Our Staff

Ms. Jennifer

Welcome to my passion.

You know you are doing what you are supposed to when you enjoy it, think about it often, can separate it from other parts of your life, and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Greenhouse Montessori was created from a passion for providing an environment for children to learn and have fun. The “greenhouse” was originally a place for children to have themed birthday parties where they could play, interact, and learn, without even realizing that fun and learning could be the same thing. As a former elementary teacher, I incorporated learning, fun, and respect, in my classroom at every opportunity. When it came time for my child to go to school and into the care of others, it was with much trial and error that Montessori Education was found. The idea of giving young children the knowledge to be independent, self-disciplined, focused students who work at their own ability, no matter the age, was very intriguing. As the preschool was started, the Montessori philosophy paralleled my beliefs so much, I then decided to take training to become AMS certified.

Greenhouse Montessori is what I want for my own children, a place of love and learning that encourages discovery and individuality. The learning family that we have at our school is very special. Family involvement is an important part of Greenhouse Montessori and the relationships built among the children, teachers, and families are irreplaceable. This school is as much a part of me that I am of it. I appreciate the importance of the development of the brain from 0-6 years and know that the students in my school are being molded during the time with us.  Our prepared environments both inside and outside help develop the child’s mind, body, and character.


Ms. Julie

Hello, I am Ms. Julie, I have been at Greenhouse for a little over 10 years. My life’s journey as a Montessorian began when I accepted a position at Greenhouse Montessori as an assistant in the toddler’s classroom.  I found that my personal attributes, intuition, and core person were well suited for this position.  A year later, I accepted the lead teacher position with the expectation that I could expand on the indoor and outdoor curriculum while meeting the needs of each individual toddler in my care. I took on that challenge and nine years later I met and exceeded those expectations and have been branded by my students’ parents as “The Toddler Whisperer”. 

 I was given the nickname “the toddler whisper” for the way I easily connect with toddlers. By nurturing the whole child, you become their voice as they learn to communicate their feelings through sounds and body language. Representing their best interests by giving them tools to verbally communicate their feelings results in their ability to have positive social experiences, which leads to a community of thoughtful, independent toddlers.

Greenhouse is not just a job to me, but my home away from home where I can create a safe haven for your little one.

 

 


Ms. Kelsey

I grew up on the West Coast of Canada, living and playing freely by water and forest. I rarely wore shoes in the summer, and I was a master at catching bugs, fish and frogs. So, when I became a mother, driven by pure nostalgia and instinct, I recognized the importance of providing my daughter with a similar environment to grow up in. I was gifted Maria Montessori’s The Absorbent Mind and the seeds were planted. I needed to learn as much as I could about Montessori and her method. Getting to work and learn at a school that aligns so closely with my parenting and teaching values has been a gift.

After moving to the United States, I was lucky enough to assist teaching outdoor preschool classes and help run Montessori toddler and primary classes at a co-op for homeschooling families. Through good fortune and fate, I found Greenhouse and began my journey here as the garden teacher and Ms. Jennifer’s assistant. After being completely immersed in the world of Greenhouse, I knew I wanted to sign up for the Montessori teacher training. 

As a medical doctor and aspiring anthropologist, Maria Montessori didn’t intend on creating a method to teach children- she simply wanted to study natural human development. By beginning her journey as a scientist wanting to have a better understanding of the unseen evolution of a growing child, she was able to study the psychological and educational progression of children from a perspective revolutionary for her time; she strove to understand life from the perspective of a child. This is what informs the philosophy and architecture of Greenhouse. Connection and respect are the cultural foundation at Greenhouse. Education is an arousal of interest leading to discovery. Faith and expectation for success are readily communicated and opportunities for achievement are broken down into manageable steps. Confidence is developed through a teacher stepping back and making room for a child to become a leader in their own academic journey. At Greenhouse the environment (including the staff) is an enriching extension of the home. I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful to be a part of the Greenhouse family


Mr. Maxwell

I grew up as a Montessori child, receiving preschool and kindergarten in a Montessori classroom. My mother was also a Montessori teacher my whole life, and is now an administrator. At first I wanted to become a psychologist, so I majored in psychology. But after finding some cold truths about human nature, I decided it was best to catch problematic coping mechanisms at an earlier age. I also fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and classroom. I am originally from the midwest and grew up in Cheyenne Wyoming. I moved to Arizona in high school and graduated from Basha High, then received my BA. majoring in psychology. I was an assistant in a Montessori classroom for a few years before getting my AMS certification. My favorite part of being a Montessori teacher is being able to honor each individual student. Giving them time to catch up or go past their grade level. As well as working in a place that honors intrinsic collective accomplishments, not individualistic extrinsic ones. Being able to help each student grow and learn for the whole three year cycle is also another one of the great blessings of being a GreenHouse Montessori teacher. The multi-age Montessori classroom fosters leadership in each student, and is quite a fascinating phenomenon to behold and be a part of.      On the weekends I’m a professional Dj and Mc, specializing in weddings and corporate events. I also play the acoustic, and electric guitar. I enjoy long distance running and spending time in nature.


Ms. Catie

Hi! My name is Catie and I have been working with kids for the better part of 2 decades. I received my teaching degree back in Michigan (Go Blue!) and taught 2nd grade. While I loved teaching, I had a hard time being able to individualize my lessons to accommodate each student’s needs based on the mainstream classroom (and having 30+ kids in my class!). I then moved to Chicago and learned about the Montessori philosophy. I was immediately drawn to the fact that each student was given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in a MUCH calmer environment than a traditional American classroom.

After having our first baby, my husband and I knew, without a doubt, we wanted her in a Montessori preschool. We moved to Arizona and found Greenhouse Montessori. Our daughter has flourished here and has gained a sense of independence and confidence that still amazes us to this day. The fact that she is able to choose her own works, master them and move on without needing to wait for the entire class has catapulted her to do her personal best. Equally, if she is struggling with a topic, she is able to learn at her own pace rather than being forced to move on. There is no ceiling as to what a child can accomplish in a Montessori classroom. We now have a child in the elementary classroom and one in the primary classroom and continue to love it more than ever! Greenhouse Montessori allows each child to learn at their own pace, provides an environment full of exploration, encourages children to be a part of their community and nurtures each individual to reach their greatest potential. Greenhouse has been a wonderful fit for our family. When we’re not at school, our family loves doing art projects, being outdoors, cooking together (pizza making night is our favorite!), playing with Legos and reading books. The one thing our family cherishes most is spending quality time together. I am genuinely looking forward to working with all the kiddos at Greenhouse while guiding them to be their best self.


Ms. Zaeneb


Ms. Mirsha

My name is Ms. Mirsha and I assist and support Miss Julie in the Toddler room at Greenhouse Montessori.

I grew up immersed in the education field, due to both of my parents being teachers. Graduate from the University of Sonora in Mexico, and since have worked in the academic field as an educator at middle school and elementary levels as well as Special needs and nutrition education.

The first professional experience I had after graduating from college was in a traditional middle school in my hometown in Mexico where I taught Spanish class. My belief is that it’s crucial to give our students the opportunity to learn, explore at their own pace and capacities, paying attention to all areas of their development: cognitive, social, emotional, and physical. When I learned about the Montessori method, I knew that I’d found the type of education I consider to be the best form for a child in their early development years. I was able to fully understand how the Montessori method works once I began to see the positive differences in my daughter’s development and that is when I decided to begin my Montessori School career path for myself.

What I love the most about the Montessori philosophy is that it’s designed to create and promote independence, curiosity, empathy and joy for learning among children.

 


Ms. Amanda

I’m Ms. Amanda, I, like Ms. Jennifer, wear many hats here at Greenhouse, but most know me as the lady behind the computer. In Spring of 2017, an opportunity fell in my lap to join Greenhouse Montessori as a teacher’s assistant in the Primary classroom with Ms. Jennifer and as soon as I stepped foot in the play yard, I knew this was the place for me!

I was a Montessori child myself, although only attending a Montessori class for a year, my mom always implemented Montessori philosophy at home with making sure my needs academically were met/challenged to what I needed as an individual. I start of my college years as an early childhood major and wanted to be an educator since age 5. I have worked in many school/childcare environments, from nannying to preschools to summer camps to even high school ages and through all that I have always loved everything about Montessori and knew that I wanted to be more involved with a Montessori School. After many years and a few rocks thrown in my path my passion has shifted from solely being a teacher to other things. Leading me to finishing my studies in Communications instead, I am currently a student Grand Canyon University (Go Lopes!). I hope to bring both my studies and the philosophy of Montessori into play wherever I may go. But for now, my heart is here, at this amazing school.

I have grown a lot while at Greenhouse, got married, bought my first home, and became a mother myself. The community of staff and parents has been a big part of whom I have become during my early adult years, and I couldn’t be more thankful. This community and seeing how the students grow and transform before my eyes is my favorite part of my job. The magic of Greenhouse is real, and I cannot wait for my own child to attend this special place.