Laura Alexander
I followed my children into Montessori. When I toured and saw the brilliance of the materials, I was hooked. That is where my journey began. I have sought to continue learning and growing in all things Montessori.
BS, University of CO, Boulder

Nikki Conyers
I was a Montessori student myself in my early childhood years and have many fond memories of loving school and learning. As a college student, I took a job as an assistant in an Elementary I classroom which led me to seek my Elementary credentials after graduating with my BA in Psychology and Communication.
Master's Degree in Education, St. Catherine University

Suzanne Diekman
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

Betsy Lockhart
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

Claudia Mann
Montessori education has been the gift of a lifetime! From my first experience as a young musician sharing music with Montessori children to my retirement from LePort Encinitas Head of School in 2018, I’ve seen the many benefits of Montessori in changing lives of children, young people and adults. I received Elementary I (Xavier University), Elementary II (CMTE/NY) and Secondary I (Houston Montessori Center) certifications between 1987 and 2003. After its beginnings in Cincinnati, OH, my teaching career took me to many places as guide, administrator, and teacher educator. I participated in the founding of two Montessori schools: Montessori de Santa Cruz in Tubac, AZ and Chaffee County Montessori School (now Salida Montessori Charter School) in Salida, CO. My work with Montessori teachers has included teacher training, mentoring, and coaching since 1988. My first official presentation was at the American Montessori Society National Conference in Princeton, NJ in 1993. I became an annual presenter for the national conference in 2007 and have presented for dozens of regional conferences in the US and Canada. My husband and I founded Fossilicious, an online resource for Montessori teachers that includes materials for the study of Cosmic Education and Big History. In 2020, I added to our two Earth Science sites: and, rounding out our commitment to online support of Cosmic Education. Spreading the Montessori vision through helping teachers and parents across the globe continues to bring me great joy! I'm thrilled to include teaching with MECR in that joy-filled experience!
Masters, Xavier University

Peggy Miller
I began my experience at Montessori when our daughters started in the primary classrooms. They both thrived in this environment from that time through 8th grade. My training and certification is in Elementary Education (Physical Education), with a Masters Degree in Education Counseling. I also received my Principal License in 1990 and began working in the public education system at that time. I have always had a heart for the Montessori philosophy and child centered approach to learning. I was able to encourage the teachers I worked with to explore this approach as well. It is truly a gifted teacher that can encourage a child, find a path for them to love learning, to explore the world with awesome wonder and to contribute to society in a positive and caring manner.
MA, Boston Univ.

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