Fairbanks Montessori School, Fairbanks, AK

“The child is both the hope and a promise for mankind.”

-Maria Montessori

Child working

Meet the Teachers

Sarah Robinson- “Ms. Sarah”

Executive Director – Fairbanks Montessori

Sarah Robinson is originally from New England, but since moving to Anchorage in 1999 and Fairbanks in 2010 considers herself an Alaskan Girl.

Sarah has over 15 years of elementary teaching experience, which began in Denver, CO where she received her Master’s in Curriculum Development & ESL from the University of Colorado Denver.

In Anchorage she taught at several different schools 4th, 5th and 6th grade finishing up as a Title I Reading Teacher in charge of professional development, school wide assessments and teaching small groups of struggling students Kindergarten through 6th grade.

In Fairbanks Sarah got involved with the Fairbanks Children’s Museum back when they did Museum Without Walls events around town in donated venue. Working as a volunteer for a year led to the job as Director of Education and Community Outreach for the Children’s Museum. Being a part of such a great grass roots organization is something Sarah is very proud of and also helped her acquire all the skills necessary for the job as Executive Director at Fairbanks Montessori.

In her free time Sarah enjoys spending as much time with her family (husband Chris and daughter Hannah) camping, hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing, traveling, cooking, knitting and reading as possible. She looks forward to getting to know all the FMS families.


Patti Campbell “Mrs. Campbell”

The Vole Hole-Room 1

patti-campbellPatti Campbell is a life-long Alaskan and she has been employed at Fairbanks Montessori School for 22 years. She received her Early Childhood Development training from the University of Alaska and her Montessori teaching degree from St. Nicholas Montessori Foundation in Windsor, Ontario.

She feels that using the Montessori Method to teach is extremely challenging but at the same time, equally exciting and rewarding. “It is a wonderful profession for anyone who loves to be present for the miracle of the development of children.”

Six of Patti’s grandchildren began their educational journey here at FMS and beginning next summer her seventh grandchild will begin. Montessori permeates Patti’s personal as well as professional life.

Patti loves her work which she sees as creating a prepared environment where children can learn independence, make decisions, create order and develop self-control. She feels that this leads to creative imaginations and perfecting children’s learning efforts.

Patti loves the rain, reading, gardening and fall in Alaska.


Rocio Bussell-“Señora Chio”

Casa Del Niño- Room 2 

senora-chioSeñora Chio was born and raised in Trujillo, Peru. She moved to the United States in 1988 after experiencing a year abroad as an AFS (American Field Service) exchange student and attending College.  She studied at the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo and received a degree in Business Administration.

Chio first became exposed to the Montessori world when she worked as an after school assistant in a Montessori School in the Northern Virginia area in 1991. She remembers one of her duties was to clean a classroom every afternoon. She was captivated by the beautiful rooms and wondered how those materials were used during the day.

A few years later, she had the opportunity to work as assistant in a Primary class under the direction of an inspiring teacher. It was an eye-opening experience. Chio received her Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten Teaching Diploma from the North American Montessori Center.

She has been at Fairbanks Montessori School since 1998 when her family moved to Alaska with the U.S. Army. Like many others who move to this state, she decided to stay. Chio worked as a classroom assistant during her first year and as a teacher every year that has followed.

Both of her daughters attended Fairbanks Montessori School and she credits their leadership skills and independence to those early years spent here.

She fell in love with the Montessori Classroom in 1991 and it has been her life’s work ever since.


Estela Brittain – “Ms. Estela”

The Tundra- Room 3 

Bio coming soon.


Carolyn Hanneman- “Ms. Hanneman”

Squirrel’s Nest- Room 4

carolyn-hannemanCarolyn Hanneman was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University and an AMI (American Montessori International) primary diploma from Phoenix, AZ. She taught for five years at the Montessori Preschool of Calgary and then moved to Fairbanks in 1994 to teach summer school at FMS. Not long after, she met her husband Keith, and got married. She continued teaching at FMS until her son (Andrew) and daughter (Clare) were born. After an extended time away to raise her children, Carolyn returned to the classroom in 2007 as the morning teacher in room 4. The half day schedule works well with Carolyn’s lifestyle because it provides her an opportunity to stay involved at her children’s schools. Carolyn recently wrapped up seven years on running Weller Ski Club and looks forward to helping out as both of her children move into middle and high school.