Additional information about individual teacher qualifications can be obtained though the Main Office upon request.
Joy Baty has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She is a level 2 licensed teacher for the State of Utah in the areas of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. In addition she is also a certified Early Childhood Montessori teacher. Joy has taught for over 9 years with the vast majority of those years as a Montessorian.
The most important accomplishments for Joy come each day in her classroom working with the students. She knows that their small success in these early years will make the difference as they learn and grow.
Joy is dedicated to providing a high quality education for her students. She has an unquenchable love for learning. She is innately positive and sees the good in everyone. Her classroom is the forefront in peace education and she strives each day to teach the children tolerance, respect, gratitude, and love for all living things. Joy lives life in the present, is amiable, loves to sing, laugh, and enjoys making others laugh with her witty, yet quirky, sense of humor. She views parents as partners in teaching and values their insight.
Currently Joy with her husband Joe, are busy raising their 4 daughters ranging in age from 15 to 1 year. Her dreams are to go on to receive her Masters in Montessori Education sometime in the near future.
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. She recently 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 has also taken several courses with the Institute for Guided Studies which is accredited with the Montessori Education Program International.
Martha is in her sixth year working at Maria Montessori Academy. She started as an assistant in the Special Education program, and then worked two years as a teacher in the Special Education program, and now she is in her third 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 41 years ago. They have four grown children and twelve grandchildren. Her favorite pastime is anything to do with spending time with her family. As a family they look forward to vacationing at Lake Powell and spending time together.
Lower Elementary Teachers
Jill Blazer received her Bachelor's of Arts degree from Weber State University in 1998. She also graduated a lower elementary Montessori program from the Institute for Guided Studies, which is accredited with the Montessori Educational Programs International. Jill has been a lead teacher at MMA since 2011. Jill has always had a love of learning. She likes to find ways to include what she learns into her life, and profession.
When first introduced to the ideas of Montessori, Jill thought that it was a parenting program that could help her with her job as a mother. She quickly learned that it was so much more! She and her family have been completely immersed in the philosophies of Maria Montessori since that first impression.
She was born and raised in the Ogden area and currently lives in Hooper with her husband and three of her four children. She has recently been blessed with her first grandchild Everett, and Jill is enjoying her new role as Grandma.
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.
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 receive 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 at Maria Montessori Academy and applied at the opportunity. 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 does not inhibit the development of the child's mind, body, and spirit.
She is currently taking Merpati Putih an Indonesian Martial Arts. 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.
Marleen Hensley holds an Association Montessori Internationale Early Childhood Assistant Certification from the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Phoenix, an American Montessori Society Early Childhood Teacher Certification from Westminster College in Salt Lake City as well as a Montessori Lower Elementary International Teacher Certification from the North American Montessori Center in Vancouver.
Marleen’s journey in Montessori education began as an Early Childhood class room assistant teacher. After receiving her Early Childhood teaching certification, she transitioned from assistant teacher to lead teacher. Before joining Maria Montessori Academy, Marleen worked at a Montessori preschool in Albuquerque, at a Montessori school in Phoenix, and at a local Montessori preschool in Ogden.
Brittany Herrera graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and minor in Art Teaching from Weber State University. She presently holds a Utah State level 2 teaching license. Brittany completed her lower elementary Montessori certification through the Institute for Guided Studies, which is accredited with the Montessori Education Programs International.
Over the past 16 years, Brittany’s educational experience has led her to amazing experiences working with individuals of all ages and circumstances. Brittany has always had a desire for helping individuals grow in their own unique paths. Her true passion was found within the Montessori philosophy. She has been involved with the Maria Montessori Academy community since 2010. She is currently in her fifth year as a lead lower elementary guide. Brittany appreciates the beauty of the Montessori philosophy and how the focus is about unfolding the potential each individual holds and sharing those gifts with the world.
When Brittany isn’t in the classroom, she is busy with her husband and three daughters. She loves the mountains. Her ideal weekend is spent hiking and camping. She enjoys learning and plans to complete her Master of Education degree in Montessori Education.
Kaley has been with MMA since its opening in 2010. Prior to teaching at MMA, she taught 3-6 year olds at another Montessori school. Kaley has been teaching at the lower elementary level since the 2011-2012 school year. She has her Montessori Lower Elementary certification, Utah State Level 2 licence, Bachelors degree in Industrial Design from The Savannah College of Art and Design, and her Masters Degree in Art Education from Boston University. Kaley has presented at The Utah Montessori Conference on art and on science and has served on the Advisory Committee for MMA. Her favorite areas of teaching are: History, Science, Geometry, Zoology, and the Montessori Large Math materials.
Living in Utah since 2008, Kaley comes from Baltimore, Maryland. Her interests are: baking, trying new recipes, knitting, puzzles, and watching a good TV show or movie. She lives in North Ogden with husband and daughter who also attends MMA.
Kaley understands how different each student is at learning and is exceptional at a variety of teaching methods; currently providing students ways to become better writers, solvers, and how the learning you do today effects your tomorrow. Her classroom focuses on building a classroom community as well as learning about outside communities through projects, field trips, and service. Her organized and art-like approach allows all her students to enjoy the learning path that he or she is on.
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.
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 daughter, Sloane, and their new baby boy Sawyer who was born in March of 2016. Sloane is a very active and independent 2 year old. Sawyer has Down syndrome. He is a healthy, growing boy who may come with some challenges in the future but is most definitely a great blessing to their family and home.
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 Parsons. Not only did this year give her a chance to form a strong lasting friendship with Ms. Kaley, but it allowed her 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 4 years, have been a wonderful journey of growth and love.
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 husband says she is an “awkward gift receiver,” but she loves to give to others.
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.
Upper Elementary Teachers
Kotie (Stephanie) Ellis
Kotie Ellis began life in the deep south. Moving up and down the East coast within large and small cities, she gained insight and exposure to persons of many cultures, religions and backgrounds. This exposure also built a strong passion within her to learn all she could and eventually, teach. In time, Kotie studied English Literature and Composition at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Ga., earning her Bachelor’s Degree. After long searching, she found Montessori education when her daughter was born and proceeded to earn her Master’s in Education from Loyola College alongside her Elementary Certification in Montessori from Washington Montessori Institute, an AMI accrediting agency. In addition, Kotie’s license in teaching hails from Weber State University. Her passion for Montessori education and learning in general are evident in her every action. Continuing to educate herself to better serve her students, she gleans knowledge from conferences, seminars and articles. Kotie has two children of her own, a teen and a very young one. She loves travel, science, handwork, puzzles, and anything culturally diverse. She plans to travel to Thailand this summer with some colleagues to support local schools with their reading programs.
John came to America in December of 2011 with a Masters in Special Education and 5 years of teaching teenagers with a variety of physical, mental and emotional disabilities. He first started teaching English as a second language back in 1987, working mainly in Japan, before becoming a practitioner of Acupuncture and Shiatsu massage in 1993. He worked in that field in Australia, Spain and England before becoming a triage manager for a general medical practitioners in 2003. He returned to education in 2006, after obtaining his teaching degree in the UK, building on previous Bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Health.
In the US John qualified for a Special Educator’s license and then obtained his Level 1 and Level 2 Elementary Licenses. He has been working at MMA for 6 years as an upper elementary teacher and is presently enjoying his role representing the upper el teaching team in the administration. He looks forward to taking some administrative courses in the future.
John has lived, worked and traveled in a variety of countries in Europe, Asia and Australasia, picking up Spanish, French and Japanese in his stays. He loves living in Utah, skiing in the winter and hiking in the fall and spring. Not forgetting his roots, he travels back to England in the summer to visit family and friends.
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 pursuing her level 1 Utah teaching license and being trained as a lower and upper elementary Montessori guide by the Institute for Guided Studies. She has worked as an assistant teacher for two years and a lead teacher for three years in an upper elementary classroom at Maria Montessori Academy.
Kirsten is the proud mother three amazing daughters. She loves spending time with her family, taking walks, 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 pursue her level 2 Utah teaching license and continue learning and growing as a teacher.
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 where she is currently pursuing her AMS credentials for Upper and Lower Elementary as well as her Master of Education 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. Weather not permitting, she loves spending a day filled with knitting, reading, or Zelda.
Amy Otto graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She is a level 2 licensed educator for the State of Utah. Amy has completed her Montessori training and is now a certified Lower & Upper Elementary Montessori guide. She has spent most of her life teaching children, youth and young adults.
Amy is currently taking professional development classes through USOE. She is constantly learning new techniques to implement into the classroom. She would like to pursue another degree in the future. Those plans are yet to be determined.
Amy is married to her college sweetheart. Together they are raising 4 wonderful children ranging in age from 18 to 10 years in age. One of her greatest challenges and successes in life is being a cancer survivor. With the help of a fantastic family, great surgeons and a wonderful school family she is now a 5 year breast cancer survivor. Her heart is with her family and her classroom. She absolutely LOVES teaching and educating children.
Amity Rockwell received a Bachelor of Science, in 2006, from Weber State University, where she studied Botany and Chemistry. Before pursuing teaching, she worked as an analytical chemist for a local nutritional supplement company. Amity received both her lower and upper elementary Montessori training from the Institute for Guided Studies. She is currently part of Utah’s ARL program working toward her level I license, and plans to pursue a level II license when she is able.
Amity’s experience in Montessori Education began when she enrolled her daughter in an early childhood program nearly 10 years ago. Prior to becoming a teacher at Maria Montessori Academy, she volunteer taught Botany in an upper elementary classroom for two years. 2015-2016 marks Amity’s third year as a lead upper-elementary teacher at Maria Montessori Academy.
Amity lives with her husband and daughter on the East Bench in Ogden. She enjoys spending time with her family making short films, hiking, camping, gardening and cooking.
Stephaney Williamson is originally from Idaho where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Psychology. While living in the mountains of Idaho she worked as a children’s librarian, a district library director, a client mentor at a teen treatment center, and as a part of a team which brought a county-wide preschool program to a rural area. She has also had additional training in child development, parent education, crisis intervention, management and Montessori education.
Stephaney entered the world of Montessori education in 2012 at Maria Montessori Academy and has since completed her Montessori Classroom Director Certification for Ages 6-9 from MEPI and Ages 6-12 from AMS. She earned her Masters of Education from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT.
In her spare time Stephaney enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren, riding dirt bikes, building things, teaching, doing research, and learning new things.
Shanan Zollinger is an upper elementary teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Utah State University. She has her Montessori certification in early childhood and lower and upper elementary training from the Institute for Guided Studies. She has taught Montessori education for over ten years spending three years in early childhood, three years in lower elementary and four years in upper elementary classes. She just finished her Master’s degree in Advanced Montessori Education from St. Catherine University and she is a level 2 licensed teacher in the state of Utah. Shanan loves to exercise and be in the outdoors. She has a loving family and is raising two sons. She lives in the North Ogden area and was born and raised in Logan Utah.
Jr. High Teachers
Sarah Dalton received her Bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University in Music with an emphasis in voice (performance emphasis). She later graduated with a Master’s in Music Education as well as a teaching license from the University of Northern Colorado. Sarah has conducted school and community choirs for over 7 years. She has also had experience teaching guitar, piano, and voice lessons in school settings as well as private studio settings.
In Sarah’s undergraduate degree a large area of focus was performance. She had the opportunity to perform in theater; choirs; and operas, and has since aided in theatrical productions on a junior high level.
Sarah has currently started her Orff levels (a kinesthetic, exploratory, and movement based approach to teaching music), and is excited to finish up and implement what she has learned from this certification. Sarah believes that students often learn best when they are physically involved in the learning process and thus has developed a kinesthetic approach to teaching.
Sarah has 2 of her own children who are her world. Outside of school her family loves hiking with their golden retriever and rock climbing.
Sarah has a special love for junior high students, and is excited to be a part of the Maria Montessori team.
BreAnn (Hopfenbeck) Busboom is a first year teacher. She is currently enrolled at Weber State University and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in German teaching as well as Social Studies Composite teaching. She hopes to graduate in 2019. BreAnn lived abroad in Bayreuth, Germany for one year and attended Bayreuth University to study the German language. BreAnn has worked with students of all ages. She has worked in elementary after school programs as well as long term substituting opportunities at the high school level (AP World Civilizations). BreAnn is excited to work with the Jr. High students at MMA and learn more about the Montessori teaching philosophy!
BreAnn is newly married and is the proud parent of one cat. She met her husband through the Weber State University German club, in which she is an officer, when the club was meeting together to attend Oktoberfest. BreAnn grew up in West Point, Utah and has lived in the area most of her life. BreAnn was involved in many extracurricular activities including band, drill team, DECA, and theater and likes to incorporate these interests into her teaching. BreAnn is familiar with AP (advanced placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum and would love to work with students who are attempting to prepare for college and earn college credit prior to graduation.
English Language Arts
English Language Arts
Shilo Lucyk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico. She currently holds a Level I Utah teaching License with an endorsement in Secondary English Language Arts. She began teaching for our school in the 2016-2017 school year. Before that, she worked as a freelance writer, digital marketer, and Director of Human Resource Management. She is also a Registered Yoga Instructor with experience teaching mindfulness and many different types of yoga. When she’s not at school, Shilo enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two dogs. One of her favorite parts of teaching is sharing books with her students. This means she reads a lot to stay ahead of her students so she’s able to recommend good books. During the summer Shilo and her family try to spend as much time as possible in the mountains. Whistler, Lake Tahoe, and Crested Butte are some of their favorite places to visit.
Shilo is currently working on a Masters of Education at Xavier University and a Montessori Secondary Education Certificate from the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Education Training Program. The expected completion date for her Montessori certification is December 2018.
Michelle holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology Composite Teaching from Weber State University. She has a current Utah State teaching certificate and is certified to teach the biological sciences. Michelle is currently pursuing her certification in general science. This is Michelle’s first year at Maria Montessori Academy.
Prior to her graduation, Michelle was an assistant for the Ritchey Science and Engineering Fair at Weber State University where she had the wonderful opportunity to mentor students with their projects. Michelle was also involved in the planning and preparation of the fair. This afforded her many opportunities to work with and create lifelong friendships with professors and fellow science education students. Michelle considers herself to be a lifelong learner and hopes to spark the desire for the pursuit of knowledge with her students. She understands that through hard work and excellent communication, students can accomplish any goal that they may choose for themselves.
Some of Michelle’s interests include Entomology (the study of insects), plant taxonomy, (especially Utah native plants), kayaking, snowboarding, and hiking.
Leigh is originally from Utah and lived in the Pacific Northwest area for more than 18 years. Leigh holds her B.A. in Ecological Studies from Seattle University and received an M.A. in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute. She is endorsed in the State of Utah in Agriculture Education and is currently working on her Adolescent Montessori Certification through CMStep and an M.A. in Education through Xavier University.
Leigh has been with Maria Montessori Academy since the winter of 2016. Her background is in experiential learning, which makes Montessori a seamless fit. She loves teaching the Jr. High Erdkinder and Peer Mentor programs. Leigh believes they both are important pieces in creating a well-rounded and prepared environment for our future leaders and caretakers of our environmental and social communities.
Ms. Leigh loves to be in nature, reading, live music and traveling. She has traveled and lived in many places both nationally and internationally. She enjoys sharing her experiences and encourages others to explore, learn, and laugh as much as possible.
Adrian Stumpp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Weber State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Oregon State University.
Adrian is in his first year as a Teaching Assistant at Maria Montessori Academy. In the past, he worked with children as a Tier II Program Intervention Specialist for Ogden City School District. He has also taught fiction and poetry workshops for children and adults at the Eccles Community Arts Center as well as introductory fiction-writing and composition courses as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Oregon State University.
Born in western Wyoming and raised primarily in the Ogden area, Adrian currently lives in Roy with his wife, Brittanie, and son, Alexander. He enjoys reading and writing and spending time with his family watching movies or having fun in the outdoors.
P.E. / Health
P.E. / Health
Casey Swain has a bachelors degree in physical education with a minor in health and coaching. He student taught at Orion Junior High here in Pleasant View and helped coach Roy High School's girl's soccer team for 1 season. For six months he worked as a long-term substitute teacher in math at TH Bell Junior High. He has a great passion for all things related to sports and health.
This is Casey's second year here at Maria Montessori Academy. He will be teaching Physical Education, Fit for Life, Health and Weight Training. He is certified by NASPE to teach archery for Physical Education.
Casey is married and has a 1 year old daughter at home. He loves to spend his free time with family, playing soccer and participating in numerous athletic events. He choose to become a teacher to help the youth develop a passion for physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. He is excited to help students achieve this throughout the year.
Andria Yost holds a Masters degree and teaching license from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, and a Bachelors degree with dual majors in Art and Psychology from Weber State University. Maria Montessori Academy has been home to Andria for over a year, where she started as an upper elementary assistant. Now, while the Jr. High is growing, she is eager to be a part of the Arts and life with the MMA family.
Sculpture is an expressive tool for Andria, and her work has been exhibited in galleries and publications. The mentor-student relationship has always inspired her work and given her a great passion for education, with a desire to share her love of learning and the arts.
Andria is from Ogden, and has been with her husband, Adam, for 9 years. Adam taught her how to snowboard and in return, she taught him to play chess. They met in art school, and are still developing creatively which each other. Together, they have a new baby boy, Theo. Her family loves to travel and go rock hunting; once, they found a crystal mountain.
Andria is currently a member of the Junior League of Ogden, and Chair of Oasis Community Garden in Ogden. These works are important to her because of their impact on her hometown. Working regularly with volunteers, gardeners, and other board members, she is able to see the great influence of those who are dedicated to the success of Ogden.
Dana Archuleta has a Master of 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 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 last 11 years, Dana has been a teacher in an inclusion classroom and the Head Special Education Teacher at a public Elementary School.
As the Special Education Coordinator at MMA, Dana would like to create a Special Education Program that gives all students the same opportunities and a quality education.
Dana moved to Utah in May 2016 to join her wife Stacey. Together they have 3 boys. Their oldest son is in college, and their two youngest son’s attend MMA. As a family, they enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and playing a variety of games.
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.
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Nikki Larsen has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Public Relations from the University of Utah and is licensed in Special Education from Weber State University. Nikki is a Utah native where she taught Special Education in junior high school settings for 4 years. On the side, she continues to do Public Relations and Visual Merchandising for Northern Utah businesses.
As an elementary Special Education Teacher at MMA, Nikki would like to be an integral part in the schools inclusion program to ensure the educational success of all students. She strives to provide a variety of educational tools and materials to glean student progress in the general education setting.
As a wife and mom of two, Doug and Nikki have a 23 year-old son who is sales representative for the outdoor industry and an avid rock climber Their 17 year-old daughter is a junior at Ogden High School and is an active member of the Weber County 4H program. As a family, they enjoy skiing and on her days off and weekends, you will find them on the slopes at Snowbasin Resort. Riding horses, mountain bike riding, and running are a few of her personal passions.
Kathleen Lowe was born in Connecticut, but grew up all over the East Coast and Asia (Korea, Philippines, and Japan), and spent most of her adult life in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. She studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Brigham Young University, but left during her senior year to work as an artist in the video game industry. When her children entered high school, Kat went back to school at Western Governors University, and earned a degree in Elementary and Special Education. She is endorsed by the state of Utah in Elementary Special Education, K-6 Elementary Education, and Secondary Special Education. She has studied Montessori Foundations, and Upper and Lower Elementary math and language at the Institute of Guided Studies.
Kat discovered the Montessori math materials and curriculum while home-schooling her own children, one of whom has autism and ADHD. She was further introduced to the philosophy behind the materials when she came to work at Maria Montessori Academy in 2011. She is passionate about the untapped potential of “disabled” people. She feels that Montessori is a great way to integrate children with special needs into general education classrooms, by allowing them to work at their own pace and develop a real love of learning.
Painting, traveling, and reading are Kat’s primary hobbies, though she is also known to indulge in video games, sci-fi movies, and swimming.
Lynette Whitehead graduated from Utah State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in special education with an endorsement for mild/moderate disabilities. The 2017 to 2018 school year marks her third year at Maria Montessori Academy. She has had the opportunity to work with students in the regular education classroom setting as well as in the special education setting before coming to MMA. She continues to learn through a variety of continuing education opportunities. Ms. Lynette enjoys working with students at Maria Montessori Academy.
Ms. Lynette enjoys warm weather the most, even though she is a native of Utah. Being outside and spending time with family and friends are great pleasures in her life.