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, Preschool Teacher
- AMS Montessori Teaching credential, Saint Mary's College Moraga, CA
- Extensive Montessori experience- taught in Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Tucson.
- BA American Studies / Native American Studies
- MA in Education. Saint Mary's College
Leah Davenport, Staff Support and Aid
Leah is a Country Day alumna, and we are delighted to have her back at the school part-time while she pursues her collegiate studies preparing for a career in Animal Science.
Leah got her start at Country Day Montessori in the late '90s as a student, and came back to us in 2014. She currently supports the staff (especially with technology) and helps with the children's work, play, and afternoon daycare.
Leah says, "This is a perfect opportunity for me because I feel I can give back to Carol for everything she did for my family and me when I was younger. My sister Samantha was also a student at Country Day and worked here before me."