Additional information about individual teacher qualifications can be obtained though the Main Office upon request.
Jen received her first Early Childhood certificate through the Utah Montessori Education Foundation in 1999 with Dr. Lois Bobo. She was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go through a second AMS Early Childhood Montessori certification program in 2010 at Westminster College. Jen has been teaching for 15 years in Early Childhood classrooms. Her first year was at Willow Creek Montessori. She then was able spend the next ten years at the Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City followed by two years at Evergreen Montessori in South Ogden. Jen has been at Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden for the past two years. Jen is in the process of getting a degree in Elementary Education through WGU. Jen is involved with the Montessori teacher training program at Westminster College
Jen was born and raised in Utah. She lives in Clearfield with her husband and 3 boys and enormous dog Knox. She loves the outdoors especially skiing (in the water or the snow). She also enjoys spending time with her family doing whatever boys like to do. Right now this includes riding four wheelers, fishing and hiking. Her favorite food is chocolate and her favorite colors are green and blue. She loves teaching and feels blessed to have an occupation that allows her to work with such amazing small people each day.
Martha Trease earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education She also received a license in Special Education. In 2017 she earned a Master of Education degree with Curriculum and Instruction as her major and with a concentration and emphasis on Special Education from Weber State University. She recently her finished her Montessori training through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College earning her Montessori certificate.
Martha is in her eighth year working at Maria Montessori Academy. She started in the Special Education program, and is now in her fifth year working as one of the Early Childhood teachers. She loves children of all ages and abilities and is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful Montessori community. Martha has lived in Utah all her life. She married her high school sweetheart 43 years ago. They have four grown children, twelve grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Her favorite pastime is anything to do with spending time with her family.
Lower Elementary Teachers
Leslee is a local to Brigham City. She grew up with three brothers. Being the only girl was named after her parents “Les” from her dad (Leslie) and “lee” from her mom (Arlee). She graduated in 2017 from Utah State University with a BS in Human Services, Family Consumer and Human Development.
Opening her first year with Maria Montessori Academy and pursuing her certificate in lower elementary instruction. She appreciates wisdom and feels appreciation in the beliefs of Dr. Maria Montessori – “that each child is “uniquely intelligent.” “A child’s potential is limitless.” What positive passion can rouse a child toward a bright potential to change the humankind?
Leslee enhances her teaching and proficiency through instructional growth in the’ CGMS’ centered for Guided Montessori.
Leslee treasures family time and being a “grandma” to two beautiful granddaughters- Macklyn and Berkley. Gardening and baking are two of her most pleasurable pastimes.
Karen Clements graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, emphasis in severe. She also completed her Montessori certificate through AMS at Westminster College and is a trained Lower Elementary Montessori teacher. Karen is trained in the Higher Steps program through the University of Utah Reading clinic.
Karen has worked in Montessori schools for nearly 5 years in both the Toddler and Lower Elementary Departments. Before working at Maria Montessori Academy, she worked at Elizabeth Academy in Salt Lake City. Karen’s experience includes inclusive environments where students with disabilities are incorporated into general education classrooms.
In the fall of 2017, Karen received the Teacher of Tomorrow award from the Utah Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. She was nominated by the faculty at Westminster College as a promising student teacher.
Karen is a mother of four children, all of whom attend Maria Montessori Academy. A native of Northern California, Karen is coming to love the open skies and snow covered mountains of Utah. When she is not teaching, Karen enjoys traveling with her family and on her own, and can often be found on I-80 heading west to California and pine trees. She enjoys singing, learning about animals and plants, and working with children.
Karen’s current projects and focus involve fostering an inclusive environment where all students can thrive. Karen intends to pursue a Master’s Degree, but is taking a breather and enjoying some much needed time with her children.
Krista Curran has been a part of Maria Montessori Academy since it opened in 2010. Ms. Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Thomas Edison State College and has a level 2 teaching license. She has also received her certification as a lead teacher in the Montessori lower-elementary classroom through the Institute of Guided Studies. Previous to working at MMA, she worked at Ogden Valley Montessori School.
As a teenager, Ms. Krista had the unique opportunity to spend eighteen months in Saudi Arabia. While there she was able to educate herself and choose what she wanted to study. Through this experience she learned firsthand that students learn best when given a choice in their education. As an adult, Ms. Krista also lived in Hong Kong. She has traveled to various parts of Europe and Asia, and loves to immerse herself in the rich cultural heritages to be found around the world. She has a great interest in history, art, language, and music. She also enjoys reading, piano, biking, learning new things, and especially spending time with her family.
Ms. Krista loves teaching the children and truly respects them as human beings. Her greatest priority as a teacher is to help each child feel loved, appreciated and welcome in her classroom, so they will have the confidence to reach their highest potential in all aspects of their life.
Shauna Garner has been a Montessori teacher for the past 17 years. She started her Montessori journey when her youngest child was in pre-school. A few years later, Shauna completed Montessori training at Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Shauna has taught at Montessori schools in Kansas and Texas. The latest was at Monticello Montessori Public Charter School in Ammon, ID. Shauna holds a Master’s Degree in teaching from Chaminade University in Honolulu, HI. She will be pursuing her Montessori Doctorate beginning next summer. The journey she says begins with one step. Shauna is a native of Kansas but calls home wherever she is. Shauna has lived in many states over the years to include Missouri, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, Idaho, and now Utah. Shauna and her husband Brent, and daughter Jarris moved from Idaho and have settled into Utah living…as soon as the boxes are unpacked!!
Shauna is excited to begin this new adventure at MMA. One of the projects that Shauna pursuing more will be that of curriculum alignment and development. One of the reasons is that Shauna really likes working on the curriculum and also loves research. Over the years, research has become a passion as well as a goal to have Montessori be accepted in many states as viable teacher training and have many more states recognize teachers Montessori training as much or more that traditional state teacher training schools.
Holly Gladwell attended Weber State University and earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree and has a level 2 teaching license. She completed her Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary Montessori Certification through Institute of Guided Studies. She received her teacher endorsement through the State of Utah. She has been working at Maria Montessori School since it opened in 2010.
She discovered the Montessori philosophy while working at Ogden Valley Montessori School as an assistant teacher. She became inspired to be a Montessori teacher and had the wonderful opportunity to pursue this at Maria Montessori Academy. Holly was furthering her education in the science profession at this time and made a career transformation. She observed that children were learning respect for themselves, the environment, and for others. The environment was prepared for the sensitive development of the child. The child revealed personal insight through manipulation of the materials. They developed confident personalities as they engaged in prepared lessons and activities with classmates. She was charmed to a world of education that enlightened the minds and hearts of children and gave them the tools to become leaders. It is exciting for her to be part of an educational philosophy that allows children opportunities to explore and make connections in the world around them.
She has a love for learning and enjoys music, art, camping, biking, hiking, cooking, sewing, reading, and traveling. Family is a huge part of her life. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Education Leadership.
Jalee Schofield grew up in the small town of Woodruff located in Northern Utah. She is the 7th of 10 children. She currently lives in North Ogden with her husband Eric, their 5 year old daughter, Sloane, and their 3 year old son Sawyer. Sloane is very active and independent with a love for crafts, gymnastics, and friends. She keeps her parents and those around her busy and laughing. Sawyer has Down Syndrome and is developing at his own pace. Since he has learned to walk, he has not stopped running. He is a happy and healthy little guy who loves his mom, Toy Story, particularly Woody, and playing outside, just not in the grass.
Jalee graduated in 2009 from Utah Valley University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education. She currently holds a Level 2 Utah State Teaching License. She is a Montessori certified Classroom Director of Elementary Education, ages 6-9 through the Institute of Guided Studies.
In the fall of 2010, Jalee began her teaching career when she was hired as a Special Education Assistant Teacher at Ogden Preparatory Academy. She worked there for one year specializing in building up and helping children in reading recovery classes. She was also privileged to tutor a young autistic student after school. She began working at Maria Montessori Academy in 2011, one year after it opened. For her first year she was the assistant to Ms. Kaley This year gave her a chance to grow as a person and a teacher as she went through the process of growth as a Montessori teacher. In 2012, Jalee was blessed with the opportunity to become the lead teacher in her own classroom. The last 7 years, have been a wonderful journey of growth and love. It has been a journey that is not always easy, but with the help of wonderful friends, co-workers, and family, it has been a journey of great worth.
Jalee enjoys being with her family, especially her husband and children. She loves to find time to spend with her younger siblings and reminisce about growing up. Her favorite season is autumn, and she loves living in a place where all the seasons are so different. Some of her favorite things are reading, laughing, being with her family, being with her students, hamburgers and fries (especially Red Robin and Five Guys), Sweedish Fish, Starburst, the color blue, and being outside.
Her goal as a Montessori teacher is to continue to grow in peace education and be able to share her love of learning with her students and let them know she loves and believes in them.
Mikaela earned a Bachelor’s of Communication in 2015. Then in 2018, she received her Utah teaching license and lower elementary Montessori certification. She is excited to begin another year of teaching at Maria Montessori Academy.
Mikaela has lived in many places across the United States. She has a goal to travel around the world. Her hobbies include: singing, dancing, teaching, getting to know people and going on random adventures.
Mikaela’s love for children is strong. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was 2 years old, when she would play pretend school with her siblings and stuffed animals daily. It is almost unreal that her dream has become a reality! She is thrilled to work with amazing little humans who, she says, actually teach her more than she teaches them.
Upper Elementary Teachers
Stacey Archuleta’s Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education comes from Grand Canyon University. This will be her first year here and Maria Montessori Academy. She will be receiving her Montessori credentials in the near future. Ms. Stacey comes to us from Davis School District where she worked with the Special Education department. She has worked with students from mild to severe disabilities and loved every minute of it. She is most excited to be working with students of all abilities where inclusion is first and foremost here at MMA.
Ms. Stacey was born and raised in Ogden, Utah and currently resides in Davis County, Utah. She is the oldest of 5 children. She is married and has 3 sons who are 22 yrs, 14 yrs, and 7 yrs. Our family loves to rescue animals and they currently have 4 small dogs, 2 cats, 2 kittens, 1 Leopard tortoise, 1 Russian tortoise, and 1 chameleon. Their home is pretty full for now but only time will tell. Her family loves time together, especially outdoors. In the warm months, they can be found in the water on their kayaks and paddle boards. They enjoy movies, BBQs, and family gatherings.
Ms. Stacey is excited to get to know her students and grow in her Montessori methods of teaching and learning. She will guide her students be the best version of themselves that they can be, focusing on the students as persons as well as their academics.
Kirsten grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi as the youngest of seven children. She moved to Utah in 1998 and graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies in 2000. She continued her education by becoming certified as a lower and upper elementary Montessori guide by the Institute for Guided Studies. She also received her level 2 State of Utah Teaching License. She has worked in an upper elementary classroom at Maria Montessori Academy since 2011. She is
excited for the opportunity to be her Upper El team lead this year and participate on the Advisory team with the administration. She loves her MMA family and community!
Kirsten is the proud mother three amazing daughters. She loves spending time with her family, taking walks and bike rides, and reading books. She also loves teaching using the Montessori philosophy as a guide. She enjoys building relationships with her students and watching them grow and progress through the curriculum. She plans to continue learning and growing as a teacher through conferences and other professional development opportunities.
Colton Hill’s Bachelor’s Degree comes from Western Governors University. His degree is specialized in Special Education. This is his first year teaching here at Maria Montessori Academy. Colton came from Weber School District where he worked with 5th and 6th graders. Colton has experienced students with mild disabilities and/or behavior and continues to love it. He is very excited to work with students here at MMA and loves the inclusion method that is practiced.
Mr. Colton was born and raised here in Utah and currently lives in Weber County. He recently got married to his wife Alyssa. His family at the moment consists of him, his wife, and their dog Skye. They enjoy watching movies together, boating, boogie boarding, and participating in family fun. Colton loves playing and talking about sports, especially soccer and basketball!
Mr. Colton is thrilled to be your students teacher this year and to get to know each one of them. He is excited to further his education of Montessori learning and also teaching. He will help guide students to be the best they can be, both personally and academically.
Laura Hughes is originally from North Idaho where she graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho with her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis on ecology and conservation biology. Before pursuing teaching as a career, Laura traveled the west and worked as a research assistant for the Forest Service in the Wenatchee/Okanogan National Forest in Washington, a tour guide for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California, and a National Park Service Ranger at Oregon Caves National Monument, Oregon. She discovered a passion for education through tour guiding and spent three years as an instructor with High Trails Outdoor Science School in the San Bernardino National Forest, California. She found Montessori when a group of students visited High Trails from a Montessori Academy based in San Diego, California.
A new passion for Montessori education and a love of the outdoors brought her to Utah. This is her third year at Maria Montessori Academy. She is AMS Certified in both Upper and Lower Elementary, and will receive her Masters of Education this spring from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT.
When she is not studying or teaching, Laura enjoys being outdoors in any capacity including skiing, hiking, and rock climbing. When she's not out adventuring, she loves spending a day curled up with a good book, knitting needles, or a video game controller.
Angela Provin started her journey achieving her degree in Education with a Associates of Arts degree in Kentucky. Then relocated to Idaho where she finished her degree at the University of Phoenix while doing her student teaching at Chubbuck Elementary receiving a 4.0 A average. She became interested in a Maria Montessori school setting because she worked with preschool children in an after school program in Kentucky. She looks forward to continue her education getting her Maria Montessori credentials.
She lived in Florida the majority of her life, but decided to relocate in Pocatello, Idaho to be closer to her family in Utah two hours away, then decided to move closer where she was able to pursue her career in Education and be nearer to her family.
She enjoys the outdoors and has participated in various outdoor gatherings at a park setting for children ministry called the friend zone. She looks forward to working with children of all ages as she progresses in professional development training to enhance children education. She has been excited about continuing in her education for Maria Montessori credentials and is grateful to be a part of the family here at Maria Montessori Academy.
Christie Taylor earned a Bachelors of Science at the University of Utah in Human and Child Development in 2002. She then obtained a competitive year-long internship at Primary Children's Hospital and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute and earned a national Child Life Specialist certification. She received her Montessori Assistant Certification in 2017.
After her internship, Primary Children's Hospital hired her to teach children about the hospital and help children – often with life-threatening diagnoses -- cope emotionally and psychologically with the hospital experience. She did this for several years until she moved to Michigan where her husband finished attending school.
When Christie moved back to Utah, she discovered Maria Montessori Academy near her new home and felt lucky to get both her children enrolled in the first year it opened. Her daughter attended from its opening in 4th grade to 9th grade and her son started kindergarten here and attended through the junior high program. As her children were getting older, she started working as a substitute at Maria Montessori Academy. She then had the chance to work for 2 years as a teacher’s aide with Ms. Shanan.
She is currently a level 1 certified teacher and is in the process of obtaining her level 2 certification and her Montessori Elementary certification. She is excited to continue working at MMA and with the students as a lead teacher this year.
Jr. High Teachers
Dore Elmer graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga, CA and is in her second year of teaching English Language Arts. She has many years of experience in classrooms ranging from parent volunteer to teacher. Prior to Maria Montessori Academy, she worked with at risk youth at Ben Lomond High School by implementing a program that blended character education and literacy. She believes in making connections with each of her students, honing in on their strengths to help them succeed in Language Arts and applying it to life outside the classroom.
Although she is relatively new to teaching, Dore is not new to Maria Montessori Academy. She became acquainted with MMA in 2011 when her daughter started third grade. From there, she filled many roles; room mom, MAPA President, sixth grade fundraising parent, and a member of the Board of Directors from 2012-2015. Her most memorable MMA moment was the trip to the California Redwoods.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Dore calls North Ogden her home. She is part-Hawaiian and loves to share her culture with others. She believes in lifelong learning, between work and night classes she makes time to volunteer at her daughter’s school. Married for 25 years, family is very important to her. You’ll find her in the audience at Weber High Theatre Productions supporting her daughter, in the stands at her husband’s basketball games, or hanging out at home with her dog.
Richard Madsen is a recent graduate from Weber State University, where he earned a B.A. degree in German with a European Studies minor. Richard had a rich university experience, during which time he lived and studied for one year in Bayreuth, Germany, translated archival letters from World War Two, and poured his soul into every research paper. It was also in university that Richard found love in a girl whose family ties lie in the land that captivates him almost as much as she does.
Richard is in his second year teaching at MMA and is pursuing an alternate route to licensure. He is Montessori Assistant certified and plans to further his education in Montessori methods of instruction for adolescents.
Culture forms the core of Richard’s class subjects and he introduces it to students as the expression of humanity across time and space. Everybody of every age is an individual, and the only thing that separates us is culture. By helping students identify culture across space and time, they can celebrate others and themselves for their uniqueness in the modern world. It is the lesson that helps stop bullying in the classroom of today and egocentrism in the world of tomorrow.
In his free time Richard enjoys interpreting medieval music with voice and oud, as well as fencing with the longsword according to 15th century German manuscripts. He also kicks back by playing strategy and RPG games and exploring his wife’s love of zoology in Utah’s great outdoors.
Dana Archuleta has been at Maria Montessori Academy since 2016. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in School Leadership and Administration through Walden University. Dana has a Master of Education in Special Education from Texas Tech University and is licensed in Special Education and Elementary Education. Dana comes to Maria Montessori Academy from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she taught in Special Education for 21 years. Dana started her career teaching at the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She was there for 10 years. For the next 11 years Dana taught in an inclusion classroom and was the Head Special Education Teacher at a public Elementary School.
As the Special Education Coordinator at MMA, Dana continues to create a Special Education Program that gives all students equal opportunities and a quality education.
Dana moved to Utah in May 2016 to join her wife Stacey. Together they have 3 boys. As a family, they enjoy spending time together and a variety of outdoor activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Brent Garner holds a BS in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University; a MA in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma; and just completed his MIT (Masters in Teaching) in Special Education with Boise State University. He holds a Utah teaching certificate and has taught elementary to junior high school students for a total of 5 years—the last 3 years being as the special education teacher for Monticello Montessori Public Charter School in Ammon, ID. He has also taught at the collegiate level as an assistant professor while assigned as an AFROTC instructor at the University of Kansas which position he held for 5 years. He is married to Shauna Garner who also teaches at Maria Montessori Academy. They have six children and 7 grandchildren. Current project for Mr. Garner is taking a deep breath after completing his MIT, however, he is considering pursuing a doctorate in one of the following: special education, psychology, behavior analysis or even a degree in special education law. Mr. Garner also served in the USAF from 1982-1992 exiting at the rank of Captain.
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Mandee Hall is a Special Education Case Manager at Maria Montessori. This is her second year as both an educator. Mandee has an Associate’s degree in Human Services, and Bachelor’s degree in Education Studies, and a Master’s degree in Education, with focus in Special Education. Mandee spent three years as a Program Manager for Adults with Disabilities, has worked with children entering into the foster care program, and has spent a total of 9 years working in special education. Mandee has also worked as a Registered Behavior Technician, supporting children with autism using Applied Behavior Analysis. This is Mandee’s second year in a Montessori school, and believes full-hardheartedly in Maria Montessori’s philosophy.
As a Special Education Case Manager, Mandee supports a fully inclusive learning environment. She believes that every student has the ability to learn, at their own pace, when provided with the appropriate supports. Mandee has a special interest in behavior interventions, and strongly believes that all students deserve respect and dignity, especially when they are struggling with expressing their needs.
Mandee grew up in Utah. She then lived in Texas for one year, Ohio for one year, California for four years, and Missouri for one year before moving back to Utah to be near family. Mandee has one daughter. Together they enjoy swimming, crafting, reading, and simply talking about anything and everything.
Special Education Teacher
Amy Jo Proctor
Special Education Teacher
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.
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Esperanza Martinez has a Bachelor’s of Science in Developmental Psychology through Liberty University and has worked as a special education assistant for the past four years. She began working for the Ogden School District in the 2015-2016 school year before starting at Maria Montessori in the 2018-2019 school year. The 2019-2020 school year will mark her first year as a special education Case Manager, a challenge she is very eager to accept.
Esperanza moved to Utah from the Oregon coast in 2010 and has never looked back. She enjoys the mountains, the snow, hiking, and the people she has met along the way. Esperanza has been married for eight years and has four children, three of which our currently attending Maria Montessori Academy. In her spare time, Esperanza enjoys training her Labrador Retriever for obedience trials, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her family.
Esperanza has started her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology through Liberty University and hopes to continue learning the Montessori way.