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Our school

First Stage Montessori preschool and kindergarten is a preschool offering quality Montessori education, located on a fabulous wooded campus, easily accessible from Poulsbo and Silverdale, WA.  We opened our school in 2011 and have been growing ever since! 

Our goal is to provide a safe, respectful and fun learning environment in which children may become increasingly independent and self-motivated, along with developing consideration and respect for others. Whilst our students explore and discover the world around them, it is our mission to inspire them with interesting experiences and stimulating materials, enabling them to expand their inquisitive minds and to promote eager, lifelong learners.

Our experienced staff

Ali Budge  M.Ed.
Director & A.M.S. Teacher

Ali is a certified teacher from the UK, where she was born and raised. She has a passion for working with children and has more than 25 years teaching experience, ranging from preschool t high school. She has taught in different parts of our world, including England, Scotland, the Middle East and the USA, providing a wealth of experience from which to draw upon. It was during Ali’s second spell of living in Kitsap County, when she discovered Montessori education and was hooked!  Ali taught preschoolers for over three years at the wonderful Montessori Country School on Bainbridge Island, as a co-teacher at Advantage Montessori in Bremerton and previous to opening First Stage Montessori was employed as a Junior Elementary teacher at Voyager Elementary Montessori School (now Montessori Country School) on Bainbridge Island, WA. 

She took her American Montessori Society (A.M.S.) training at the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (M.E.I.P.N.) to become an Early Childhood Montessori certified teacher and completed her M.Ed in Elementary Education with a Montessori concentration in Dec 2014.

As a resident of Poulsbo, Ali is a mother of two wonderful young ladies and Max, who can also be found at FSM sometimes!  When Ali isn’t busy teaching or running the school, she is often out hiking, swimming, cycling or ‘treading the boards’ in some of the wonderful theaters of Kitsap County.

Ali is now delighted to see First Stage Montessori blossoming into its seventh year and is delighted to welcome all the families who will be a part of this wonderful community.

Angel Camasi
A.M.S. Trained Teacher Assistant 

Angel began working with children in high school and continued to do so following a family move from Minnesota, WI to Bainbridge Island, WA.

After raising a family here in Kitsap County, Angel pursued her career working with people and spent her time assisting seniors on Bainbridge.

When she is not working, Angel loves the being outdoors, gardening, walking and hiking in the great Pacific Northwest.  Her other hobbies include floral design and cooking.   She is now delighted to be a part of the FSM team and says working with all our wonderful students is a joy.

Orla Budge
Classroom Assistant

Orla has enjoyed working at FSM for the last two years and currently works with us on Wednesdays. She is now however excited to be heading off to Idaho in the fall to complete a BSc in Environmental Science.  When Orla isn't busy studying or assisting in the classroom she loves hiking, camping, theater and going to the gym.

Wendy Friend
Classroom Assistant

Wendy moved to the Pacific Northwest from California in 2016 and has fallen in love with the area! Wendy pursued a career working with seniors in California but is now very happy to be working with preschoolers at FSM.  We were delighted that Wendy was able to join our team in the New Year and she has been working with the afternoon class on Wednesdays ever since. Wendy enjoys gardening, spending time with her grandchildren, exploring all the PNW has to offer and is a fan of puzzles!

Liisa Peterson
A.M.I. Substitute Teacher

Liisa is a native of Tacoma, WA and a mother of two.  Following education and job opportunities, she and her young family moved from Washington to Indiana to California to Texas.  She received a BS in Education with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education and Reading (K-6th grade) from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!).   She and her husband, Garret, relocated to the Pacific Northwest when he retired in 2005.  

Liisa has worked in both public and private schools at the elementary and preschool level.  Her fascination the Montessori method started when her own children were preschoolers.  It continued through her experiences with the US public education system.  Thanks to inspiration and support from Montessori Country School on Bainbridge Island, she received Montessori Primary certification (for ages 3-6 yrs.) in 2011 from the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon.  

She now enjoys the heaven of First Stage Montessori.  Away from school Liisa and Garret enjoy a full life that includes grandchildren, donkeys, music, books, a cat, laundry and dandelions.   

P.O.Box 1523, Poulsbo, WA 98370       Tel:- 360 394 4440

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