Meet the Team – Lower Elementary

Amy BreauxMontessori Lead
Bio Coming Soon!
Kellyn WoloszynMontessori Lead
Kellyn started at Monarch in August 2015 as a lower elementary assistant. She moved into a lead position in August 2016. This is the position she holds currently. Kellyn earned her BA in elementary education from the University of Montana Missoula in 2011. She received her AMS Montessori certificate from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO in the summer of 2016. There are so many things Kellyn loves about Montessori, from the math materials to the mixed-age classrooms and beyond. What she finds to be the most rewarding about the Montessori philosophy, is the strong emphasis it puts on peace education and the importance of building a safe and supportive community. Kellyn enjoys visiting her family in Montana, going to the movies, reading anything she can get her hands on, everything outdoors, and making art out of pressed flowers and leaves.
Gina MaciasAssistant Teacher
Georgina Macias was born in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Denver in 2001. She graduated from Manuel High School in 2006 and attended the Community College of Denver as well as the University of Colorado Denver. She has two adorable children, Michael and Jorge. Georgina became interested in school administration through volunteering at her sons’ school last year.

Shanna MeyersMontessori Lead
Shanna Myers began teaching lower elementary at Monarch Montessori in the fall of 2017, although she has been teaching public Montessori for 8 years. Shanna graduated from Colorado Christian University with a B.A. in Elementary Education, received her Lower Elementary Montessori Credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and most recently received her dual masters degree in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Education and Special Education. When she is not teaching, she and her husband enjoy taking their dog in to the mountains, trying new restaurants, and reading historical fiction.
Diana CerilloAssistant Teacher
Bio Coming Soon!
Alesandra RodriguezMontessori Lead
Alesandra started her teaching career in 2011 in a toddler classroom and then substitute teaching at the elementary level and then a lower elementary teacher at a Montessori Charter School in Miami, FL. After two wonderful years, she relocated to Denver, CO and found a new home at Monarch Montessori. Her favorite part of teaching Montessori curriculum is being able to foster independence, provide individualized instruction and most importantly, being able to teach using hands-on activities. Alesandra classroom is setup to make Montessori education fun and engaging. When not at Monarch, she enjoys hiking the beautiful trails in the area and has recently become obsessed with Yoga.
Stacey MonahanAssistant Teacher
Ms. Stacey’s started working at Monarch in Lower Elementary in Fall of 2016 with Ms. Alesandra. Ms. Stacey has worked with youth for the past decade in a variety of settings from summer camps to environmental education organizations. When she’s not in the classroom, Ms. Stacey loves to explore the mountains with her dog Nova.
Jennifer GreeneAssistant Teacher
Jennifer has 20 years of experience working with elementary students, specializing in behavior support as a para educator. Jennifer holds an Associate’s Degree in Child Development and is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Jennifer has seen Montessori curriculum help children grow by moving concepts from concrete to abstract, enticing the inquisitive nature of children and allowing them to think of different ways to complete a task. Jennifer spends free time with family, going to the movies, BBQs, camping at Cherry Creek Reservoir, drives in the mountains: specially to watch the autumn colors change, game night, and quiet evenings being a couch potato.

Meet the Team – Upper Elementary

Grace Ochs Montessori Lead
Grace Ochs was born in Ghana, West Africa and has called five different African countries, two European countries, and four US states home. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and is an alumna of the Americorps VISTA program.  Grace received her Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori certification training from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and is working toward her Master of Education degree in Montessori Integrative Learning from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.  When she is not in the classroom, Grace enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, and a good book!
Mariah BottomlyAssistant Teacher
Mariah has been active in the Montessori educational community for over 15 years, spanning San Diego, Albuquerque and Denver. In addition to education, Mariah has worked in holistic health care field, and holds an associates in Professional Photography. She is pursuing her passion for teaching and plans to grow into a lead teaching position when her Bachelor’s Degree is completed. She loves setting up tactile and tangible learning experiences for students. And especially values that Montessori advocates teaching peace, and gratitude. Mariah spends her free time with her two daughters ages 9 and 17, in addition to attending workshops, working in the community, and watching Netflix.
Liz WalchieMontessori Lead
Liz completed her Montessori Teaching internship at Monarch in 2015 and grown as an amazing teacher. She is well versed in one-on-one tutoring working with various learners. Liz’s degree is in Applied Linguistics, and holds a Montessori Elementary teaching certificate. The peace curriculum in Montessori has a special place in her heart. It is a priority to teach the next generation about loving others and self, then they will have this foundation when they are older. Liz’s hobbies include hiking in the mountains, traveling to beautiful places, and reading “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.
Maggie BakerAssistant/Licensed Teacher
Maggie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and is completing a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health degree online from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). Maggie implemented and ran a wellness program (focusing on nutrition, physical fitness and mental strength) at a low-income, high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Maggie values the community in a Montessori school which is a close-knit, family-like environment. This structure provides students the opportunity to support each other and help each other learn. When not at Monarch, Maggie enjoys practicing yoga, spending time outdoors, cooking, playing tennis, hanging out with friends, listening to music and going to local farmers markets on the weekends.
Leslie Snyder- Newquist Montessori Lead
Leslie Snyder- Newquist received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance for tuba from Metropolitan State University.  Originally from South Dakota, Leslie moved to Denver in 2002.  She recently worked for Denver Public Schools as a substitute teacher.  For 12 years prior to that she worked for Landmark Theater’s as a manager/projectionist. Before moving to Denver to pursue her education, Leslie worked as music director for NeSoDak youth camp.   Leslie now lives in Denver with her husband and son.  She enjoys camping with her family and playing music with several local artists.
Noor AshrafiMontessori Lead
Joining Monarch this year was a dream come true for Noor! She is thrilled to be surrounded by child-centered Montessori guides! During her 26 years as an educator, she served as a teacher, reading specialist, teacher trainer, academic dean, and college professor overseas. Noor’s Montessori journey began after touring several schools abroad. She fell in love the Montessori philosophy and hands on learning materials. When her son began school, she knew the Montessori approach would be perfect for him!
Noor and her family are huge fans of traveling to new places and exploring the world together!
Nikki BreauxAssistant Teacher/Long Time Montessorian
Nikki has been teaching in Montessori classrooms since 2000, beginning as an assistant in a primary classroom. Nikki attended Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York (CMTE/NY) and led a 3-6 classroom for 6 years before moving into Lower Elementary and eventually into Upper Elementary. She is currently seeking a Special Education degree at Grand Canyon University. Nikki values on Montessori curriculum were summed up beautifully in a quote from one of her fourth graders. Her student wrote the following about Maria Montessori in his peacemaking journal, “The thing I admire most about Maria Montessori is that she knew that everybody could learn. She made materials for that to happen. She made a goal for that to happen. She helped children all around the world to learn. She taught teachers so that they could help children to learn. Here is a quote that shows that she reached her goal: ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'” Darrius, 4th Grade, Monarch Montessori of Denver