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Hi, I’m Masha LePort, founder and head of school of Cole Valley Montessori School.

I’m a mother of two, parenting coach, AMI certified Montessori guide, and lifelong learner. After years of teaching in the classroom, I’ve developed a passion for supporting parents along this spiritual journey of parenthood.

If you take nothing else away with you today, I hope you’ll take this:

The potential of young children is vastly underestimated. I've seen firsthand how the Montessori approach unlocks abilities, curiosity, expression, and a love of learning in children, to an often surprising extent.

I'm committed to unlocking this potential in as many children as possible. This is my life’s mission, and it’s why I founded Cole Valley Montessori.  

I believe wholeheartedly in your child’s potential, and I believe authentic Montessori education is the key to unlocking it.

I will never forget my first time observing a Montessori classroom. The environment was peaceful and orderly. Some children were working independently with intense concentration, others collaboratively in small groups...I was stunned by what these young children were accomplishing.

This was the most profound a-ha! moment in my career:

As a parent and as a teacher in a Montessori classroom, I’ve seen parents awestruck by the incredible results in their children both at school and at home.

Along with believing in every child’s potential, I believe in their innate goodness. One of my guiding principles in life is that every human is essentially good.

In the context of Montessori,  this means that a child’s behavior isn’t random and is never ill-intentioned. Beneath it, children are trying to meet a need. They’re asking for our help in their own way. Our focus is helping children identify and express their unmet need more effectively. This is a fundamental component of the Montessori approach of meeting every child where they are.

Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of community and belonging. As a parent, I’ve longed for community connection and heard the same from other parents. We need these bonds because parenting can be a bit isolating. We don’t have to do this alone. This is why it’s so important for me to co-create a strong school community with you.

I can’t wait to guide and support you and your family on this journey.  

With Love,

Masha LePort



About Cole Valley Montessori

Details at a Glance.

  • Our Lead Teachers, as well as our Head of School, are Certified Montessori Educators

  • We are located in the Cole Valley neighborhood in San Francisco

  • Open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Full day program, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Extended day program, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Program available for children between 18 months - 6 years old, 5 days per week only

  • 12 children in the Toddler classroom (18 months - 2.5 years old)

  • 30 children in the Primary classroom (2.5 - 6 years old)

  • Snacks are provided

  • Lunch is not provided

Our Commitment to You

Cole Valley Montessori is committed to unlocking the potential in every student through an authentic Montessori education. Our staff is committed to your child’s success, safety, and development as an independent, joyous learner.

We’re committed to nurturing our community of parents, students, staff, and teachers. We are your dedicated partners on this journey of parenthood.

We believe in...

  • Empowering the individual, across all ages

  • Fostering a lifelong love of learning

  • Listening to and respecting an individual’s needs and meeting children where they are

  • Self-expression and creativity

  • Compassion and honoring yourself and others

  • Open, honest communication

  • Allowing space for humanity, balance, and personal growth

  • Being fully present with our students, parents, and community

  • Being thoughtful and self-aware and striving to be the best humans we can be

  • Providing an authentic, invaluable Montessori education


About Our Team

Assistant Head of School and Lead Toddler Guide

Ms. Elise Arevalo earned her master’s degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland. She holds a Montessori Assistants to Infancy (age 0–3) and Primary (age 2.5–6) certifications from Montessori Northwest an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training center.  Ms. Arevalo began her Montessori journey in 2007 after joining the staff of Montessori Northwest and feeling a deep connection and synchronicity with the pedagogical method. Ms. Arevalo has guided children and parents in Montessori schools from birth to age six and finds great joy in supporting teachers and parents in understanding and implementing this inspiring educational approach. In her leisure time, Ms. Arevalo enjoys spending time in nature and exploring the forests and beaches in the Bay Area.

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Lead Primary Guide

Mrs. Katherine Brunner holds both the Primary (age 2.5-6) and Elementary (age 6-12) certifications from the Association Montessori Internationale. She has studied psychology and English literature with a Bachelor’s Degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Mrs. Brunner connected with the work of Dr. Montessori during her early years while babysitting for a Montessori child and then again while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Mrs. Brunner was later privileged to train directly with the genius behind the Montessori Elementary curriculum, Maria Montessori's son, Mario Montessori. Mrs. Brunner co-founded the Children’s School of San Francisco which served children between the ages of 2.5 and 12 years old. She and her husband ran the non-profit for 18 years. Mrs. Brunner has many years of teaching experience working with children from diverse backgrounds and now specializes in assisting children with learning disabilities. She has led professional workshops and served as Head of the Elementary program at both the Children’s School of San Francisco and The Montessori School of Fremont. Her hobbies include continuing education classes in Classics and English literature at Stanford University.



I watched them, seeking to understand the secret of these souls, of whose greatness I had been so ignorant! As I stood in meditation among the eager children, the discovery that it was knowledge they loved...filled me with wonder and made me think of the greatness of the human soul!
— Dr. Maria Montessori