Jessica Atwood started out this year as the Jr. High Office Assistant. She was excited to move to the Early Childhood team when an opportunity came along. Jessica attended Weber State University from 2012-2014 receiving an Associate’s Degree. Her goal is to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, but her college career was cut short due to family circumstances. She loves learning, and feels it a privilege to be working at MMA where she is taught every day from the members of this community. Jessica has plans to return to school next year to complete her Bachelor’s Degree.
Family is a particularly important factor in Jessica’s life, she loves spending the majority of her time with her husband and son. Jessica has been married to her husband for 3 years; together they have a beautiful one year old son. Her family loves watching movies, baking/cooking, camping, hiking, and fishing. When Jessica has a moment of alone time you will find her reading a book or cleaning her home.
Lower Elementary Assistants
Carolyn Ketchum Daniels received her teacher’s certification in West Virginia upon graduation from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. Rather than teaching, Carolyn began a career in government while pursuing a Masters degree in Public Administration at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.
Carolyn’s first job was with the West Virginia Attorney General’s office. Her primary responsibility was developing and implementing a public education program regarding the recently enacted Consumer Credit and Protection Act. She subsequently moved to the Governor’s Office of Economic and Community Development and became the Assistant Director of the Fuel and Energy Division. Carolyn created a statewide campaign to promote energy conservation and was soon promoted to the Tourism Office as Manager of Tourism. Her responsibilities included development of the state as a tourism destination, oversight of the public relations and welcome center staff, execution of a national advertising campaign and development of an 800 number call center.
Through this experience, Carolyn became passionate about destination marketing and advanced her career through moves to Virginia and North Carolina. After working 6 years as Executive Director of the Asheville North Carolina Convention & Visitors Bureau, she met and married Michael Daniels. She gave up her profession and moved to Utah. Carolyn is an avid yogi. She spends the majority of her time trying to restore her cabin in the woods, therefore she has a good amount of expertise in restoration, sewing and painting. She loves the flexibility that the schedule at MMA allows her to pursue her interests although she could retire she resists because she loves the school and all of the students.
Sharon Gallegos was born in Ogden, Utah. She attended schools in Ogden and Brigham City. As an adult she had the wonderful opportunity to work at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, where she taught the children practical life skills and independence. This experience was one that she will always treasure.
Ms. Sharon has worked at Maria Montessori Academy since it opened in 2010 as an assistant in Ms. Krista’s class. They have worked as a great team these past 6 years teaching, learning and growing together. Ms. Sharon has a great love of learning and feels honored and grateful to be able to help the children grow and develop to their full potential. She believes that success in a child’s life begins in the early years of their development and education. This is why she loves the opportunity of working in her lower-elementary classroom. She has found great joy in seeing the progression and success of her past students as they’ve advanced through upper-elementary and junior high.
Ms. Sharon has a wonderful and supportive husband. They have seven children and twelve grandchildren, who are the highlights of their life. Some of the things she enjoys doing are cooking, reading, decorating, and traveling.
Sara stared working with children as an after school job in high school. Since that time she has learned that working with children is her passion. Sara was a child care director for a time but discovered that being in the office was not where her heart was so she went back into the classroom to become a preschool teacher. Sara currently has her CDA, NAC ,has attended classes at Weber State University and is currently working on her Montessori assistants training. She was drawn to the Montessori method by watching her niece and her daughter learn so much, not just about reading and math but about the universe and the roll we all play in it. Sara loves her new job at Maria Montessori Academy, she is thrilled to finally be at the school where her own daughter has learned so much.
Sara is a solo parent of a daughter who keeps her on her toes. She also has two dogs, a cat, and during the summer she can have a foster dog or two added to her zoo. Together she and her daughter are avid Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings fans, they enjoy reading together and going to fan events like comic-con. Sara and her daughter both enjoy doing yoga as a way to relax after a long week or to prepare for the week ahead. They like to hike and spend quality time together and with friends.
Sara loves learning and discovering new things. She feels like learning is never ending, and hope to instill that love in the children she works with.
Biography coming soon.
Biography coming soon.
Trish volunteered and later worked for the Ogden Christmas Box House with children who were in the State’s custody until she became a mom. After several years of being a stay at home mom, she knew her heart was looking for something and was led to Maria Montessori Academy. She has since completed Montessori assistant training classes and has successfully taken the Parapro assessment.
For over 6 years Trish has co-produced several fundraising events for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, raising as much as $10,000 or more each event for a cause she has held close to her heart. She is proud of those achievements and looks forward to doing more in the near future.
Trish loves volunteering and helping her community. She loves meeting new people and is blessed by the people who have been placed in her life because of volunteering. She is a Montessori mom and is learning the Montessori way along with her own child and students. She loves watching them grow and seeing the world through their eyes. She hopes that all her future adventures include changing the lives of young ones.
She is currently going to school through a program with BYU-ID and is on the track to getting degrees in children and family studies along with social work, so that she may better understand and help children and their families. She is also looking forward to furthering her education in Montessori Education.
Biography coming soon.
Upper Elementary Assistants
Alicia Blackard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in Forestry/Geographic Information Systems from Colorado State University, and she has completed her Montessori certification through the Institute for Guided Studies.
She has been part of Maria Montessori Academy since it opened in 2010, first as a parent and volunteer and currently as a Teaching Assistant. This is her second year assisting Miss Amy Otto in the classroom. Alicia loves being part of MMA and helping the children grow and develop both academically and personally. She is fluent in Spanish, and frequently helps out when the need arises. Before starting a family, she worked as a Geographic Information Analyst at various environmental consulting firms.
Alicia has been living in Utah for 11 years. Previously she lived in Colorado, Texas and Maryland. She grew up in Lima, Peru, where she still has family and friends. Currently she lives in North Ogden with her husband and two boys who keep her busy and active. She enjoys the outdoors with her family, especially camping in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. However, she feels just as comfortable snuggling up and reading a book or watching a good movie. She loves the beach, the sound of the waves and beautiful sunsets. She looks forward to having another great year with all the students and staff at Maria Montessori Academy.
Alene (a.k.a. Allie) Campbell was born and raised in Utah. She spent her childhood years enjoying the outdoors in the country, mowing lawns, going on family vacations, sewing her own clothes and learning the benefits of hard work. She now lives with her husband and 4 children in the city but dreams of one day owning a small farm in the country. She loves books, thift stores, art, sewing, Christian music, and spending quality time with her family.
Alene holds a Bachelor of Science in Business & Information Systems from the University of Phoenix. This was not an easy accomplishment but every moment spent working towards her dream of getting her college education was well worth it and has provided great career opportunities.
During the school year of 2012 – 2013 she would take every opportunity to volunteer at MMA in classes by helping with spelling tests, reading with Kindergarten children, class parties and on field trips. In the summer of 2013, Alene received her 201 Montessori Foundations Certification from the Institute for Guided Studies. In 2015 she participated in a Montessori Assistant course to increase her knowledge of the math curriculum used in Lower El & Upper El classrooms.
Alene is now in her second year as a Teacher Assistant, working with a fantastic Teacher (Ms Stef) and still loving every moment spent in the classroom helping children learn.
Petra Cook was raised in Ogden, Utah and graduated from Ogden High School in 1994 and later attended Weber State University, where she studied nutrition. Petra married her husband Brandon Cook in 1998 and started a family having Ethan, Ayden and Isabelle. Petra stayed home to raise and home school the children as well as help Brandon with his career as a professional artist. Later when the kids started to attend public school Petra would volunteer in classrooms on a regular basis. In 2012 and 2013 the family made the decision to go out on the road due to the poor economy and art market where they spent many months traveling with their trailer doing Fine Art Festivals around the country. Most of the time was spent in New England and the Midwest where Petra home schooled the children full time and gave them the opportunity to visit many museums, historical sites and see beautiful areas of this amazing country. What was thought to be a hardship turned into an amazing experience for the whole family. Petra Joined the MMA staff in 2016.
Petra and her family now reside in North Ogden where she enjoys going for walks, playing with her kids, dancing and eating good food.
My name is Kari Kimose. I have lived in Utah most of my life. I am married and have 3 children; 2 daughters in Jr. High and a son in upper el. We have a pet tortoise. I am a silly mom and love to sing, dance and laugh with my family. We enjoy our weekly movie night, “daycations”, bike riding, camping, fishing, and gardening. You'll also find me cheering for my children & their teammates at cross country meets, soccer games & bowling leagues. In my spare time, I can often be found taking several photos of anyone and anything! I also like to help others and read.
I love working with children and enjoy watching them learn and grow. It is thrilling to see their minds and hands at work in a warm, inviting, respectful, quiet environment! My goal is to be a positive example and mentor to our children attending Maria Montessori Academy. I am amazed by their self-confidence, creativity, independence, and desire to learn more and more! I hope to share my love of reading and learning with them.
I am honored and fortunate to work at MMA with Ms. Amity as her teaching assistant. I am very excited to work as the librarian and share my love of books with each student! I am grateful that MMA provides an entertaining education and so much more. I am proud to be a part of the MMA team!
Studio Art Teacher
Studio Art Teacher
Trudy Malan has worked in the public school system for over fifteen years. The last almost five have been at MMA. She holds a Para-educator Certificate through the state of Utah and has received her Montessori training through the Institute for Guided Studies. Her College education and training was at Utah State University in the field of Art and Design. Later she took additional classes through UVSC in Classroom Strategies & Autism.
Her years in the traditional school setting have rewarded her with opportunities to serve and teach students of varying ages in many different roles. Her experience began as a Reading Aide, and then over the years expanded to many different areas assisting in Lower Elementary, Special Education, and Behavioral Classes and High School.
Since coming to MMA and learning the Montessori methods of teaching she has become a strong advocate; and loves watching the children become excited about learning! She has had the great opportunity to work with Mr. John Edwards in his Upper Elementary Class as his teaching assistant.
She is also teaching Studio Art Classes and Art Lessons. But, her most important accomplishments are helping children realize their gifts and talents and watching them grown, learn, and become caring, serving and happy individuals !
Trudy is married to the Love of her Life Boyd; together they have six children and nineteen grandchildren! She loves spending time with Family! Her Dream is to write and illustrate children’s books!
Susan has her Master degree in Elementary Education from Weber State College. She taught 2nd and 3rd grades in the public schools for about 15 years. Susan currently has a Utah Teaching Certificate and keeps it current every 5 years by taking classes, workshops, and seminars to improve and further her education.
Susan has done a lot of substitute teaching in Nebraska and Utah, grades K thru 12th, in all subject areas.
She is currently working as a TA at Maria Montessori Academy and has taken the Montessori foundations course.
Susan has been married for thirty-one years. She took time off from teaching to raise her family. She has 5 children. Four are very happily married and youngest attends Snow Crest Junior High. She currently has five grandchildren and is sure that number will increase. She loves being with her family. Together they go to sport activities, go on trips, parties, boating, camping, etc. They do a lot together and love every minute of it. Susan is very active and involved with her religion.
Susan lived in Nebraska from 2001 to 2009 and now has been living in Eden, Utah for the pass seven to eight years.
Susan gets very involved with all athletic sports with her children, soccer being number "1". Susan recently ran in the Huntsville Marathon (half), and received first place in her age category. She is now getting ready to do the Ogden Marathon in May of 2016.
Susan loves to work outside in the yard, planting, weeding, mowing, weed eating, etc.
She is currently working at Maria Montessori Academy as a TA in the upper elementary. She just finished a training for Montessori TA's.
Susan is learning a lot, and enjoys what she is doing!
Lindsey Warner was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. She graduated from Ogden High School and attended Weber State University. She has been a State and Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician for the last 19 years.
Last year she began substituting at MMA and enjoyed it immensely. This year she is excited to be working with Ms. Paula as her teacher assistant.
She is married with 4 kids (3 boys, and 1 girl). She enjoys running, gardening, hiking, and spending time with her family.
Special Education Assistants
Biography coming soon.
Biography coming soon.
Special Education Assistant
Amy Jo Proctor
Special Education Assistant
Amy Jo Proctor attended Weber State University and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Microbiology. She also enjoyed many classes in Botany, Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics. She worked at the Ott Planetarium providing Science Education and Outreach to the local community from 2004-2015. She is a producer, writer, and animator of several planetarium shows shown world wide; these were produced with an emphasis on the educational content while still providing enjoyment for the students and their families. Prior to attending Weber State, Amy Jo taught at a preschool and daycare for 8 years providing early childhood education for children in Ogden. Amy Jo feels education is an everyday adventure and enjoys learning new things. She is excited to become part of the Montessori community and learn more about the methods used in elementary education. Amy Jo believes that every person has the right to an enjoyable educational experience and wants families to be able learn and grow together.
Family is extremely important to Amy Jo, she has been living in Utah her entire life in order to maintain strong family bonds. She and her husband have been married for 11 years and have two boys who attend Maria Montessori Academy. As a family they enjoy doing science experiments and raising chickens. Along with her husband she is the cofounder and producer for Physics Foundry, which produces educational content for planetariums. She enjoys cooking, sewing, traveling, reading, playing the violin, and spending time exploring the wonders of nature.
My name is Brandee Kimbril and I lived in the beautiful state of Utah all my life. I am happily married to a wonderful man from South Carolina. Together we have a beautiful daughter named Hannah. Who also attends MMA. We love to spend time in the great outdoors and play together as a family! When I am not at school I enjoy reading, cooking, and baking delicious treats.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies with a minor in Sociology from Weber State University. I also have a Montessori teaching certificate in Early Childhood from the North American Montessori Center. I am pursuing my Speical Education certificate at Weber State University and hope to one day get my Master's degree.
I love being part of such a great school and community and being able to work with such amazing students! I look forward to grow more in knowledge and experience as a Special Education teacher and a Montessori mentor.
Stephanie Pittman was born in Ogden, Utah but grew up in Boise, Idaho until her senior year of high school when she moved back to Clearfield, Utah. After graduating from high school she attended University of Utah and Weber State College. She became a stay-at-home mom to her kids, Josh and Nikki, until they were both in school full time. At that time, she began an 11 year journey within their school district as a paraprofessional in Special Education.
Having lived in North Ogden since 1999, she first noticed MMA when it was being built by the North Ogden pool. With no prior knowledge of who Dr. Maria Montessori was, she did a google search and discovered that the Montessori Method of Education fell right in line with her own personal philosophies of what education should be. When an opportunity became available in MMA’s Special Education department she submitted a resume and was surprised and excited to receive a job offer. This will be her first year at MMA working in the Jr. High as a Special Education TA.
In her personal life, Stephanie has been married to her husband, Steve, for 23 years. They enjoy being with their young adult kids who are both in college, and spending time with their four-legged furry friends, Jack and Jill, who, as most dog owners know, are the real rulers of their roost.
Stephanie is an avid runner, yogi, and meditator. She also loves to read and play the piano.
Melanie Rains comes to MMA with a Bachelor Degree from Smith College as well as a Master Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Originally from Berkeley, CA, Melanie has taught special education students at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in California. She holds a Special Education Teaching Credential from the state of California. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children exploring the world, hiking, watching movies, and attending cultural events.
Jamie C. Pugmire started out as a parent volunteer at Maria Montessori Academy in 2011 helping the Tier Two Reading students, Jamie also filled in as a substitute Teachers Assistant as needed during the 2011-2012 school year.
In 2012 Jamie joined the Maria Montessori Academy Tier Two Reading Staff assisting Kathy Chandler and Lynette Jensen with students who needed extra help with reading. During this time Jamie received her Para Professional Certificate and has taken several classes on Phonemic Awareness through the Utah Education Network (UEN) and has been mentored by amazing teachers and staff. Jamie continues to learn and take classes to improve her knowledge in Tier Two Reading.
Jamie attended San Joaquin Junior College in Stockton, California for two years taking her general education classes. Got married and put her education on hold to help her former husband achieve his dreams.
As a parent Jamie Pugmire volunteered as Maria Montessori Academy PTO Treasurer for three years and stepped down in July of 2015.
Jamie C. Pugmire was born and raised in Northern California. Jamie is the mother of three children, two young adult sons (one son served proudly in the United States Marine Corps for eight years) and a daughter who attends fifth grade at Maria Montessori Academy.
Jamie moved to Utah from California in 2003 with her two teenage sons as a single mother to marry Kirk Pugmire and their daughter was born three years later.
Jamie is very invested in the school and in helping Maria Montessori Academy grow into a first class school of primary education for our wonderful student body and the children she has grown to love. Jamie tells everyone she meets about Maria Montessori Academy and spreads the good news that there is a wonderful educational experience awaiting their child.