Carol Canavero, Owner and Preschool Teacher
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Carol got her start teaching in South San Francisco Unified School District and later at the Montessori Children's House in Burlingame, before moving to Placerville in 1976. She and her business partner, Rita Acciacca, founded Country Day Montessori in 1980. In 1985, Carol took over complete ownership of CDM.
Carol says, "I was in the process of getting an MA in Speech Pathology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at San Francisco State University when an instructor announced that we would be given the opportunity to hear a lecture on the Montessori Philosophy. Fortunately, the guest speaker was a woman who had been trained by Dr. Montessori, and her lecture was detailing her own experiences. I was spellbound between what I was hearing and the slides I was seeing. I remembered that when I wrote my philosophy on education for one of my classes at SJSU, my professor told me that I sounded like a “Montessorian." I was hooked! The direction of my life completely changed that day.
"I believe that not only can we teach children, but that children can teach us much through their natural sense of wonder, open-heartedness, and curiosity. A Montessori education is a gift for a lifetime. It provides the tools for learning throughout one's adulthood and keeps the joy of learning alive! Educating the whole child for the realities of the 21st century is our commitment to our children and parents."
Carol is a truly gifted and passionate educator, inspiring life-long relationships with parents and children alike. She's a mother to 5 children, 2 of whom have followed in her footsteps by becoming educators themselves, and grandmother to 11.
Education & Credentials:
Wendi Halabicky, Elementary Teacher
We've been privileged to have Wendi on board since 2010. She currently heads up our K - 1st grade program.
Wendi says, "It is such a privilege to work in a small, caring environment with so many dynamic, creative professionals who truly love your children. I am honored to be a part of this team. I come to work every day because I absolutely love teaching!"
Wendi's husband of 26 years is also an educator at San Joaquin Delta College, where he serves as the Culinary Director of the Baking and Pastry program, and her 3 children are in college and high school in the area.
Education and Credentials:
Julie Strickler, Kindergarten Teacher
- AMS Montessori Teaching credential, Saint Mary's College Moraga, CA
- Extensive Montessori experience- taught in Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Tucson.
- BA American Studies, Chico State
- Native American Studies, Graduate school University of Arizona
- MA in Education. Saint Mary's College
Hailey Ward, Preschool Teacher
Hailey began working at Country Day Montessori in 2018. She quickly became a favorite because of her gentle demeanor and her steadfast dedication to the County Day Community. We are delighted to have her in the classroom, while she advances her collegiate studies in education.
We rely on Hailey for her many, many skills. In addition to her ability to run a beautiful and organized classroom, she is our resident computer tech, language guru and artist.
Hailey obtained her California Preschool Certification in 2019 from Folsom Lake College and is currently on her way to completing two degrees. One in Early Childhood Education and the other in English. Somehow she also makes time to advance her Montessori Training! Busy girl!