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Staff Bios – Overview-updated

Tunisha Hairston-Brown
I am a Montessori Public school educator - Reading Interventionist, Instructional Coach, and Teacher Leader at Lincoln Elementary (Denver Public Schools), an Assistant instructor for - EC Reading Certificate Program through AMS, MECR EC Math Instructor, Board President, and member of the Equity Committee. I hold an EC AMS Credential.

As a young mother, I was drawn to Dr. Montessori’s scientific approach - her study of children and creating materials to support the learning and growth of those children - rather than coming up with a theory and fitting it to the children... I chose Montessori for my family as an education model and as a way of living. I wanted to support them in becoming global citizens using their gifts and talents and knowing who they are - all while being seen, heard, and understood.

I have a passion for DEI/ABAR work - I am focused on working towards a Montessori Collective Community where Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are seen, known, understood, and where feeling safe is the norm and feeling othered is an anomaly.
BA, Computer Science/Mathematics and Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health, Doane College

Deborah Matyjevich
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.
BA Psychology/Sociology, Emory University

Tori Virlee
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.
M.A. (School Psychology), University of Colorado Denver

Devon Warn
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.
BA in History, University of Northern Colorado