The main difference between Stephanie’s life now as a middle school teacher and her life as a lawyer is the average age of her “clients;” their average maturity level, however, is largely unchanged. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Stephanie has strong community ties and connections. With college majors in microbiology and legal studies and a minor in physiological psychology, Stephanie went on to law school, publishing in the law review and graduating summa cum laude.
As a Florida prosecutor, Stephanie worked with victims, police, and witnesses. She crafted legal opinions while serving as appellate law clerk for the Honorable Justice Barbara Pariente of the Florida Supreme Court. And she tangled with labor unions and defended corporations as a partner with the national labor and employment law firm, Jackson|Lewis. After bringing home her first daughter from China, Stephanie, left the full-time practice of law. After a short time, she was ready for her next discovery challenge – teaching. Looking for a place for her daughter to become a “life learner,” Stephanie discovered the Montessori method and Montessori World School.
After a few years in administration, Stephanie convinced the Head of School to expand to the middle school level where she would become the lead teacher. Stephanie recognizes that life for a lawyer who leaves the law is not necessarily more restful. Once you’ve learned to work inhumane hours, it’s hard to dial back to humane. As a Montessori middle school teacher, however, those hours are spent as she sees fit to ensure her students are exposed to and well-versed in knowledge and skills common to pre-collegiate curricula and guided toward psychological and economical independence to begin engaging seriously in the realities of life.