The Board of Directors is a non-profit governing body consisting of parents and community members established to oversee the implementation of the school charter as approved by the Utah State Office of Education. The voting Board Members consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Financial Coordinator, and other Board Members, as listed below.
Preston Allen grew up in Salt Lake City and Kearns, Utah where he graduated from Kearns High School. Shortly after graduating high school he enlisted in the United States Army and served for three years, with a tour to Kuwait where he trained with coalition forces. Preston attended Colorado Aero Tech where he graduated with honors and received an Associates degree in applied science and an FAA Aircraft Mechanics license. Preston also worked for Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas before deciding to move back to Utah to be closer to family. Preston currently works for SkyWest airlines as an aircraft mechanic.
Preston is married to Amber Allen and they have three wonderful children; Jacobi, Jaycie, and Eli. Preston’s hobbies include: spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, fixing airplanes, and spending time with his family.
Preston enjoyed the time he spent last year volunteering in Jacobi and Jaycie’s classroom. The time he spent at Maria Montessori Academy last year was such a great experience for him to observe as the teachers and staff of MMA helped to develop each child’s mind and talent’s. He looks forward to working with you and the staff of MMA in the upcoming years.
Board Vice Chair
Board Vice Chair
Joan Effiong graduated from Weber State College with B.S. degree in Broadcasting in 1981 and earned an MA in Communications from Brigham Young University in 1985. She worked with Management Training Corporation (MTC) which runs Clearfield Job Corps for seventeen years; interacting with youth ages 16-24 in different capacities (Counselor, Counseling manager, Director of student’s social development & Community liaison). Joan was also a member of the team assigned by Department of Labor to develop a diversity manual for all Job Corps Centers. As the Student/Career Services Director at the Ogden/Weber Applied Technology College from 2000 -2009, she provided an array of services to students in the college.
Joan has twenty four years experience in an open entry/open exit individualized competency based education. This program is student centered and allows students to move according to their pace. She is currently the Ogden Branch president of the American Association of University Women and past state membership chair for two years. She is the president of JENAR foundation a non-profit organization that helps with the fight of malaria and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Africa.
Joan is a wife, mother and grandmother and is very active in her community. She is a local storyteller and has participated in many festivals and schools to help youth and adults understand and embrace diversity in a non–threatening way.
Joan Effiong is very passionate about education and is very excited to be one of the board members for Maria Montessori Charter School. She believes that this school will encompass three of the most valued criteria she looks for in education: a passion for learning, student centered and celebration of diversity.
Mary Wurm just recently retired from Ogden City School District after 32 years as an administrative assistant. Mary served on the School Leadership Team as well as other various school and district committees.
In her career with Ogden City School, Mary was the recipient of several awards including the “Focus on Excellence Award”; Empowering Excellence Through Education Award and “Outstanding Classified Employee of the year Award.
Mary is fully committed to the MMA Board and the students of MMA. Mary believes too as Dr. Maria Montessori “that all children are uniquely intelligent” and she wholeheartedly loves the concept of “Free the Child’s potential and you will transform him into the world”.
Mary is married and loves spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to sew, camp, hang out with friends and especially travel with her husband.
Kate Blake graduated high school in 1995 and became a Master Esthetician in 2005. She started her own business Serenity Now Day Spa in 2006. Kate and her wonderful husband Jesse, were married in 1999. They adopted their first son in 2008, and their second in 2009.
Kate was introduced to the Montessori Method by Mrs. Linda Martinez at The Children’s House Montessori Preschool in 2012. Kate describes encountering Montessori as “coming home”. She fell in love and has gone to many trainings and conferences to learn as much as she can about the Montessori Method and Special Education. Mrs. Linda mentored Kate as a volunteer assistant during the time her boys attended Children’s House. Kate has been enjoying volunteering in and out of the classrooms at MMA starting in 2014. She loves that MMA has made Montessori available to the public and loves the environment and community it creates. She is very passionate about diversity and Special Education and feels they are an integral part of the Montessorri experience of “honoring the child within.”
Her true joy is traveling and showing her boys the world. She loves backpacking, snowboarding, hiking and anything out in nature.
Kate has loved being a part of Maria Montessori Academy and is excited to be a board member to continue MMA’s mission of creating the “whole child” which she believes makes the world a more peaceful place to live.
“Within the child lies the fate of the future.”
Tony Bassett is a Certified Hypnotherapist specializing in individual and relationship coaching.
Tony has over four years experience as a Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner and hypnotherapist. He is a graduate of Hypnosis Motivation Institute specializing in hypnotherapy and is currently serving as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. Among his areas of expertise are relationships and sports performance, progressive relaxation, and success for behavioral improvements.
Tony Bassett is motivational speaker presenting at conferences and to general audiences speaking on the topics of the Theory Of Mind, Relationships and E&P Theory.
Tony is an interactive, solution-focused hypnotherapist. His therapeutic approach provides support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. He integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. He works with compassion and understanding for each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.
Tony is married with a family of 3 and understands family dynamics.
Neil Garner is a long-time resident of Ogden, Utah. He graduated from Weber State University with a BSN in Nursing and a BS in Health Administration. He has worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 39 years. He specialized in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. Neil is a member of a Sigma Theta Tau a national honor society for nursing. He served for 8 years on the Ogden City Council as an elected official. During this time, he served twice as chair of the council. He is currently serving in his 9th year on the Weber-Morgan Health Department, during this time he has held the position of chair and vice chair. He served as the chair of the Weber County local homeless coordinating council. He has worked with the youth in the community as a Boy Scout leader and Religious leader. He recently was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding leadership in scouting.
Neil Garner is proud to be an Ogden citizen where he and his wife Jill happily raised their four children. Neil and Jill are proud grandparents and enjoy this phase of their lives. He enjoys volunteering in the community and serving the youth. He and his wife love the outdoors, especially hiking and kayaking in the Uintah mountains.