Ingrid Lalchan

Owner Director

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad I finished my high school in New Jersey. While sitting with a career guidance councilor my attention was immediately focused on Early Children Education (ECE). I remember as a young teenager I was always eager to babysit my younger siblings, cousins and friends. So it was very early in my life that I recognized the love I have for caring for children.

After completing the ECE program in New Jersey I returned to Trinidad. While there I was perusing through a bookstore and I stumbled onto a book called “THE ABSORBANT MIND”. As a teenager, developing my world view of life‘s lessons, I could not believe how well I related to the book’s philosophy. I knew I had to learn more about Montessori. In Trinidad I furthered my education in Montessori with Ann Sancho who was a true disciple of Maria Montessori. Upon completion of my degree, I immediately opened my own school in Trinidad which I operated for over ten years.

In 1994 WEST ISLAND MONTESSORI ACADEMY was established, back then there were only 2 casas, and I had to wear many hats as such is the case in many beginnings. Soon after I recognized the importance of expanding the philosophy in the community and completely refurbished the facility. The preschool is now also a Montessori training center for teachers .

Kristian Lalchan


I am Kristian, a Montessori child from birth. I was a student at Ingrid’s school in Trinidad. I have been around Montessori ever since I could remember. As I began my studies at Concordia University I knew I would work around children. I have my BA in Applied Human Sciences (AHSC) and completed my Montessori training under Dr. Daniel Jutras and Sasha Malashenko of the Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Throughout the course my outlook on early childhood education became more clearly defined. Although, I always felt strongly about appropriate education for children, the course taught me that we, as adult, have quite a bit to learn from children. Their minds are powerful and open to endless possibilities. Children possess determination and are intrinsically motivated to learn new things. They are naturally curious beings. If we cultivate their natural tendencies, I believe we can shape the future for the better.

I also also hold a Macte Diploma which promotes the highest standards in Montessori training. I am currently training to become a Montessori trainer and plan on taking the Montessori legacy to new level in the city of Montreal.

Nicky Lalchan


I am Nicollette, coordinator of the West Island Montessori Academy. I graduated from Concordia University in June 2017 and I have my BA. in Applied Human Sciences. I am now using the skills I have acquired to guide me in my educational career. Thus far I have found it to be a truly rewarding experience.

Working in a field that coincides both with what I have learned about working with the public and with children is very motivating as I feel this is my true calling in life. With our family’s love and devotion for this industry we have expanded the authentic Montessori philosophy to a new location. With our passion for children I do not doubt our ability to grow and continuously bring quality educational services to our community. I look forward to watching myself grow and learn as the years go on!

Both the School Directors have visited Maria Montessori’s resting place in Noordwijk Cemetery, Noordwijk, Netherlands.

Dr. Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870. When she was 13 years old, she entered an all-boys technical institute to pursue a career in engineering. Upon her graduation, she applied to the University of Rome’s in the medical program. She was admitted to the University in 1890 and graduated from medical school in 1896 and was among Italy’s first female physicians. Maria specialized in pediatrics and psychiatry. Maria Montessori treated many disabled children who visited the clinics where she worked. During that time, she observed that intrinsic intelligence was present in children of all socio-economic and cognitive backgrounds.

Maria Montessori's success with developmentally disabled children furthered her desire to test her teaching methods on children who did not have learning disabilities. In 1907, the Italian government granted her the opportunity to do so and Maria was placed in charge of students from the lower class families, ranging from 1 to 6 years of age. The school, Casa dei Bambini enabled her to create the “prepared learning environment” that she believed was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration.

The news of Montessori’s approach spread rapidly, and visitors arrived from all over to understand how she was achieving these results. Maria spent her final years in Amsterdam and died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 6th, 1952.

Maria Montessori’s approach is now used globally and is one of the most successful approaches used with young children.

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say: The children are now working as if I did not exist.
Maria Montessori