April Bench is a graduate of Weber High School. She attended Weber State; she was an office manager for the Circulation Department at the Standard Examiner for 7 years and an executive officer for the Northern Wasatch Home Builders Association for 11 years.
April joined Maria Montessori Academy as an upper elementary assistant in 2010 and then taught in the Special Education department for three years. She has a Utah para-educator certificate, and the Montessori foundations course through the Institute for Guided Studies. She entered the office as the IT Specialist in 2013 and began as the office manager in 2015.
April is a Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer survivor since 2008. She has 3 daughters and has been married 18 years. She’s a Sci-Fi fanatic, enjoys reading, learning new things, and traveling outside of the country.
Melanie Singleton is a 2011 graduate of Fremont High School. Shortly after graduation, she began her journey at Maria Montessori Academy. She has a Utah para-educator certificate, and has taken the Montessori foundations course through the Institute for Guided Studies. She has had experience in both Upper and Lower Elementary classrooms as an assistant teacher. She enjoys being with the children in their classrooms. In 2015 she joined the office staff as the Attendance/Field Trip Coordinator. She enjoys the new challenges and experiences that the office is offering her. Each year has offered her new knowledge, growth, and insights. She has loved her journey with the school and looks forward to continuing her path this year.
She has been married to her sweetheart, Dallas, for five years. They welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Everett, into their home in the spring of 2017. They enjoy four-wheeling at the sand dunes, hiking in Utah’s beautiful mountains, and spending time with their Great Dane, Phoebe. She has been blessed with a fabulous life.
Autumn Douglas was raised in the Ogden Valley and graduated from Weber High School in 1996. She studied hotel management and worked as a Concierge for the Ogden Marriott and as a Tax Examiner for the Internal Revenue Service before deciding to stay at home full time in 2005.
She found Montessori that same year while searching for preschools. She fell in love immediately and knew it was the right fit for her family. She has been an active parent since MMA opened and has volunteered in the classroom and with the Montessori Academy Parent Association. She served as President of the Parent Association during the 2016-2017 school year. She was a substitute teacher before joining the office full time in July 2017. She is very excited about being here as she loves MMA and it's community.
She lives in Liberty with her two sons Lancer and Ryker. She enjoys skiing, horseback riding, traveling, crafts, the color mint green, spending time with the people she loves and watching her favorite movies over and over.
Ms. Nicoletta is originally from the Pacific Northwest area. She holds her B.A. in Ecological Studies and minor in Sociology from Seattle University. She received a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from St. Catherine’s University. She has her upper and lower elementary Montessori certification through the Institute for Guided Studies, lower elementary Montessori certification from North American Montessori Center and her Utah State teaching license.
She has been in the Montessori classroom since 2005 as an upper elementary lead teacher and has been at Maria Montessori Academy since conversations began to open a Montessori Charter School. She has been teaching at Maria Montessori Academy since the doors opened in 2010. She is currently finishing her fourth term on the board of directors for Montessori Education Programs International. Montessori is a part of her lifestyle; it is not only applied in the classroom, but in her daily life. She is very excited to work at Maria Montessori Academy and know that the Montessori philosophy is an inviting and astounding education tool to watch blossom within a child. She fully believes all children need to have an opportunity for the love of learning. After 12 years of being being in the classroom she has now moved into the role of Instructional Coach.
Ms. Nicoletta loves the outdoors, snow, the colors green and blue, live music and traveling. She is married to a Pacific Northwest native, they moved here in 2001 to ski for one year and never turned back. They now have two children, both attending Montessori education. As a family they love to take road trips, camp, hike, ski, live music, laugh, play board games, and swim in freshwater.
Jodi Smith earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah in Therapeutic Recreation in 2000, a Certificate in Teaching English Language Learners (CELTA) in Hungary in 2002, a Utah Special Educator’s License in 2013 from Weber State University, and is currently working toward her Masters in Education.
She has gained vast experience through her work, and travels in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Her places of practice over that last two decades include: expeditionary learning environments, teen counseling centers, ESL schools abroad, colleges, pre-schools, and elementary schools both public and charter.
One of her most important accomplishments, besides traveling and working towards her own academic career, is being the mother of a bright and curious Montessori six-year-old! Watching him grow up in a loving home and a Montessori community has been the highlight of her life.
Jodi is married to an Englishman, also a teacher at Maria Montessori, and the mother of one. She is originally from Virginia, but traveled and lived all over the States, Europe and Asia before returning to the USA in 2011 to be closer to family. She enjoys outdoor pursuits with family and friends. She loves teaching all subjects, but especially reading. One of her main goals is to model enthusiasm and passion for learning with hopes that her pupils will grow up to value education as well. After moving to Ogden in 2011 and finding a Montessori pre-school for her son, she and her family have embraced the Montessori way. She loves working with her colleagues and students in this amazing Montessori environment.
Instructional Technology Specialist, Data & Assessment Coordinator
Instructional Technology Specialist, Data & Assessment Coordinator
James Loken joined the office staff at MMA during the 2016-2017 academic year. James holds an associate's degree in Criminal Justice from Las Vegas College, a bachelor's degree in History (with a minor in Recreation) from Weber State University, and a Master's of Public Administration (with an emphasis in Student Services) from Southern Utah University.
Prior to becoming employed at MMA James spent three years working in higher education teaching and advising at Southern Utah University and Wuhan Polytechnic University (in the People's Republic of China). During this time James structured and supervised many research projects dealing with a variety of questions from within the realm of higher education administration, and educational technology. James' master's thesis is titled, "Cross-Cultural Virtual Interaction and Cultural Intelligence; an Examination of Affect and Method."
James continues to build his technical skills, and is working towards becoming CCNA certified, through the College of Applied Science and Technology, at Weber State University. He lives in Ogden with his wife (and her cat), and enjoys outdoor activities.
Julia Gee grew up trying to keep up with four brothers in Murray and later three more sisters in Mapleton Utah. Her parents both were educators. She married her High School track star. As a high school graduate she was accepted to the UVU nursing program which was never a dream goal, but the volleyball and basketball team needed players. Consequently these collage years were satisfying in spite of the goal confusion. After receiving an LPN license and working at Utah Valley Hospital, she enrolled in her dream at BYU in PE. With 30 credit hours left a new baby and a job in Brigham City, college was discontinued until her sixth child went to kindergarten.
After receiving a bachelor’s of science in Elementary Education from Utah State, she competed for numerous teaching positions. With the competition difficult, the choice was made to take a PE position at Box Elder School District. When better opportunities to give came open at Maria Montessori the leap of faith was made. The leap has been rewarded with amazing school children, staff, and administrators who truly care about children and education. The MMA philosophy has been a journey that has captured her heart and will continue as long as her service entices children to have foundational sports skills, fitness for life, friends, and fun. She is currently finishing those last 30 credit hours for PE and Health at Weber State.
Lynette Jensen has lived in the Northern Utah area for most of her life. She attended Weber State College and Utah State University specializing in Special Education. After raising her five children, she became a certified reading instructor through the University of Utah Reading Clinic. After 8 years working for Ogden City Schools, she joined the staff at Maria Montessori Academy.
She finds sweet satisfaction in her role as the Reading Specialist, helping children learn critical reading skills and discovering the magic of books.
Lynette enjoys traveling with her husband, walking in her own neighborhood, in the mountains, or wherever their travels take them. She finds great joy in spending time with her six grandchildren, cooking, and of course, reading.
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!
Clarissa Lunt was born in Ogden, Utah but raised in Naples, Florida. The universe brought her back to this wonderful town. She and her family have lived in Ogden for over 6 years.
Clarissa has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from BYU-Idaho and a current Teaching License from the Utah State Board of Education in Music Education. Her primary instrument is the viola. Clarissa started a before school string orchestra program at Municipal Elementary in Roy and taught there for four years before accepting the job as Music Teacher for Maria Montessori Academy. She has also worked as a private music teacher for violin, viola, and cello students. Clarissa held the position of Education Representative at Riverton Music where she had the opportunity to work with music teachers and music classes in schools from Bountiful to Box Elder. Clarissa is the viola section leader with the Davis County Celebration Orchestra and held the office of Public Relations Representative on the orchestra board for 3 years.
Music is not Clarissa’s only talent. She also does martial arts. She is a Red-Black Belt at West Coast World Martial Arts and hopes to earn her Black Belt in 2018. Clarissa loves spending time with her family, camping, swimming, traveling, and reading.
Megan Mazur has been working with children her whole life. As a young teenager she began babysitting, during her high school years she would nanny over the summer and worked in daycares. Megan’s passion has always been to work with children. Megan is married and has one beautiful daughter who now attends Maria Montessori Academy. Over the years Megan worked at an insurance company that provided her with many computer training courses. Megan also attended Weber Applied Technology for computer classes. She spent many hours volunteering in the classroom at her daughters previous school. Recently she was able to attend a workshop for “Keyboarding in the Classroom”. Megan also has her Montessori assistants training. Now she spends time working with students of all ages on Keyboarding and computer literacy skills.
Ms. Megan loves to spend time with her daughter. In the summer they love to go swimming, kayaking, camping and exploring with friends. During the winter Ms. Megan enjoys taking her daughter skiing, watching movies and cuddling up with a good book and a mug of coffee. Together Megan and her daughter love to read and watch Harry Potter! Music is very important to Ms. Megan and there is always music playing wherever she is.
Megan loves working at Maria Montessori Academy. Education has always been a part of her life. She comes from a family of educators and learned at a young age the importance of education. Megan continues her growth through training to improve her teaching and technology skills.