Toddler Support/Extended Day TeacherDani is one of our toddler extended day teachers who just joined us this year. She loves traveling, singing, and dogs! Dani is currently attending the University of Utah to double major in Communications and Spanish. Dani is very excited to be working at the Montessori Community School, and we are so lucky to have her!
Toddler Support/Extended Day TeacherKenza is originally from San Francisco, California, but was recruited to the University of Utah for her talents in swimming. She has been teaching swim lessons her whole life, which is where she discovered her passion for education. Kenza is a fifth year at the University of Utah and will be graduating this Spring with a bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in political science.
Toddler Support/Extended Day TeacherKathy Murnin grew up in a beautiful mountain ski resort in Idaho. Her first experience with Montessori was when she entered her son into Growing Light Montessori in Midway, Utah. Kathy immediately fell in love with Montessori philosophy and the way that it allowed children to grow freely while guiding them to being their best.
Kathy spent the last eight years substituting in the Catholic school system. She is thrilled to be able to get to know and love your children in this amazing environment. Kathy is married to a wonderful man, Jeff Murnin, and has two beautiful sons, Elijah and Micah.
Early Childhood Sequoias Support/Extended Day TeacherJeannette recently moved to Utah from the East Coast and is excited to join the Montessori Community School team. After nine years in the technology industry working as an editor and writer, Jeannette discovered her passion for education in 2015, when she began working with children. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, writing, and spending time with her twins.
Early Childhood Willows Support/Extended Day TeacherKristina McCoy is a new support teacher for the Willows classroom. She has a background in art and design but also loves working with children and seeing how they learn. She is excited to be joining Montessori Community School this year. Her other interests are cooking, hiking, and photography, which are how she spends her time outside of school.
Early Childhood Magnolias Support/Extended Day TeacherRaquel was born and raised in Alaska till she was 12, then moved with her family to Hawaii. She joined the U.S. Air Force at the age of 18 and served for 6 years as a mental health technician. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in Social Services in 2014. Drawn to working with children, since she was a child, Raquel has worked both as a mentor to juvenile delinquents and with foster youth. Passionate about quality education and experimental learning, Raquel was naturally drawn to the Montessori Method and to Montessori Community School. She considers the outdoors to be her second home and loves to bike, swim, and hike.
Early Childhood Aspens Support/Extended Day TeacherKristine Withem is a Support and Extended Day Teacher for the Aspens class just joining us this school year. She is originally from San Diego, CA, but has spent the last three years in Muncie, Indiana where she received an Associates Degree (in Early Childhood Education) and is working towards her Bachelor' at Ball State University. Kristine hopes to graduate from Ball State in the coming Spring as she completes her degree online in Early Childhood and Special Education. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl, and is thrilled to be pursuing her passion in the Montessori environment. In her free time, she enjoys to do crafts, travel-- especially road trips to places she has never seen before, and occasionally watch Netflix. Kristine really enjoys the outdoors, and is looking forward to exploring the terrain here in Salt Lake City, hiking and possibly skiing/snowboarding.
Elementary Extended Day TeacherNicole was born on a chilly February morning in Mesa, Arizona, where she lived with her parents and Grandma. Her grandmother always taught her the importance of taking care of things, why it matters to have people or things depend on you; and not only what you can teach it - but what it can teach you. When she was three years old her family decided to move to Utah for a new start and a new job for her mother. Nicole has grown up in Utah ever since and loves it. She believes that you really can’t beat these Utah mountains and sunsets! Growing up, Nicole has always loved plants, children, and animals. Nicole knew she had a couple of dreams and choices to make to figure out where she wanted to be and what she wanted to be doing in life.
Nicole has been a vegetarian since age 12 and as of last year is now fully vegan. She never plans on going back! Because she was so passionate about animals, Nicole graduated high school a year early from Valley High to get a head start on her vet schooling. She did one year of pre-vet at SLCC while also teaching and taking childhood development classes, and started to realize that she was enjoying the childhood classes and being around children more than the vet studies. Around this time she got a job at Cactus & Tropicals in Draper. Shortly after starting there she found that her true passion was not as much in animals as it was plants. Her plant obsession took over and soon her house was full! She knew she had to follow where her heart and passion were and decided to switch her major. She applied and got accepted to Utah State University where she is currently working towards her degree in Horticulture.