Kelly De La Cruz
Kelly De La Cruz began teaching in 1998. She has significant experience with 15 years of teaching at all educational levels from preschool through higher education. Kelly has a B.A. in Communication Processes and Disorders and a Masters of Education in Special Education from the University of Florida.
Kelly holds Primary Montessori certification from Association Montessori Internationale and Secondary I Montessori certification from American Montessori Society. She holds Florida teacher certification in Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum 5-9, PreKindergarten-3rd grade Primary Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages and Exceptional Student Education K-12. She is also certified as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant. Kelly has worked as the lead teacher in self contained and inclusive Special Education settings and within Montessori Primary and Secondary Settings. She assisted in launching Lakeland Montessori Middle School where she later served as co-lead on the secondary curriculum team developing and presenting high fidelity Montessori secondary curriculum. She taught internationally at Escuela de las Americas in El Tigre, Venezuela. She was an adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at Polk State College, and she has presented on numerous topics at national Montessori conferences.
Kelly, her husband, Milton, and their two children, Sophia and Nicholas, moved to Lakeland in 2005. Her passion for Montessori and dual language education grew from her desire to provide her own children with a bilingual Montessori education. Now that her children are in high school, she wants to expand opportunities for other families in Polk County to access this innovative and supportive approach to education.
The mission of Mi Escuela Montessori is to provide an equitable two-way, dual language Montessori education to students from diverse backgrounds in Preschool through 8th grade.
Mi Escuela Montessori aims to be an exemplar of two-way, dual language Montessori learning as our diverse community of learners develop biliteracy and bilingualism in English and Spanish. In the process of nurturing our students in their educational journey, we aim to strengthen relationships with families and the community in which we serve.