A Montessori child herself, Stefanie graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor of arts degree in Anthropology in 2001. Stefanie began working with the Americorps Education program in Atlanta public schools. In 2002 she decided to return to her Montessori roots and started Montessori teacher training. She came to Cross of Life in 2006 and has been the director since 2010.
Stefanie completed the AMI Primary (3-6 years) training at the Montessori Institute of Atlanta in 2005, and the AMI Assistants to Infancy (0-3 years) training in 2018. In the summer of 2020, she received her M. Ed. from Loyola University in Education with a focus on Montessori . Stefanie is also certified in CPR/First Aid and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 1.
Stefanie lives in Marietta with her husband, two children (both COLM alums) and their dogs. She enjoys photography, cooking, reading, and volunteering with pet rescue organizations.
Oksana Berkuta - Primary Teacher
Originally from Canada, Oksana joined us in 2017 with over 30 years of AMI teaching experience at the Primary and Elementary levels. Oksana holds a B.A. in Psychology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, a Primary (3-6 years) Teaching Certificate from the Toronto Montessori institute, and an Elementary (6-12 years) Teaching Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute in Washington, D.C.
Oksana has a son in graduate school, who is a COLM alum. She lives in Roswell with her husband.
Tracy Hettinger - Primary Assistant
Tracy was born and raised in Whitefish Bay, WI. She studied early childhood education and psychology at Drake University & Marquette University and received her Associates in early childhood education from METC. In 1995 she began teaching two and three year old preschoolers at Seton Children's preschool in Milwaukee. She moved to Georgia in 1996 where she has worked as a substitute teacher in Cobb county and volunteered with the PTA.
Tracy began working at Cross of Life Christian Montessori in 2010 as a substitute teacher, and soon she became the full time Primary Assistant. Tracy completed the AMI assistant teaching program in 2010 and is also CPR/First Aid certified. In her free time she enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with family and friends.
Oana Petroaie - Toddler Teacher/French Teacher
Oana (pronounced wa-nuh) was born and grew up in Romania, where she earned an advanced teaching degree, as well as a master’s degree in Romanian Literature. She taught in Romania for 9 years before moving to the states with her husband in 2007. She enjoys returning to Romania almost every summer, to visit family and give her son the chance to learn about his Romanian roots. Oana has been a part of COLM since 2014, first as the Toddler Assistant and then Toddler Teacher since 2015.
Oana is delighted to share her multicultural knowledge with the children at COLCMS, both in the toddler classroom and as the French Teacher. She obtained her Toddler Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center in 2015, and is CPR and First Aid Certified. Her hobbies are crafts, movies, reading, listening to music.