Our Class Guides
Ms. Susan Book
Head of School & Lower Elementary Guide
Degrees and Certifications
Susan Book has an Interdisciplinary degree in Montessori Education, art therapy, and psychology. Her thesis was on Montessori and art therapy with special needs children. She also graduated with an AMI (Association Montessori International) Primary Teacher training certificate from the Montessori Institute Northwest. She added certification for Lower Elementary in 2015.
Miss Susan has eighteen years of classroom teaching as a fully trained and certified AMI Montessori Guide. Thirteen of those years are as a Guide on Saipan. She also holds an ashtanga yoga, and maya yoga teacher training certificates.
Susan taught Primary (ages 3-6) at Countryside Montessori, Northbrook, Illinois from 2002 - 2005, and at Brilliant Star, Saipan from 2005 – 2015 as a primary guide, substitute, and lower elementary guide. Since 2015 she has been teaching in Lower Elementary (ages 6-9).
Her Educational Journey
Susan began her studies at the University of Iowa as an English Education major, and pursued graphic design and art degrees, as well. Art school prompted a move to Portland, Oregon where Susan attended Marylhurst University. It was while in Oregon that she expanded her interests into art therapy.
While studying psychology she discovered Maria Montessori’s approach to education and how it fits a child’s natural developmental learning style. She also discovered that Montessori worked with many of the leaders in developing art therapy and those who influenced modern-day psychology.
It was to her delight that the Montessori Institute Northwest hosted an information night on Montessori education. She was hooked and even more excited to find that MINW had a cooperative teacher training program with Marylhurst University.
Born to Teach: Dedicated to Saipan
Susan came from a family of teachers who devoted their time to educating and sharing their culture with others and making sure that their children were global citizens.
Saipan has been her home for 13 years. She has two children age 5 and 7, born in Saipan, and lives in the village of upper Santa Lourdes. She feels strongly that her children and all the children of Saipan should be surrounded by, and enriched with, the culture of their island as a daily practice. She is also an advocate for children with special needs, as her own daughter faces those challenges.
Susan’s commitment to children extends beyond the classroom. She actively supports after school activities and involvement in community events.
Photo courtesy of Diana Silveira
Ms. Pazlee Martinez
Children's House Guide
Degrees and Experience
Pazlee (Paz) Martinez, who has a passion for early education, was delighted to join Isla Montessori initially as a guide assistant before taking over the Children’s House as lead guide. Paz was born and raised in Saipan and looks forward to giving back to the community that has given her so much.
Paz has obtained an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts with an Education Emphasis from the Northern Marianas College. A degree she is using as the basis to obtain her Montessori certificate. Paz has experience working within the CNMI Public School System, including time as a student mentor and tutor. Drawing upon this mentoring experience, Paz joined the Project Proa mentor team at the Northern Marianas College. Project Proa aims to increase the opportunity of success for indigenous students at the Northern Marianas College through mentoring, tutoring, community participation, and overall engagement of students.
Committed to Saipan Community
Isla Montessori’s Mission resonates with Pazlee. Through the Montessori education framework at Isla Montessori, Paz inspires young children to have a passion for learning and appreciate the beauty of our island while building strong foundations to base their future on. Isla also plans to play a role in reviving and nurturing the Island’s native cultures, the Chamorros and the Carolinians. This will give many opportunities for the children, staff, and local people from a wide variety of backgrounds to interact with one another.
Isla Montessori offers a qualty authentic Montessori education that also specializes in the two primary island cultures, Chamorro and Carolinian.
At this time, there are no current positions available at Isla. However, if you think you might want to be part of a passionate and dedicated team, please submit your resume and a cover letter along with 3 references. We will keep your information on file for future consideration. These documents can be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!