Our Executive Team

President: Yanfang Shen  

Yanfang is a highly talented educational specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in overseeing high-quality preschool and kindergarten education. She has received degrees in Education Management, Early Childhood Education, and Chinese Literature. Prior to founding Eyas Montessori, Yanfang was the President and founder of a company running 3 award-winning pre-schools and kindergartens in China, including the first large-scale Montessori school in Shenzhen, China.

Director: Karina Heiting-Sogge

Karina began her Montessori work experience at Cougar Mountain Montessori as an assistant in 1997.  She took the Montessori training through MEIPN (Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest) several years later and obtained her Early Childhood Montessori Credential in February 2002.  She was involved in all phases of the classroom from curriculum support, enrollment coordinator and director.  Karina joined Eyas Montessori in July 2015 and is excited to bring her years of experience and expertise in team building, staff support, program operations, parent tours, and working with children to Eyas.

Program Supervisor: Chiti Kompella

In addition to being a lead teacher in the classroom, Chiti is also in the role of program supervisor for curriculum planning and support.  She is a co-administrator and also conducts parent tours and enrollment events.

Consultant: Joan Heiting

Joan was originally educated as a high school English teacher, graduating from University of Oregon in 1963 with a BA in English.  She experienced a few years of frustration trying to motivate high school students to not only read but to enjoy reading.  She quickly became a Montessori convert and completed training in 1970-71 from The International Association of Progressive Montessorians, sponsored by Northwest Montessori in Seattle, a few years later she was certified by AMS. In 1977, while earning her Master’s in Behavioral Science, Joan began Cougar Mountain Toddlers in the family room of her home. For two years the toddler program flourished. In November 1979 a full-day Montessori Preschool class opened. Cougar Mountain Montessori was in operation for 36 years and in 2015 CMM staff joined the Eyas team.

Joan has used her master’s degree to do counseling, case management, consulting, college teaching and foster parenting. Joan has always tried to maintain the best Montessori standards, combined with accepted early childhood and elementary practices. In 2016 she went to China for training and consulting Montessori teachers. She continues to be a professional support in the community for young adults seeking careers in early childhood, as well as a resource for parents and children.

Consultant: Yu Yunxiang

Yu Yunxiang is Taiwan’s first Montessori certified teacher and Montessori teacher trainer. She received her original training in Bergamo, Italy. Yu Yunxiang has been actively involved in Montessori Education for more than 30 years. She also founded the first Montessori Children’s House in Taiwan. Yu Yunxiang has been influential in guiding more than 50 Montessori Schools in Taiwan.She is known as a kind, considerably loving, and genial person among International Montessori Education Professionals. During which time she had the opportunity to work alongside the trainer and collaborated with the training center in support and furthering the Knowledge of Montessori Education.