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.
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, has attended classes at Weber State University and has her 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. Sara loves her new job at Maria Montessori Academy, she is thrilled to finally be at the school where her own daughter has learned so much.
Sara is a solo parent of a daughter who keeps her on her toes. She also has two dogs, a cat, and during the summer she can have a foster dog or two added to her zoo. Together she and her daughter are avid Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings fans, they enjoy reading together and going to fan events like comic-con. 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 and spend quality time together and with friends.
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.
Sara Weaver attended Delta College in Stockton, Ca where she was raised. She has worked with children most of her life . She has spent 15 years teaching preschool. She developed curriculum for preschoolers in neighborhood preschool co-ops, then worked at Bravo Arts Academy as a 3 year old preschool teacher. She spent 6 years homeschooling her own children, which she loved. When she found Maria Montessori for her kids in 2013, she was hooked. She loved the methodology and it seemed to mirror how she taught her own children at home. She loves children, and watching their love of learning come alive.
In March of 2000 Sara moved to Roy, Utah, married the boy next door, and has been in Utah ever since. She and her husband and 5 children lived in Riverdale for over 10 years before moving to Pleasant View in the Spring of 2015. Sara has fallen in love with Utah and doesn’t think she’d ever be able to live without the mountains in her backyard again. You can find her on weekly kikes with her children during the summer months. She also loves camping, walking her 2 dogs, and cooking and baking with her children.
Sara is currently working on the Montessori assistant training program, which she will complete in February.
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!
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!
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.
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 the first year it opened. Her daughter attended from fourth grade to 9th grade and her son started kindergarten here and is currently in the junior high program. As her children were getting older, she started working as a substitute at the Maria Montessori Academy and this year has loved having the chance to work as a teacher’s aide with Ms. Shanan, who was her son’s teacher for five years. Christie loves getting to know all the children in the class.
A native of Salt Lake City, Christie now loves living in Pleasant View where in her spare time she makes wedding and birthday cake creations, chases around her 25 chickens and builds swings, shelves and other items for her home and yard.
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 worked at RISE Services, Inc. and Horace Mann Elementary in the special education department. People know her to be a calm person while performing the task assigned. She developed a reputation through Special Education of handling the assessment and teaching basic social skills. These jobs were meaningful to Robin because they taught Robin the ability to assess individuals based on their individual capabilities.
Robin has Mandt Training, CPR, First Aide and Early Childhood Education. Her certificates include Praxis Test, Government Initiative started by Michelle Obama called “Let's Move!”, Job Accommodation Network including finance, coordination and supervision supporting mandated programs for the disabled. Robin's involvement with Maria Montessori Academy (MMA) Special Education team insures IEP are met per the requirements set forth by the MMA Special Education Department.
Jamie C. Pugmire started out as a parent volunteer at Maria Montessori Academy in 2011 helping the Tier Two Reading students, Jamie also filled in as a substitute Teachers Assistant as needed during the 2011-2012 school year.
In 2012 Jamie joined the Maria Montessori Academy Tier Two Reading Staff assisting Kathy Chandler and Lynette Jensen with students who needed extra help with reading. During this time Jamie received her Para Professional Certificate and has taken several classes on Phonemic Awareness through the Utah Education Network (UEN) and has been mentored by amazing teachers and staff. Jamie continues to learn and take classes to improve her knowledge in Tier Two Reading.
Jamie attended San Joaquin Junior College in Stockton, California for two years taking her general education classes. Got married and put her education on hold to help her former husband achieve his dreams.
As a parent Jamie Pugmire volunteered as Maria Montessori Academy PTO Treasurer for three years and stepped down in July of 2015.
Jamie C. Pugmire was born and raised in Northern California. Jamie is the mother of three children, two young adult sons (one son served proudly in the United States Marine Corps for eight years) and a daughter who attends fifth grade at Maria Montessori Academy.
Jamie moved to Utah from California in 2003 with her two teenage sons as a single mother to marry Kirk Pugmire and their daughter was born three years later.
Jamie is very invested in the school and in helping Maria Montessori Academy grow into a first class school of primary education for our wonderful student body and the children she has grown to love. Jamie tells everyone she meets about Maria Montessori Academy and spreads the good news that there is a wonderful educational experience awaiting their child.