Philomath Montessori Staff


Jessica Neebe

Director and Co-teacher

Jessica discovered Montessori at the turn of the millennium when looking for early education for her two children.  After serving as a PhMS board member and administrative assistant, Jessica trained at the Montessori Institute Northwest and received her AMI primary certification.  As a classroom guide and school director, Jessica’s compassion and empathy for children and their parents is apparent to all. Her ready laugh and ability to juggle many tasks at once astounds her co-workers on a daily basis.  Jessica and her partner live in a woodsy area of Philomath where she raises chickens and other livestock, gardens, preserves its bounty and occasionally leaves it all behind to go camping.  Jessica is an active community-member, participating in 4-H, Grange and other groups.


Doni Manning-Cyrus


Doni received her training from AMI and has been employed as a Guide since 1988. Her background in theater makes her storytelling irresistibly compelling. She happily shares her love of animals and song with the children and her quick ear for languages allows her to share foreign phrases from any country we may study. She respects the young child’s struggle to do things for him/herself, providing the smallest help possible and sufficient time for each child to master their challenges.

Natalie Sullivan

Classroom Assistant

Natalie has really come full-circle here at PhMS, from being a graduate of the program in her childhood to becoming our classroom assistant.  She enjoys being active outdoors and has played soccer which makes her a top-notch referee for schoolyard matches.  Natalie’s passions are organization, theater, gardening, sports and travel.  She is also an avid knitter, baker and cake decorator.  Natalie has a BA in Humanities with a focus on French and Spanish, is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Majestic Theater and teaches French at LBCC.  She and her roommates live on the very same street where Natalie grew up in Corvallis and she’s back in her very first classroom.  We are so glad!


Pauline Tanaka

Administrative Assistant

Pauline founded our school in its present location in 1983 after training with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). She has a degree in Special Education as well as endorsements for teaching Language Arts and Social Studies. At the end of June 2016, Pauline transitioned from her long-time post as our director and co-teacher with Doni to Jessica’s administrative assistant and Jennifer’s classroom assistant in the Friday Art Class. She is looking forward to life in her new roles at our school!