René Baker comes to us with more than 15 years experience in improving education for children, she is passionate about ensuring that every child receives excellent learner-centered education, and a wonderful enthusiasm and a love for MMA.
René holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Secondary Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations from the same University.
René is the eldest of five sisters and has worked with children her entire life, from coaching sports to directing summer camps to teaching in the classroom. Rene’ spent 7 years in the classroom before transitioning into educational leadership where she worked to improve education for children by professionally developing teachers. She has taught graduate courses for teachers at both Towson University and Notre Dame of Maryland University.
In her most recent position, Rene’ served as Supervisor of Science in the central office of a Maryland school district where she led curriculum development and designed and implemented professional learning for 550 teachers in a district that educate 112,000 students.
Rene’ grew up outside of Annapolis, Maryland and will soon reside in Ogden, UT with her husband, Dave, their two children, and Labrador retriever. They enjoy spending time outside skiing, camping, hiking, canoeing, and gardening.
Lana has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development from Weber State University and her American Montessori Society Lower Elementary teaching credential through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. She has begun working towards her Masters of Education at Weber State University.
Prior to joining Maria Montessori Academy staff, Lana was the Lower Elementary lead teacher at Elizabeth Academy from 2013-2017 and the Lower Elementary lead teacher at Evergreen Montessori Academy from 2011-2013. She also taught in the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School at Weber State University from 2010-2011.
Lana began to study traditional education in college and soon realized the challenges that are inherent in the system as it is now functioning. She yearned to offer children the chance to experience personalized, hands-on learning in a classroom that allows children to move freely. There, she discovered the Montessori method and fell in love.
Lana is married and has a dog named Yogi. Together, they are always looking for an adventure.They enjoy skiing, dirt bike riding, camping, hiking, disc golf, and soccer. When she is not out exploring the world, she enjoys reading, playing board games, doing puzzles, and quilting.