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Staff Bios – EI

Michelle Baker Rogers
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

Mandi Franz
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
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
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

Candace Proctor
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

Janel Wade
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