Marie Atalla (Miss Marie)
Founder and Director
Marie Atalla is the founder and director of Ava Wanas and Immanuel Montessori schools. Marie grew up in Egypt where she earned her BA and MA in Economics at the American University in Cairo. She is fluent in Arabic, French and English…When Marie discovered in herself a passion for working with children, she embarked on starting her own Montessori school where she strives to create a pleasant, safe and loving environment. After completing her Montessori training with AMS, Marie opened the doors of Ava Wanas (now Immanuel), Sykesville’s first Montessori school, in September 2007. Ten years later, the school’s second location launched in Mt. Airy/Taylorsville.
Miss Maria joined Ava Wanas Montessori School in 2014. She grew up in Peru and got her Bachelor’s Degree in Education there. When she came to the United States, Miss Maria was introduced to the Montessori philosophy. She became very fond of it and decided to pursue her Montessori training. She graduated from the North American Montessori Center. Miss Maria has many years of experience as a Montessori directress. She enjoys working with children and is always happy to see them blossom. Miss Maria has two daughters. She enjoys traveling, cooking, dancing and music. She is fluent in Spanish and English and loves to teach the children Spanish songs and salsa.
Miss Priyanka was born in India and relocated quite often due to father’s traveling job. This taught her to love, respect and appreciate people of different cultures, customs and traditions. She completed her Bachelors and Master’s Degree Economics in India followed by an enriching experience of the Montessori primary teacher’s training from Ratan Tata Institute, Mumbai, India.
After travelling to the U.S., she pursued further training with the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her favorite things about being a Montessori directress are watching children grow into independent workers, and seeing the children in a mixed-age group help and learn from one another.