About Us

Meet Our Educators
  • Established in 2013 to offer an alternative early education for young children, Riverside Christian Montessori has been improving and expanding ever since.  The school began in the home of its founder, Mrs. Roshika Perera, who started the school to provide her own 3 children with a Montessori education.  Friends began enrolling their children, and the school grew to its capacity within its first 2 years strictly by referral.   Mrs. Perera acquired the former St. John’s Parish Hall in York (over 170 year old historical building) and restored it to highlight its historical features and brought it up to municipal and ministry of education standards in an over half a million dollar project.

    The school was licensed under the Childcare Early Years Act by the Ministry of education in 2015 and registered as a Private school in 2015.   The school is currently a member applicant of CCMA (The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators) and offers a Casa program for children aged 3 to 6 year olds, and an Elementary Program for students aged 6 to 12.  

    Riverside Christian Montessori School is Haldimand Norfolk’s only Montessori school and its facility and program standards are inspected and monitored by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services, the Ministry of Education, and the Canada Council of Montessori Administrators.

    • Roshika Perera
      Principal and Montessori Casa & Elementary Directress

      Roshika Perera

      Principal and Montessori Casa & Elementary Directress

      Roshika Perera (Hons. Bsc. Science, MACTE Casa, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary)

      Hi, my name is Roshika Perera and I am passionate about loving and educating children. The Montessori approach to education reflects my personal convictions and beliefs on love and freedom. As such, I opened the school initially as a venture to provide my own 3 children with what I believed was the best approach to education available.

      I am currently the Principal and Elementary Teacher at Riverside, and I teach music and movement and self regulation to our Casa students. My love for teaching keeps me engaged in the classroom and continues to be my ultimate passion; working directly with children.

      Dr. Montessori said, “Too often a teacher commands because he is strong, and expects a child to obey because he is weak. Instead of acting in this way, an adult should show himself to a child as a loving and enlightened guide assisting him along the way leading to the kingdom of heaven.” (Maria Montessori, “The Discovery of the Child, pg 13).

      Montessori has been a life changing journey for me, as a mom, wife, woman, teacher, pastor and entrepreneur. The depths of this psychological and scientific approach to education is one that fascinates me and I’ve commited my life to further understanding and sharing its principles of faith, humility, freedom, and unconditional love.

      Personal Info:
      • Education:
        Hons. Bsc Sc. Psychology, Montessori Early childhood Education (MACTE), Montessori Elementary Education (MACTE)

      • Years:
        7+ years
    • Susan Kolne
      Montessori Casa Directress

      Susan Kolne

      Montessori Casa Directress

      It has been my honour and privilege to have served families while working in the field of Early Childhood Education since my graduation from Mohawk College, Hamilton, 1977. My career path has included work in Early Childhood settings, including preschool programs within elementary and high schools, in a social service agency and, for the past 24 years, in a full day child care center.

      In 2017-2018 I completed my MACTE Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Education and made a leap into this fascinating method of working with children.

      I enjoy playing a role in the learning and discovery that children experience and love to watch their development unfold. As an avid reader myself, literacy and the joy of language are of particular interest to me. I believe in life-long learning and have participated in many in-service training sessions and educational workshops throughout my career and I am committed to continuous learning in both professional and personal domains. I am very excited to be working with the Riverside Christian Montessori School children, families and staff.

      “This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)

      Personal Info:
      • Education:
        Montessori Early Childhood Diploma (MACTE), ECE
      • Years:
        40+ years
    • Elesha Vanderburg
      Montessori Casa Directress

      Elesha Vanderburg

      Montessori Casa Directress

      Hello!

      My name is Elesha and I am so honored to be here at Riverside Christian Montessori School.  I have been a stay at home mom to my four kids prior to joining the RCMS team. Previous to that, I was the co-director of “Kids Church” at Gateway Church in Caledonia and I had also run my own in-home daycare.

      I have always had a passion for kids and I am so thrilled to be living that out by serving here as a teacher.  When I’m not at school, you will most likely find me baking, crocheting or at a dance studio where my girls compete or at an arena where my son plays hockey.

      I completed my Montessori Casa Training in 2017 and am loving applying myself in this amazing approach to education.

      Personal Info:
      • Education:
        Montessori Early Childhood Diploma (MACTE)
      • Years:
        2 years
    • Mike Kolne
      Chef & Facility Manager

      Mike Kolne

      Chef & Facility Manager

      Hi my name is Mike, I am a 62 year old “wanna be cook.” It has been a passion of mine for numerous years. I have been volunteering time with St. John’s Anglican church both in York and Cayuga as their Warden for the past 10 years and have catered many events over the years for the church and community.

      My involvement with the school began in 2015 when I was approached by Mrs. Perera to help with cutting the grass as I had been in charge of maintaining the church property across the street for the past 15 years. From cutting the school grass, to taking over the maintenance of the school, I then took on a full time position in 2017 as the school cook and facility manager.

      I was a brick layer for most of my life, and have worked hard manually my entire life. My passion for cooking food is something I’ve always wanted to explore and finally I am able to do so with RCMS. My beautiful wife, Mrs. Susan, is also employed at RCMS as a Casa Teacher, and I have the privledge to work with her each day.