Faculty Bios

Christi Burdo
Head of School
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BFA-from Regis University, Montessori Credential in Primary, MA coursework from CU Denver, Director Qualification from the State of Colorado.  Montessori education has been Christi’s passion and belief system since the first time she experienced it as a parent of a young child. She started out by volunteering at her daughter’s Montessori school and fell in love with the Montessori method. It was then Christi knew she needed to pursue a career in Montessori. Christi started out by being an assistant in a classroom, then went on to take the Montessori training at MECR, in Boulder, Colorado. From there she completed an internship in the Denver area. Her first permanent teaching position was in the Golden area. She soon realized she needed to open my own Montessori school in the Southeast area of the city, where she owned and operated her own school for eleven years. Christi went on to run a prestigious Montessori program in the inner city of Denver for over two years. Christi is very pleased to find my new home with AML, were she is looking forward to many years of service to the families and staff. Through her years of experience, she has come to learn that a leader is not only to lead by example, but to be of service to the community in which one serves.

Gladys Quinones
Registrar & Administration
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Bachelors Elementary Education, ECE-Director Certified, Primary Montessori Certified- Gladys is from Puerto Rico. She has two children.  Her hobbies are gardening, baking, and spending time with her family. Gladys has been working in ECE since 1993. She has been with Adventure Montessori since 2004.  Gladys graduated from Catholic University of Puerto Rico as a Secondary Education teacher. Gladys loves teaching Spanish at Adventure Montessori and watching the children become fluent in a secondary language.

Stephanie Van Fleet
Program Director/Lead Teacher
Classroom: Lower & Upper Elementary
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MA-Montessori Education, AMS Elementary I & II Credential, CO Large Center Director Qualified. Stephanie was born on an Army base in Kansas, and grew up in Southern California. She graduated from high school and college in Minnesota where she discovered Montessori and found her career passion.  Stephanie is happily married to a talented and successful artist and proud mother of three beautiful and fantastic children. As a child, she struggled in academics in traditional education and wanted more success for her children. While considering home school for her children, she sought alternative methods as well. Stephanie began training as an assistant in a Montessori primary classroom and was recommended for elementary training.  She joyfully took Montessori elementary training in 2001 and completed her MA in Montessori Education in 2015. Stephanie was privileged to be a part of the American Montessori Society Emerging Leadership Fellowship. She is also serves an elementary instructor and field consultant at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

 

 

Annie Humphreys
Administrative Assistant/After School Coordinator
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Annie has a BA in biology and a teaching certificate in English.  She is currently pursuing her MA in Education.  Originally from Columbia, Missouri; Annie traveled to teach children learn English in Spain.  Annie recently relocated to Colorado to be closer to family and enjoy our Rocky Mountains.

Annie has a passion for Early Childhood Education.  She enjoys working with children for their, “inspiring, spontaneous, creative and sincere” nature.

Bethany Saba
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Lower Elementary
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Lower Elementary Montessori trained at  MECR May 2018- Bethany is from Florida. She is married to a wonderful husband, Billy and they have four beautiful children.  Bethany enjoys camping, swimming, hiking, bike riding, and scrap booking.  Her family loves cooking together and Water World is their favorite family spot. Bethany has known since she was little that she was going to be a teacher. Bethany was a big sister and babysitter for years, she has always loved being with children.  In 2006, when her daughter was one, she started working in childcare and enrolled her daughter.  Bethany has been teaching ever since. Teaching is her passion.

Angela Gray
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary 1
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BA-Fine Arts, 3-6 Primary Montessori Certification-  Ms. Angela has been teaching young children for seven years and this is her fifth year at AML. She has her Montessori Teaching Certificate from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and a BA in Fine Arts from Naropa University where she also studied Early Childhood Education. After graduating University in 2004, Ms. Angela spent time teaching English to Tibetan refugees and traveling in Dharamsala, India where she met her husband. They have two daughters of 13 and 10 . Ms. Angela loves painting, hiking and spending time with her family. She believes that each child has unique and amazing qualities that should be encouraged and allowed to grow and shine. It is an honor to be working with your children and to be able to assist and watch as they learn how to express themselves to their fullest abilities!

Masako Brauneis
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary 3
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M.A. Education, with a Montessori focus (expected in December 2019), M.A. International Environmental Policy, American Montessori Society Early Childhood Credential, Large Center Director Qualified — Masako is from Japan and has lived in the U.S. for more than 25 years. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, snowboarding, reading books, and playing the piano. Maria Montessori’s words, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education,” drew her to the field of Early Childhood Education, more specifically, to the Montessori philosophy and approach to teaching and learning. She would like to make a difference in society through educating children.

Ariana Voth
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary 2
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BA-Psychology/Sociology, 3-6 Primary Montessori Certification- Ariana has been married for almost 4 years.  Her husband and her are joyful parents to a young daughter. They also have 2 dogs and 2 cats.  In the summer, they go camping most weekends, take the dogs hiking, have BBQ’s, and spend time at my family’s mountain house.  Ariana is a Colorado native, grew up in Boulder, and loves to explore new places in this beautiful state.  Ariana also attended Montessori school as a child for Primary through 5th grade. She has always enjoyed working with children and watching them learn and grow.  Ariana started babysitting at age 13 and continued to nanny through college.  Through studying psychology and sociology at CU she learned a lot about child and human development.  At MECR training she gained more knowledge than she could have ever imagined.  Ariana is very excited to apply the knowledge on her journey as a Primary Montessori teacher!

Lizzie Forristall
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary 4
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3-6 Montessori Certified- Lizzie Forristall moved to Colorado in 2015 from Texas where she studied Early Childhood Education at Texas State University.  Lizzie grew up in a family of educators and knew at a young age this was her passion.  She has worked in many different teaching environments but absolutely fell in love with the Montessori Method.  Lizzie moved to Colorado to further her Montessori education and to be closer to the mountains and friends.   In 2017, Lizzie received her Montessori Certification; in 2016 she completed my National Accreditation for Child Development.  In her spare time she loves to spend time with her friends and family, see live music, go hiking, camping and swimming and always brushing up on the Montessori philosophy.

Elena Pogliano
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 4
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BA-Art History, Pyramid Plus certification- Elena was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but she calls the wonderful state of Minnesota home!  After graduating college she moved to Florence, Italy to study Italian and travel. Graduate school brought her to Colorado where she loves to paint, knit, and see live music in her spare time.  Elena has always wanted to be a teacher and considers herself a forever student continually learning something new!  With her art history background, she is able to foster the unlimited creativity in the early childhood field.  Young children see the world with an unbiased lenses containing endless possibilities.  She feels it is such a privilege to be a part of their lives!

Mary Patrick
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 1
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ECE Certification, CO Large Center Director Qualifications-Mary is a Colorado native. Her son is currently overseas serving in the Navy.  She has been married 34 years and they are grandparents to six children.  Mary likes to hike and snowshoe together! Mary started in the toddler room and has since worked with children from 6 weeks to 12 years. During an interview in 2003, a child was having a difficult time and the Director got down at the child’s level and comforted him.  It warmed her heart, how they interacted with each other.  Mary knew she wanted to make a difference in children’s lives at that moment!

Katie Reidy
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 2
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MA-Education- Katie was born in Kansas but moved to Colorado at the age of 4 years. She loves to work-out, hike, kayak, camp, raft and just about anything out doors. Katie is married to Tyler, and they have two daughters, Elizabeth & Madeline. Katie has always wanted to be a teacher.  For a long time she thought she wanted to be a high school teacher.  However, after starting her Master’s program in 2011, she found that she connects better with younger children who still want to learn, and laugh and play.  Young students learn so much so faster, and she is excited to be a part of that process!

Olivia Dengah
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 3
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0-3 Montessori Certified- Olivia was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. After graduating high school, Olivia went to the School of Communication in Jakarta to get her bachelor’s degree in TV & Radio Broadcasting.  Olivia has experience working in local radio as a script writer. In September of 2012, Olivia moved to Colorado & has been enjoying living here ever since.  She spends most of her free time singing, playing guitar, swimming, food tasting, and cooking Indonesian cuisine. Olivia found herself enjoying being around kids and sharing wonderful moments to grow and learn with them. Olivia’s goal is to someday be able to bring the wonderful learning environment we have here to share with unfortunate kids all over the world.  She would like to make the world a brighter place!

Lisa Russell
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Infant 1
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Lisa 0-3 Montessori Certification-MECR- Lisa’s degree is in Early Childhood Education from Colorado Metro state. She also has her Large Center Colorado Director Certification. Lisa has been working primarily with infants since 2006. She has been in the childcare field since 1987 from an assistant teacher in the beginning to center director for over 10 years. Lisa also serves as an  instructor and field consultant at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies for future adults eager to work with 0-3 age children. Lisa was born in Texas, and was the child of a military dad where she moved a lot in the beginning of life. Lisa has lived in Colorado since 1987 and Lafayette since 2010.  She has a wonderful partner, Julie, and two sons, Gavin & David.  Her interests involve; learning to be the best version of herself through mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and energy work. Lisa believes Montessori is the best philosophy available for all and you will know this when you start talking to her about it. She is so passionate about it that it has inspired many of our staff to further their knowledge about Montessori.

 

Bethani Lopez
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 1
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0-3 Montessori Certification-MECR- Bethani was  born and raised in Colorado. She has lived in different areas of Colorado her whole life.  Bethani is a married and has recently become a mother.  Bethani really enjoys spending time with her family.  She also enjoy spending time with her newly rescued puppy!  They enjoy doing anything outdoors and traveling to new places. Bethani has been around children her whole life and has been called the “baby whisperer”. Bethani’s  family encouraged her to follow her gift.  Bethani started following this gift and her dreams by learning more about children and how to change their lives.  Bethani always says “Teachers are the ones who develop and guide children to be engineers, police officers, civic leaders and more!

 

Alley Wasinger
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Infant 2
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BA-Business Administration, 0-3 Montessori Certification- Alley was born and raised in Colorado. She grew up in Alamosa, CO where she also attended college at Adams State University. Alley received her BA in Business, but it was also in college that she fell in love with Early Childhood. It began as a work study job at the preschool that was on campus and Alley knew that she wanted to get into the field of Early Childhood Education. Alley began her career working as a toddler teacher at traditional centers but happened to fall into an assistant infant teaching position at Adventure Montessori. At the time Alley was not too familiar with Montessori, but after working at Adventure Montessori for a few years, she realized how much Montessori inspired her and she wanted it to always be a part of my life. In 2017,  Alley attended the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and obtained her 0-3 certification. To Alley, Montessori is not just a philosophy, it is a way of life. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and exercise, reading psychological thrillers, and baking (especially around the holidays!) One of Alley’s favorite quotes by Dr. Maria Montessori is, “The child is both a hope and promise for mankind”.

Kim Binger
Support Teacher
Classroom: Infant Rooms
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 ECE Certification- Kim is from Iowa. Her family moved to Colorado in 1985.  Kim and her husband, John,  have 3 sons.  Kim loves to cook, boat, camp, read and go to garage sales!  She love dogs, horses, and most other animals. Kim loves children of all ages! As a mom of 3 sons, Kim learned the struggles of working parents. In her quest to figure it out, Kim decided this was her calling.  Kim really enjoy working with children, it makes her happy to be a part of their lives.

Tracy Sosa
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 3
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Tracy is a Colorado native.  She graduated from Mountain Range High School in 2013.  Tracy  loves spending time in nature and painting.  She also enjoy making circus props.  Tracy’s family is from Peru and they are very supportive of her. Tracy was drawn to the field of ECE because she loves teaching being able to help children grow.  She believes children are great teachers too.  They have helped her grow as an individual and have taught her a lot.

Crystal Fetterhoff
Elementary Aftercare/School-wide support
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Crystal is a Colorado native.  She has a very close family of which she has 3 siblings.  Crystal is closet to her sister and niece.  Her main interests are traveling out of state when she can and photography.  Crystal plans to go to school for photography and she would like to open her own photography studio.

Crystal came to AML because she loves working with children.  She enjoys to watch them grow and learn.  Crystal is constantly amazed by their creatively and curiosity as she believes Early Childhood Education helps children grow into the next generation of caretakers of our society and our world.

Ellen Land
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 2
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Ellen has 30 years of experience working with young children and many years in Montessori.  Ellen is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.  She enjoys gardening, the outdoors, sewing and reading.  Ellen came from the corporate world and discovered the fulfillment of Early Childhood Education.

Anthony Cuffari
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 1
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Anthony has a degree in Early Childhood Education.  He has served as a lead teacher and substitute, and now joins AML as a Primary 1 assistant. Anthony is originally from Pennsylvania where most of his family still resides. He came to Colorado to take part in his love of skiing, hiking, and long-boarding.

Anthony has known since his was a child that he wanted to be a teacher. Many teachers are in his family.  He attributes his inspiration from his own first-grade teacher. He feels, “that seeing children having fun while learning is the most rewarding thing.”

Bella Ovalle
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Infant 2
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Bella is from Chihuahua Mexico, and has  been living in Colorado for the past 15 years. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She loves to travel with her husband and taking long walks with her dog. Ever since her mom has done in-home babysitting Bella has loved to help her and create bonds with children and that is what pulled her into the field. Bella loves working with infants and wishes to keep learning more about Montessori and Early Childhood Education.

Symone Brewer
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 3
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Symone is no stranger to the primary classroom.  As a Montessori child herself, she carried her love of learning to inspire other children.  Symone has been a summer camp leader since age 14. She was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois until 2016 when she relocated to Colorado.  Her interests include dancing, reading, camping, hiking and spending time with family.

Sarah Hubbard
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 2
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Sarah recently moved from California with her husband where she worked for the YMCA.  Her interests include hiking, cooking and crafting.  Sarah loves working children and “seeing the joy on their faces when they discover something new”.  Sarah is currently working towards her degree in Early Childhood Education.