Maria Eva Chaffin
Founder and Director
Maria Eva Chaffin is originally from Venezuela. She is married with three boys and two dogs. She is in the process of completing her Doctoral in Organizational Leadership. She holds a Master of Science in Exceptional Student Education, a Master’s Degree in Business Education, a Bachelor’s in Special Education, as well as a Montessori Teacher Certification in early childhood. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and has been in the Montessori field for 10 years.
Maria Eva is a published co-author and has written numerous reference materials for Montessori teachers, including recently the Primary Teacher Instruction Guide for Hatching The Cosmic Egg by Michael Dorer. Maria Eva is known globally for her expertise in the Montessori Method, teacher and administrator education, special needs, and for her passion to teach all children. Maria Eva has been invited to present at Montessori events around the country and host regular teacher education websessions to help teachers and administrators around the world deliver the best Montessori experience possible.
First and foremost, Maria Eva loves being a Montessori teacher and her passion for all children is endless. After over 20 years of experience teaching children, adults and those with special needs, Maria Eva remains convinced that the Montessori Method is the best way for all children to learn.
Director of Elementary Curriculum
Rosa Acevedo found her passion for teaching through the Montessori Method after being a traditional teacher and a tutor for elementary-aged children and young adults. She discovered that the main thing that worked for her as a teacher to get to her students was connecting individually with the child. She began seeking a different approach to help students learn and become a better teacher for them through courses in Educational Therapy and opened her own tutoring center. After being a traditional teacher for 5 years, she decided to pursue her certification on Montessori as a guide for Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
Mrs. Rosa is a dedicated teacher who is passionate about children’s learning process and development, and a focused individual with an excellent work ethic. She is a person with a caring nature, goal-oriented, and great team player. She is fascinated to observe a child discovering the wonders of the world through the Montessori lessons and the joy of a child offering and presenting a lesson to another child. She loves all the curriculum areas, particularly, the Math and the Cosmic Education.
She has two daughters and two big dogs and enjoys taking the dogs to the park and to the beach. Also, she enjoys making crafts, playing volleyball, traveling and spending time with friends. Every now and then she likes to undertake a new challenge or experience and likes to develop more as a professional and human being.
Elementary Teacher (6 to 12 years old)
Jacki Wehner has earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida with certifications in ESOL and Middle School Mathematics. Of her 15 years of teaching experience, seven years have been in a Montessori classroom. After beginning her teaching career in elementary classes at traditional schools, a one hour visit to a Montessori classroom changed her view of education forever. Her commitment to education was expanded and renewed. During her career transition into Montessori, she earned her certification for teaching Montessori Elementary, ages 6-12, in a MACTE accredited program through the International Montessori Council. As a Montessori guide, Jacki was inspired by the “Follow the Child” aspect of the pedagogy that provided the freedom and creativity that children deserve in developing a passion for learning and independence.
It is that same passion for a better world through Montessori that led her to share her experiences in Pennsylvania. In the past two years there, she has received her Private Academic Certification K-8 and Instructional I Professional Certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has sought out professional development that would support and strengthen her Montessori practices. Now upon returning to Sarasota, Florida, she is excited to share and grow with Seeds of Life Montessori Academy.
Jacki loves spending time with her family and friends, especially outdoors. While she may be out walking or riding a bike or playing sports, she also enjoys art and learning more about the world, either through reading or meeting new people and sharing experiences. Teaching the Montessori way has made her a curious observer, always wanting to learn more while appreciating what the journey has to offer.
Kashmira has had a passion for art since she was a little kid. She has studied many types of art techniques and styles and loves to incorporate that and art history in her lessons. When not teaching, she loves to read, spend time with her family and friends, travel, and go out to eat! Kashmira went to Montessori school herself from primary through 8th grade. Montessori is also a huge passion of hers.