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.
Valerie Sloan graduated from Lyon College in Batesville, AR with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a focus on journalism and creative writing. After finding the joy of working in Montessori early childhood education in 2001, she earned certification through the state of Mississippi as a childcare director. She also completed 7 of 8 ECE courses through Red Rocks Community College in Colorado to be certified as a childcare director in that state. In 2017, she began her studies with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies to earn her certification as a Montessori infant/toddler lead guide but withdrew from the program after moving to Utah in 2018. Over the past 18 years, she has attended various assistant trainings and an advanced assistant training in Mississippi, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Colorado. She was also fortunate to have training in Love & Logic and Parenting Safe Children.
Valerie’s enthusiasm for Montessori has never waned over 18 years. She has enjoyed being an assistant in 0-3/3-6/6-9 classrooms, acted as a director designee, worked as a lead guide in a 0-3 community, and even facilitated a Montessori homeschool group for two years in her home. She was a Montessori parent for her daughter from 16 months through 1st grade and is now one for her son at MMA. Valerie and her husband, Kevin, have been married for 28 years in October and together for 31. They have lived in 9 states together. Their daughter is 15, and their son is 10.
Lower Elementary Assistants
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, she is also CPR and FirstAide certified. She is attending classes at Weber State University and has her completed Montessori assistants training. She was first introduced 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 role we all play in it. She deeply loves the Montessori teachings of peace, grace and courtesy. Sara loves her job at Maria Montessori Academy, and is thrilled to be starting her fourth year in the classroom.
Sara is a solo parent of a daughter who keeps her on her toes. She also has one dogs, two cats, and has recently added a bearded dragon that she will be sharing with the classroom. Together she and her daughter are avid Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings fans, they enjoy reading together, going to fan events like comic-con and taking vacations to “Hogwarts”. 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, kayak and to just be outside.
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.
Misha Morgan graduated in 2005 from Cyprus High school. She has over 10 years of child care experience (outside of her own children) and 7 years of on-site training/adult education working for a major telecommunication service.
Her Montessori adventure began in 2014 as a parent volunteer to her four twin girls. Misha has always enjoyed her time in the classroom both with the children and providing support to the teachers. She has ex in both lower and upper elementary classes for the last 4 years.With each child learning differently, Misha loves to help find what works for each child and see the light in their eyes when it all just clicks. During her time as a parent volunteer her love for teaching started to blossom. She developed a love for the Montessori philosophy and wanted to be a part of the incredible culture that Montessori provides. Misha started the 2017-2018 school year as a lower elementary Teaching Assistant. She looks forward to the exciting new challenges and experiences that teaching has to offer her. For the future, Misha is eager to pursue an Early Education Montessori Teaching career.
Misha has been married to her "Forevermate", Danny, since April 2014. Together they have four 10-year-old daughters, 8 chickens, 3 geckos, 2 dwarf hamsters, 2 cats and their Boxer, Missy. Their fun-loving family loves to go camping in the Uinta's, hike, fire dance at events, rockhound all over Utah, and have Nerf wars together.
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!
Upper Elementary Assistants
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!
Lori King is a life-long learner. Her passion for education started in the third grade when her teacher ignited a love of learning. She has been on the executive board for a commonwealth school, worked as a substitute teacher spanning 3 districts, and worked with local charities focusing on arts in education. She has traveled to Kenya, Africa twice to teach the local Maasai about gardening basics, provide for clean water projects, and educate about menstruation and personal hygiene. She has published a short work of creative non-fiction, and is working on a screen-play. She is a mother of 5 children spanning in ages from 3 to 19. She loves the outdoors, all animals, and most people.
Special Education Assistants
Wendy Lee was born and raised in Utah. She is currently a Sped Aid in language arts for the Jr. High. Wendy is Praxis certified. She is new to MMA this school year. She is a mother of 4 children and has 3 grandsons! She loves to spend time with her family. She has a passion for traveling, especially if there is a beach. She connects with students and hopes to make a difference in their lives!
Robin price has an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education through Weber State University and has worked as a Special Education assistant for the past eight years. She began working for Ogden City and Weber County school districts in 2011. She also started working at Maria Montessori Academy in the 2017/2018 school year.
Jamie Pugmire has been associated with Maria Montessori Academy for nine years. She started her association with the school as a parent of a student, a school volunteer and PTA Treasurer. Jamie was asked to be a reading specialist assistant eight years ago and she jumped at the chance to work with MMA's amazing students and Kathy Chandler the Lead Reading Specialist.
Jamie has taken some online reading classes through the UEN website, literacy training's provided by the State of Utah and Maria Montessori Academy. She has been fortunate to work and train with some amazing reading teachers in order to support our MMA students in achieving their reading and comprehension goals. Jamie is excited for this new school year, working with Miss. Kim Brower and MMA's student body.