Staff Bios


Mercedes Paine Castle, Co-Founder, Executive Director, Instructor, Field Consultant
Mercedes is the Pedagogical Director and Music Specialist at Portland Montessori Collaborative.

Mercedes was the founder, director, and lead guide at All Roads Learning Community, which began in 2003 as one of the first Montessori programs as a certified family child care home. All Roads grew to sixteen infants and toddlers and in 2009 expanded into the All Roads Casa, a certified family child care home for children 2 1/2 though 6. In 2012 she co-founded the Portland Montessori Collaborative or pdxMC.

Mercedes holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz as well as an Infant and Toddler Montessori Teaching Credential from the American Montessori Society.  She holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership through Concordia University. Mercedes is an Oregon Registry Master Trainer. She is an active member of the Oregon Montessori community and has volunteered for the Board of Directors of the Oregon Montessori Association. Mercedes is the 2012 and 2014 recipient of the Oregon Montessori Association’s Outstanding Dedication Award.

In the fall of 2013, Mercedes completed the RIE Foundations course of study specific to the teachings of Magda Gerber. Mercedes has been on the faculty at the Montessori Teacher Education Program San Francisco Bay Area as the Infant Environment Instructor since 2008 and has developed a series of professional development classes for early childhood educators which she has shared with other educators in Oregon since 2012. In her free time, Mercedes enjoys singing, playing guitar and being with her dog and family.


Maya (Maria) Rutkowski-Bowen Co-Founder, Program Director, Course Instructor, Field Consultant   

Maya Rutkowski is an owner/director of an infant and toddler Montessori community in East Portland as well as a guide in the classroom. As a part of her work in this cozy community, Maya serves as parent educator, resource support, and family advocate; holding many parenting workshops each year, attending meetings with families and their child’s early intervention specialists, and providing support and guidance as parent research resources on their individual parenting journeys. Maya got her BA in Psychology and Child Development from California State University in San Jose in 2000 and began her Montessori journey that same year at Valley Montessori School in Livermore, California. She attained her AMS Montessori Infant and Toddler Accreditation from the Montessori Teacher Education Center of Northern California in 2002. Her education awarded her a Child Development Program Director Permit through the State of California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing in 2003.  In 2004, Maya and her husband moved to beautiful Portland, OR where she worked at a Montessori school as a guide, administrator and teacher trainer. She opened the Earth Tortoise School in 2009 and is currently working towards a Master’s Trainer Certificate, Infant-Toddler Professional Credential, and Director’s Credential through PSU’s Center for Career Development. Maya has two children, 3 and 7 years old who attend Harmony Montessori School. Her interests outside of work include reading, anything outdoors, gardening and sustainable living, music and sewing.