Our Elementary Staff
Becca Peters guide in the Sandpiper Lower Elementary Community. She grew up the fourth of six children in Western Massachusetts. As a teenager, she lived in France for a few years, and later she graduated from Fordham University in NYC with a B.A. in French Literature. After college, she volunteered as a teacher for two years in Belize, after which she studied Montessori Education and earned her M. Ed. at Loyola College in Maryland. She moved to Decatur in 2008, where we had the good fortune to bring her into the MSAE community. Her two daughters, Clare and Annie, come to school here, too. She loves to spend off time reading, sewing and exploring Atlanta.
Ms. Suzanne began her first year as a guide in the Sandpiper Elementary Community in August of 2016. She completed her AMI training at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Georgia State University. Ms. Suzanne was driven to pursue a career as a Montessori Elementary teacher after her experience as an Assistant to an awe- inspiring AMI trained, Primary Montessori teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This eye-opening opportunity pushed her to move beyond educating children of ages 3 to 6 to find out just what lays in wait of the child leaving the Children’s House and entering Elementary. Developing children through her guidance and their inner desire to learn is her singular motivation, as nothing is more rewarding than observing student's successes and their continuous growth into becoming a well-rounded individual in today’s society. Ms. Suzanne's son, Markus, attends MSAE and whether its planning a trip cross-country, working on dietary discoveries, recycling challenges, gardening, hiking or biking, she is devoted to him and her husband, Chris.
Pete Cassanelli began as the Emu Upper Elementary guide in August of 2018. He previously taught Upper Elementary for 11 years at Little Flower Montessori School in Wilton Manors, Florida. Born in Philadelphia, PA, Pete was a Montessori child through the 6th grade. He lived in Mogadishu, Somalia for eight months after leaving Montessori, which he credits with widening his view of the world and inspiring his love of travel and cultures. He received his undergraduate degree from New Mexico State University , earned a Masters of English from Florida Atlantic University and received his AMI Montessori training in Dublin, Ireland. He has traveled many times to volunteer for a humanitarian organization in El Salvador, and continues to be involved with the Big Brother/Big Sister Organization. He is from a family of teachers, and feels very lucky to be able to work with children every day in a Montessori environment. He is super excited about being at MSAE and loves the family atmosphere. Proud father of a college-aged daughter named Skye, he enjoys reading, playing tennis and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams!