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OUR STAFF

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TERRA ALLEN

Terra Allen joins the Brilliant Star team as principal this school year. She is committed to leading the school forward and supporting a community of learning that reflects global excellence. She will work to see that Brilliant Star's vision of the entire community coming together to lift the child towards a future of growth, advocacy for humanity, a love for our planet, and ethical citizenship is realized. Terra is a long-term CNMI resident and educator. She firmly believes in the importance of early, inquiry-led, self-directed learning for our little ones. Her son will be in the Toddler class this year. 

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LIZA CASTRO

Office Manager
admin@brilliantstar.org

Bio coming soon! 

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MS. LINDSAY 

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher, Fanihi Room
fanihi@brilliantstar.org

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.

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MS. PENELOPE

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher, Eagleray Room
eagleray@brilliantstar.org

Ms. Nel has been a Montessori guide for two decades. She homeschooled her children using Montessori methodology. She became a Montessori teacher because she found “traditional “ schooling to be less effective than the Montessori method. Children who are more intelligent than average get frustrated and those who are distracted by extra-curricular circumstances fall behind in the mass grouping of a rigid curriculum, in her experience. She believes that each individual can fulfill his or her unique potential with the right fit. That said, young children need to acquire basic skills that teachers (and parents!) can help them learn.

 

She is very happy to work with the 6-9 age group this school year. The Lower Elementary’s materials and curriculum go into and build on the lessons introduced in Primary. She makes a promise that her students will enjoy expanding their skillset, gaining more knowledge, growing, working out physically, mentally, socially, and naturally!

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MS. SHANSHAN 

Primary Lead Teacher, Dragonfly Room
dragonfly@brilliantstar.org

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.

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MS. XINMEI

Primary Lead Teacher, Hibiscus Room
hibiscus@brilliantstar.org

We are very excited to announce that Xinmei will be the lead teacher for one of our primary classes this year! 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. 

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. Brilliant Star loves Xinmei and knows this year will be transformative for her and her students. 

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MS. MARY

Toddler Lead Teacher, Kingfisher Room
kingfisher@brilliantstar.org

Ms Mary was born in Jangsu, China. She came to Saipan in 1993. 

In 2004, Ms. Mary started to work at Brilliant Star Montessori School as a Toddler Assistant  teacher. She worked with Ms.Mei for 12 years and Ms. Nel for 3 years. From these two lead teachers, she learned how to manage a Toddler classroom.

 

In 2019, Ms. Mary received her Montessori Certificate for Toddler from the North America Montessori Center and became the Toddler head teacher.

Ms. Mary loves traveling, cooking, hiking with friends, and playing soccer.

Three years into living in Saipan, she got married to Will Hinson. They have two sons; Billy is a Marine, stationed at Twentynine Palms. Alan is in college at NMC.

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MS. JOYCE

Infant Teacher, Kingfisher Room
missyan@brilliantstar.org

Bio coming soon!

Upper Elementary Teaching Assistant, Fanihi Room
msqiuna@brilliantstar.org

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Qiuna has lived in Saipan for 23 years. She loves her family and has been married for 16 years. This will be her 7th year with Brilliant Star School! She finds joy in being around children and easily connects with the children in her care. Her three sons went to Brilliant Star! Her sons, Julian, Max, and Jun Jun are very independent, love sports, and spend much of their at the beach. Qiuna knows that this will be the best year yet with our team of children, teachers, staff, and parents! 

MS. QIUNA

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MR. STEVEN

 Grant Manager
mrsteven@brilliantstar.org

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 taught for 8 years 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.

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MS. RAQUEL

Toddler Teaching Assistant, Kingfisher Room
missraquel@brilliantstar.org

Bio coming soon!

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MS. PATRICIA

 Primary Lead Teacher
misspatricia@brilliantstar.org

Bio coming soon!

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MS. LILI

 Primary Teaching Assistant, Dragonfly Room
misslily@brilliantstar.org

Bio coming soon!

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MS. REMY

Teaching Assistant
missremy@brilliantstar.org

Remy was born in China. She has lived in Saipan for 25 years and continues to enjoy her life in the islands. Remy joined Montessori late last year to become an assistant teacher in the primary class. She enjoys teaching the children life skills and mandarin in her class.

 

Remy has three kids that have left Saipan in pursuit of big careers. Two daughters that are currently in college and her son being an officer US Marine Corps. 

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MR. HILBERT

 Custodial Engineer

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.

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