Our Staff

The Growing Place Montessori has been family owned and operated since its inception in 1999.  The founders consist of two generations of Montessori practitioners, now overseeing the education of a third.  The Walavalkar family is deeply inspired by and invested in the family business on a daily basis, and is committed to its success as a means of changing the world, one child at a time.


Dilip Walavalkar (DILL-lip WAHL-uh-VAHL-ker) is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Growing Place Montessori.  He leads personal tours of the school and is available for parent consultation throughout the year.

After growing up as the son of a Montessori teacher and attending Montessori schools as a child, Dilip’s foray into teaching was not personally fulfilling until it included a Montessori component.  He worked at a handful of traditional preschools before partnering with his parents to begin a different kind of early child care facility - one that addressed and nurtured each child as an individual. 

This vision continues and grows each day as he works hand in hand with the teaching staff to deliver a refreshing and balanced approach to child care in the Poway area.

Dilip is a certified Red Cross CPR and First Aid Instructor, and routinely educates the staff and community in these lifesaving techniques.

Jennifer Walavalkar joined our administrative staff in 2002, with a background in management and administration, as well as graphic design.  She received her early childhood education training in 2003, and holds Montessori diplomas for the Infant/Toddler as well as Early Elementary age groups.  She enjoys spending time with her four children, as well as home improvement and photography (all photos featured on this site were captured at the school by Jennifer).

Teaching Staff

Our teaching staff is comprised of a number of skilled and remarkable individuals with a passion for educating young children.  All of our Head Teachers (and most of our Assistant Teachers) are Montessori certified, and all have a minimum of twelve Early Childhood Education units.  Staff members routinely train in Positive Discipline, the Montessori method, Red Cross CPR & First Aid, and pursue ongoing professional development opportunities.

At The Growing Place Montessori, we feel that each interpretation of Montessori’s philosophy has something unique to offer.  We value the diverse and rich ways that many of the professional Montessori organizations train teachers, and we welcome instructors from different Montessori backgrounds.  If you’re looking for a fun, inspiring place to work, we welcome your application!


Job Opportunities

We offer full- and part-time teaching positions throughout the year.  Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a strong commitment to learning and personal growth, and be capable of the duties required for the position considered.

Click here to apply online; we love meeting new teachers!

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