Early Childhood

Yvonne Bader
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]After college I knew I wanted to help young children and families get off to a good start. When I discovered Montessori, I decided this was the way to support children and families. The consistent day-to-day engagement in the Montessori environment guided children(and their parents) to develop a wonderful foundation. Respect for the child was foremost. Children were involved in developmentally appropriate hands on activities. The children grew to be independent and self motivated. The children loved learning. The class was a community and the children gained life time skills. I was fascinated by the children's capabilities and their joy in learning. Montessori was where I wanted to be.[/su_spoiler]

Laura Baglietto
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]As a child and young adult everyone mentioned to me that my personality would fit great as a teacher. I remember having really bad experiences in school and disliking my teachers, therefore, I thought teaching would be out of the question. I tried really hard to stay away from education and I pursued other careers which did not fulfill me. After being very unhappy at my then job, and after a lot of soul searching, I finally applied to a Montessori school that was in need of an assistant. Once I observed the classroom I immediately knew that being a Montessori teacher was going to be my profession, my passion and my life.[/su_spoiler]

Lorraine Carter
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]Have been in the educational field for years, started working as an assistant at a Montessori School All clicked I knew I had found my dream in education. Got certified in Infant Toddler[/su_spoiler]

Ruth Ann Christensen
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]My first introduction to a Montessori classroom was when my oldest son attended preschool at the Montessori School of Evergreen. I was intrigued by the reverent feeling while the children went about their work. As I began to volunteer and eventually work in the classroom, my interest in Montessori philosophy increased. I joined the MECR early childhood cohort in 1991 and have never looked back![/su_spoiler]

Betsy Hoke
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]A desire to work with young children who are eager to learn brought me to Montessori the year after college.. The more I learned about it, the more excited and passionate I became about the Montessori philosophy and its implementation. I taught for seven years in two Colorado Montessori early schools until,a job opened up at a Montessori schooling Evergreen. My day included leading a class and administrating. I continued in those roles as the school expanded to offer elementary and middle school programs. Because the school was blessed with outstanding teachers and supportive parents, it gradually added elementary and middle school.

After "retiring" in 2009, I became a Montessori consultant and had the opportunity to observe schools throughout the county, coach teachers and administrators, and offer workshops for faculties and parents. I enjoyed serving as the Language and Classroom Leadership instructor at MECR in the 1980's and relished the opportunity to return be an instructor of philosophy at three levels and classroom leadership in EC interns in 2012 after my two children were young adults.

Always a global Montessorian, I established Montessori programs in Tanzania and discovered how powerful a program is for children who have little enrichment in their lives. The Tanzanian children possess an even stronger desire to learn than American students but demonstrate the same human tendencies and characteristics Montessori described. I trained Tanzanian teachers and returned to my first love, getting down on the floor and presenting materials to children and nurturing their potential![/su_spoiler]

Rebecca Howell
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]My first job post-Peace Corps @ TMICH in Denver.[/su_spoiler]

Heather Legendre
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]Studying educational approaches in college, a cross-country trip, and luck[/su_spoiler]

Deborah Matyjevich
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]Montessori pedagogy has been embedded in my life for the past 2 decades. Upon entering my first Montessori classroom, I knew I had found an educational model that was profound, comprehensive, and based on creating a better world by supporting and guiding children in a way that was holistic, academic, worldly and emotionally and developmentally up-lifting. I spent the past 18 years teaching Preschool and Kindergarten in Denver and watching the magic that comes from Montessori education. I believe that children are given the opportunity to thrive, blossom, and come into their own in the most authentic ways in Montessori classrooms.
For the past 10 years, my role has evolved from teaching full time into other roles that have allowed me to broaden my impact. I am passionate about supporting new teachers, schools, parents and families. My degree in Psychology and Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, along with my Montessori training has laid a foundation that supports me in coaching and consulting with educators, parents, and schools.  The beautiful Colorado mountains in Estes Park originally drew me from my home in Atlanta in 1995, but it is my passion for Montessori education, my loving family, and the opportunity to make an impact in my community that has made Denver my home.[/su_spoiler]

Sandra Murgacz
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]I loved the philosophy.[/su_spoiler]

Tori Virlee
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]I have a bachelor's degree in speech, language, and hearing sciences. At the time I thought I would work with the Deaf and hard of hearing population. I accepted a job in a Montessori school as a sign language instructor. I immediately fell in love with the philosophy and approach and have been working in the Montessori world ever since! I went to training and received my early childhood credential. I have worked in the classroom as well as in administrative and student support roles. Now I enjoy sharing the philosophy and approach with adults on their own Montessori journey.[/su_spoiler]

Devon Warn
[su_spoiler title="I found Montessori..." open="no" style="default" icon="plus" anchor=""]Recently, I unearthed a collection of Rubbermaid tubs full of old memories. Inside one of these bins was my writing journal from second grade. Written on an aged piece of college-ruled spiral notebook was the passage, “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher … or a pop star.” While I can enjoy a portion of pop stardom on a Karaoke Tuesday, my career as a Montessori teacher has been one of the most impactful decisions of my life. For me, there is no better job than inspiring young minds. From the time I was seven years old, I dreamed of being a teacher. Following this dream has taken me to different continents and countries around the globe, working with children of all ages and backgrounds. From a quiet neighborhood tucked in the forest of Evergreen, Colorado, to a seaside town in Viña del Mar, Chile, to a hillside village in Sankhuwasabha, Nepal, to a lakeside city in Neûchatel, Switzerland, I am continually reminded that the Montessori Method is an exceptional way to illuminate and inspire young learners. Walk into any Montessori room around the globe, and the familiarities and commonalities will shine through: each Montessori environment shares the same heartbeat.[/su_spoiler]