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

Alishka Gusky

Alishka Gusky

Lead Teacher for Early Learners

Alishka graduated from the University of Montana in December of 2019 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. During her time at the University Alishka became interested in alternative education methods. When the opportunity arose to student teach at a progressive school, she immediately accepted. While at Sussex, Alishka ran the schools aftercare program, as well as assisted in the fifth through eighth grade math classes.
Alishka's time working, learning and teaching at the school solidified that Alternative education is where her philosophy flourish.

Alishka has worked with children in many different settings. From nannying to head counseling at a summer camp and even working at MVM as the assistant in the early learners room last summer!

Alishka is excited to return to MVM as a lead teacher and can't wait to learn and grow with your children.

Olivia Adams

Olivia Adams

Lead Teacher

Olivia graduated from the University of Montana in 2020, with degrees in music, nonprofit administration, a certificate in entertainment management, and as a fellow of their global leadership program. While in school, she took part in numerous musical ensembles, performed with and interned with the Missoula Symphony Association, studied abroad in Athens, Greece, volunteered in the community, and served as a Resident Assistant to college students living on campus.

Since a young age, Olivia has been passionate about childcare and education. She has years of experience working in childcare, as a tutor, and as a counselor and teacher for summer camps.

In her free time, Olivia enjoys reading, dancing, and taking her miniature dachshund on new hikes.

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 was immediately drawn to the Montessori method and was amazed at the level of independence the children achieve when given the time and space to try to do things on their own. 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. She and her husband now carry on that tradition. While she spends her days at MVM her husband works in a nearby school district.

Angelica Tsuber

Angelica Tsuber

Teaching Assistant

Angelica has always enjoyed being around kids and grew up constantly babysitting. When she learned about Montessori she was intrigued and couldn’t wait to be a part of such an amazing environment. She is thrilled to learn more first hand and to assist the children as they learn and become increasingly independent in a Montessori setting.


Angelica’s parents immigrated from Belarus, but she and her six siblings were born and raised in Missoula, MT. Their culture is still very much a part of their lives.


Some of her favorite things include Jesus, the ocean, coffee, Kenya and probably an unhealthy obsession with chocolate.

Pearl Miller

Pearl Miller

Teaching Assistant

Pearl moved to Missoula in 2019 to attend the university for art therapy. She has always loved working with children. When she was that MVM was hiring she jumped at the opportunity to join the staff. In her free time Pearl enjoys drawing, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Carlos Medina

Carlos Medina

Carlos grew up in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US in 2011. He went to school at Florida International University for Liberal Studies where he learned Small Room Communications, Classroom Management, and Computer Science. He taught high school for a year in Florida for a year, but his love of writing was calling to him.

While completing a Master's in creative writing poetry Carlos wrote five poetry books and one unfinished novel (no movie tie-in yet, but fingers crossed). Carlos learned about the Montessori method and instantly knew it was for him.

Carlos has a very dry sense of humor, but a big heart. He cries when your children cry and laughs with them, too. Carlos takes only two things seriously: child safety and child learning.

Cora Kaiser

Cora Kaiser

Cora grew up in Sun Valley, Idaho where she spent most of her time training for snowboard competitions and working with children. Having family that grew up going to Montessori schools, she has always been interested in the philosophy. When MVM offered Cora a teaching assistant job through the school year, she eagerly accepted. Some of her favorite things include skateboarding, running, cooking, adventuring with her family and her cat, Gremlin.

Taylor Herz

Taylor Herz

Taylor grew up in Lolo, he spent many years working as a CNA, eventually moving towards a CMA. During his time in the medical field, he spent his years working along side doctors, and educating patient of all ages about orthopedic injuries. In 2020 he decided to step away from healthcare and follow another passion of his: teaching.

Taylor was a para-professional at Lolo School District for the 2020-21 school year, working with children in the classroom setting as well as coaching. Taylor is drawn to the Montessori method because he finds that independence helps children grow and establish their place in life.