meet our staff


Loree Birkenback

Head of School/ Gardening Teacher
Email: loree(at)

Loree has been with St. James for 23 years.  Her youngest son, Logan, attended St. James.  Mrs. Loree spent a year teaching art and botany, a year as a Primary assistant and 12 years as the Lead Elementary teacher before stepping into the headship.  She has a degree in Life Sciences from Louisiana Tech University and a Masters of Arts in Education and Curriculum Design.  She received her Montessori training from Dallas Montessori Academy and her lower elementary certification from the American Montessori Society.

Mrs. Loree lives in Rockwall with her husband.  Her son Dylan is in the Air Force stationed in Colorado, and her youngest son is in the Navy stationed in Florida.  Her oldest daughter Bianca works as an assistant in the Primary program and her youngest daughter Coral works in the Toddler program.  You’ll often see her son Aaron working in the garden here at SJES.  Loree proudly announces she has 7 grandchildren that she can’t get enough of!  Mrs. Loree enjoys spending time gardening, raising chickens, camping, running, canoeing, and playing golf with her husband.

Lisa Wilson
School Administrator /After School Care Coordinator
Email: lisawilson(at)

Ms. Lisa began her SJES journey as a substitute in 1995 – the same year her daughter, Jordan, started as a 3 year old.  Then in the fall of 1997, she became a full time employee, serving various roles from assistant in the primary classroom, to school administrator.  In the fall of 2011, Ms. Lisa took over as Head of the After School Care Program and continues to serves as school administrator.  Jordan continued as a student at St. James through 3rd grade and graduated from the University of Arkansas in the spring of 2015.

Lisa enjoys watching movies and walking her dog Charlie during her free time.

Becky Reimer
Business Manager
Email: breimer(at)

Becky has served 6 years as St. James Episcopal School’s Business Manager. Becky has her BA in Accounting and is a licensed CPA. Becky is responsible for all financial aspects related to the operation of the school.

Becky is married with two wonderful sons. She enjoys spending time with them pursuing their interests. 

Martha Castañeda
Administrative Assistant

Martha Castañeda is an administrative assistant teacher at St. James Episcopal School.  This is Martha’s sixth year working at St. James.  Martha attended the University of Texas at El Paso and later obtained her American Montessori Society certification.  

Martha is married and has two wonderful children Sophia and Timo.  Both of her children have been part of the wonderful Montessori program here at St. James.  Martha really enjoys spending time with her family and actively volunteers at her daughter’s school. 

Lead Teachers 

Amaris Brazil
Primary 1 - Lead Teacher

Amaris has been a Montessori teacher for 8 years.  This will be her third year as lead teacher for Primary 1 at St. James.  Amaris has dedicated much of her adult life to children - from teaching her own children, Jacob 27 and Jessica 24, to beginning church programs for young children, and Christian counseling for children in crisis situations.  Amaris loves the Montessori philosophies and Chistian values of St. James. 

While at home Amaris enjoys spending time with her husband Antonio and their two dogs, Jagger and Mr Pemberton.

Diana Barrineau
Primary 2 - Lead Teacher

Diana Barrineau has been at St. James as a Lead Primary teacher since 1999.  She received her education degree from Texas Tech University and her Montessori Teacher Training from Brookhaven College.  She has enjoyed watching the growth of St. James during her time here.

Mrs. Barrineau enthusiastically promotes all aspects of the Montessori curriculum, but especially enjoys teaching with the math and language materials.  She also loves the fact that she has some of the same students for a three-year rotation and has the privilege of watching them grow and mature. 

Mrs. Barrineau lives in Dallas with her husband, and enjoys the time she is able to be with her two children, Jillian and Chas.  They both began their education at St. James.  Mrs. Barrineau values time spent with her family.

Eloise Miller
Primary 3 - Lead Teacher

This is Mrs. Eloise's first year teaching at St. James.  She is originally from California, and moved to Dallas 4 years ago.  She grew up attending Montessori school, and has worked with children for over 10 years.

She lives in Lake Highlands with her husband and their black lab named Bodie.  Eloise attended college in Santa Barbara, California and did her Montessori training at Shelton School in Dallas.  Some of her favorite activities include cooking, exercising, and sleeping.

Sarah Boone
Primary 4 - Lead Teacher

Sarah Boone will be returning to St. James for her second year of teaching at the school.  She has a BA in English from the University of Arkansas and her Montessori certification from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO.

At the suggestion of her uncle many years ago, Sarah was sent to a Montessori school for the Primary program and completed the three year Primary cycle.  Years later, Sarah was convinced she would be a high school English teacher until the summer before her last semester of college.  That summer, Sarah worked as an afternoon assistant in a Montessori school and fell in love with the method and 3-6 year old age group.  Sarah loves all that the Montessori Method has to offer and cannot imagine teaching anything else! 

Sarah is married to Daniel Boone and yes, he is a distant relative of the real Daniel Boone!  We share our home with our Sheltie, Maverick, and our cat, Ears.  Sarah has an affinity for espresso, Fall in the Natural State (her home state of Arkansas), and unplanned road trips with her husband.

Anna Bouldin
Toddler 1 - Lead Teacher

This is Anna’s eighth year working at St. James, and she is a lead teacher in the Toddler 1 classroom.  Anna has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of North Texas.  Anna has also completed her Montessori Infant/Toddler training with the North American Montessori Center, and has retained her accreditation from Houston Montessori Center.  Anna is also a Certified Registered Dental Assistant from Baylor College of Dentistry.

After graduation from the University of North Texas in 1992, Anna married Stephen and moved to Louisville, KY for his graduate work at the University of Louisville.  In 1997 they moved back to Dallas to be closer to family and friends.

Anna has three children - aka the B.B. Crew.  Briana, 20, is a junior at Texas Tech University; Brendan, 16, is a sophomore at Lake Highlands High School; and Brooke,11, is a 5th grader at Moss Haven Elementary.  All three of her children are alumni of St. James Episcopal School.

Anna’s interests are her children and keeping up with all of their extracurricular activities. Anna is an active volunteer for PTA and church.

April Villarreal
Toddler 2 - Co-Lead Teacher

April returns to St. James Episcopal School for her sixth year.  She is currently the co-lead toddler teacher in Toddler 2.  April has completed her certification from the North American Montessori Center Infant-Toddler training program and has over 20 years of experience working with children.

April lives in Carrollton with her husband and three children.  She has a set of twins, Jacob and Christian, who are in high school, and Mia who is a 3rd grader.  April enjoys spending time with her children, walking, and listening to music.

Lenuta (Lilly) Petrini
Toddler 2 - Co-Lead Teacher

This is Lilly’s fifth year working at St. James.  She is a Co-lead teacher in the Toddler 2 classroom.  

Lilly is from Romania, and after earning her accounting certificate she worked as an accountant in a Christian orphanage.  She married in 2005 and moved to Dallas.  

Lilly’s son, Villy, is in third grade at Dealey Montessori School and is a St. James alumnus.  During her spare time she reads, cooks Romanian food, and takes long walks in the park.

Coral Birkenback
Toddler 3 - Lead Teacher 

Coral Birkenback has been at St. James Episcopal School for 11 years.  She started out helping in the Mother’s Day Out program for five years.  She then became a teacher’s assistant in the toddler program, and is now a lead toddler teacher.  Coral has her Infant/Toddler training from the North American Montessori Center.  

Coral has a four year old named Jolene who attends St. James, and loves spending time with her family and friends.  She enjoys cooking, swimming, running, shopping, and listening to music. 

Amanda Smith
Toddler 4  - Co-Lead Teacher

Amanda Smith has been with St. James for 3 years.  She is excited to take on the role of co-leading Toddler 4 for the 2016-2017 school year.  Amanda is pursuing her NAMC Infant and Toddler Montessori training, and will obtain her certifications this December.  

Amanda is happily married to her husband, Justin, and they have two young boys together.  Maddox is 2 years old and attends St James, and Mason is 3 months old.

Amanda and her family enjoy spending time together and particularly love the outdoors.  Amanda is active in her church and in her spare time enjoys finding good deals while shopping! 

Ashley Schlachter
Toddler 4 - Co-Lead Teacher

This is Ashley Schlachter's second year at St. James Episcopal School.  She began her journey as a substitute teacher and soon became an assistant teacher in the Mother's Day Out classroom.  Ashley is excited to return as a Co-Lead teacher in the Toddler 4 classroom with Mrs. Amanda.

Ashley attended Navarro College as an education major, and is currently working on her Infant/Toddler certification from the North American Montessori Center.  Including her experience teaching young children and working as a professional nanny, this is Ashley's seventh year as a ballet instructor at a local ballet studio.

Ashley loves spending time with her family and friends.  She has a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Madeline, who also attends St. James. 

Eva Soldevilla
Mother's Day Out - Co-Lead Teacher

Eva works at St. James as a co-lead teacher in Mother's Day Out.  Her role includes working with children in their first stage of initiation into the Montessori methodology, and guiding children to be able to work at their own pace and level.
Eva graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from a university in Tamaulipas, Mexico.  She worked in Mexico for five years as a high school science teacher.  In addition to working at St. James Episcopal School, Eva also has been working at St. James Episcopal Church in the nursery room with infants through three years old for 16 years. 
Eva is from San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  She has lived in Dallas for the last 16 years.  She has two daughters Andrea and Regina.

Mary Peterson
Mother's Day Out - Co-Lead Teacher

This is Mary's third year at St. James, after two years as an assistant in the Mother's Day Out classroom.  She attended Rollins College as a music major, and went on to earn a degree in Communications from Florida State University.  Before coming to St. James, she spent more than 12 years as a kindergarten paraprofessional, Chapter One reading teacher assistant, and preschool assistant teacher in the public school system. 
Mary is an active member of St. James Church, and is honored to provide the piano music for the 10:00 Family Service on Sunday mornings.  In her free time, she enjoys sewing, cooking, and most of all, spending time with her family. 

Assistant Teachers

Emily Hutson
Primary 1 - Assistant Teacher

Emily is beginning her first year at St. James as an assistant in Primary 1.  She graduated from Texas A&M in 2012. 

Emily has been married nearly 5 years and enjoys time with family, traveling, reading, and learning more about the people around her!  Her son, who will also attend St. James, keeps her laughing, learning and exploring new places to have fun!  

Sheila Martinez
Primary 2 - Assistant Teacher

This will be Sheila's third year at St. James, and she will be an assistant in Primary 2.  Sheila received her Montessori training at the June Shelton School in Dallas.

Montessori is an important part of Sheila's life, and it is a beautiful and rewarding method to apply in a child's life.  That is why she loves the atmosphere at St. James.

In her free time Sheila enjoys traveling, whether it be a road trip or just flying to another city.  She loves reading a good book, watching a popular TV series/cartoon and any Star Wars film.  She cherishes spending quality time with family, friends, and her two lovable pit bulls.  Sheila is thrilled to commence a new year here at St. James.

Anna Murphy
Primary Floater

This is Anna's first year with St. James. She will be a floater teacher for Primary 1 and Primary 2.

Anna has over five years experience in home child care, and two years teaching preschool.  Anna has been married for eight years, and has two children attending St. James this year.

Jaymie Esquivel
Primary 3 - Assistant Teacher

Ms. Jaymie is the assistant teacher in the Primary 3 classroom.  This is her sixth year at St. James.  Four of those years were spent in After School Care and the Toddler classroom.  After a strong interest in the Primary curriculum, she moved to Primary 3, and this is her second year in the classroom.

Ms. Jaymie is studying at the University of Texas at Permian Basin to complete her Bachelor's Degree in Child and Family Studies.  She has a strong passion for the Montessori Philosophy, and enjoys the hands-on learning experience that she gains in the classroom.  Her favorite thing about Montessori is the promotion of peace and independence.  She loves to lead circle time and engage with the children in the learning environment.

Some of Jaymie's hobbies are reading, writing, hiking, and scrap-booking. She enjoys working with the youth at her church, and volunteering whenever possible.

Jaymie has a two and a half year old daughter who attends St. James.  Both Jaymie and her daughter love St. James dearly, and cannot imagine being anywhere else. 

Bianca Goolsby
Primary 4 - Assistant Teacher

Bianca Goolsby is an assistant teacher in the Primary 4 classroom.  This is her third year at St. James Episcopal School.  Bianca earned a Bachelor's degree in History and English from Texas A&M Commerce in 2005.  She is in the process of completing her Montessori certification through the Shelton School in Dallas.  She has worked in the child care industry for 6 years, this being her third year in a Montessori school.

Bianca enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and sleeping when she can.  She also enjoys movies, swimming, and couponing.

Claudia Kruguer
Primary Floater

Claudia is starting her first year in St. James Episcopal School as a primary floater. Claudia obtained her Elementary Teacher certificate from Argentina and since 2001 has been working in the private sector as a Spanish teacher for several institutions here in the U.S.  In 2010 she developed her own Spanish after school program that served various school districts across Atlanta, GA.  She is starting her Montessori training at Montessori International of North Texas.

In her free time Claudia enjoys running, reading, traveling, and sharing life with her son Nacho (a new student at the school), her husband Larry, and their black lab Lola.

Claudia is also launching a Spanish after school program for families who wish to participate.

Andrea Williams
Toddler 1 - Assistant Teacher


Andrea is a Toddler Assistant in Mrs. Anna Bouldin's class, and also does After School Care on MondayWednesday, and Friday.  She is excited to start her first year working at a Montessori school.  Andrea just moved to Dallas from El Paso, Texas and she enjoys working with children and seeing how much they grow each day.

Andrea has been married to her husband Ben for 11 months now and they have a pet cat named Simba.  In her spare time she likes to watch movies, go shopping, have cook outs, get her nails done with her mom, and spend time with her brother.

Annabel Herrera 
Toddler 2 - Assistant Teacher

Annabel Herrera is starting her fourth year at St. James, and is an assistant in Toddler 2 with Mrs. April and Mrs. Lilly.

Annabel started her studies again at Eastfield Collage, and she is working on obtaining her bachelor's degree in teaching.  She is hoping to transfer to a university where she will finish her degree.

Annabel enjoys teaching and working with kids.  She enjoys reading good books, baking, going to the movies, and trying new foods. 

Amy Kincannon
Toddler 3 - Assistant Teacher

Amy Kincannon is a toddler assistant this year.  This is her 3rd year as an assistant, and she has more than 10 years of experience working in Montessori.

Amy began her journey at St. James when her son started in the Toddler class in 2010.  The following year she began substituting, and continued until her son graduated from St. James in 2014.

Amy is married to her husband RD and they have 1 son, Ethan, who is 8 and goes to Wallace Elementary.  She enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

Brittany Gonzales
Toddler 3 - Assistant Teacher

This is Brittany's first year at St. James Episcopal School.  She is an assistant teacher in the Toddler 3 classroom, as well as working in the after school care program.  Brittany graduated from W.H. Adamson High School and hopes to further her education in childcare at El Centro College.  

Brittany has a four year old daughter named Brielle, and will be adding another addition to her family at the end of this year.  During her spare time, she and Brielle like to go to the park, eat, and take long naps.

Pamela Pedraza
Mother's Day Out - Assistant Teacher

Pamela will be an assistant teacher in the Mother's Day Out classroom this school year.  Last year she worked in the After School Care program.  Pamela attended college last year, majoring in child development, and is planning on continuing her education next year.

Specials Teachers & ASC Staff

Hanna McKee
Art and Technology

Hanna McKee is excited to be returning for her third year at St. James as the Art and Technology teacher.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and graphic design form James Madison University.

Hanna is an active member of St. James Episcopal Church, and has lived in Dallas for nine years.  She, and her husband Jeff, have three beautiful children - Virginia (7), Caroline (3), and Graham (1).  Caroline attends St. James, and is starting her first year as a Primary student.  

In her spare time, Hanna enjoys quilting, reading, baking, and spending time with her family.

Carey Wootton
Snack and Nutrition Coordinator

Carey is the Snack and Nutrition Coordinator for the school.  This is a new position for the school this year.  She will be procuring local and economically available organic foods for the Toddler classrooms,  After School Care program, and Practical Life food works.  

Prior to becoming a mom, Carey had a profession as a Project Manager and Business Analyst and had volunteered for the Florida State Attorney's Diversion program as a community mediator.  She has a Master's Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, a Bachelor's in Business Management, and holds a PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate through  Carey's son is a student here at St. James. 

When she's not working, Carey enjoys life in East Dallas, and you can find her and her son on the lake riding bikes or in the kitchen whipping up something tasty. She also loves to travel.

Anna Carmona
After School Care

When she's not in school or working, Anna likes to spend her time reading and doing DIY projects.  She is currently attending Eastfield College working toward her Medical Diagnostic Sonography certificate. Anna enjoys being around kids because they teach her new things everyday. 

Anna Rodriguez
After School Care

This is Anna's first year at St. James.  She graduated from the Art Institute with an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design in 2016.

Future endeavors are planned but not yet set in stone, so she is building her portfolio to start freelancing.  With her free time she likes to read, listen to music, watch movies, paint, and draw.