Claire Lundy, Lead Teacher
My passion for nature, knowledge and the gifts our world provides to us started at a young age. Wanting to share this passion, it was very early in my academic career that I knew I wanted to contribute to the education of children. Frustrated by the lack of support children received from the public education system, I was reluctant to study conventional education in its current state, and decided that developmental psychology would better inform my future work with children. I graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Attracted to the transformative nature of the preschool age group, I began working in a Montessori Preschool, and became inspired by the beauty in watching young children grow naturally and holistically into independent, peaceful beings.
With an AMI certified diploma as a primary Montessori guide and a Masters in Montessori education, I am ready to create and support a peaceful and loving environment where children can grow to their fullest potential. When not basking in the authenticity of children, I love balancing my life with adventurous activities, like playing rugby and trail running, with more meditative activities, such as yoga and gardening.
Elizabeth Bartko, Co-Teacher
Elizabeth began her career as an early childhood educator in 2007. Within a few years of moving to Portland she discovered Montessori education, completed AMI primary training with Ginni Sackett, and began working in a Montessori school in NE Portland, before becoming a mother in 2011. Since then she has worked in several schools at various age levels, implementing her skills, observing, and appreciating all of the benefits Montessori environments have to offer children and their families. From 2014-2020 she owned and operated Maple Seed Montessori, a toddler program in the Montavilla neighborhood. She continues to grow and develop her knowledge of child development and pays special care to the social and emotional needs of children.
Elizabeth is excited to join the Frog Song community and is eager to support teachers and learners each day. She looks forward to sharing with the children her enjoyment of singing, reading, gardening, and exploring the natural world.
Other personal passions include sharing laughter and meals with friends and family; hiking locally; experiencing live music; perusing cookbooks; camping beneath trees; walking Portland neighborhoods; and traveling to places near and far. Most of all, she enjoys an evening at home with her husband, daughter and two black cats.
Angie Pavão, Assistant Teacher
Wherever I have lived, I have long been passionate about fostering community. I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience from Lewis & Clark College, and I have professionally pursued paths of community health and development while also working with children and adolescence in various capacities. I continually find that engaging with children in their journeys through a holistic education serves as both individual and community health and development. I believe that nurturing an excitement for knowledge and thoughtfulness toward the world such as Montessori strives to do for our young is fundamental to the development of future generations.
I am grateful to learn alongside the children at Frog Song, supporting them through their first steps into organized education. When I am not at school, I enjoy playing rugby, freshwater swimming, walking in the woods, and petting cats.
Special Activity Teachers
Sophie Enloe, Music Teacher
I began my formal musical training with piano lessons at the age of six and began learning the violin two years later. However, my musical education began long before then, as singing and movement were part of daily life in my family. Now, as a Suzuki violin teacher, professional musician and music educator, I’m keenly aware of the value of this early exposure to music.
I’ve taught music to children ages 4 and up at my Suzuki violin studio since 2013. As a violinist/fiddler, I’ve toured and recorded with a number of folk, country and old-time bands, and taught both children and adults at music festivals and workshops. I successfully completed my training with the Center for Music and Young Children in July 2015 and have taught for Music Together of Portland. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to combine my passion for music and love of working with young children in this way.
Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, Tumbling
Kakumyo considers himself fortunate to teach tumbling at Frog Song each week. He has been a monk at Dharma Rain for 20 years, a teacher for 10, and is now the abbot of the temple. He has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with movement, and enjoys qigong, time in the wild, and performing acrobatics with a circus troupe. His innate sense of play translates very easily to 3-4 year olds.
Shin’yu Vitells, Program Director
I’ve been a monk at Dharma Rain since 2014, devoting much of my time to working with our children’s programs. As head of the Dharma Garden Council, which oversees programs for youth and families, and Program Director for Frog Song, I have the great joy of watching how children thrive in an environment where they feel safe, respected and appreciated for who they are. When not busy with temple activities, I’m usually with family, and delight in learning about the wonders of the world with my grandchildren.
Jen Bass, Administrative Support
Jen offers part-time administrative support to the Frog Song staff. She is an active member of the Dharma Rain Community. When not meditating here on Wednesday nights, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, dancing and hiking around Portland. Her background is in working with autistic people in the field of applied behavior analysis. She’s passionate about mindfulness, self-compassion and community engagement.