Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan

Head of School - Owner

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan was born and grew up in New Zealand. Robyn's mother, Patricia Eriwata, still lives in New Zealand while Robyn and Pamela, her two daughters, live in the United States and her son, John, lives in Australia. Robyn tries to visit home frequently to spend time with her mother, their family and close friends. Before she married Robyn was an elementary public school teacher in New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada. She is married to Robert Buchanan and has four children, Jordyn - who lives in New York City with his wife Laura - Jemmyn and Marisa, and her husband David, who live in Salt Lake City, and KereAna, her youngest daughter, who currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Jemmyn works as the Marketing/IT manager at the school. Robyn's sister, Pamela, works in administration part of the year. Robyn obtained her Montessori credential from MWEI (Montessori World Education Institute). Robyn loves to travel and has traveled extensively. She loves to read, attend the theatre, spend as much time as possible at the beach, swim, walk and participate in Zumba, and spend time with family and friends. What Robyn likes best about being the Head of School is the joyfulness of the children and her relationship with the staff and school community. Little known fact about Robyn: she is a descendant of Te Wharepouri, a Maori Chief.

Bob Buchanan

Buchanan BobOwner

Bob Buchanan is the co-owner of the Montessori Community School and is married to Robyn. Bob was born and raised in Venice, Utah. He has a Ph.D. in Geography and taught Urban Planning as an adjunct professor at the University. For many years he was a private consultant as an urban planner for many communities in Utah, and later worked in the same field for Salt Lake City. Bob retired from his position as the Director of Economic Development for West Valley City a few years ago. His latest interest is gardening and he has an enormous vegetable garden and small orchard in Venice where his spends many hours every week.

Ramira Alamilla

Alamilla RamiraAssociate Head of School - Operations

Ramira was born in Los Angeles, California, where she attended Montessori school from 2½ to 6 years of age. That experience shaped her love of learning, exploring and reading, and her deep respect for teachers, which is why she is grateful that her children, who are triplets, have the opportunity to attend Montessori Community School. Prior to joining the MCS staff, Ramira was a college counselor at Judge Memorial High School since 2001. She enjoyed helping students through important decision-making times and helping them organize their applications to college. Outside of work, she loves reading, writing, independent films, live music, African dancing, and travel, and she's looking forward to the day when she can get back to those interests, though she enjoys introducing her children to them little by little. A little known fact about Ramira: she danced in the Ballet Folklorico for one year in college and her favorite dance was the "Jarabe Tapatio" - the Mexican hat dance.

Britney Peterson

Peterson BritneyAssociate Head of School - Staff Development

Britney developed her love of Montessori as a high school student when she worked with Lower Elementary students in an after-school program. Since then she has been trained and certified in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary through the National Center for Montessori Education. She has taught in the classroom at the Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary levels. Britney has also worked as the Assistant Director and Training Advisor of the Southern Utah Montessori Teacher Training Center and as the Assistant Director of Dayspring Montessori in St. George, Utah. Her favorite part of her job is sharing the beauty of Montessori with other adults, namely parents and teachers. She and her three children, who also attend MCS, moved to the area just recently and are enjoying all the wonderful outdoor adventures that Salt Lake has to offer. Britney enjoys rock climbing and rappelling, hiking, cooking, reading, and Sunday adventures with her boys. Little known fact about Britney: she spent a year teaching and traveling in Guatemala.

Pamela Bunnell

Bunnell PamelaSummer School Director

Pamela was born in New Zealand and moved to the States in 1973. Her career has been primarily as a paralegal and in administrative support positions, and she worked a second job for the airlines for many years. Her retirement from Continental Airlines has given her and her husband Craig unlimited free air travel which they both enjoy very much. A couple of years ago Pamela and Craig moved to the Big Island of Hawaii where they had an acre of land and began building a house. Pamela enjoys all aspects of construction work, particularly custom tile work. Craig operates part of the house as a vacation rental while Pamela comes back to Salt Lake City fairly regularly to work at the school. Pamela enjoys the contrast between Hawaii and Utah and loves to spend time on the mainland visiting her two daughters and her grandsons. A little known fact about Pamela is that she produced, directed, filmed, narrated and edited a New Zealand Fly Fishing film in 1994.

Ashlee Haslam

Haslam AshleeOffice and Admissions Administrator

Ashlee's enchantments derive from the numerous experiences she has joined and absorbed. She harbors great love and respect for nature. Her boho-gone-classy style is representative of her heart's desire to be immersed in the outdoors and cling to the energy nature freely offers. Her penchant for exploration, history and cultures has riveted her trail throughout the world. To name a few: she has danced under Stonehenge, perfumed by gypsies on a rickety train between Slovakia and Hungary, fallen in love with Michelangelo's David in Italy, gone Zorbing and hang-gliding in the Swiss Alps, and raced ATVs through the mud of Jamaica. She grew comfortable with different cultures at the young of age five when she lived in Guatemala and later Hungary for a time. However, the inflections of life and its adventures mean nothing without her adored husband and lively daughter whom she cherishes above all. Ashlee is extremely artistic and has an eye for creating masterpieces, whether its furniture arranging, painting, cooking, horticulture or landscape design; everything she touches blossoms. She thrived as she attained her Bachelor's of Science from the University of Utah in Recreation Therapy, and enjoys both witnessing and helping people reach goals and succeed. Above all things, she believes in loving others and acceptance. She is thrilled to be working with the Montessori youth and considers the teaching and learning here another one of her experiences to which she has joined and absorbs into her enchanting essence. 

Kim Brown

Finance Administrator

Kim was born in Utah but has lived all over the country. Through her travels she has fallen in love with Utah and is happy to call it her home. Kim recently completed her associate's degree in Business and Accounting. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Business and Accounting with a Human Resources emphasis. In what little free time she has, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and spending time with her family and loved ones. Kim loves being a part of our wonderful school community and feels that it is an honor to play a small part in shaping our students futures.

Jemmyn Buchanan

JemmynBMarketing & I.T. Manager

Jemmyn is in charge of marketing the Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City. He also manages the technology which powers the school and assists with the facilities and operations of the school. Jemmyn grew up taking things apart. When he was six years old he took the family television apart and after some fairly intense internal dialog within the family, he had to figure out how to put it back together. Since then he has continued to have a curiosity about how things work and he has also continued to take things apart. Jemmyn is the CEO of Tiki Multimedia, LLC a full marketing and production company which creates audio, video, web, print, design and marketing plans for numerous nonprofits and small businesses. While many of his skills are self-taught he posseses multiple certifications in the field of technology and digital production.

Richard Jennings

Jennings Richard resizedIT Technician
 
Richard Jennings was born in Louisiana and spent his youth moving throughout the South.  By the time he was in Middle School, Richard was head of the student run technology department and supervised tasks that included PC repair and network maintenance. In High School Richard began working with graphics development, eventually leading him to a love of both 2d and 3d design. During college Richard continued to fuel his interest in technology by providing support and customized PC building to friends and teachers while earning his degree in English. Richard is thrilled to be a part of the Montessori Community School.

Ashley Brown

Office Assistant & Onsite Substitute

Ashley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but has lived all over the United States. She has spent a few years teaching at other preschools and educational institutions in the Greater Salt Lake area. She has always had a love for the fine arts and is currently enrolled in the University of Utah's Fine Arts program. Her hobbies include baking, painting, costume & prop making, and photography.

Paola Ramirez

Office Assistant & Onsite Substitute

Paola Ramirez Ceron was born in Reynosa, Mexico. Since then she has lived all throughout Mexico and Italy, where she attended Montessori school from 1 to 5 years of age. She moved to Texas at the age of eight, and seven years later her family relocated to Sandy, Utah. Paola speaks 3 languages and has traveled to over 11 different countries. She is currently attending the University of Utah and hopes to be an Early Childhood Teacher someday. She has been a member of a competitive dance company for the past 14 years, and in her free time also enjoys drawing, painting, reading, and traveling. Paola has always had a strong interest in teaching and looks forward to continuing her education.