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 my passion and belief system since the first time I experienced it as a parent of a young child. I started out by volunteering at my daughter’s Montessori school and fell in love with the Montessori method. It was then I knew I needed to pursue a career in Montessori. I started out by being an assistant in a classroom, then went on to take the Montessori training at MECR, in Boulder, Colorado from there I completed an internship in the Denver area. My first permanent teaching position was in the Golden area. I soon realized I needed to open my own Montessori school in the Southeast area of the city, where I owned and operated my own school for eleven years. I went on to run a prestigious Montessori program in the inner city of Denver for over two years. I am very pleased to find my new home with AML, were I am looking forward to many years of service to the families and staff. Through my years of experience, I have 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- I am from Puerto Rico. I have two children.  My hobbies are gardening, baking, and spending time with my family. I have been working in ECE since 1993. I have been with Adventure Montessori since 2004.  I graduated from Catholic University of Puerto Rico as a Secondary Education teacher. I love teaching Spanish at Adventure Montessori and watching the children become fluent in a secondary language.

Stephanie Van Fleet
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Elementary
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MA-Montessori Education, AMS Elementary I & II Credential, Large Center Director Qualified-I was born on an Army base in Kansas, and grew up in Southern California. Graduated from high school and college in Minnesota.  Found Montessori and found home & career passion.  Very happily married to a talented and successful artist; proud mother of three beautiful and fantastic children. I struggled in academics in traditional education and wanted more success for my children. I thought I wanted to home school, but sought other methods as well. I began learning as an assistant in a Montessori primary classroom and was recommended for elementary training.  I joyfully took the Montessori elementary training in 2001.  I completed my MA in Montessori Education in 2015.

 

 

Debbie Bethurum
Enrollment Specialist
Classroom: Administration
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ECE Certification, PDIS Level III-I was born and raised in Westminster, CO and moved to Lafayette in my mid 20’s where I raised my daughter Alisha.  I love to pamper my dog Lily, spend time in the mountains, and hang out with my large extended family.  I also like to travel, cook, sew, picnic in the park while listening to music and go on adventures with Alisha, her husband Brad, and their 2 dogs. I am really excited about becoming a grandma in late February and all of the excitement that that will bring! I come from a very large family and since I was very young I have had a passion and desire to spend time with children of all ages.  I choose to continue working with children because I truly believe I can make a positive difference in their lives.  I enjoy building strong relationships with children and their families.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not smile big, laugh hard, and have so much fun!

Bethany Saba
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Elementary
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Lower Elementary Montessori Certification MCER May 2018-I am from Florida. I have a wonderful fiance, Billy and we have three beautiful children.  I enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, bike riding, and scrap booking.  We love cooking together and Water World is our favorite family spot. I have known since I was little that I was going to be a teacher. Being a big sister and babysitter for years, I have always loved being with children.  In 2006, when my daughter was one, I started working in childcare and enrolled my daughter.  I’ve been teaching ever since. Teaching is my passion!

Lilli Naumov
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Kindergarten
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BA-Biology, Lower & Upper Elem. Montessori certification MECR-I was born in Kazakhstan. We moved to Germany when I was 10 years old.  At the age of 19 years I moved to Florida and four years ago to Colorado.  I read, travel, bike, hike and snowboard.  My children are Heidi (age 11yrs.) and Toby (age 8 yrs.).I love the affection and curiosity that children show. They take every day as a new opportunity and are so energetic and fearless!

Angela Gray
Lead Co-Teacher
Classroom: Primary 4
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BA-Fine Arts, Naropa University, Primary Montessori Certification MECR May 2018-I was born in Maine and raised in Colorado.  I love painting, writing, hiking and spending time with my husband and two daughters.  I also enjoy volunteer teaching Tibetan language at the Tibetan Children’s School in Boulder.I studied Early Childhood Education at Naropa University because I have always felt education to be an essential but neglected field.  I love working with young children as they are excited to learn all things about the world.  Children are open hearted and joyful it brings me so much joy to help create the opportunity for them to build independence and social skills as well as be supportive of their curiosities and self-expression.

Caitlin Knutson
Intern Teacher
Classroom: Primary 1
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ECE Certification-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.

Mitra Hosseinipour
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 2
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BA in Humanity, ECE Certification-I am from Iran.  I have two children, 23 & 17 years old.  I love biking, dancing and writing articles in my home language Farsi. I love children and believe they are valuable assets in building the future world.  They are important to me.  I love psychology and being with kids gives me the opportunity to know and understand them more effectively.

Masako Brauneis
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary Room 3
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ECE Certification, Primary Montessori Certification MECR, AMS ECE Credential, Director Qualifications in progress-I am from Japan and have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, snowboarding, reading books, and playing the piano. Maria Montessori’s words, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education”. Drew me to the field of Early Childhood Education. More specifically, to the Montessori philosophy and approach to teaching and learning.  I would like to make a difference in society through educating children.

Ariana Voth
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Primary 3
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AA-Criminal Justice,BA-Psychology/Sociology, Primary Montessori Certification M.C.E.R. May 2018-I have been married for almost 4 years.  We have 2 dogs and 2 cats.  In the summer, we go camping most weekends, take the dogs hiking, have BBQ’s, and spend time at my family’s mountain house.  I am a Colorado native, grew up in Boulder, and love to explore new places in this beautiful state.  I also attended Montessori school as a child for Primary through 5th grade. I have always enjoyed working with children and watching them learn and grow.  I started babysitting at age 13 and continued to nanny through college.  Through studying psychology and sociology at CU I learned a lot about child and human development.  This past summer I took the M.C.E.R. training & gained more knowledge than I could have ever imagined.  I am very excited to apply the knowledge on my journey as a Primary Montessori teacher!

Lizzie Forristall
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Primary Room 4
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ECE-Texas State University,Primary Montessori Certification NAMC-I moved from Texas almost 3 years ago, all of my family still lives in Texas. I moved here to be closer to my friends, the mountains, and my Montessori education.  I love spending time with my friends and family; camping, seeing live music, traveling, and enjoying all of the great things Colorado has to offer. I grew up in a family of educators from a young age I could see the impact, especially my mother working at an inner- city school had on students. I knew this was my calling.  Finding my love of teaching preschool age children, as well as hearing how thankful parents are for their children’s enthusiasm about school, makes me want to always strive to do my best.

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

Tatenda Blessing Muchiriri
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 1
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Montessori Certified 0-3, I was born in Zimbabwe and discovered my love of Montessori when I moved to China where I had the opportunity to work with children for seven years before moving to Boulder, Colorado in 2015. I am passionate about the Montessori philosophy and received my AMS Infant/Toddler Credential through the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. I’m part of the AMS Emerging Leader’s Fellowship. When I’m not working with children, I love reading, taking a variety of classes, dancing and travelling. My favorite quote from Maria Montessori is, “The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.”

 

 

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

Mojgan Hosseinipour
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 2
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BA in Humanity, ECE Certification- I am from Esfahan Iran.  I have lived in Colorado for 12 years now.  I am married and we have three daughters.  My hobbies and interests are hiking with my family, art and riding bikes! In my home country, after I got my diploma I started working with kindergarten and primary.  I worked there for 8 years.  During those years, I studied early childhood.  After the 8 years, I became the lead teacher.  I have always loved children and working with them!

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

Mary Patrick
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Toddler 3
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ECE Certification, Director Qualifications-I am a Colorado native. My son is currently overseas serving in the Navy.  I have been married 34 years and we are grandparents to six children.  We like to hike and snowshoe together! I started in the toddler room and have since worked with children from 6 weeks to 12 years. During an interview in 2003, a child was having a difficult time.  The Director got down at the child’s level and comforted him.  It warmed my heart, how they interacted with each other.  I knew I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives at that moment!

Lisa Russell
Lead Teacher
Classroom: Infant 1
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Lisa 0-3 Montessori Certification-MECR-I was born in Texas, the child of a military Dad so I moved a lot in the beginning of my life. I have lived in Colorado since 1987 and Lafayette since 2010.  I have a wonderful partner, Julie, and two adopted sons, Gavin & David.  My interests involve; mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and finding ways to be a better version of myself. I believe this was a natural path for me, so I just followed my heart and what was presented to me, as I try to do every day.

 

Bethani Lopez
Assistant Teacher
Classroom: Infant 1
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0-3 Montessori Certification-MECR-I am born and raised in Colorado. I have lived in different areas of Colorado my whole life.  I am recently married, we went to Los Cabo, Mexico.  I really enjoy spending time with my family and my husband’s family.  I also enjoy spending time with our newly rescued puppy!  We enjoy doing anything outdoors and traveling to new places. I have been around children my whole life and have been called the “baby whisperer”. My family encouraged me to follow my gift.  I started following this gift & my dreams by learning more about children and how to change their lives.  I always say “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 in progress- I am from the small town of Alamosa, Colorado. I have lived in Arvada for 3 years now.  I live with my cat Belle, who is treated like my baby!  In my spare time I enjoy doing yoga, binge watching Netflix, and going on random adventures. I was drawn to the ECE field in college when I had a work study job at the campus day care. I helped out with all ages from toddler to elementary aged kids.  After college, I got my first job as a teacher aide in a toddler room and this is the moment I knew this was the career path to take.  I has become my passion!

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

Renee Pokryfke
Support Teacher
Classroom: Primary Rooms
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ECE Certification I love to cook, cross stitch, and sew! I love to go to Estes Park to shop & get away. I also love going to Rocky Mountain Nat. Park to look for wildlife. I have been working with children for over 18 years! I went to Front Range College to get ECE certification and love being with little kids, they bring out the best in me!