Teacher Bios and Recommendations
At Bozeman Montessori our staff is still growing. We are committed to hiring people who not only love young children, but respect them. We know that each child is an independent capable person and that our role is to support and nurture them though the most developmentally important time in their lives. We also recognize that the first few years of a young child’s life are also an important time in the life of their family. We know that working with a child means also providing the support and community that every family needs.
All of the lead staff will be Montessori trained at the highest level possible with the goal of international recognition.
Marissa – Director & Co-lead Primary Guide
Marissa is from the Lost Coast of Northern California, where the redwood trees grow. She has worked with children for most of her life. Trained as a Montessori educator 15 years ago, she had worked at Montessori schools ever since, and deeply believes in her work. Marissa loves playing in nature with her husband and dog: whitewater rafting, cross country skiing, and hiking. She also enjoys cooking.
Chris – Assistant Director
Chris was born in Butte, grew up in Helena, but has made Bozeman home for over 20 years.
The mother of two children, she has worked in a Montessori setting, both in and out of the
classroom for over seven years. She enjoys all of life’s adventures, including: travel, running,
cross country skiing, knitting, sewing, parenting and spending time with her dog. Chris feels
grateful and honored to be a part of the Bozeman Montessori community.
Kiera – Co-lead Primary Guide
Kiera is originally from Plum Island, MA, and has worked with children in the classroom setting as well as having taught swim and ski lessons, and provided hippotherapy instruction. She has many interests and hobbies, most of which revolve around our beautiful Bozeman wilderness. Lately, she loves being on her bike and swimming laps. Prior to moving to Bozeman, Kiera was a high school plant science/environment science teacher. She has a BS in environmental science and was working on her master’s in education in Massachusetts. She is eager to finish her studies in Bozeman, and to get to know your children!
Kristen is from Placerville, CA. She has worked as a children’s ski instructor, nanny, and a substitute teacher at another Montessori school. Kristen enjoys skiing, climbing, and making art.
Daniel is from Bellingham, WA. His experience with children is that “they always provide a great sense of humor.” He enjoys skiing, camping, hiking, tennis, soccer, and reading. Daniel looks forward to another exciting school year.
Karina is from the Seattle area and has worked with children for over 7 years. She also has
a 6-year-old daughter. Karina is a lover of yoga, hiking, kayaking and photography.
Hillary – Lead Pre-primary Guide
Hillary lived in Absarokee, MT until she was eight; then lived in Billings until she was 19. She
has lived in “lovely Bozeman” ever since. Hillary has worked with children as a babysitter
when she was eleven years old. Over the past 11 years she has worked in various childcare
centers with ages 0-6, but predominantly with two- and three-year-olds. The Montessori
method has been part of her life for the last six years. Hillary loves to hike and go for walks,
and also enjoys “a good puzzle” and cooking. She loves having the opportunity to be a part
of each child’s development and their families.
Whitney was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Big Timber, MT. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and taught preschool for about a year. Whitney has been at Bozeman Montessori. In her free time, she enjoys video games and spending time with her kitties.
Annelize is from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Before coming to Bozeman Montessori, she worked in a neuro-rehab setting for three years working with adults and children with physical disabilities, and at a child development center in Washington state with ages 3-5. Her interests include: reading; any movement activity, such as yoga, hiking and running; dancing and cooking. Annelize is both a guide and parent at Bozeman Montessori and is delighted for her family to be a part of the program.
I’ve lived in Bozeman for about 6 years now, and originally came here to study visual art and
education here at MSU. Since I first came here, I’ve tried to immerse myself in education, and I’ve
worked to become the best teacher I can be, for my students and for myself.
I’ve worked as an art teacher, an after school program aid and as head of my own preschool
classroom, and I am thrilled to be coming into Bozeman Montessori; their wonderful building and
program have me very excited for the upcoming year.
When I’m not teaching, you can find me painting and drawing at home, reading every book that
comes my way, learning ukulele (poorly), or trying to outrun my friends in local 5K races in town.
Mary Brennan – Lead Nido Guide
Mary Brennan is from Forest Virginia. She spent about two years at a not-for-profit preschool
in Big Sky, and has been at Bozeman Montessori since January 2016. This summer she
completed the first half of the Association Montessori Internationale course for Assistants to
Infants (0-3), which she will complete in the coming summer, demonstrating her interest in
early education. She also enjoys outdoor recreation in skiing, hiking, camping and fishing;
live performance in music, theatre, comedy and sports; as well as gardening and learning
about native plants and landscapes. She is a Virginia Tech Football fan, and is also
interested in travel and anthropology. Mary Brennan loves this community.
Caroline is from Vernon Hills, IL, and has spent fifteen years teaching music and drama to
students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade. She also spent two years involved in infant
Kindermusik Instruction and one year at a childcare center for infants to four-year-olds.
Caroline’s interests include scrapbooking, hiking, cooking, her two dogs, renovating her
house and starting a new music business.
Julia – Floater
Julia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before
moving to the Northwest. In addition to helping to care for children in her family and friend
group, she volunteered servicing at-risk youth at community centers in Berkeley and
Oakland. Her main interests are: the arts; physical disciplines such as: ballet, taekwondo,
skiing, and diving; travel and the study of foreign languages: she has dabbled in French,
Italian, German, Old English, Latin, and most recently Hindi.