Southside Montessori Elementary School

Director: Lael Sheahan
Phone: 509-624-1316

Address Info:
physical location:
3220 S Grand Blvd
Spokane, WA 99203

mailing address:
PO Box 8379
Spokane, WA 99203

Teacher Bios

Lael Sheahan, Director/Teacher

Montessori Background:
1971–AMI preschool diploma from the Montessori Institute in Los Angeles
1976–AMI elementary diploma from Sion Hill College, Ireland


Lael has over 36 years of Montessori teaching experience: 3 years of preschool and 33 years in the elementary classroom. Her teaching experience includes the Southwest (Santa Fe, Dallas) and the Northwest. She spent 10 years teaching elementary education as director and head teacher of a one classroom AMI elementary program (Montessori Learning Center) in Corvallis, Oregon.

She taught at Franciscan Montessori in Portland, Oregon before opening Zia Montessori Elementary School in Portland in 2000. The school relocated to Spokane in the fall of 2003 with a name change becoming Southside Montessori Elementary School.


Along with her vast teaching experience, Lael has consulted for various schools and given workshops in Sweden, Canada and the United States. She pursued her interest in public relations and parent education.

She developed two Montessori slide shows that were distributed for 23 years both nationally and internationally by the North American Montessori Teacher Association. The slide shows were used for parent education and in education classes at colleges, universities, and Montessori training institutes.

Lael has served as editor of the AMI magazine, Family Life. She also served as Assistant editor and member of the advisory board of Montessori Explorer, a Magazine for elementary children.

Life Experience:

Four years of volunteer work with the Dallas Museum of Natural History, including on-site digging and the eventual reconstruction of a 75 million year old mosasaur (a swimming reptile), combined with several years of world travel have enriched the life experiences she brings to the classroom.

Lael enjoys sharing her experiences, enthusiasm, love of learning, and humor with her students. Her passion for teaching is apparent in the lives of the hundreds of students she has touched. Many of her students are now pursuing their own careers and raising Montessori children and several stay in touch with her to this day.

This, she says, is the real benefit of her profession.

Southside Montessori Staff and Programs

Esta Rosevear is our Theater teacher.  She moved from Phoenix to Spokane after 30 years of teaching theater as well as having been the CEO and Artistic Director of a theater there.

In Spokane, she has directed two plays at Interplayers.  She has also directed two children’s plays at the Spokane Children’s Theater:  Annie and Go Dog, Go!

She is a children’s author as well and she has published three books:

  • Rebecca and the Comfy Cozy Feeling
  • Rebecca and the Purple Bracelet
  • Rebecca and the Garden

See for more information on Esta’s books

Angela Luck of Stretch and Grow provides our weekly PE class.  This class keeps everyone moving!  The children learn skills, master those skills in games, and have a great time!