodfellas, which released two albums and won several awards; he also plays guitar and the piano. Tom is married to our Upper Elementary teacher, Irena, who introduced him to Montessori and to our school; he values the individual approach, respect, and love it offers the children.

When he isn’t working or making music, Tom enjoys travel, reading, and exploring nature. He is passionate about environmental causes and instilling love and care for nature and for our planet in children.

Vítězslav Bečka

6th Grade Support

Originally from Prague, Vítek grew up surrounded by Montessori. He attended a Montessori Elementary school, while both his sisters attended IMSP. This allowed him to experience first-hand the benefits of the educational system and see its applicability to a wide range of personalities, circumstances and individual development. The values and skills from his Montessori foundations continued to serve him well in further formal education at the English College Prague and at University, during which he enjoyed debate competitions, serving on the student council, or participating in countless Model United Nations conferences.

Vítek holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ulster, and a degree in Hospitality and Business Administration from HTMi in Switzerland. He has diverse experience in training and consulting and he is passionate about assisting others in discovering and fulfilling their potential in a gentle, playful way. In his free time, he enjoys travel (particularly the various cuisines), creating art, literature, and spending time with friends. 

Childcare and Specialists

Kathleen Renehan

Expressive Arts Specialist

Miss Kathleen has joined IMSP as a teacher in 2007. She received her Montessori Teacher's certification for both Primary (3-6) and Lower Elementary (6-9) at the Princeton Montessori Center for Teacher Training. She graduated from Stonehill College in Massachusetts majoring in Early Childhood, as well as receiving minors in Psychology and Fine Arts.

Kathleen is originally from New York, where she taught Art to people with learning and developmental disabilities prior to joining IMSP. Her interests include art, hiking, biking, horseback riding and traveling.

Iva Rozkošná

Czech Program Specialist

Mgr. Iva Rozkošná joined IMSP from English College Prague, where she has been a Czech teacher and admissions Registrar since 1998.  Prior to ECP, she taught Elementary age children Czech and Art and also served as a tutor. Iva holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Czech Language, Literature and Fine Art by the Masaryk University in Brno. In her free time, Iva enjoys working with ceramics and jewelry as well as Drama.

Šárka Vinařová

Toddler Childcare Teacher

Šárka graduated with a master’s degree in English language and Social Sciences. She worked as a teacher for a couple of years before she became a manager at language schools, where she actively promoted open communication, trust and ownership. After her career in management, she studied to become a professional coach. 

Šárka’s passion lies in unleashing the potential of an individual. Fully aligned with Montessori values about personal development, she joined IMSP in the spring of 2018 to learn more about children’s development. She has fallen in love with the method, which honors each child’s unique essence and potential. She is eager to practice her natural facilitator’s role and gentle guidance with the Toddlers.

In her free time, she enjoys running, roller skating, drawing and hiking. She prefers being surrounded by nature and natural materials.  

Susanna Kaletski

Primary Childcare Teacher

Originally from the United States, Susanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. While at university, she volunteered as a teacher leading workshops in poetry and English Language Arts for children in underserved communities in West Alabama. She spent two years as a nanny in New York City before moving to Prague to complete her TEFL certification and pursue a career as an ESL teacher for primary age children. Susanna also has a background in piano and ballet and enjoys reading, knitting, and travel.

Natálie Cihlová

Primary Childcare Teacher

Originally from the Czech Republic, Natálie studied graphic design and classic art in Plzeň. After her graduation, she moved to England where she lived for three years, working as an au pair and nanny for children from infancy through Elementary. While in the UK, she completed training as a professional nanny for children with special needs. Natalie also helped lead art classes and summer camps as a teacher in England. In her free time, Natálie is passionate about photography, enjoys travel and painting, and is currently researching a zero-waste lifestyle.

Wesley Vinay

Elementary Childcare Teacher

Hailing from South Africa, Wes earned his Bachelor of Arts in Cinematography from AFDA, The School for the Creative Economy.  Following that, he also completed his TEFL certification. For the past three years, Wes has been teaching English in Taiwan and Vietnam.  He became interested in Montessori when he was introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach and began researching alternative educational models.  In his free time, Wes enjoys travel, exploring new cultures and films.  

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