The Sequoyah community takes its name from the Cherokee linguist. Although Sequoyah was not literate in any language, he created written symbols for the 85 sounds in spoken Cherokee. He introduced the language to the Cherokee nation in 1821, and within a few months thousands of Cherokees became literate. By 1825, many books and songs had been translated into Sequoyah’s written Cherokee, and by 1828 the first Cherokee newspaper was in publication. By 1830 the Cherokee literacy rate was over 90%; much higher than that of the white settlers. Ms. Kerstin and her team hope to inspire their students with Sequoyah’s spirit of innovation and public mindedness, and to help them develop into young adults who love learning.
Xiang JiChinese Language Academic Program Coordinator & Elementary Teacher, Chinese Mandarin
Ms. Xiang Ji is Sequoyah’s Chinese teacher and has been teaching at Intercultural for eight years. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the lead teacher for Long Feng Community. From 2014 to 2016, she served as the lead teacher for He Ping Community. She is also a school Chinese Program Academic Coordinator since 2016. Ms. Xiang holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from Huangshan University and a Master's degree, with a major in Education Curriculum & Instruction and a minor in Early Childhood Education, from Southwestern College. She is also Montessori trained for Early Childhood and Elementary I - II. Ms. Xiang is a very dedicated, detail-oriented, and passionate teacher, who believes that every child is unique and requires individual care and attention to most effectively learn and develop. As such, she firmly believes in Montessori's method of 'following the child.'
Damaris GonzalezElementary Teacher, Spanish
Ms. Damaris is originally from Corozal, Puerto Rico and has been living in Chicago for one year. Ms. Damaris received her B.A. in Elementary Education from the Universidad Central in Bayamán, Puerto Rico. She hopes to begin her Montessori Elementary training this fall. She’s been a teacher since 2000, working in private and public schools as well in a prison in Puerto Rico. She’s been the Upper Elementary Spanish teacher at Intercultural Montessori Language School since 2017. Ms. Damaris is a passionate and nurturing teacher who believes that all students are capable of learning Spanish. She believes in inspiring students by engaging their interests as well as creating projects that allow them to build their understanding as they expand their knowledge of different fields.
Xiaomin FeiElementary Teacher, Chinese Mandarin
Mr. Xiaomin Fei is originally from Liaoning, China and has been living in the United States for two years in Pennsylvania and Chicago. Mr. Xiaomin received his Bachelor in English Teaching and Master’s Degree in translation from Shenyang Normal University in China. Mr.Xiaomin is in the process of completing his Montessori certification for children 6-12 years through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS). In China, he taught elementary language for two years and worked as an English translator. This is his second year to work in Intercultural Montessori as a lead Chinese teacher in the Heping Community. He is a passionate teacher who takes it upon himself to always give each student the attention they need. He prides himself in facing all challenges with a positive attitude and hopes that this will be an example for his students to follow.