Faculty & Staff

Administrator & Director

Jessica Chang – Administrator

Jessica has 10+ years of experience in operations in running schools and small businesses. She graduated in 2006 from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and psychology with a focus on child development. Jessica has always been exposed to childhood education while growing up, having both her grandparents as school teachers and her cousins, graduates of Harvard’s Masters of Education, being directors of large early childhood charter schools.  She is also CPR certified. At Pasadena Montessori School, she is committed to bring the best experience for children and is committed to open communication with parents.

Parima Madan – Director

Parima has over 10 years of teaching experience, working specifically with children 2 to 6 years old using the Montessori Method. She received her Montessori Teaching Certification in 2008 and had completed her Childhood Education and Administration through Laguna Technical College. She is also CPR certified. As a graduate herself of Montessori School teachings, she is dedicated to the Montessori Method of education and play and brings her lifelong experiences to Pasadena Montessori School.


Samar Fayad – Lead Teacher (room 2)

Samar has over 10 years of child development experience. She started her career in child development as an Instructional Aid in 2006 in San Gabriel California at San Gabriel Community Church and Christian School. Then she developed a passion for it and decided to make it her life profession. She attended Pasadena City College and completed the academic requirements in child development. She studied at the NAMC and obtained her certificate as a Certified Montessori Teacher.  She’s been working at Pasadena Montessori School since 2013 as a Lead Teacher for primary classroom 2. She really enjoys her teaching career and considers it a blessing to make a difference in children lives as she helps them experience their full personal and scholastic ability. On a personal note, she is a mother of two sons age 15 and 9, married and currently resides in Temple City, California.

Denise Manaloto – Lead Teacher (room 1)

Denise has over 5 years of preschool teaching experience. Denise completed her Montessori training with Victory Montessori Schools’ Teacher Training Course in 2010. At the same time, she worked as an assistant in the Montessori classrooms and gradually became a head teacher at the Montessori School of San Dimas, where she taught for a total of 5 years. It is her passion to help children discover their best of their own abilities and as a result, she's continuing her education at Pasadena City College. She currently possess 18 units in early childhood education and plans to acquire an Associate Degree in Child Development in the near future.

Nichole Velazquez-Morrow - Lead Teacher (room 1)

Nichole is a graduating student at Mount San Antonio College. She is majoring in kinesiology and pursuing a career in Anesthesiology. The career she is pursuing branches off from the passion she has working with children. For two years she worked at a middle school as an after school and summer program leader where she taught curriculum, as well as extra curricular activities. Her previous job, was at a high school where she worked as an aide. Nichole is also First aid and CPR certified. Outside of her career she is a mother of one, which has only made working with children that much more enjoyable to her. She is a lead teacher in room 1 at Enchanted Castle and is excited to continue teaching and working with children.


Sophie Jilkivorkian - Teacher

Sophie has over 15+ years of childcare experience and is certified in early childhood education. She grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and moved to France after she was 18. In 1992, she moved to the US. She's fluent in 3 languages and is also CPR & First Aid certified. She has extensive experience in food prep and will be prepping snacks for the children. At Pasadena Montessori School, Sophie will be a part-time teacher helping with snack prep and daycare.  She has a passion to teach children and help them learn about different cultures around the world.

Janet Shambrey - Secondary Teacher

Janet has over 20 years of preschool teaching experience. As a graduate of Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, she earned a certificate of completion in early childhood education. She is also CPR & First Aid certified. At Pasadena Montessori School, Janet teaches in primary class 1.  She loves working with children and is extremely patient with them.

Extracurricular teachers

Marissa Hoffman – Dance Teacher

Marissa Lee Hoffman was born and raised in Los Angeles California, where at the age of three, started her dance training in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Pointe. Throughout Marissa’s childhood, she studied various styles of dance with many different instructors and has preformed, choreographed, and competed in dance competitions throughout her twenty-year dance career. Marissa has been almost every character in the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and even did an Intensive with the Radio City Rockettes in New York City. She graduated from Glendale Community College, receiving a Choreographic Studies and Dance Teaching Certificate, as well as her Major in Dance. She is certified in Group Fitness, Zumba, Ballet Barre Fitness, Indoor Cycling, and is also an Associate Teacher in Early Childhood Education. Marissa loves to share her knowledge and love for dance and fitness, and is so excited to be continuing her 3rd year teaching dance with Pasadena Montessori School.

Kay Lu – Chinese Teacher

Kay Lu was born and raised in Mainland, China. When she was 16 years old, she moved from China to Canada to finish high school. After high school, she went to the University of Vancouver, BC. At that time, her major was General Business. After that, she moved to Los Angles with her family. Currently, she is studying the Montessori Early Childhood program with Capital Education Institute to become a full time Montessori trained teacher. She really enjoys teaching young children and considers it is a life-long career.

Marina Melikian – Music Teacher


Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Call or email us to learn more or schedule a tour of our school.

Adress: 280 S Los Robles Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: 626-792-9280

E-mail: pasadenamontessorischool@gmail.com