Jay Gerwe joined Harmony in the Spring of 2014. He is currently our Lead Oasis Guide for our aftercare program. While working towards his B.A. in Elementary Education from Indiana University he studied abroad in New Zealand and had the opportunity to visit a nearby Montessori school and saw all the amazing learning and tools a Montessori environment offered and instantly fell in love! Jay moved to Portland and received his AMI Primary diploma and Master’s from Loyola, MD in 2007. He has worked in various Montessori schools since 2004 and is super excited to be a part of Harmony as we continue to grow. Jay’s hobbies and interests include all the amazing things the Pacific Northwest offers: camping, hiking, Timbers, Blazers, local music, brewing craft beers, walking the dog with his wonderful wife, surfing, and continuing to learn.
Shelby Voas is currently our Gardening Guide. She works with the children year round to prepare, plant, care and harvest our garden space. Shelby began at Harmony in the Ocean room as an assistant in September 2015. She began her journey working with children when she was 12 years old. She loved babysitting for the neighborhood kids. By the age of 16, Shelby was co-teaching during the summers with her mother in a preschool classroom. She has taught in the classroom, spent her days with children as a nanny, and taught English as second language in Seoul, South Korea to children of all ages. She was introduced to Montessori through children she nannied, and she fell in love with Montessori education. Shelby is passionate about the education of young children and feels lucky to have discovered Dr. Maria Montessori and her teachings. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending her days with her son Indigo, gardening, creating art, and camping.
Andrea Gunn joined the Harmony community in June of 2019 after an “awe inspiring” tour with Alicia as a parent. She has been working in the Portland Montessori community since taking her Primary (3-6) training at Montessori Northwest in 2006. After working in a Primary classroom as a lead guide for four years she joined the staff at Montessori Northwest as Admissions Director and Administrative Assistant. During this time, Andrea also earned her Assistants to Infancy Diploma (Birth to three) as well as her M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University Maryland. Outside of Harmony Andrea and her husband, Ben, enjoy the happily hectic life with a toddler, Odin, and their infant, Bronwyn. She enjoys visiting the forests around Portland, gardening with her family as well as sneakily knitting when the household sleeps.
J.J Appleton became part of the Harmony staff in 2017, when she was brought on as Food Service Coordinator. She has 16 years of cooking experience working at Portland restaurants, and she started the in house lunch program at Harmony in 2018 in order to be able to provide meals and snacks that appeal to both the appetites of the children and the standards of the parents. J.J. is very passionate about the food she provides to our students. Her ultimate goal for is to make and serve a variety of healthy and tasty meals & snacks so that both the children and their families feel happy, satisfied and safe knowing that their dietary needs are being not only met, but fulfilled with care and knowledge. In her spare time J.J. enjoys reading, music, cooking & baking, photography, sewing & crafting, and spending time with family, including her daughter Murphy who has been a Waterfall room student since 2016.