Administrative Team

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan

Robyn-2Founder & Executive Director

Robyn was born and grew up in New Zealand.  Robyn usually travels there once or twice a year to spend time with her daughter, KereAna, and other family members and very close friends. Before she married Robyn was a Public School elementary teacher and taught in New  Zealand and British Columbia, Canada. She was married to Robert Buchanan who died in June of 2020. They have four children - Jordyn and his wife Laura who live in New York, Jemmyn who lives in Holladay, Marisa and her husband Dave who recently moved to St. George and KereAna who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Robyn obtained her Montessori credential through Montessori World Education Institute. Robyn loves to travel and for years worked part-time at an airline in order for her family to be able to travel extensively. She loves to spend time at the beach, read, attend the theatre, swim, walk, go to Zumba and spend time with family and friends. Her greatest joy is spending time with her grandchildren - AnaMarie and Isadora (Marisaś children) and Belladova (Dovie - Jemmynś daughter) who is a student at MCS.  What Robyn likes best about working at our school is the joyfulness of the children and her relationship with her peers. A little known fact about Robyn is that she is a descendent of Te Wharepouri, a Maori chief.

Brandi Allen

Allen-Brandi-1School Director

Since 1989, Brandi Allen has taught children and adults in many settings. Being a teacher in diverse conditions has taught Brandi that there is a connection of humanity in all of us. Brandi discovered Montessori education in 1990 and fell in love with the philosophy, which she feels is a form of education that focuses on the intrinsic desire that children have to learn and where the prepared environment sets the foundation for learning. Brandi was an extended day teacher for Robyn and Bob at 2nd Avenue Montessori School starting in 1990. She has been a classroom teacher in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary classrooms and has been involved in other facets with Upper Elementary and Middle School. Brandi has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Utah and a Master in Education from Westminster College. She has her AMS Montessori Lower and Upper Elementary Certification. Brandi and her husband Earl, have three children - Nate, Emilia, and Oliver with whom  they love to enjoy the outdoors.

Margaret Mc Donald

McDonald-Margaret-1School Director 

Margaret Mc Donald has been at MCS since 1994. Her role and responsibilities at MCS have evolved over the years; she started teaching in an Early Childhood classroom, helped grow the Elementary program, wrote the MCS peace curriculum and was instrumental in establishing and advising the Middle School program. Margaret received her Montessori teaching credentials for Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary from the London Montessori Center in Dublin, Ireland and has been teaching students between the ages of 2.5 to 14 years old since 1990. Margaret, who was born in Ireland, has lived in Florida and Colorado before moving to Utah. In her free time Margaret likes to bake, garden, knit, read, and run. 

Ramira Alamilla

Alamilla-RamiraDirector of Admissions & Accreditation

Ramira has been with MCS since 2009, when her own children started in the Early Childhood program. She felt shaped by her own Montessori experience from 2.5 to 6 years old, wanted the same experience for her children, and chose MCS for its vision and long-term opportunities for an authentic Montessori education. Ramira has a Master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in education. She served as Associate Head of School at MCS from 2011-2018. When her children graduated from Upper Elementary she went part-time and became Director of Admissions and Accreditation. She enjoys sharing the unique features of the MCS programs and community with prospective parents. In her free time Ramira enjoys hiking, photography, painting, reading, writing, dancing, swimming, and spending time with her family.

Nanette Cenaruzabeitia

Cenaruzabeitia-Nanette-1Director of Staff Development

Nanette Cenaruzabeitia was born in Salt Lake City and has lived here all her life. Her husband, Felix, has recently retired. Nanette has three children who also live in Salt Lake City. Jim is a pharmacy technician, Maria is working in medical billing, and Alecia who graduated from Westminster College. All three of her children attended Montessori schools – Alecia was one of the first elementary school students at Montessori Community School when it was known as Tenth East. In her free time, Nanette likes to read murder mysteries with mayhem! She also enjoys spending time with her family. Nanette was trained and certified in Montessori at the Early Childhood level in 1983 from Little Way Montessori in Washington State and completed her Infant and Toddler certification through the Institute for Guided Studies. She enjoys working with children and hopes to do so for many years to come! Little known fact about Nanette: Her maiden name is Fenn.

Maya Brewer

Maya BrewerAccountant & HR Specialist

 attended the University of Utah and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. This is Maya's first time working in a school setting, but her work history has provided her with a wealth of experiences from working in small family owned businesses (Maya's preference) to the corporate world. She was raised by an Art teacher and a high school social worker so she is very comfortable in a school environment. Maya was born and raised in Utah and loves to travel and learn about different cultures. She considers herself a homebody and loves spending time with friends and family. She also likes to spend time volunteering for worthy causes. She has two Russian Siberian fur babies, Kohshka (Russian for Cat) and Pushistyy (Russian for Fluffy), and tons of photos if you're interested. A little known fact about Maya is when she was about 5 she decided she needed a middle name (as she was the only one in the family that didn't have one) and it should be "Action!" It stuck.

Candace Wiseman

Office Administrative Assistant 

Candace loves working with students and parents at MCS. She assists daily in the main office, helps direct and support the Extended Day program, and directs MCS camps during the summer and school holiday breaks. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Candace received her bachelor's degree from Georgia State University, and moved to Salt Lake City in 2011 after falling in love with the beautiful mountains on what was supposed to be a quick vacation. She obtained her Early Childhood Montessori Certification in the summer of 2019, after working for 3 years in the Sequoias Classroom.  Prior to working at MCS, Candace worked at nonprofit organizations in the Salt Lake Valley reuniting children and their families who were recovering from addiction and trauma. In her time outside of the classroom she enjoys cooking, volunteering with local nonprofits in the Salt Lake community, hiking with her dog Behr, and going to local farmers markets and festivals.

Sabine Bell

Office Administrative Assistant

Sabine has always been an outgoing person and loves people. She and her husband Nate have been married since Fall 2018, and have one daughter named Adaline. Sabine grew up in a Montessori home school environment and has always been drawn to the beautiful way it helps children to grow into themselves. She has lived in Europe, visiting Maria Montessori's birthplace, and has plans of returning as soon as possible to learn to love new people and explore new places. Her mother became a teacher at MCS, and Sabine joined her here after returning from her mission in Kansas.

Amanda Bywaters

 Student Support Coordinator

Amanda is a native Oregonian and grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She was fortunate to work in the school district she attended as a child and focused on the area of Special Education for the Lake Oswego School district for 17 years, even working with some of her former teachers. Amanda, her husband and two children decided to change scenery and move to Utah in November 2020. As lovers of the outdoors, they are all thriving here. Going on family hikes, skiing, enjoying local farmers markets and exploring new places are their favorite things to do together. Amanda also enjoys photography, making jewelry and crafting. Amanda is inspired by the Montessori philosophy and is excited to be part of the Montessori team. 

Jemmyn Buchanan

Jemmyn-BuchananIT & Marketing 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 possesses multiple certifications in the field of technology and digital production.

Jordan Newbould

IT Help DeskJordan

Jordan was born in Bountiful, Utah and went to Viewmont High School. He graduated a term early and moved down to Salt Lake City in 2015. He started at Salt Lake Community College in 2016 and completed his General Education requirements in spring of 2018, receiving his General Education Certificate. During his third semester at Salt Lake Community College, Jordan became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is currently a full-time student at the University of Utah studying Information Systems on a scholarship and working towards his Bachelor's degree. Jordan is excited to proactively lead with a job aligned with his goals and prepare himself for professional development in his career. Jordan has 5 aquatic turtles; Franklin, Lady, Shy-Guy, Junior and Shelly. 

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