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.
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.
Cam Mountsier-Cole has a BA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in Sociology and a Montessori diploma for teaching children ages 3 to 6 year from MECA-Seton in Hinsdale, IL. Cam has been. involved in Montessori education for over 35 years. She has taught in the Chicago area, New Zealand and Portland, Oregon. Cam lived in New Zealand for 20 years where she opened her own Montessori school and raised her two children. She moved back to the States to Portland ten years ago and is now looking forward to making Missoula her home. Cam has a son who also is living in Missoula and a daughter who is currently studying to be a veterinarian in New Zealand. In her spare time Cam enjoys hiking, movies, reading and spending time with family and friends. She is eager to learn how to play pickle ball if anyone out there wants to offer some coaching.
Rylee is very passionate about teaching. She graduated from Hope College with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. She is dedicated to helping children love learning and face challenges with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. The following sentence gives you a glimpse of Rylee's approach to education: "The function and aspiration of education is to be a facilitator of development. For students, this development includes becoming a moral and ethical citizen who possess attributes such as consistency, perseverance, and hardworking." This is perfectly inline with the Montessori philosophy.
Rylee loves to be outdoors and is eager to explore all that Missoula has to offer with her husband Gabe and their Australian shepherd Blu. Aside from teaching her favorite activities are hiking and horseback riding. Rylee is originally from Michigan and is the youngest of 4 girls, but she also got to step into the role of big sister while her family fostered children for about ten years.
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.
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.
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.
Chloe graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014 with a BA in Psychology. She began practicing The Montessori Method in 2015 at LePort Schools in San Francisco, CA. Additionally she has nannied children for over 10 years. She is passionate about Child Development and highly values providing a trusting and loving environment for generations of our future.
Chloe is passionate about music. She has been a singer-songwriter for 13 years, and delved into the San Francisco Bay Area/Santa Cruz music scene during this time up until her big move. Fun fact: Chloe is a dual- French citizen; she grew up speaking French and attended a French
immersion school from K-8th grade.
Chloe is from Berkeley, CA and moved to Montana almost a year ago. Although the ocean environment is irreplaceable, city chaos is unbearable and after 6 years of ruminating on the idea of a move, she packed up all of her belongings and drove up north to call this majestic land home. She takes pleasure in exploring the seemingly never ending trails the vast open spaces of Montana have to offer via hiking, running or biking. She looks forward to building a connection with your child as well as building a community amongst MVM families.
Madison Porter (Maddie) has been working at Missoula Valley Montessori as a teaching assistant and as a part of the After Care team for a little over a year. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn right alongside the amazing children at MVM. Maddie is currently attending the University Of Montana trying to choose a career path. She has been working with children in many capacities for the past four years. Maddie grew up in Idaho falls, Idaho and moved to Montana four years ago after she graduated from high school. She is now very glad to call Montana home. Maddie loves to take afternoon naps, write poetry, and take photos in her spare time.
Isaac is a former student of Kim and Catherine, and having learned in the Montessori environment at an early age, he is able to implement his experience into his teaching. His favorite part of Montessori allowing the children to work independently at their own pace, and that was an aspect that affected him very positively at a young age. Isaac is a kid at heart and as a result he loves coming to school every day to teach, and play with the kids when it is appropriate. In his free time Isaac loves skateboarding, swimming, and spending time with his girlfriend with whom he is expecting a baby in December!
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.