Steven grew up in Colorado with his parents and younger sister. After graduating from Western State College of Colorado in 2004, he moved to Oregon where he was an Arborist for 4 years. After returning to school and earning his Master of Arts in Education in 2010, he moved to the beautiful island of Saipan. Steven 8 and before becoming the Elementary School Principal at SIS. He then had the privilege to take on the role as Principal of Brilliant Star Montessori School in 2019.
Steven spends his free time with his wife and two young children, spear fishing, playing ultimate frisbee, and woodworking.
Upper Elementary Teacher, Fanihi Room
Ms. Lindsay’s Montessori journey began in 2004 when she took her first job in a rural Montana school district that had adopted the Montessori curriculum for their K-3 program. Ms. Lindsay completed her Lower Elementary Montessori training through the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest and her Upper Elementary training through the North American Montessori Center. She also holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education through Willamette University.
Two of the things that Ms. Lindsay really loves about teaching are that (1) she is continually challenged to learn more about the world around her as she prepares for her day at work, and (2) the joy and enthusiasm that her students have for learning about the world around them.
Ms. Lindsay comes from a family of Montessori educators and is also the product of a Montessori education. Montessori philosophy and methodology are a way of life for her in addition to the way of teaching.
Interacting with all living creatures, being outdoors and exploring the world around her are just a few of Ms. Lindsay's interests. She also loves traveling and eating new and interesting foods wherever she goes. During her free time, she gardens, gets creative in her kitchen and spends time playing with her precious family.
Upper Elementary Teacher's Aid, Mandarin Teacher
Xinmei is from China. She attended Jianxi Sheji College of Education. She has been a kindergarten teacher at Jianxi Fuzhou and a high school teacher at Jinxi Huanyu.
Xinmei moved to Saipan and joined the Brilliant Star team in 2012 and has worked in the Primary, Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms in her time with us as a Teacher's assistant and Mandarin Teacher.
In 2016, Xinmei received her Montessori Teacher's Certificate from the North America Montessori Center, and she is currently workin on obtaining her GED.
Being active is synonymous with Xinmei. She is a Mandarin instructor in her spare time. Her love of diving keeps her busy on the weekends, and she was a diving instructor for 3 years. She has also worked as a tour guide with Marianas Trekking, and all of this in her spare time while she continues to work for Brilliant Star.
Lower Elementary Teacher, Eagleray Room
Ms. Sara was born and raised in New York, where she was homeschooled by her mother until she enrolled in a community college at age 16. Her mother had a very similar teaching approach to Dr. Montessori's in how she raised her and her five other siblings. While it was not the Montessori method, it inspired her to want to become a teacher.
Sara received her bachelor’s degree in Family Studies, Services to Children at Towson University outside of Baltimore City, Maryland. She then moved to Brooklyn, NY where she started teaching at a private preschool. While living in Brooklyn, she received her Master’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Brooklyn College.
Sara taught preschool for a decade before moving to Saipan. She taught Health at Northern Marianas College for a year and a half, and then moved to the public school system where she taught High School Health and P.E. When Sara was offered a teaching position at Brilliant Star Montessori, the only Montessori school on island, she was very excited.
Sara has two beautiful daughters, both of whom attend Brilliant Star and she feels blessed to watch them grow and blossom every day.
Lower Elementary Teacher's Aid, Eagleray Room
Tina was born in Mainland China and has lived in Saipan for the past 20 years. She has had many jobs since then, starting out in the garment factories upon my arrival and working my way to where I am now, but by far the most exciting job for me, was being a flight attendant for Dynamic Airlines for nearly 5 years before I came to Brilliant Star School and started my new career as a teachers assistant.
“Being a teacher’s assistant has given me a new direction in life and has driven me to gain a higher education in the teaching profession. I love working with the children and I feel I have a lot to offer our younger generation on their way through our school, helping them gain the tools and knowledge necessary for their journey through life.”
Primary Teacher, Dragonfly Room
Shanshan was born in Tianjin, China. At the age of 17, she moved to Saipan with her dad and brother, joining her mother who had already been here for 10 years as a refugee. Everyone in Shanshan's family is a refugee because they believe in Falun Dafa, an advanced practice of Buddha’s self-cultivation.
In 2009, Shanshan became a Falan Dafa believer and joined the Brilliant Star team. Initially, she worked part time in the Toddler room. Later, she transitioned into the Primary room as an assistant and Mandarin teacher, where she continues to work. In May 2017, Shanshan completed her Montessori training program at North American Montessori Center and received her Montessori teacher's certificate.
Toddler Teacher’s Aid, Kingfisher Room
Raquel was born in the Mountain Province of the Philippines. She received her BS in Agroforestry in March 2000 from Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC). She continued her educational pursuits at MPSPC and became a licensed teacher in 2002. She arrived in Saipan in 2004 with her family and began working at Brilliant Star in 2006 as a commercial cleaner, along with her husband, Hilbert.
From 2009-2011, Raquel became the Lower El Morning Assistant. From 2011-15, she was a part-time Substitute Teacher's Assistant, and she became the full time Lower El Teacher's Assistant 2016-17. Currently, Raquel is the Toddler Teacher's Aid to Ms. Mary in the Kingfisher Room.
Raquel is married to Hilbert and together they have two lovely daughters, Joyce and Hayden, both of whom love to draw.
Born in Benguet, Philippines, Hilbert graduated in 1999 from Saint Louis University with a BS in Management.
Hilbert arrived in Saipan in 2004 and began working at Brilliant Star in 2006 as a Custodial Engineer where he is completely responsible for the maintenance and care of the outdoor and classroom spaces. He is a tradesman in many areas, including, but not limited to, carpentry, plumbing, and painting.
Hilbert is married to Raquel and they have two beautiful daughters, Joyce and Hayden.