Our Grasshopper Guides
Owner/Head of School / Lead guide
Assia Hamani has been with Grasshopper for 4 years in various roles such as: Assistant Guide for the morning program, Lead Guide for the afternoon program, Head of Programming for Kaona Global Education and Assistant Director at Grasshopper Montessori. This year she is honored to transition into full Director duties as well as Lead Guide for the morning program.
Ms. Assia was born in France to Algerian parents. She grew up in Lyon where she studied and obtained her bachelor's degree in English and American Literacy and Civilization, Translations and Languages. She is fluent in French (native language), English and Spanish and has competency in Portuguese, Arabic and Berber.
She has lived on four continents while pursuing goals in education, art, music and activism. Her travels have encouraged a universal worldview allowing her to communicate from a perspective of global education. Miss Assia teaches children to develop their own unique world perspective with the primary intention of encouraging our children to be global citizens and embrace culture. It is this view that has prompted her to develop her own program in order to bring out children's natural empathy and curiosity.
Since 2008 Miss Assia has taught students from preschool age to adults. Her love for art, music and dance is a big part of her learning and teaching style. She believes learning is a process that requires many approaches and that each person learns differently. It is imperative that a teacher work to understand the learning style of her student and to develop and reach them in a way that facilitates their full potential.
Founder / Head of in home education and online programming
In 2011, Ms. Natalie started Grasshopper Montessori by going into families’ homes and working one-on-one with young children to prepare them for kindergarten. Building relationships with students in the comfort of their own homes allowed her to uncover the utmost potential in each child. The in-home program was also an opportunity to consult with parents, translating their child’s behaviors, needs and academic expectations to encourage a fruitful relationship between parents and their children. To meet the ever-growing demand for her unique form of education, she created an option to the in-home program and opened the Grasshopper Montessori preschool in 2015.
Today, she continues to develop the in-home program which has grown to help students from toddler age to all levels of elementary. Based upon her observations of the students’ natural habits and interests, she created her own Sight Word Curriculum that easily teaches 5 kindergarten skills to children ages 3-6 in only a few minutes per day. On the heels of the success of her personally curated curriculum, Natalie launched her e-commerce business in 2018, Grasshopper Academics, writing curriculum and custom programs to help parents all over the world work with their own children at home.
Miss Natalie is biracial, born in Oakland, California to an African American father and Caucasian mother. She grew up on the Yakama Reservation and attended a predominantly Latino high school. She has stood in quinceaneras and attended pow wows, loves a good fry bread and learned to craft hand-made tortillas. With a heart for culture and diversity, Natalie’s long term goal is to uplift our diverse communities through education using her own curriculum. She strives for an environment that values, reflects and empowers families from all backgrounds.
Before Grasshopper, Natalie worked as a nanny for five years. She received a BA in English - Creative Writing from the University of Washington in 2003 and her teaching certificate from the North American Montessori Center in 2010. In 2013 she earned a Memoir Writing certification from UW and attended the International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon. She is a single parent to her daughter, Kyla, a sophomore at Garfield High School.
Owner /Lead guide
Marnie Nordling was born and raised in Vashon, Washington, an island nestled in the Puget Sound just South of Seattle. In 2000 Marnie began studying early childhood education and has continued on this journey throughout her life. She believes in building a rich stimulating and creative environment for children to feel empowered and inspired. Over the past 10 years, Marnie has developed a love for Montessori education and received her Montessori teaching certificate in 2018.
Marnie is well traveled, working in preschools/daycares, providing in home care, and nanny shares. Her nurturing passion and love for children has been her life.
Marnie has a passion for art and design. Using her degree from the New York Fashion Academy, she founded a small clothing line and worked with a collective of woman in Cambodia, empowering them towards sustainability through clothing production and design.
Marnie is an LMT and practiced massage therapy from 1998-2010. She enjoys physical fitness, yoga, nature, and living a healthy lifestyle. But, most importantly she enjoys being a mother to two boys.
Marnie is excited to be part of the Grasshopper community and is committed to help each child cultivate their best selves, develop a life-long love of learning, and establish a foundation for a life of success.