"Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission."

- Maria Montessori

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

-Mother Teresa


Greetings! I am Kristy Ortega, the upper elementary guide/teacher here at Shasta.

This school means a great deal to me, and I am thankful to be part of such a wonderful community of people.

My first experience in a Montessori classroom was on this very campus when I was subbing in the lower classroom, about sixteen years ago. I had never heard of Montessori until that day. I was impressed with the room, with the students; these first, second and third years who were basically running the show. I was an adult presence, and they managed their own day. It was amazing.

I went on to work and teach in traditional schools and classrooms, but stepped away from my career when I had my first child. For a few years I enjoyed just staying at home with my children. I eventually worked my way into leading fitness classes at the Y. I had a pretty laid back five years, and I am grateful for that journey and those moments.

When my oldest entered Kindergarten, I dived right into volunteering. I was appointed to the school board, and served for a couple of years. By this time I was so taken with Montessori that I questioned if I would ever want to go back into a traditional classroom. When a position became available, I had to apply. And here I am. I started teaching upper elementary here in 2015. I am grateful for this journey and the many moments it has given.


I hold a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, an M.Ed. in Cross-Cultural Teaching, and a California state Clear Multiple Subject teaching credential. I studied through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, completing their MACTE accredited 6-12 year Elementary certification program in 2017 (IMC). In addition to elementary teaching certifications, I have studied through the American Council on Exercise to receive a Youth Fitness Specialist certification.


Outside of the classroom I enjoy gardening, leading and practicing yoga, spending time with my family, and reading.