OUR MISSION

Our mission is to uphold the visionary, collaborative, and inclusive approach of the Montessori philosophy in order to foster a diverse learning environment where children from varied economic, social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds can excel and flourish.

Nature Walk-10.jpg

Philosophy

We are committed to the true Montessori approach in education, namely that every student is entitled to respect, courtesy, encouragement, and kindness in a school setting that addresses the “whole child” by nurturing their social, emotional, and physical needs as well as academic skills.

Children and adolescents will continue their journey in preparing to become citizens of the world, believing in themselves and their abilities to create positive change. The Montessori experience is not about producing worksheets and taking tests, it is about deep learning, self-discipline, self-discovery, character, values, and healthy relationships.

Vision

Our vision is for our students to grow into responsible citizens of the great human family, with the understanding, ethics, and self-knowledge needed to transform our world.

Nature Walk-12.jpg
Stori Lauritzen Portrait 2021.jpg

STAFF MEMBERS

Stori Lauritzen

Elementary Guide

AMI 6-12 Diploma

M. Ed Elementary Ed

MFA Theatrical Design

   Ms. Stori is passionate about the arts, children’s literature, travel, and, of course, Montessori education. She has a diverse teaching background, having taught in a variety of subjects and settings throughout the United States and Asia. She joins us after teaching most recently in a lower elementary classroom at The International Montessori School in Hong Kong from 2018-2021.

   Before discovering Montessori, she spent time teaching English as a second language in both South Korea and Taiwan. Her ESL students inspired her to look for alternative teaching methods, which eventually opened a new world of discovery when she found Montessori. She decided to return to the United States and complete a Master of Education at Loyola University in Columbia, MD, along with her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma for Elementary 6-12 at The Washington Montessori Institute.

 

   Ms. Stori also spent several years pursuing her love of the theatre arts, more specifically in the areas of theatre design and production. She completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in Scenic Design from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and worked as a technical director (the person in charge of getting the scenery built for plays) in Washington, D.C. and Orlando, FL. She has also worked painting scenery and backdrops, designing props, running the lighting board, sewing costumes, applying theatrical makeup, directing, stage management… You name it! Her theatre background comes in handy in the classroom, as she loves to inspire her students to explore their creative interests. Also, do not be surprised if you find yourself in a movie, as Ms. Stori also LOVES to make movies with her students.

   When not in the classroom, Stori loves to take her two dogs, Zoey and Jasper, to the dog park. Ms. Stori is also a portrait photographer and painter. She appreciates the beauties of other cultures and languages and has made efforts to study Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Korean. Sadly, the gift of learning languages does not come easily to her, and she does not speak any of these fluently, despite her best efforts and time living abroad. She does, however, have a fluency for enjoying various international cuisines, especially Korean barbeque! She hopes to eventually visit other areas of the world, such as Europe and Africa one day.

Sima Cheregosha

Head of School

B.A. English & Translation
M.A. Liberal Studies/Global Affairs   (Human Rights)
Graduate Certificate in Conflict Mitigation & Dispute Resolution
AMS Trained 0-3;
AMS Certified 3-6;
AMS Trained in Language & Math for Lower Elementary

   Sima moved to the Dallas area twenty five years ago, and co-founded ArborCreek Montessori School (ACMS) in Farmers Branch, TX, now completing two decades as an educational institution par excellence. Sima’s accomplished career as a seasoned Montessori educator, first as primary guide, then Director, and now as Head of School, has uniquely positioned her to launch ArborCreek Montessori Academy (ACMA) for age groups 6-12. She believes Montessori education develops motivation and discipline; it empowers students with a sense of self worth and confidence in a rapidly changing world.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sima Cheregosha

Founder and Board Chair

   As founder and chairperson, Sima provides the vision and strategy to make ACMA a reality. She directs board members in their efforts and motivates a highly efficient team. Her leadership qualities make her the driving force behind ACMA.

   “I am inspired by people who will stop at nothing to have a positive impact on other people’s lives. I feel extremely fortunate to be part of such a committed team engaged in creating an environment for older students who will undoubtedly benefit from the value of a Montessori education.”

   Sima is an American Montessori Society (AMS) Life Member, AMS certified for ages 3 to 6, AMS trained for ages 0-3, and Language and Math trained for lower elementary. She holds a Master of Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University, preceded by many years experience in literature and foreign language studies. She is fluent in English and Persian.

Babi Mitra

Board Member

M.S. Chemistry
PhD. Chemical Engineering

   Amitava “Babi” Mitra is the Executive Director and co-leader of the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) at MIT’s School of Engineering. One of the most impactful initiatives in higher education today, NEET aims to reimagine and transform undergraduate engineering education.

   Babi is passionate about evangelizing and implementing an educational vision he believes in and enjoys formulating, designing, and planning its implementation. With almost thirty five years experience in institution building, higher education, corporate e-learning, and distance education, he has held many leadership-level positions during his career, including Executive Director, Academic Media Production Services at MIT, Senior Vice President, Knowledge Solutions Business Unit of NIIT, founder-Dean, School of Engineering and Technology, BML Munjal University where he continues to be an Honorary Professor, and founder-President and Vice-Chancellor, Vivekananda Global University.

   Babi’s strategic board-level leadership experience includes the National Advisory Board, Member, NERCOMP Board of Trustees, USA; Founder member, Sakai Project Board, USA; Co-chairperson, Advisory Board, and member, Program & Research Council, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada, and Founder member, Council of Governors, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Ranikhet, India.

In addition to a PhD in Chemical Engineering, he also holds a master’s degree in Chemistry from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India. Babi was born in New York City. He lives in Medford, MA with his wife Srirupa. They have two children.

Jennifer Wester

Board Member

B.A. Computing and the Arts;
Current Master of Fine Arts Candidate

   Jennifer is a Dallas native and the parent of two ACMS students. She has had an illustrious career as a professional skater in ice dance, having represented Team USA from 2005-2010. Jennifer has performed for live audiences and TV in several countries, and credits skating with enriching her life with inter-cultural experiences and friendships she otherwise may never have experienced. Since 2008, as an athlete representative on advisory committees, she participated in the governance organization of United States Figure Skating. From 2010-2015 she also directed and owned a community skate school in Newington, CT.

   “I’m extremely thankful to have found ACMS for my children, and excited to be a part of the foundation and growth of ACMA. I believe academia must not produce a normalized product because no child deserves to be averaged. Montessori is a proven, successful response to the need for ever better and individualized education while simultaneously teaching children how to create and interact within community and respect differences; it’s everything that public education doesn’t provide.”

   Jennifer holds a degree in Computer Science and Fine Art from Yale University, and is fluent in English, Russian, and Italian. She is an acclaimed performance artist, metal sculptor and painting artist as well as the co-owner of a family business supplying custom pressure vessels to aerospace and research facilities and is active as a metal sculptor and painting artist.