Our Team

All members of our team share a love of working with children as well as a commitment to offering authentic Montessori. This is reflected in their dedication and hard work, and in their gentle and caring approach towards the children.

Between us we have a great diversity of interests and skills, as well as speaking a variety of languages, all of which enrich our Montessori environments and enable us to support children from different backgrounds.

Clapham Montessori

Ros Bowles

Head Directress and Manager

Ros Bowles BSc, Int Mont Dip,(AMI) – Head Directress and Manager.

Ros is also an Early Years Professional. She studied Zoology and Botany but after having children found child development to be even more interesting. She also trained and worked as a volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor with the NCT while her children were young.

Magda Brydiuk

Assistant Manager

Magda Brydiuk, MA, Int Mont Dip (AMI) Assistant Manager. Magda has a Masters degree in Philology from The University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland. She has always loved working with children. Starting by training as a Montessori Assistant, Magda joined Clapham Montessori in November 2009.  She then studied part-time at the Maria Montessori Institute and  obtained her AMI Montessori Diploma as a 3-6 Directress in 2012. Magda has been the Manager of the main Children’s House class for the last two years.

Alice Trower


Alice Trower (Directress) has a BA in Ceramics from the University of Creative Arts, Farnham, as well as a  Montessori 3-6 Diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute. Alice joined Clapham Montessori in 2014.

After graduating from University, Alice travelled to India and worked for Peace Child India for 4 months, working in a  boys’ home  and in a school, teaching English. It was here that she discovered her love for teaching and eventually decided to train as a  Montessori Directress.

Marianne K-Zegar


Marianne K-Zegar (Directress) Int Mont Dip (AMI)

Marianne graduated from the Maria Montessori Institute in London in 2016 with the AMI 3-6 Diploma (combined with Early Years Educator Diploma Level 3), and joined Clapham & Clapham Park Montessori where she had done her last teaching practice placement. She is also pursuing a degree in Combined Social Sciences, with a special interest in child development and inclusion in education. Marianne speaks fluent English and Polish, and entered the education sector through teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages. Her passion for a holistic approach to learning led her to the Montessori Method.

Grace-Anne Finlayson

Grace-Anne Finlayson Mont Dip., Wimbledon Montessori College.

Grace-Anne came to Clapham Park in 2003 as a student and has since enjoyed several roles within each of the three environments.   Grace-Anne continued to work in the Children’s House eventually swapping the classroom for the home while her daughter attended Clapham Park Montessori. Upon returning, Grace-Anne worked with Wendy in the Infant Community and now is based at the Clapham Children’s House looking after our 2 year olds.

Clapham Park Montessori

Lucía Gómez-Santana

Head Directress and Manager

Lucía Gómez-Santana BSc (Hons) Psych GSMD Dip Int Mont Dip (AMI) is the Head directress and Manager.

Lucia holds 0-3 and 3-6 Montessori Diplomas. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and competent in Italian and French.  Her singing career brought Lucia to London, where she studied and sang professionally, before returning to her Montessori work.  Lucia combines her love of music and children in the Montessori environment, where she runs the weekly music sessions.  Lucia completed a psychology degree with the Open University in May 2016.

Aleksandra (Ola) Zieba

Deputy Manager

Aleksandra (Ola) Zieba (Deputy Manager) BA, Mont Dip Wimbledon.

Ola is a qualified Montessori Directress who joined CPM in September 2005.  Ola has a degree in Care and Education Pedagogy from the Baltic Graduate School in Humanities in Poland, as well as a qualification to teach Yoga to children.  Ola runs our Drama and Yoga sessions.  Ola is fluent in Polish and English, and has knowledge of Russian.

Olivia Licoys


Olivia Licoys Int. Mont. Dip (AMI) Dierectress.

Olivia joined our team in September 2015, having obtained her 3-6 AMI Montessori Diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute in London in July 2015.  Her background is in communications, in which she graduated in 2007 from the European Business School. Olivia has travelled and carried out voluntary work, following her interest in the fields of education and pedagogy, which led towards her joining the Maria Montessori Institute.  Olivia is fluent in French, Spanish and English, and runs our French sessions.

Elisa Obando


 Elisa Obando Int Mont Dip (AMI) Directress.

Elisa holds Montessori diplomas for 0-3 and 3-6 levels from the Maria Montessori Institute in Perugia where she studied from 1996/98. Her mother tongue is Spanish; she is also fluent in Italian and understands a little Dutch.  Elisa joined the Infant Community team in October 2015 on a voluntary basis, and now works full-time at Clapham Park Montessori, providing support for SEN.

Montessori Infant Community

Wendy Thompson

Manager and Co-Directress

Wendy Thompson Int. Mont Dip (AMI) Directress, Parent Liaison Manager.

Wendy gained her 0-3 Montessori Diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute in 2006.  A former parent at Clapham Montessori, Wendy has worked at the Montessori Infant Community from its inception.  Wendy is in charge of the day to day running of the Community as well as liaising with parents to organize visits and to support the transition from home into the infant community, and from here into the Children’s Houses.

Mercedes López Palao

Class Assistant

Mercedes López Palao

Mercedes is a qualified Early Years Teacher and Speech Therapist.  After graduating in Spain, Merche came to London to improve her English and worked as an Au Pair and a Nanny.  Her interest in education led Mercedes to work as a volunteer at a school, at the same time as finding out more about Maria Montessori.  Following a visit to the Infant Community, Mercedes joined the team in September 2016.

Tamara Riley-Smith

Deputy Manager and Directress

Tamara Riley-Smith MA (Cantab), PgDL . Int  Mont  Dip (AMI).

Tamara qualified as a Montessori Assistant (AMI) in Dec. 2012. She joined us as a staff member in May 2012. Tamara qualified as a Montessori Directress for 3-6 year olds in June 2016. Tamara was one of our inaugural parents at the Infant Community in 2006, from where her children continued at Clapham Montessori. Tamara, who also speaks fluent French, has a background as a barrister.  She has put her skills to good use, collaborating with Wendy to ensure the smooth running of the Infant Community.

Indre Silkiniene


Indre Silkiniene – Assistant.  Indre is a mother of two whose interest in Montessori philosophy was ignited when her daughter first started at Clapham Park Montessori some years ago. Her mother tongue is Lithuanian.  Indre joined the Infant Community in April 2015.  She is delighted to have joined the team and looks forward to learning more about Montessori principles

Leila Robinson


Leila Robinson, PGCE (primary), Roehampton University

Leila qualified as a primary school teacher in 2005 and has taught children age 4-11. A former Montessori child herself, Leila rediscovered Montessori when her daughter started at Clapham Park Montessori.  She joined the Infant Community team in November 2016 and is currently working towards her Montessori Diploma for 0-6 year olds.

The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity.

Dr Maria Montessori