Meet Our Staff

Taylor Wesenberg

Taylor is an American Montessori Internationale certified teacher for ages 6-12 years of age.  Her thirteen years of experience in Montessori includes lower and upper elementary students.  Ms. Taylor enjoys all areas of the Montessori curriculum but she has a deep passion for Mathematics.  Her family recently relocated from the Chicago suburbs to Florida.  She has two children, Sawyer and Wyatt, and a dog named Wally.

photo coming soon to first Montessori staff page

Melanie Smith

Melanie is an American Montessori certified lower elementary trained Montessori teacher who is passionate about guiding children to be independent, self-directed learners. Melanie also loves to work with children in natural settings growing food and enjoys teaching children about healthy eating with fun projects. Over the years Melanie has worked in many capacities at Montessori Schools. Melanie owned her own Eco-Montessori School here in Sarasota from 2015 to 2020.  Melanie is an educational consultant and private tutor. Prior to opening her school, Melanie was an Elementary School Principal and Teacher at Island Village Montessori School.


  • Early Childhood Education Degree From USF
  • Florida State Certified Educator – PreKindergarten/Primary (Age 3 – 3rd grade), ESE (Exceptional Student Education) K-12, ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) Endorsed
  • American Montessori Elementary I Credential
  • Level One Orff Schilwerk (music instruction)
  • DCF Staff Credential
  • Florida Dept. of Education VPK instructor training
photo coming soon to first Montessori staff page

Ms. Niki

Ms. Niki is a Montessori Primary trained teacher who has been working at our school for the last several years.  Niki loves to work with young children and enjoys seeing them thrive in the Montessori classroom.  She grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Her mother was an art teacher and her father was a fisherman, so she quickly developed a love for the arts and the environment.  Ms. Niki has two children ages 9 and 16 and live near downtown Sarasota. On weekends, she offers Natural horsemanship classes for children ages 3 and above, with her horse Jilly Bean. She began her career within education with teaching horseback riding lessons and then moved on to teaching the toddler class at First Montessori. Last year, she was the Primary lead teacher and completed the Montessori training certification requirements and now, again, she is the Lead Primary teacher at First Montessori. She truly loves children and believes they are the only way to change our world for the better. Showing her students love and understanding is one of her main goals in helping them develop and thrive.

photo coming soon to first Montessori staff page