About Us
Tree of Life Montessori

Ariel Cohn

is the owner and Lead Guide at Tree of Life Montessori. After working in various capacities as an educator in Portland's Jewish community, she saw a need for an inclusive Jewish preschool on Portland's Eastside. She obtained an AMI Montessori Primary certificate in May 2011, and earned her M.Ed in Montessori education in January 2012. In 2014 the opportunity to open Tree of Life Montessori presented itself and we opened our doors one year later!

Ariel finds the work of teaching young children in a Montessori environment endlessly fascinating and rewarding; she is committed to continuing to learn along with the children in her care and following each child's unique path.

When she isn't in the classroom, Ariel enjoys creating in the ceramics studio at Portland Community College, tending her vegetable garden, and enjoying the natural world with her husband and 5-year-old son.


Catie Hannigan

moved from Sebascodegan Island, Maine, to Portland, Oregon in August 2016. She studied English and creative writing at the University of Southern Maine and is currently in her last semester of graduate school at Vermont College of Fine Arts, pursuing a low-residency MFA in Writing. While in Maine, she was the Assistant Teacher at a small home-based Montessori school in the woods. This was her introduction to Montessori and fell in love with the style and approach of learning, which only seemed to help children blossom. She specialized in book-making, reading/writing, and poetry projects. It is her belief that some of the greatest creative expression is interdisciplinary and aims to blend writing and visual art in her own practice and in the curriculum that she teaches.

When she is not in the classroom, she is writing poetry, practicing yoga, or driving to the coast to spend time with the sea.


Renee Lopez,

is our lunch and afternoon assistant, and runs our aftercare program.

"I am a Momma of my amazing 10 year old daughter Baylie. I love the Montessori method and love watching children learn and grow in the montessori environment. Children always bring me back to a place of peace and balance reminding me to find joy in the little things. I love being creative, photography is one of my favorite ways to share what's happening in my life. I love documenting everything happening around me. Live Music is my favorite thing to capture!"


Copyright © 2018 - Ariel Cohn