About Lisa Pena
Founder & Head of School
Lisa Pena is a seasoned early childhood education thought leader with more than 30 years of comprehensive experience in the curriculum and program development arena. As the Founder and Director of the Jamon Montessori Day School in Silver Spring, Maryland, Lisa has served as the visionary behind the only African American owned Montessori school in the Capital Region.
Through its diverse student body and international certified curriculum, she has lead the institutions mission that has provided quality and affordable education since 1995. During that period more than 500 youth ages 5 to 10 representing over 60 countries have walked through Jamon’s doors to a high level of individual engagement, global enrichment and hands-on learning. In fact over the last 15 years student class size has increased 63% while overall enrollment has grown 60%.
Prior to serving as the schools only Principal, she also held a scope of related positions covering the complete early childhood development cycle. Responsibilities that included operating the institution’s summer enrichment program that focused on Science Technology, Education, The Arts, along with Language Immersion were part of her professional development learned under the tutelage of mentor Dr. Evengaline Queen, the first trained and certified Montessori teacher of African Descent.
As an Educational Consultant Lisa fulfilled and a life- long aspiration by traveling abroad to provide consulting, teaching workshops and related training to the staff of the Academy of Human Development in Ghana, West Africa. She has also served as an early childhood accreditation specialist for the state of Maryland.
Throughout her distinguished career, beginning as the Assistant Director of College Admissions at Franklin & Marshal College and George Washington University, Lisa also served as both a public kindergarten and preschool teacher, helping spearhead the development of bi-lingual enrichment programs to the Hispanic Community.
A much sought after speaker whose accomplishments includes presenting at the Oxford University Roundtable of Early Childhood Education, Lisa Pena received a BA from Hampton University and her Masters of Education from Loyola College, along with her AMI Montessori Certification from the Washington Montessori Institution.
Lisa has served on a number of advisory capacities across the philanthropic landscape with non-profit organizations that include The Lloyd D. Smith Foundation, W+wINgs Foundation and the Jamon Education Foundation. Mrs. Pena currently resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland and is the proud parent of three children ages 31, 30 and 25; and four grandchildren.