Co-founder, Head of School – The Portland Montessori Collaborative
Mercedes is the Head of School at Portland Montessori Collaborative. Founded in 2012, Portland Montessori Collaborative, or pdxMC, was born when All Roads Learning Community and Cedar Montessori School merged into one beautiful location. Mercedes became the Head of School when co-founder, Hilary Smith left the school in 2016. Mercedes is the founder, director, and lead guide at All Roads Learning Community from 2003-2012. Mercedes holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and a B.A. in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She holds an Infant and Toddler Montessori Teaching Credential from the American Montessori Society. Mercedes is an Oregon Registry Master Trainer.
Mercedes is an active member of the Oregon Montessori community, and served on the Oregon Montessori Association board of directors. She is currently an OMA board member-at-large working with the state to ensure that licensing standards are aligned with Montessori practice. Mercedes is the 2012 and 2014 recipient of the Oregon Montessori Association Outstanding Dedication Award for her work within the state in advancing the Montessori mission. Mercedes completed the RIE Foundations course in fall, 2013 which reflects a sixty hour course of study specific to the writings and teachings of Magda Gerber. In 2014, Mercedes co-founded Heart and Hand Montessori Teacher Education Program to bring high quality Montessori teacher training and professional development to those who work with infants and toddlers.
Mercedes is the Music Specialist at pdxMC. While Mercedes has always had a passion for bringing music into the lives of children, she completed the Music Together Teacher Training Course in 2015. Bi-weekly Music Gatherings in all the classrooms support the development of each child’s basic music competence, tonal and rhythmic skills.
Mercedes is a public speaker, course instructor, consultant, mentor teacher, and Montessori Advocate.
In her free time, Mercedes enjoys being with her husband Ben and her son. Mercedes is a singer and songwriter and enjoys playing guitar, making up and singing songs for adults as well as children.