The Lake Room & The Ocean Room

The Lake Room

Tricia Falaschetti – Lead Teacher

Jenny Harmon – Co-Teacher

Maria Serrano – Assistant



Tricia Falaschetti first learned about Montessori through a chance conversation with a stranger.  The philosophy resonated with her deeply and she wanted to learn more.  When she enrolled at Marylhurst University she learned about the teacher training program at Montessori Institute Northwest and knew this was the path she was meant to follow.  Tricia graduated with a degree in Human Studies and received her AMI Primary diploma in 2007. She has been working as a lead guide since the completion of her Montessori teacher training and feels honored to share in the joyful discoveries of the children.  She was delighted to join the team at Harmony in January of 2014 as the Lake room guide.   Tricia enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and when that fails, exploring the Portland restaurant world. She is an eager novice in the yard and garden and loves playing in the dirt with her son, Roman. When the weekends allow, she loves a good Northwest adventure with her favorite boys, Roman and her husband, Matt.

“It is such an honor to be a part of this vibrant community and witness the discoveries of the children and their joyful journey towards independence.”     -Tricia

Jenny Harmon began in the Lake room in the Fall of 2014. She first discovered Montessori in 2007 while working in an infant and toddler community at a Montessori school in Portland. After seeing how genuinely happy the children were there, she realized she wanted to learn the roots of Montessori and pursue the teacher training program at Montessori Northwest in 2010. Each and every day she loves to see how much fun children can have while learning and how kind they are to the people around them. It is something that she often thinks about, even when she is not at school. When Jenny is not working with children, she loves to work and play in the garden. She also enjoys going for walks in the park with her husband, Chris, and Jack Russell Terrier, Izzy, who could spend hours playing fetch in the back yard. Jenny also loves to cook (and eat, too), with her loved ones who are so fun to cook for. Jenny and Chris welcomed their son, Leo in September and Jenny will be taking maternity leave until January.

Maria Serrano became the assistant in the Lake room in September 2015.  She is originally from Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain. In 2000, while working in business, she began teaching Spanish to American university students that had come to Spain. That summer she moved to the United States and after having the opportunity to work in different business settings she got a job at Portland Community College as a Spanish Instructor. At this time she also helped a Montessori based daycare teaching Spanish. When her son  was born she became more interested in Montessori and began working as an assistant. Maria worked for 4 years as an assistant, fell in love with the philosophy and decided to pursue Montessori training.  She graduated in the summer of 2015 and joined our staff shortly after, along with her son who attends our elementary program. In her free time she loves dancing, yoga, camping and being active with friends.

The Ocean Room

Claire Brumbaugh-Smith – Assistant

Keinya Kolhbecker – Lead Teacher

Shelby Voas – Assistant



Keinya Kohlbecker began at Harmony as a co-teacher in 2013.  In 2016 she too over the Ocean Room as Lead Guide. Her Montessori journey began in 2001, when she witnessed the pure joy of children moving freely with coordination and patience while working as a classroom assistant in Reno, Nevada. From that moment, she became interested in learning more about the Montessori Method.  In 2005, Keinya received her Primary Diploma from the Montessori Northwest and a Master’s in Education from Loyola University.  Keinya also earned a BA in Dance, with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology from Denison University in Ohio.  In addition to working with children on the Primary level, she spent several years working with Montessori adolescents, teaching Humanities, writing and dance.  Outside the Harmony community, Keinya enjoys taking dance classes, choreography, music, reading about historical events, the outdoors and most of all spending time with her husband Matt, her son Noah and her cat Bundle.

“Every child has the potential to become confident, compassionate and peaceful individuals at Harmony. It feels good to continue my Montessori journey with this wonderful school.”     -Keinya

Shelby Voas starting 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.

Claire Brumbaugh-Smith began at Harmony in September 2015 as an assistant. She first attended a Montessori primary school when she was 2 and 1/2, and has been excited to come back ever since. She graduated from Reed College with a degree in Environmental Studies – Biology, and has spent a lot of time studying the frogs and turtles of the Pacific Northwest. Claire is eager to share her enthusiasm and wonder of the natural world with her classroom. When not in the classroom, Claire loves bicycling, gardening, and eating ice cream.