Owners

Kim Mead

Kim Mead

Co-Owner, Director

Kim has a B.A. in Education from the University of Montana. She also holds two Montessori certificates (one for 3-6 year olds and another for 6-9 year olds) from the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute in Kalispell, MT. She has been a teacher in many capacities working with 16-21 year olds at a Job Corps in South Dakota; teaching in a one-room schoolhouse for kindergarten through sixth graders in Camas Prairie, MT; Title 1 teacher for three years for kindergarten through eighth graders; and third grade teacher for five years in Kalispell, MT. Kim has also been a Montessori teacher trainer in Kalispell, and a presenter at International Montessori Conferences in California and Canada on the Six Traits of Writing.

When Kim's boys entered Woodland Montessori in Kalispell as preschoolers, she became absorbed in this fascinating Montessori model - eventually implementing it into her public school program. Helena Flats Montessori was the second public school Montessori program implemented in Montana.

Kim credits her two fabulous sons, Patrick and Benjamin, for introducing her to the Montessori Method and thanks her husband Ted for his ongoing support. This is Kim's first year as a full time administrator which is very excited. She loves to travel, is an avid reader, and adores walking their family dog Riley.

Catherine Reilly

Catherine Reilly

Co-Owner, Lead Primary Teacher

Catherine brings a unique background to Missoula Valley Montessori. She has a Master's degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts specializing in Elementary School Counseling. Her background as a counselor gives Catherine valuable skills to share with children as they work to become independent learners and social problem-solvers.

Catherine has been teaching since 1998. She taught both first grade and pre-kindergarten in Connecticut and New York before moving to Missoula in 2004. Catherine worked as a parent educator and parent counselor at Families First before becoming certified as a Montessori teacher for 3-6 year olds. She says that her discovery of the Montessori Method was an epiphany and she could not wait to share it with others.

Catherine and her husband Jim are the proud parents of three children, Sam, Ben, and Hannah. She loves to read and enjoys many of the outdoor activities available in Missoula from running to fishing.

Teachers

Alyssa Stahl

Alyssa Stahl

Lead Teacher

Alyssa is entering her sixth year teaching at Missoula Valley Montessori. Alyssa has been working with children in various settings for the last twelve years. She formally began her journey in the field of education in 2010 when she graduated from the University of Montana where she earned a BA in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood education. Shortly after graduating, Alyssa began to seek an alternative method of teaching that fit more soundly with her educational philosophy. She quickly discovered Montessori education and it was love at first sight. Within a year, Alyssa had completed her Montessori training through the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute, earning her AMS early childhood teaching credential. Alyssa's thirst for knowledge did not cease. In the spring of 2018, she completed a graduate program earning her MA in Education with an emphasis in Montessori education from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Throughout her professional career, Alyssa hopes to instill in her students a compassion for others and a love of learning.

Deb Palmer

Deb Palmer

Early Learners Lead Teacher

Deb Palmer recently moved to Superior Montana after living in Alaska for thirty years. She has two sons who were born and raised in Alaska. Taylor graduated from the University of Montana. Matt is a senior at Waldorf University in Iowa.

Deb has worked with kids throughout her life. The last six years she worked with the Alaska school system in the Special Education Program. She also worked for Focus Outreach summer camp for special needs children.

Deb enjoys any outdoor activity, road trips, working with horses and spending time with her sons.

Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker

Lead Teacher

After graduating from Rollins College in Florida with a degree in Psychology, Jordan moved to Missoula to pursue her passion for working with young children. She worked at her college's child development and student research center, and spends every summer working at Camp Marshall on Flathead Lake.

Growing up as a military brat allowed Jordan to travel across the globe, and she still thinks Montana is the best place to be. In her free time, Jordan enjoys reading poetry, creating needlepoint art, and doing yoga. Jordan is so excited to join us for her first year at MVM!

Teacher's Assistants

Wasan Al Bujasim

Wasan Al Bujasim

Teaching Assistant

Wasan Al Bujasim moved to Missoula in 2016. As well as being the mother of two adorable young boys, Wasan has worked in child care for over a year. Wasan has a BA in geography and is now working towards her teaching certification at the University of Montana. Wasan comes from a family of educators. Her mother is a teacher and her father has a PhD in history.

 

Wasan's husband works in a nearby school district. She has joined the Early Learners' classroom and tell us she is amazed on a daily basis with the level of independence she sees in the two-year-olds at MVM.

 

Meaghan McDiffett

Meaghan McDiffett

Teaching Assistant

Meaghan grew up in Los Angeles, California where she studied Early Childhood Education. While getting her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education she became a nanny and that's where she knew she absolutely loved working with children. From there she became an assistant teacher at a Montessori school. Meaghan gained so much knowledge about the Montessori method and learned how wonderful it is for young children. In 2017, Meaghan and her husband decided to pack up and move to Alaska. There she worked as a kindergarten assistant teacher at a child care.

 

She loved traveling Alaska and seeing all the incredible sights. Now Meaghan has settled in Missoula where she is excited to meet new people and experience new places. In her free time, Meaghan loves to go camping, road tripping, and hiking with her husband and chocolate Labrador.

 

Michal Herbert

Michal Herbert

Teaching Assistant

Michal is an Eastern Washingtonian who loves living and working in Missoula. She has been an educator in some form for most of her career, from teaching skiing to leading youth conservation crews. She is delighted to be continuing on with the MVM family this year. Her favorite thing about Montessori is how it facilitates independence and creativity. Outside of work, Michal can most often be found rampaging around the mountains, singing karaoke, perfecting her baking skills, and climbing trees.