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 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.
Alyssa has been working with children in various settings for the last twelve years. She is entering her sixth year teaching at Missoula Valley Montessori. 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 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.
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!
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.
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 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.
Kelsey was born and raised in Missoula, MT. She is the proud mom to her four year old son, Brandon, a wild soul with a kind heart.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, music, and exploring the beautiful scenery of MT. It the end of summer 2019 Kelsey started her first year of school here at the University of MT. She is working to earn a BA in Developmental Psych, focusing on childhood development. She plans on forever guiding children on the path towards success, self fulfillment, and peace.
Lakin is the oldest of 6 children. She loves astrology, binge watching her favorite TV shows, and taking long drives listening to music with her best friend. Lakin was raised in Missoula where she discovered her love for teaching children. She started her child care education in February 2018 at a daycare center. She quickly realized that teaching was her calling. She took all of the child care education trainings she could fine. Now Lakin has over 120 hours of training. In her most recent 60 hr class she discovered the Montessori method and knew it was the teaching method for her. Lakin feels honored to guide children as they learn, grow and become independent and spirited human beings! She is very excited to join the Missoula Valley Montessori team!
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.