Leigh Ann has three grown children and one grandson. She has a B.A, in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Colorado College where she majored in Russian Studies. She is nearly fluent in Russian and her husband is from Siberia, so she gets to practice speaking Russian with him. Leigh Ann has previously served as our Elementary assistant, as well as previous work in Montessori Primary classrooms. She lives near the school so she can ride her bike often. She enjoys writing when she can find the time.
Samantha Haywood - Elementary Assistant
Samantha is the Assistant Guide in our Elementary room. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and English and a Master’s in Global History from University College Dublin. After four long years overseas, she is elated to have returned home to Longview. In her spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with her four sisters, casual hiking, playing strategy games, and rereading her favorite books; despite the ever-growing pile of new titles on her bookshelf.
Margaret Caron - Primary Guide
Margaret Caron is the Lead Guide in our Primary room. She holds a B.A. in Biology from University of St. Catherine and AMI Primary Certification from Montessori Center of Minnesota. Before moving to Washington, Margaret worked many years as an assistant, guide, and Head of School for Montessori schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Her other interests include exploring SW Washington, collecting recipes, and discovering the best way to stack wood. During her free time she enjoys reading, painting, trying out new recipes, writing Haiku poetry and not shoveling snow.
Jackie Goodnight - Primary Assistant
Jackie is the Assistant Guide in the Primary room. She is a graduate of Northwest Nannies Institute and worked as a lead teacher at In His Hands preschool and day care in Vancouver Washington. She enjoyed teaching there for four years, before leaving to homeschool her young girls for the next 10 years.
At home, Jackie can often be found in the garden. She is passionate about local organic food, finding new ways to showcase what produce is in season and strives to find the perfect tomato varieties for higher altitude, shorter growing seasons. In her spare time, she and her family can be found sailing the Columbia, paddleboarding on a local lake or simply winding down at home with a family board game night.
Rhonda Lane-Dinguss - Primary Float Staff
Jennifer Waldie - Elementary After Care/ Substitute Assistant
Jennifer Waldie leads Elementary Aftercare and is a Substitute Assistant at Big Leaf. She is from California and moved here for her husband's new job with Union Pacific Railroad six years ago. She has two grown daughters and when she lived in California she worked as a Campus Monitor for their Elementary school for 8 years. She was employed in two school districts since moving here, both as an Instructional Assistant. In total, she has worked in Education more than 14 years.
Some of Jennifer's favorite things to do are: reading a great book, sewing, hiking, fishing, and camping with her family.
Alicia Jackson - Head of School
Alicia Jackson is the Head of School and Center Director. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from University of Washington and a Master's in Counseling from St. Martin's University. In 2020 she earned her Association Montessori Internationale Administrator's Diploma. Alicia spent more than a decade as a Child and Family Therapist and School Counselor serving pre-k through 12th grades. Alicia was a co-founder of Big Leaf Montessori and served as Board President for four years before becoming administrator and assisting in classrooms. Alicia's passion for Montessori began as a Montessori parent and has grown every year since. She spends any free time gardening, cooking, taking pictures, and traveling.
Board of Directors
Margaret Lapic, President Robert Griffith, Secretary Ryan Penner, Board Member Pat Kelley, Board Member Vacant, Treasurer