Michelle Baker Rogers

mrogers@mecr.edu
After having been an elementary educator in public schools in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, I was drawn to the Montessori strand in my last school in Carbondale, CO. Seeing the children work with materials in an independent fashion intrigued me and spoke deeply to both my mind and my heart. The spiritual transformation that occurs when becoming a Montessori guide has provided a renewed sense of purpose, allowing me to be a better educator, mother and human. The reverence for and the potential seen in each child continues to inspire me as a guide of both children and adults.
Bachelor of Science in Education, Weber State University

Suzanne Diekman

sdiekman@mecr.edu
I was led to Montessori during my elementary teacher training, and also in trying to find a school that matched my values for my daughters. I love the core values of Montessori as well as the hands-on approach, respect of the child, peace curriculum, and fostering of responsibility and independence. I started my Montessori career as an assistant in the primary classroom and sought my certification in elementary I, this led me further on to elementary II where I currently teach. The most important learning experiences for me are how to honor the child, trust the child, and teach the whole child. This begins with an inner transformation of the adult first! One of my favorite quotes from Maria Montessori is the following: “The first essential is that the teacher should go through an inner, spiritual preparation – cultivate certain aptitudes in the moral order. This is the most
difficult part of her training, without which all the rest is of no avail… She must study how to purify her heart and render it burning with charity towards the child. She must “put on humility.” And above all, learn how to serve. She must learn how to appreciate and gather in all those tiny and delicate manifestations of the opening life in the child’s soul. Ability to do this can only be attained through a genuine effort towards self-perfection,” (Standing, 1957, p 298).
BS in Education, Grand Canyon University

Mandi Franz

mfranz@mecr.edu
I attended a Montessori school from age 18 months through Upper Elementary. I am the teaching coach at Ross Montessori Charter School in Carbondale, CO and a MECR Elementary and Administrator course instructor. I also volunteer as a member of the AMS Teacher Education Action Commission.
Masters Degree - Montessori Leadership, Endicott College

Robin Hoch

rhoch@mecr.edu
I started working at the Montessori Academy of Colorado in March of 2003 and fell in love immediately with what a beautiful way it is to teach children. I moved into a music specialty and have continued my education to merge all of my certifications in with Montessori to create a balanced, chid-centered curriculum.
Bachelor of Arts, two half completed Masters don't equal a whole, I assume :), Colorado State University

Heather Legendre

hlegendre@mecr.edu
My Montessori journey began in 2006 when I started teaching in a lower elementary classroom at Jarrow Montessori School in Boulder. After six years at Jarrow, I chose to move into the public sector. Since 2012, I’ve been an elementary instructor at St. Vrain Community Montessori School in Longmont, Colorado. While at SVCMS, I’ve worn many hats, including LE Lead Guide, LE Level Coordinator, Visual Arts Instructor, Montessori Instructor Coach, and, most recently, Literacy Interventionist.

I received my EI Teaching Credential from MECR. My MECR teaching journey began in 2013, whereupon I took on the position of Elementary I Visual Arts and Crafts Instructor. In 2017, I expanded my role at MECR, and began teaching the EI Geometry course, in addition to continuing to teach EI Visual Arts and Crafts. I have taught at the EC level, and I have been a Field Consultant and a Supervising Teacher.

I am originally from Vermont, but have been in Colorado since 2006. I live with my wife (also a Montessori teacher), and my two sons, ages 6 and 8, in Longmont, Colorado. I have many passions, including drawing, painting, literacy, hiking, playing games, and, of course, working with six to nine year olds.
Bachelors in Sociology, Smith College

Betsy Lockhart

blockhart@mecr.edu
Betsy followed her son into Montessori when he was a toddler. Seeing how the school nurtured his independence and self-confidence opened her eyes to what a difference Montessori could make in the formation of a child. Having spent a decade working as a Geophysical Engineer, she was fascinated by the precision, beauty, and order of the classrooms (something she was unable to replicate at home!). After the birth of her daughter, she began exploring Montessori teacher training, and shortly thereafter enrolled in the very first cohort of Elementary students at MECR.

Betsy worked as a lower elementary assistant for a year and then moved to Montessori School of Evergreen, where she taught upper elementary for a decade. After a short time in the classroom, she was invited to teach earth science for the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Maryland (the parent training program when MECR-Elementary began). When the E-II program started at MECR, she taught E-II Science as well as Curriculum Design/Material Making at the E-I level. After a short time, she became a Field Consultant and then the Elementary Coordinator. At various times she has taught E I-II Classroom Leadership, E-II Language, Geometry II, and Math II. Her current obsession is linking contemporary research on the neuroscience of learning to the Montessori Method.

"Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his
imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core." Maria Montessori
BS Geophysical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Candace Proctor

cproctor@mecr.edu
I entered my first Montessori classroom in 1995 when I had the opportunity to observe a Toddler classroom at Riverbend Montessori in Sugar Land, Texas. At the time, I planned a career as a child care director. One hour into the observation, my career plans changed, and I never looked back. I loved everything about that beautiful environment and the other incredible Montessori classrooms in the school. When the head of school invited me to serve as a substitute in the Toddler classroom and later as an assistant in the Upper Elementary classroom, I eagerly agreed. In the following years, I explored other career paths, but every one led me back to Montessori. I've found a school home at The Montessori Academy of Arlington, where I lead the Elementary team and my Upper Elementary classroom. My son, Benjamin, will be graduating from our Upper Elementary classroom in May, and I feel grateful that he will carry the best of our Montessori school with him as he moves to middle school.
Bachelors, Texas Womans University

JEAN RASHKIN

jrashkin@mecr.edu
I saw Standings book when I was pregnant with my daughter in 1978. When we got back to the states I started a home school in Midland Texas and got EC training through Dr Wentworth at Trinity Montessori. When we moved to Houston, I got E-1 training at The Houston Montessori Center and taught at Little Red Schoolhouse for 2 years. When we moved to Maryland I spent 8 wonderful years collaborating with Kathy Schwab at Paint Branch Montessori School (Paint Branch of the Potomac). When we moved to Colorado Springs I helped out in several schools in various capacities and then helped start Rocky Mountain Montessori Academy, where I was Curriculum Director, trained new teachers, and designed parent education nights, while teaching E-1, and a few E-2 students who stayed around. In 2008, I retired from the classroom and began my journey as Instructor of the E-1 Language Curriculum at MECR. I have revised the album every year for the last 9 years.
BS, Montana State University

Janel Wade

jwade@mecr.edu
Freedom within limits defines a key component of the Montessori realm for me. I came from a public education background but I was fascinated and drawn by the choice given to children both in academics and in how they learned to behave within their environment. I started as an assistant working in ‘aftercare’ while in my last year of high school. By that time, I was hooked and just couldn’t leave this wonderful philosophy which was designed to nurture the whole child. In Montessori philosophy, I found the nurturing, guidance and choice that I myself needed as I grew to adulthood. After earning my degree, I taught both lower and upper elementary classes before eventually fostering and adopting my son. I have recently specialized in forming inclusive support strategies for unique learners in the Montessori classroom. I now enjoy sharing my passion for Montessori with adults who are new to this ‘freedom within limits’ philosophy.
Masters of Arts in Teaching, Metropolitan State University