Teacher Spotlight: Toddler House

Monday, October 8, 2018

Meet the Teachers of Piping Plover and Tern!

From left to right: Mary, Rachael, Bridget, and Michele


Michele McKale: Lead Teacher of Piping Plover:

Michele McKale is a Lead Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator in the Toddler House here at Bay Farm. She began her Bay Farm career in 1988 as an Assistant Teacher in the Children’s House and transferred to the Toddler House the following year where she worked as an assistant for a number of years before becoming a Lead Teacher 1997.

Michele took classes at Bridgewater State College studying early childhood education with an emphasis on child psychology and earned her Montessori Infant/Toddler Teacher Certificate through the National Center for Montessori Education in 1999. She has served on many committees at Bay Farm including two Head of School search committees, Strategic Planning committees, as well as peer committees to discuss various topics pertaining to the culture of Bay Farm.

Michele has presented at three Montessori Schools of Massachusetts Annual Conferences and she has presented on numerous occasions at Bay Farm on topics including Nurturing the Spirit, Montessori in the Home, and Early Literacy. In 1990 Michele implemented the first Toddler Summer Camp; she continues to have fun in the sun with the toddlers today. In 2015, Michele began sharing her love of Montessori by becoming a Montessori Teacher Trainer with Northeast Montessori Institute, teaching Preparation of the Montessori Toddler Environment.  She is also mentors/supervises new Montessori interns. When not teaching in the Toddler House, Michele enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and bike riding.  She also loves walking her dog on the area beaches or trails.

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Michele:
1. She has three cats.
2. She loves dogs and is thinking of opening up a Doggie Play space when she retires (which we hope is not soon!)
3. She has discovered that she loves teaching adults as well as children.
4. She is dreading becoming an empty nester.
5. She struggles everyday with her organizational skills.

Michele’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“My favorite thing about working at Bay Farm is getting to witness the children grow and develop from 12 month old infants to 14 year old middle school graduates, knowing that I had a part in their development.”

Rachael Dunbar: Lead Teacher of the Tern Classroom

Rachael comes to us as an alum of Bay Farm Montessori (then Munch Kin Montessori) where throughout her life, she always felt connected to the Montessori philosophy.  Upon graduating from high school, Rachael began working at Bay Farm as an Assistant Teacher in the Toddler House. She has had the opportunity to work at various Montessori schools and has since earned her undergraduate degree in Human Development, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lesley University.  Additionally, Rachael holds her AMS Infant Toddler Montessori credentials from CMTE/NY.  

Rachael has always been a lifelong learner and has had the pleasure of presenting at several Montessori conferences, and joined the Northeast Montessori Institute in 2015 as a Montessori teacher trainer. She is pleased to be a part of the Bay Farm community where she began her Montessori journey as a young child. Throughout her years, Rachael’s favorite motto is “there are no mistakes in life, only lessons learned”, and she is proud to share this motto with the world.

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Rachael:
1. She is a huge country music fan
 2. She is a Bay Farm Alum (Munch Kin Montessori back then)
 3. She spends most weekends working on her 1920s “fixer upper” house
 4. This is her daughters’ 4th year at Bay Farm Montessori
5. She was married in a castle in Scotland!

Rachael’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“The community here at Bay Farm is a family. I began my journey here at the age of 2, and never really left. I am so happy to not only be apart of the staff here, but to have my daughter enjoy the same experiences I had here.”

Bridget Martin: Assistant Teacher in the Piping Plover Classroom

Bridget has worked at Bay Farm in the Toddler House since 2017 where she is an Assistant Teacher in the Piping Plover classroom. Bridget graduated High School from Rockland High, and recently completed a Childhood Growth and Development course. She is thrilled to be a part of the Bay Farm community as a staff member and as a parent. (Her daughter Rory is starting school in the Toddler House this year.)

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Bridget:
1. Her favorite animal is a wolf.
2. If she could choose anywhere in the world to travel to, it would be Egypt!    
3. Her favorite season is Fall — She loves Halloween!  
4. Her dream is to live in Washington.
5. Her favorite color is green.

Bridget’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“My favorite thing about working at Bay Farm, is the transformation you see in the children. I cannot think of a more rewarding career. Every single morning I look forward to coming to work, because the children make me so happy. They give me a powerful sense of purpose. So much love and positive energy flows here every day.”

Mary Sullivan: Assistant Teacher in the Term Classroom

Mary has been a part of the Bay Family for four years now. She is currently working toward her degree in Psychology and is a trained Montessori Assistant Teacher. Mary has two daughters who have attended Bay Farm and she loves the school because she feels it is a great community that happily strives to help each other grow into the best version of the themselves.

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Mary:
She loves to paint.
She was a USA Gymnastics coach for many years.
Her favorite place is by the ocean.
She loves to be barefoot.
Her favorite color is pink.

Mary’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“My favorite thing about Bay Farm is the passion that the families and teachers have for their children.”