Dayani Nawagamuwa

Owner and Head of School Lower Elementary Lead

Dayani Nawagamuwa is the owner and Head of School at Hill Point Montessori. She received her Montessori teaching diploma in 1987 in Colombo, Sri Lanka before moving to the United States in 1991. She has over 30 years experience in Montessori education, starting her first Montessori school in 1998 and then owning two other Montessori schools in the following years. Her Montessori parents were amazed at what their preschool age children were accomplishing and wanted to continue educating their children in a Montessori environment. In response, Dayani opened Hill Point Montessori Preparatory School in 2011 to give students the opportunity to be educated in a school that offered a Montessori elementary curriculum so they could continue their amazing progress. Dayani is an extremely hands on owner with considerable expertise in the Montessori field. Her devotion to educating children and raising them to be great citizens of the world is her top priority and is what makes Hill Point Montessori such a special and unique school.

Jennifer VanDusen

Office Manager

Maria Murasalim

Maria Murasalim

Pre-Primary Lead

Hi, I’m Ms. Maria , and I’m the Lead Teacher in Pre-Primary (children ages 2-3). Having been teaching children under 5 for the past 26 years, you may find the children in my class sweeping up a spill or watering the classroom plants. Others may be helping a friend who hurts herself or setting up the table for lunch. “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” Maria Montessori. With my Bachelor Degrees in Early Childhood Education and English Literature from University of Guelph, Master in Child Development in progress from Cal State LA, Behavior Intervention in mild autism, Childcare Management from Swinburne University of Technology and Montessori teaching, you will find my class with children working on a variety of activities where basic socialization, structure and the Montessori Method is introduced. They are assisted as they fulfill the basic human tasks of trust, separation, independence, and self-control. Children this age are rapidly changing in this developmental age. They learn to make order out of their surroundings, to move with intention and coordination and to communicate with others. I observe each child with sensitivity and anticipate the next activity that will entice him to develop through his senses. Independence is encouraged in all things. Dr. Montessori knew all those years ago, “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”


Ms. Hyzel Tampus

Primary Lead/Infant Care Director

My name is  Maria Hyzel Tampus.  Everyone calls me Ms. Hyzel.  I have been working in the Early Childhood Education particularly in Montessori Education in the last 20 years.  I’m currently the Head Teacher in the Primary Classroom as well as the Facility Director in our Infant Center and the Assistant Director in our Preschool Center.  I hold a B.A. in Accountancy and had worked in the Banking Industry prior to my teaching profession.  The decision to switch career was the best choice I’d made in my life.  I received my Montessori Early Childhood Diploma from the American Montessori Society in Chicago.   I also completed my Advanced Studies in ECE from UCLA.  I have taught Pre-K, KG, and School-aged children in an Afterschool Program focusing on developing Math and Reading skills.  My experiences in running a Center as an Asst. Director and mentoring teachers also fulfilled that inner desire to serve our ECE community on a different level.  


Jordan Ruiz

Pre Primary Teacher

Hi, my name is Ms. Jordan.  I enjoy watching comedy movies, working out, spending time with my family, and traveling. My favorite color is pink and my birthday is in April. A prepared Montessori environment has many benefits to the children. We foster children to becoming independent and individually learn at their own pace. The Montessori teaching method also places an importance on being a good person. The children are respectful, responsible, self-disciplined, and leaders. We also encourage empathy, to be kind, confidence, and creativity. 


Karina Rivera

Primary Assistant Guide

My name is Karina Rivera, I have been working with infants/toddlers in play base schools for almost 6 years now. This year I have had the chance to expand my knowledge and work with 3-6 year olds In a monetessori setting and it has been the biggest eye opener In my career. I have learned so much while working in Primary. The way of teaching is extremely hands on and there is so much room for growth. Children have the chance to express themselves and work at their own pace. This school has inspired me to take the Montessori training to have the proper education and tools to help children grow and expand their knowledge. I have always known my calling was working with kids and this school has only given it more meaning. 

Uloni VanDusen

Lower Elementary Assistant

Amy Stipkovich

Upper Elementary Lead

Hi, I’m Miss Amy and I’m excited to be a part of Hill Point as the Upper Elementary Teacher. My background education includes a Bachelor degree in English: Creative Writing Emphasis from Long Beach State University. I also have a Master’s Degree in Creative Nonfiction from National University and a MultipleSubject K-12 teaching credential from National as well. I’m NAMC trained for Upper Elementary in the Montessori method for ages 9-12. I have over 10 years experience in the field of education. I have experience as a teacher, behavior interventionist with special needs students, and as an academic tutor for no child left behind. Working as a Montessori teacher gives me the opportunity to work with students in smaller class sizes, access activity-based learning, work with visual and physical manipulatives to assist in learning, and allows children to work at their own learning pace and explore their own curiosity. I am passionate about igniting students’ interest in learning and developing as good citizens in the community.

Margarita Garcia

Infant Care Lead