Orcas Montessori welcomes new head of school

Orcas Montessori School Welcomes Jai Brisbon as new Head of School

Submitted by Arthur de Haan, Board President.

As you may have heard, Teresa Chocano will be retiring towards the end of the year. This is not a goodbye yet as Teresa will help with the transition. I do want to take this opportunity to thank Teresa for her many years of dedication to our school and wish her well as she takes the next step in her journey next year.

Rest assured, we have been planning this transition with Teresa for quite a while. So it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jai Brisbon as the new Head of School, starting Oct. 1. Jai joins us from Dallas, Texas, and has a long and distinguished career in public and private education. Here is a little bit about Jai in her own words:

“I started my career in Early Childhood Education over 18 years ago in a small Montessori school as a classroom teacher. After spending eight years as a classroom teacher in public and private schools I focused my energy outside the classroom supporting teachers, schools, and communities, ensuring all families who choose will have access to high quality Montessori classrooms. This included supporting teachers in their classrooms, opening new community schools in under-served areas, and guiding strategic planning initiatives at nonprofits in Dallas, Texas. As Head of School in Dallas I served a culturally, linguistically and economically diverse community as well as supported the creation of powerful learning environments for children and their families to thrive and be in partnership with each other. Most recently I have been the principal liaison on a multi-year research project exploring the efficacy of Montessori education as well as the short, mid and long-term impact of Montessori education in the first nine years of a child’s life. In addition to research, I led state advocacy initiatives to maintain and increase state and federal funding of early childhood education.

On personal note I am an enthusiastic outdoor adventurer, and I can’t wait to explore the island. Having traveled to all 50 states I am excited to call Washington (Orcas Island) my new home. My daughter is in her 3rd year of college in Oregon studying Chinese and Economics and will be a regular visitor to Orcas Island.”

Teresa will work closely with Jai to ensure a smooth transition. Welcome Jai!