Faculty Bios

Stephanie Van Fleet
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Lower Elementary
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Stephanie Van Fleet has passionately served Montessori education for the past 15 years, holds a MAEd in Montessori Education from the College of St. Catherine and is Director qualified through the state of Colorado. Lower and Upper Elementary certified through the American Montessori Society.

Lilli Naumov
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Kindergarten
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Although I’d worked with children previously, I have been teaching in Montessori for three years. My children, Heidi and Toby, led me to discover Montessori education. I was born in Kazakhstan, which at that time was part of the Soviet Union. My childhood was beautiful almost like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s as in Little House on the Prairie! We moved to Germany when I was ten years old. Later, I married and we moved to Florida fourteen years ago, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology. I moved to Boulder three years ago. I received my AMS credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. In my spare time I snowboard, travel, read, and hike. I can’t wait to meet, bond, and share my passions with your children!

Jessica Bicknell
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary 2
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I graduated from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, May 15th, 2016. I attended Western State University where I studied vocal performance and Opera. At the age of 10, I served in helping my parents in their Pre-school Gymnastics program, Tumble Boogie.

I was a Montessori child myself, along with my six younger siblings, from Pre-school through middle school!  Aside from helping my parents with their business and helping to take care of my younger siblings, I worked in a variety of different schools over the past eight years.

One of my passions is loving to sing and perform in plays. l try to use some of the techniques that I learned from those experiences in the classroom. Children also love music!

Mitra Hosseinipour
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary Room 4
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In my country, Iran, I served as a volunteer and worked with children of all ages; junior youth and youth. There, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Art and also obtained a license in cosmetology. My husband, two children and I came to the US about seven years ago, after living for a short time in Austria. We are now U.S. citizens. Once here, I worked as an assistant teacher with children aged 3 to 5 years old for 4.5 years and attended courses in Early Childhood Education at a community college. I am excited to support your children grow academically through the Montessori philosophy.

My family keeps me very busy. My daughter is twenty-one years old and is currently in college, and my son, who is sixteen years old, is in the eleventh grade. I love children and also enjoy arts, crafts, and cooking.

Masako Brauneis
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary Room 3
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Masako joined AML in 2016. She has the American Montessori Society Early Childhood Credential, an Early Childhood Teacher certificate and is completing the Colorado Early Childhood Director qualification. Before entering the teaching field, she worked as an energy program coordinator for an environmental organization, where she became interested in educating children for a better society and future. She has an M.A. in International Environmental Policy and a B.A. in International Studies. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, snowboarding, reading books, and playing the piano.

Ariana Voth
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 3
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My name is Ariana Voth. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado where I attended Montessori school for preschool through fifth grade. I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Sociology and Psychology in 2010. I have been working with children ages six weeks to twelve years for over 15 years, and have spent the last three years teaching preschool. I have always had a great passion for working with children. Watching them learn and grow is something that truly makes me happy. I began with Adventure Montessori in the fall of 2014 and hope to be a part of the schools continued success for many years to come.
In my spare time I enjoy exercising, watching football, cooking new foods, being in the mountains, and spending time with my husband and our two Yorkies.

Lizzie Forristall
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary Room 4
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My name is Lizzie Forristall.  I moved to Colorado about 2 years ago from Texas where I studied Early Childhood Education at Texas State University.  I grew up in a family of educators and knew at a young age this was my passion.  I have worked in many different teaching environments but absolutely fell in love with the Montessori method.  I moved to Colorado to further my Montessori education and to be closer to the mountains.  I am currently in the process of getting my National Accreditation for Child Development.  In my spare time I love to do yoga, read, dance, go hiking and camping.

Angela Gray
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 2
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A native of Colorado, I received my BA in Fine Arts from Naropa University where I also studied Early Childhood Education. After graduating in 2004, I spent time teaching English and studying Tibetan in Dharamsala, India, where I met my husband. We now have two daughters who are 8 and 6. I spend most of my time with my family, painting, reading and enjoying the outdoors.

Trained in approaching the growth and education of the child from a holistic and contemplative point of view, I believe each child has unique and amazing qualities that should be encouraged and allowed to grow and shine. I am honored to be trusted with your children and am excited to see what wonders will unfold in their early lives.

Helen L. Rodenburg
Assistant Teacher/After-Care
Classroom: Primary
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I have been a life-long educator. My childhood dream when I was 5 years old was to become a teacher. When I received my first teaching assignment. in a small town north of Indianapolis, Indiana. I felt as though I was in heaven! Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with children from infants through middle school age.

Some of the most challenging and rewarding years were working with SIED children (Significantly Identifiable Emotionally Disturbed) and with children living with a variety of disabilities. It has taught me to be more understanding and appreciative of parents who provide a home and care for children with extreme challenges. My teaching career has included the states of Indiana, Kansas, and now Colorado.

I have earned a MS Education with English & Psychology as majors and a MS Education with a major in Counseling & Guidance. I enjoy being actively involved with community service projects and serving others in need. Also, I have a passion for reading, hiking, and biking. But of all my life’s accomplishments, I have enjoyed motherhood most of all! At the top of my list of things to do, I enjoy being with my four children! (They’re in the 20 Something crowd, now).

While here with Adventure Montessori Learning Center, I hope to provide the loving, patient care and guidance that all children deserve. Life is an adventure!

Wendy Discua
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 1
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I attended the Community College of Denver to study early child education for two years. I later continued my Montessori Education at North American Montessori Center, and received my certificate for Montessori Education with infants and toddlers. I have been working in Montessori schools for nine years, and during this time I have worked with children from birth, up to three years old.
I absolutely love working with children and enjoy the new experiences that comes from teaching them. We are constantly learning from each other everyday and they bring so much joy, as well as honesty. Every interaction that we have brings love into our lives.
In my free time I love to spend time with my children and family. I also love traveling with my kids, going to parks and attending movies together, as well as going to church and helping the community. I am from Honduras, a country in Central America and I am a native Spanish speaker. I can’t wait to get to know all of the families at Adventure Montessori School and share my Montessori education and experiences. I love to teach children and the joy they bring every single day.

Marisol Herrera Lopez
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 1
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I’m Ms. Marisol, I have almost 5 years of experience working with kids, they are amazing. I love all the experiences that I get to live with all the children. I was raised in New Mexico all my life until I moved to Colorado when I was 18. In my free time I enjoy working out, I also like to go hiking, running, skiing, and I love to travel, which of course I can’t do often due to my job, but when I do, I enjoy it so much. About 2 years ago I worked at Adventure Montessori for a couple of years, and here I’m again. I love working with the Toddlers because it gives me the opportunity to teach them and learn from them at the same time. I love the feeling when I engage with them, it makes me happy when they trust me and feel safe with me. Children are the best thing that could ever happen to us adults, I love their honesty and transparency. Children are a gift and I will enjoy working with each and every one of them.

Mojgan Hosseinipour
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 2
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Ms. Mojgan has worked with AML in the Toddler program for several years and continues to show extreme care and love for the children here at AML.

Caitlin Knutson
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 2
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I was born and raised here in Boulder, CO. I have worked in childcare for six years, where five of those years have been with toddlers. I am currently enrolled in Front Range Community School for Early Childhood Education to earn my degree. I have been employed with AML since November 2015. I have been in the Infant Rooms assisting all guides and loved learning about the infants. I am so excited to be working in the Toddler Department and pleased to be working in the area of my passion with many children I have gotten to know in the Nido Program. I look forward to being a part of your child’s every-day learning experience and watch them continue to grow.

Francisca (Quica) Galvan
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 3
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I have been part of Adventure Montessori for a little over two years. Prior to this, I worked at the University of Colorado Children’s Center for 25 years, as a Lead Toddler Teacher, for ages 15 months to 3 years. After that, I’d decided to retire. However, retirement, I discovered, was not for me! I missed the joy and fulfillment that I get from contributing to children’s early learning experiences and decided to continue in my field of Early Childhood Education. I have an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education and decided to use and stretch my knowledge by joining the AML team. I am also happy to be able to teach Spanish to the three toddler classrooms, something that they all enjoy immensely; learning through books, the spoken language and through concrete experiences such as tasting different foods.

I have four grown children and thirteen grandchildren, all of whom, I enjoy spending my free time with. Additionally, I enjoy walking, knitting and spending time with my husband of forty years!

Olivia Knouse
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler Room 3
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Aloha! My name is Olivia Rebecca Knouse. I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. After graduated from high school, I went to School of Communication in Jakarta to get my Bachelor’s Degree in TV and Radio Broadcasting. I have experienced working in a local radio as a script writer. On September 2012, I moved to Colorado and have been enjoying my new life here ever since. I loved Colorado. 🙂

I spent most of my free time singing, playing guitar, swimming, watch travel documentary, food tasting, cooking Indonesian culinary, fishing and my latest hobby is sewing! 🙂

I really enjoyed my script-writing job, however I am longing for some new challenge. My experience working with infant – toddler age as Sunday School Teacher at my church back home during my high school year brought me to a realization that my true passion is to working with the kids. I found myself enjoying being around kids and share wonderful moments of growing and learning with them. And so I landed my wings at Adventure Montessori. I’ve been in love with the Montessori Philosophy of this school and felt so blessed to be a part of it. I am working on my Early Childhood Education class and on my plan to get my Montessori certification next year. It has been a great year with Adventure Montessori and I am so excited for many more of it to come!

Senang berjumpa dengan Anda! 🙂

Blessings!

Lisa Russell
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Infant Room 1
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Hi, my name is Lisa Russell. Montessori education has been a part of my teaching and administrating for the past four years, although I have been in the early childhood field as a teacher and administrator for the past 23 years. My degree and Director Qualification are in Early Childhood Education. I believe that learning is a life long process so I am continuing my education in the early childhood field. I have two boys that are 10 and 17. My passion and expertise is with infants and toddlers. I believe every interaction counts and building a relationship with each individual infant/toddler and their family is one of the most important roles of an Infant/Toddler Primary Caregiver. The Montessori education focuses on community and the love and respect for all things. As an Infant/Toddler teacher I believe that it is my role to spend my days providing the intimate care of feeding, diapering, calming, and talking and working (playing) with each infant and toddler. At the beginning and end of every day I find opportunities that we can share with each other about the child’s experiences with the family or myself. These interactions like the sharing of a new accomplishment or a funny story are ways for us to build trust and meet the needs for your child together showing your child mutual respect and care. I feel it is an honor to have the opportunity to be an intricate part of your family’s life, especially your baby and their education.

Kim Binger
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Infant Rooms
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Hi, my name is Kim Binger. I am married to John and we have raised 3 wonderful boys Joshua, Kyle, and Michael. We have lived in Colorado since 1985.
I love working with children. I went to Front Range Community College for early childhood. I have worked in a couple of different types of schools before coming here. I really enjoy looking for way to add to my education so that I might better be able to serve you and you children.

 

Emily Crittenden
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Infant Room 2
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Hello! My name is Emily Crittenden, and I am a lead infant teacher. I do not have any of my own children yet, but my husband and I are definitely looking forward to that chapter of our lives. I have been surrounded by children my entire life. I have 5 siblings, 4 of them younger than me, so helping out with little ones has never been a foreign concept to me. Fresh out of high school I became a live-in nanny to a family of 3 children in Sugar Loaf Canyon, for a combined time of approximately 2 years. I also nannied for an older child after school for about a year. I left the nannying job to attend college for baking & pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, where I graduated and moved on to begin my career in the baking world. I worked in a few bakeries at this point, but I knew something was missing. I needed to try and continue my work with children, it brought me so much joy and I wanted to see where it would lead me. I eventually found my way to Adventure Montessori, where I started as a lunch breaker. I took some ECE classes at Front Range immediately after I started. I slowly moved to an assistant position, and then I was offered the amazing opportunity of attending MECR to become Montessori certified and take over a classroom as a lead. I love taking care of children of all ages, but infants have always held a special place in my heart. It’s hard not to smile when you get the opportunity to help/watch so many little ones grow from not even rolling over, to running, talking, and drinking out of a cup.

I love my job because I touch the future.

Alley Wasinger
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Infant Room 2
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 My name is Alley Wasinger. I have a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Healthcare Administration from Adams State University. However, my passion is in Early Childhood Education and so I have taken ECE classes to become Group Lead Qualified. I have been working in a classroom for 5 years. My interest in this career began when I held a work study job at The Gingerbread House Early Learning Center on my college campus. I enjoyed floating from classroom to classroom, filling in wherever help was needed. After graduating college, I landed my first full time position, where I worked for a year at Seeds of Learning in Pagosa Springs as a teacher aide in the toddler room. I moved to Arvada in May 2014. I am eager to gain more experience working with infants and becoming more knowledgeable about the Montessori philosophy.

Gladys Quinones
Registrar & Administration
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Ms. Gladys is the Registrar of AML. She has taught children for many years and holds Montessori certifications. Currently, she is also overseeing the school’s Spanish classes and teaches Spanish to the Elementary children twice a week.