Why do we take a tremendous effort to screen and hire the most qualified individuals to our team? You surely know the answer. Dealing with young children requires patience, experience, a caring attitude, and an understanding of child psychology.
As a parent, you know how challenging young children can be. When they spend a good part of their day at school, it is so important to keep them meaningfully engaged, cared for, and given positive stimulation. Radiant’s Children’s Houses (Preschool Classrooms) have Montessori qualified staff members. The wonderful staff in Radiant’s toddler rooms and infant room follow the curriculum that Radiant management carefully plans.
What makes a preschool or childcare program great? The quality of its teachers and support staff. We would challenge anybody who disagrees. That’s why we take pride in our motto: “Let’s talk education. Not just daycare.”
A dedicated staff makes all the difference. Having qualified and experienced teachers is essential to running a quality Montessori program. Our staff is qualified, experienced, friendly and responsible. All teachers receive on the job guidance from Center Director Carmelita to constantly improve the Montessori lessons and also receive on-going training on CPR and other safety procedures from certified personnel. You are free to speak with any teacher, ask questions about your child’s day, or other questions relating your child’s care. We encourage parents to have strong relationships with our teachers and work hand in hand so that your child gets the best that he or she deserves.
Radiant teachers also communicate and keep children’s records using specially designed software.
Interested in a career with us? Click “Jobs” from the top menu.
Center Director: Carmelita Perera
Carmelita Perera is Radiant Montessori’s co-owner and Center Director. She worked for a leading Montessori School in the Twin Cities for 7 years and decided to start her own school because she believed that every childcare program must put the child’s interest first. Her passion for Montessori education and a desire to run a quality program gave birth to Radiant Montessori in August 2008.
Carmelita was first attracted to Montessori education because she believed her disabled son could benefit from the multi-sensory educational tools and methods that Montessori uses. She qualified as an attorney in Sri Lanka in 1992 but instead of pursuing a career in law, she received Montessori training in Sri Lanka and founded a non-profit organization called School for Enhancing Learning Potential (SELP) to help special needs children. Using the family’s resources and friends’ help, she operated SELP for one and half years. Her family migrated to the US in 2000.
Carmelita is responsible for the overall business operations of Radiant including financial decisions, invoicing, purchasing educational materials for classrooms, implementing the Montessori method in the classrooms, and ensuring the quality of Radiant’s educational programs.
Center Supervisor: Annie Dunham
Annie Dunham is Radiant Montessori’s Center Supervisor. She has worked in childcare since 1999 and prior to joining Radiant Montessori in 2014, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education Leadership and Management from Rasmussen College. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga and shopping.
As Radiant’s Center Supervisor, Annie is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations which includes giving tours to prospective families, creating the staff schedule, communicating with parents, writing the monthly newsletter, maintaining Radiant’s Facebook page, and organizing field trips and other Radiant events, to name a few. She also leads the team of teachers in the smooth functioning of their classrooms and the school as a whole to provide a high-quality program, and helps out in classrooms when staff are absent.
Resource Manager: Tosha Anderson
Tosha Anderson is Radiant Montessori’s Resource Manager. She joined the Radiant team in 2017 as an Assistant Teacher in the Transition Room and stepped up into her current role in September of 2018. Prior to starting at Radiant, she earned a Master of Science Degree in School Counseling from Winona State University and became a licensed school counselor through the state of Minnesota. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Her passion for working with children comes from their innocence, curiosity, and enthusiasm for life and learning. In her free time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, snuggle up with her kitties, ride her motorcycle, and travel (especially to she and her husband’s favorite place, Walt Disney World).
As the Resource Manager, she is responsible for overseeing classroom curriculum, maintaining student records, providing guidance on children with behavioral concerns, and ensuring employee well-being. While her home is in the front office, you can still find her helping out in classrooms when she is needed.
Director and Legal Counsel: Nandana Perera
Nandana Perera has provided legal counsel and online marketing to Radiant since its inception in 2008. He was an Associate Legal Counsel for the State of Minnesota for 11 years before he opted for early retirement in July 2016. He continues to market Radiant’s services and provide legal counsel to the management.
Before coming to the United States in 2000, Nandana worked for the government of Sri Lanka—both as a revenue investigator and a prosecutor of white collar crimes—for 15 years.
Children’s House (Preschool) Staff
Bawani Dahanayake is the Lead Guide in Children’s House 2. Prior to joining Radiant Montessori in 2017, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Sri Lanka, as well as Primary Montessori Credentials for the preschool age group through the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. She has been a Montessori guide since 2007 and also directed a Montessori Center in California for one year. Helping children (and their families) is the most rewarding job she can think of! Knowing that her job is to help kids achieve their full potential and help them fall in love with learning is important to her. In her spare time, she likes to spend quality time with her two children (Kyle and Sasha), listen to music, read, and enjoy the outdoors.
Chongsun Kim (known at Radiant as “CS”) joined the Radiant team in 2016 as the Lead Guide in Children’s House 3. He holds a Montessori Diploma (AMI) from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota and a Master of Divinity Degree from Luther Seminary. He is also pursuing a Master of Theology Degree. He believes in Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and methods that view human beings as being capable of developing into constructive and positive citizens. He also loves watching children grow and learn from the Montessori materials that we use in our classroom. He says that children have beautiful minds and he loves them for their innocence, enthusiasm, and what he can learn from them. In his free time, he serves on a Children’s Ministry at a church in Minneapolis and loves spending time with his two daughters, Esther and Irene. Together, they enjoy going outside to explore and catch Pokémon.
Toddler Room Staff
Amanda Earnest is one of two Lead Teachers in the Toddler Room. She began working at Radiant Montessori in 2017 and started as an Assistant in the Transition Room, then moved to a Co-Lead position in the Infant Room. She graduated in 2019 from Rasmussen College with a degree in Early Childhood Education but she has always had a passion for teaching young children and watching them grow to their fullest potential. She also nannied for many years and worked at New Horizon Childcare Center before joining the Radiant team. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends. She also enjoys photography and exploring the outdoors.
Transition Room Staff
Abby Jorgenson is the Lead Teacher in the Transition Room. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Before starting at Radiant in 2015, she worked as an Assistant Teacher at another Montessori school for over two years and also at a library for over three years while she attended the U of M. She loves working in the Transition Room because she feels that at this age, children are learning so much and are like sponges. She enjoys seeing them learn new things about the world and watch them as they develop their gross motor skills which are big milestones at this age. In her free time, she enjoys reading a variety of books and during the summer months, she loves going to Minnesota Twins games (no matter how great or poor their season is going).
Infant Room Staff
Dawn Doty is the Infant Room Lead Teacher. Before starting at Radiant in 2011, she taught for 10 years at another center in their 4-year old room and nannied for 6 years. She has taken child development classes at both Anoka Technical College and Augsburg College. In her classroom at Radiant, she uses Montessori lessons to help babies develop their cognitive, social, fine motor, and language skills. Together, they work on practical life skills and have fun with many art and sensorial projects. In her free time, she has three nieces that she loves to spend time with! She looks forward to taking care of your child!
My name is Regina Ratnaraj and I have been with Radiant Montessori since 2013. I work in many different classrooms at Radiant and enjoy watching the children play, smile, and just have fun. I also love when they share their stories with me. I grew up in Sri Lanka and moved to the United States just before starting at Radiant. I enjoy spending time with my husband and three sons, listening to music, and cooking delicious Sri Lankan food in my spare time.
Hello, my name is Alissa Rubasch I’ve been a Teacher’s Aide at Radiant since 2018. I work primarily in the Transition Room but also help in Preschool when needed. Prior to coming to Radiant, I worked in the YMCA’s childcare program. I also have several nieces and nephews that I continue babysitting for. I’m currently looking at programs to become an Assistant Teacher. I really enjoy helping all the kids learn new things each and every day; their smiles and laughter warm my heart! Outside of working with the great kids, staff and parents at Radiant, I like spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy baking, swimming and listening to music.
Greetings! My name is Lily Jatso and I am a Substitute Teacher in the Infant Room. Before starting at Radiant Montessori in 2018, I taught swimming lessons for many years and was the neighborhood babysitter. I am currently studying Elementary Education at the University of Wisconsin – Superior. I believe that every child has an amazing talent. I enjoy watching them grow and finding these talents. When I have free time throughout my busy schedule with school, I like to go to sporting events in Superior. I also enjoy seeing the sights that Lake Superior has to offer, especially in the morning and at night.