Lead Guide

Emily Canibano, M.ed, ERYT

Emily brings her life long passion for learning and teaching to Olive Branch School, a natural 10835275_10205372903016541_736968404271228519_oextension of her life’s work in supporting early learners and families.

As a first time mom she attended Benedictine University studying English language and literature with a minor in secondary education where she was the president of Sigma Tau Delta and Kappa Delta Pi. Her educational presentation earned her a fellowship from the Academy of Urban School Leaders.  Although public education was not the right fit, she continued to learn and teach over the years. Development and implementation of curriculum at the preschool  level, presenting workshops to NFPs, schools and corporations, teaching Baby Sign,Mommy and Me, birth, lactation, and parenting classes while nurturing a growing family are among her joyful accomplishments.

Motherhood has provided many additional learning opportunities; from homeschooling her eldest to raising a child with pediatric epilepsy Emily has expanded her knowledge with each new phase of life. Through her children she connected to the Montessori Method and has been a Montessori parent of children in Primary to Adolescent programs with involvement as a class reading volunteer, fundraising and project coordinator, extra-curricular guide and mom.

In 2013 Emily closed her successful yoga studio to follow her heart’s desire of working to build a brighter future for children through early childhood education. She moved with her husband and three children to Portland, OR where she completed AMI Primary Guide training at MNW and a M.ed from Loyola University. Emily and her family feel blessed to call the Pacific Northwest their home and enjoy visits to the Children’s Museum, hiking, disc golf, reading, biking, antiquing, yoga, shopping farmers’ markets and finding all of the hidden curiosities that Portland has to offer.

Click here find out more about Emily’s qualifications and credentials.


Chris Canibano, BSIMG_8340

Chris is registered with the Oregon Registry Online and is dedicated to furthering his knowledge of early childhood education.  As a parent of Montessori students for the past 15 years he has acquired a vast knowledge of the methodology through parent education nights, early childhood trainings and hands on classroom experiences.  He has been a volunteer for classroom trips and school functions, as well as helped set up classrooms in several Montessori settings.

Chris has a BS from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Political Science with an emphasis on urban development where he was a scholarship recipient from the Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services program and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a published author and in his spare times writes and digitally colors comic books for some of the industry’s leading titles. His strong knowledge base of history, geography and even world flags, is a great compliment to the classroom.


Alexander KusekIMG_8683

Alexander is our Lead Guide’s eldest son and has been a Montessori student since age 8, continuing through 8th grade.   He is an invaluable asset in the classroom and relates well as a peer model to the students.  He assists in organizing outdoors games, lends a hand to tie aprons, reads books to interested children and stands in as an extra “student” in group lessons when needed (especially the collective exercises of mathematics). He works under the direct guidance and complete supervision of our Lead Guide.

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